Follow @stuckinscared Stuck In Scared: March 2014

Friday, 28 March 2014

'The mother of all special needs melt downs'

Hello my friends, I hope you are all okay or at the very least okay(ish) - I'm sorry it's been so long since my last ramble.

I've wanted to write so badly for weeks now but as my concentration has barely stretched to making a cuppa (without wearing it) - it's just not been doable.

I've wanted to interact as I normally would over on Twitter but I hate tweeting negative (And my God I've been feeling negative o_O)

I have been in an incredibly dark place over the past few weeks, my usual 'hide behind a smile' depression' morphed around four weeks ago after a particularly bad 'mental health melt down' into - 'it's an effort to breath (let alone smile) depression' (there is a difference!)

I have noticed a switch in my mood over the past 2 or 3 days though, I'm wanting to connect again which is a good sign and compared to this time last week I'm emotionally more stable.

Physically I'm not good at all, my eating disorder has taking it's toll and alongside extreme fatigue there are one or two other issues that I need to see the GP about. Once I've talked myself into going that is - I find GP appointments extremely anxiety provoking (especially as the GP seems to take one look at my notes and decide *it's all in my head*!)

Well my friends, all of the above and a whole lot more is what I'd intended to write about today but as my head is now FULL of the 'Special needs melt down' I've just dragged myself and 'Littlie' through I could really do with throwing that your way instead.
I'll stick you on a promise for 'deep, dark, & despairing'.....Bet you can't wait for that! ;O)

For those of you who are new to my rambles - 'Littlie' (my youngest child) is disabled, she has 'Prader Willi Syndrome' (I'd love for you to look it up and learn more :o)) #Awareness
PWS is a genetic life long disability which (on top of a great long list of other physical & mental difficulties) frequently causes some incredibly challenging behaviour.

This evening we were playing shops - we play shops every evening (repetitive behaviour)
'Shops' goes *exactly* like this....real food items from the kitchen cupboards are arranged (quite specifically) on a surface in the living room - mummy (or daddy) shop using an imaginary shopping list (palm of hand) which must be checked periodically for error - 'Littlie' taps each item 3 times before scanning & passing over to be placed (the right way according to her) into a shopping bag. - Any item dropped or not packed *the right way* must be scanned again. o_O

As you can imagine shopping the 'Littlie' way takes some time so (as it was almost bedtime) it was a calm but definite "no" she received this evening when she decided that an imaginary shopping list DEFINITELY WOULDN'T DO on this occasion and her 'losing the will' parents would need to write down all items in the shop before (mind blowingly - long winded) game could commence.

'Littlie's reaction to our "no" was an 'I'm not happy about that - normal kinda paddy' which rapidly escalated (once she realised we weren't changing our minds) into the mother of all 'special needs melt downs'!
In hindsight it would have been quicker to just write the bloody list in the first place....

Of course we could give in once these initial paddy's start to look ugly (just in case) but that would just reinforce manipulative behaviour and besides - there is a very fine line (seconds on this occasion) between 'normal (we can handle this) kinda paddy' and 'special needs (Oh dear God why didn't we just give in) melt down'!

So what is a 'special needs melt down'?

Well I'm 'fairly' sure that if you're the parent of a special needs child you won't need me to describe 'special needs melt down' for you - but for those of you who have never witnessed one there is a huge difference between one of these bad boys and the 'Normal kinda paddy' that most parents are familiar with.

During 'normal kinda paddy' (tantrum) a child may scream, kick, throw themselves to the floor - hold their breath for what seems like forever in their attempt to make you believe they might 'actually die' if they don't get their own way but - they are actually in control. (despite doing a rather good job of pretending they're not!)
It's a power play, an attempt to manipulate - the child remains tuned into you, to your reaction to their behaviour and to their own safety.

In contrast - during a 'special needs melt down' the child loses ALL control - they are NOT aware of , nor do they care about your reaction to their behaviour and they do NOT consider their own safety or the safety of those around them. It's scary, it's exhausting (both for child and parent) and the child is potentially at risk throughout!

Tonight my 'Littlie' switched from controlled manipulation to 'special needs melt down' within seconds and as has been the case more often than I care to remember over the past few years she (along with pets and parents) were at risk.

The pet name 'Littlie' is deceiving - 'Littlie' is far from little!
She is eight (nearly nine) years old, average height for her age, and clinically obese (a symptom of PWS) - If she needs to be moved to a safer area of the house during one of these melt downs it's incredibly difficult and we need to be careful not to injure her or ourselves.

Dragging her from the kitchen this evening where she lay writhing, screaming* and slamming her legs against the hard tiled floor and through to the dinning room where carpet offers 'some' protection was no mean feat!

Of course if this had been a 'normal kinda paddy' I'd have probably let her kick it out - safe in the knowledge that her behaviour was for effect and that she was unlikely to exceed normal pain limitations.
However as 'Littlie' has an incredibly high pain threshold (another symptom of PWS) and as her last meltdown resulted in a fractured foot (only recently healed) there was no option but to move her.

*And the screaming - my God how do I even begin to describe the screaming. I feel I want to say 'bloodcurdling' because though she clearly wasn't being murdered (I can assure you :O) the neighbours and quite possibly the rest of the street could have been forgiven for thinking she was!

We got off lightly this evening - I received only one punch to the side of neck (more were thrown but suitably avoided) and she had hit the floor before too many reachable objects were thrown!

The melt down (as is usually the case) was explosive for around 10 minutes after which there was a coming down/coming round period of a further 5-10.

