Tortuga has had a mixed week. Two days of really dysregulated behavior that involved him spending a good deal of time away from us because he just couldn't hold it together. I think it is a combination of more sugar, more "fun times" (Halloween and a block party), and the beginning of his "traumaversary" time (which will go through February). I think there is something else going on that I just don't know how to deal with yet.
We have a decent relationship with his birth mother. By "decent" I mean that we get along very well, we communicate well, we are open about why the boys don't live with her, and I think she trusts us. That said we don't hear from her regularly and her contact information changes often. When we schedule meetings with her she will often not show up without letting us know. She has multiple challenges that complicate her life and her desire to see the boys and we try to respect that. This summer we tried and tried to see her and she wasn't available and then her phone was disconnected. We told Tortuga that we were trying to see her and he was adamant that he did NOT want to see her. This is a regular part of his process. He misses her, thinks about her, wants to see her, doesn't want to see her, and when we do see her he is anxious to not be there. When we didn't get to see her he seemed relieved and expressed this relief in both verbal and behavioral ways.
Once we returned from MA he asked if I had spoken to her and I mentioned that I still couldn't reach her. He said he didn't want to know if I talked to her unless it was "bad" news. I explained that he could choose to hear or not to hear and I would respect that BUT he couldn't be selective about what he heard because it left too much room for the imagination. We have had episodes of "you didn't tell me you talked to her" when in fact we always tell him. (She does not always wish to speak with him or his brother but she always sends her regards.) I reminded him that he could choose to hear or not to hear. He chose to hear if we spoke to her and he wasn't sure if he did or didn't want to talk with her. I noted we would cross that bridge when the call came. In the meantime I have tried to find out what is going on. A friend has tried all her last known addresses and I have her former social worker trying to track down whether she has received any services that might allow us to get a message to her. I am concerned about her and hope she is well but I also know this is a typical pattern so I am trying not to be overly worried.
In the meantime, Tortuga is thinking about her and I know it. He will not admit that he is thinking about her which is fine. What isn't fine is that he has a tendency to tell himself "stories" in his head when something is on his mind and reality and fiction blur quickly for him. So this has resulted in his accusations to me that I am keeping him from talking to her and/or withholding information about her because it is "not good." I know this is his fear. I have tried to create room for him to express this and once in a while he does. Right now though, he is just lashing out at us and we have to "talk him down" from that place where he believes the fiction in his head rather than the reality. Any ideas?