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Stop Passive-Aggressive Bullying

StopPassiveAggressiveBullying

I am driven to talk about BULLYING because it is something that has followed me my whole life and it seems most people don’t even know that someone they care about is being bullied. So, I’m pulling together information that will help any of you that feel trapped in bullying situations or relationships.   

Most childhood bullies choose a more subtle bullying lifestyle when they grow up, but they still have the emotional immaturity of a child.  They are driven by Pride and Selfish Ambition.  The world revolves around their happiness or lack there of.  The type of bullying I want to talk about is The Passive Aggressive Bully.  This bully would never risk an outright approach for fear of exposing themselves and ruining their carefully constructed image of perfection.  They are brilliant manipulators and they are experts at orchestrating circumstances and people in their favor. When exposed they lash out and deny their mistakes and they will even lie to preserve themselves.  The most difficult kind of bully is The Passive Aggressive bully.

Hidden traits:

  1. Charming
  2. Obsessed with image
  3. Distorts truth and reality
  4. Evasive
  5. Plays the victim
  6. Self-righteous
  7. Pompous
  8. Hypocritical
  9. Two-faced
  10. Rumor-monger
  11. Passive-aggressive
  12. Pretends to care

-via www.kickbully.com

This doesn’t mean that anyone who displays these behaviors or characteristics is a bully.  It doesn’t mean that, because someone has treated you poorly, you are being bullied.  This is just a list of traits that are not visible. They are subtle and are much more devastating if unavoided.  I plan on having a series of posts dedicated to this.  I will be pulling together from many different resources to bring you a full understanding of the bully, and his or her psychological state.  I plan on sharing parts of my lifestory to give you a full understanding of how this type of bullying can affect a person and arrest their life from knowing success.

Bullies are the worst kind of sociopaths and they will fight you to social death.  Usually, yours, because most targeted victims are too weak too fight back, are victims of past abuse, the costs of fighting back are too high, or they have a strong moral obligation that prevents them from doing so.

I hope to go through these characteristics one by one and give you examples of the behaviors that manifest because of them.

I highly recommend checking out the following websites if you are a victim of this kind of bullying.

Kick Bully- Where Your Fight Begins

Bullying In The Family

Bullying: The Family Connection

This Emotional Life: Adult Bullying

Life After Adult Bullying

The Verbal Abuse Site

Books Recommended by Leading Anti-Bullying Sites:

Mean Girls Grow Up: Adult Women Who Are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and Afraid To Bees by Cheryl Dellasega PhD

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls by Rachel Simmons

Victory Over Verbal Abuse: A Healing Guide to Renewing Your Spirit and Reclaiming Your Life by Patricia Evans

To Be An Anchor in the Storm: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abuse Women by Susan Brewster

Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor’s Story by Lynn C. Tolson

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher PhD

When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You by Jan Yager

Toxic In-Laws: Loving Strategies for Protecting Your Marriage by Susan Forward

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward

Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin by Anne Katherine

Self Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem by Matthew McKay

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field Nathaniel Branden

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin Seligman

Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man: Coping with Hidden Aggression by Scott Wetzler

The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself by Beverly Engel

Passive Aggressive Bullying

Passive Aggressive Bullying


Workplace or other, it’s wrong.

http://www.kickbully.com/hidden.html

This site humorously refers to the workplace as The Mental Hospital where the patients run the show. However, it illuminates an area of BULLYING that is just as destructive as other forms.

The Passive Aggressive Bully

Please support all of us who have been brutalized by this form of bullying, by reading this article and standing up for those affected by it. It’s okay to walk away from a Passive Aggressive BULLY. Don’t encourage them by listening to them. Dont “Like” their FB posts that are Passive Aggressive. Dont “Favorite” their Passive Aggressive Tweets. Learn the difference between the genuine and ingenuine! This website helps sort out the subtleties of the Passive Aggressive Bully.

Help protect the victims, not the BULLY. If you recognize someone doing this, please step up and do what’s right. Confrontation will only cause problems and backlash, so just remove them from your life.  Help victims by supporting their defenses and boundaries.  The BULLY won’t stop their torment as long as they have people willing to tolerate them.

As far as Christians are concerned, Jesus would have never sat idly by or even encouraged this kind of BULLYING. He wouldnt and didn’t buddy-up with BULLIES. We can’t hide behind His name, call ourselves Peacemakers, and let an innocent be devastated to the point of suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or fatal suicide because of Passive Aggressive Bullying.

If you are this type of BULLY…you can stop. There’s help for people who want to stop bullying. Don’t let another minute go by where you are responsible for someone else’s pain.

Redefining “Shark Bait”

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Something happened to me and the kids on Wednesday that I wanted to wait to post about until I wasn’t angry anymore. Well, after 48 hours of reflection I can confidently say that I have every right to be angry about this situation. Angry at myself, my kids and the woman who left my child for potential road kill.

After the gym I took the kids to the library to pick up some books that I had on hold. They were running around, the 2yo was yelling and I was really embarrassed. Especially since the librarians were correcting my kids (in order to help me, them and everyone, but still it hurts a little). I was just trying to get out of there! I managed to get them calmed down and we started to walk outside even though I hadn’t put everything in bags.

There’s about a 15 yard stretch between the door and the parking lot. So I told the 5yo to hold the 2yo hand and not let go. While i’m stuffing my stuff in a shopping bag. He lets go and the 2yo starts running toward the parking lot. I stumble and the 5yo runs after the 2yo. The 2yo thinks its a game of chase and sprints for the parking lot! All this is happening in seconds!

I see that I’m not going to make it. As I’m sprinting towards the children, wetting my pants (literally from fear), I scream for a woman who is next to her car (and in front of my kids) for help!

I’m literally screaming at the top of my lungs “Grab him! HEEEELP! Please grab him! HELP PLEASE” She looks at me in the eyes as I’m tripping and peeing and near hysterics and you know what she does … TURNS HER BACK ON ME.

I couldn’t believe it. The 5yo grabbed him one millisecond before I did… 14 INCHES from the parking lot. I am not exaggerating this situation.

I was on my knees scolding my children for disobeying and trying to control my tears, voice and bladder. Finally, I stood up, children in hand and turned around and looked at this lady dead in the face and asked, “Really? You were just going to let him run in front of a car. Really????” Then I took the Lord’s precious name in vain (not my finest hour). But I felt like she needed to know who she needed to answer to, if you get my meaning.

That woman, looked completely apathetic. Dead in the eyes. Cold in the lack of emotions in her face. She gave her head a slight shake and her shoulders a gentle shrug as if to say “Its not my problem” I have seen this look on so many faces in my life and in the media and it is always as if the person relinquishes themselves from any responsibility for themselves, their behavior or for anyone else troubles.

I am absolutely livid about this and I’m having a difficult time understanding, loving and forgiving her. She was ready to let my little baby die and as this was unfolding, I truly believed that this was the last day I was going to see him. Ive never been more scared in all my life. If God hadn’t intervened I don’t know what would have happened and I’m thankful I don’t have to live that alternate reality.

I was so shut down afterwards I actually blocked it from memory until yesterday. I told Vernon about and I apologized for not telling him sooner but I had just been trying to process it. Which, meant forgetting about it for a day.

I suppose I’m sharing this here, because I’ve been in situations like this where I’ve had to grab kids for their parents. I’ve never judged them or thought that it wasn’t my problem. Whether you like it or not, we all live on this God forsaken planet together. Most moms are there to help eachother out. If you are of the mind set to quickly to judge a mom, dad, or caregiver for their child’s behavior…to the point of apathy…you need to do some serious self reflecting and ask if you really are all that you think you’re cracked up to be. Being a parent or caregiver is insanely stressful. You are responsible for another little person’s life (sometimes more than one) and it doesn’t help if everybody keeps telling you that you’re a piece of crap at it or that you’re all alone and nobody should help you.

I don’t beat my kids. I don’t verbally abuse my kids. I don’t neglect my kids. What am I doing wrong exactly? Loving them and building them up? Staying at home, nourishing their minds and bodies? Is that wrong? Theyre kids! They are going to be kids! I love how everyone tells you to keep your kids under control but the minute you consider putting them in a back pack with a leash then youre a MONSTER! I feel like I’m drowning in the hypocracy of Previous Parents.

Letting a kid get run over by a car because “it’s not your problem” should be the new definition of “shark bait”. I don’t know when I’ll be able to love and forgive this woman. Normally I can put myself in someone elses shoes and look at things from anothers perspective. There have only been a few cases (people) that being in their shoes revealed to me that there was nothing redeaming about them or at least about the decisions they made. Truly, there was nothing that I could have imagined would drive someone to ever make the kinds of decisions they made. This woman has made the elite list of those kinds of people. It wasn’t even a list until I met her, thats how short it was.

Please pray for me that I can forgive her. Please pray that I can teach my kids to obey. Please pray that they will continue to be protected by their guardian angels. And please…please… pray that I won’t pee myself again! (That was the icing on the cake.) If you’re not religious and don’t pray, your warm thoughts and wishes are still desperately needed and appreciated.

Now where did I put my drink?????

Yep. Its that time. O’Frizz:30 pm!

My second son at 7mos!

My second son at 7mos!

Yes indeed, it IS that hour of the day when my hair represents my state of mind.  I feel like I’m about to explode 😛 Pthbbbb!

I am having a very discouraging week so far. I’ve been sick with another random fever. No other symptoms. I thought it was the flu but it wasn’t. Just another FUO (Fever of Unknown Origin). Yep. It’s a real thing.

Also…

Our eldest is almost 5 now and he’s the sweetest little man. He is very caring and friendly but has been having a hard time making new friends at church. All of his friends ADORE him but I think the new kids are intimidated by his self confidence… maybe? They seem put off with how comfortable he is this new situation. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but its hard when he says the other kids wont play with him.

His potty training is halted again and we spoke to a Child Psychologist who recommended that we talk to our Pediatrician about the poop issue. I reminded her that we have been dealing with this for 18 months now and even his Dr is at a loss. Im feeling so desperate!  She was helpful and encouraging in stating that his particular disorder, Postural Ocular Disorder (a subtype of Sensory Processing Disorder), is a low incident and rare disorder so there are not a lot “how to’s” about it. Well at least I know I’m not going crazy when I spend hours on the internet to find nothing!  However, its very hard when your little guy is reaching this huge milestone of life and still cant use the potty.

She also suggested we look into sending him to Public School and having him enrolled in Special Education.  My mind immediately went back in time to when I was in school and Special Ed was for kids with mental retardation and severe physical/mental disabilities!  I tried not to freak out and reassure myself that it’s been, like, 30 years since I was 5yo and that Special Ed has probably changed.  But inside, my heart was just breaking.  I couldn’t help it.  I was thinking that his life would be over if he went to public school NOW.  All of his sweetness, self confidence and esteem would be stolen from him by the taunting children who hate all things different.  Did I mention I was kind of freaking out inside? I did. Okay.

So anyway, I’m having a discouraging week.  I’m not worried that he won’t get better.  I’m sad that its come to this.  A reevaluation of all of our plans and a change of heart towards what we desire.  It’s not bad… it’s sad.  I want to homeschool, but I’m afraid to homeschool.  Now that it may not be best for him to be homeschooled, I want to homeschool more!  weird… I know. I’m remembering all the hurtful laughs and not understanding where they came from.  I was defenseless and didn’t have anyone to teach me about socialization, but my son isn’t defenseless.  I’ve been through it all and come out stronger on the other side.  I’ve been able to see my mistakes in school (socially) and learn from them.  He’ll be so much better off than me.  I’m still freaking out and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope about the situation, but that means there’s a little bit of hope.  And God can do a lot with a little bit!

Whew! I can feel my hair starting to settle down now 😉

A New Life Makeover

Over the last several months I have gone though some ups and some downs.  Really big downs.  I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere, I wasn’t doing anything of value, and that I was bored out of my mind.  Through the help of my wonderful friends I have since been able to shake off that depression and begin to ACT.  For one thing, I needed to forget all of the insanity the world has to offer in all of its negativity.  One of my best friends told me that it really pained them to see how others has stolen my joy because that was not who I was or was created to be.  She really helped me see that I needed to repent for agreeing with those people and to forgive them.  I’ve since been freed from those painful words, looks, scoffs and other insensitivities.

Now that I wasn’t holding on to the weight those words carried, I felt that I needed to address this attitude of self worth. Having the ability to stay home and raise a family is a blessing.  Not everyone feels that way or even respects that.  But for me, it is an absolute blessing.  So why didn’t I see it that way anymore?  Why did a feel like the wife no one would want to come home to or the mom that every kid would be happy to leave? I just felt like I didn’t matter and to be honest, I wasn’t satisfied with the whole “you’re a mom, that’s your job for the next 18-25 years.”  That sounded horribly mundane to me especially since we are going to homeschool the kids.  Even with field trips, play dates and all kinds of outtings, I felt trapped.  Enslaved even!

The BOREDOM is unbelieveable.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am busy!  Really busy!  But its the repetitive mundane busy that grinds the brain down into a powdery mush.  That was the last straw.  The straw that catapulted me into a full blown depression.  Not just the blues, but a full on pajama wearing, no showering mess!  I stayed there awhile, even after that wonderful talk with my Bestie.  It was better that I didn’t have hurtful memories weighing me down but I was still bored and ungrateful.

