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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hearing myself on a bad day

Yesterday was a Bad Day.  Not the worst day ever, but not a very good day.  I read the news too much, and worried too much, about health care and education and Mary Tyler Moore dying and all else.  I am not political, but it's hard to keep from hearing political decisions and worries and anger unless you are in a remote location with no internet, TV or radio---coincidentally, the location I've been daydreaming about somehow going to.  So long before Janey got home from school, I was not in the best of moods.

Frog and Dog from Word World, feeling like I did yesterday
Janey got off the bus yelling.  It took me a few minutes to figure out what she was yelling.  It was a line from "Word World", one of her favorite shows, over and over---"Who's going to read my book on the radio?"  She was screaming it with the intensity you would usually save for warning people of a fire or flood.  I'm sure it was not easy on the bus driver, aide and other kids on the bus.  She screamed her way in, and I guessed that possibly she wanted to see that episode, and put it on.  She watched it, with not that much screaming, but then it was over and another one came on.  Janey didn't want to see the next one.  Not at all.

Tony says that Janey's screaming often hurts his ears.  I thought this was more of a figure of speech.  Maybe I'm half deaf already, but I hadn't had my ears literally hurt by a scream---until yesterday.  Janey's scream over the wrong show coming on felt like someone was poking an ice pick into my head through my ears.  It was truly ear-piercing.

I tried, and in my mind did a good job with, starting my calming patter with Janey as she screamed.  I said things like I knew she was upset, I wanted her to feel better, the wrong show was over...things like that.  However, I also must have said "I don't like it when you scream"  I know I must have said that, because that is the phrase she started repeating.  At the top of her lungs.  For a long, long fifteen minutes or so.  I hope I didn't really sound like her echoing of me.  If I did, I sounded like, well, someone seriously unhinged.

Finally, she calmed a bit and asked for a snuggle.  I put blankets over us, as she likes, and lay next to her and we sang together a bit.  Things seemed better.  Then---the bed was soaked.

As I pulled the sheets and blankets and everything else off the bed, I must have said "I'm so tired of this"  I didn't mean to.  I meant to...I don't know what I meant to say.  I meant to say whatever it is you are supposed to say to a twelve year old autistic girl who is sometimes toilet trained and sometimes not, and who refused at least three times that afternoon to try to use the toilet.  I don't know exactly what that right thing to say is.  I don't know if anyone does.  But she heard me.  She heard me and started repeating, again in scream mode "I'M SO TIRED OF THIS!"  For half an hour.

When Tony got home, I was pretty much reduced to a quivering, ranting mess.  Often upon his entrance after work, I say "Thanks for coming home".  I mean it.  I know there are men, and women, who would, after the years of coming home to a spouse who is acting like I was acting, would say "to heck with it" and just stop coming home.  Tony is not that man.  I am very lucky.  He took over with Janey and I sat for hours watching dumb shows on TV and trying to empty my mind.

Janey slept well last night, and woke up in what seemed to be a good mood.  I hope school is okay.  Reports are she's been having a tough time there lately too.  Yesterday her teacher said she was singing loudly in the morning, and I could picture it quite well.  I honestly don't know how the other kids in the room can work at all when Janey gets loud.

I don't know how to conclude this.  I wish I could say I'll try not to say things that aren't positive to Janey, that her repeating of them shows she hears negative messages from me.  But honestly, I don't know if I can be that perfect.  I don't know if anyone could, anyone on earth.  Most of the time, I can truly say I do the best I can, and I'll keep doing that, but some days, it's a lot harder than others, and I am sure that goes for Janey too.  Thanks for listening, my friends.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It must have been something in the air. Nitika had a blow out like we have never seen before. As for saying negative things. Thank goodness they are as forgiving as we are. Unconditional love is the key words here. Stay strong Mommy. Love is a battlefield. x P.S. Thank you to Men like Tony, (and my Matty) You are the real MVPs