I was planning to write about meltdowns and sensory issues this morning.
Instead, I am living them.
It’s been a tough week here. Sourdough and Bacon just got back from a visit with their dad in Seattle.
Flying, with all of the airport announcements and crowds and more announcements, then boarding lines and on-plane announcements and babies crying and the smells from the bathroom/the food cart/that sweet baby/the dude sitting behind us – it is not remotely a situation I would choose to be in with the boys, ever.
But, we do it seven times a year because he is their dad. There is no other choice.
If this video is what going into Walmart is like for someone with sensory processing disorder, imagine the airport.
This is how we start and end the visitation week – with public meltdowns in airports and on planes. In between, there is the normal out of routine, eating too much sugar, watching too much TV, fun stuff that happens when kids visit any relative. I get it. I’m OK with it. In a way, I think it is good for them.
Then, they come home.
I am always so grateful to have them back. I miss them so much when they are gone. I feel like I can finally let all of my breath out, and start to regularly breathe again when they are back, and sweetly sleeping in their own beds (ha! OK, sweetly attempting to sleep in their own beds…).
And, we have to deal with the inevitable transition back to routine, normalcy, and some sort of calm.
It is always ugly.
The first 2-3 days are the worst. At one point this week, Sourdough was struggling so much with basic decisions, he violently lost control of his brain and his body. He thrashed and screamed and threw things and hit me and rhythmically banged his own head against the wall and paced back and forth for an hour all because he wanted to cook something and we didn’t have an ingredient. I have been doing this long enough to know that it had nothing to do with the ingredient. This is how he processes the transition. He is not yet equipped, or even capable of functioning well under the change and simple stress inherent in this type of custody arrangement. He is on the verge of this type of meltdown all day long, for days. He is miserable and confused and overwhelmed. So am I.
Bacon sees it all. He grabs his little dog, and hides with her because he is afraid of his pet getting injured in all the mess. Later, he is clingy and has trouble falling asleep. He won’t let me leave his sight, even to go into the garage to get something. He is on alert, watching, waiting for the next meltdown. He says he doesn’t want to go back to daddy’s anymore. He grieves. So do I.
My husband, who has enjoyed a week of having his wife alone to himself and no demands at all, is violently thrust back into caretaker/father mode. He struggles, not just because he misses the peace, but because he is out of practice now. He got used to having things be easy. The reality of this life is once again, right before him. He gets angry more easily, he checks out more often, he withdraws from the crazy. Then, he makes his way back, ready to take it all on again. He has to process. I do too.
I will eventually write that post on sensory processing disorder and meltdowns. I think it is important. I want to share and help anyone I can understand this a little bit better, especially from the perspective of my sweet but suffering eleven year old little boy.
I just couldn’t this week.
This week, I am taking each day as it comes.
I am wearing sweat pants and no make-up and not keeping up on the housework and going to bed a little earlier.
I am reading my Bible and remembering that this too will pass. I know it will. It always does.
I am praying and praying that God will help me remember, in every situation, that He is good, and loves us and has a plan. That He will cover the huge gaps in my parenting, when I lose it and don’t react well to all the need. I am praying that I will respond with love and patience in the worst moments, and that I will serve well this unique family He has given me.
And, I want you to know, no matter how bad all of this sounds, we are OK. This is not easy…but it is easier than it used to be. We are more practiced, more educated and more experienced. We recover faster and with less fear because God has shown us over and over again that He is greater than all of this. Beauty for ashes. I can see it all around me.
What ever my lot you have taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul