Thursday, September 6, 2018

Changing Ones Perspective - From Stressed To Blessed

Today was pretty awful, no change that, it was spectacularly awful. The girls were scrapping before they were even out of bed. Kiana has been dealing with some major anxiety since I got sick. She just knows I am going to die, so she has upped all her survival skills. Think lying, manipulating, pouring on the charm with people outside the family... All things that rear their ugly heads only when her past trauma comes knocking. She told Dean she is treating me so badly so it doesn't hurt as much when I die. Dean reminded her that no one who loses a loved one ever regrets the love and kindest they showed that person while they were still on earth. Last night we had a long chat with Kiana and I thought we had things cleared up. I should have known better, rationalization is not something the traumatized brain responds to.

After a chaotic breakfast we settled in to do our school work, and Joseph promptly flipped out over his math. He successfully completed third grade math last year, so I naively assumed he was ready to progress onto fourth grade. He wasn't, and math has been the source of many chaotic moments. Originally I blamed some of it on "summer brain," but in reality it is more than that. Due to FASD, he really needs to be in school year round to retain what he has learned. I cringe at the thought however, because I know full well how he would feel about that. Anyway, the first sign that something was wrong were the huff's n sighs coming from Joseph's corner of the kitchen table. Then he began verbalizing his displeasure and it went down hill from there. I realized his brain had gone too far down the FASD trail to do math, so I gave him another subject, something that sometimes works. He was having none of it though, because he wanted to do math, until I gave him the book, at which time he didn't want to do it. Books, pencils and words were sailing across the room, realizing I couldn't calm him, I put him in the shower fully clothed. For some reason, cold water will stop a meltdowns in it's tracks, he will go from screaming, kicking, hitting and throwing things, to smiling and telling us about his latest idea. Often he will stop mid scream, give us a big smile and that quickly the storm is over, except today it wasn't . Nothing helped so I put him in the pool where he swam several laps before calming down. Once back inside though, chaos resumed so I sent Dean a S.O.S. via text, essentially telling him we need professional help. He called me and suggested I put Joseph to bed with his stuffed puppy, Sport, and his weighted blanket. I did and peace ensued..... Until Kiana kicked up her heels.

Poor girl, in addition to her anxiety I am convinced her PANS is flaring again, or is it hormones?!? She melted down with a show that put Josephs meltdown to shame. Her high pitched shriek told me this wasn't just an, "I am upset with Mom," fit, it was brain inflammation. After trying all my tricks, none of which worked even the slightest bit, I took her out to the pool and had her swim laps. I texted Dean, "same pool, different rager." 

Joseph can't yell while swimming (the children can easily touch bottom, but it takes all his concentration to swim) big sister had no such problem, and the woods, and my poor ears, were ringing. I sat on the deck praying, asking God why? Why do my children have to suffer brain damage? Why do I have to home school? Why do they have to constantly face new threats to their security? At the same time I was thanking God that we live in a long drive and all our neighbors understand the circumstances surrounding the epic meltdowns that occur.

Eventually Kiana calmed down, we had lunch, Joseph was smiling again, and it was finally time for our quiet time. I sat down to sort through my feelings, read my Bible and pray because while the storms of the morning had calmed, they were still hovering on the horizon and I knew I needed to get myself grounded. I was helping Lia work through an issue when the dog started barking. A vehicle was parked in our drive. The driver had a stack of documents on the seat and he was clearly dressed up, funny what you notice when you are on high alert,  my first thought was, "Someone heard all the screaming and reported us!" Now who is being irrational?!? I quickly went over the things to remember even CPS comes knocking and typed up a text to Dean that read, "If I call you in the next moments answer ASAP!" Suddenly our answering machine picked up and I heard, "I am ______ from pest control, I am sitting in your drive, can you please get your dog?" I suddenly realized Kobi had been frantically barking all this time. I felt my heart stop it's frantic beating and all my frustration of the morning melted away. Suddenly, my overwhelming morning wasn't so overwhelming. The rages, hurtful words and actions no longer bothered me..... after all, CPS was not knocking at my door and in light of what I feared moments ago, I can handle whatever my little people dish out as they sort through trauma and deal with their limitations due to FASD. 

Perspective makes all the difference!!!

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