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Drowning...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am drowning.  Daily my 4 year old and I are fighting/arguing/having INSANE power struggles.  I am at the absolute end of my rope today and it is barely past noon.  I know tomorrow is a new day and he will be in preschool for most of his day, but today I just. can't. cope.  I am a single parent, I have very little support around me, all of my friends have little kids and are super busy, the three sitters on my list who do not have children are not answering their phones and have not called me back, I am literally sitting here crying and my son is playing, begging me to play with him, but I just don't have anything left.  Yesterday he hit another child on the back of the head with a rock so hard, his head started bleeding.  He then ran away saying "I didn't mean to!  I didn't do anything!"  I had him go get ice for the friend's child, and bring it to him, but the mama asked us to leave.  I felt so horrible, and I am so in need of a break.  My child is just more of absolutely everything that most 4 year olds are.  He screams, tantrums, jumps, wiggles, hits others, hits himself, bounces, runs into things, throws things, flaps his arms frantically and accidentally hits other kids with his flapping, he screams instead of talking half of the time, runs everywhere, etc, etc, etc.  I am exhausted, feeling like I need to be a hermit and isolate ourselves as much as we possibly can just so that we can survive his childhood.  I skipped an invitation to the beach today because I am terrified to bring him out in public.  I want to try Feingold with him, as I am pretty much positive that he has ADHD, but I can't afford it and Feingold won't return my email inquiries.  I found the first chapter of Why Can't My Child Behave online, but I am reading conflicting info on what is safe to eat.  I want to do a food trial of eliminating all additives/preservatives/salicylates, but I am not really sure what to feed him.  I alternate between yelling at him, ignoring him, and sitting like a lump on the couch crying hysterically because I just. can't. do. this. alone.  I hate myself, as a person, as a parent, and I am so desperate.  I am drowning...

post #2 of 13

hug2.gifSorry, I don't have anything to contribute, but I wanted to give you some support.

 

You might think about posting in Nutrition and Good Eating about the diet stuff, and in Special Needs parenting about the behavior stuff (and the parents who hang out there have often done dietary changes too).

 

For today, get through it one hour at a time -- put on a movie, go to the park with a picnic, call the nicest of the  superbusy moms with small kids and cry on her shoulder for a bit.

post #3 of 13
hug2.gifhug2.gif

I just want you to know that I understand how you're feeling and I know how hard it is.
post #4 of 13

hug2.gif "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

 

You are a good person, you are a good mother. I can tell because you obviously care. You are the best mother your son could ever dream of having and nobody can do it better than you. It's okay to spend a day crying on the couch. It's okay to break down and do nothing but watch TV all day. Do whatever you need to do to preserve your relationship with your son (which means, do whatever you need to make you happy). Eat 500 chicken nuggets and watch cheesy dating movies, whatever. You will get through this and you will be fine. 

 

After you've gotten through today, though, you'll need to plan for the future. Take some preventative measures from feeling like this. Go for runs, write down all your thoughts, throw out all your junk, move to a sunny place, call on everyone who ever said hello to you, do whatever you need because you are worth it. 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

He is at a friend's house for now, and I just did all of my dishes and sorted through some mail, which makes me feel a tiny bit better.  I then proceeded to have a horrible conversation with a friend/neighbor in my parking lot who basically said that I am causing all of his behavior issues because I have tinkered with his food to figure out what is causing the problems.  Because I have talked about him having issues, and have a social worker coming to our house, it is making him *think* that he has a problem, so therefore, he is acting like he has one, when really if I would just back off and stop talking about and pretend it doesn't exist, then it will all go away.  Way to make a mama feel better....

post #6 of 13

hug2.gif  I respectfully suggest not speaking with that person again.  I sadly have no advice, but I agree with Holothuroidea - you ARE a good mama, it's so obvious that you care.

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post

He is at a friend's house for now, and I just did all of my dishes and sorted through some mail, which makes me feel a tiny bit better.  I then proceeded to have a horrible conversation with a friend/neighbor in my parking lot who basically said that I am causing all of his behavior issues because I have tinkered with his food to figure out what is causing the problems.  Because I have talked about him having issues, and have a social worker coming to our house, it is making him *think* that he has a problem, so therefore, he is acting like he has one, when really if I would just back off and stop talking about and pretend it doesn't exist, then it will all go away.  Way to make a mama feel better....


Um right, because we all know that if we just ignore the fact that our kids have issues, they'll go away, right? dizzy.gif They haven't lived your life, they don't know your son. Trust your gut!

 

post #8 of 13

Drowning sucks

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, the friend who said the insensitive things called to apologize.  I seriously sat down and cried for a good hour after talking to her the first time, and she felt terrible.  She admitted that what she had said was totally insensitive, and that all kids are different and even had some good ideas for ways I could phrase things for him.  I am trying to have him not eat salicylates for 4 days and she said I could tell him that it is "brain food" to help his brain, which is really sort of true.  It makes him feel like it is something special, rather than something wrong with him. It was nice to get an honest apology out of her without prompting.  I almost ignored her phone call, but decided to take it and I am glad I did.

 

My DS had a great time at the sitter's house, and I got some very much needed alone time.  I forget sometimes that I need alone time to recharge.  I am very much an introvert and if I don't get downtime, I start to lose my mind.  So happy that he is asleep now and I am alone downstairs.  I can't believe we made it through the day.  Lots of tears, and lots of me begging others for help, but we made it.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Hoping and praying that it gets better.

post #10 of 13
You have a long row to hoe here so I'll just say a couple of things..

