I am Kayley 

With permission of a local Adopt South West adopter (Mummy), we share her daughter Kayley’s story. Kayley has extensive adoption-related issues such as attachment and trauma difficulties. The people she comes into contact with struggle to deal with her behaviour because they don’t understand her.

Names, ages and identifying locations have been changed for privacy.

A long read.

I am Kayley – explaining your child’s behaviour

2011

My name is Kayley. After I was born, I went home to live with my birth mother and father and my four older brothers and sisters. They were aged seven, five, three and one, and we lived in a two-bedroom house. Nobody really knows what happened to me during those first three months of my life, but from things that were learnt later, it is imagined that was pretty chaotic. My birth father had been in prison for murder and two years prior to my birth, my birth parents and siblings had suddenly moved from the south of the country to escape gang violence.  

2012

When I was just two months old, I underwent my first child protection medical. A teacher at the school of my oldest brothers and sisters had noticed a number of injuries on their bodies and they said that my birth father had done them. The doctors determined that the injuries were malicious and doctors believed that we were not safe to return home while my birth father was there. My birth mother agreed for my birth father to be removed from the home and he was arrested that night. He was bailed on the condition that he not come to our family home. However, the teachers at the school reported that he had been sneaking to the home and the police and social workers caught him in the house, so he was removed. The social workers said that the house was untidy, cold and smelt of urine and that I was left alone on the settee.   

When I was just four months old, I was made the subject of a Child Protection Plan (along with all my brothers and sisters) under the categories of Neglect, Emotional Abuse and Physical Abuse. The social workers felt that we were not safe. People were worried that there were no safety-gates in our house and that my brother Connor was placed on top of my push-chair rather than having his own and they were worried that all of us weren’t properly supervised.  My older brother’s and sisters’ teachers said that they all had speech and language problems and they struggled to interact socially with other children.  We were also missing health appointments and two of my sisters, who were only five and seven years old, had black teeth. This was probably because they only ate sugary snacks and drank lots of coke. Even my brother Connor had coke in his bottle.  

The Child Protection Plan made it clear that my birth father was not to have any contact with us. My birth mother was told that we must all attend medical appointments (including those that were missed previously), for stair gates to be installed immediately in our house, for my brothers and sisters to arrive on time for school, for our house to be kept clean and a suitable push-chair to be bought for me and Connor. On a pre-planned social worker visit, they saw that me and Connor had a new double push chair and that a local charity had installed a stair gate. However, the house was dirty and untidy and I was alone on the settee without anything to stop me rolling off. Connor was climbing the stairs on his own and the social worker had to get him down. My sister who was five-years-old at the time had wet herself, but my birth mum didn’t change her for over an hour and only when the social worker asked her to. There were faeces over the walls and taps in the bathroom and my sisters’ bedroom, and beds smelt really bad.   

Even though the teachers at the school reported that all of my brothers and sisters were significantly delayed educationally and socially, and in particular that my brother who was now four was globally delayed, my birth mum said she wasn’t concerned. They were offered free places at the school breakfast club, but were not sent.  

People from the charity project came to help my birth mum to make sure that we were fed and went to bed on time. Despite this, the teachers at the school were worried because my oldest brother had more injuries, but my mum said they were his own fault as ‘he winds people up’.  

In April, it was confirmed that my birth father had been coming in to the house. My brothers and sisters had been told not to tell and had become withdrawn at school. My birth father was found inside the house on an early morning unannounced visit by the social workers. The social workers asked that he be arrested for breach of bail and put on remand, but it didn’t happen. On the same visit the social worker noticed that I was again left on the sofa unattended, that I had an extremely soiled nappy and no other clothes on, that there was no food in the house except for sugary snacks and no baby formula. People were worried that I had no toys or stimulation and that none of my brothers or sisters had any clean clothes. There was no washing machine in the house, but my birth mum had bought them games consoles.   

In May, at school, one of my sisters talked about daddy, but was told to shut up by my brother. After another unannounced visit, my birth father was arrested inside our house and held on remand.  

At our Child Protection Review Conference everyone agreed that we should remain under Child Protection Plans because my birth mum had willingly allowed my birth father in to the house, my brothers and sisters had learning, speech and language difficulties, stair gates were not being used, we had no stimulation at home, we were missing medical appointments and had bad teeth and that I had head lice that had been untreated despite my birth mum being asked to do so. The charity project would also no longer come to see us because my birth mum was ignoring them and not being honest.  

