I used to count down the days until the weekend was over when my stepson was younger and times were difficult. The dark days when he was smashing his toys, shitting his pants and jumping off of the furniture.
Now I find myself counting down the hours until Spring Break is over.
Until Kindergarten starts.
And when I start working again full-time because I don’t want to be home with Ally anymore. Having to put her in a chair and tune out her screaming is emotionally wearing me out. Pulling her into the bathroom each time she hyper focuses on her butt being sweaty is draining me.
Following through on every targeted behavior makes me feel like an ABA therapist, which reminds that I am not one and if I wanted to be one I’d have gone to school to be one, and because I don’t want to do this am I some awful mother? And if I am, why don’t I feel the least bit guilty about it.
Today I realized that I might be trying to fix my child without consciously being aware of it. When I found myself frustrated that therapy isn’t making her better, I realized that I am trying to cure her.
Two years of behavior therapy and she is still screaming and hitting. It might not be every day but it is still happening.
Two years of speech and she still forgets to use her words and I feel like that negates her impressive use of vocabulary beyond her years.
I have seen zero progress from Occupational Therapy but it’s included in my daily co-pay so we keep going…and she enjoys the sensory gym swing.
Two years on medication and she has plateaued a few times. Is she ever going to be able to focus on anything without some kind of medication?
And then I spiraled out of control at the thought that this is forever.
Will it always be this way?
Is she ever going to be able to consistently socialize with her peers without melting down or needing redirection?
Is she always going to need someone to prompt her?
Is our entire life going to become about good days and bad days and hoping there is a balance?
The thought of her not being able to develop normal and lasting friendships scares me to death.
It also reminds me of myself. I have blamed my parents my entire life for moving me all over the damn place as to why I had to constantly make new friends as a child. But whatever, I got by.
And as an adult, I choose to be less involved with other people.
I’m usually the one who decides when a friendship isn’t worth keeping because I struggle to be fake nice. I truly cannot do it.
I can’t sit in a room with a bunch of bitches and pretend like I give a crap about competing for who has the nicest car or the greenest grass.
I don’t give AF about grass.
I don’t give AF about what anyone else has and I am not the type of person who is fake friends with people so I can use their amenities or get things from them.
In particular, I find it difficult to be friends with a lot of women. I have a few good girlfriends and that is all I want.
I am not interested in dealing with bitchy comments and competitions pretending to be someone I am not.
But I am also 33 years old, not 4.
To see my daughter go through wanting friends but sabotaging her relationships is sad.
Sad and out of control.
How do I get a handle on this?
And I find myself torn between wondering if she can help it or if she is doing it on purpose because she knows logically when we talk about these situations what is wrong, but she continuously does the wrong thing.
Her latest offenses include:
Telling kids they are uninvited to her birthday
That her birthday is “the best” or “better than yours.”
You are smelly and weird
Every single act is justified in her mind. She thinks she is right. She is also as stubborn as they come.
“Ally, why did you pull your friend’s hair?”
“Because she hurt my feelings.”
“But that does not mean that you pull her hair. You need to apologize.”
“No, she needs to apologize to me first.”
And this is where we go in circles.
But eventually, she agrees to an apology that she doesn’t quite understand.
And this cycle resets itself.
All day, I have been trying to gauge what it is I expect from her.
Do I expect her to change?
To be someone she is not?
Is she ever going to be able to overcome these social challenges?
What if she doesn’t?
I want to say, of course, she is only 4. But her brother is only 13, and he has similar issues with his peers from time to time. And my first response to that is how she got help younger and sooner, therefore, she should be better off. But she’s not. We’re not.
I am trying to take this journey by the day and stop worrying about the future. Stop trying to fix her. But I have no idea how to do that.