Living With Meltdowns

Some things are just tough to write about.

I want to write about them. I know that I should.

But with some topics, I have trouble saying what I want to say.

So, bear with me on this one. I am not sure how it will go. But I think it needs to be said –

Aggressive and violent meltdowns are awful (and that might be the biggest understatement I’ve written).

They are awful.

They are exhausting.

They are emotionally painful, for my son and for our entire family.

They are so scary, for my son and for our entire family.

They create chaos and destruction that takes days to recover from.

People get hurt. Sometimes physically hurt. Always hurt on the inside.

When my son’s meltdowns first escalated, I was beside myself. I was certain it was because I had spoiled him and now he was upping the ante to get what he wanted. Not only that, but everyone else thought that too.

So, we cracked down. We took things away. We grounded. We yelled. We freaked out and melted down right along side him.

And they just got worse.

They intensified and got more and more out of control.

Living With Meltdowns

Before I go any further, I want to share a small but absolutely true list of the damage that was physically done in our home during this time frame (leading up to and immediately following diagnosis). I am sharing this list because when we were living with daily meltdowns, I thought we were the only ones. I thought my son was the only one “this bad”. I would’ve cried tears of relief if another momma shared the literal mess her life had become at the hands of her child.

So I am sharing mine today.

Living With Meltdowns

Numerous holes in walls that needed to be patched and painted again and again.

A handheld video game device thrown with force out of the back window of the car, as we drove down the road and he kicked and screamed. (I am still so grateful that no one on the other side of the street was injured. It simply fell, was flattened by a few cars, and we were out $179.00.)

TV – gone, tipped over and smashed

iPad – destroyed, piece by piece.

Every single thing in his room thrown about in a cyclone of hurt and rage and frustration, landing in a sad broken pile (see picture above)

Every poster, award, and special thing hung on the wall, torn down.

Car windshield smashed, with a broom, in our garage.

Car window smashed, with his feet, as I drove down the road.

His own body, purposefully battered and bruised.

My body, purposely battered and bruised.

His little brother, sometimes bruised, always completely terrified.

photo 1(7)

 

Meltdowns are awful.

I hate them.

I hate that they take over his mind and body and we all spin.

I hate that he feels such fear in the middle of them, and such pain once they have passed.

I hate that once one begins, we can try to diffuse it, but sometimes, it just has to run its course.

I hate that no matter how hard they are for me, they are always, always, always worse for my child. 

I hate them.

Living With Meltdowns (1)

They don’t happen as often, not by far. At one point, we had this level of meltdown at least every day, and often two or three times a day. Now, it’s only every couple of months.

The progress is a gift. We have all learned to breathe again and relax and find joy in the simple ability to function throughout the day.

And so now, when they come, we are almost surprised (it’s like a strange reminder, “Oh you’re still here? I thought you left.”).

Yesterday, my son had a meltdown.

His room was destroyed. He was incapable of logical, functional thought for a good two hours. My heart pounded, his brother grabbed his little dog and hid, and my son cried, “Momm-eeeeeeee, Momm-eeeee, Momm-eeeee,” as he rocked back and forth, over and over again. The anguish and lack of control was so clear.

All the same emotions come flooding back, and in the moment, I felt a familiar helplessness that breaks my momma heart into pieces.

And, then it was over.

A year later there is a big difference in how we react. We have learned so much, and have had a year’s worth of therapies and meds and books and websites and speaking with other families. We are more practiced, more experienced and more capable.

And, we know that we likely won’t have another one today, and tomorrow, and the next day. We can breathe. We can recover. We can clean up the mess and move on.

That’s the biggest change. When his meltdowns first escalated and became aggressive, we had no idea if they would ever lessen. In fact, we lived each day in anticipation and fear of the next meltdown.

No longer.

Top 10 Tips for Sensory Kids and Their Parents (2)

If you are a family dealing with this every day, I am so sorry. My heart hurts remembering how suffocating that feels. It can be so isolating – not leaving the house, day after day, because you never know if it’s going to be safe enough to drive somewhere. Or dropping your child off at school and then picking them up with a sense of panic, as you anticipate what will happen once you get home.

