Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 87: Reassurance Needed!

I love being a mom.

Saturday night I was able to attend an amazing meeting for women, and for the first time ever, my Sweet P (on the left) got to come with me.  Every few minutes I would look over at her sitting by my side and tear up a bit at how fabulous it is to have her growing up and being a part of things with me.

Motherhood has been one of the most amazing experiences of my journey here on earth.

But, sometimes, I feel like I'm doing a really terrible job of it.

Some of you know, Baby B was a crazy easy baby.  Then right around 16-17 months he became just plain crazy.  A flip was switched and our sweet baby was transformed into a bit of a monster.  Sometimes we still see that sweet little guy, but the monstrous part seems to be getting worse.  He's getting violent and aggressive.

And he has become one of the most significant triggers for me in my struggles.

Not the best combination.

So, I took him to the pediatrician, thinking maybe a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome was in order.  However, he *can* have pretty good social skills and he's verbally advanced, so we've mostly ruled that out.  Although, a sensory processing disorder does seem quite likely.  Which is something I've suspected for a while, so it came as no surprise.

Because she witnessed his aggression in the form of him  knocking poor little Darling A around during our appointment, our doctor referred us to a sort of "daycare/preschool" facility that focuses on behavior modification.  Mainly through positive reinforcement.  But, the program is facilitated by specialists and therapists and the like, so it's actually covered by insurance as a mental health treatment.

I felt really strongly that this was the right decision for us at this time.  So, I began the process a couple of weeks ago.  Initially, excited at the prospect of helping him not only change his behavior, but also learn to take in the world in a way that allows him to be happy, rather than overwhelmed and stressed.  Plus, there's a weekly family therapy session that will help all of us know how to help him (and, I'm guessing/hoping) improve our overall family dynamics.

But, as his start date drew nearer, that optimism has been completely overshadowed by feelings of doubt and guilt.  Mostly guilt.

I keep thinking about all of the activities and moments he will miss out on.  He will still attend his regular preschool twice a week, but he will spend the majority each day at this behavior facility.

And it makes me sick with guilt.

I feel like a terrible mom.  Shipping him off because I can't handle him.  I keep thinking that it's ridiculous.  Aren't I supposed to be the one best suited to teach him and mold him and to help him grow and develop?  If only I were more patient/strong/happy/stable/etc., then he wouldn't have to do this.  

He'd be free to have play dates with his friends.  For me to tell stories to at nap time.  To have a silly April Fool's Day snack when the other kids get home from school tomorrow.

Because his start date is tomorrow (it was supposed to be today, but I pushed it back so he could have one final lunch play date with a bunch of his friends, and thankfully, he had so much fun).

And I've been fighting of tears and feelings of self-loathing all day.

I ran 6 miles this morning.

Twice as far as I should have.

As if I could run away from how much I hate that I am doing this to him.

All the while feeling like it really is the best thing right now.  And that it could be a life changing opportunity for him.   And maybe for our whole family.

And maybe an opportunity for me to be able to heal and recover a bit myself.  But, that brings with it its own bag of guilt, so we'll save that for another day...

I'm just so sad for him.  Not just about all of the things that he'll miss.  But because I keep picturing him there, wondering why he's there all day.  Every day.  Abandoned.  By the mom who is supposed to nurture him at every turn.

And I'm sad for me.  Because in between the fits and the anger and the frustration, he can be the sweetest sweetest child.  He'll give me huge bear hugs and non-stop kisses and tell me I look beautiful. And he says the funniest things.

And I'm going to miss him.

So, tell me that I'm not a terrible person.  That this is not a sign that I've given up on him.  That this really is a good thing.  The right thing.


Jentry said...

Honey! Here's my two cents: he is going to make a ton of friends at his new school. Friends that have the same struggles and understand him. You are going to make friends with other moms who are experiencing the same feelings you are. If he is able to learn the skills he needs, then you get to have more time for the sweet boy, instead of spending so much energy trying to keep him happy. Give it three weeks, if you still feel this way, then pull him out. You are making the brave choice, everyone( including Trey )wants for Trey to feel better. I'm proud of you.

Andrea Hale said...

The guilt isn't anything you're going to be able to get rid of until you see that this new arrangement is actually helping him. Then you'll be able to look back and thank yourself for being strong enough for doing what's best for your child, even when it was hard you.

cindy said...

This has been a difficult decision to make, Cheryl, I know. Like any good parent, you do whatever you can to help your children. Don't feel guilty. You are doing what a good mom would do. If anything, a mom could feel guilty if she didn't try everything she possibly could for her child. If your child gets sick, you take him to a doctor. No question about it. This is the same. I think it's wonderful that they have a program like this. Hang in there. Keep us posted on how it goes. Love you!