Thursday, April 28, 2011

Redefining Acceptance Again! (sigh)

I saw Jaedon scratching himself with his fingernails today and I had a really big negative reaction. If there is anything I would give him drugs to stop, it’s him hurting himself. (I don't even give Tylenol). Jay hasn’t done this before, and I felt floored. He has always liked being scratched, but now, he is scratching to the point of giving himself welts, and bruises, and I feel panicked. The world keeps spinning out of control. As soon as I gather in one thread, 4 more unravel.

The Rant

So what should I think about this scratching? Forget should. What did I think today, that has me PMSing, before PMS? Well, I almost yelled at him “Stop it!” and he looked very irritated, upset even, and went back to scratching his arm. As I continued to forcefully tell him not to do it, he pushed me away, quite forcefully. He screamed, and ran upstairs, but not before jumping and stomping, with screaming a little. I heard him upstairs crying. He’s not usually that quick to fly off, and doesn’t stay upset, and he doesn’t push back. Sigh. So he was really feeding off my angst. I was very angst, very panicked. I remember seeing bruises on his legs a few days ago, and wondering what they were. Now that I see fresh one on his legs, I know for sure what they are.

When he came back downstairs, somewhat recovered, I offered to change his pull-up. As I helped him in the bathroom, I had another mini crisis, or perhaps, a continuation of the current one. “God, can he be potty trained, please?” I have changed Jaedon now for 12 .5 years. Isn’t that enough? Must I have that, being on 24 hour alert for all kinds of thing, like failing to prevent a quart of extra virgin olive oil from being poured into the sink, or the new bottle of pure liquid castile soap that went into the bathroom sink? Not to mention the food I’m constantly protecting, telling him not to strip the paint off the wall, and the call from Isaiah on the cell phone seconds after he left for the supermarket telling me Jaedon was outside... Must I add preventing him from scratching himself to that list of 24/7 vigilance? I’m ready to trade something. I’m putting changing diapers back on the shelf, if I have to take protecting from scratches.

Calm Down Mildred
This reminds me of the Platform of Acceptance video another parent did. Scratching to bleeding is definitely not on my platform. What do I do with that?

It's funny how one thing prompts a full tantrum.  I've taken everything that I accepted and thrown them off the shelf.  One issue, became lumped in with everything else and I was looking at myself at 80 helping my 50+ year old son out of his pullups, no liquid soap in the house.

The Resolve
I don't have the answers just yet, but I fall back on what works for me, and gratitude works.  Complaining is a fast, wide road to deep unhappiness, and gratitude is the fast wide to deep contentment.  As I sit here typing this, my mind ran to many of the other similar thoughts I've had, and the fact that I've more than survived, I've done well, so far.  It's not that I've been wonderful and upbeat, but I feel what I feel, and I wallow, mourn, pick myself up, dust off, get going again.  Sometimes faster than others, and sometimes I even skip the wallowing and mourning bit.  As I encourage the kids with 'Every day in every way, I am getting better and better' and so I encourage myself.  And I'm thankful for it.  Thankful for the paradigm shifting experiences I've had, thankful for the change, thankful for the person that I am and that I'm becoming.

Jay is standing beside me now.  I think he wants a snack.  He's being sweet and gentle, waiting patiently, patting his head and his chest.  I love him a lot, and am very grateful for his presence in my life.  "Nuts" he says finally.  I'm hurrying to give them.

I'll take some time to process the scratching by itself and tell you what I discover.


  1. Ah, gratitude. What a wonderful shortcut to happiness. I happened to hear a Holocaust survivor speak (at work) today, and the biggest thing I remember now from that talk is her outsized sense of gratitude for the gift of life and freedom, 60+ years after her ordeal in Auschwitz. This 86-yr-old lady had more love in her heart than everybody in the audience put together. Truly a force of nature.

    Oh by the way, Faith, Rithvik also is giving us the scratching acceptance test right now :-). And that Platform of Acceptance video was really cool.

  2. Faith, thank you so much for sharing. I love how you are showing us that your complaining is only a temporary thing, that after a certain time you take yourself by the hand and guide yourself to find other answers, ones that might better fit into your life right now. The complaining even seems to have the function of making aware which areas you want to focus on, after which you start looking for answers.

    About scratching. One of the kids I work with also scratches himself a lot. And this year, for the first time I found my skin irritated and I have started to scratching myself. I think it has to be dry skin from the weather, but sometimes I wonder if there could be something else going on. A skin irritation that gets triggered by something? Could it be spread to others? Anyway, for me I started to use Vaseline, which takes the itch away temporary (certainly not a cure, just something that stops me from scratching), I surely recommend trying that.

    Love, Iris

  3. Sree, thank Rithvik for me for his helping you to be able to say to me that you understand. For just 1 second, I could have hugged him. Iris, thanks for the suggestion. Jay likes both the feel and the look of the scratching. His skin always looks dry so he has these cool tracks that he creates on his arms and legs. He also likes his skin to be rubbed with oil. So I'm starting on a regime of massaging with coconut oil, since he is also really into smells. That may slow down the scratching. He's doing a detox of sorts, which is notorious for waking up the senses, and Jay is already sensitive. I imagine there is s lot to dampen. Thanks for sharing this with me.


Read, smile, think and post a message to let us know how this article inspired you...