I wish someone had told me all of this. I wish someone would’ve said, “I totally understand. My son has destroyed things too. I’ve been physically harmed by one of the little people I love most in the world. I would gladly die for him, but it feels like there is nothing I can do to fix this.”

So I am saying it to you now.

You are not alone.

Meltdowns are like a dirty little secret that moms and dads and even doctors don’t really talk about. But that doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

You are not alone.


 

This post first appeared here on Not The Former Things in October of 2014.

60 thoughts on “Living With Meltdowns

  1. Shawna, once again, I want to thank you for the vulnerability that you share in your posts…Your words could truly be mine is so many ways. While my son has high-functioning autism with the hallmark being anxiety, we are still trying to understand our younger daughter’s needs, as she has an anxiety disorder diagnosis along with a sensory processing disorder (which I “blew-off” in the early years, b/c my son’s issues were so demanding). We are just now obtaining therapy for her, as the aggression and ups and downs have become more problematic as she gets older. (She is 8 years old.) Needless to say, your writing and portrayal of family life with special needs so resonates with me…It takes courage to really share all that goes on “behind closed doors.” Thank you for doing that for me and all of us mamas of special needs children.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story too! It is difficult, but I am finding there is so much blessing in hearing from other mommas that are dealing with the same thing. Praying for you and yours right this minute…
      Love,
      Shawna

  2. Thank you for your openness and honesty. I did Know as a early intervention special educator, but the pain as a parent is almost not explained with words. Knowing I am not alone is so helpful. Reminding myself of the progress is so important thank you for reminding me to stop and be thankful. Also thanks for helping us remember to let others know the pain the child lives during and after these experiences. No child wants to be that out of control or create the separation from the relationships in lives.

    1. Oh my goodness – you said that so well, Tammy. It’s true, no child wants to be out of control and separated from the people around them. I appreciate your comment and your willingness to share your experience.
      Love,
      Shawna

  3. We also had our first violent episode on Tuesday in quite awhile. The rush of memories; sadness; frustration and hopelessness is so overwhelming. And the realization of what we lived with before? Wow!

    And I want to share a funny story. My son and I were sitting in the car waiting for our dinner at an old-style drive up burger restaurant. He had just moved into the front seat where he was sitting there playing with an umbrella. You know – the small umbrella’s where you push the button and the umbrella shoots out and opens. He pushes the button, it shoots forward and shattered the windshield of the car.

    I lost it – because all I could see was the cost and the hassle of YET ANOTHER THING that he damages. Good news is – my losing lasted all of about 10 seconds until I saw the look on his face. This was not a meltdown, this was simply an accident. The look on his face was so funny, I just burst out laughing. It ended up being such a learning moment for him. He got to see what the damage looks like in the moment, but also had the control to experience the resolution.

    Who knew it took letter pressure to shatter your windshield from the inside?

    Your posts are wonderful. My heart breaks for you and as I have been told again and again – “It gets better”. It really does.

    1. I love your story! I guess that’s good news if we are every trapped on the inside of a car. 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your story and for your kind words.
      I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to know there are other moms who totally understand.
      Love,
      Shawna

    1. Thank you for being so encouraging and kind. I was actually a little nervous about hitting that publish button on this one, but seeing how great everyone has been (including you) affirms that it needed to be said.
      Love,
      Shawna

  4. What was your son diagnosed with?

    My almost 3 year pls has been doing this daily, multiple times for over a year. My anxiety is thru the roof. He is otherwise the sweetest thing and love him more than anything.

    1. Someone posted on our FB page a while back that many of us have a form of PTSD from dealing with this type of meltdown all the time. Your anxiety is a reflection of that I think.
      My son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism, Anxiety Disorder (which I am learning has a lot more to do with these meltdowns than I first imagined). He also has severe Sensory Processing Disorder.

