Sunday, December 6, 2009

Remembering the Need

Anyone who has been reading the past few weeks has picked up on the fact that Daughter is not at her most stable right now. She's in what I call cling-on mode, recognizing that it sounds like the dreaded Klingons from Star Trek. I welcome this mode about as much as I'd welcome Star Trek Klingons into my life. The youth group is going Christmas caroling this afternoon, then coming back to the church to eat supper and wrap Christmas presents. I'll stay at the church and watch over the food, in part because I'm dressed for the Blue Christmas worship service tonight, which means my clothes are not conducive to wandering around Tiny Village in cold weather.
So Daughter tells me, in her best whiny voice, that she doesn't want to go caroling, because she'll sing through her nose and mess everybody up. I tell her it's okay, she can still go caroling, she won't mess anybody up. She then says, "I want to stay at the church and help you. All I want is to be by you. That's all I ever want."
Now Daughter has no sense of personal space. So when she's in this mode, she stands right on top of me. I was working in the kitchen this afternoon, and she was in there, "helping." Our kitchen is very small, and if she's standing in the way (which is often), she doesn't have the sense to move out of the way. If I ask her to move out of the way, she doesn't hear that she's interfering with my ability to work, she hears that I don't want her near me. We get into this spiral of my frustration feeding into her anxiety which causes her to be even more of a cling-on, which increases my frustration, causing her anxiety to go up.... Well, you get the idea.
So for me, the challenge is to remember why she is acting the way she is and be patient with her. I try to find her jobs she can do that will keep her busy, near me, and out of the way. She put away clean dishes and cleared off the kitchen table while I was cooking.
She's very conflicted about the Blue Christmas service tonight. One minute she wants to sing a solo (she can sing a solo through her nose, but not go caroling and sing through her nose), and the next minute she is insisting that she can't go because it will be too hard for her. I'm hoping that once we get that behind her, she'll relax a little bit. I put her under the full spectrum light again today. But I can't tell if it's helping with her depression. She fell asleep with her head on my lap and the cats on top of her last night. Even though she had what should have been a good night's sleep, it was a challenge getting her up this morning. Tomorrow we see Psychiatrist. I'm not expecting a miracle cure, but I'm hoping she has some ideas that will help.


maeve said...

Have you looked at Heather Forbes and "Beyond Consequences"? You are the consummate 'beyond consequences' mom. I've been working on this and it works as well for me as it does for you.

Peace, as you would say.

Reverend Mom said...

I looked at it after your comment. I hadn't seen her stuff, but had figured out that fear was behind Daughter's acting out. I've been working at responding to the underlying fear when she's angry. I'll have to do some more reading. Thanks for pointing out a new resource. Personally, I'm liking cymbalta as a resource....