When you have a child with anxiety and sensory processing issues coupled with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, the noise is never-ending. Princess K is on what I call a three-minute loop – every three minutes she needs to have a conversation with me, see my face and talk to me in some way.
She is constantly talking, moving, asking questions, worrying about what’s happening next, and rarely does she live in the moment or just BREATHE.
My sweet baby and I struggle every single day. I love her to the moon and back. There is no question about that. But it is incredibly frustrating as a parent to know that everything is a struggle. Every single day, she and I struggle over something. Actually, I should say that we struggle over everything. It could be as big as what I made for dinner, or as small as the flavor of her toothpaste. We have changed her diet, we have added Chinese herbs to detox her body, and now have added essential oils to the mix in the hopes that there will be a magical potion that will make it all better.
I cry. A lot. And I feel like a failure as a mother most of the time. I blame myself, figuring that I did something while I was pregnant with her that caused this. Maybe it was the extreme stress that I was under, knowing that my marriage was falling apart and would probably not survive. Did my stress somehow fuse itself in to her cells and create this child that is regularly filled with what she refers to as “the bubbly feeling” she cannot control? That makes her rage and cry and scream and shake? Did I do this to her?
I spend most of my days feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. At almost six years old, I’m long past thinking that she will grow out of these tendencies. My goal now is to figure out how to manage them so her life is not filled with added difficulty and frustrations. And to keep myself out of the nut house.
Just when I am feeling my lowest, something like this happens:
I resisted every urge I had to ask her what was different about what she was feeling and instead just enjoyed it. We giggled. We had fun. It was NORMAL, which is such an awful word to use and at the same time is the only word fits. I stretched it out for as long as possible before the noise returned in her mind and body, and I lost her again.
But it gave me hope.