It's been a while since Janey had one of her classic screaming nights. I guess we were due. As usual, we have no idea what set this one off. I picked her up at afterschool and she was very happy---she'd been running around and was in a great mood. She was pretty chipper in the car, singing along to carols, and got out of the car in a good mood. But things rapidly went downhill after that. Tony was at the store when we got home. Usually he's home from work when we get back from afterschool, so that could have been a factor. But he got home just a few minutes later and right away we had dinner, so she wasn't hungry. She asked for a video, we put one on, something wasn't right about it, and she was off. She screamed for 3 hours straight. It's always very, very hard to describe the intensity of these crying, screaming fits. Imagine you are in horrible pain, and while you are dealing with that, someone tells you your best friend died, and then at the same time you get madder than you've ever been about something someone does to you. It's that kind of combination---pain, sadness, anger---tied together in a massive screaming crying mess.
There is nothing that stops this kind of fury once it starts. We turned off all sound and lights we could, I got into bed with Janey and talked to her in soothing tones and rubbed her back, I held her as much as I could, until she started kicking hard and flung her fist into my nose, not on purpose but just in blind fury. Tony and I traded off every little bit, as no-one has the mental strength to deal with the fits alone. I tried talking to her, tried of course asking what was wrong, tried telling her in comforting tones that everyone gets angry, everyone gets sad, it was okay. I told myself how hard it is to be that upset about something and not have the words to explain it. We did all our coping skills, and still, by the time Janey fell asleep about 9, we were done for. Drained, empty, left without the good feeling that her relative calm of a few months duration had lulled us into. When she gets like that, time has no meaning. You don't think "well, it's been a while since she's been like this, so I can handle three hours of this just fine!" You think "this has lasted forever and will last forever. This is my life from now on"
And now she sleeps, and we hope that last night was isolated, and not the start of one of the bad times. Oh, do I hope that. Please, let it be just a one night thing. PLEASE.