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(31 Days) A Difficult Mind: Day 29, Anger

October 29, 2014

I’ve joined the 31 Day Blogging Challenge…31 Days of exploring what it means to live with a neurodiverse child. #write31days

Anger

One man may be so placed that his anger sheds the blood of thousands, and another so placed that however angry he gets he will only be laughed at. But the little mark on the soul may be much the same in both. Each has done something to himself which, unless he repents, will make it harder for him to keep out of the rage next time he is tempted, and will make the rage worse when he does fall into it. Each of them, if he seriously turns to God, can have that twist in the central man straightened out again: each is, in the long run, doomed if he will not. The bigness or smallness of the thing, seen from the outside, is not what really matters.

~CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

 

For a kid that can’t manage his emotions very well I sure have spent a lot of time talking about them this month. Loneliness, sadness, anxiety, grief, joy, selfishness.

But not Anger. We don’t talk about anger, it is impolite and inappropriate conversation. Instead we pretend like anger doesn’t really happen and we go about our business hiding it behind our beautifully decorated front doors.

Let me help, my name is Rachael and I get angry.

Anger is what happens when we feel threatened. When someone or something has crossed our stated or assumed personal boundaries without our permission, we feel angry.

Our response to anger is what matters. As Lewis indicates people either chose to retaliate through violence OR stuff it down and people judge them as foolish.

As adults many of us have learned how to appropriately deal with anger. We exercise or journal or pray. We confront our anger and work through our belief of right and wrong. We are motivated by our anger to find solutions, clarify our boundaries and even seek forgiveness. We leave most experiences of anger more committed to who we are and what we believe.

The Difficult Mind in my life does not understand anger. Anger means retaliation. In my sons mind “I’m angry” equals “I have to fight for my own justice.”

So why doesn’t the Difficult Mind understand anger? Look at our definition of anger. Anger happens when we feel threatened. The Difficult Mind has an extremely limited emotional vocabulary. The Difficult Mind does not have the words or social skills to be able to create and explain their personal boundaries to people. They can not actually tell you what does and doesn’t make them feel threatened.

Look at it another way. The Difficult Mind does not know what makes them angry, they can not connect how they feel to the environment around them.

Case and point: My daughter and son are playing Legos, she lines up three Lego figures and my son explodes.

Son: “I HATE PLAYING LEGOS WITH YOU”, throws his Legos and stomps off.

Mom: I calmly follow him and ask “What did your sister do to make you angry?”

Son: NOTHING. I just don’t like playing with her.

Mom: Did she take something you wanted or needed?

Son: No.

Mom: Did she say something that made you mad?

Son: No. She was just humming.

Mom: Why did you scream, throw your Legos and leave?

Son (through tears): I just don’t like being around my sisters. They always want to play royalty and I don’t want to play royalty. I always have to do what they want to do.

The anger and following retaliation really had nothing to do with the Legos. My son was probably having an okay time playing Legos. What was making him angry wasn’t even his sisters humming. His anger was born out of a desire to play something he wanted to play an hour earlier. By letting his initial frustration go undefined as anger, it grew and grew until it exploded.

The issue is even deeper than not getting his way. The real anger issue is that he doesn’t feel valued. He doesn’t feel like anyone wants him. He feels both alone and discarded simultaneously, yet he lacks the social knowledge and emotional language to deal with those moments as they happen.

Practically what does this mean?

We deal with a lot of retaliation. This comes in the form of violence, yelling and refusal.

We work on giving our son the language to express his anger. This is partly what therapy helps us with, developing a vocabulary of emotional language.

We struggle with consequences. Anger and then retaliation become a coping mechanism not just an act of defiance. When anger is seen as a coping mechanism consequences become harder to engage and carry through. We don’t want him to stop coping, we just want to see him be able to do it in a healthy way.

We abide in a world that requires patience, self control and most of all love. Our actions speak louder than our words. If no vocabulary exists for communication our actions are all we have left.

I chose to quote Lewis because it reminds me of what happens when we don’t engage our anger in the right way. When we chose retaliation or denial instead of reconciliation and love, anger does more than create external problems, it darkens our internal soul.

Celebrate the healthy path of anger today. Appreciate that you have a language and social understanding of anger. Commit to reconciliation and love. And if you think about it, pray for our son, his road with anger continues to be long and dark, yet we hope that love will ultimately shine through.

