Friday, 27 January 2012
Angels, Demons & Selfish Tears
As I left Chrissy at the hospital today, her image is etched on my brain. She's screaming, nose bloodied, stark naked, on the floor of the nurses' office where she'd flung herself. Around her, nursing staff & I matter-of-factly deal with the handover. Another patient wanders by and asks me if my hair is naturally blonde. She doesn't bat an eyelid at the ruckus.
I really need the catharsis of my blog at times like this.
If last week Chrissy was an angel, this week she was a demon! The signs weren't good when she came home yesterday afternoon. The bridge of her nose is branded by an open wound. She's been attacking this area by rubbing it violently in outbursts then picking the scab for some weeks now. It had all but healed last week. Now it looks angrier than ever.
My mum was staying with me while Ian was away on business. I so hoped that she'd see Chrissy as lovely as she'd been for me last week. It wasn't to be. Chrissy's obsessions over food inevitably spilled over into a violent meltdown & off came the clothes. I don't know if it's a sensory thing or rage or what - but stripping has been occurring with many of her take-to-the-floor outbursts for years now. The impact on her life is massive, as you can imagine. Stripping effectively imprisons her as it's so socially unacceptable. You can wrestle with her to try to stop her from tearing her clothes off but it simply fuels her frenzy.
We did have some sweet times too. Chrissy pointed to the word 'mousse' on the of lid of her chocolate mousse, and said 'mouse.' Mum and I laughed and corrected her - 'look, it's got two wiggly S's' I showed her. She pointed at the lid again with a triumphant 'Chocolate mouse!' After dinner Chrissy settled down for a cuddle but her mood remained unsettled.
This morning she kept shouting in my face: 'I wanna banana in my bag!' (I kept showing it to her and letting her feel it so she knew it was there but she continued to bellow at me. I lost it, & shouted back 'shut the f up!' In an instant, I was racked with guilt. I'm so not a patient person but I try my utmost to stay calm with Chrissy as I know she can't help it. She signed & asked sweetly: 'Are you cross mummy?'
The old emotional roller-coaster kicked in again, and tears threatened, but it's hard to feel any emotion for long while Chrissy's around as she keeps me on my toes constantly. I was too busy dealing with the practicalities of getting her to focus on taking her tablets & eating her breakfast, while praying she'd stay calm enough to get into my car for the half-hour drive back to hospital.
As we were about to leave a delivery man turned up at my door and, seeing Chrissy's nose, asked her: 'How did you do that?'
'She did it to herself,' I interjected. 'She's got learning disabilities & she self-injures.' He dumped the parcel & off he went. I wonder what he thought as he drove away? What else could I have said? 'Mind your own business?'
As soon as Chrissy arrived back at the hospital she starting demanding food, just as she had when she'd arrived home. When she's in an obsessional, instant gratification mood you've just got to ride out the storm. The clothes came off and the screaming started again. I could hear her as I climbed back into my car, & felt guilty again - for sighing with relief that someone else was now dealing with it.
On the drive home, I allowed myself the luxury of a few tears. I could see no positives in what's happened to us. It was every mother's worst nightmare. A voice inside my head wailed: 'What happened to my beautiful baby?' Thank God those disturbing feelings soon evaporated. I just needed to throw myself a little pity party.
Please join the cause by joining the facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/SpecialSaturday
Following on twitter - @Specialsat and retweeting hashtag - #specialsaturday
Reading and following the Special Saturday Blog - http://specialsaturdayhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif.org/home/