Roller coasters. Fun, right?
Except, everyone wants to visit Cedar Point, spend a day or two…but no one wants to LIVE there. Especially if you were blindfolded on all of the rides, which you had to ride all day every day, so you never knew when a death drop or loop-de-loop was going to hit you.
Mostly I do ok…I am a patient, resilient person and I love my kids so dearly I cherish my time with them, and of course I gain a lot of strength from my. lighthouses and from the Lord…but tonight I am exhausted, weary. It has been an amusement park summer (without the amusement). It turns out turning 5 was one of the worst things to happen to M, with her Aspergers and Anxiety Disorder. We are slowly trying to find a way to get her back to HER “normal”, but even her counselor is very unsure how to do that. In the meantime, we are all walking on egg shells. We now know eating out is not going to happen again for a long time, and shopping is to be kept to a minimum. Company is not well received (though if you don’t mind being called a stupid idiot, you are welcome to visit!) But really, any little thing might set off this inexplicable chaos caused by a mixture of general anxiety, separation anxiety, obsessive/compulsive tendancies, ridgid need for structure and routine and sensory processing difficulties.
For example Monday K and I went to a Zumba class in the evening. M was so distraught she had a meltdown the entire hour plus until we got home. This one included throwing all of our dinner onto the floor, which was a new twist. Wednesday M wanted to be outside when Daddy got home from work and she happened to have run inside to get something when he pulled up. This super intense 45 minute meltdown included running away, trying to bust out the screens in the windows and trying to burn herself on the stove where I was cooking dinner.
Wednesday I got M the razberry she has been begging for. If you don’t know what it is, you get them at Babies R Us. They are essentially a pacifier with bumps on it for little ones that are teething. But hey, it helps! She really responds to oral stimulation for soothing and if that’s what helps I really honestly do not care if my 5 year old runs around with a paci in her mouth. (She has given up chewies before from being picked on but she is in a place right now where she needs it so badly and has retreated far enough into her own world that she doesn’t care.)
Thursday I spent an hour and a half brainstorming with M’s therapist looking for behavior modification techniques. We did come up with a few ideas, but even she, who has a lot of experience with anxious and autistic children, admits M is an exceptionally difficult case. I am a little confused that she admits M needs medication, but does not want us to take her to a psychiatrist yet. She is afraid they will medicate her too heavily. I am calling Monday to get her in, anyway. I know enough about the different options to insist on starting with an SRI and only moving to the “heavy hitters” if necessary (thanks largely to Temple Grandin and her conference I attended in May).
Hopefully the behavioral interventions, medication and just getting used to all of the changes (like starting school, which has her terrified) will help. If I am exhausted of the constant ups and downs out of nowhere, I can’t even imagine how she feels. I imagine it must be a terrible cycle…she’s anxious, loses her social and communication skills, melts down, feels more out of control, more anxious, and on and on. Fortunately sometimes I do still get to see my little girl in there. This morning she played in my bed with A for a long time. This evening she picked out A’s favorite movie to watch together. She even let me drop her off at Sunday school without TOO much difficulty. I am so thankful for the peaceful moments where my baby seems to be in the world with us, rather than in her own world that is full of scary things. Hopefully we can get her off of this perpetual rollercoaster soon.