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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Trying to Repair Relationships

One of the aims of the BRICK project meetings I attend (,-young-people-and-families/the-brick-project.aspx) is to try to give tips in communicating with our teen who is suffering from drug addiction and tips on regaining the lost relationship. Sometimes we need to try to repair these relationships while in the process of recovery, or even before, but of course this is very hard to do.


My worker at Open Road ( asked me if I ever thought about getting a pet as it would do so much for my daughters emotional well being. Pets are indeed a wonderful source of comfort and affection, as well as newness and excitement.I have indeed thought about getting a pet since my ex husband left, but the timing was never right.


Both of these factors have played a part in trying to mend relationships in our family this week.

A very simple suggestion from the ladies in BRICK, was to play a game that are just questions that they lamented and gave to us. Questions such as:  "If I had one wish it would be..."; "If I could change one thing about myself it would be...; "One of the worst things that ever happened to me was..."

An interesting thing happens when I go to these meetings. The first couple of times I went, I came home to the usual scene of my son shut away in his room and my daughters in the living room. The last few times now, I have come home to all three of my children sitting calmly together in the living room watching tv together. They have started asking questions about how it was and what I did in the meeting. So last Wednesday when I came home, I told them we played a game, which we did. I said that we could play the game too because I was given a copy of the cards.  So surprisingly, they all agreed, even my son. I thought we would all get only 2 cards each and be done, but we went on and in the end we all ended up asking about 8-10 questions. My son and older daughter, who usually have a great deal of friction between them, actually asked each other questions in a very civil manner. All seemed to enjoy it and no one said anything that could have been hurtful though since some of the questions could have provoked quite intense answers.


The following evening after dinner, my older daughter asked if we could play again, and we all did. Though it wasn't quite the same energy as the evening before, everyone, including my son, participated and no one took it as an opportunity to push buttons. So quite a positive exchange twice in the week! Promising in some respects.

Recently I have tried to find us a pet, a puppy. Two very firm opportunities both fell through so we were so upset. My support worker was so kind,  as well as fate being kind, found us a kitten. A wonderful little cat, free of charge! And much to my surprise it was ready to leave her mother this week.

So this weekend was focused on our newest member of our family, Shadow! Our 8 week old black and white kitten!


Upon our arrival home from collecting our kitty the jealousies and competition for kitty's attention began, There was a lot of hurt feelings and a bit of selfishness if I am honest. Everyone wanted Shadow to have their undivided attention. I was wondering if this would prove to be a mistake.

Then a few hours later the amazing happened. We decided that our new kitty would do best in the upstairs bathroom overnight, with it's cardboard box bed, pillow, toys, food, drink and litter box. So there we were, ALL of us, sitting around the bathroom floor watching intently if the kitten, "will relieve himself in the litter box?".  As we watched the cat became lively and wanted to play. So here is where it got interesting. All of my children were playing with the kitten, openly laughing and taking turns and thoroughly enjoying themselves without any thought of who said what before or who has had more turns playing.


I am not saying the weekend turned out perfect, or that we have come to a milestone, but we have made a few little steps in trying to repair our broken relationships. After trying to remember the past week and posting my last post earlier today, I realised that there have been some very nice moments shared this week. I wanted to share these little sweet moments with you,