I have to know, for those that have been dealing with a special needs child longer than me, does the grief ever go away? Or does it follow in some form or another as life’s milestones continue to pass by differently than you expected [before diagnosis]?
This week has been excruciating. I have no idea why, but Emma’s behavior has suddenly spiraled down into the pits of despair. The last four days have been filled with anger and tears beyond belief. She’s having these horrible meltdowns that turn into absolute insanity as she hits herself, slaps her face, pulls her hair, and bangs her head while screaming like she’s on fire. They last for a looooong time, and happen multiple times a day. That makes the horrible angry screaming fits seem like good behavior, and the times like now [happily watching sesame street as she plays with a straw] seem positively ANGELIC.
The last 20 minutes of the ride home today were filled with that. She wanted the Elmo movie on. I HAD it on. She melted down, and under the screams I just had to listen to the sound of her slapping herself in the face and banging her head back on the car seat. ??? I tell you what, it’s torture. The last month has been mother abuse, but she’s only 2, and I wouldn’t press charges anyway. But damn. I’m reaching a point where I feel like I’m stuck living in a nightmare.
The doctor on Monday said she probably has vocal cord damage [scar tissue? Polyps or something] from screaming and yelling/crying so much, so loud, for so long. Talk about breaking my heart. While we were there, we heard other kids throwing horrible fits in the other examination rooms; they sounded just like Emma. Except, they were 8 or 9 or 10 years old. It was overly sobering. I try to be positive and think that things will improve for us – maybe these things are all just a phase. But to be completely honest, the future is so vastly unknown that it’s absolutely terrifying.
The doctor also told us to try melatonin before bedtime. I guess that it has extraordinarily positive effects on children with an ASD. We bought some on our way home from Denver. I was SOOOO excited to try it! Last night was her first night, and it didn’t work. She still woke up twice. I know that may not seem like a big deal – but I was disappointed anyway. I’m very ready to begin sleeping through the night.
Today Emma even threw her fits during therapy, which has never happened before. She loves J & J so much that sessions are usually great, despite how bad of a day she’s having.
I’m also broke, heading into finals week, and had my last painting class today – none of which help with my feelings of discouragement.