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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Oh Man

Sometimes I feel guilty because the kids have healed so much. I listen and read about others who are really struggling with big, giant, behaviors and issues and I feel like an outsider because we don't deal with it on a constant basis. I'm relieved that we aren't living in that level of chaos daily and guilt ridden by the relief.

And then we have an episode like the one a few Fridays ago that rolled into Saturday and I feel silly for letting myself believe we were in such a great place.  We can't be. The trauma will require life-long adjustments and healing. We always have to be prepared to deal with the triggers and the false sense of stability sometimes knocks me on my ass. When it was daily I felt like I was always at the ready. But when the rage and tantrums come out of nowhere, I feel like I'm totally unprepared. And for whatever reason, those really great trauma parenting skills I've learned are hard to tap into at those moments.

Sarah is struggling right now. She's watching Stella get some responsibility and freedom since entering middle school. There is a major case of envy. Add to that a parent visit day at school and her birthday and mine and we have all the ingredients for a triggered kiddo.  So of course the logical thing for my Sarah to do is just start doing what she wants.

For example:

Me: Where are you going? You are getting on the bus to day care. I will pick you up there after I run my errands.
Sarah: I know

Me: Hello?
Hubby: I got a call from the principal. He said Sarah got confused and started to walk home from school. She said you told her she was going home with you. He told her Mom would pick her up from day care later but he was worried about the wording being triggering that you weren't picking her up now.

Later that day I notice a car driving up and down the street slowing in front of our house. Sarah and Smiley ask to go outside and two girls get out of the car. I go outside and the Mom waves to me and says: "I'll pick my daughters up at 7:30."

I'm sorry?

Me: Sarah?
Sarah: Remember I told you about my friend? I told you she was coming over.
Me: Excuse me? You told me!? I have 15 people coming over for a party in 30 minutes.  I certainly did not give permission, nor did we discuss it. After I get done explaining that to this Mom in my driveway you have some major explaining to do.

Commence Tantrum.

Stomping up stairs, throwing things off the bed. Trying to shut the door on me. Pounding on the floor so loudly the people below setting up for the party could hear. Screaming and yelling. "You're not the boss of me. I don't have to listen. You aren't my Mmm....."

She stayed in her room all night and woke up in much the same space the next morning. When I asked her to sit on the floor for her safety and she iron gripped the bed frame, I called our therapist, something I've not done in the nearly 3 years they have lived with us.

She coached me through the technique. Directed no consequences. Helped me get out of my "typical parenting brain". By the time I went back into Sarah's room, she had gotten unstuck and started with "I'm sorry.". 

She wet the bed that night.

And then it was like it was out of her system.  We even managed a visit with Sheila the next day. No issues.



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