We had our first appointment with our therapist yesterday, he’s seeing the same therapist that my oldest sees. After seeing him with his brother at previous appointments, our therapist said that she could see how our little one uses avoidance as a coping mechanism to tune out from the family and she’s witnessed for herself how easily agitated he gets.
This week he refused to use his book light because he was worried that his batteries were going to die. I explained to him that he had new batteries and that I had a bucket of other new batteries so we could replace them when they’re gone. But even after getting out of bed to exam the battery bucket, per his request, he still couldn’t let go of his worry and had a huge meltdown. Then the last few Sundays before church, he gets overwhelmed, begging us not to go to church because it’s too crowded there. We hear the same resistance when we want to eat lunch in a restaurant. At the pool, he’s easily angered, resulting in him screaming, “IDIOT” at his brothers before storming out of the pool and knocking over signs. Around the house, he tends to play alone and often comes across nervous, even hiding his face with his t-shirt as if he feels embarrassed when coming to talk to us. He seems uncomfortable in his own skin lately. For days he’s been moping around the house not wanting to play with his brothers saying, “I hate them, I wish they would go away forever!” He’s easily offended and assumes we’re being mean over the slightest observation about him. He also complains about being scared a lot because of “scary thoughts.” Being that he isn’t as expressive as his older brother, he isn’t willing to tell me about these scary thoughts.
As much as some of these behaviors sound the same as his brother, they seem to come from a different place. With our oldest son, some of the behaviors came from a “dark place”, I don’t know how to describe it other than that. With my youngest, it seems that he’s on high alert and experiencing overload from it. It makes him irritable, anxious, scared, overreactive and at times, explosive. It’s like his body is prepared for the worst all the time and anything can set him off, as a result, he’s emotionally exhausted.
And we’re exhausted too.