In June, the social workers were called by the school because my four-year-old brother had unexplained bruises over both eyes. He was taken to the hospital and discharged, but concerns were raised as the story of how he got hurt kept changing.  

It was decided that my birth mum may have to go to court unless things changed quickly.  

In July, on a planned visit, Connor and I were unwell but, my mum had not taken us to the doctors. She said she would give us some antibiotics soon from where she had some left over from before. The social workers called an ambulance though because Connor had a very bad chest and kept being sick.  

The social workers realised that I was always hungry. Even when they visited early in the morning we were not given breakfast. Some of my brothers and sisters would help themselves to food, but I didn’t get anything. When I was fed, it was normally my eight-year-old sister that gave me something, but she would get bored and then wander off. I chewed my hand a lot.  

In August, on another early morning visit I was again found on the sofa alone. My oldest brother had just woken up and when questioned he said that he had been sleeping in the same bed as my two oldest sisters. The social workers were worried because the school had reported some sexualised behaviour. My brothers and sisters were having cold showers, and it was seen that Connor was cold and shivering as he was washed in the bathroom. My birth mum was supposed to have taken my brother to see the Children’s Development Centre after the bruises he got, but she had missed the appointments.  

In September, I fell off the sofa. The social workers also saw that my birth mum found it difficult to look after our hair and we were in pain while she tried to brush it. During a visit they noted that my birth mum either does not recognise, or does not respond to our emotional cues. She seems unaware when we are hungry, tired, unwell, cold or in pain. I also missed a developmental check that month.  

In October, many more visits were made to our house and each time I was found either on the sofa or strapped in to my buggy. Each time I was in a wet nappy that had soaked through my clothes and I smelt bad. My hair was matted. The police had to come to our house late at night. The neighbours had called them because of the noise. It was because my brothers and sisters were fighting and hurting each other. That happens a lot. Sometimes they hurt me too. Also that month, my birth father was released in to the community having been given a suspended prison sentence for physical abuse. He was given a restraining order against us. The social workers came many times and on one occasion I was found alone on the floor at the top of the stairs. Our house was still very dirty and my brothers and sisters hurt each other a lot.  

In November, my birth father was found in our house again and was sent to prison. The teachers of my oldest brother were really worried because he was hurting other children and showing no remorse or empathy to others.  He was hurting my sisters too but they were also hurting each other. Our house is always noisy and there is a lot of fighting, shouting and crying. I got very bored and was very hungry. I don’t cry as much anymore though because no one comes to help me or change me or feed me. I think that you have to shout and be angry as that is the only way that people take any notice. But everyone else is bigger than me. My oldest brother has been permanently excluded from school now.  

In December a judge decided that we should no longer live with our birth mum and should be moved to stay with foster carers. I am only one-year-old. We were taken away at 10pm by the police and social workers. My brother Connor came with me, but my other brothers and sisters were all sent to different foster carers.  

2013

My foster carers were lovely. They gave me lots of food and made sure that I had clean clothes, a clean cot, changed my nappy when I was wet, and best of all they played with me! I didn’t do much though. My brother Connor really didn’t like sharing his new home with me at the beginning and often tried to hurt me. I was allowed to start crawling around a bit. I found it difficult to start with as my back was arched and I had poor core strength and very little muscle in my legs. I had spent too long strapped in a push chair or left on my own on my back with no stimulation.  

Every week, we went to see our birth mum and other brothers and sisters at ‘contact’. Our birth mum often ignored me and forgot to change me and feed me again. I am a bit confused. Just when I think I understand grow-ups, things seem to change again.   

In March, the Child in Care review team decided that I will not be returned to my birth mum, but that me and Connor should be put up for adoption together. Proceedings were started and a court date is set for September. My oldest brother and sister will stay in long tern foster care as they have significant problems. They will try and find adoptive homes for my other three brothers and sisters, but they may also have to stay in long term foster care. It was also decided that we should still see our birth mum once a week, but on our own and to only see our brothers and sisters once a month.   

In April I started walking. I am now 16-months-old. I can feed myself with finger food and have developed an appropriate attachment with my foster carers who have two grown up children. There is also a little baby living with us who is also in foster care. Me and Connor have now become inseparable. He has stopped trying to hurt me all the time and I try and copy everything that he does. My birth father was released from prison, but recalled a few days later for not attending probation appointments, but he couldn’t be found and no one knows where he is now.   

Contact with my birth mum is confusing and upsetting. I just feel like I know what is happening to me and then it changes again. I have Connor though and he is with me every day.   