 

 

“Hope and sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”

There’s Rescue: We have gone from living in unexplained violence to growing an emotional vocabulary with each other. It seems like such a small thing but with each new understood emotion, love shines a little more.

There’s Not: We are far from managing the retaliation that we face every day. It can be discouraging.

Today I am thankful for the ability to understand and work through anger. I am grateful to be loved in such a way that I am able to grow through anger and not be swallowed by darkness.

 

 

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(31 Days) A Difficult Mind: Day 28, Two Faced Confession

October 28, 2014

I’ve joined the 31 Day Blogging Challenge…31 Days of exploring what it means to live with a neurodiverse child. #write31days

Hands

Confession: I lead a double life.

There are two distinct sides of my story. On one side is the hours my son and I spend together and on the other side is the time he and I aren’t together.

I love my son. This has to be understood. When I talk about my double life it can feel like I don’t love my son or I wished he was different. Neither of those things are true. While I would never want him to struggle with a Difficult mind, I don’t love him less or think of him as less of a person because he does. I love him deeply.

One of the struggles I face is feeling that I have two lives. It takes a special skill set to parent my son well. When he is around I have those tools front and center, ready to engage. Then he goes to school or church or I may go with a friend or attend a community activity and then, I don’t need those tools, so I put them away for awhile.

Think about hiking. You could hike in a local park and exert minimal effort OR you could hike Mount Everest and be risking your life. Both are hiking, one just takes more effort than the other. This is how I feel about my role as a parent, I am always parenting but one part of my parenting journey takes a lot more effort than the other.

When my son is at school or elsewhere we have a regular, good paced flow. We can come and go as needed, easily have people in and out and just be.

When my son is with me all that changes. We have to have a rigid routine, our flow is more like marching than gentle walking and every single change and outcome needs to be planned and discussed.

Rigidity is exhausting, it requires a lot of effort.

Mental Effort: Constant planning ahead is required. If A then B is an equation I constantly have to weigh out. I am always asking the question “Will it be worth the effort?” Since there are no guarantees and few predictable patterns, by the time the end of the day comes, my brain is exhausted.

Emotional Effort: Emotions are something my son does not process well. If I over react or under react it could change the whole day. The amount of self control it takes to exert almost no emotion is beyond tiring. Being the emotional constant helps our son process his own unstable emotions. Beyond tiring it can also be hurtful to my own heart if I don’t have time and space to process my feelings.

Physically Exhausting: Part of my sons Difficult Mind means he also has a difficult body. He is constantly on the go. Since he doesn’t self regulate very well this means he needs either to be engaged with someone or engaged with something. I’m thankful that he can read because this gives me a break, but when he isn’t reading, he wants to be “with” someone, doing “something”. While I love doing things with my kids, this takes engaging our kids to a whole new level, sitting can become a luxury!

So what’s the point? Life is tiring and????

The point is this, we don’t always get to be the person we want to be. One of the sacrifices I make for my son is being who he NEEDS me to be. This means I give up a little part of who I am every single day.

Living this double life means that I have grown compassionate to the plight of others. Instead of saying “if you don’t like it, change it” I now ask “is there anything you can change and if not, what can I do to make this hard thing better”.

We don’t always have the option of another path but we can always choose to find joy in the one we have.

 

“Hope and sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”

There’s Rescue: I have learned about parts of my heart and soul that I would have never explored had it not been for the way my son needs to be parented.

There’s Not: To parent my son takes so much effort, it is exhausting and it is not the way I want to function all the time.

Today I find joy in personality. I love that we are able to make choices about who we are and how we engage with one another. It is a life saving and life giving part of our humanity.

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(31Days) A Difficult Mind: Day 27, Give It Away

October 27, 2014

I’ve joined the 31 Day Blogging Challenge…31 Days of exploring what it means to live with a neurodiverse child. #write31days

 

giving

Dance on Monday, CSA Pick up on Tuesday, Church on Wednesday, Therapy on Thursday and Family Movie Night on Friday. Add in things like groceries, laundry and cooking and the schedule seems full.

It seems, especially where we live, people easily exist within their own four walls without many other connections. Managing a Difficult Mind just adds to this tendency. When leaving the house is always a challenge, why even try?

