Monday, January 7, 2008

Lost in Transitions

This morning was back to school for 2 of our kids.  Andrew was back to being a Senior at our local High School and Ben was supposed to go back to the special needs elementary school he is attending this year (next year the plan is for him to come back home).  

Well, Ben, as anyone who knows our family knows suffers from Bipolar Disorder.  Let me assure you, he is suffering...and so are we.  Ben has a very hard time with transitions.  Now, there are lots of folks out there with kids who have terrible transitioning abilities.  Most kids with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and ADHD don't really do well with transitions.  Bipolar kids (and adults) are "off the map" with their inability to handle transitions and, like Ben, become Lost in their own rage and anxiety over Transitions.  So even though we have been talking to Ben about how school was starting this week, this morning, you would have thought he has never heard of school before.

Ben just flipped out with so much anger.  He was yelling and screaming at us.  We would ask him calmly to go and collect himself because we were not yelling and screaming at him and wanted him to try and treat us with the same respect we were treating him with.  So, he would stomp off, yell, come back , yell, stomp off, yell, come back, yell (and think you get the picture).  After about 90 minutes he started calming down and I made him breakfast.  Then he said he was ready to go.  On the way to school he fell asleep in the car and I brought him home.   I got him up into bed and then something  else started him off ( a puppet show he can't attend).  So the screaming and stomping started again.  For another hour it went on.  Finally, because I knew his brain was exhausted from all the upheaval, I got him to lie down and rubbed his head and snuggle him and he was out. He slept about 3 hours.  He had already had a good nights sleep.  That nap was because his brain had a huge emotional seizure the size of Mt. St. Helen's, and desperately needed to turn off and reboot.

Well, he is awake now. He has had lunch and now wants me to play Guitar Hero 3, so I am on my way downstairs. My only hope is that this "run through" today will reduce his need to freak out tomorrow. 
This is the last year he will be able to attend this particular school (because next year is Middle School and there is NO WAY we are going to send him there).  So, for our sanity, and for Ben's exposure to transitions to things that he isn't always happy about but through which he learns he won't die without us near him 24/7, he needs to finish out this school year.  But after being away for over 2 weeks...there was really no way we thought he wouldn't completely lose it over going back.

Did I mention I really want to take a nap!



Anonymous said...

Wow, Rachel that sounds really hard. But playing guitarman 3 makes everybody feel cool and loose (hopefully!).

I do hope you can get a nap at some point.



Leonie said...

I hope you and Ben get some peace and rest, and a peaceful year.