hang in there GailMay 22 2012 at 12:56 PM
|Lillian (Login wilbur75)|
Response to Really reaching a low point
Gail, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Honesty, you are doing a heroic job. Let me tell you, I only have 2 kids, and only one with behavioral challenges, and I have many of the same feelings of fatigue and discouragement that you have. I can only imagine what it must be like to have 4 kids -- in and of itself a lot of work! -- and 2 of them presenting you with challenges. I'd be at a breaking point too. Parenting a special needs child is tough and exhausting, and when the issue you're dealing with is a serious behavioral disorder, it can be brutal. When a child is angry, anxious, ungrateful, unhappy, it's not like you're able to get sustenance from his sweet disposition or experience how his great attitude lifts the clouds away. When my younger DS is challenging, whether with sleep or behavior, somehow it has always seemed surmountable, in part because throughout the day he always gives me such good feedback -- the hugs, kisses, laughter, smiles, silliness, lightness of being just lift me up and help me through the rough spots. But my older boy is 8 years old and I have been saying for quite some time now, "when does it get easier?" I've experienced days where I reached the breaking point, where I was hit and spit at or kicked, told "shut up," screamed at and yell at, called names. And even when you tell yourself it's a brain glitch it hurts. And as much as I love my boys more than anything, I have also had the thought that I understood why some parents up and leave. I know I would never do it, but I can understand how someone could get to that point. I try to concentrate on the moments he is happy and showing the side of him that I think of as the real him -- where he wants to cooperate and plays nicely with his DB.
I will say that either the therapy or maturity or a combination of both do seem to be helping us out; DS's anger is still strong, and will flash up randomly, but it seems like outbursts are shorter in duration, and in some respects he's getting better at being more flexible (getting off the computer when we ask him to -- it's still hard and results in tantrums most of the time, but at least not ALL of the time). And the behavioral therapists give us the impetus to stand up and be consistent and not give in to despair, and help us to remain calm(er) and (more) neutral in the face of challenges -- and the way we respond to these challenges seems to effect how long they last/what happens next. So I hope you can find a good fit with a therapist or therapists depending on whether you go see one for you and one for the family.
I would recommend also that you take some time for yourself every week-- get a babysitter and go out with girlfriends, go to a movie, get a massage, whatever it takes to give you some mental respite from the situation. Hang in there and know that it will get better, and hold on to the moments of beauty, however fleeting. You are a terrific mother and don't beat yourself up!!
- Lillian - GailCT on May 24, 2012, 9:24 PM