-do get your son assessed at the earliest possible date.. and act on the findings.... don't get into some denial spiral

-do find breaks and support for yourself

-do try the nutrition, cleaning up the diet thing.... having less wheat helped my difficult child a lot


Hugs, mama. The kids who need our love the most are often the ones that its hardest to give it to. Make sure your son has other caring adults in his life, too.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

You have a long row to hoe here so I'll just say a couple of things..

-do get your son assessed at the earliest possible date.. and act on the findings.... don't get into some denial spiral

-do find breaks and support for yourself

-do try the nutrition, cleaning up the diet thing.... having less wheat helped my difficult child a lot


Hugs, mama. The kids who need our love the most are often the ones that its hardest to give it to. Make sure your son has other caring adults in his life, too.


Thank-you, it is such a hard job, and my own sensitivities don't help at all.  I am so sensitive to sound and chaos, which is pretty much his M.O.  I am making some phone calls first thing tomorrow morning.  I need to call the Feingold people to see about scholarship help.  I need to get him onto it asap.  I also already called a therapist and left a message.  I just can't wait months for him to get in.  He needs an assessment as soon as I possibly can. I need to get some respite care on the weekends too.  I need a break on my days off from work.  I am just losing my mind here alone.  He adores his school, and is there 5 days a week, and the teachers are the best I have ever met, hands down, but I need a bit of a break too.  I have taken gluten out of his diet as of about 2 months ago.  We do slip up here and there, but never more than a bite of something.  I know that is all it takes in some kids, but his belly aches are pretty much gone these days, and he has stopped snoring (both symptoms stopped within about 2 weeks of going gluten free).  I try my best, but can't be there at ever moment, and I am human and I forget occasionally.  Luckily, he is better about asking than I am, so that is a huge help.

 

I am definitely taking breaks for myself where I can.  I am taking Zumba twice a week, which gets some of my frustrations out.  I wish I had more exhausting exercise in my week, but twice a week is better than what I was doing (none).  I need to expand my circle of mama friends, it is just hard to make new friends when you are single and work and have an out of step child.  Exhausting. 

 

post #12 of 13

Sending hugs your way. I hope the diet changes will work for him.

 

Just so you know, I totally disagree with your neighbor but think that phrasing it more positively may help. No one feels good about having a "problem" or feeling like they are one themselves. I don't think your son is old enough to make the connection between the worker, the diet, etc. and conclude that he can act however he wants b/c his "issues" will excuse him. I will say that my sister did this exact thing when we were growing up, and it was annoying as crap. She had a minor issue that got her attention, and she blew it up into something bigger than it needed to be and then expanded. So maybe the neighbor has some experience like that and is projecting, but I think your son is a bit on the young side to be so manipulative.

 

And if you need more frustration-kicking workouts, see if you can find Jillian Michael's shred workouts. You can do them at home, and they're short so you might be able to squeeze one in while your son is otherwise occupied.

post #13 of 13

I understand- completely.  It's overwhelming, but you have to choose whether or not to allow it to overwhelm you.  This is one child, and you do have support with preschool and friends and sitters, so you really aren't alone- even though I know it feels that way some times. 

 

Honestly, it sounds like you need to create some pretty significant boundaries and repeatedly reinforce them.  You also need to stay on top of him so he CAN'T do things like throwing a rock at another child hard enough to cause bleeding.  It means- very much- helicopter parenting for now. The moment you saw him reach for the rock, he needed to be reminded to look at it and set it down gently- your hand guiding his even if he's fast and impulsive.  Please understand, that's not meant as a criticism- it's long experience with a very similar child. Age 4 was horrible for us until I decided not to be overwhelmed by it, and simply to ALWAYS be proactive. 

 

You are right- it is exhausting and ovewhelming, but it sounds like you have built the support system and are using it as you need to.  The hardest part, for me was to stop fighting it and resenting it, and simply to accept it.  To accept that going out and doing things was harder with my child than it is for other parents with their kids.  Totally unfair, but the way it worked out in my life.  Once you accept it and work with it instead of trying to fix it, it's a lot easier.  (That doesn't mean not providing supportive therapies etc, it means more that - it means learning to be ok with it and take it in stride.)

 

Your own sensitivities DO make it worse, and sadly, that's something you also have to accept and work through and learn to tolerate.  Noise and chaos are hard for me too, and it's my oldest child's constant approach to life.  She was much like your child at the same age- at least from your description and it was a HUGE issue for me- all I wanted was to hide in a closet (with soundproofing please!) to preserve my sanity and meet my own needs. Made it really hard to parent her the way she was begging for.  With her- then, and even now, she NEEDS constant 'on' parenting.  From the time she is up until she goes to sleep you Have To Be On talking, interacting, playing, listening- everything. Also, when she was four I'd only been a single parent for about a year- and you know- my being pissed off that it wasn't right that I had to do it alone didn't help much either.  It was a big ball of anger and resentment and wanting to ask why it wasn't fair.... and that got me absolutely nowhere. 

 

Get an assessment, and work on shifting away from feeling like you have to hide away to survive to needing to get out and about- while staying on top of things to meet his needs for sensory input. That trip to the beach could have given him space to run off steam, neat things to look at and a good chance to feel successful- with you  right by his side to help him remember how to behave appropriately.  I know it is hard, and I think you are doing really well to admit that you feel overwhelmed. 

 

FWIW, while my 9 yo is super-intense and we absolutely still have power struggles, she's amazing and I love watching the person she has become through the years.  She's also learned to meet my needs as I have learned to meet hers. I wouldn't have it any other way- even though when I was in your position I found myself locked in the bathroom in tears (with the front door locked so she couldn't get out of the  house in those three minutes...)  wondering why I couldn't have the kind of kid everyone else seemed to have. 

 

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