The last three months have been difficult. It’s still difficult and frustrating and lately, I wake up with my pulse racing and the feeling of an anvil on my chest. Raspberry has been very challenging the past few months. When she’s in a great mood, everything’s all well and good. But when she’s in a bad or sub-par mood, she’s horribly stubborn and throws the most raging tantrums. Today, I plugged my ears because her screaming was making my head hurt and she made herself scream even louder, even more forcefully. I saw her face, red and trembling, as she screamed and my heart just broke and right there, my tears just spilled. That’s been common the past few days… the crying. I cry because I’m so frustrated by her behaviour. I suppose that’s better than being angry and then saying or doing things I regret because I’m unable to control my temper.
She often regresses into helplessness, wanting me to pull down up pants for her, or to pick something up that’s less than a foot away, wanting me to do every fucking thing for her. She wants me to hold her hand during most of the things she does. I believe that if I did everything for her, she’s the type of kid who’d get very quickly accustomed to it and wouldn’t do anything for herself. A few days ago, she had to pee and I was sitting barely a foot away from the potty but she wanted me even closer. I told her I was already very close and wasn’t going to get even closer and she threw yet another god-awful tantrum. Two days ago, there was a crazy tantrum because she wanted me to put her up on her chair for dinner because she couldn’t do it. This is the chair she’s climbed up on by herself since she was two.
The picture above? That was from today. I came home to find her curled up in a ball with her outside clothes still on (she usually takes off all her clothes when she comes home). She didn’t want to take her sweater off by herself and even after I helped her with one arm and encouraged her to pull off the other, she wouldn’t, and there ensued a very long raging tantrum. She comes up with these excuses not to do things by herself — “my arm is sore,” “I’m really tired,” “I’m tired and hungry” and so on. Sometimes, she does things out of spite. Yesterday, I asked if she wanted to put a new sheet of paper on the clipboard and she took the paper from my hand, placed it misaligned on the clipboard and said agitatedly, “no, because I’m going to do it like that.” Sometimes if we ask her to do something, like pick up her toys, she’ll run to the other side of the room and say, “no, because I’m too far.” Ohhhhh, she sure knows how to push our buttons.
The learned helplessness thing is the major issue right now. It’s the source of all the tension and conflict and frustration. I don’t understand where it’s coming from. We tried to think of an event that might’ve triggered it, but we’ve come up with nothing. The only thing I can really think of is when I had pink eye and had to sleep in the living room — the first night, she woke up, found that I wasn’t there, freaked the hell out and it took us (mostly Lucas) two hours to settle her back to sleep. And two weeks later, when she got pink eye, she slept by herself in the bedroom, woke up and freaked out that I wasn’t there, and I ended up sleeping at the foot of the bed with her for the next few nights. I can’t really explain her behaviour beyond this this.
After her massive tantrum today, Lucas and I talked. He’s frustrated that she won’t let him do anything and her behaviour makes him not want to spend time with her. We’re both at a loss as to what to do and I think we need some help. I’ve suggested on a number of occasions that perhaps we ought to talk to somebody about this, but we can’t afford to visit a child psychologist. I said that if we talked to our doctor, he might be able to recommend some available resources, but Lucas seems reluctant to do so. I hate waking up in the morning and wishing for Raspberry’s bedtime. I hate wanting to do anything else except spend time with her. I really feel like I need to talk to someone, if not someone who can help us, then just someone to so I can stop feeling this way.
Today, once she got all that emotion out, she was all right — pleasant, even — for the rest of the day. That’s usually the case. It’s like she’s got all these emotions that she doesn’t know what to do with and instead of using her words, she explodes. She’s so verbal and intelligent and yet, she can’t explain what’s happening in aggravating situations or how she feels. I’m hesitant to say it, but sometimes I wonder if her behaviour falls outside the realm of the “normal” personality or temperament spectrum. We brought this up with our doctor last summer, when we thought there might be some issues, but he assured us that as long as she wasn’t hurting herself or others, that it was okay. But really, I just want talk to someone who can help us, because we’re at our wits’ end. I hate that we can’t afford to find some help, even for a little bit, and I hate even more that mental health services aren’t covered.
I want to wake up tomorrow and not hear screaming and not have my heart racing and not wishing for evening to come. I just want to be sane tomorrow.Advertisements