“Today,Michele”, “Today is the day you NEED to type your blog!” I would tell myself this daily for at least the past three weeks. But I just could not do it. If you have been following my blog, you can see that it has been a long while since I posted a rather emotional blog. So much has happened that brought us to that stressful place in the last blog. One would think that once Elizabeth got back to centered and went to school, I would flip open the laptop, log in and write an excited post that all was well again!.
I have to be honest, the therapies we did for Elizabeth, the love and support of her family, the talking, the journaling, the melatonin to sleep, the therapy music all played parts in taking Elizabeth and her system from one in a crisis state to one in a centered state. She did go back to school and once she saw all was as we said it would be, she was calm, wonderful and succeeding again. That was just what we had hoped for and it made us feel so happy for her. There was one little glitch in the program and it was called….I CANNOT GET MYSELF TO A CALM PLACE.
Yep, that was its name and it was true. I guess watching Elizabeth hit a crisis level that we had not seen in YEARS! and truly feeling how hurt she was, hit me harder than I thought. I found myself watching her…..watching her talk, laugh, answer, look at me, not look at me, talk to her siblings, not talk, do her work, relax. It was like I was so “on guard” for the first sign of a problem, a situation, or any anxiety, Like I was going to see the sign and pounce on it, extinguish it and keep her OK. This would be all well and good if it was not starting to make me insane, no, not certifiably insane, just a little insane. I could feel all my old anxiety rev back up…that feeling like I used to feel in stores or church….”will she have a problem today?” “will this make her nervous?” or “will THIS make her nervous” I could feel how exhausted I was from watching her breakdown, the actually crisis itself and all the work to help her come back to calm. I think I thought if I pounced early, I could keep her OK because I knew I just did not have anymore left to “get her to calm” again.
I talked with my husband, my daughter, Emily and our beloved therapist,Mary and Elizabeth, herself…and through it all I have been able to come to that place of calm. I am thankful for the support and love of everyone and I am so thankful that Elizabeth looked at me, hugged me and said “You worry about me, don’t you woman?” I answered ” I love you more than you could ever know and yes, I do” She replied ” I am fine, Ma’am”
I always believe good comes from every situation even if the good is arrives in an ugly wrapper, it is there. The good of this situation is that it has allowed me to educate the staff about Elizabeth, they really get how important the supports we have in place really are. They now know, sadly, just how a breakdown looks and its warning signs. Another good is that I know educating them personally EVERY year will have to occur. That’s okay. I will add it to my to-do-before-each-school-year list.
But perhaps the best good we got…can I say best-good?….anyway, the best “good” we got from this is an understanding that Elizabeth wants to tell everyone what she thinks of things. “I want to answer for myself” is what she told us. She wants to say “Yes” or “No” to doing things at school. She wants to self-advocate. We have to help her find the right words and ways to do so.
Just this past Friday, we talked about the haunted art room in her school and what she could say if she did not want to go…we got a note on the communication book, that said ” Elizabeth told us she did not want to go to the haunted art room today, she stayed in the regular classroom instead…she said No, thank you”
We were proud of her, we told her so and she smiled a huge, bracey smile back. We will build on that.
So good did come of it…but I did not like the ride this time.
I am thankful to feel calm again…I know all who read this will understand,
I wish you all a good week.