So I did something about it!  I talked to SuperHubby about redoing our finances and finding money that we were just blowing and doing something fun and healthy with it.  We talked a lot over the last month and we are going to get a cleaning service once a month!  I actually love to clean and I think I’m good at it, but with the responsibility homeschooling (which is nonexistant at the moment) and all the others stuff that I need to do to keep healthy, cleaning is just overwhelming.  Having those extra hours will allow me to worry less about chores and focus on schooling the boys.

Next, we joined a gym!!!! Im so excited about this because I desperately need to workout and play.  So do the kids. They don’t nearly get enough exercise.  The gym has a Kids Klub with crazy fun things for them to climb on and play with!  So while I’m working out and laughing with the ladies, theyll be running themselves tired.  Which means they’ll be hungrier and actually want to eat the food I serve them 😉

I’m also planning on eliminating certain tempation food from the house and start eating healthier.  I love to bake and I hate to cook.  I really really really HATE it.  So some things need to change there.  I have found some great baking recipes for healthy eating and I’m so thankful that its cold now because that means it SOUP SEASON!  Lots of great healthy choices there 😀  So we’re on our way to a whole new life.

I wrote down a list of all things I’m expected to be: Beautiful Wife, Loving Mom, Good Friend, Perfect Teacher, Tidy Housekeeper, Healthy Chef, Potty Training Expert, Dishwasher, Launderer, Gardener, Adventure Provider, Shopping Expert, Workout Specialist, Savvy Financer.

I have found that i cannot reasonably be great at any of these! There is too many to juggle.  So I’ve taken those expectations are rewritten them to be more pracitcal and I still can’t do it all.  There are so many things that suffer especially my marriage.   So I don’t feel bad for asking for help with house or paying a little extra money to have fun getting in shape!  Life was meant to be lived humbly and with lots of fun and adventure!

 

Up To My Ears In Turds

 

 

Well the summer and early fall have been one incredible ride here and I’m so happy that those yucky months are behind us!  I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile, but I wasn’t able to bring myself to write anything of substance.  Anything I wrote would have read like a 5yo whining.  Depression has really had a hold of me and has been a terrible obstacle between me and my family.  I have been absolutely desperate to overcome it and battle it head-on every day.  The most defeating part of it all is seeing how much it hurts the kids.  Through my impatience, lack of joy, immobility, and anger I have caused them damage.  I have had to apologize every day to them and cover them with love and cuddles in hopes that I can bandage their emotional bruises.  I’ve certainly been blessed with a wonderful forgiving family and supportive friends.  Without them I would not have been able to get through this.  Thank you!

And now I want to talk about TURDS.  I want to revisit my monologue on Potty Training children with Sensory Integration Disorder/ Sensory Processing Disorder.  For six months now, we all have been put through the wringer and the most affected member is our 4yo son.  As I mentioned before in my previous posts, he has been withholding. (If you haven’t read Lets Talk About Poop Logs and Crap Mastery and The Potty Training Push, you wont have the whole story, but this post should be able to stand on its own. Though, I encourage you to read those first as they give details on the problems we are having.)  It was getting better and there were even several weeks where he was going poop all by himself.  It was looking good… then, he just decided he wasn’t going to poop anymore.  So for the last two weeks I’ve been up to ears in turds.  Turd nuggets, turd snakes, turd smears on his clothes and all over the bathroom and turd SMELL.  My precious 4yo boy SMELLS like TURDS constantly.  That’s heartbreaking for a parent.  My child smells like poop and his friends say “Somebody smells like POOOP!” or “Somebody STINKS!” or “What’s that smell?”  Don’t misunderstand me.  His friends adore him!  He is their favorite friend, in fact, because he is sweet, fun, tender, caring and loving.  Everyone loves him!  But it hurts when you think that making NEW friends will be hard especially since they might not have been taught how to be accepting, forgiving and understanding.  So… it hurts.  A LOT.

In Honor of Tanis Miller @redneckmommy , she and her daughter are always making this face LOL!

There are a lot of problems with his potty training but the biggest obstacle is ME.  Because of my own weakness and thanklessness (is that a word?…hmmm, too lazy to look it up. Dont judge me!)… because of those things, I have discouraged and confused my son.  He is behind in his communication and language developement which makes it nearly impossible for him to tell me what is going on or how he’s feeling or communicating his understanding of a concept.  I have spent a lot of time blameshifting and attacking others, mainly professionals and authors… sorry 😦 , but when it comes down to it, I’m responsible for him.  It’s my fault I haven’t done all the reading.  It’s my fault I haven’t called enough people for chatted online with the experts.  I’m not one of those moms who have literally talked to everyone they can and read everything they can get their hands on.  If you are one of those moms, I apologize for diminishing your plight through my complaints and I applaud you for being the kind of mom “I” want to be.

