On Sunday, I had a few free hours away from home to spend as I pleased. Dear husband watched the kids for me as I went out on some errands.
I called my husband from the parking lot of Joann fabrics in tears. I just spent an hour in the store walking around, not finding what I wanted and realizing that I really dislike aimlessly wandering around with no purpose. And that’s when I realized that my life feels that way sometimes and more so recently.
When my middle daughter was diagnosed with selective mutism, one of the things I soon came to realize is that having a child with a “special need” did give me something to learn all about and to focus my energies on. I spent a lot of time reading and researching about selective mutism and sensory processing disorder (she had mild spd which contributed to her selective mutism). I learned a great deal, I created a plan of action to help her based on what the neuropsychologist’s suggestions were, and spent a great deal of time worrying about her and meeting with the early intervention staff to discuss progress, and plans for helping her transition to kindergarten.
Things turned out so successfully in her first week and a half of kindergarten, that I think it’s fairly safe to say that she’s out of the woods right now. She spoke since day one of kindergarten, and she had her first reading assessments and she did really well from what I can tell. [Update: I decided to ask the teacher about reading assessments today. She said that they aren’t done with them yet. She did say she got as high as level 16. The ceiling for K is 18 and then they stop testing. Just for a point of comparison, they want kids to leave kindergarten reading at a level 3; level 16 indicates the end of first grade on reading level comparison charts].
Her extreme behavior at home is even mellowing out. All the emotion coaching I’ve been doing seems to have helped. We do have some issues from time to time, but generally speaking, frequent high protein snacks seem to help keep her emotionally on keel.
This is really wonderful. I can’t be more thrilled about that. I’m grateful to have been able to be a stay at home mom with the time to research and plan for her. But now it seems like that task, which once seemed monumental and appeared as if it were going to be an ongoing project for at least a few more years, is resolving itself sooner than I’d expected it to.
Now that my attention has shifted off my middle daughter, I found myself moping around a lot more, trying to find something else to do with my time.
That has been my dilemma all along. On Sunday, after I cried to my husband about feeling so miserable, I really wondered if I was sliding into depression – the despair seemed so great. I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. I couldn’t “shake it off” or “count my blessings” or “think positive” or anything else. I was momentarily stuck in a quagmire of negativity. For a moment, I allowed myself to sit with it, then I decided I needed to do something, other than sit in the parking lot of the fabric store crying.
I went to another store and quickly got what I needed. Then I went to the Borders bookstore. I went for my favorite pick-me-up: the Raspberry Mocha Kiss. I splurged and got the dark chocolate covered graham cracker. Yummy, coffee and chocolate. I had a notebook with me, so I began to write in it (nothing particularly noteworthy). Occasionally I’d stop to look around and people watch. After I finished my drink and snack, I got up to check out the books. At one point I picked up a book from Dr. Laura Schlessinger called “Stop Whining and Start Living”. I went to a spot and started reading. Well, I didn’t get too far before I started crying again.
I realized it’s something I need to do. Stop whining and start living – making a plan to go from here. There is a lot to be miserable about, and it’s good to vent about it (for a brief time, to someone who really cares), and then DO something about it. I’ve needed a kick-start for a while and I’m kind of glad I perused the book.
I am NOT POWERLESS. I am CAPABLE. I CAN do this. I CAN take responsibility for my unhappiness and I CAN do something about it.
When I came home from the bookstore, got the kids to bed, I spent the next three hours reading 144 pages of the Gifted Grownups book. I felt like I accomplished something I set out to do (for once).
When I woke up Monday morning, I had a much better day.
We didn’t go anywhere for Labor Day, instead choosing to stay home. I worked on a major project – I cleaned up my bedroom from top to bottom – I even washed the windows. I can’t let it get messy again. I have my writing desk in there and it’s time I kept it clear so that I can write in a journal. When I got done with it, I had a nice spot to start writing. And I did for a while.
More to come…