Anyway, not long ago, I came across a quote by Frida Kahlo that really resonated with me that I will share:
What I realized when I read that quote is that I have built a wall around my suffering, and all this shit is eating away at me. Yes, there are certainly days when I feel that I am being devoured by it all. And so I decided that it was time to write, to just share the truth of my life as it as.
And so I begin...
Right now, in this moment as I tap away on the keyboard while everyone else sleeps, I feel fine. Everything is good. The kids went to bed without a battle and I got done with the whole bed time thing before 10, which is great break and a relief.
We are still settling and the settling feels like it's at a standstill as far an unpacking and pulling the rest of our house together. And so much of our time over this summer has been focused on just getting the kids out to move and do something, that we have not been getting the time we need to finish things up. I was really hoping that the beginning of the school year would open things up for me and Jason as far as time goes. But, not too unexpectedly, the school year has gotten off to a rough start.
The first day of school went great. The kids were nervous and excited, a pretty good and natural combination considering it is a new school with new people and new ways of doing things. And this is Lila's first year of school. Well, the kids have not adjusted well and Liam and Lila both seem to have some anxiety. I am not surprised by Liam's anxiety considering the rough year we had last year and he does have a hard time with new situations,though, admittedly, I was hoping for it to be a little smoother. And sweet Lila feels like she has to sit inside a lot and that she is away from me and from home for a long time. This is a little longer stretch of school for her, but think some of her lack of desire to come has to do with brother rubbing off on her in a way. Honestly, I was kind of hoping that Liam and Lila would be comforted by the fact that they were there together. Perhaps this will be the case in due time.
I know it's early and I need to give them time to adjust. I mean it's really all that I can do at this point. I am really hoping that I picked the right place for them because I would hate to have to find another school and go through this whole adjustment period again. For now, I will give it time, and try not to worry about the rest. For now, I will just have to take it day by day and try to be patient with the process. I really do love this school and think it's a great place, so am nowhere near ready to give up on it. I mean seriously, the get an entire hour for lunch! They get a lot of outside time and projects instead of lots of paperwork and there are only 45 kids in the entire school. I want this to work out, I really do. It is not easy for me to stay all day at school with them as it makes me feel anxietal too, but if this is what I have to do for a while, I will do it.
Of course I wish that I could say that the school issue was our only problem, but it's not. This whole school thing is just one part of a rather layered problem. If this was the only problem we were dealing with, it wouldn't be so bad, inconvenient yes, but not horrible. But unfortunately, it's not the only problem. It's all the other stuff that makes the difficulty with school feel like too much.
As I have shared on here before, Liam was recently 'diagnosed' with Sensory Processing Disorder, so he doesn't handle or feel or perceive things the same as the average bear especially when he's not feeling good. He's very sensitive and challenging and it feels like we just don't know what to do or where to begin to help him. I think once we figure this out, his sensitivity and strong spirit will be assets instead of setbacks.
In a lot of ways, things feel worse since the move. I think what we are trying to understand is if his sensory issues are also the cause of the other issues we constantly deal with: moodiness, anger, poor self-esteem, anxiety, inflexibility, meltdowns, and aggression. Is it that he feels so off in his body that it's causing him to be so up and down and all over the place? This is what we are trying to figure out. All I know is that the moodiness and the aggression and the negative attitude and talk is wearing both me and Jason down.
For me and for Jason, the hardest part are the meltdowns over seemingly insignificant things like either me and Jason saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or our plans have to change for an unexpected reason, or whatever, and he blows up in a crying, raging fit. It's the aggression that is the hardest. When Liam is in a rage, he will hit, scratch, kick or throw shit at us. We try to walk away or sit down to see if this will help him calm himself, but he comes at us. We have to block him, try to keep from getting mad ourselves, and try to calm him down all at the same time. It's INSANE and I hate it and it completely breaks my heart every time.
I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it is to feel scared of your own child. And there have been moments when he scares me. The only thing we know is that his reaction is definitely not in obvious proportion to whatever the issue is. It's all sort of shocking and confusing to be quite frank. It's confusing because there are a lot of moments, like when he's at school or at his grandparent's house, that he's fine and shows no signs of issues and just seems like a regular kid. I guess the good news is that these moods and fits and such have not shown up in other places. The anxiety does but not the other harsh stuff. Why is this????
I finally wrote a letter to our former and current family therapists asking for help and clarity on things. Is this all SPD, or are we looking at other issues here? I just think Jason and I feel lost as to how to help our son who is just 9! Why does he have so many moments where he feels so bad? What can we do to help him feel better, find balance, and feel the love that is around him? We need a plan, some direction so that Jason and I can get on the same parenting page and so we can see some real progress. I am just tired of us busting our buts trying everything we can think of to help him and feeling like nothing is helping. I mean I am the first to admit that patience has never been an easy thing for me, but I feel that I have been more than patient and diligent as a parent. And I would really just like to find something that works and helps.
I know that as I type these words out, it all sounds quite awful. And yes, we do have awful days where it is hard to even get out of bed and function, to get on with the day to day stuff when all Jason and I want to do is stay in bed all day with the covers over our heads and put up a 'do not disturb' sign. But not all day everyday is bad. In fact, there are good moments in everyday. And when Liam is feeling good, he's awesome and helpful and sweet, and I get hopeful.
That said, it is at a point that we really need things to change, to get better, because it has truly taken its toll on me and Jason and the whole family. I just want a happy family. I just want us to have some fun and and some peace in our home. And I just want Liam to feel good, to feel steady and secure in his own body, mind and heart. I am not looking for things to be perfect just better. And I don't think that's a lot to ask for or want.
I am really hoping that our meeting with our family therapist on Tuesday will help us to get a working plan together for Liam and for our family because I need to see us working in the direction of what we want and feel matters. I cannot keep stumbling around in the dark!
In the meantime, I will keep reading and researching and trying things friends suggest in the hopes that at some point we will figure this all out. In the meantime, I will maintain my hope that things will get better and trust that they will. This may require more work and sacrifice on my side, but I trust that it will be worth the effort.
In the words of Friday Kahlo, "At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can." She's probably right on that. So onward and upward one step at a time.
May Peace Be Ours,
*Forgive the typos and other stuff. I don't have an editor and my eyes and mind are tired. : )