Sarah claims she has a”crush” on me (this is an on-going situation).  It is not really that straightforward.  To a large extent she see’s me as a paternal figure and, within certain parameters,  this is healthy.  Unfortunately, because of her past, her view of paternal figures is distorted and confused by sexual feelings and fantasy.  Can I really care for her if I don’t want to have sex with her? Can she have a strong attachment to me and can she love me without it meaning she wants to have sex with me? These are the questions which confuse her.

So she either idolises me, follows me around and sticks to me like glue or she abuses and denigrates me.

Last night she spoke to other staff (her keyworker Jane and my manager Simon) about the issue and said she wished she could have a more ordinary relationship with me and she did not want to feel so uncomfortable around me.  She said she wanted to talk to me about it.  But she just could not manage this.

Instead she chose to push and punch me, pour a jug of water over me, mock me (by literally mimicking every word I said) and tell me I was a “bad adult”.  This seemed to go on for hours.  I felt angry with Jane and Simon, who I felt she had played, and I felt angry with Sarah.  I hold (as in restrain) Sarah more than any other member of staff and I am under some pressure not to.   I felt like I had to just take it.  In this way Sarah becomes the abuser and I am the abused.

I consider myself pretty robust but for some reason Sarah gets under my skin more than any child I have ever looked after.  I guess, in the end, it is so much harder when you really love them.

More on the implication that physical intervention is de facto abusive another time (it is not).