I had a serious meltdown on Friday.  I mean, a full-on cussing, screaming, crazy ass mom meltdown where everyone in the house was left thinking, “where’s the tranquilizer gun? I thought I put it in the coat closet after her last trip to Effed-Upville.”  The best part was we were about to add 4 more kiddos to the mix for the evening as were going to babysit for our Brother and Sister-In-Law.  I’m supposed to be creating a warm loving environment and instead I’m acting like a mad-woman running a round the house with  underwear on her head weilding a banana and sing-screaming “It’s A Small World.” Nothing says “WELCOME” like a psychotic episode.

In my panic and rage I sat down at the computer and typed in “children withholding incontinence” and there were a DOZEN articles written by Pediatricians about this very issue.  In all my searches (at least 100) I had never thought to type these three words into the search bar?!?!?!?! The answer was staring at me in the face!  I had even purchased a book months and months ago and never got around to reading it because I was just so overwhelmed.  Why was I so angry with everyone else when it was up to me to find the answer.  So…. I read the article.

My Misconception – Our son isn’t constipated because he is pooping everyday, even to the point where his poop is leaking out.

“Fecal incontinence is almost always associated with constipation. Constipation is associated with hard, large stools in the rectum which become difficult and painful to evacuate, often leading to withholding of stools. The lower colonic segment becomes gradually distended with accumulated stool. The urge to defecate becomes irregular because of a decrease in rectal sensation. A vicious cycle ensues. When the rectum becomes sufficiently distended, softer stool arriving from the more proximal colon cannot be accommodated and leaks around the bolus of hard stool. Because of the lack of sensation in the distended distal colon, this passage of soft stool (overflow) is not sensed by the child until incontinence has actually transpired.” – OMAN Medical Journal

My Super Classy Interpretation – Large turds bunch up near the butthole.  The intestine bulges, making the butthole numb. The child cant feel the urge to poop because of the numbing sensation which causes more poop to bunch up. When the butthole get stretched enough (due to the large amount of turds in the large intestine), softer slimier poop leaks around the large impacted turds and seeps out into the kids underwear/pullups.  Because their butthole is numb, they don’t know they’ve had an accident.

THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING! I can’t believe our pediatrician didn’t explain this to me.  He just kept saying he was constipated.  “But he’s pooping everyday!!!!!”, I thought to myself.  Now I know. Finally, a real answer.  The article goes on to give a solution to the problem.  NOTE: The article’s solution/program is only for children with no medical condition/illness/disease, nor for the child with abnormal psychological issues.  As our family follows this program/solution there might not be full success because of his Sensory Issues, but it will solve his constipation problem and restore confidence and trust that pooping is not supposed to be a trauma! Yay!

So we started him on a three day treatment of laxatives (Pedia-Lax Chewable Tablets), then we will give him his readjusted dose of Miralax (per doctor’s instructions), and incorporate a diligent schedule of sitting on the potty for 5 minutes everyday after breakfast.  He will eventually sit on the potty for 5 minutes, three times a day, after meals.  This will help his intestines and rectum to shrink back to normal size and regain their sensation.  It is a 6 month haul so we are tightening our suspenders, adjusting our bowties, and putting on our fezes!  If only we had a TARDIS so I could go back in time and change my approach.  Oh well, I supposed I wouldn’t be able to revisit my own timeline anyway!

Our Little Man at 2 months old, holding SuperDaddy’s hand

I have high hopes for our little man and for myself.  If I can admit my mistakes and repent to my kids, trust can be restored.  I hope the article in the OMAN Medical Journal can help other parents/caregivers out there who are feeling equally desperate.  The answers are out there, sometimes.  And it’s those “sometimes” that can change the course of a persons journey.  Good Luck this week and know that you are greatly loved!

“Duh Nuh-nuh-nuh-NUH. Since My Baby Left Me….I’ve Got The Blues.”

Hi All!  Well, the last couple of weeks have certainly been enlightening.  First, I thought I was experiencing a hangover from all of the extreme social media upkeep, but really I have a case of the blues.  I feel like my life is SO weird.  I have struggled with depression my whole life and just when I think I’ve kicked it to the curb, it comes sneaking back into my life  like an annoying fly attracted to the crap of life. SO! I’d like to share my journey.  I don’t really have that characteristic of being able to finish large ambitious goals…yet… So I’ll just break it up into an episodic adventure. You won’t be able to choose your own ending but it should be very entertaining 😉