After the coming down period no more was said about the incident - there's a time and a place for discussing behaviour and directly after a 'Special needs melt down' is NOT it!

Once normal breathing had resumed (mine not hers) 'Littlie' (still swallowing sobs) was encouraged to help make her pack lunch (an activity she enjoys) by the time we had finished doing that she was chatting away as if nothing had happened.

Dog was released from the other room (where she'd been put for her own safety) guinea pig was checked for signs of  post 'scream' trauma and the normal (though later than usual) bedtime routine commenced.

If you could see her now you wouldn't believe a word of this ramble....Butter wouldn't melt!
She settled into bed beautifully with no further mention of shops, shopping lists or 'unreasonable parents' and is now sleeping like an angel. (my beautiful angel!)

I on the other hand am taking considerably longer to get over it! - Thank God for coffee, fags and blogger o_O ! ....and breath....

Thank you Lord, for all the sunshiny moments and for carrying us through the storms. Amen

Thank you for allowing me to share

God bless you and all those you love

Kimmie x


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

'Where I once saw special'

Where I once saw special. via @stuckinscared

The past week (following a major mental health melt down last Wednesday) has been a low as low can be kinda week!

What led me to lose control? – A hair cut (I kid you not!)  though in my defence *hair hack* would be more accurate.

I can’t remember all that happened after I shot upstairs chocking back (Don’t be bloody stupid it’s only hair) tears - and out of respect for other mental health sufferers I’m not going to describe too explicitly what I do remember but to give you an idea...  

I remember spitting “I hate you” at my mirrored self over and over again – I remember (and I'm still haunted by) the piercing hatred in the eyes starring back at me.  
I remember feeling angry, unimaginably angry, angry at me!

I don’t remember getting to the bathroom or how long I was in there but I do remember sitting on the bathroom floor sobbing, still incredibly angry and wanting to (but trying so hard not too) hurt myself, and I do remember hitting the bathroom wall hard enough to make a hole in it. 
The pain in my wrist would not register until hours later.

From bathroom back to bedroom is fragmented... I don’t recall going downstairs for cigarettes but I must have done because I don’t keep cigs and lighter (or smoke as a rule) upstairs and I don’t recall locking the bedroom door, but again, I must have done because it was locked when sometime later (burnt, bleeding, incredibly ashamed, but calmer) I went to leave the room.

It all seems so irrational now - It was irrational.
The way I’m STILL letting it get to me now IS irrational…. It’s just a dodgy hair cut FGS….!

Except there’s more to it than that…! More to it than my usual OCD related need for perfection or my (life long) lack of self-esteem!

You see if I’d felt loved on Wednesday (hair hack day), as loved as I felt in the first ‘butterfly tummy’ months of my relationship with ‘The Body Guard’ (That's hubby to the newbies) - as loved as I’d  felt on our wedding day when I’d held his face in my hands in front of friends, family and God and saw everything that’s good in me reflected in his eyes; then perhaps my post ‘hair hack’ reaction might have been less 'mad woman' and more ‘what the fu*k have you done to my hair’, followed by a few weeks of obsessive titivating. 

Until last summer I never doubted for a moment how much 'The Body Guard' loved me. 
I was loved (warts and all) like I had never (with the exception of my dad who thinks the sun shines out of my arse and my nan who died when I was eleven) been loved before - special. 

I was loved (Like that) right up to (and including the morning of) the day I discovered his secret email account and secret (*virtual* doesn’t make it any less unfaithful in my opinion, especially given the nature of their conversations) bit on the side!

I’m 48 years old, mentally ill (though he knew that from the start) my smile rarely reaches my eyes these days, I look like I've been dug up in the mornings and I've got more saggy bits than Bag-Puss. 

She (‘Natty’) was everything I’m not – YOUNG (over half my age) - FAT (Turn me sideways and you lose me) – Boobs up to her chin (mine breastfed my first four kids, were tortured for 8 months by a breast pump after my fifth (disabled and fed through a tube) child was born and then went into hiding) and her hair…! Her beautiful, long, silky, shiny, frigging-perfect  hair (mine is.Oh you get the picture.) 

So you see Wednesdays melt down wasn't just about dodgy hair (though my OCD inhabited mind does worry more than most about appearance) It was about months and months of held in heartache, fear and incredibly low self esteem.
Months of trying to trust his "I love you" with his "I don't love you anymore" of last summer still ringing in my ears.  
Months of trying to make 48 seem 28 and failing miserably. 
Months of blaming myself... I'm too old, too skinny, don’t smile enough, too mentally ill - not sexy enough, not pretty enough, NOT GOOD ENOUGH…! 
Months of looking into the eyes of the man I love and seeing (where I once saw special) everything I despise about myself reflected back at me.

I’m not making excuses for my behaviour (my behaviour was unacceptable) I’m just ‘Telling it how it is’….because it’s cathartic, because I need to and because here in my space....I can. 

                                   'Mud Mud Glorious Mud'

‘The body guard’ is as gentle and caring as he always was, he’s incredibly sorry, trying so hard to make us ‘Us again’ and he’s still here... It could be worse.
And me?  Well the outside might have seen better days but (If he looks with heart as apposed to nether regions) there is inner beauty.
I’m compassionate, forgiving (clearly! O_o)  and my hearts in the right place… He could do worse!
As for dodgy hair - It will grow... At this point I need you all to nod.

Serenity Prayer

Thank you as always for allowing me to share

God bless you and all those you love

Kimmie x