This is where I think a lot of us get it wrong, myself included. We look at our own lives and own burdens and think “well, my life is really hard, I just can’t give back.” Nonsense, sort of.

Let me be clear, there are seasons where giving back is not an option. The more high needs the child, the less there is to give away. For some, raising a high needs child is your life’s greatest calling. You know what you can and can’t do!

Let me be honest, a lot of us could do more and we just choose not to. We could bake a loaf of bread for a bake sale, we could write thank you notes to our children’s teachers, we could drop a cup of coffee off to that mom who is struggling like we are.

Giving is grows us and it grows our child with the Difficult Mind.

For the parent who is giving:

We are reminded of others. Their lives, their stories, their needs.

We are breaking routine, in a good way! Most Difficult Minds require a schedule and as the person guiding that process, it becomes tiring. Doing something for someone else is a break in routine and that is a good thing!

We learn who we are. When we give we learn how much we can and can’t do. We learn our own abilities and our own limitations. We learn to say “yes, I can do that this week” and “no, I have to take care of myself and my child this week”. In learning who we are we also begin to embrace our own story.

For the Difficult Mind who gives:

The Difficult Mind is reminded of others. This is a skill that does not come naturally to them. They may even complain about serving others. We all need to challenge our comfort zones, giving to others, even in the simplest ways, does this for them.

The Difficult Mind is interacting with a different routine, in a good way! We have to plan ahead to include my son in giving and serving. We have to spend time talking about it, going over the details, helping him feel safe and preparing for various outcomes. This is good for the Difficult Mind. If we hope for him to be an intricate part of his community we have to give him a community to be a part of. Giving is a great place to start.

The Difficult Mind learns who he is. Our son is exploring his strengths and weaknesses as he gives. He is learning his likes and dislikes. He is learning how to say “no” when he just can’t handle it and how to say “yes” without being a bully. He is creating his own story.

Giving is one of the hardest things for both the Parent and Difficult Mind to engage in. The parent is already tired and worn down, the Difficult Mind is already being challenged and stretched. It feels impossible.

My story reminds me that we were made for each other. In putting giving and serving at the bottom of our list we are cutting ourselves and our children off from potential community.  Most, if not all, of my community and support has stemmed from a place where I gave.

This giving, it doesn’t have to be extraordinary. Write a thank you note, watch a friends child for a short time, send plates and napkins to school for the next holiday party. The small things can make a huge difference, for you and someone else!

Remember grace. If you are in a season where your plate is full, let someone give to you. Let them bring you a meal or watch your child or say encouraging words over you.

Remember grace. When you are in a more manageable season, give back. That is how grace works. Grace is a gift from a full heart given to the person around you with an empty one.

 

 

“Hope and sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”

There’s Rescue: There are seasons for both myself and my son that I am able to give. To give of my time and energies is something I really enjoy and I am a different person when I am able to do it.

There’s Not: There are seasons when giving is more than I can handle, we are in one of those seasons right now. Life is very rough at the moment. In not giving as much as I wish I could I fight feelings of guilt, sadness and frustration.

Today I am thankful for small gifts and small giving.

 

Linking up with Unforced Rhythms today…

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(31 Days) A Difficult Mind: Day 26, For When It Feels Hopeless

October 26, 2014

I’ve joined the 31 Day Blogging Challenge…31 Days of exploring what it means to live with a neurodiverse child. #write31days

Homework Cut

Let’s just get really real. There are days, despite my best efforts and most earnest reflection, that I still feel hopeless.

This is the part where we don’t get rescued. This is the part where our small corner of suffering reminds us of greater suffering in the world. This is the part where the hole in our heart feels like it will swallow us up but it doesn’t.

These days. The ones where I’ve lost track of the number of meltdowns before we ever walk out the door. The ones where my son has spent endless hours alone in his room refusing to eat or communicate. The ones where I wonder if I really am cut out for this journey of parenting a difficult mind.

This wandering and exhaustion feels like a desert. Yet it is in the desert where beautiful oases exist. It was in the desert that Jesus met Evil and won. It was the desert that signifies deliverance for Israel with freedom just ahead.

There are hopeless days. They are real. It is what I do with my hopeless days that determines what happens next for me and for my son.

So this time, in this pain, I need others to hope for me…

I say yes to encouragement and prayer. I actually reached out and said “This is hard, please carry me.”