Chapter 1: Depression

If you ever want to kill a conversation or stir up an tsunami of akward tension, just mention “depression”.  You will see ALL the faces in the little chat circle turn to awkward I’ve-got-to-put-on-a-concerned-face look and the head nodding begins.  (Sometimes it’s genuine and sometimes its akward.  You can usually tell the difference.)  It’s a word that I don’t like to use very often because there are levels of depression and I feel like that word should be reserved for the more serious ones.  I like to say that “I have the blues”, otherwise. I’ve suffered from the slightest of blues to the depression that forces you to the ground with a razor and a scream, crying out for Divine intervention.  It’s a condition that can cause you to lose instant respect among family, friends, peers, colleagues, and advisors.  If you look around, the types of personalities that run our society are not the most understanding, compassionate or merciful people.  They make great leaders and get the job done, but they don’t create a very empathetic environment, which, has aided in the formation of a negative stigma around the word “depression”.

But I don’t care!  I’m confident and unashamed in who I am and in the tools that I’ve successfully applied to overcome depression.  I have a pretty good sense of humor about it too.  I don’t mean that I think it’s funny how sad I feel at times, but I find ways to make myself laugh during those periods.  I’m not one of those people who always has to feel good at everyone elses expense.  I just don’t let myself fall into the Pit of Despair where some albino Igor has me laid up on a rack that is designed to suck the life out of me, either.  I really don’t mind how a person might judge or criticize me, or how they may undermind my troubles because I’ve accepted my burden.  There is a chemical imbalance in my brain, that needs a corporeal AND a spiritual treatment.  We all have a cross to bear and this one is mine.  I gladly carry it for Him.

I have struggled with this since the day I was born, seriously.  I cried all day, every day for months and months after i was born and nearly drove my poor mother into despair. Ever since then, I have always been a tender and melancholy person with this drive to make people laugh.  Despite what others perceive about me, I’m actually quite shy and nervous around people.  I’ve learned that there’s an art to socializing and have mastered some level of skill at it, but really I love the one-on-one talks with people and deep meaningful conversation.  Don’t get me wrong I love cracking jokes and laughing with friends until my face hurts too!  By the way, POOP is funny.  It will always make me laugh if you bring it up.  Unless you have explosive diarrhea from a questionable burrito left in your freezer that makes you wish you had installed handlebars on either side of your toilet.  If that’s you today, here’s your frowny face 😦 .

Anyway, depression.  I did something about it.  I realized it was going to kill me and I did something about it.  It has taken me over a decade of medication (on and off), therapy, prayer and support to get where I am now and I actually experience healthy joy now.  I couldn’t have done it alone and I’m really grateful for every one of my family members, friends, and even you strangers out there who keep me smiling with your fun outlook on life.  If you think you’re blog means nothing, think again.  It really really helps (even if it saves one person from a miserable day, wasn’t it worth it?)  So, thank you.

Here’s the thing I really want to get across to people.  You don’t need to feel sorry for me, or put on that akward I-don’t-know-what-to-say, or the I-really-wish-you-hadn’t-put-me-in-this-position face.  The blues are the blues and all that is required is love.  So…I’ve had the blues for a few weeks now.  I haven’t tweeted, posted, blogged or really done anything other than be with my kids and play games.  I’ll get back to all that stuff soon, but for now, I just accept that I’ve got the blues and they ARE going to go away.  I really hope, if any of you are suffering from the blues or worse, that you all know I understand and empathize with you.  You all are great men and women, even if you don’t feel like it and I appreciate you!

I hope to follow up this post with some stories from childhood to adulthood.  I suppose, it may help some of those out there to recognize it in their own lives, encourage those who do recognize it and enlighten those who can’t recognize it as being real.  I’m not an expert or anything, but I just want to put smiles on your faces if I can.  Feel free to leave me some suggestions of what you all are curious about or would like to see!

AND NOW…. KITTEN PICTURE!

If your cat just died, I’m so sorry… PUPPY PICTURE!

If your dog just died, I’m really sorry… BABY OTTER PICTURE!

If your otter just died, dude, i’m sorry, but I’m trying as hard as I can here!

Let’s Talk About Poop Logs: Our Potty Training Struggle

POSSIBLE GROSS OUT WARNING

If you’re eating right now, you might want to come back in an hour because I’m going to be graphic.  I will probably be using different words for fecal matter because first year English teaches you that the reuse of the same word is monotonous.  *side note: have you ever noticed how the word ‘monotonous’ is monotonous? Look at all of those O’s! At the most, its monotonous and at the least, it’s redundant.* Anyway, this is going to be gross.  If you have a strong stomach and choose to stick around while you eat, then be warned. This post might be a choking hazard.  Laughing and eating is not recommended.

