jump to navigation

“I don´t want to have anything to do with her” 04/10/2010

Posted by Sir Ralph in How it went on.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Those are the words of Jeannett she had in store for her sister during a supervision session. We have agreed that Jeannett should take part if this would be of any help for us as foster children. We were talking about the consequences of the parting from Susan a month ago.

Jeannett must have suffered terribly, She didn´t mention, but she must have been afraid that our whole family would break apart. This would have destroyed the setting which she classed as stable enough for the first time in her life and gave her enough security to survive in a world where she couldn´t trust any adult except us as her foster parents. She was trying to save what she thought would have supported her in her future development. Her sister in this situation was a crucial threat to her.

Jeannett and Ruth these days are not able to visit Susan at the emergency unit these days. The hurt would be too much. The fact that I was losing more and more of Susan´s trust didn´t make things easier. It would be best for all of us to keep distance. so we were getting used to the fact that Susan should be accommodated in a therapeutical housing group which was not necessarily in reach of a day´s trip.

The Birthday 22/11/2009

Posted by Sir Ralph in How it went on.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

After the supervision ruth and I set off to the emergency unit. It is Susan´s birthday, and we had promised her to visit her. Janet stayed at home with our individual case adviser, a person who is especially assigned by the youth welfare office to help children and their families to cope with different problems in education, at schools and with authorities. Janet would not be able to manage the situation of meeting her sister, as she had to cope with her own problems.

Susan showed some appreciation of the presents we brought for her: some new pieces of clothing and a portable radio-cd-player. She had already attended us and welcomed us cordially. We were spending about twenty minutes in her room which she was sharing with another girl. Still, she was not willing to leave the unit with us, although the wardens would have allowed us to do so. She seemed to feel protected in some way in the emergency group. After all, maybe she felt just embarrassed by the situation and guilty, although we did everything not to give her any reason for that. Everybody tried not to talk about any critical topics, so you could really call it small talk. How are you doing, have you made any new friends, what about school. What else could we have mentioned without hurting. Susan did not show any signs of distress due to the fact that Janet did not accompany us. We only mentioned that she is not well.

Susan told us that her room mate had visits by boys and smoked in her room; something which really irritaed us. Asthma had been diagnosed with her since the very day when we took custody of the girls. The warden had noticed what was going on and put an end to it.

The social worker in charge for Susan told us that Susan had been beaten by a class mate. Otherwise she was calm and adapted well to the group.

On the way home we tried to explain the situation to each other. What we had not wished for had now taken place. Susan was now in the company of youngsters who had been taken into custody for different reasons, and were spending sometimes only a few days in the emergency unit. Was anything going wrong at her school? Was she well? What did she feel and think about? For the first time, we noticed that we were not responsible any more and didn´t have any influence. Back home, I would have contacted her school immediately and would have put everything right. We were out of power now and not any more part of her development. We were happy that her social worker in charge was reacting very professional, as well as sensitive, also in relation to ourselves.

What stayed was a vague feeling and the certainty of not being able and not being allowed to do the best for Susan.

Having a Bad Time 18/11/2009

Posted by Sir Ralph in How it went on.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

The days after the turning point were hell for the three of us. We were laying the dinner table for four persons, removing one of them. I felt that our decision to part from Susan would have consequences for a long time and we would need much time to cope with them. Ruth has been suffering from a bad stomach ache and would not be able to work. Janet didn´t attend school for some days. I was the only one of us to continue working, probably to get some distraction. Things had to go on.

I visited Susan in the emergency unit to leave her some of her belongings. She welcomed me cordially. Ruth and Janet would not be in the emotional state to be confronted with Susan. They have my sympathy.

Susan made a relaxed, or should I say, weary impression on me? No, not really. She seemed calm, but not depressed. She made contact with the other youngsters in her group; she is the youngest. Still, it is obvious to me that for Susan parting from us meant yet another situation of abandoning ties to persons with a strong influence on her life. I only can hope that there will be professionals to help her get over the parting and her trauma. And I would do what I could to minimise the consequences. This is my firm resolution.

Fortunately, the youth welfare office had granted us a supervision which had already helped us on a lot. The supervisor confirmed our decision. Susan could not bear the closeness of family ties, even if she appreciated it from time to time. All the holidays in France, Britain and Austria she really enjoyed, all of our relatives and friends who had accepted her without reservation, being successful in the local spoorts club where she could really work herself out…

In conclusion: we did the right thing, and there had not been any other way. That is why she would be better off in a children´s institution like the one where she was now.