I thought I was too tired to write today. But as I lie on my bed with the kiddo in the next room I realised that this would be my only outlet. My only way of coming to terms with the behaviour I have had to deal with this afternoon.
Kiddo went back to school today. He did so well! Eye contact, talking, exploring the classroom. I could not have been prouder. I was a little shocked truth be told, as this was far from the experience we had been having at home. But I didn’t question it. His 1:1 support is fabulous and it’s because of her hard work that kiddo gets to experience and enjoy school just like any other child.
I popped kiddo in the car and began the drive home. As we pulled on to the drive I glanced in my rear view mirror. The expression on his face was a little odd. As though it was far away and right here and now, both at the same time. An anxiety stirred in the pit of my stomach. A storm was brewing. Wondering if there was any way to avoid it, I took kiddo from the car and carried him over the threshold, and closed the door behind me.
The manic behaviour was almost instant. Demands, hyper movement, changes in direction, indecision about where to be and what to do. I hoped he would calm in the living room sat with me, but it was not to be. He looked up the stairs towards his room and made his intentions known. And there he took refuge from the world. In that room he was free to be who he wanted and feel what he wanted. And it wasn’t pretty.
The screaming began at a higher pitch than usual and increased in volume at an alarming rate. Then came the head banging. The determination to cause himself harm at just the age of 3 is so alarming. Destruction followed. Toys were thrown, and thrown with intent to hurt others. Wallpaper was ripped in a way I imagined my heart was ripping in two that very moment. Kiddo was lost. And I couldn’t find him. I eventually managed to calm him with my presence, but only for a moment. For then the whole cycle began again. And again. And continued for almost two hours.
As I write this he is finally quiet in his room on his own. He has allowed me to leave the arena of conflict. For I too need a time out now. My ears are battered and my body is bruised. My soul is crying whilst I look to the sky and ask what I can do. What can I do to help such a young child in so much anguish? Please? Someone let me know…
I cast my mind back to the smiles of this morning. The warm feeling I got when given his first piece of work from this term. The look of joy on his face as he navigated his way around the classroom. How can this be the same child? But I assure you it is. And he is fighting a battle none of us neurotypical adults could possibly understand.
So when you ask me how kiddo’s first day at school was, I will smile with genuine pride. “It was fantastic!” I will say, and I’ll mean every word. But should you ask me how my day was overall, you may get a different answer. My face will look sunken and tired, my eyes dry for I have no more tears left today. It’s a life of highs and lows I lead, the highs so very high.
But sometimes, the truth behind closed doors can lead you to lows lower than your heart can cope with.
I will carry a smile on my face to the outside world today. “A fabulous first day!” I will say. And I will remember that all this is worth it. In fact, it’s a compliment. A huge statement of love. That my child is able to release his anxiety and rage in my safety. That I will give him that freedom. And I’ll keep you safe kiddo. Take as long as you need. For tomorrow, we start all over again.
Thanks for reading,
4 thoughts on “The truth behind closed doors…”
He’ll find his feet. the jump from holiday to school is always hell. You did amazing. The meltdown was 2 hours, not 3. You are an amazing mama and you will get him through and if the next blog post is twice as long and double as rant-y, you will have double the sympathy and twice as much “yep… Been there…” from us. Head down, power through. Tomorrow is a new game and you and kiddo will get there. X
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Thank you that’s so kind – it’s 4am and he has been awake since midnight screaming the house down 😢🤷♀️
I have found that home is where my son, who has Asperger’s, lets out all the things he’s held in to keep himself together at school, so the school can report that he’s doing really well and those are the times that we’ve had the hardest afternoons and evenings at home. In a way I prefer that he take it out on me in our home than to let it out in public, but it’s hard work (he’s 14 now and it’s still a case of everything is ok until it’s not and revising strategies over and over at school and at home) and especially hard emotional work. Hopefully when he gets into the routine things will calm a bit, but there will always be good days/nights and bad ones and never a clue when they’re coming. Hope that’s more reassuring that you’re not alone in this than depressing!
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Thank you – it is really comforting to know I’m not alone 😔