The sun is streaming in and I have been sitting here thinking back to the time when I first got to know you.
That was such a difficult time for you wasn't it and yet you had been actively looking for help for so long. You had read and rread. You had taken your child to so many appointments but as the years had gone past your child had got bigger and the meltdowns had got more and more intense and actually it was becoming quite frightening.
All those appointments and yet you still didn't understand what was happening and how to help. It was particularly hard because you were an experienced professional and it felt to you as if you should know what to do - it felt to you as if others were looking on and judging. And indeed perhaps some of them were.
The thing was your child could be so delightful and gorgeous - interested and interesting - you felt so much love - but the line was so fine and the unpredictably so intense. You had developed a way of treading on eggshells - hoping hoping to not say or do the wrong thing that would trigger an explosion off.
No wonder you were exhausted - you cared so much and were so competent elsewhere but at home things were different - and often felt very out of control.
However what to do and where to go? Your sleep was affected - in fact no one was sleeping well in your family and certainly not your child
Your appetite was affected and you had all gone to your GP several times hoping for some medication solutions that could help make a difference to how awful you were feeling. Living in dread and living with a sense of despair and constant worry about what might happen next.
Various professionals had suggested various diagnoses and you had read as much as you could about each one but somehow none of them took you much further
Just that FOG, that dread - those intense moments when the meltdowns happened again and you saw your child doing frightening things and then sometimes found yourself doing and saying things that were not like you - in fact not like you at all - yet in the moment it could all happen so fast.
You just wanted things to be 'normal' - just to have a few ordinary days that didn't feel like a battle
Yet - there would have been many people who would not have seen this side of you - as to many others you were a confident kind skilled and self-composed person.
So there was something about this relationship with your child that was really challenging and really hard to describe.
You were very stressed weren't you. And though it was hard to see it at the time, so was your child.
This was the FOG.
In I Matter we describe the fog as being that state where it is very difficult to think and where there are intense interpersonal red route loops going on.
It starts to become very interesting when you can step back and get a distance but the FOG does not feel nice at all
What a relief that those dark hopeless days are now past.
What a relief that you can now see more clearly.
You hung in there Uma because you were determined to find a way through and it has been my privilege to be part of the process of helping you find a way out of the FOG.
And you did find a way through and now you are out there enjoying your relationship with your child and sharing your learning with others
Helping make a difference one relationship at a time
Imagine what a different place the world could be if we could help more people find their way out of the relationship fog
Lets keep thinking about how to do that
Have a good weekend!
" If I had understood these ideas before I could have been a lot more effective. In previous jobs I have usually been left to get on with it. Now I have a framework that helps me know what I am doing and why in my work with complex young people and their families" Jenny, Family support worker