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It Shouldn’t Be This Hard

7:45pm rolled around earlier this evening and found me at home with my stomach in knots. 

D had a rough day today.  In fact today was one of the worst days we have had in a while. 

EVERYTHING required ten times more effort than it should have. Diego’s frustration threshold was the lowest that I have seen it since he started the Risperdal. 

When he has hard days like today, in addition to the major lack of impulse control, he walks around with a pained expression on his face and his language is out the door.  When I try to talk to him, his replies are brief…fragmented…or he will start to ramble at a frantic pace about dinosaurs, his guinea pig Chum Chum, or the dog he has at his father’s house…Hazel. 

So my plan was to be as cheerful as I could when I announced that it was time for bed. As I walked up to him he threw himself on the ground and yelled “NO BED!”. I had hoped that the timer would help a bit, but it hadn’t. 

I was in for a long one tonight.   

I ignored D’s yelling and laid out his PJ’s and his pull-up so that they were easier for him to put on.  Once he saw them laid out his immediate reponse was “can’t do it.”  I tried to encouraged him, I told  him that he was such a big boy, I told him that he was a pro at putting his pajamas on, but nothing worked.  His anxiety was through the roof and he needed to control something.  Part of me just wanted to dress him for bed to avoid the meltdown,  but I knew that I couldn’t do that. 

Diego knows how to put his PJ’s on and I would be rewarding bad behavior if I had done it for him. 

It is my job to teach him that disruptive behavior isn’t ok.

So I had to hold my ground. 

Unfortunately this gave me the pleasure of scrambling for ways to motivate him to get them on. 

He haphazardly tried and would cry out “my hands can’t do it!!!”

I cheated a little bit and helped him here and there. My logic was that maybe if I gave him a little control that  it would calm him enough to put the shirt on by himself.  Finally he was ready, and then he looked at me and said ‘snack’

I don’t think that I have mentioned Diego’s obsession with snack food on here yet.  Getting him to eat a real meal is virtually impossible.  Initially I thought it was the Risperdal causing an increased appetite, but when I took a minute to think about it, D’s snack obsession was budding  prior to the Risperdal.  To manage the obsession, we set a number of snacks that he can have before and after meals.  I know it sounds drastic, but I make sure that he is getting enough to eat, and have found that it is  the only way he will stop asking for a ‘snack’ every 5 minutes.

I’m not exaggerating. 

Every 5 minutes.

Tonight I told him that he could have 3 snacks before bed. The amount varies based on how much he ate for at meal time, if he barely eats then we increase the number of snacks. 

He had all 3 snacks.

When I reminded him about this, he lost it.  I caved a bit and offered a few animal crackers, but he didn ‘t want those, he wanted a fruit leather. 

We were out. 

Of course.

When I told him this he started crying louder.  I offered the animal crackers again but he wasn’t having it.  At this point it was obvious that nothing was going to make things better and I walked him to his bedroom.  I let go of his hand and went to turn his blanket down and that’s when he started smacking and punching himself in the face.  I held his hands down  so that he wouldn’t hurt himself and ‘ignored’ the rest of the tantrum.  After a few minutes he stopped trying to hit himself and calmed enough for me to kiss him goodnight.  Once I left his room and sat on the couch,  I allowed my body and mind to relax. Nights like this drain every bit of emotional energy I have.  They leave me very tired and so sad.  About ten minutes later the crying started again, I let it go until I heard him smack himself.  When I walked into his bedroom he was banging  his knee into his nose and eye, he told me he wanted to see his blood. I was at the point where I didn’t give a shit about rewarding bad behavior, I just wanted him to stop.  I crawled into bed next him and gave him some deep pressure input by wrapping his blanket as tight as I could around his body.  Eventually this calmed him enough for me to cuddle next to him.  He kept crying and saying that he ‘didn’t want to hurt himself but that he couldn’t make his brain stop.’ 

It broke my heart to hear him say this.

I didn’t say anything to his comment, I mean what am I supposed to reply with in that emotional moment?  I think that I will address it with his therapist and see if she recommends anything. 

Without  words I  kissed him on his forehead and let him rub my ears until he fell asleep.

There is no moral or real point to this entry tonight.

I just needed to get this out.

It shouldn’t be this hard, it just shouldn’t.


About sonidoinquieto

I hate writing bios *bio pending*

15 responses »

  1. ((hugs)) It sounds like you’ve been having a really hard time lately. I know it must be awfully hard. I completely agree with you on letting go of the behavior idea and avoiding an emotional meltdown. Our kids can only handle so many rocks. The only thing they can handle at that time is calming them and helping them regulate. (I go on all the time about Playful Parenting. I’m a real pain about it. But it really does help with these very difficult parenting situations we’re in. You can tell me to shut up now.) ((hugs))

  2. I’m so sorry this happened – so sorry. I have a particular affinity (not) for those therapists who are so young, they don’t have kids, and they just don’t KNOW. It’s easy to prescribe to the theory that we don’t give in, but if it were their child & they were hitting themselves? Right.

    Hope you’ve had a series of much better days since this.

  3. Oh, sweetie, this broke my heart. I can relate to so much of it all too well. Wish we were close enough to come give you a big hug and a shoulder for those tough nights.

    I’ve been out of the loop for a bit so you may have said this and I missed it…did you recently increase Diego’s medication? We recently witnessed a sudden and disturbing change in Nik’s behavior from a slight increase in his med. Seriously…a ONE mg increase changed him from my sweet boy to an anxious, clingy, volatile mess. We dropped the med back and saw a change within 24 Hrs.

    Sending you thoughts of peaceful, easy and joyful nights putting your sweet boy to bed. Love. xo

  4. shivon … many many many hugs my dear
    I really hope today is a better day
    Is there some way in which you could be kind to yourself today ( I was reading “this mom’s”post the other day and one of her questions stayed with me )
    It made me wonder if its possible to have an ok day myself – even when I my kid has a bad day

    • I wonder about this too, how can I have a good day when his are so hard. Being kind to myself seems to be one of the hardest things to accomplish in the midst of all of this. It is just one thing that I can’t seem to figure out. *hug*

  5. Shivon, I know it’s difficult. I know your struggles are beyond comprehension on anyone’s part. The bad days take every last ounce of strength out of us, and we do what we need to do just to get through the day. You are an amazing strong woman and mother, and I am in awe of how awesome you are. Know that you have friends, both in your real life and through your writings, that care very much. Hang in there – Diego is very lucky to have you as his Mom.

  6. therocchronicles

    It really shouldn’t be this hard, I hear you, and I’ve been thinking that often lately as we are dealing with behavior and impulse control issues. You are doing a great job Shivon–never doubt that. Wish I had advice, but we are in the same boat over here! Just keep breathing!

  7. You’re right, it shouldn’t be this hard. For him or you.
    On the nights when things just aren’t going well – at all – I throw it all out the window. I’m sure every therapist would tell me that it’s the exact wrong time to do it, but when you see your child hurting and hurting himself – what else can you do as a mother but do everything to make it stop. You’re doing such amazing stuff with him everyday. I hope you got some sleep.
    (p.s. we have the food issues here too, just like you. I think our boys are a lot alike)

    • EXACTLY…I try so hard to do ‘the right thing’ with his behavior but sometimes when it is really hard I just want to do it all for him. Save the both of us from emotional meltdown.

  8. I’m so sorry Shivon. I know that no one can take on those moments for you. I love =(


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