I mapped out my weekend with a large tablet and favorite pencil. The list was long, but not completely unrealistic. It got off to a good start – kids slept late, Russ made coffee, we worked on our laptops side-by-side, stopping to talk every five minutes or so. By the time the kitchen filled with children wanting breakfast, I was satisfied with what I had accomplished and felt optimistic about the rest of the day.
Then it happened. We began a rapid, downward descent into the dark place our family has come to know. Russ and I tried to slow it down, but the avalanche gained momentum. We pulled out every therapeutic tool we could think of. We talked about working the “plan” to no avail. The triggers were too big, the feelings out of control, and down we went, falling in head-over-heels disorientation, until we slammed to the bottom of the pit.
The other children felt the power of the avalanche as it went sweeping by; thankfully, Samuel was home to shield them a little. Ladybug later told us of going from room to room, checking on the younger children. She found Honeybee holding Little Man in the living room, Samuel comforting Eby in his room, and Sunshine curled up alone on a chair, so she held her.
Hours later, feeling exhausted, I put my pajamas on and curled up next to Russ. We had so many questions. What were the triggers? How could we have caught it more quickly? What do we wish we had done differently? It came to me that we had forgotten something very important – Dimples doesn’t do weekends. We’ve known it for a long time, but in the last month or two our weekends have been unusually filled with travel and activities; somehow we had managed to get through them.
Now it is Monday afternoon. Russ is at a conference in Boise, and I’m home trying to make a new plan. I’ve made phone calls to all the people who need to be in the loop. I left a lengthy voice mail for the new therapist in Couer d’Alene, asking for an appointment as soon as possible. It’s becoming increasingly clear that, for all of us to be healthy,we need to broaden our support team and establish a schedule of regular respite, whether it is for the hours after school, for a Saturday, or for a weekend – we need to set it up.
While we can’t control every challenge, we also need to eliminate every trigger we possibly can. We’re working on a plan for that as well.
I am fighting discouragement and pressing forward – but I have to admit, my heart is very heavy.
I didn’t want to write this post – it would be so easy to pretend that all is well, but from the beginning, I’ve tried to be honest about our successes and failures. You’ve rejoiced with me when we’ve made progress and you’ve sympathized when things have been tough. It’s especially hard to write because therapy went so well and we’ve been hopeful – we saw good progress and we plan to continue as soon as we can. In fact, just writing those words brings back memories of sweet moments in Nebraska. We’re on the right path — it’s just long and winding.
We sang this song in church – I’m pretty sure it was for me.
“…God is with us
He will go before
He will never leave us, He will never leave us
God is for us
He has open arms
He will never fail us, He will never fail us…”
Healing is possible and while we have no idea what this journey is going to look like, we won’t stop hoping.
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