I call for back up. My mom whisks in and for 3ish hours she puts my son to work in her yard and I take a nap. I restore.

I say yes to a friend and her kids when they ask for a visit. There is nothing quite as hopeful as the laughter of children and sweet conversation of a dear friend.

I let someone else play a role. I say yes to extra hands so I can throw in the laundry, run to the store and have a few moments of quiet alone. This means I let someone else be me for a bit, one of the hardest thing for a full time mama to do, but precious in ways I can’t explain.

Hopeless days happen. That is reality. In those moments I am reminded that there is always something to hope for. Restoration, healing, peace. These things have been promised to us and they will come.

In the midst of feeling hopeless we have to relent, admit our humanity and agree to be carried and then, hen we are strong again,  it will be us doing the carrying.

 

“Hope and sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”

There’s Rescue: Not every day is hopeless. There is an eternal Rock called Hope that always remains.

There’s Not: The hopeless places are hard. It’s difficult not to go there when things get hard.

Today I am thankful for hope and those that hope and help on my behalf.

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(31 Days) A Difficult Mind: Day 25, Consequences

October 25, 2014

I’ve joined the 31 Day Blogging Challenge…31 Days of exploring what it means to live with a neurodiverse child. #write31days

Homework

 

A child throws a book. You ask them to pick it up and put it away nicely. Afterwards you discuss with them that it is okay to be frustrated but throwing things is not an appropriate way to communicate that. You may also add in some details about treating our things with respect and may have them ask for forgiveness if the book didn’t belong to them.

Teaching kids values such as respect and forgiveness isn’t easy and yes, it can be time consuming but in the end our kids learn and grow.

One of the biggest battles we have in our home is the process of consequences. The Difficult Mind is selfish. When he doesn’t ever consider his actions affecting those around him he also doesn’t care about consequences for those around him.

Additionally, the Difficult Mind is a concrete thinker, if option A isn’t available then we will take option B and if that won’t work then we will find an option C. This can go on endlessly. There are always options yet it is also overwhelming and creates anxiety for the Difficult Mind when there are too many option.

Overwhelmed yet? Yeah, me too.

So then, how do we go about education our child on how we act and how people are treated when he doesn’t respond? Find their trigger desire and work with it.

The rest of this is going to sound a whole lot like giving in and bargaining. I feel that way a lot but after being down this road for 5 years we have tried a lot of things, this is what is working for our son at this time, it could always change.

Our sons triggers are Video Game Time, Watching a Show, Legos and Star Wars. So basically depending on the day and his mood and his current particular interest we might be on the right track to the right consequence.

We are trying to achieve the following:

1. Give our son the chance to change his own behavior.

2. Remind him that rules are grace driven, not law driven.

3. Have a set guide for consequences.

4. Present rewards as an option for self control.

 

Each day we start with a clean slate. We give a direction, if our son follows we continue on, if he doesn’t he receives a warning, if after the warning he doesn’t follow through he receives a “strike”. If at the end of the day there are less than 3 strikes, our son is awarded with video game time or a show.

We enforce these rules by talking about the fruits of the spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self Control. If both we and are son are guided by this it gives us all a center to start from.

When this works, it works. When it doesn’t, I feel helpless.

This is not how I dreamed of parenting. I wanted to be able to teach and guide my child in a different way.

Life isn’t always how we want it. In seeing the world through someone else’s lens we find that we are capable of more mercy and compassion than we ever thought possible.

 

“Hope and Sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”

There’s Rescue: Right now as we try and teach boundaries and consequences we have a system that works most days.

There’s Not: When the system doesn’t work I feel hopeless, the inability to guide and direct a small child can be discouraging.

Today I’m thankful for change and the ability to learn self control.

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(31 Days) A Difficult Mind: Day 24, That “Person”

October 24, 2014

I’ve joined the 31 Day Blogging Challenge…31 Days of exploring what it means to live with a neurodiverse child. #write31days

 

People...

Humans are amazing. We have the ability to reason. Just because we can reason doesn’t always mean we do!

We can reason on our own. This is a good thing, it is how we make choices.

We also reason with other people. Talking things out with another human being brings a whole new perspective to whatever situation you are facing.

Just like the song says, everybody needs somebody.