      Praying for your momma heart and your little one this morning.
      Love,
      Shawna

      1. It’s funny you mention the PTSD thing. When ods was a baby I tried so many different things to calm him down that the sound of the bouncy seat and swing for my yds makes me want to cry and gives me small anxiety attacks. I actually disassembled the swing because I could not stand to look at it nor hear the music it plays. I feel like such a failure to him especially since he is my first. My second is the definition of polar opposite. I actually had to ask the doctor if he was okay because he doesn’t cry or fuss and wakes up happy and smiles all of the time. She said yes its normal to have a happy baby. I just feel like I need to suck-it-up and deal with the behavior. I don’t know if this is normal 3 year old behavior or if it it something I should explore more?

        It is good to hear I’m not alone. I just want to be the best parent for my son and be able to give him everything he needs. It tears our family apart at times.

  5. You are definitely not alone! Your first picture could have been our house on my daughter’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. I left this message on your FB post, but I’ll say it again here…you have my total support and sympathetic understanding. My 16 yo daughter with (cured) Brain cancer, TBI , Autism, and epilepsy has violent and aggressive outbursts too. You’re son’s meltdowns are NOT your fault! It is NOT because of poor parenting no matter how much someone may like to convince you of that. Most people, even doctors can not comprehend this stuff.

    1. Thank you so, so much Sylvia. It is so good to hear another mom, who has an older child and has gone through so much, say it so simply – IT IS NOT OUR FAULT. (Saying it again for all the other mommas!)
      I am grateful for your encouragement this morning. Praying for you and your girl.
      Love,
      Shawna

  6. Exactly our family, but not quite as destructive. Just reading this, all the anxiety, fear, frustration & deep-deep sorrow leap to the surface. We don’t experience these meltdowns as often as in the past 2 years (thanks to meds & a new school setting) but they still happen. The extra scary part for us is she would/can get stuck in a meltdown for days, waking up in the same ugly, destructive, hateful place as the night before. Our story includes many-many hospitalizations, a cabinet full of “well, those didn’t work” meds & lots and lots of money. Since the meltdowns have slowed down, the rest of our household is now processing the past few years. We thankfully don’t have any permanent physical scars (yet??) but the emotional heart wounds are tender & deep. Our family motto: never give up.

    1. Never give up.
      I have tears in my eyes reading your comment. Your story is so familiar and I really appreciate your sharing it to encourage me and others. Thank you! Praying for you and your girl right this minute.
      Love,
      Shawna

  7. You are a very very brave women, that you share this so honestly. It is a deep deep pain to live with a child who is melting down and it is SO embarrassing to let other know about it, and very tough to live with the fear that they one day will found out…. what is going on in our family.
    thanks for sharing, may you and your household be blessed SO much back for the way you support and encoure a lot of other suffering familys.
    You are a hero.
    Love from Dorthe

    1. Dorthe, no matter what – you are an amazing source of encouragement and blessing for me (and I am sure other momma’s reading this blog!). Thank you, thank you, thank you.
      Love,
      Shawna

  8. Thank for sharing!! My 7 year old is diagnosed ADHD with aggressive tendency and has these type of meltdowns at least twice a week. It truely helps to know you are not alone!! Praying for all the mama’s and little ones that have to live with these!

    1. Amen, Kris. Thank you for sharing. I really believed at one point, that we were alone in this. Clearly that is not the case. Praying for you and your little one this morning.
      Love,
      Shawna

  9. Yes, thanks for putting this into words and sharing it. The worst part for us is when our precious one hurts himself, self harm is so destructive mentally, physically and emotionally for all. Thank you so much. Oma Linda

    1. It is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to deal with. I am grateful that so many moms have been so supportive of my sharing something so personal.
      Thank you!
      Love,
      Shawna

