I typically don’t vent on my blog, and am definitely not in a place where I need a pity party. I am at a place where I need complete honesty with somebody other than just my family and super close friends.
I need to say it out loud and just declare it. I AM A GOOD MOTHER, but I don’t know how to parent my youngest child. I feel so alone. I know there will definitely be lots of people who read this and feel like I am speaking their thoughts as well.
Many of you already know that my oldest child has a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome. I read it described recently as the starvation syndrome. He also has sensory processing disorder and autism.
What many of you don’t know is that my youngest son has most recently been diagnosed with ADHD, a mood disorder (bi-polar) but they won’t call it that for his age group, and he is definitely exhibiting behaviors of Aspbergers.
I have spent the last 3 years wrapping my brain around PWS and Autism. I get it. I can work through it. I even get the ADHD even though it is so overwhelming and he is so frantic all day that I am worn out. What I don’t get, what I am struggling with, what I feel so alone with is the mood disorder.
I joined a support group for parents of bi-polar children. It has been amazing. What an amazing group of people. One of them suggested that I read a book entitled, “The Explosive Child“ by Ross W. Greene. I want to cry as I read word for word what is a description of life with my youngest son.
In the book one of the mothers says, “Can you imagine being scared of your own child?” She then said, “I am!” My youngest son is only 3 years old and there are more days than not where I am scared of him, scared of his rages, scared of his violent temper. I am able to ignore now but I have had more than enough of people telling me how to parent him, spank him, discipline or reward him and so on.
Let me just get this out in the air. Children who suffer from mood or psychiatric disorders DO NOT RESPOND TO NORMAL CONSEQUENCES. I am not a bad mother and my son is not just a brat who doesn’t get spanked enough.
I love my son more than anything in this universe. I sleep with him every night and we cuddle and he tells me I am beautiful. His intelligence is unbelievable, and I love having unique conversations with him. I am however am emotionally drained. I feel in my heart that with my continued meditation and yoga that I can handle it, as devastatingly draining as it is. It is him that I feel for, I can’t imagine his soul feels good in such turmoil all day long. It’s almost like he is a prisoner in his little adorable body. When the rages come on, he just can’t stop.
I have decided to do is keep our house as organized as possible. I am on a mission to keep as few distractions for him and my older son. Today I went full force. I packed up almost the entire playroom. I have 4 huge bags for donation and the rest of unused but usable later in life are packed up and put away. I kept the swing in the room and some books and a few cars. This room will now be our quiet space. I will have a quiet space to meditate and they will have a quiet space to decompress as well. I am even thinking of adding some black out lights for a sensory experience. I am feeling really hopeful that this might be helping us move in the right direction.
I am writing this post for all the other parents of “Explosive Children” whatever your diagnosis may be. I am writing this to say you are not alone. I am writing this to say you are a GOOD PARENT. I am writing to say that it is absolutely ok to say that you need help. I am writing this to say it is ok to say you are depleted and need a recharge.
Through all of this I will keep researching and keep loving my son until I find what works for him. In the meantime for all the parents out there who know a family or a child like this, I ask that you have compassion in your heart when you are in your dealings with them. They are lovable and want to do well if they can.
I will not give up on either of my sons.