Parents and siblings and even the Difficult Minded child himself, they all need a person. A person they are not related to. Someone who knows them well but has an outside perspective. There are so many variables with the Difficult Mind that having that outside person is what can get everyone through the day.

 

The Siblings Person

Our kids are still really young (5, 2.5, 8 months) so they don’t have a “person” quite yet. However, we try really hard, especially with our 5 year old, to encourage outside relationships. For our daughters this means there are a couple Jr. High girls that they just love. We try really hard to have those girls babysit or invite them over or just spend a few extra minutes talking to them when we are out and about.

These girls bring a little bit of normal to my girls. They love them no matter what kind of day it has been at our house. They also know them well enough to ask more personal questions and engage them in their interests.

As the siblings of our son grow we hope that they will have a close friend who will be willing to understand the hard stuff in their life and not run away from it. We also hope that each of our kids will find an adult mentor that will breathe new life and excitement into them when our home life is so hard.

 

The Difficult Minds Person

Right now the person for our son is his therapist. He trusts, admires and listens to the therapist. He knows the therapist cares for him no matter what kind of week it has been.

This thought made me both sad and a little hopeful. Since my son struggles with loneliness I am glad that right now he has a person, even if it is a therapist. I am also grateful that there are men and women who dedicate their lives to loving kids like my son. Often a therapist is the only link between my son and hope.

I do hope that as our son matures, he will find a friend or two who will accept him for who he is and be kind and compassionate enough to push him when he needs it.

 

My Person

As much as I love my husband he is not my person! In order to keep our marriage alive and healthy we each need to have someone outside our home that hears us and cares for us in the midst of this crazy life.

I feel doubly blessed because I feel like I have lots of persons. I am a part of a community of moms who are amazing. They have done everything from my dishes to emergency childcare. They aren’t scared of our kind of crazy and they often know what I need when I don’t. I would have never survived this past Wednesday if it had not been for each one of them.

The circle does get smaller as the Difficult Mind gets harder. Just like I won’t share every bit of ugly here on this blog, I don’t want to really do that in a big group either. I want my son to feel like his dignity is in tact with the adults he knows and interacts with.

There are two women in particular that are my people.

One of them has been to the depths and back with me. She has seen it all. She has been scared with me and for me. She has cried with me and held me when I cried. The beauty of what we have lies deeply in our history together.

Then there’s another mom, just like me, right where I live. Sure her child is a different age and struggles with similar but not the exact things as our family, but she knows. And she hopes. She has coffee with me and tells me her stories, she speaks the hard truth when I need to hear it. She isn’t afraid to be sad and happy or angry and forgiving all at once. It really is amazing grace to have her as a person on this journey.

We all need people. We were not created to be alone. Whatever path you are on, reach out to your person today. Tell them they are loved and cherished, they need to hear it just as much as you do.

 

“Hope and sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”

There’s Rescue: Even on this hard journey I feel amazingly loved. It is taking everything in me not to list out the many women (and some men) who support me on this road.  Community has a deep place on this hard journey and I couldn’t ask for a better one.

There’s Not: While I feel loved, I think finding a person is much harder for all my kids. Their limited understanding of what is happening in our family makes it hard. I want to pray more that they will each have a person on this journey.

Today I am thankful for friends. Acts of love, kindness and compassion have been poured out into my life without me ever saying a word. My community is its own miracle and I will be forever grateful.

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(31 Days) A Difficult Mind: Day 23, Marriage

October 23, 2014

I’ve joined the 31 Day Blogging Challenge…31 Days of exploring what it means to live with a neurodiverse child. #write31days

By Darcy Demmel

By Darcy Demmel

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… “ ~The Princess Bride

Yes, this blessed arrangement of marriage.  This dream within a dream.

That is, until the honeymoon phase ends, day to day life begins and then children. Children are a great joy and a great trial in marriage. Complicate parenting by adding in a Difficult Mind and marriage takes on a whole new look you never even imagined.

Yesterday when I was talking about siblings, that took a lot of deep breathing and faith to get through. This topic of marriage…well, let’s just say I’ve deleted this twice.

BUT, marriage is never perfect. When two imperfect people enter into a relationship there are bound to be things that are imperfect. We all have them. If you are married I’d put money on the fact that there is at least one thing you and your spouse struggle with. So, since we all have a little bit of marital imperfection happening, I feel like maybe this is a safe place to come together, be truthful and encourage something beautiful.

