Thursday, December 3, 2009

Out of Control, Part 1

I woke up a few days ago feeling exhausted, panicked and physically like I had run a marathon after being a couch potato for years.  I hurt everywhere, mostly in my mind, though.  Let me tell you what hapenned.

Jaedon (my 11 year old overcoming autism) has been having some rough nights.  Starting about a week after my grandmother's passing, he has been refusing to go to bed.  Well, he has refused to go to sleep.  Well, that isn't new... but he is refusing to stay quiet in his choice to remain awake well after the others are asleep.  So, for the third night in a row, he is sitting up in his bed, screaming and wailing loudly.  It's 2.a.m. Tears are streaming down his cheeks and I am at my wits end.  I have massaged, given homeopathy, given calming teas, added extra calcium to his vitamin potion... nothing seems to have worked.  I wanted to join him in the crying.  As always, my anxiety has to do with not waking the other 2 kids (who are somehow still managing to be asleep in this chaos) since 3 children awake would be madness!  I'm exhausted.

Simonne awakens, complaining of the noise.  I encourage her back to sleep and take Jaedon over to my bedroom.  I don't want to awaken Isaiah who has only 3 more hours of sleep left, but I'm feeling desperate.  In my room, Jaedon instructs me to turn on the light (yeah!!! Spontaneous language!) and asks for lotion.  I start to give him a massage with some essential oils and I feel him relax.  After a while, he decides to lie beside me and begins to get drowsy.  Whoohoo!  I encourage him into his bed and he stays there and is quiet!

I'm just about to settle down when Simonne comes into my room.  This is very unusual, but has also happened a couple of times since my grandmother's passing. Hmmm.... Anyway, she lies down beside me, tosses and turns a bit, jumps up out of bed and I assume, runs to the bathroom.  In seconds, I see her back standing at the foot of my bed.  She proceeds to pee on the floor.  It's almost 4 a.m.

Many activities later, including cleaning the trail of pee leading from my bedroom to the bathroom, changing clothing, etc.  She is back in her bed and drifting off to sleep.  Sometime after that, Zachary comes into bed beside me.  I hustle him unto the toilet, then allow him to come back into my bed. He's small enough that I can sleep with him and I am now too exhausted to care who is in the bed...or who isn't, since amidst all this activity and alarm clocks ringing, Isaiah is up and getting ready for work.

So I woke up in the morning, having a similar feeling to those of the earlier years of dealing with autism.... those years when every day I wondered if I was equipped for this life I was living.  I realized that the panic wasn't really about the unusual heroics of the night with Simonne and Zachary.  I felt confident that soon, they would outgrow random night wakings, and would become as committed as I am to getting as much sleep as possible (or at least, not needing me to participate in their wakefulness).  Although Jaedon isn't traditionally difficult at night, he does sleep much less than the other 2 children.  He has periodic challenges with sleeping at nights and sometimes is very moody at nights.  I wasn't confident about him outgrowing his challenges.  Actually, I was petrified!

I lay in bed that morning telling myself all the warm fuzzies:

  1. You can't keep this up, what if Jaedon is changing again and this becomes a permanent part of life?  
  2. Can you have a good attitude about this?  
  3. And you want more kids???  No wonder your husband thinks that idea is crazy!  You aren't even coping with the 3 you have...  
    Yup, those warm fuzzies.  Actually, my new word for them is ANTS (Automatic Negative ThoughtS).  I realize that I encourage the ants and depress myself in those situations to give me the courage and permission to do what I want to do.  In this case, I wanted to have a slow day, with no-one bothering me and apparently, I thought the best way to do this was to be a grouch!  Yeah ants!

    So, I definitely was not believing in a benevolent universe.  I wasn't feeling powerful at all.  You know what I did?  I'll tell you about it next week, but here's a hint: It had something to do with giving up control.

    Let me know what you think.  How would you think about a night like this one?


    1. Its easier to laugh about it, when it's not oneself living it bw

    2. Laughing would have been a great choice in the moment, bw. It was definitely hilarious, as I played it back in my mind.


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