Over two weeks have passed since the review happened that decided my house was out of bounds for meals or snacks and that I should not be present at any meals or snacks with L. Instead, we were to have “quality time” together. I hate this phrase. To me, strong relationships are based on being idle together, loafing around, reading papers or watching films and the hour or so between each snack or meal doesn’t even allow for a cinema trip. But I am overly worrying I am told. But here is the sum total of our quality time:
Weekend 1: time spent with L – 0 hrs, zero minutes. Screaming rows – 1.
Weekend 2: time spent with L – 0 hrs, 40 minutes. Screaming rows – 0.
I tell L, I will visit whenever she asks. I have been told to give her space, so I do. She asked once to see me last week. So, this week, I try harder. On Monday I have a weekly meeting with her therapist. I try so hard to stay calm and not cry and it goes well. At the end, I ask if I can take her out and for how long. To my delight, it is decided that I should be allowed to be with her for snacks, as long as she is not upset. It is just after lunch, around half past one and this means I can bring her back about six. We have hours to chill out at home, watch a movie, browse stupid stuff on the internet. I have hurt my back and dosed up on painkillers so doing anything else is too hard. She goes to fetch L, who arrives and seems pleased. But as we are leaving, we are called back to be told there is a meeting with L and her dad this afternoon at 4. So, our time is cut short by two hours, and I wonder why it can’t be postponed or delayed. Nonetheless, we go off and L asks to stop to get shampoo and conditioner and we look around the clothes shop next door. I try on some trousers and as I come out of the changing rooms, L is on the phone to the Boyfriend. As we head to the car, she says she might go and see him. I exclaim surprise before thinking. We have about an hour to be at home. And she wants to use some of that to see the Boyfriend, with whom she has spent most of the weekend. I say that I might as well drop her off. She seems uncertain and I don’t give her a hard time. I have to keep a blank face because I just want to sob. I drop her off and she goes off. Picking her up an hour later, I have to knock and knock and it drives me crazy, but I don’t snap. When the Boyfriend comes to the door, he he asks how I am and I bite back a sarky reply. I wanted to be the mum that L’s boyfriends liked, not someone hammering at a door hoping to spend ten minutes more driving in a car with her daughter.
After dropping her off, I cry all the way home. This just doesn’t feel fair. I asked her to let me know when I can come and see her, asking her to say when she wants to see me. She tells me to come anytime and today, after two days of back pain, K and I turn up for the afternoon visit. She walks into the lobby and her face drops as she sees us. It drops, and she asks, “What are you two doing here?!” It just isn’t the response I imagined and so I joke that we came to see another patient. She doesn’t get the joke and says that this is a relief, because she is about to go to Morrisons. To buy milk, tea and biscuits with the staff. Morrisons. I expect her to go off and find the staff member and say she has visitors, but she doesn’t. She asks if we can come back later, but K has homework; we planned this afternoon visit. So we go, without spending time with her.
So much for quality time. Morrisons is a much bigger attraction. I feel so hurt and upset. But K and I treat ourselves to tea at IKEA, a browse around desks for her room and Mini Eggs on the way home. I feel bereft. Thank goodness for K.