I was late. This is not unusual but I try very hard not to be late to pick up my kids because their experience is that Moms and Dads aren't reliable and sometimes don't come back. I was complaining to Hubby that is had a really hard day. I was anxious about all the new changes at work. I had a bad headache that was turning into a migraine and I was really tired. He told me I should bow out of therapy and escape to our room for the night and he would handle life. (I did that for him the day before as he was starting a new job today and he was feeling anxious.)
When I pulled up and saw the fire truck outside the building I knew it was going to be a rough night and there would be no break. I was right.
The fire alarm went off at daycare. The firefighters and police showed up. The kids were ushered to a safe place and there was no danger but that doesn't matter to the brain of a kid with PTSD. Nope. She was terrified. The minute I showed up I could tell she was still in dissociative mode. The new teacher was, of course, oblivious.
Of all the days to be late, I pick the day where the authorities show up with their sirens and lights and loud noisy alarms have been ringing. And the minute I locked eyes with Sarah I knew she was struggling to keep it together. Because that's what kids with RAD do. Her eyes started to water immediately. On and off from there until bed time she alternated between crying and not crying.
She asked right away to play Sad, Mad, Glad at dinner. Each person goes around the table and names one thing from the day that mad them feel each of the emotions. I knew it was her way of trying to tell us she wanted to talk about what happened. That's what kids who are healing do.
She went first and said she was mad that the fire alarm went off and then she started to cry again. It was so hard for her to talk about. She was mad she felt scared because she knew she was safe. Once again, we explained her PTSD. We explained she has no control. We explained that at some point her body reacted like that to unsafe situations. We demonstrated that Simon and Stella were also worried and scared when it happened. (Smiley of course was just fine because in her world that's the way it is.)
Then we discovered that Stella is being bullied by a kid in her class. The "that other kid is my friend and I don't want you near her" variety. And this kid is at daycare and was also mean to Sarah when she stood up for Stella. So of course that brought tears. So did the math homework and the spelling practice.
Of all the nights for a migraine....But we kept calm. We stayed patient. We got therapy, dinner, and homework accomplished and everyone went to bed. Including me, at 10pm which is something I never do.
It was a win for us today. It took a lot of work, but it was a win.