Monday, October 12, 2009

Worn Out

I am just so tired right now. I have to be honest and tell you that Abbie continues to test us despite everything we do.

She is having a really really really hard day.

The only thing I can think that triggered this is that it is my birthday tomorrow and Cameron and I are going out for the day. We have a sitter coming--someone she knows. She had such a great day yesterday (after a rough start and after an absolutely horrible day on Saturday) even after she overheard is talking to the person at church who is going to be watching the kids. I have been anticipating that she was going to act out because it is my birthday and she acts out on everyone's birthdays. However, so far when she talks of my birthday, it is with excitement and love toward me. She started out today great and then just turned, for no apparent reason.

I am drained.

I am looking forward to a break tomorrow. I can't not go just because it makes her anxious for me to leave her. It is so hard to do what is best for her but also do what is best for me (go spend time with my husband for my birthday--much meeded time!).

Please pray for me, that I would have wisdom to know how to handle things with her right now.

In Christ, Laura


Christine said...

Actually, you're giving her exactly what she needs. You leave sometimes, and you come back EVERY time. They have to experience this over and over and over again to finally ... one day ... believe they can trust it to happen.

Doesn't make dealing with the behavior ANY easier, I know ... so let me just say - you are a CRAZY AMAZING mom! :)

Diana said...

Oh, I completely hear you! You are most likely right on, but she's likely being triggered by the double whammy, not just you leaving. Birthdays are always rough on our kids. Theirs especially, but most of our RADalicious kids are triggered by ANY birthday. They bring back so many unhappy thoughts and so many why quesitons to their little minds. Unfortunatley, most of those why questions really have no satisfactory answers, either.

You are right. You can't just not go because it makes her crazy. But today, you can spend the day loving on her and reassuring her that you're coming back and you will always be her mom, no matter what. Allow her to pick a favorite stuffed animal to take with her during the day, a favorite movie to watch, etc.

Another thing you can do is make a simple emergency kit for her to take with her to the sitter's house. You can put it in a pencil bag or a sandwich box or something small like that. Have her help you make it. Include things like a photo of your family, a swishy heart, a granola bar, a picture of her bedroom, stuff like that...basically anything that reminds her of places or people where she knows she's safe and loved. I've also included things like one of my makeup brushes (not one of my favorites, but a used one) or little things like that for my little son to "take care of for me" until I get home. The first time I did that, he clutched the thing in his fist from the minute I left until I walked in the door 4 hours later.

You can also roll play various ways in which she can deal with her big feelings of being scared you're not coming back or not loving her if you spend the whole day just with daddy. Practice "bubble breathing" (deep breath in, slow blow out just as if you were blowing bubbles from a wand) or running in the yard or whatever. She may or may not actually remember to use these little tools, but having you acknowledge that you know she's scared and why and that you're trying to help her will go a long way.

You can also plot out together, yes, you and her, ways in which she might decide to show you her big feelings today and after you getr home tomorrow. She could scream and yell and hit her siblings, she could poop on the floor (that was my son's favorite for a long time), she could go crazy and make big messes in the house...or whatever she normally decides to do to test you.

That's insane, you say? Perhaps to most of rest of the world, but to a RAD kid, sometimes we have to out-crazy their crazy in order to get through to them. First of all, RAD kids hate doing anything their parents suggest. So, by all means, suggest she do all the things that bug you most...tee-hee-hee, so she WON'T do them! Second, as you're discussing all these options with her, help her think through the effectiveness of these methods and if she thinks they'll really work to get her what she wants. If you TELL her they won't work, she'll try them just to prove you wrong. If she comes to the conclusion that they don't work, she'll figure something else out.

Ugh...I hate it when blogger makes us cut our comments short. Oh well. 2 comments it is...

Diana said...

Indeed it is exhausting. But don't give up. You're not alone and you can do it! Hopefully there's some new ideas there that you haven't thought of before.

Happy Birthday tomorrow! Enjoy the day and don't feel guilty about it. We all need a break from time to time! My best suggestion, though, is don't plan too much or try to cram too many things into the day. It will take both of you at least half the day just to decompress enough to actually enjoy being with each other. And once you do start decompressing, you're likely to realize exactly how tired you really are. One of our most favorite things my hubs and I did for one of our away times was pay for a couple of all day round trip tickets on the mass transit system and just rode it all over the big city...all over the valley, really. We had no particular destination in mind. We got on and off whenever we felt like it and otherwise just enjoyed the relaxing ride and watching the scenery (and people) go by. One of our stops was a spontaneous trip to a tile outlet store in the industrial area - we were in the planning stages of a bathroom remodel at the time and realized we hadn't had time or sanity to actually go shopping for anything we needed for it. So, we saw the sign and hopped off the train. We didn't buy anything, but did get quite a few new ideas, many of which we ultimately ended up using later on when we did the remodel. A little while later we got off at an ice cream shop for a treat, got off at the children's hospital to use the restrooms, rode the elevators to the observation deck of the city's tallest building, and stuff like that. That little train ride and all our subsequent little stops was not only super cheap, but it ended up being the absolute perfect activity for two very, very weary adults!

laura mouro said...

Thank you SOO much! Just knowing that I am not the only person dealing with RAD behaviors makes me feel better. Your insights are so helpful.

My question is: Will it ever end? Will it ever be "normal"?



Amy said...

Praying for you! I can totally relate to this behavior as our daughter ALWAYS acts up around birthdays. We now "surprise" her when it is anyone's b-day because she attempts so hard to sabotage any holiday or celebration. We find she does better with less time to anticipate an event. Attachment issues are so challenging. Somedays it feels like 1 step forward and 3 steps back, and we are now over 2 years in....

laura mouro said...


Yes! That is what Abbie does--sabotages birthdays and any event. Easter was a nightmare with her, every birthday (and we have a lot)--any vacation, special event, etc. Why do they do this? What does it benefit them to sabotage things? I know I should get it by now, but I just don't. I mean, I know she is doing it to ruin things, but who would want to ruin something when it doesn't benefit them to do so?

We also kind of spring things on her--so instead of a week of bad behavior, we get a day, but boy, let me tell you--what a day!

In Christ, Laura