Friday, May 29, 2009

Emotional Blow-Back

We’ve had a tough couple of days. The stress of T-Bear’s diagnosis and care has been peeking out around the edges of our familial relationships. Everyone seems to be showing the stress a little differently, but I think all of us are feeling it. I’ve dealt with it by launching a clutter-control project (makes me feel like I’m in control, when clearly I’m not…delusions do have their uses) and taking my anger out on messes. Brother Bear has become more argumentative and resistant than usual (if that is possible). Angel Bear has been melting down over every disaster imaginable, from having to wait 15 minutes for a snack to his brother not waiting to walk him to the trampoline, and wants me to carry him everywhere around the house. Only Papa Bear seems to be managing this with more grace than the rest of us.

T-Bear, obviously, has had the largest load to carry. I knew the honeymoon of post-illness “grateful to be alive and feeling good” would pass, and it has. He’s gone from saying “thank you for taking good care of me” after I poke him, to resisting the testing and injections. I can’t blame him. It sucks. And, because of his APD challenges, he’s becoming more non-verbal in expressing his stress. Wining, groaning, whimpering, writhing, crying, clinging. All the behaviors that say “I hate this”, and that make stabbing him several times a day more difficult than it already is.

I think it’s time for a vacation. Oh, yeah, we just had one. Oh, yeah, we’re supposed to still be on one (except for poor Papa Bear). So, why are we not relaxing and enjoying ourselves and one another? Just after Orlando, I had a brief glimpse of a vision of what our family life could be like if I gave up constantly trying to “improve” everything about us. Relaxed, joyful, fun, loving, curious, active. But, then I got sucked back into my efficiency mentality, the long list of what I “should” be doing. What we, as a family, “should” be doing. Ick. The “shoulds” sure are joy suckers.

I think it’s time for me to step back from the “to do” list (after I finish reconciling bank statements), and focus on relaxed, fun, loving time with the family. We could all use it. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t still collect and dump one bag of trash from the house per day, does it? :)

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