Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It Breaks My Heart

My heart is breaking.

I am her mother. I am supposed to know how to fix things that are broken and make every day amazing. I am supposed to know the right things to say and to react to things appropriately, every single time. I am supposed to know what the hell I am doing.

I don't.

Not with Avers, anyway.

Some days are so good! She is happy and helpful. She will hug me and tell me she loves me. She will play nicely with her siblings. I breathe a sigh of relief on these days. I hope and I pray that what we are doing is working and she is changing. I am hopeful that all of her struggles are behind us and now we can all move on.

Then days like today...and yesterday...and the day before...and every day since last Friday happen. Her moods spiral down and I am slapped in the face, once again, with the realization that she isn't okay and most likely won't be for a long time.

Yesterday was the worst day we have ever had. She woke up at 3:30 am and wanted to watch TV. Maybe some parents would allow this and if it had been a different kid and they just couldn't sleep...perhaps I would have allowed it, too. The thing with Avery is, she needs her sleep. Needs it. More than any other person on the planet. Her sleep cycles need to be consistent, or we know that it contributes to her mood.She takes a mild antidepressant to put her to sleep at the same time every night (otherwise she would not sleep until midnight..1...2...).

Anyway...I digress. She woke up at 3:30 am and when I would not allow her to watch TV (because I needed her to go back to sleep), she spent the next four hours until we left for school, screaming. And crying. And asking over and over and over to watch TV. There is no reasoning with her, when she gets like this. It is hard to explain to someone that has never seen it, but imagine trying to explain to an 18 month old the reasons why they cannot run into the street. That is what it is like trying to reason with Avery. Once she gets something in her head, she will not let it go and she cannot "hear" you, when you explain why that is not okay.

After a weekend of her not wanting to do anything and being argumentative, I was exhausted. This mood carried into last night and through to this morning. It took me 30 minutes to get her dressed, meanwhile the rest of my kids managed their chores and getting dressed, alone.

It breaks my heart.

Not only am I frustrated that I don't know what to do to handle Avers, but my other kids suffer through this. They have to deal with her screaming and her aggression, like the rest of us, but they also suffer with not having Mommy. I can't focus on them, because I'm so focused on her. I feel like they are abandoned to deal with themselves, while all my attention is on Avery. Yes, I still do their hair and I still feed them breakfast, but they know that they need to police themselves when it comes to everything else.

On the bright side, my kids have become extremely self sufficient...for the most part. They still use these days as an excuse to be lax on their chores and get away with a little more than they normally would...but overall, they step up. They get their homework and chores done with little direction and for that...I am thankful.

I have kept a behavior log for the last three months, for her psychiatrist. We wanted to see if there was a pattern to the moods or figure out a trigger. So far, the only trigger I can see, are days that end in "Y". I know she is having me keep this log because we are at a crossroads. Avery is at the higher end of the normal dosage range for the med she is on and we now have to decide, do we up that more, change her med completely, or keep her where she is and add a daytime med? I don't know what her psychiatrist is thinking about adding, but anything scares me. I hate the thought of "drugging" my child...but I hate my child feeling out of control and unhappy, more.

It just...breaks my heart.


Fox said...

I can't imagine what is like to be you. Please don't be offended I just wanted to try and help. I would like to start with an example. If a brother is pestering his sister but the sister just ignores him the brother walks away. I know its not the same but its worth a try. Take the TV cords and go back to bed. She is no longer getting anything out of it and will prob. get tired and go to sleep. Best wishes!

Leeann said...

I'm not offended at all. :) I appreciate suggestions and wish this would work. My TVs are locked, so taking the cords is not an issue. I would allow her to scream her little heart out and did some of the night, however I have other kids that need sleep as well.
This is not attention-seeking behavior, that would be solved by me ignoring it. This is part of her disorder that makes her so fixated on something, that she cannot see past it. I wish she would get tired and go back to sleep, but another issue we have with her is falling asleep. She doesn't do it the same way you or I would, she remains exhausted and awake.
It is tough to handle, for sure. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Shannon said...

So very sorry you are struggling with your sweet girl!!! Here's hoping for solutions that work for her!! Whatever it is!! And sooner better than later!! So, I have a question for you.....I am very curious, how would she handle you saying,"Ok, You can watch TV for an hour but it has to be turned down very low, and you have to promise it will be turned off in exactly one hour." Would this cause her to then focus on the fact that she couldn't watch it forever, or would she say, "OK!" I'm super curious if you give in, will she take it and run, or does she still get upset? I know this is a poor question because sleep is so vital to her but I took this situation to ask the question :-)

Sent from Shannon's iPhone

Leeann said...

I welcome your questions. :) If I were to try that, she would not shut it off in an hour. If I got up and shut it off, the same frustration and fit would resume. She is very much a "give an inch, so she takes a mile" individual. Reasoning with her, when she is in this cycle of her moods is impossible. Trying to find a middle ground, is impossible. She becomes fixated on one ideal and there is no moving her from it. I love her stubbornness, because I know she will never be persuaded into something she doesn't want to do...but I am frustrated by it, for the same reason. If that makes sense. :)
When she is in the more "manic" phase of her moods, I can reason with her. This is when I try to have my deeper conversations with her, hoping the lessons will carry over to her aggressive and emotional times.

Shannon said...

Has anyone told you lately what an amazing mother you are!???!!!

Leeann said...

@Shannon...thank you. <3

DizzyMamma said...

Leeann, when I read about Avery, and when I look at my own Freyja, I am always reminded of the childrens rhyme, "There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very very good, and when she was bad, she was horrid."

They seem to do everything, and think everything, by extremes. They love intensly, they hurt intensly, they laugh and scream long and loud, and when they rage, you may as well batten down the hatches, because you have more chance of stopping a tornado than one of those moods.

I hear you on the fixation thing, whether it be watching TV, or HAVING to tell you something, even though it is not the right time, you are in the middle of an important phone call etc, only to find that the important thing that had to be said was a line by line rerun of the last conversation she had, a TV ad for some As Seen on TV toy etc etc.

I wish I could give you answers, but I can't, though please, if you find that holy grail, please let me know, I could use it too.

At least we can be assured that they will not be pushovers in later life, and hopefully will be the great bosses and entrepreneurs of the future.

Oh, and Shannon is right, you are an AMAZING mother!! I can't imagine getting all the stuff done that you do, with all those kids, and the school, and the job. You are really like some Wonder Woman!