Some things to know about us…

  • We place a high value on our marriage. Our ultimate commitment is to God but right after that it is to each other.
  • Since we anticipate being together for more than the 18ish years our children will each live with us, marriage is a priority over our children.
  • Our marriage has ups and downs like any marriage. Our situation is not unique. Anytime you add children into your home, your marriage is affected.

I enjoy being married to my husband. Through dating and that early married life the ebb and flow of marriage seemed rhythmic and normal. It was easy to have conversations, make decisions and plan ahead together.

As our family grew by one things began to change. We were too tired to talk, had no idea what decisions needed to be made first and planning seemed impossible.

When we began to struggle in parenting my reaction was that obviously we were doing it wrong. If you want to put your spouse on edge tell them that while you appreciate them arranging their school schedule around your job and your sons needs, they are doing it all wrong.

Rookie mistake. I didn’t know any better. I was working 50+ hours a week. I had no idea what it was like to be with our son day in and day out. My husband deserved much more credit than I gave him then and even if I didn’t understand, I could have at least been respectful.

Lesson #1: Having a difficult child makes it easy to place blame on your spouse.

My husband is thankfully a very forgiving guy. When I finally was able to spend more time with our son I had to go back and apologize for all the blame I had placed on him. It was not his fault that parenting this child was hard. There was no one to point a finger at, this was just life.

When we finally were on a path that was helping our son we hit another wall. It was as if  we couldn’t see each other. We had therapy to consider and new financial obligations to meet and work and instruction that needed to happen at home. There was no “us” there was only “him”.

Lesson #2: It is easy to lose site of your priorities when every voice in our life says your child is the ONLY thing that matters.

Eventually we realized that we were living in the same house but really didn’t spend much time together. We started making date night a priority, saying yes to more time with friends and really being aware of our own actions. There were, and still are, days that I am wrapped up in helping our son, and that is okay. But now, on the other side of those long days, I have to make it a priority to make time and space to connect with my husband. Some weeks this is a lot harder than it sounds.

You would think if we were not blaming each other for our son’s difficulties and we had our priorities in the right place and we were spending time together that we would be amazing communicators and generally on the same page. Don’t place that bet in Vegas, you would lose.

When we were together we very rarely talked about our son, the help he needed, how we are feeling about it or what we were going to do to move forward. We talked about a lot of other things and that was great, but when it came time to make a decision or to choose how we were going to parent in a certain situation, for a period of time, there was a lot of conflict.

Lesson #3: You can’t ignore the hard stuff.

For a while it was easier to ignore everything that was going on. We would sit and hear what the therapist had to say every six weeks, we would nod our heads in agreement, and when we got home we would put the things into place that we heard or we thought important. And that was great, except for I was implementing half the things and my husband the other half and neither of us did any of it the same way. Instead of using our relationship to help our son, by ignoring what was difficult and forgetting the confidence we had in each other, we actually made it harder.

I’m thankful for the therapist who sat across from us and said “So, what are you guys doing to keep yourself healthy?” We couldn’t really think of anything. We were still spending time together when we could but we weren’t really talking about anything important. From that point on it was almost like we had permission. Permission to be scared about what was happening, permission to not know what the right answer was, permission to love each other anyway even if it was from a place of being exhausted.

I won’t say that we’ve mastered marriage in the midst of a difficult child. What I will say is that at least were aware, and we are trying. A few weeks ago after a significantly difficult rough patch I grabbed the junior high babysitter and took my husband out in our little town for an evening, just the two of us. We talked about baseball and work and life and kids. When it came to our difficult son we were able to share the things that were making it sad and hard for us, but we were also able to celebrate how far we’ve come and hold onto the hope that things would get better.

Sometimes, marriage isn’t about being perfect, it’s just about being better. I’m thankful for a partner that always wants to make it better.
“Hope and sorrow in it all there’s rescue and there’s not.”

There’s Rescue: We have come a very long way in parenting a difficult child together. In the most recent six months I feel like we have never been as much on the same page as we are right now. Both in marriage and in parenting.

There’s Not: We still get frustrated with one another when things are tense and difficult. Even if I don’t say it out loud, some days I still blame or have mixed up priorities. I’m always hoping for that place of better.

Today I am thankful for husband who loves enough to make me a priority and still cares enough to love our son so deeply.

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