Friday, January 13, 2012

Angered so easily

My title is not talking about me. I have to admit that I am a very patient mom. I am generally not a patient person, but the Lord has taught me much in the area of patience being the mother of Akila. I am talking about Akila being easily angered.

Here are a few examples. Last night, she had a school concert. I went by myself as Michael had to work late and it did not sound like fun to the other kids- they are pretty burnt out right now, we all are. After the concert, Akila was walking through the theatre in front of all her middle school classmates holding my hand. I didn't think of it at first, I am so use to her grabbing my hand. We were walking through the lobby and were close to the door. Very few people were around and I said, "do you want to put your mittens on? It is cold outside." She had taken my mittens to school yesterday with my permission and was excited about them. This girl, who 10 seconds ago was holding my hand with the sweetest smile, gave me the look of satan, got very mad, and elbowed me in the ribs. She would have done more if there were not people around.

Tonight, she went to a respite provider for the weekend. Thank God, praise Jesus. We need a break. I had already helped her pack her clothing bag, and we went upstairs to put a doll bag with Barbies and dolls. When we got to her room, I asked her if she would like to take Jonathon with. Jonathon is her new doll, a boy doll, that she got for Christmas and has been playing with the most. She went nuts. Started hitting, kicking and pushing me. I asked what the problem was, and all she could say was "you". I asked her to tell me why she was angry, but she was not able to.

These two examples, happen at least 10 times a day lately. Out of the blue often. Things are going fine, and boom, she is mad over the piddliest thing. Sometimes, she gets mad because I said something like "yes mam", or call her something like "honey" which I have done forever. Sometimes, it sends her through the roof and I get a tongue lashing for being the stupidest mom ever. Often, her anger is over something that she asked me to do. That really throws me for a loop. She will do something like ask me to turn the light on, I will turn it on, and then she will yell at me. I then ask her to repeat her request, she will, and I will say isn't this what you meant? Didn't you just ask me to turn the light on? She will say yes. I will ask then why she is mad. She has no real answer, just gets more agitated and yells more, and escalates.

If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would have a child behaving like Akila, I would have told you that I would have no patience for it and that I would anger easily if a child was saying and doing some of the things she does and says to me. I am not saying I don't lose it, because boy do I ever sometimes. But for the most part, I remain fairly calm, at least for the first hour or two. That is why weekends and non-school days are rough. That is why I love Mondays and am not a big fan of non-school days. Well I am not at all a fan of them to tell you the truth. This is a 3 day weekend, and I am so thankful that she is in respite until Sunday at 1:00. The other 3 kids all have a friend sleeping over tonight, and tomorrow, we will relax.


Blessed said...

That has got to be the most frustrating part--not being able to anticipate at all when the anger will come, even doing the logical things to bring pleasure and calm and comfort and then have them bring anger in response.

Barb, is the anger something she should be able to outgrow? I mean, I know brain damage is not outgrown, and yet it seems like (from all the stories I have read over the years) that maybe puberty is the really tough part, and then once they make it through to adulthood, sometimes their brains can catch up a little bit more with the rest of their functioning. . . but for Akila, with her rare condition, does that impact her hormones at all? Do you forsee this really hard stage being something she outgrows? I completely get that no one might know--but since you are so well educated in all things FASD, I thought you might be able to shed some light for your readers like me who care immensely, but who are still learning.

Only if you feel like responding, clearly no pressure. In the meantime, I am praying for a good, stress-free weekend for you all.

Psycho Mom said...

She might be able to outgrow it, but it is unlikely and if she does, it will probably not be until around age 30. That is the magic age for some with FASD, but not everyone. You're right, it is very frustrating when you are saying something positive, or helpful, and she explodes at you. Very frustrating. I think Akila is around maybe 10% of the kids on the spectrumwho have the extreme aggression. That is my guess, that around 10% have the extreme aggression, I have not read that anywhere. Dorothy, Julie and I were trying to make a guess based on the kids we know. Puberty years are for sure the tough years for kids with FASD (and their folks!), but the teen years seem to last beyond the actual teens. Thanks for all of your support!!!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Akila is experiencing psychosis? She reminds me very much of one of my sons - the paranoia, the unpredictable rage, the physical violence, the disordered thinking. After long years, multiple hospitalizations and many, many failed med trials, we were very close to a residential placement. But we finally found some stability for him on Clozapine (in addition to other meds). It was hard to agree to give him this very powerful and highly regulated antipsychotic, but it has made a significant positive difference. He says he finally has a "quiet" head. I now wish we had tried it earlier.

Jen said...

respite is wonderful! We look at it as a necessity, not just a priviledge now and then. Having regular respite is as good for us as parents and as nesessary as meds can be for the child. I used to feel guilty going away for a few days with my husband, not no more! It's the only way we have survived this long, we need those breaks, and are so thankful for the wonderful friends we have that make it possible. Then I am thankful as well for the crazy reality that these kids can behave so well away from us (which drives me crazy at other times!)