Let the poop talk commence!

Background: My 4yo son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) with the Subtype Postural/Ocular Disorder and Self Regulation Disorder.  His language comprehension is low, also. The technical explanation is long and complicated, with lots of fancy words. I’m neither complicated nor fancy, so here’s the SuperJennie version… Part of his brain don’t work so it don’t understand what the nerves ar tellin’ it to do.  This makes his eyes funny, his hands wiggly, his senses dumb, and his sittin’ lousy.  And he don’t understand whachya sayin’. Wow. That was actually more complicated than the technical version… but the technical version isn’t as fun to read 🙂

Is it just me, or is this a freaky picture?

POTTY TIME!

So, when SuperJEM was a little over 3 we started potty training.  (JEM are his initials…yes, we knew JEM is an 80’s cartoon show about girl rockers… no, we didn’t name him after her… maybe, we thought you’d all just overlook it).  We went really easy on him and let him set the pace.  We talked to a dozen people, went to the library and got all kinds of books, made charts, got special seats, tons of candy and a big dose of courage. Things weren’t going well at the 6 month mark.  He had very little success with pee and no success with the poop. We were exhausted already!

We talked to a lot of people about it and determined he wasn’t ready so we backed off completely but then he started withholding.  Withholding is when the kid holds his poop in, which can be dangerous if it gets bad enough.  He would do everything possible to keep his poop in, even when we told him time and time again to just “let it out” in his diaper.  We gave him laxatives and he still tried to hold it in.

See how the prarie dog is peeking out of the hole? *wink wink*

Here’s where it get messy and gross.  His body would try to poop and he would try to hold it in so he’d be Prarie-Doggin’ it all day long. That’s when the log comes out of the butthole but the kid sucks it back in. *pause while you clean up the Coke Zero you just spit out over your computer screen* This meant he needed a diaper change because he’d still be a mess.  They were like Ghost Turds. Let me just describe what a ‘withholders’ crap is like.  It’s basically compacted sand. So every time you wipe their sensitive kid butts, it like using sand paper (whether your using TP or wipes). Do this 20 times a day and you’ve literally wiped off the first layer of their ass-skin.  He had open wounds like you wouldn’t believe. His pediatrician said it was the worse he’d seen but didn’t have any suggestions as to what we could do.  We had to keep him clean! So we work past the pain. I started putting him in the tub and rinsing him off in the shower up to 8 times a day.  We were REALLY EXHAUSTED NOW!

I googled Ghost Turd and this is the first image that popped up…LOL!

NOTHING motivated him.  We tried to bribe him with books, trips to the bookstore, trips to the zoo, going to the movies, big toys, little toys, quality time with us, game nights, visits with friends, we even tried a PUPPY!!!!! Nothing worked.  He literally didn’t give a crap.

Potty Training was becoming the hardest thing I ever had to do.  It was the most physically, emotionally and even spiritually challenging experience of my life.  That may sound overly dramatic to you, but when you’re baby boy is screaming his head off because his butt is an open, bloody, pussy wound, he’s literally scared sh**ful of sitting on the potty, and he still has to take a dump, you’ll realize what real drama is. I had no idea what to do and no one had anything to offer me.  I was on my own.

Me on a GOOD day.

The thing that really upset me, is that his pediatrician and Occupational Therapist were no help at all. They told me this was all do to his “disorder”.  He doesn’t have the core muscle strength to sit on the potty for long periods without getting exhausted or dizzy because of his balance issues. He’s also hypo-sensitive, which means his sense of  touch is diminished, so he cant feel the urges to push out his poop.  There are no books on potty training children specific to SPD, no articles (that I could find and believe me, i spent hours searching and emailing people), no advice… NOTHING.  Though I was alone in the area of ‘real’ information and help, I was not alone in my fear and frustration.  Many others have kids with Sensory Processing issues that are experiencing the same thing.

I love this Steam Punk Super Mom Picture
http://www.sheknows.com

HERE’S WHAT WE DID

1. We got over what other people thought about us.  We decided to do what was best for him, not what others thought we should do (because we were obviously doing something wrong Hahaha!).

2.  I prayed and prayed. I cried and cried. I prayed some more and eventually I taught myself to laugh about it.  Laughing really helps (just don’t do it in front of your kid ;), not very confidence building).

3. We took a break.  A LONG break.  We didn’t talk about potty training for about 6 months.

4. It occurred to me that since we really needed a diaper sprayer for our cloth diapering needs, we could use it as a bidet! The one that I got said it was both…  why didn’t I think of this before when my baby boys biscuits were bleeding?!  After suffering initial guilt over my obvious oversight, I just enjoyed no more booty wounds and the giggles that exploded from my 4yo’s joyful face as his bottom was sprayed with delightfully cool water.

