"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." - Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Temper, Temper

Warning: Vent and rant session dead ahead. Continue reading at your own risk.

Marissa and I have been really struggling for about the past three weeks. She is throwing almost constant temper tantrums. I'm talking running away screaming, slamming doors, throwing herself down on the floor, yelling, crying, writhing, flailing, thrashing like a crazy person. She saps all my energy and has me in tears by about 10:30 am every morning.

The most ridiculous part is she throws a temper tantrum over everything. EVERYTHING. Even the things she has asked for and I am in the process of giving to her. Example: She will ask for a cracker by saying "I want cracker, please.", which is great! Polite and everything! I get a cracker for her and as I am handing it to her, she throws her hands up, yells "NOOOOO!!!" and runs away screaming! What in the world am I supposed to do with that?

She also throws tantrums just for the sake of throwing them. Example: Yesterday she was throwing a fit because she wanted her rag (started out as a burp rag when she was younger and has turned into an attachment item). I told her I wanted her to ask nicely for it and then I would give it to her. She did, so I gave it to her. She then threw a fit (because I gave it to her??) and started flailing around, whipping her rag around in the air. She then said "I want ra....", realized she had the item she was about to demand, stopped dead in her tracks for about a second, and threw herself on the floor, crying. WHA??????

I have been feeling lately that she is here for the sole purpose of driving me insane. I think she is accomplishing her mission.

I have tried so many things: talking rationally and calmly to her; time-outs; spankings; taking toys and privileges away for a short time and giving them back when she has been tantrum free for a period of time; giving her choices when I can; ignoring the behavior; mimicking her behavior back to her. I try to be consistent but I will use different methods if one is not working. I know I probably don't handle every situation as well as I should every time, but I am at the end of my rope. It has gotten to the point that I don't enjoy my time with her anymore. This makes me very sad. She is going to have a major, life-changing surgery in less than a month and I want to cherish my girl right now. She makes it so hard.

I understand that she is trying to assert her independence and she is trying to figure out her place in this world, separate from me. I understand that she is still having some issues with communication and it is frustrating for her. I understand that it is in her nature to fight. She was born fighting for her life and she maybe still feels that is the only way she will survive. I understand that much of her behavior is typical but I do wonder if we are looking at a true medical behavior problem. I understand that she lives in a world where she has historically had very little to no control. She has been forced to do this or that, forced to comply with people poking and prodding her for the entirety of her life thus far. That is why I try to give her choices when I can. But even giving her choices sends her into a tizzy most times.

I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up. Please pray that I can endure her constant tantrums, that she will change her behavior soon and we can go back to being loving and kind to each other. I really miss my sweet girl and I want her back.


The VW's said...

OH MAN! You definitely have your hands full right now! I feel for you and I get you too! Our boys have gone through similiar stages, especially our middle 2 and it WAS NOT FUN!

I went through a period when I seriously DID NOT LIKE my 2nd born son! I told everyone this and I meant it! I still loved him, but I did not like him AT ALL!

Hopefully this will be some comfort to you....he is my sweetest child now! I think back to the way he was and I can't believe that they are the same person!

Hang in there Momma! I know it's SO HARD, but it WILL pass! It took a while for our son, but it really did get TONS better!

I'm wondering if this has to do with communication skills? Marissa probably has to work harder to communicate her wishes, desires, frustrations, needs, etc., because of her trach. Maybe she is utterly frustrated and you are the person she takes it out on? Our son, that was a terror, had a difficult time pronouncing words and went to speech for a couple of years. People had a hard time understanding him and maybe it really frustruated him too?....just thinking out loud.

Anyway, I pray that things get better for you soon! Love, Hugs and Prayers!!!

Nana and PaPa said...

Reading the comments above, my guess also is this is something that Marissa is dealing with in her own communication skills. However, like we've talked about this morning, let her doctor know how far over the top Marissa's behavior has become. She has some real prhysical challenges coming up in a month, so timing for outside help may not be right for the moment. But I know this will resolve itself...somehow...some day! It's not easy. When you can, just take care of yourself as you have...doesn't have to be LONG periods of time...just 10 or 25 minutes here or there...it's surprising when you can, to take just little short breaks, how it makes a lot of diference in your attitude and how you handle Marissa and her behavior. We love you...hang in there.
Nana (Mom) & PaPa

Nana and PaPa said...

P.S. LOL....the time to take care of yourself I meant to say 10 to 15 minutes...yea...25 minutes would be nice....but probably not very realitstic when you're on your own...lol

Kendra said...

Argh! So tough! Will be praying for your wisdom in how to proceed and for your sanity.

The VW's said...

I'm back!

I forgot to mention that our 3rd son is a VERY emotional child and it doesn't take much to put him over the edge, even to this day! I have been exasperated SO MANY times by him and have had to walk away or risk strangling him many times!

One thing I learned, just recently, was that when he is having a major meltdown, it either means he is tired or thirsty/hungry. Once I try to remedy these things, it gets a little better. I understand that with Marissa being mostly tube fed, this could be a difficult thing to remedy, but.....?

And, another thing that I figured out with him is that he does NOT want to be videoed when he is having a fit! If his fit is going out of control, I bring out the camcorder and it's like a night and day difference! He begomes Mr. Calm, as if nothing was the matter. It's crazy! I also realize that there is a 3 year age difference between my son and Marissa, but maybe this would help you too????

I am FAR from an expert on this kind of thing....I have many moments in my days when I feel like breaking down due to one of my children's behaviors, but I just wanted to share a few tips that help me a little bit.

Us Mommas need to stick together and help each other out and we also need to outsmart our little hellions! If we don't, I'm sure that our kiddos would overtake us in a second! Seriously! Mine would anyway! :)

Love ya!

DU's Place said...

My guess is that because Marissa loves you so much and knows how much you love her, she somehow thinks she can give you the hardest time and you can take it. I wish I knew how kids' heads work...or adults' for that matter. I just think that in times of adjustment, the ones who do the most and love the most sometimes get the hardest hit. I believe that she does it because she feels that she is safe with you. She doesn't want to hurt you, that's for sure. Just keep loving her! I, like many others, have gone through this with my kids. It can be tough. When you stay strong and hang in there, even though it is rally hard to do, in the end, you'll be the winner. Try to work in a break every once in awhile for yourself and take care of yourself. Marissa needs you to be as strong as you can be. Thinking of you!!

Momof5 said...

I'm just gonna come out there and help you for a few weeks......how bout it? If nothing else, we can talk over the tantrums and just ignore it. JK! Breathe sweetie. You can totally do this. I will pray for you and Riss. But I'll totally be up for a road trip too.
God bless!

Candace said...

Shew! That sounds rough! Wish I had some good advice, just sending hugs!