Thursday, January 31, 2013

The sounds of silence...

I haven't had much to say... for awhile there wasn't much going on.

To be honest, that was awesome. The kids were holding pretty steady. I, however, wasn't. I was very lost in a quiet depression I wasn't sure how to get out of. I watched as some relationships started drifting away because I wasn't able to put in the effort to hold them close. And then there were the couple of relationships that didn't drift anywhere because those people weren't about to let me drift away, whether they realized it or not. It was a pretty eye opening month in that respect.

My classes started back up and I read something in my Human Growth and Development class that shook me a little bit. It was a study about how a mother's mood affects small children. It scared me a little actually. The kids were doing so well and I was worried that if I stayed in my quiet and depressed mood I would inadvertently launch them into a depression and lets be honest, Beth doesn't need any help in that area. I started making small changes. More time on the floor playing with cars, more time playing video games with the kids (instead of watching them play), I've been teaching Joelene to crochet (Beth has no interest), and a renewed effort at guiding play between the boys. What I discovered is that we all were happier. There was more laughter, more fun, and less arguments. The kids were cooperating more. I was starting to enjoy life again.

We've had some major gains this month, aside from that. Xander is articulating so much better. He's questioning everything and showing a huge desire to learn. He's affectionate and silly. Instead of hurting our small animals he's loving on them. His sensory issues and temper issues are still significant and he is still not gaining in academic skills but verbally he making huge gains. He's also eating better foods with no fight. And he's growing like a weed. I can't believe my littlest one is going to be 3 soon!

Joelene is being not quite so devious. Since she's started crocheting she's redirected her focus into her craft. She's trying harder to be patient and working harder at her social skills. She's blossoming under the collaborative problem solving we are using, and she's made huge strides socially in school. She's turning into a little lady... almost like she's 7 going on 17. We still have a good amount of work to do on appropriate relationships, boundaries and attachments but I really have hope lately that she's going to have a great future. She's already thinking about college and a career.

Peter has had a few setbacks. He's having "angry days" at school. We aren't at all sure where the anger is coming from or why and his teacher is pretty concerned too. Right now we are all working as a team (home, school and therapist) to help him work through this. Anger isn't something Peter has had an issue with in over a year so its very worrisome that something is bothering him so badly. When he isn't angry, however, he's the sweetest little boy.

And Beth... my sweet Beth. She's made many gains at home when it comes to telling us how she feels. She's able to give herself a break when she needs one and the psychotic episodes have settled down quite a bit. The meltdowns and manic episodes have become far less and much more manageable and I am able to prompt her into breathing exercises. This is huge for her. During the school week, though, she's having extreme headaches (possible migraines), reflux, occasional vomiting, and serious sensory issues. We have pretty much pinned those down to stress reactions. We are still working with the school to come up with a way to make school a bearable place for her. One of the challenges there is that she holds it all inside and waits until she gets home to fall apart. Today was report card day. This child had a damn near perfect report card and literally melted down and decided she couldn't eat pizza at school for 1 week because she didn't get all A+'s. A's weren't good enough. They had to be A+'s.

And that's our update. Its mostly sunshine... and that makes me truly happy. Yes, at least two of them have severe mental illnesses. Life isn't miserable. We are constantly growing, learning, and expanding ourselves. We have our setbacks and our down times. We have our nights full of nightmares, our psychotic episodes, our violence, aggression, suicidal ideations, migraines, and refusal to eat. But we get through those times one breath at a time and those times make these quiet (mostly) pleasant times so much sweeter.

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