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Today has been a rough day. It started with my son’s asthma flaring up. His trigger is viruses, so even simple sniffles or a runny nose can cause him to start coughing. He has third grade End of Grade Test benchmarks this week, so the last thing he needed was (1) less sleep from coughing, which exacerbates his attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms; and (2) his inhaler, which makes him even more hyper. So, the poor kid is having trouble breathing AND sitting still while taking a test that lasts for several hours.

My son’s ADHD symptoms have been particularly bad this week, causing him to do all sorts of weird and impulsive things, which is triggering to me because I feel like I cannot keep my child safe (which equates to not being able to keep my own inner child safe). I cannot keep him safe from his asthma, and I cannot keep him safe from his impulsivity.

Then, I found out that he failed the reading benchmark, which is not surprising but still upsetting. I spend 45 minutes a day walking him through his homework because he cannot read through the instructions and comprehend them at the same time. (He has accommodations at school for all of these issues.) Despite all of the hard work I am pouring into this kid, it is not enough. If he cannot improve his reading, he will not be allowed to go on to fourth grade next year.

Some other minor things triggered me as well, which I won’t go into now. I took Xanax (actually double my prescribed dosage), and it still wasn’t enough. I wound up breaking down crying at my kid’s school (where I volunteer all day on Wednesdays). No matter how hard I try, it’s not enough … and that is so triggering to the little girl inside who worked so hard to keep my inner child safe, but it wasn’t enough…

So, I am just feeling really lousy right now. I just want to shut down and not think. After I put my son to bed, I plan to exercise, watch TV, have some wine, and go to bed. I hate when I get triggered like this, but at least I am aware that I am triggered. That counts for something, right?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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