  10. I am glad you shared your story. So many families live with this day in and day out. Siblings of special needs children get frustrated and angry, and parents feel utterly reponsible for everything. Kids don’t want to lose control, kids don’t want to act this way, I know this first hand. It took many years of seeing Dr’s and talking to psychologists until we realized the struggle our children were going through. My Oldest is now 16, she’s doing amazingly well, bright, has many friends, is active with sports, and volunteering. I never thought we would be here with her. I thought we would be dealing with mental health issues, not having her in school, not having friends, it was rough all those early years. When shopping with her just for a 20 minutes grocery trip would turn into a 4 hour long meltdown, ending only when she was ready to let me rock her and she would pass out. I remember crying daily, being jealous of other families going to the Fair, or shopping, or any where and watching them as their happy kids walked to the car, as our daughter was screaming kicking and hurting us and herself from being over stimulated and not being able to process these feelings. My son who is now 8, has a different diagnoses, and different issues, and his meltdowns are different, but they are still there. We have an A typical child in the middle who is 12, amazingly strong, nuturing, caring, and so selfless. She is like a mom, she is the buffer for her brother, a playmate and an amazing child. She is becoming a teen, and
    she has her moments, but life does get better. If you know when to pick your battles, and give them structure, and teach your kids to know right from wrong, and your there with them daily, it does get better.
    Hang in there and have faith. Outlets like this page help 🙂 To know your not alone.
    Hugs to every family dealing with meltdowns <3

  11. Your post reminded me of how glad I am that we decided not to have any more children after our son’s diagnosis. I cannot imagine having a younger sibling being abused like that. My older son has been subjected to enough from his younger brother. My older son has been taking self-defense classes for a couple of years and he has learned some good defensive moves so that helps.

    Things got a bit better, but now they are starting to get bad again.

    As for patching up his room several times, I pretty much gave up on that. He’ll just live with it until we decide to sell the house.

    1. It can be very difficult. I understand your concerns, and I have to also say, my youngest adores his brother. I pray that God will use this experience to help both of them be more compassionate, loving men.
      Thank you for your comments and for sharing your very real, and very tough experience. You are not alone.
      Love,
      Shawna

  12. I am a kindergarten teacher and have a little guy in my class this year that has big meltdowns. I knew before he came in that attention was a big challenge, but had not been prepared at all for the anger. It has been such a challenge in so many ways. The first month, I would spend the first couple of hours trying to find suggestions on how to help with the latest. It has been very hard to find good resources for a teacher: he has several characteristics of sensory disorders, but doesn’t “fit it”. He has been diagnosed ADHD and on medication. This has helped calm him, but suggested strategies don’t work. He has several characteristics that fit under “the spectrum,” but again, not really.
    In many ways I could relate to your pain. This little guy really has so much to offer, but we have yet to figure out any triggers. We love the good days and are blessed the meltdowns have lessened, but the fear is still there daily.
    Thank you for sharing. It was reassuring to know that my feelings are normal too

    1. I found out with my son, who was very verbal (diagnosed as bipolar with anxiety) -to just ask him what triggered him, even as young as age 3. Some kids can be very perceptive and it’s worth a try. This is harder with non-verbal kids, for sure. My son hated clothing that itched or had tags, bunched up at the knees when he sat (esp. jeans). I had to do errands before picking him up at daycare vs getting him first because changing gears (in and out of stores at the end of his day) caused frequent meltdowns (and many abandoned shopping carts in the middle of the store). He’s 23 now and needs no more meds and treatment at this point. He is still high-maintenance as far as talking, though. I don’t mind that at all, considering the options.

    2. I am sure I speak for many parents when I say thank you for your care and love for this little guy. It matter so much more than you can possibly know – to us and to our kids!
      Love,
      Shawna

  13. I cried reading this. This has been life for me for the past two years. My four year old is often angry, agressive and easily frustrated. He has explosive episodes and I feel so helpless. We have him in OT and therapy. Some days feel a little better. But the anxiety is overwhelming, especially when we see family or go to places with other kids. Everyone we know has simple solutions and it doesn’t occur to them that we have an still are doing all we can. My husband and I also go to therapists. This is not how I pictured family life. I feel sad and heartbroken for my son. I’m glad that these episodes are fewer for you. But I’m sure even if you were down to one a year, the intensity still triggers all those old feelings. Thank you for sharing!