In September, a Placement Order was made by a judge. This means that the social workers will start looking for a forever family for me and Connor.   

2014

I am two-years-old now and I am having a lot of tantrums. I get very frustrated when people don’t give me what I want and I can’t talk well enough for people to understand me. They go on for a long time and I get very angry. I still see my birth mum every two weeks and see my brothers and sisters once a month and in the school holidays. I don’t really know what is happening. I go to nursery but I only really want to play with Connor. He has lots of friends so I play with them. The other children are picked up by their mum, but my mum doesn’t seem very interested in me when we go to see her. Lots of grown-ups come to see me at the foster carers all the time. I think they are trying to help.  

I am sad though because the little baby that lived with us has gone. He went back to contact and has gone back to live with his mummy. I miss him. Will I be going back to live with my birth mum? We do have another baby living with us again now though. She can’t live with her birth mum either.  

In May, I have a last contact visit with my birth mum and my brothers and sisters. I see them in small groups because it is too chaotic when everyone is together. I am not sure what this means really.   

At the beginning of July, my foster carers show me and Connor a video. In the video there is a man and lady who say that they are our new forever mummy and daddy. My foster carers try and explain that in a couple of weeks that me and Connor will be going to live with them. I do want a Mummy and Daddy but I feel very upset that I will be leaving them. I have lived with them for 19 months and this is my home. I don’t know this man and lady, but they do look nice.   

By mid-July, my new Mummy and Daddy came to my foster carers’ house. I was excited, but very scared too. They stayed for a couple of hours the first day and then came back again each day for the next week, staying a bit longer each time. I remember that it was very hot and we played a lot in the garden. One morning, Mummy and Daddy were there when we woke up in the morning and then put us to bed that night. I do like them, but I don’t really know them.   

At the end of July we left my foster carers’ house and drove a long way to our new house in the South West. I was frightened and upset and my Mummy and Daddy found it difficult to understand me. Connor helped because he can understand me so he told Mummy and Daddy what I wanted. Connor was very sick on the first day though. I think he was scared too though. At least we are together. I also have a new name. I am now Kayley Kiah Watson. Kiah means ‘a new beginning’.   

In September, Connor and I started at pre-school. I am just getting used to my new home, new food, new clothes and new Mummy, Daddy and family. Now I have more new things to cope with. I don’t want to join in very much as it is all a bit too much.  

Connor loves it though and is very popular. I am not talking much at the moment. People can’t understand me very well and I get frustrated.  

It’s my birthday. We have a party and everyone from pre-school comes. I haven’t had a birthday party before but I am now three and I am living with my third family. Does everyone do that? It is hard.  

2015

It is now September and everything seems to be changing again. I am going back to pre-school, but Connor isn’t there anymore. He has gone to big school. I don’t really know what to do and I am upset and feel alone. No matter what has happened in my life before, Connor has always been there with me all day every day. But now he isn’t there. The people that I played with at pre-school have also gone to big school and without Connor I don’t know how to make friends. I have always relied on him to do that.   

Birthdays and Christmas are coming up again and I am getting very unsettled. I know that Christmas is significant but I don’t know why. I might remember being taken away by the police and social workers and lots of upheaval in my life, but I can’t be sure.  

2016

Pre-school is hard. Really, I just want to be at home with Mummy or at school with Connor, but Mummy thinks it is important that I go so that I can play with other children and stick to a routine. The staff are finding it hard though. I get upset and wobble whenever there is change and I scream and shout as I don’t know how to say what I feel. To be honest, I don’t know what I feel. Just transitioning from one activity to the next can make me lose control. People say I am more like a two-year-old than a four-year-old. The Child Psychologist says that I easily get dysregulated. This is very common in children that have suffered neglect and have been in care and adopted. Careful planning and routine and structure is very important for me. I need to know what is happening and feel in control of my environment.   

I struggle through the last term of pre-school and I have become very aware that everything is about to change again. I will be going to big school in September. I am excited that I will be with Connor again, but I will have to leave behind pre-school. More people that have come and gone in my life. Grown-ups don’t stick around for very long. You just get to know them and then you are either taken away or they leave. I wonder how long I will be with Mummy and Daddy. Will I be leaving soon?  

