More often than not, therapy is used to document the things the kids and I are talking about or working through at home. My kids rarely confide in their therapist or even have meaningful conversations with them before shutting down. They will share more, if I bring up what we've already been talking about, but barely. It's not the therapist. It's my kids. They do not trust. What I love about the therapists we have used and our new one is they get that. They push but in the end, they use me and that builds the bond between my children and I. OK, slowly but still work is being done. LOL
Currently, we are adding services and professionals to our home. We are quite full and that itself can cause stress. It seems the topic lately is my safety. I know I have things under control but the kids are worried I will be hurt. There is quite a bit of anxiety about it floating around. We only have one that is raging and to me, they are so much better than previous years. I think my kids forgot what it used to be like here about 5 years ago. It was nearly every hour of every day. Now it's twice a week. Progress, I say. Not so clear to my kids.
Parenting children with such high needs is hard on all of us. Sometimes, I need to stop and think about how this is affecting the rest of my kids. I can't not parent the tough ones. They need to be loved and safe, too. I need to step up my game and show them I have it under control. I thought I was. As they grow up, they are getting so much smarter. We have always addressed their safety in this life but now I really need to focus more on making them feel I'm safe and how I look to the other kids. They know all the safety measures we take. I think it is just the physical aggression that worries them. No one should see their parents being abused. I have tried to explain that to the child doing the abusing and it seems to be sinking in.
I've decided to help Cyr deal with her anger and anxiety about their behaviors and my safety by attending a local support group through NAMI for caregivers and families. She is really having a hard time finding patience and empathy for them. She suffered "worse" abuse, in her mind, and she can't understand why they aren't moving on. The whole mental illness and cognitive delays shouldn't matter, according to her. I have tried until I'm blue to explain but she can't move past it. I'm hoping this will help her. Seeing other families and knowing she is not alone in this may.
Watching Parenthood last night brought me to tears. OK, I sobbed like a baby for about 5 minutes. There is a little boy on there with Aspergers and they talk a lot about how they help him. All services, therapies, money they spend on them, extra time they have to put into his care, and his daily struggles. The do a really good job of showing how much more it takes to parent a child with special needs. Socialization is a big issue for him and fitting in. Last night, he refused to participate in PE at school. He ended up using his disability to get out of it and they were worried about it. By sitting on the sidelines, he began talking to a child in a wheelchair. The next scene, is him telling his parents a child is in their driveway that he knows from from school. They are shocked, he has never had a friend over and were not aware this friend was even invited. When they opened the door, the boy rolled in and his parents began nervously explaining they were so glad he was invited. They apologized that they had to give them a list of a few things they needed to be aware of while he was there, that he had special needs. Then they admitted this was the first time he had been to a friends house, in fact, this was his first friend. Knowing it was a first for both and the huge deal it was, I bawled.
I have children that have never had a single friend. They do not know a single classmates' name. I wonder if they ever will. It is heartbreaking but they do not even seem to notice they are different in that way. As a mother, you hope you child is liked and accepted. When this doesn't happen, it hurts you. It makes you worry about their future. All we can do is keep trying for them and with them. Maybe one day, a friend from school will show up at our door, too.
I need to brag. Actually, I need to write this down for the bad days. I need to come back and remember that he had such an amazing day. Michael had the best day yesterday. He had a small fit, didn't do his chore, and pretended he didn't have any homework to do. All irritating things. Are you ready for the best part? He accepted responsibility for his actions several times. He put into action advice I gave him twice without prompting. He apologized, sincerely. He washed his hair and smelled nice after his shower. He wore underwear without being told. He picked up dog puke and asked if he could scrub the carpet. He locked the bathroom door. He maintained personal space without being reminded. He helped his little sister. He let go of a toy in the middle of a struggle and let her win. He waited his turn. He complimented his sisters on their new hair do. He thanked me for cutting his hair and accepted compliments from us. He stayed where he was supposed to stay all day. These are all huge issues for him. He rarely does ANY of those things and has never done more than one in a week. It was a day of miracles for him. No one else noticed. I did and it will keep me going for a long time. If he can do it for a day, he can do it for two. Probably not two in a row, maybe not two in my lifetime, but I can dream, right?