Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cry Baby

So, we've had kind of a tough week.  Ronan's behavior has been off.  He hasn't wanted to cooperate.  That lack of cooperation plus those behaviors have turned into frustration.  That frustration carries over to me.  How I handle things can make or break the next few minutes that we're together and how the rest of the day goes.  If I handle things well, Ronan has the chance to bounce back.  I can too.  If I don't handle things well, though,...well, it won't help either one of us.  

I don't always handle things well.  Some days, I want to retreat.  I want to retreat from the situation, from the frustration, and from the thoughts that sometimes weigh me down.  When things get really, really tough, or later, when I cannot shake my own sadness or frustration, I do retreat.  I will never walk away completely, but I know that I need to take a minute, or two (or five) to stop, to walk away, and to breathe.  

That kind of retreat can be healthy.  It can work in other situations and for other people, too.  For me, when I'm trying to diffuse a situation or prevent Ronan from having a meltdown, after I have stopped, or walked away, or taken a minute, or two (or five) to breathe, I can jump back in with clearer thoughts.  I'm careful how I return because my reaction, my response, and my presence needs to be calm and collected.  Ronan, like many other children - typical and special needs - can pick up on a parents' emotions.  He needs my support, respect, and love at all times but most especially during and after he's had a massive meltdown like has happened four times this week.  

This week, with as many meltdowns and frustrating moments as both Ronan and I have had, I have not cried.  I'm not saying that I'm a big 'ol cry baby, but there are times when the only response I can offer during an overwhelming event is to break down and cry.  

That's happened when a typically birthday went terribly wrong.  

That's happened when Ronan wandered from our home one cold, winter night.  

That's happened after wondering what I'd do differently even though I know that I can't change anything from the past.    

The last few days have been less than stellar, but I didn't crumble into a ball of emotions as has happened before.  I think having our new therapists close by has helped.  I have an extra set of eyes watching.  I have an extra pair of hands helping.  I have an extra thought or two to consider that I'd never thought to consider before.  That helps when we go over what just happened and come up with a plan to prevent it next time.  

Next time.  

I'd love to not have to prevent a next time.  The next meltdown.  The next frustrating event.   The next trying situation.  The next emotional breakdown, mine not Ronan's.  

I believe that some emotional releases are healthy.  I've tried bottling up my feelings before, but that hasn't worked out very well.  Expressing emotions has helped.  If that includes crying, well, I let the tears flow freely.  I don't just feel the emotions, I can process through them.   

The cure for anything is salt water, sweat, tears or the sea. 

We happened to be by the sea when I saw that quote for the first time.  It was fitting.  I recall this quote on tough days.  I actually recall it not just on tough days but on days that I've cried tears of joy as well.  Tears can help - ones that are cried in frustration can cleanse.  Ones that are cried during moments of joy also cleanse and can usher hope, too.  

Credit: Isak Dinesen
Of course, I'd love to only cry tears of happiness and of hope.  But if I ever find myself crying tears of sadness, of frustration or even of anger, once that ugly cry is over, like I've done in the past, I'll wipe those tears from my cheeks.  

I'll stop.  

I'll walk away. 

I'll take a minute, or two (or five).
I'll breathe.  

And I'll jump back in ready to try, try again.  

xo, Cat

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