The summer holiday was fun though except that in August Grampa (Daddy’s Dad) died. He was really old and got very poorly. Daddy had to be away staying with him at the hospital. Mummy and Daddy tried to explain that he was poorly and has now gone to heaven. What does that mean? I liked Grampa, why did he leave? Is heaven better? Didn’t he want to see me any more 

In September I start school. The first couple of weeks are okay, but a bit scary. Some children I know are in my class, but most of my friends that I played with at preschool are in a different class and I don’t see Connor as much as I thought I would because he is in a different class. I also miss Mummy. Will she remember to come and pick me up? Class is often noisy too. I don’t really like noisy places. My old home was like that. I don’t like assembly as there are too many people there and I find playtime hard. I still don’t really know how to make friends. I like my teacher, but I don’t like not being in control, so I run off and scream and shout. I want mummy to take me home. My teacher finds it hard. I have my firth birthday and have a party! I like the idea of a party, but on the day, I don’t like it. There are too many people and it is very noisy so I spend the time with Mummy and Daddy.

It is coming up to Christmas and I feel unsettled again – I really don’t know why.  My school day is reduced and Mummy picks me up early each day as the psychologist and social worker think that it will help me to realise that Mummy will always be there.   

2017

After Christmas, I settle in to a new routineMummy is still picking me up early each day, but to help me cope at school, Mrs B or Mrs D will be with me at school all the time. This will help Mrs K as she has lots of other children in the class so she can’t always have to deal with me. I don’t like joining in with the rest of the class. I can do my work, but get overwhelmed when I have to be with everyone else so I now have my own workstation away from everyone. Some days it works really well, but other days I just can’t settle. It helps me to have things from home though. When I get strong feelings, happy or sad, I don’t always recognise what they are and can’t control them. This will make me angry for no apparent reason and I will either lash out or cry. Often I will hide under the table or pull things over or throw them. It gives me a release from overwhelming feelings. I feel a bit more safe and secure now as I feel that I know what is going to happen each day and I have my ‘safe’ area in the classroom. I really need to know what is going to happen and when.   

In February I am just getting settled and secure but something has gone wrong again – Mrs K is not my teacher any more. She is poorly and I have different teachers all the time. I am worried that something has happened to Mrs K or that she doesn’t like me anymore because I was naughty. I don’t mean to be and I really like Mrs K.   

It is now March and I can stay all day at school again now and am more like the other children! I still find it difficult to make friends though. I want people to play my games when I want them to and get angry when they don’t. I really don’t understand what I am supposed to do – I want friends but they don’t always like me.  

Mummy says it is because I need to remember to be kind. I don’t mean to be mean to others and I do feel sorry afterwards, but I just can’t seem to help it.  

April now and the weather is getting warmer. I don’t think that Mrs K is coming back to be my teacher. I get confused by having different teachers. I do have Mrs B and Mrs D, and Mummy does tell me who we are going to have in the class, but they do things differently and I just don’t want to join in. I am managing to do most of my work, but I don’t really wat to join in. I do have some of my ‘friends’ come to my workstation sometimes, but all of a sudden I decided I don’t want anyone there and I just hit out. I am sorry, but I can’t seem to help it. I know that Mummy gets upset and frustrated. I hurt Mrs B and Mrs D sometimes too. I am sorry and I feel a lot of shame. That is a horrible feeling. They are always there the next day though so I am starting to think that I am okay and that people will still like and love me!  

As I thought, grown-ups always leave.   

It is May now and Mrs B is leaving. I really liked Mrs B and I thought that she liked me. But she is leaving me. It is what grown-ups do. Mummy said it is because she is going to work with other children, but I really don’t know what to think. What will I do without Mrs B 

After half term, Miss F is with me. I like Miss F, but I miss Mrs B and Mrs K. We do have Mrs H now though and I do like her!  Maybe I can settle again!   

The Educational Psychologist has been to see me and thinks that I have some sensory issues. In particular I am hypo-sensitive, meaning I need extra touch input. I also need to move around more than other children so need movement breaks before I can try and settle to do work. I often just need a tight hug to ‘ground’ me so that I can focus and concentrate.  

Hmmm… so what is happening? There is a lot of talk about next year. I won’t be in Badgers any more I will have to move to a new class. I think it will be Otters but I don’t really know. It is getting near to the end of the year and everything seems to be changing again. I was just getting used to being with Mrs H and Miss F and Mrs D and I am starting to make friends. I don’t like this and I don’t want to be here anymore. Nothing is the same every day.   

It is now July and nearly the end of term. I knew that grown-ups just leave – Mrs D is leaving me too. And Mrs H won’t be my teacher any more. And Miss F is getting married and won’t be Miss F now. I really don’t know what to think any more and I just can’t cope with anything. I swing between being very happy to very sad to very angry and I can’t control any of my emotions. Mummy is picking me up early again because I need to be with her. I think that I can count on her being there, but I still don’t really like being away from her.  

