Sunday, November 13, 2011
This weekend are the final performances of the all-school musical. Three of my kids are participating.
It has been a lot to absorb. Stress levels have been high. I have spent many days in tears and frustration. I despise regression after such amazing progress. It's annoying and discouraging.
So, as I've pulled myself out of my own depressive hole, I took time to focus on what is true.
Two of my children could not even be in the same room together 3.5 yeas ago. They were so hurtful and triggering to one another. We literally had to set them at certain angles anytime we all ate at the same table, to avoid the constant fighting. It was constant. Zero exaggeration. CONSTANT. I had never experienced anything like it, and always felt physically and emotionally drained to keep healthy boundaries between them.
For the past three months, I have dropped them off at a rehearsal and driven away. I have watched them blow it with their big feelings, but then reconnect after with some help (which is actually more than the average siblings do!). I have watched them work through their own issues many, many times since rehearsals started. I am still watching them deal with the unbelievably high stress of performance. They grew up in constant trauma. Their inability to function together was just the tip of the iceberg. They have climbed mountains. We are watching them grab fear by the balls and do it anyway.
I don't think the average person in the audience has any clue what they are witnessing. Seriously. It is beyond comprehension, even when I find myself frustrated that we are dealing with ANY issues at home.
There is that other interesting bit of trivia that I also think most people are unaware of. "Charlie," in this musical, has Tourette Syndrome. She has lived her life with off-the-charts anxiety, panic attacks, and frustration with the times stress will send her body into a dance she cannot control. My husband and I see the tics. Granted, we're so used to them, we have to stop and think about it. But they are there. We know the stress triggers them even more. Yet, she has become a master at working around them, getting them out when she's out of the eye of others, or simply barreling through when they're not gonna' take "no" for an answer. Just a few years ago I spent many hours crying, wondering how this would affect the rest of her life.
Many times we forget how much of a say our kids have over their own obstacles. These three kids ... holy crap. They have said, "That does not define me, nor will it slow me down. I want this. I'm gonna' do it. I will find a way."
Don't get me wrong - things are still very rough around here right now. Home is the safe place for all of us to come unglued. It should be that way. This is a big deal. It's stressful and awesome. It triggers so much of what my kids have to face every day. So, I'm pacing myself as we navigate through it. I am frustrated - yes. However, my part of in all of this is to stop and see where we are now. Regardless of the worst thing we've dealt with this week, it's no longer an every single day occurrence. I never thought I would ever be able to say that. Really. Like ... EVER. But here we are.
Hope, even in the struggles. Healing, even when the behaviors creep back in. Victory over fear, not because they glide through it perfectly, but because they dare to glide in the first place!
Not to mention, my kids are stinkin' awesome and adorable on that stage!