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Transitions Part II: Perspective

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My football team. The long shirts were their jerseys.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11: 28-31)

Today I feel weary. I feel the burden of the world is on my shoulders while I try to keep peace between my children. It seems like constant bickering and fussing. I feel like I am walking on eggshells to be sure that we are helping someone feel a sense of balance between happiness, anxiety, and control. I feel that we are working ever so diligently to ensure there are no tantrums and that if there is one, we are able to help him process through it and regain composure as quickly as possible. On top of that, we are dealing with another major issue. 
Before he went to the treatment center…

In January, February, March,and before then to some extent, D was having multiple tantrums or rages every day. They were always violent and aggressive towards others. He would physically attack anyone who was in his way (or not in his way, for that matter). Usually the victims were Spike or me, rarely was anyone else a victim unless they were in the crossfire. When he would get slightly upset, we knew that it would turn into a rage. He would literally turn over the furniture, dump things, break things, attack people, it truly looked like a war zone after he had a rage. The worst part was the aggression towards others, closely followed by the lack of remorse and willingness to process what happened afterwards. He never could admit that he had made a mistake. 

In the past, he also had never been affectionate. Not truly, sincerely affectionate anyway. Yes, he would give me a hug if I said, “You can have ice cream after you give me a hug.” However, he would never come sit in my lap, hug me, or say, “I love you, Mommy/Daddy/sibling.” It was so heartbreaking and emotionally draining to put so much into him when I was getting nothing back. I mean, literally nothing. I was putting every single moment of my being into him and all I was getting in return was constant nasty attitude, the brunt of his aggression and anger, and a long trip up the mountain of guilt. It sounds harsh, but it is the truth. It was exhausting in every way.

Since returning home…

We are still dealing with a lot of tantrums. As hard as it is to admit to them, we are. He is having meltdowns over things that, to me, seem ridiculous. He is having tantrums over stuff that to him seems monumental. We have had some destruction towards property, we have had one incident that left the house looking similar to a war zone. It has been terrifying, heartbreaking, and emotionally draining.

I have spent hours crying, I have written and rewritten this blog post in my head, I have prayed and begged God to make this go away. I have been reading my Bible a lot more. Particularly, I have been participating in the Bible in 90 Days program. Through the Old Testament God has told me many things.

In regards to our situation, God has told me over and over, “Trust in me. Stay truthful and faithful to me, and I will continue to protect your family. Your son was named for a king that I loved dearly. I love your son the same way.” It has often been hard to remember this, but I keep praying, keep trusting, and I know that God is in control. With that, it has been much easier to keep a positive outlook even with the continued challenges.

Keeping things in perspective…

We have had tantrums of somewhat epic proportion. During those tantrums, despite some property destruction, D has not physically attacked anyone. He has not so much as turned towards either of the girls or me out of anger.

In all fairness, Spike was irritating the bejeebees out of him on the way to therapy one morning. He said, three times, “If you don’t stop I am going to pour my juice on you!” After the third time, he did. There was orange juice from head to toe, hair stuck to her head like a drenched cat, pretty little dress now had a hint of orange in the daisies. I was laughing hysterically on the inside because she had been warned very disappointed that he chose to do that and that she chose to continue to irritate him despite the warnings from D and me.

We have had tantrums that made me shake for hours afterwards, we have had tantrums that have really upset the girls, me, even the dogs. They were rough, but after the tantrums we had something new. He has cleaned up whatever mess he made. He has apologized after every one (even if it was the next day, he still apologized). He has been able to discuss and process through most of the tantrums. He has even made some compromises afterwards.

Yeah, we’ve had tantrums, but keeping things in perspective, we’ve had major growth also. 

Many times while sitting on the couch, there is suddenly 70lbs of cuddling in my lap. There are times that he will sit beside me, lift my arm, and put it around him. He will walk up to me and hug me, he will say, “I love you, Mommy!” without any reason at all. He hugs Chad, Samoo, and the girls (he still torments them, I mean he is a big brother) and tells them that he loves them. There is now reciprocity in our relationships with him.

In the heat of the moment, it is often difficult to keep things in perspective. With God’s promises, though, I know that we will continue to grow. I do not think this road will ever be easy, but as a dear friend says, “God never said He will keep us out of the fires, He just promises to be with us in the fires.” With that, I pray that I am able to more easily keep life with D (and in general) in perspective.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.  (Isaiah 40:29-31)

It’s all a matter of perspective!

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