So a new school year……  

Why isn’t Poppy in my class any more? I have a new workstation in a new class with new teachers and Mrs M will be with me all the time. Maybe things can be good this year! Mummy says that I am safe and secure and that I already know Mrs C and Mrs P. There are new children in my class and new routines to get used to. I really don’t feel like I am coping though. I have started seeing Elsa on a Monday. She does Theraplay. Maybe this can help me come to terms with things and process my thoughts and feelings. I have a lot of strong feelings, but I don’t know what they are and what they mean. I am still only five-years-old, but so much has happened to me. I really can’t cope with unstructured break times and lunch times and often end up in trouble.   

I know that Mummy gets upset and cross and worried about me. I do try to be good, but I just can’t help losing control. I hope that Mummy doesn’t leave me.  

I have just joined Beavers too, just like Connor. I love going to Beavers as I feel special and feel like I belong!  

School is not going well. I don’t like being in Otters. The classroom is noisy and I can still hear everyone at my workstation. I am being given the little cupboard as a break out room and there are beanbags in there. I can close the door, or I can sit in there and still listen.   

It is my birthday again and I am now six. I have a party at my house with a few of my friends and it is great!  We play games like pass the parcel and musical statues. I am also getting excited about the fair at school, but school is a bit unsettling because the routine has changed.  

It is the day of the fair at school, but I am feeling excited, upset and angry. I kick Mrs M while I am upset and then school make Mummy and Daddy come and take me home. I say I am sorry, but the school won’t let me stay even though Mummy is working at the school with the PTFA setting up for the fair. Daddy has to carry me out of the school and then I won’t leave the car as I want to go back. I am screaming that I am sorry and didn’t mean it. Because I was excluded for the day, I am not allowed to go to the fair. I am so sad. And angry. And confused. I tell Mummy and Daddy that I am bad and nobody likes me.   

When I go back to school the next week, I am not in Otters classroom any more. I am in the Wolf group room and all my things have been moved in there. I have different people coming in each day to be with me and I just play with sensory toys. I  like some of the people, but not all of them. Mummy stays for quite a long time in the morning and I finish at lunch time and Mummy picks me up. I like it when Mummy comes back.  

I don’t see Mrs M any more though, she works with other children in Otters and doesn’t want to see me any more. I miss her and I am sorry that I kicked her and hurt her. But I don’t think she likes me now.   

It is nearly Christmas again though and I feel funny all the time. I am excited, happy, sad, angry, confused and cross all at the same time. I just want to be at home with Mummy and Daddy and Connor. Mrs M has left the school – I know it is because I was so bad.  

2018

After Christmas, I have some new people working with me in the Wolf group room. Miss L is with me on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and Mrs C is with me on Wednesday and Thursday. I sort of know Mrs C and she is Rory’s Mummy and has been volunteering at school. Rory is in Connor’s class. I like them. I am happy that I am not in the class and Mummy picks me up at lunch time.   

Mrs W now spends lunch time with me and Mummy picks me up after lunch! A couple of my friends eat lunch with me!  

After Easter, I stay a little bit longer at school each day.   

It is now May and I am now back as school all the time and Mummy picks me up at the same time as Connor! I love it! I spend all day doing things in the Wolf group room and now it is warm we also go to the garden and to forest school.   

I have been doing dance and perform on the stage at the local theatre in front of 600 people!! I was so scared, but I did it and it was amazing. For doing that I also got my personal challenge badge at Beavers. The hardest one to get and I haven’t even been at Beavers for a year yet! Mummy Daddy and Nana were in the audience and they were so proud.   

I also went on the Beavers Camp. I stayed in a tent and loved it. Connor was there too and we had an amazing time. I know that Mummy and Daddy were worried being away from me, but I was safe and had a fantastic time and joined in with everything!   

But…  

We are getting close to the end of the school year. I will be moving to Rabbits next year which is great as that is the class that Connor was in. But it is a change and the routine at school is not the same. It is also very very hot and I don’t want to be inside.  

I can’t concentrate on anything and Mummy is picking me up after lunch again.  

Miss L has given me some things to look after for the summer holidays and will send me a postcard. We also meet Miss L and Mrs C at the park during the holiday so I know that they are thinking of me.  

