Have you been here?
We typically deal with short bursts of Logan angst and anger.
Inability to communicate, combined with frustration and not understanding the world around him, mean that Logan, non-verbal and autistic, will sometimes hurt himself or others, destroy furniture or otherwise rage against the world.
The thing is, yes, Logan does this. Sometimes. But Logan is also highly distractable. I like to call it the gift and curse of a short attention span. The specialist has called it a complete lack of impulse control because of the damage to his frontal lobe. Whatever the case may be, his tantrums usually run to a fast and furious conclusion.
Lately, though, it seems to be getting harder and harder to redirect him, distract him, otherwise pull him from wherever this place in his head is. We’re running out of options, and today we ran out of ideas, steam, and for a while there, a bit of my optimistic personality.
I wonder, sometimes, about the inner workings of his mind.
His inquisitiveness and charming personality, for the most part, pull a veil over the child who is floundering in an overwhelming world.
What, I wonder, did he make of the trip to the store today, the strange people and bright lights? He openly stared past countless people as he marched toward the object in his affection, in this case the display of furniture in the back of the department store. One brown couch was his favorite, and he rolled delightedly over the smooth surface.
It was the label, I think, that truly started the downward cycle. Maybe he thought it didn’t belong on the couch? That the paper was somehow offending him? Maybe it interrupted the natural lines of the piece?
He wanted to yank it. Redirection wasn’t an option – he was single-minded in his determination to have that label. Interupting the pursuit of his prize made his eyes fall on another blemish on his fine brown couch: the display sign the sales staff had mistakenly placed on the couch itself. Well, he thought, that just wasn’t right.
We left five minutes later, Logan screaming his way through the store, desperate to go back and reclaim his brown couch, the scattered remnants of the sign, and his rightful place as the king of our world.
What went wrong?
This was hardly the single moment in this day gone horribly wrong. Logan hasn’t been able to go through one hour without having a complete meltdown today. He has a scratch along one eye that we didn’t even see happen. And his father and I? We have bruises and wounded souls.
He has been so angry. Self-injurious. The extremity of this has made us truly scared, not for the first time, about this little guy as he ages. What happens when he gets bigger? When he can’t be held?
I feel like I am this horrible parent for admitting to myself that the future sometimes scares me. Not all the time. As you undoubtedly realize by now, I’m a pretty easy going mommy. I try hard to stay that way. Overreacting to the craziness of our lives on a constant basis would just drive me batty. And I’ve been batty enough in my life, thank you very much.
While this has been a day of extremes for our normally happy-go-lucky little guy, he has been having more trouble over the last week or so. There have been no major changes, no differences in food or anything else we can point to and say aha! There’s the culprit!
Can you help?
I can use all the suggestions and ideas you guys can throw at me! Jim and I have been hurting so badly over this today. Our little guy is trying to tell us something, and we can’t figure it out.
Adding to that little voice in the back of my head, is the overwhelmed and emotional toll today has taken. I feel like I am letting him down and letting myself down.
You know how I said once that I am not this perfect mommy? That I sometimes feel a bit broken inside?
Today, I broke. And I am still trying to put myself together again, because tomorrow is another day. I’m tired and my optimism is a thin little thread.
We could use your thoughts and prayers, but also, suggestions. Can you think of something for us to watch out for or even something that maybe just slipped our mind?
I would greatly appreciate the help and friendship. –Kat