Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Respite blessings

Akila has been at the crisis home for 3 weeks. It feels strange, it feels good, it feels yucky, it feels... peaceful. I like it, and I don't like it. Lots of mixed feelings as I have blogged about several times.

I'm going to focus today on the blessings of this bit of respite, the things that I want to make sure I appreciate.
  • Unlocking. We have been able to keep the safe that stores knives and scissors open and unlocked, as well as the safe I keep in the bathroom with my make up and hairbrush.
  • Sleeping. Sleeping in 1/2 hour longer on school days, and having no hassles getting the kids ready and out the door.
  • Bedtime. Can't tell you how weird it is to just put the kids to bed and be done. It doesn't take an hour or longer. And I'm not totally stressed and feeling mentally and physically exhausted when finished.
  • Leaving. I went to a Twins baseball game last night with my brother Tony, who is in town from Virginia. I just left. No drama, no big deal. Mom went out for the evening, and I didn't have to worry about what was going on at home.
  • Date night. We took Zeke on his date night last week, and didn't have to get phone calls the entire time of chaos at home, and were able to come home and talk about it without drama.
  • Hygiene. When I tell a child to take a bath or shower, they do so with very little whining. We were having major issues with getting Akila to shower.
  • Organizing. I can clean out the hall closet or some other area without worrying about her seeing me doing it, and wanting everything she sees in the closet. I can take old clothing to donate at Goodwill without hiding it from her, or old toys.
  • Outside. Kids can play outside, play with neighbor kids, and there are no issues that I have to deal with every 5 minutes.
  • Games. We have actually been able to play some games with the kids, like Monopoly- without having meltdowns and game boards overturned or ruined.
  • Thinking. My brain has been able to take a rest. I feel like it is always in hyper-speed mode, thinking ahead, trying to avoid situations/rages/issues.
  • Enjoying. I have actually been able to enjoy Akila more than ever. When we have our visits with her, she is so happy to see us, that her behavior has been excellent. There has been the sadness and whining to come home, but that is to be expected. But it has been really nice to spend time with her without the constant issues and fights. It is almost like the beginning of a relationship, when you are dating someone new.
  • Siblings. The other 3 kids, although they miss Akila and want her to come home, have been able to play like "normal" kids, without fear of being hurt, without fear of doing something that would spur Akila to hurt mom or dad, without having to hide things from her. They have for 3 weeks played nicely, with only the typical sibling issues (don't want to make it sound like there are no fights or anything like that!).
These are a few of the tiny little things that have nice the past 3 weeks. Again, don't get me wrong, I truly miss Akila. But I can also tell that this "break" has been good for all 5 of us. We have been able to let our guard down, smell the fresh air, and breathe. As hard as this break has been, it has been good. God knew we were at the end of our rope, and He gave us a much needed break.


Donut Diva said...

I'm glad you are able to see the joy in the change and hope that you will continue to have sometime to regroup you and your family.
I am ready for a little regrouping myself I tried to go to a respite day but it doesn't start until the end of october. Yikes, what a long time. Heidi

tracy said...

At our house I see this time a gift of peace and healing. I know what you mean about finally being able to enjoy the child who is away. I too have been thrilled that I am able to feel a Real sense of love that is hard to feel as you are constantly arguing, being beat up or having to protect others from the wrath.

It feels good to know those feelings toward my child are still there. I would like to continue a life long positive relationship with my son, but sadly this is only likely if he doesn't move back home.

Martinfamily4 said...

Prayers to you.... noone knows what we go through with our FAS RAD kids and they just don't get it - I get it....my husband living in the same house does not see the behaviors my daughter exhibits to my son and I. I can tell you that this past few months have been hard and I am exhausted.