I realize that some people have been quite worried about our stress level around here, and I appreciate all of the concern. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t any reason to worry – it’s been very worrisome, frankly. Facing the possibility that your sweet loving child has turned into some sort of violent crazy kid isn’t something that is easy to digest.
There’s been a lot of activity in terms of us finding some answers, and also time has passed and that just means his withdrawal symptoms have lessened and will continue to do so.
I was talking to my friend Ana about what is NORMAL for our families vs. those moments when it’s too much, when you can’t take any more. We operate at such a high level of stress, chaos and uncertainty every minute of every day that when things go beyond that, I think it’s easy for us to hit that moment when you simply can’t deal with one more thing – and you break. It might look like you’re dealing with ONE issue – my kid is having a medication issue and it makes him aggressive. But in fact, you’re already dealing with 34188746146 other things that “regular” families aren’t dealing with every waking minute. You already have all this stress that is your NORM, more things are just too much.
What are the kind of things that are the norm, you might wonder, that are not truly THE NORM?
Well, you could start with two 14 year olds in diapers. I could get graphic and tell you how much fun it is to change the diapers of two kids who poop like men in bodies covered in pubic and butt hair. Yeah I said it. You ever tried to get poop out of another persons butt hair? No? I do it EVERY DAY.
You could start with a scene that isn’t even that unusual. Yesterday, I take Miles to poop on the potty because through some magic I’ve convinced him to do this daily now. He won’t come tell me has to poop though, I have to divine it when he runs stomping around his house and biting the SHIT out of his knuckles. So he’d been doing that and off we went to make the poop. At about that time Charlie shows up naked – and hands me a diaper with poop in it. Miles is chanting “BE ALL DOWN NOW” while I plop Charlie up on the changing pad on my bed. I tell Miles to poop some more while I do the gross thing I mentioned up above in the previous paragraph.
At about this time Julia rolls in dropping her pants as she heads to the bathroom and declares she needs to poop. I send her to a different bathroom, which annoys her and she complains the entire way as she waddles down the hall.
That’s a pretty normal scene at my house.
Or there was this evening, just about 90 minutes ago when Charlie shows up downstairs – naked as a jay-bird (this is a new thing of his). As we go up the stairs to get dress I realize – poop is hanging out of his butt. I have to formulate plan for this poop. What am I going to do if it falls? I am on the stairs, he’s being silly and giggling and doing what I might consider to be a poop dropping dance as he heads down the hall. I’m planning how I’m going to catch that poop and keep it from smearing everywhere.
Have you had that moment? That “How will I catch the poop hanging out of my teenagers butt and keep it from smearing all over my house?” moment? No?
Well, again – not really that far out of the norm for us.
The thing is, sometimes it’s just what you become habituated to. I’m used to a lot of chaos. So is my husband, so are my other kids.
I think that’s why when things suddenly became so much worse, and seemed so hopeless, I felt myself becoming dark inside. I was losing hope, I was losing the ability to see beyond the next incident and the next incident. I was afraid of what it was all going to mean if it didn’t go away.
We aren’t 100% but we’re on the path.
Thanks for still being here and reading. It’s been hard to write about. I appreciate you all.