Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Day to Day

This time of year is challenging for all of us, especially those with small children. We try and cram way too many things into the season, trying to create that magic for our children. I am guilty as charged. I remember Christmas time as this looong wait, the anticipation, the cookies and family and fun and presents mysteriously appearing under the tree. My childhood was truly magical and I want that for my kids.
Unfortunately, kids with trauma and attachment issues react very badly to the excitement of the season. Deep down inside of them I don't think they feel they deserve to be happy and have fun. They think of themselves as 'bad' so they act out accordingly. They think they are ultimately going to be hurt and disappointed so they rush to push the issue and make it a reality. In some small way that gives them control over the pain.
Ahren is actually doing quite well this year. There has been some ramping up, some old behaviors coming back to visit, and some drama. He has been peeing in spots 'near' the potty but not quite IN the potty. I am cleaning up pee daily from the bathtub, the floor and the wastebasket. He admits it's him, even shows me, but of course it is all an 'accident'. I am having him help me clean it up. The other day he decided the puppies did not trust him. He spent 30 minutes wailing at the top of his lungs in the back yard because they don't trust him. Thank goodness our closest neighbors are a couple of acres away. Still, I was waiting for CPS to show up. It was that bad.
This is Seth's first Christmas with us and he is really struggling. We are measuring the good in minutes between episodes. He can fluctuate from happy to spitting mad in a nano-second. You never know what will set him off. If I ask him to hand me something, BOOM. Screaming, hitting himself, kicking, saying awful things. I carry him to his bed and set him there. he screams for a minute. Pouts for 5 minutes, then shows up acting as if nothing happened. If I try and talk to him about it, he won't look me in the eye and constantly changes the subject. It's like trying to have a conversation with a Furby. He has been hitting, kicking and biting a lot lately. He is trying to figure out ways to not break the rules and still do it. He will grab Ahren's arm and hit Ahren in the head with his own hand. Technically he did not hit Ahren, and he will fight that point to the death. Too bad I don't play by black and white rules. He only hits Ahren, not Levi. Levi hits back. He's not stupid! Ahren is just an easy target right now. He is slower and weaker and much more laid back. Plus Ahren reacts in a way that gives Seth pleasure. One little tap and Ahren goes into drama queen 'I'm dying' mode. Very satisfying, that reaction.

So we take it day by day, sometimes hour by hour. We stick close to home as much as possible. We stick to schedules. We do things that build memories and traditions, but in small doses and mostly just as a family. This holiday is more about surviving and healing, not so much the magic. Well, actually, the healing part is some pretty awesome magic. I can see so much in Ahren and in another year or two, I hope Seth can be at the same place.

1 comment:

Reba said...

Thank you SOOOO much for posting this and putting into words what I am dealing with here. I want to say more but will just say thank you for fear of falling apart...