  14. I’ve never found a family dealing with this in person, and this is the first time online. We’ve dealt with this since my daughter was 18 months old. It started as vicious attacks and progressed throughout the years. When she was barely nine, she was diagnosed: bipolar disorder. She’s almost 19 now, and we’ve not yet hit the one year mark of her being stable. But, she’s stable now, and that’s huge!

    We’ve endured daily violence and rage, so many broken things, holes in walls, windshields shattered, jumping out of cars, black eyes and other physical assaults (one back slamming that still leaves my back in pain), non-stop screaming, running, assaults and running away at school, long episodes of psychosis, her wishing she were dead, and more. But every night, when she went to bed, she told me she loved me and required our almost 19 year nightly tuck-in ritual.

    Tons of medication, all that didn’t quite work, until we narrowed it down to one specifically for schizophrenia combined with mood stabilizers. It also helped her body had started to “level out,” and we saw the proverbial light switch turn on just after her 18th birthday. That said, she also had, and still has, learning disabilities. Her childhood was not filled with friends, activities, or pleasure (for anyone). Her school life was filled with endless IEPs (with constant revisions), no plan that worked, mom at the school at least weekly, and lots of calls to come get her and take her home.

    We endured vocal blaming (if you’d only put her in daycare), we couldn’t vacation, and when we reached out for help, people walked away. We were isolated and no one could help. But every day, I put my feet on the ground, said I could do *today,* and I parented her every single day with my head held high.

    The results of that astound me. To listen to her speak with confidence, to hear beliefs filled with good, solid morals and values, to hear her speak of pretty much not remembering what her daily life was like… it makes every one of those days’ memories bearable.

    She has a brother who is seven years younger. He’s gifted. I parented them both with equal determination to handle both of their special needs. I lived a life where I was split in two. There are repercussions to living in a family filled with the challenges we endured, and although I wish I could wipe them away from my son’s life, they will shape him forever. Although I’m now exhausted beyond exhausted, I have years of parenting him still left to go. I can do it though – just one day at a time.

    It hurt us profoundly to watch other families interact normally with their children and to see and hear all the things families do. To watch my sisters take their families on vacation, put pictures on their wall and fill their homes with trinkets, art, and mementos. We don’t like people coming into our house – filled with holes in every wall that have yet to be repaired (it’s an exhausting endeavor and brings up lots of memories), bare walls, destroyed blinds… all that can’t be replaced because a disorder cost us a great deal of the paycheck. We didn’t qualify for any help because we “made too much money” (a peace officer’s paycheck). All we wanted was a little bit of respite. To be able to go on a date, take our son out for a weekend, fly somewhere once every other year — to get away from it all. I couldn’t get her into residential care. There were four ways she could be admitted: 1) insurance (they wouldn’t pay for it), 2) cash (we didn’t have $3,500/month), 3) the school could admit her if they couldn’t educate her (they insisted they could – and that’s a very long story), or 4) we could give her up to the state (was NOT going to happen).

    I can’t write any more… even re-hashing this little bit has brought back tears of pain. I hurt so badly for my child’s childhood lost in a sea of mental health destruction, a family torn and twisted (but is recovering), and honestly, I hurt for the life I thought we’d have…

    1. Oh my goodness, so well said. Thank you, thank you, thank you! “We were isolated and no one could help. But every day, I put my feet on the ground, said I could do *today,* and I parented her every single day with my head held high.” I am in tears – because it is so true and it is so helpful to hear from another momma, who has been doing it longer, and can look back and see that it made a difference. I really needed to hear that tonight.
      Praying for you and yours.
      Love,
      Shawna

  15. My son started having meltdowns at age 8. We now know he has PANDAS: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Step which can be treated and cured.

  16. This so touched my heart, and tears are running down my face. We are raising our grandson, who is now 5, and has high-functioning autism, Tourettes’ and anxiety. I have felt so alone trying to figure this out, especially after raising 4 boys. I’ve second guessed myself every single day. Melt-downs scare the crap out of me but with all the therapy he has gotten and all we have learned, we too are getting to see less of these although that anxiety is still there for me as I still try to figure out why they come. You put so many of my thoughts in this piece. Thank you! I needed this tonight.

