I am currently sitting at our new house, which is completely empty, waiting for Closet America to arrive. It is kind of weird to be here with it so quiet. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we can finally begin to move in. I have said this a million times, but I am ready to be settled. Nine months of living in a house that never felt like home has been rough. I’m so ready! I am also sitting here struggling with what to do with my youngest child. I believe I have mentioned before that due to all of her medical conditions, she has developed an anxiety disorder. She doesn’t do well with change. She really struggled with the move here, and now she is struggling with the move to the new house even though nothing is changing but the address. She will still be in the same area, same school, same cheer gym, and same everything else. It is just enough of a change, though, that it is about to send her over the edge. That, coupled with the ever-amazing daylight savings time and adding a couple of classes at her gym, has her in the worst mood possible. I am seeing her anger and irritability return, and she and I are like oil and vinegar when she gets like this. It had really gotten under control and things were better, but not this week. I am the one that she takes it all out on. I am the one that bears the brunt of it all. She claims that she hates the new house but can’t give a reason why other than she prefers our current house. It is simply that she doesn’t like change. Something about change scares her.
In an attempt to make things easier for her, we allowed her to choose new bedding for her new room as her birthday present. We are also letting her choose the color to paint her room. We were hoping this would help ease the transition, but it doesn’t seem to matter with her this week. Knowing that we were officially getting the house this week has sent her anxiety into overdrive. I wish I knew how to help her. I think it is tougher for me not only because I am the one she attacks, but because this was my job. This was what I did for a living for 17 years, and I was darn good at it. I worked with kids like her that had difficulty with change and transitions. I have worked with so many kids that have anxiety. Somehow it is different when it is your own kid. All of the tricks I have up my sleeve just don’t work with her. Maybe my delivery is different because she is my kid and I live with her day in and day out. I don’t know? I just seem to make it worse. My husband handles her much better than I do when she is like this, but I think that is because her anger is directed at me and not him. Dealing with it day in and day out wears on you, and I admit that I loose it with her more often than not. I raise my voice and then she just gives it right back to me and we get in a yelling match. It is really sad. In the moment I am just frustrated and angry too, but then afterwards I feel horrible because I let an 11 year old get to me. I would never respond to my students that way, so why is it that I do with her? I wish I knew the answer. I do think, though, that overall I have come a long way with her in the last year or two. I have really made an effort to do better, and I see an improvement in her behavior for the most part. I think that part of the improvement is due to me changing my approach with her, and the other part is that she is getting older and maturing a little bit. Then weeks like this one happen, and we take two steps backwards. I really am at a loss yet again. Being a parent is hard. Being a parent of a child with special needs is even harder. The struggle is real. You want to be able to just fix it, but you can’t. There is no easy fix. It is not like a scraped up knee that you can just put a Band-Aid over. It doesn’t work like that. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of worry, and a whole lot of prayer. I can do hard things. I may not want to, but I can. This season will pass and we will be able to move on. I know that. It is just hard in the thick of it. It is going to take some time and a whole lot of faith, but this too shall pass!