It is now September and a new school year and I am now a Rabbit! I love being a Rabbit just like Connor was! I am doing well and doing my work with the class. Rory is in my class again now too. And Tom. If I need to, I can go to the Unicorn Room for some quiet time, but I like sitting on the carpet for registration and working with Tom and RoryTom needs extra help sometimes too. I got a star award for my behaviour and effort on the school trip and I got a Head Teacher sticker for my work too! Wow! I am so proud and Mummy and Daddy are really proud of me too.   

It is three weeks in to term and Mummy has just explained to me that Mrs C is leaving. Her Mummy and Daddy are poorly and she has to move to be with them. But why is Mrs C leaving me? I need her too. She said she would be there for me. As I thought. Grown-ups always leave me. At least I have Miss L, but she has to work with Tom now too. I thought Miss L was mine. I need to take control here. Miss L will leave me too I expect. As soon as I am bad she will leave. So I will be bad and she will leave just like everyone does. 

I don’t want to do my work. The class is too noisy. Rory told me his Mummy says not to play with me because Rory is copying me and it is bad behaviour and I am sick. I spend more time in the group room again now and am not allowed in the classroom because I disrupt the rest of the children. Mummy is picking me up early. When I am upset I run away to the bottom of the field and hide. I hide under tables. I try and find Connor in his class, but he won’t talk to me because he is embarrassed and I am taken out. I shout at Miss L and sometimes hit her. I call her names. Because she will leave anyway so she might as well go now. At least it will be me that made her leave!   

Just before half term I get very very upset and angry at school. I start ripping down displays from the wall because I am kept in the group room ‘for my safety’. I pull at everything I can reach as I feel so out of control and upset and angry. I just want Mummy. I need to feel like I have some control. But when I try and control things at school, I have even less control.  

Mummy takes me home and I start to feel calm and safe again. Mummy loves me and she isn’t cross with me. Mummy says that maybe we can do some school work at home and I like this idea.  

After half term I stay working at home with Mummy and Miss L comes to play with me in the afternoons. I am amazed that she still wants to see me. I was very bad and horrible to her. But she still comes.  

It is nearly my birthday again and I will be seven. I am excited for my birthday, but I have a funny feeling in my tummy. It feels fluttery all the time. I am having funny dreams and keep waking up feeling tired. I don’t want to play with anyone except Mummy. I get cross very quickly and want everyone to do everything I say right away. I am screaming and shouting a lot and can’t settle to do anything. I feel too funny.   

I hate going in to school even though I think I want to go back. Why can’t I go back?  

They don’t like me, except Miss L. I won’t do any work anymore. I just want Mummy. I had a Thrive assessment again and I have gone back to ‘Being’ at home and at school.

Christmas always feels funny. I want Santa to come, but Christmas makes me feel angry and upset.  

I do still go in to school to see Elsa though to do my Therapy and I look forward to that.  

I now go horse riding every Tuesday morning and I LOVE it! I ride Buttons and she makes me feel so happy. I trust her to look after me and she does what I tell her to do through the reins. I think she likes me too.  

I have also started Forest School on a Wednesday. We are out in the forest and we make fires, carve wood, cook, make potions, play woodland ninja (hide and seek), look for animal tracks and poo, grow plants, build dens and walk and explore and I love it. I have made friends with the others and look forward to it every week and now Miss L comes with us too.  

Christmas has gone and I now feel more settled

Mummy, Daddy and Connor are still here and Miss L still comes to play with me every day. I don’t want to do school work though. I am not sure if I will go back to school. I sort of want to be with Connor but I feel anxious and unsafe whenever I go in to school even if we are just picking up Connor. My friends miss me, but even when I go to school on a Friday I need Mummy with me. I have told her that I am worried that if she leaves me that she won’t come back or will forget me.  

I enjoy my swimming, dancing, Beavers, riding, forest school and playing with my dolls. I love making things for everyone. I am shy and nervous, but worth getting to know because I have a lot to give. I am caring and loving and fun to be with, with a very mischievous streak. I am clever, creative and artistic and have an amazing sense of fashion and style.   

When you see me doing things that I shouldn’t, or being loud, or being rude, try to understand that I often have just lost the ability to regulate myself. I really do feel remorse afterwards. I do empathise towards those that are hurt and I do genuinely want to be good and do well. I am just hurting inside, but can’t express it or don’t know how to explain what I am thinking. The ‘experts’ say to think of me emotionally and socially as a two-year-old not an eight-year-old. I need a lot of emotional support. And I need to feel in control.  

Please don’t give up on me because I am Kayley.