That is right! It has been two whole weeks since we took a deep breathe, decided to ditch everything we were doing and started again fresh. I cannot explain the difference in EVERYTHING with Sweet M*. Oh, my goodness. Two short weeks ago we could barely make it through each day. We were so stressed out, he was doing awful and I felt like we were one small straw away from completely losing it. And, now I feel like things couldn't be better. I am enjoying our life and Sweet M* is just flourishing.
I think learning that Sweet M* is operating in a survival state was one thing that really helped us. We are learning that when we see him sort of switch into that mode we have to watch how we treat him. Before I believe the consequences and talks just looked like another threat to him and so he would tailspin deeper into insanity. He would do things that made him appear to have no conscious because his brain literally thought he needed to fight to stay alive. But by changing things up and focusing on the unconditional love, drawing him closer when he is in that mode, talking very softly and using a recognizable language (same short phrases over and over) I can now draw him out of it. I can bring him back to a state where he is fully functional. I believe this understanding has had the greatest impact. I just see him differently and I know he can feel that I love him. This does take A LOT of patience though.
The other thing is we have been paying attention more to his nutrition. We limit sugar because it can be a trigger. He gets a high from it and than crashes. We also have been watching his water intake and have been using a little sea salt on his food in hopes that it will help his body absorb more water. He takes a multivitamin and some St. John's wort in the morning (liquid I slip in his water) and HTP (tryptophan supplement) to try and get him in a good mood and to keep him in a calmer state. At night like I mentioned we are using melatonin to help him fall asleep and I also think it helps him to sleep more sound.
I also think that the patch has had an effect. It is crazy but I feel like since Thursday (when we saw the patch doctor and he started wearing his prescribed patch) when Sweet M* has been told no, or told he needed to get back in control he has been able to do it. Before at the mention of no (or any other word meaning the same) M* would dive into this mood where a tantrum was immanent or he would just tantrum the second he realized he couldn't get what he wanted when he wanted it. The patch he wears is supposed to help with focus. And, I wonder if bc he can focus on the reason behind him not getting his way if he is able to rationalize it more than before? Whatever the reason it seems to be linked to the patch bc since Thursday it is the only thing that has changed.
The patch is interesting. It is not medicine, but instead it has to do with energy frequencies. It is definitely alternative I am just trying to go natural before I jump into the meds. I have been told by many people that some of the meds for ADHD and mood disorders have side effects and bc M* has not officially been diagnosed I don't feel like we should go there... yet. Not that I do not believe in medicine. I absolutely believe that meds can help... I just don't like it when I walk into a doctor's office and after talking for two minutes they hand me a prescription and label my kid. I guess I just don't like how heavily our society relies on meds and labels... and how quick doctors are to prescribe them. If in the end Sweet M* needs meds to be his best we will look into them and give it a try.
Lastly, I should mention that this was a weekend my parents watched Sweet M* again. I really think these breaks help so much. I was worried about attachment but my parents are so good they constantly remind him how lucky he is to have such great parents and siblings. I think he believes it more when he comes back home. I also think he needs that break from all of us. It is probably hard work trying to attach to a new family. At my parents he gets away from it for a few days. He also gets a ton of one on one time with people that are not completely exhausted. And, we get to refuel... give the much needed attention to the other three to make sure we don't feel so guilty and this way when he does come home we are all glad to be together.
Here is to hoping that we have figured out something that will lead us to the path of healing. This time when we cleaned the slate and started over we went into parenting our trauma boy with full disclosure. We have lowered our expectation, we expect set backs and we have a better grasp on what it means to be in it for the long haul. Our son is worth it and I hope and pray we continue to move towards healing his hurt heart.