It's been an enormously challenging week. Or three....
I'd like to say that I've got a handle on it now....but actually I haven't.
I wrote just a couple of weeks ago here about how my parenting journey has been a relatively easy one, it all seemed to just flow so smoothly....it was straightforward.
I've always known the answers.....until now.
Suddenly, I'm in unfamiliar territory, somewhere I've never been & somewhere I really didn't want to ever go.
Every day at the moment at some point, I wonder to myself if it's just me....
am I worrying too much, over-reacting or over-thinking things.
But....I'm not a worrier, this is a really tricky & unhappy situation & it's not just going to go away without some intervention and some work.
My daughter is struggling....and we are really struggling to help her.
We've needed support & we need more.
It is impossibly hard to see your precious child unhappy....
to see their personality changed, at times beyond all recognition.
I honestly cannot bear it.
I've had to share information that I didn't really want to share....
in order to get help that I didn't think I/we'd ever need.
I've cried. A lot. Yesterday I even cried into my coffee in the middle of coffee shop.
Thankfully I was literally surrounded by a group of the best possible girlfriends at the time.
They asked if I needed to talk or just change the subject....
and change the subject they did immediately until I was composed enough to share.
When you're a parent at school, you maintain some kind of facade, we all do to some extent....
I think I wear my emotions on my sleeve but actually I also smile easily, laugh & also often talk about the other person rather than myself.
A "playground persona" takes over.
As I say, I have been forced to ask for help & had to share private issues....
and, perhaps unsurprisingly, friends in response shared with me....
their experiences, their wisdom & their secrets.
I don't generally reveal deeply personal information about my family on my blog....
I do talk about myself sometimes though & have occasionally shared a few difficult times.
And I'm definitely all for talking about it - even when you don't quite know where to start.
My daughter went to a new school last September.
It all started really well.
She was happy.
Six months on....she unhappy. A changed girl.
She's lost old friends & she's in with the wrong crowd. people who are doing her no good at all.
I'm not sure if one has been the result of the other.
My sense is that she's stuck & can't get herself out of this situation.
I can see how hard it is for her.
She's a pleaser, she's a fixer & she's a follower.
But she's in over her head, she doesn't want us to fix it & she's not responding that well to support & concern from us or her school.
It's affecting her enormously.
She's showing emotions & behaviour we've never seen in her before.
Many people have told me it's just pre-teen issues, this particular school year is always hard and next year, friendships shuffle around again & so much settles down.
Starting secondary school is a huge challenge.
I've also had to consider that I'm a role model for her & shared with her so much of what I have learned....and yet she has still now made some bad choices.
Her mistakes are surely my mistakes too?
It is heart-breaking stuff though....
baffing, confusing, so hard to observe....
it keeps you from eating, thinking straight, functioning - it's paralysing.
You just want everything to be right again.
Life to resume as normal.
But, as with anything like this, when you're in the midst of it, you feel as though it will never end and life never will actually be the same again....
A huge amount of hope & a lot of support from some great friends is what is keeping us going.
Tomorrow is another day.