Monday, May 09, 2011

It still hurts

There will be acting out today. However, it won't be horrific.

A definite marker in the healing of my kids was when they were finally able to save their behaviors until after a holiday or event (still not every time, but it's much more normal now).

It's something. It's a big something.

Friday I sat with one of my healing kids and brought up Mother's Day. "Are you feeling tempted to jack with it?" "Yes." "Would you like to talk about it? Do you have a plan to help you?"

Some of you just had your jaws hit the floor. YES, we can actually HAVE that kind of conversation and discussion now. Hope!

My child then talked about their temptations. Things they want to do. How difficult it is for them to let someone else have the attention. "And your plan?" They had a plan. They were already thinking of the homeschool gatherings the next week they don't want to miss out on. They were categorizing behaviors vs. fun for the next seven days.

Some more of you just passed out. YES, my child now has age appropriate cause-and-effect thinking. Hope!

BUT (because there's always a but), I'm still a mom and I'm still human. The conversation ended and I was crushed. I won't show this to my kid. I showed them delight and pride in the hard work they were doing. But I was crushed.

Not one word of "You are a great mom, and I want to show you that. You deserve a special day." The only motivation they could verbalize was avoiding consequences or self-sabotage. They're not there yet. Where they are is HUGE.

But still ... crushed. So, I just felt both. This child went to lunch with me and was great. This child worked their hurt little hiney off, and was only redirected once or twice, and it was super easy. This child was the first to say "Happy Mother's Day" and give me a hug.

It was a great Mother's Day. It was a testament to so much. Those things did make me very, very happy.

But dang it, I'm still human and I'm still a mom and I'm definitely a girl. With the healing, there is still grief. With the progress, there is still a reminder of what is missing. Give yourself permission to feel both. Don't let one negate the other. You have every right to celebrate the progress and you have every right to mourn the gaps that still exist.

The day we had yesterday? I never thought it would ever come. I will not feel guilty for also experiencing sadness in the midst of massive progress. I will feel both. I'm Mom. I can do whatever the heck I want on Mother's Day.

(photo by onthegogo, used with permission)


Sarah said...

I should know better than to read your blog while I am supposed to be working. You just turned me into a big teary mess. That is exactly where I am today-- yesterday was fantastic. There has been so much progress that I feel guilty feeling sad- but I do. You are right, there is still so much grief. Thank you.

Hannah_Rae said...

Hooray for healing! Yesterday was so bi-polar. On one end we had our older son completely rejecting us and showing us how much healing he has yet to do. On the other end, our younger son was showing so much evidence of healing that he was actually able to take a bike ride BY HIMSELF! A year ago, six months ago for that matter, that would NOT have been possible.

All things are possible.



Jolene said...

I didn't even think to coach my children through Mothers Day...big holidays, birthday's, trips, etc sure but I never thought to prepare them for Mothers Day. *sigh* Sabotage behaviors Yet I still had a grand time and truly realized it wasn't personal. There will not be a next time though, I will definitely be preparing them both next time!

Last Mom said...

Thanks for the hope. This was our first MOther's Day and it was H.A.R.D.

Anonymous said...

Christine, you are a great terrific mom and you deserve a special day.

I know it is not the same as hearing it from your child, but until that point we will all hold each other up.

(PS: my oldest is 22 and still doesn't say it ... and it just pissed me off- see how terrific you are.)

Erika said...

We're a two- mom family, I do most of the caregiving for the oldest because I homeschool her, and she only made one Mother's Day present. Guess who got it? Not me. I told her that the necklace she got me last year is good for the next ten years so she didn't have to worry about it. By the end of the day I had a bouquet of wild flowers, a card with the picture of a shark and a fish (who's the shark?) and a choreographed dance in my honor. It was just crazy enough to be really fun.

Beth said...

Thanks for giving me hope for the future. My 4 year old firecracker did great all day and then ended with a bang. Splitting a window screen in half and destroying our windowsill. I look forward to having those talks with her some day!

Keri Harrison said...

It was my first Mother's Day - and it was TOUGH. I didn't think I had many expectations - but boy did it hurt. It took me a bit to remember not to take it personally - yay - that was hard.

Nobody said...

We had exactly that sort of Mother's Day, which is GREAT, but still has a bit of sting. Better than three years ago, when they made me Mother's Day gifts at school, and then brought them home and KEPT them for themselves. This year they actually GAVE me their gifts.

Kerrie said...

Man, no matter how low I get my expectations, Mother's Day ALWAYS bites me in the butt. Hard. I almost made it this year, but my sweetest neurotypical is under the deluge of pre-pubescent hormones and was only up to complaining about how boring the day was. I'm thinking about a re-do next week where I tell them what I want them to do for me, and then leave to get a pedicure.

RV Puzzled said...

I have shed enough tears today to last me a lifetime. THANK YOU for this post. It is exactly what we are going through. How do you always seem to know?? Or do our kids just all break down at the same times and over the same stuff? Yesterday it was making sure she gave me more handmade cards than the other kids and today it was a drawing of how she wants to kill me with a knife.
I know healing is a 1 step forward, 200 steps back, but it is still HARD and PAINFUL. Here's hoping tomorrow will bring a little sunshine to all of us :-)

Anonymous said...

This was my second mother's day and it was terrible. The kids were out of control all day.I don't think my oldest is even able to have those types of conversations yet. Maybe someday.

Unknown said...

I was connected to you through housecalls counseling. I had a fun mother's day and expected nothing. Yet, I received very nice gift (last minute) of washing and cleaning out my truck. I didn't care how the did it, I didn't watch them do it - Igardened. It was great! i don't get much right, but this was right:). My oldest son pretty much has not bonding and just wanted to hang out with a friend - at lease he wasn't yelling at me.

Unknown said...

i watch your videos on the tough days. We are 2 days from finalization on a re-adoption. Yesterday I thought I had lost my mind to be doing this. The jury is still out on that today. My dd 6 stole from another kid that had just given her a bag full of toys and she lives to hurt my other dd 6 weeks older, adopted at birth. I am making it day to day by prayer and the support of my friends and family. Thank you for your videos and blog which also lift me up and give me ideas for coping. I am reading books but the child's behavior is always a chapter ahead of me.

MHN said...

Loved your post and I get that place between grief and hope...that is where I am too and although better than survival, the journey into thriving is hard!

Patchwork Poetry and Parenting

Kathleen said...

"So, I just felt both."

Aahh, yes... and this is how they feel much of the time... but they can't express it or deal with it yet. ("they" being yours, mine, and countless others.)