Easter Bunnies and Ranting

Sad BunnyWell, I knew what to expect so I shouldn’t have been surprised should I.  A special occasion has often become memorable for all the wrong reasons.  It’s the Easter holidays of course.  The first day drew nearer whilst my sense of dread grew exponentially.  I was terrified.  I was right to be terrified.

Being with two teens with PDA for a fortnight without a break is not your normal holiday.  A major problem being that the younger one has a really bullying and harassing form of questioning behaviour, that you simply aren’t allowed to escape from.  You start answering in good faith, but see quickly that it’s not about the questions, or even the answers, it’s about control.  So you end up hemmed in somewhere in the house, by a barrage of ranting which often escalates to screaming.  Most of the time, nothing you can do will resolve it, it goes full circle sometimes, back to the answer you gave in the first place.  Always, your answers will add fuel to the fire and bring remonstrations, complaints, accusations and often, wrath.

Children with any ASD are often emotionally immature for their age, those with PDA can also tend to fantasise a lot.  So when one of them wrote the “Easter Bunny” a note, after Easter and left it amidst a (very messy) pile of papers, so the “Easter Bunny” couldn’t have seen it even if he did make extra visits to people after the event, I then had to face ranted questions as to what this meant, why, “oh so the Easter Bunny doesn’t care about me”…ad infinitum.  Every little thing is a huge drama.  The sense of being on eggshells all-pervasive.  I’m now regretting ever having played along with the Easter Bunny (the Tooth Fairy caused big issues too) because they believe in it, but it’s so much harder to keep the dream alive, with highly analytical and critical young persons!  What was done to make things special, has turned into a nightmare.

I have suggested outings during the holiday, but they have been “too boring”.  I wonder if it’s the lack of control element, really.  Indoors, it’s controllable.  But I am trapped indoors with the very challenging behaviours as a result.  Every time there is a lull, I have on the tip of my tongue, “OK, where would you like to go then?” but then another episode starts and I end up feeling fear and massive reticence about going anywhere.  Not to mention feeling physically unwell from the episodes.  Because there have been very public meltdowns before.  I have had to stand there being thumped and screamed at by my very large child with people agog on more than one occasion.  It’s too humiliating.  It’s often too hard to try without back-up.

So right now, I am counting down the days until the end of the holidays.  School will see a witty and calm child.  I get the dark side.  And nobody would probably believe me, if I told them.  Except other parents in the same boat.  Imagine, contemplating a holiday, in a hotel room with that level and volume of behaviour with other holiday makers alongside having to endure it.  So my holiday, is school hours, when I have some brief respite.  Such as it is.  Spent so exhausted and playing catch up, it’s really a temporary ‘break in hostilities’ – just enough to keep me alive.

 

wailing woman

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“Quietly Seething PDA ~ In The Bedroom Hiding Away”

angry girl #6.jpg It’s the school holidays.  The calm after the storm.  Also the calm before the storm.  It’s not so much the meltdowns right now, there is the odd one of course.  But the violence is gone, for now.  I know what’s coming though.  A new term brings with it a massive increase in anxiety and an inability to deal with it at source, a retention that brews like volcanic lava bubbling away, awaiting a release at the first opportunity.  At home.  During this ‘break in the hostilities’, there are still nonetheless, signs of what we are building up to.

Hiding away in her bedroom, interaction on her own terms, at her own times.  In the moments she does emerge, I dread a conversation, because I know it won’t just be a conversation.  There is a simmering, seething, blob of awareness inside her, that she has to face up to life and expectations.  She doesn’t want to.  This means that when she converses with me, it’s not relaxed, it’s antagonistic and oppositional.

She will seek a confrontation, by making an issue out of something that’s not an issue.  Almost like she wants to gain an opportunity to let out some of the lava.  But why not punch her pillow instead.  Why not go for a jog.  Whereas before I was treading on eggshells, in fear of a massive explosion, now I am having to defend the status quo as best I can.  Maintain some form of parental authority and boundaries.

There is often a pattern.  Repetitive questioning for which no answer will suffice.  So each answer I give, generates a “But…x, y, z” as if to place obstacles to the answer I gave and if I answer the ‘but’, there is always another one and another.  Until she can try to goad a confrontation.  I have to know the answer that is required and if I don’t give it, a rant will ensue.  Or it will be simply because she was told to do something, get washed and dressed, or go up to bed.  Even on the days that she complies, it will not be without complaint and angst.

I feel like I can’t even laugh with her any more.  It’s silly stuff we used to laugh at, the bizarreness of life and peoples’ quirks mostly.  But how can you laugh with someone that has destroyed your trust in them, your trust in the world?  Someone who could hurt you and target you.  Someone whose anxiety was that great, that in their explosions they blamed you and simply didn’t care about how much they harmed you, their anxiety took precedence.

I never did get that saying…

hurt

She seems content to be in her bedroom.  Hiding away from the world.  Refusing all suggestions to contact schoolfriends to go out.  In her own safe little bubble.  So much so that leaving this nest for a short while, can generate such a fraught communication style.  So I know.  I know it’s there.  I know we are treading water until the holidays finish.  Snarky, snappy, disrespectful, rude and oppositional holidays.

It’s because, in the words of the gas pump attendant at the end of Terminator

~ “There’s a storm coming in…”

storm coming.jpg