  17. You are NOT ALONE. It is isolating and stressful, especially if the meltdowns occur almost exclusively at home. My husband has to travel for work so it is often me dealing with our son on my own and trying to protect little brother. You will find sympathetic friends on the FB page “Easy to Love but Hard to Raise” and also at the Happy Mamas Retreat http://if-mama-aint-happy.com/
    Thank you so much for your brave sharing.

    1. Oh my goodness – thank you for sharing these links! I love the idea of the retreat. How amazing and what a brilliant idea.
      Love,
      Shawna

  18. I am so glad to read another persons story that looks similar to mine. My son is not violent towards my self or him self yet but I cant add up the damage in dvd players, a laptop, a xbox 360, countless movies, holes in the walls, he set the carpet on fire in the living room, and I truely am alone in all this. I live alone with my son in a house in the woods, and his father has never been involved, both of my parents have passed, and no one around me understands the broken heart, the sadness and failure I feel when he acts out and does this stuff. I dont go many places because I am constantly nagged to go home to the point of embarassment. He yells and tells everyone I dont love him and that he hates his life and wants to die, so I cant even get out to find peers. I am isolated with this night mare alone, so things like this just give me alittle bit of hope.

    1. Oh Gwen, I am so sorry. I can imagine how isolated you must feel. You are not alone – so many of us understand and relate. Praying right now for you and your son and for you to feel God in your midst.
      Love,
      Shawna

  19. Thank you, Shawna! And all of you that have shared your experience & pain. I feel the same way you do about PTSD. My daughter had violent meltdowns everyday for almost a year. They started to taper off and I was so grateful. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could endure them. They’ve come back here and there, but without the violence toward me. We have good insurance now and I think we’ve found an OT that is experienced enough to understand the emotional needs/struggles our daughter has. I feel like so many understand the physical, yet aren’t able to help with the emotional. It’s such an abstract thing to work on. Something sometimes only the mom sees. I am so grateful that I’ve been surrounded by parents who’s strive to bring peace in their home. I’m part of an attachment parenting group and a leader, which is quite hilarious at times because of the amount of unrest that my daughter experiences. We all do our best with what we have. I know it has taught me that I have so much to work on in myself. I’ve practiced day after day (because I was forced to) stay calm in the middle of her rage & anger. Sometimes successfully & sometimes not. To calmly validate with words or physical presence. To gage whether I should speak or not. To lend a comforting hand or not. I didn’t mean for my response to be this long. Basically, I hear your pain and feel it too. May God bring peace & calm to our children & our families hearts & minds through the power of Jesus! If only for a day!

    1. Amen Cameron! So beautifully said. It is amazing how much we learn about ourselves as we learn how best to help our little ones.
      Praying for you and your daughter this morning.
      Love,
      Shawna

  20. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is so important for us to talk about the “dirty little secrets,” like meltdowns, to remove the shame and facilitate understanding for our kids. While I hate meltdowns as much as the next momma, they are a learning experience. I learn patience, understanding, and empathy, but I also learn what makes my son so uncomfortable in this world, so I can help him in a similar situation down the road. My husband struggles greatly with the seeming manipulation in the metldowns, but I recognize that the behavior is far outside my control. As Ross Greene says, “Kids do well if they can.”

    Penny Williams
    Author of “Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD” and “What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD”
    BoyWithoutInstructions.com

    1. I love the quote – kids do well if the can. That has certainly been true in our family.
      Thank you for commenting and for sharing your book/website. I look forward to checking it out.
      Love,
      Shawna

  21. thank you… thank you for speaking out on a topic I live… your words touch my heart and I am blessed to know I’m not alone.

