Saturday, March 12, 2011

2 Good Days

I think we are on a little streak of Alexa letting her walls come down - ever so little.

I am hesitant to write about it, but we are seeing changes.  Subtle and real.

She is still VERY guarded, fragile, sad, pouty, hypervigilant, scared, and repressed. 

However, she is letting little bits of her true self show. And we love it!

Yesterday, our potentially 2nd good day in a row (yes this would be a 1st), was about to end with a crash and burn.

At bedtime, she wanted to fight EVERYTHING. She was tired. She was sad.  She was dysregulated.  She needed to go to bed.

I had an AHA moment - stop the craziness, let her control, and get her to bed ASAP.

Another Mom, with a RAD child (reacttive attachment disorder), explained it very well.
  •  Don't fight with her
    • (i.e., I ask do you want to shower, she says NO, I say okay)
  • Empathize with her feelings
    • (i.e., I know you must be SO cold - as she changes into PJs in our 90 degree bathroom.  She uses 'I cold' as an excuse/control tatic for everything!)
  • Do not engage with anything negative
    • (i.e., if she says something I COMPLETELY disagree with - like 'my toothbrush not wet', after I made it wet - just get it wet again)
  • Hold, Cuddle, Rock Her
    • Fortunately, she loves to cuddle and be close.  I can walk around the house carrying her, cleaning up and getting stuff done, and she feels better being close to me (of course, my back really hurts, but it is worth it).

I am learning.  She and I are slowing learning together.
At night, when she is tired and cranky, I need to THINK about MY behavior.
I need to be very mindful of all MY responses.
I need to be calm.  I need to be gentle.
I need to validate her crazy, irrational, immature, ridiculous feelings.
I need to  let 'IT' go, if at all possible.
I need to question my every thought - does this really matter?
So we went to bed, with 2 'good' days (which only means she is a little less guarded).  The 2nd day was hard.  However, I was able to actively love the brick wall of Alexa and we are starting to see very tiny cracks in her facade.
41)   'Feeling' books from the library
42)  Carpools
43)   Warm indoor pool
44)   Deep breathing
45)   Reusable brithday gift bags