I'm at my wits end today... This is a first, for me... I just feel like I need a shoulder to lean on for a minute, and some wise words.
Some stats: Dd's 6 weeks from her 3rd b-day. She co-slept the first 18 mo and decided she liked her bed better (a crib I painted to look like an abacus) tho she still gets in bed with us for snuggling, cartoons, and nursing every morning. We gd, practice cl, we're CLWing.
I've been diagnosed with PMDD.
Ugh... it's my week. It's been an especially bad one, chemically. I can usually tell the difference between myself
and my chemically-driven responses. I do my best to walk away when I am hitting critical mass. I was on low-dose prozac for about a minute, some months back, when I was first diagnosed... (PMDD sufferers take it for the 5-10 days before their period to control the behavioral/mood-based symptoms, which really can have severe effects on relationships, etc)...too expensive and didn't feel like it was necessary enough to warrant the expense. This week, I'm questioning that decision.
Dd's had another developmental surge... complete with sleeplessness, frenetic activity (dh and I both also have been diagnosed with ADHD, we manage it very differently, and I can't help but to watch dd for ticks), explosive outbursts, 'personality-play' (this is what I call the donning-of-someone-else's-personality-to-see-what-it-feels-like, which dd has been doing a lot lately, details to follow...), and some serious (for her) acting out.
- She just, 48 hours ago, figured out how to scale and jump from the top of her crib rail... (I tried taking off the rails and letting her have a 'big girl' bed for her 2nd b-day, but she fell out so much, dh insisted we put 'em back on for awhile...)
- After a trip to the potty, she was very quiet (too quiet!) for about 3 minutes and when I peeked into her room, she had swiped dh's lotion off the counter and covered her whole naked body in thick yucky lotion that I'm allergic to and makes her get a rash... ugh... bath-time!
- She dropped a whole roll of toilet paper into the toilet and flushed it, coming to get me with a "Mom, the toilet paper is wet, now..." That was a clean-up...
- After we had a friend over for the morning, on Monday, she donned this friend's very frightening behavior and has been trying out for days... This friend is 5 and her parents are out to lunch; this kid is a textbook snap-shot of RAD, she's developmentally not even close to where a typical 5yo would be (I have provided care for her a few times, she's crazy every time, her parents have never mentioned any behavioral or chemical imbalances...) and I'm sure her experience of how WE do things is something! But I can't bear the sight of Prenna modeling this kid's facial expressions, no-boundary behavior, total lack of respect, rude, toxic baggage. She's not being asked back...
Dh is training on a new job, after closing his business, money is tight, and he's re-scheduling all kinds of things (that may or may not be pre-arranged things that were important to me
) for job interviews to find something that he will like better than the job he's training in. So he's been pretty unavailable, and I'm feeling like single parent with a room mate I rarely see... Suffice to say he's not actively engaged inparenting right now, much less available to 'spell' me in a crisis (real or chemically-driven).
I've lost my composure this week, completely, a few times... The final straw was after a lengthy scene this morning when she climbed the rail (dh was too tired to take off the rail, last night, and I didn't know how, after the first couple of times the other day...). She agreed that it's not safe, the rail keeps her safe, and climbing up could result in big hurts.
I said we practice cl... we practice
it, but still are working out the best ways to implement the environment in our home... that said, we still use a consequence/privaledge approach: certain accomplishments (like going to the bathroom on her own consistently) are celebrated with privaledges, for example by getting to chose a movie to buy, and when she wants to watch it; while certain behaviors (like throwing toys in anger) result in consequences, for example the toys are put up out of reach for the day or more, depending.
I asked her what privaledge she thought she would lose if she continued to be unsafe. She said the Diego movie. (her all-encompassing fave movie and fave privaledge...)
At nap, she climbed up and fell
out, I heard the loud thump... and I ran in and found her looking sheepish, and I snapped. I was so scared she might've hurt herself, and so frustrated... and then this blinding red rage lit me up and I could feel my face burning... I yelled. I yelled loudly "We just talked about this! You could have really hurt yourself!! It really scared mommy!!" I ran down the stairs, grabbed the movie, showed it to her and threw it in the trash saying "Do you remember this morning, what privaledge you would lose if you continued to be unsafe? YOU made this choice, dd, you CHOSE to be unsafe, and now the movie goes!" She started to cry. I was so angry and hot, I was afraid of saying (yelling) anything more, or hurting her... I picked her up, plopped her into her bed, stomped out, and slammed the door... walked into the office to think, process, calm down... I realized how awful that whole scene was... and went into her room, turned on the light, took her out of bed, tore the bed apart til I could get the damned rail off myself (which was much easier than I had thought... took about 3 minutes), and hugged her for a long time, showing her that her bed is now a big girl bed, she might roll out, but she won't be falling form 4.5 feet up, and having her practice getting in and out a few times... she clapped her hands and said, "I won't get out of bed like that anymore, mama! I'm sorry! I like my bed!" She promptly went to sleep, and I came into the office again, to pour out my guilt and get some guidence... I am fully crying.
I just called dh and told him... he said "You didn't do anything wrong, honey!" But I feel like I did... and I don't know if that's just the PMDD or if I really did drop the ball, and if I did, how do I adjust or compensate fo it?
Other suggestions for ways to deal with these overwhelming feelings of rage??
Other suggestions for CL ways to deal with my super-smart, extremely agile, articulate almost-3-yo??