  22. Your story has really touched me. My son is 2 and while we do not have an official diagnosis, doctors and therapists are saying high functioning autism, and he has sensory processing issues. I am so worried for him sometimes b/c he melts down over everything it seems, and he has started hitting during them. His anxiety is pretty severe and going to certain places requires me having to hold him the entire time. We are in therapy twice a week and it has helped. He is slowly learning different techniques to tell us what he needs or wants. And we are learning how to deal and help him. I just wanna say thank you for your article. So many of us parents feel helpless, and sometimes embarrassed that we did something wrong. It’s a relieving feeling to know that we are not alone.

    1. Hi Jessica! YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We all have felt that way at one time or another – and it is just not true. Our experiences are more the same than they are different, especially when it comes to meltdowns.
      Praying for you and your family this morning and I am so glad you are here!
      Love,
      Shawna

  23. Shawna~ Thank you for this post. I have read it several times. And I am reading it again tonight for reassurance that this is not my fault, nor is it the fault of my child. My son has been asked to leave yet another school, and because it is the school that I teach at, I will be losing my job as well. He is in the fifth grade. He has been in a different school environment every year. I am writing this to let you know that you are encouragement to me during a very trying time. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Karin.
      Please know you are not alone. There are so many mommas that have exactly the same story.
      We do the best we can, often under the most discouraging circumstances. I am praying for you and your son this morning.
      Love,
      Shawna

  24. Thank you for writing this post. Violent and aggressive meltdowns are the worst part for me in parenting a sensory kid. I am amazed at your bravery and openness in writing this.

    1. Thank you so much. I don’t feel very brave, just blessed to have the opportunity to know other mommas deal with the same thing! The reason I thought it was important to write this, was that I never felt more alone as a mom than when a meltdown occurred. Once I actually got to know some other mommas dealing with the same thing, I felt so much more capable of handling them – knowing that we were not somehow beyond help.
      I appreciate your kind words.
      Shawna

  25. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Such a brave thing to do. Just reading it, like many others have said, had me sobbing…remembering the hurt and fear I felt during this time. It encompassed our entire life. I felt as if I could never leave him. That I always had to be there…not that I could stop it, but I had to be the one that was there. You have reminded me that It is so important that we share our stories. No one can be helped if we don’t. Momma’s need to know that you do come out on the other side of this thing. I truly believe, for boys anyway, that it is an age/puberty thing, When we hit 16 things really started to calm down, but 13-15 was pure HELL. Thank you for reminding me of this season and that I need to be honest about it and share it because there are others who need to hear that they will survive, that I understand. That I have compassion for them and will love them through to the other side.

  26. Everyday… multiple times a day… sometimes all day. It’s good to know we aren’t the only ones. What did you do to get it to slow down? How long did it take?

  27. Oh – I have been there with meltdowns and damage with one of my boys, although never with the windscreen on the car. That would have been scary. We;ve had other damage, but I agree – always the emotional damage, especially for siblings. They are scary. I hate them too. It is the hardest thing not to melt down along with your child when they are being so irrational. We had a meltdown when he was with a friend, a two hour drive away in the country. He thought it would be funny to miss the last train home, deliberately. Often, his meltdowns have involved running away. Particularly scary when you’re away from home. Like you, though, the meltdowns are happening much less often and thankfully, usually with less intensity. yes, they hurt him most of all. Thank you for sharing. It is hard, but it it also encouraging to know you’re not the only one. All the best. With love and empathy. Jennie (Dancing Wombat)

  28. Shawna,
    Thank you for your post! My name is Shawna too! My oldest of 4 kids, gabe is 15 and been going through this the past two years…we had massive change and all his anxiety has come out on his dad-he questions everything he does and if he doesn’t answer him the right way he understands, he yells and starts throwing things! We’ve never gone through this until now, it has been so difficult. He is getting counseling, medicine, lots of love/ forgiveness but it does feel like it will never end. He doesn’t want dad even talking to the other kids which has affected everything. I’ve heard puberty makes it worse. Gabe has always been our gentle giant, so sensitive and kind so we had no idea he was on the spectrum…we are still assessing to see if it’s very high functioning autism or add with anxiety, not sure yet. How did you correct things, deal with aftermath?

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