Fast changes at a slow pace

The one particular change I couldn’t quite grasp

A few months before lockdown my son flew the nest and moved into his new supported living home. Multiple meetings successfully came together, the care plan sorted, finances organised and emotional support full on, then he became the excited one inviting me round, making me cups of tea and baking cakes with his carers, showing his new space and sharing how he helps the house run.

He had his next few years planned out; settle into his new home, start college, move into his next work placement having had 3 years of successful work placements through school and 6th form.  He was engaging in new supported social groups and his already big and open world was getting bigger. Could I have asked for more?

The day he moved out was incredibly difficult and I remember a text message from someone very dear to me really getting the pull between grief and uncertainty and celebrating this most exciting day for him. I remember her saying; “You got this mamma bear.”

Suddenly this mamma bear felt a massive James shaped hole in her life and that feeling carried on over the next coming weeks without easing but I knew it was about everything settling including him. I’d gone from being James’s project lead in his life whilst encouraging his independence, to minimal decision-making on a general level. Everything changed including how much head space I had just gained that was kind of wobble inducing, I suddenly had hours in the day and space space in my head for different thoughts. It takes a while to learn what to do with that.

My role as mum was to let this transition happen and I was myself feeling it through when the next wave happened which was lockdown. James’s house went into lockdown 3-weeks before the official lock down due to a suspected case. This was hard as he hadn’t been in there for long and just as we were counting the days down to see him again, the whole country went into lockdown.

This last year has had a lot in it to process with many emotions to manage but to not have that physical contact with James for a majority of this has been really hard. Recently with lockdown lifting I’ve been able to spend more time with him and he’s been able to stay over and this has been a phenomenal feeling but, and naturally so, I have observed how he has changed. He’s grown up, he’s that little bit more independent, the things he watches are different even his vocabulary has changed.

These other influences in his life have done what they do to us all, they help us grow and evolve. I couldn’t be more proud of the young man he has turned into during this time and of course I have eternal gratitude that he has been safe through this and all I am doing is reflecting on parts of the year that I have lost and I am learning to put that somewhere which feels much healthier.

There are so many emotions weaved through this last year, so much loss, some gain but one thing I realised was that there was so many changes with James that felt too quick but that I couldn’t really see them because time was going so slow.

Joining the Bringing Us Together team has really helped me find a new community and support to help me navigate these times so this community has definitely been my gain as well as others I have had that I am thoroughly grateful for.

I wish you all a safe transition into whatever space works for you.

Karen x

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