Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Since you are all so fantastically helpful...

...Sabrina is scared to be in a room by herself. It's gotten so I can be in the kitchen while she is in the living room (there isn't a direct sight line) but last night I needed to use the bathroom and she almost came in with me.

The problem really comes at night. I have to stay in her room until she falls asleep (not a problem, except when she is in a chatty mood, which keeps her awake) and then when she wakes up in the middle of the night she comes to my room, wakes me up, and then I walk her back to her room where we repeat the process. Usually she falls right back asleep, but last night I was standing in her room half asleep for half an hour at 1:30.

Perhaps this was good, because for some reason it hadn't occurred to me (the removal was not explicitly for neglect) that perhaps bad things had happened to her when she was by herself in the past, and while I was pondering being half awake at 1:30 in the morning, this realization hit me.

Anyway, at night she says that she's scared, but it's not of the dark and it isn't of anything like monsters. It really is just being alone that she's scared of. Any thoughts on how I can help her? Because at 1 in the morning I'm really too selfish to be a good foster mom.

1 comment:

  1. I really don't have an answer, but I know Atlasien's son feels incapable of being alone, and they've been able to work out some strategies to address that. It's not really fair to compare your situation to a two-parent household, but her situation immediately sprang to mind and I'm sure she wouldn't mind if you emailed asking for advice.

    Is there a place in her room or in the hall outside it or something where you could lie down? Can you maybe work on things during the day to try to stretch how far she feels comfortable being away from you to see if over time that'll help? (I don't know, hide and seek type stuff or giving her some kind of reward if she can stay on the other side of the door from you while until a timer goes off or something.) I have no idea what would work. It sounds like you're right that she's afraid of being alone with her thoughts or memories or whatever it is that makes her uncomfortable, and unfortunately there may not be much you can do....