We found a generic brand on ebay for $19.99

SERIOUSLY: if you have potty training kids. GET ONE! It’s great for spraying

them and all the poopy underwear!  WHY IS THIS NOT MENTIONED BY

PEDIATRICIANS?!  Plus it will save you hundreds of dollars on what you

would pay for disposable wipes.

All the books I mention are available on Amazon.com

5. I found ONE book that helped me understand Potty Training Kids with Sensory Processing issues.  The Potty Journey: Guide to Toilet Training Children with Special Needs, Including Autism and Related Disorders …whew, that was a mouthful. But this book really helped.  We didn’t need to do the full strict program because once we started it, JEM led the pace and we were able to follow his lead.  I highly recommend this book to every parent.  All parents! This system is good for any kid, especially one with a need for routine and structure.

6. We eventually found something that motivated him.  We still offered him a puppy, but he asked if he could go to karate instead.

7. My husband took a week’s vacation to help.  We stayed at home and he helped my son.  My son identified with him better and within a couple of days, he was actually POOPING IN THE POTTY.  *Dads, you are amazing! Without you guys, our kids would suffer.  Thank you guys for laying down your life to be a present, loving husband and father.  You all deserve more than just one day of acknowledgement.*  Thank you, SuperHubby for all your sacrifices.  I love you so much!

THE LOW DOWN

In short (LMBO…nothing about this has been short), we did whatever we needed to do.  All other ‘priorities’ took the backseat.  The house was a mess, but patience and endurance were gained and we now have a child that goes to the bathroom (most times without being asked.)  That part literally happened over night.  We started the program and after a few weeks, I heard him go into the bathroom on his own and actually poop in the potty! Once that was going well, he started peeing in the potty! He still has accidents, but he’s not withholding and he’s excited about being a big boy.

MY ENCOURAGEMENT

I wanted to write about our experience to help all of those dads and moms out there who are having a difficult time potty training their kids.  I went through a very deep depression that year.  My baby wasn’t sleeping, my toddler wasn’t pooping and I was beyond exhausted.  So if you’re struggling, please reach out to someone.  It may sound pathetic, but social media changed my life.  I was able to receive understanding and encouragement from people who empathized with us. Don’t be afraid to join online groups or get on Facebook or Twitter.  There might be a lot of Bull Doody out there, but there is also a wealth of information.  Use discretion (lots of it), be cautious, be honest.

I have made some excellent friends on Twitter. Sure, I’ve never met them and its not the kind of friendship that is intimate. But its one full of shared interests, laughter, omg’s, acceptance and encouragement.  I’m so thankful for their kindnesses.  It really got me through a dark time.

I don’t want to diminish the love and understanding from our closest friends and advisors. They are the foundation of our lives. Well, actually God is the foundation, but they are like the stones we build around us to protect us and give us peace. Thank you all so much for loving us, supporting us, and encouraging us.

JEM 1 month… I can’t believe how much he’s grown!

ITS ALL GOING TO BE OKAY, my mantra. 😉 In the end, he’s my precious little baby boy and I love him with all of my heart :’) *happy tear*

Please comment below if you have any questions.  I will try to help as much as I can.  Love to all!  I’m listing resources for Sensory Processing Disorder, for groups I’m a part of and for books/materials.

PEACE! …I don’t mean in the gangsta way, I mean, literally.  Have peace today 😉

RESOURCES

Potty Training Related:

The Potty Journey: Guide to Toilet Training Children with Special Needs, Including Autism and Related Disorders by Judith A. Coucouvanis

Scared To Poop: A Guide to Overcoming Constipation and Stool Withholding in Children by Kathleen M. Diehl (I haven’t actually read this one yet)

Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi (this is good for little kids…2yo)

It Hurts When I Poop! by Dr. Howard J. Bennett, MD (this book is awesome! and for older toddlers who withhold their poop)

Sensory Processing Disorder:

The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation (should be in your Bookmark’s Bar)

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensational Kids by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA

The Out of Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA

Tool Chest: For Teachers, Parents & Students A Handbook to Facilitate Self-Regulation (this book was written by an OT for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder and contains physical activities to help SPD kids. It’s like OT in your own home)

Groups and FaceBook Follows:

The Mother Company

https://www.facebook.com/TheMotherCompany

https://www.facebook.com/sensoryprocessingdisorder

Diaper Sprayer/ Bidet

PS… This took me five hours to type, edit and post, so please be kind.

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