17 Hours of H*ll

This post couldn’t have been written yesterday. By the time we arrived, we had spent 17 hours, over two days,  in the car, in hell with Hope. Nobody had anything left. It was as bad as it sounds. The question for today is HOW DO YOU MOVE ON AFTER THAT? My philosophy is that each day is a new day, with a clean slate. Sounds great. I have kept it up the almost 8 months Hope has been with us. This morning, I woke up and I was still pissed at the amount of sheer havoc one small, 5 year old RADling can cram into a van of people who are stuck with her for two days. It doesn’t help that we are *in*a*new*place*, so Hope is still riding the line. Her time out chair is set up. She is restricted to arms length. So, you ask, what’s the problem? Ahhh. The problem is when you restrict a child to arms length, you have to see them all the time. Right now, I do not want to look at her much less see her. I am faking it, but it is driving my blood pressure up to the point I have a killer headache. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

12 thoughts on “17 Hours of H*ll

  1. Stay at home for the rest of our lives. That is what I told my hubby this morning. I have almost given up on our family having fun together ever again. Sorry. No help really.I do think that the "within arms length" is more punishment for us than anything else…but I know you have no other options. But it still stinks.

  2. I have no suggestions, sorry! But want to let you know that I understand completely where you are coming from! How can such a little child make us so stressed?! Happens most days in my house and yesterday at church was the worst yet;)

  3. I have no ideas. But I know exactly what your talking about. It's hard for me to keep my daughter at arms length sometimes because i'm so mad. So then she ends up staying arms length with dad for awhile.Good-Luck!

  4. I was just thinking that we should take turns who has to be tortured in the evenings with Red. 1 night, I leave, 1 night you leave. I am getting ready to leave for 5 days to go to L.A. to see my dad, brothers, and sisters. My husband left me during freaking Spring Break and last week. This week it's my turn to grab a piece of sanity. There are days when I want to throw Red back where he came from but then I remember…he came from me! Ugh!!!The car had to have been excruciating! Take a time out sister and pray for comfort and strength. If it makes you feel any better…you already have your place in heaven.Karen

  5. Definitely switching off with someone else is my best suggestion too. Skim the book Beyond Consequences to remind yourself why she acts this way?Sounds stupid, but "retrain your brain." I heard it on a silly kid's show where one character who wears really strange outfits, said she actually retrained her brain to only hear positives when people make fun of her clothes. I can't say it works well, but sometimes I say things like, "I love you too," when a child tells me she hates me. I use to tell myself that spit up/drool was "good for the skin." I try to do that now when my daughter spits on me, and rub it in, saying "thank you for sharing a part of yourself with me."Most of the time I just keep a book or my laptop with me and try to zone out (with one eye on her of course). If the book is inspirational I might read aloud from it if she's being loud and nasty to me. Or even just singing.Other than that. Just know you are not alone!Hugs and prayers,Mary

  6. My girls have to either hold my hand or hang on to my beltloop when we are in that crazy place. I used to try and keep them at arms length or within sight…. but that freed them up to throw things or really go over the edge. Over the years the holding my hand seems to work the best, now when they have to – they are 16 now – it is them hanging tightly to me rather than the other way around. They know they are out of control and can't seem to come back to sane on their own. Being a 24/7 parent is beyond exhausting, I hope there are times in the day where you can get away and take care of you.

  7. Hi. I'm Julie. I found you from Dawn's blog. You poor thing. I think my daughter and Hope are similar. I can't imagine traveling that far that early in the process. Last year's vacation caused me a great deal of anxiety beforehand – and she had been home 2.5 years. One thing that worked for our first long car ride was to make a book in preparation for the trip. We drew pictures of all of us at home, all of us getting in the car, all of us stopping at a hotel, all of us driving home and all of us back at home. It really helped her to see what would happen and made the unknown a little less scary.One thing that worked for us on our long vacation – and I know these kids are not necessarily motivated by rewards – is the "Smile Stick System". I printed out 5 colorful clip-art smileys for each kid. The girls had smiley face flowers. I glued them to a popsicle stick and kept them in the front of the car in a cup. Unwanted behavior resulted in the loss of one Smile Stick. Smiles and good, kind behavior could earn it back. The rule was: When we get to (lunch, dinner, the destination, etc.), if you have five smile sticks, you earn a big treat (ice cream, theater box of candy, etc.) Four sticks meant a smaller treat (ice cream cone when the other kids were getting Blizzards). Three meant a medium prize. Two was a piece of hard candy. One was a stick of gum or a tic tac. No Smile Sticks – no treat. Our girl is highly motivated by candy. We had near meltdown on the first day, the first time she saw a stick get pulled. Once she understood she could earn it back, she was very self-correcting. We ate a lot of ice cream on our epic vacation. :-)Another thing we did was to draw up rules for the car two weeks before we left. We reviewed and reviewed them and carried them with us. Your post reminded me that I never blogged about these things. I think I might in the next few weeks.Also, keep in mind that the car may be bringing up trauma that you are unaware of. Our daughter never slept in the car – NEVER. She was terrified we were going to drop her somewhere and leave her. She needed to be able to know the way home. No kidding. This past vacation, we spent a lot of time reassuring her that we would all be returning home together. It was the first time she actually slept in the car. :-)God bless.

  8. I think Hope was very tramatized by your surgery, especially when you didn't come home as planned. And I think she is smart enough to know when you are faking it. I'm going to be very, very mean here. You weren't stuck in the van with her. She was stuck with y'all. She can't understand distance, to know that you really can't just take her home. How do you look at her without feeling resentful? By knowing she really, really doesn't want to be there, didn't ask to be there, has completely no control over being there. By being honest with yourself that you resent her, period. And remembering why you have her. Get a bathroom break relief and go scream into folded towels, then twist them into knots. And perhaps you need to grive over the loses you didn't anticipate when you brought her home. I may have the wrong impression, but I don't see how it can be better for Hope, or anyone, to be contained by someone pretending to be nice when you can see the meanness in their eyes than it would be to be contained by someone who honestly says "I hate this, I don't want to be here."

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