I wonder if everyone goes through a time in their life where they wake up one day and realize that they're just not the person they thought they were.
You spend your entire life liking a certain food only to discover that you don't like it anymore. You spend your entire life enjoying certain activities that all of a sudden don't become fun anymore - or vice versa. You spend your entire life acting a certain way when faced with various situations - and then all of a sudden don't act that way anymore.
And what I realized this morning - when I woke up - was that I'm a different person than I thought I was. It's not something that happened overnight, but definitely new...and apparently the change has been dramatic enough for me to finally take notice.
Let's start with the small. My entire life I liked bananas. I could eat bananas whenever. And, yesterday, when offered a banana, I discovered I don't like bananas anymore. I don't like the texture of them. I still like stuff like banana muffins or bread... but to eat a banana just isn't right with me anymore.
See. Something totally weird. It's not like I ate so many bananas growing up that I'm just sick of the sight of them... I just, all of a sudden, don't like them anymore.
I never used to like unsweetened iced tea. Hated the stuff, actually. I'd take a drink of it, and almost spit it back out because it tasted so nasty to me. Yet, yesterday, I poured myself a cup - because I opted for it instead of Kool-Aid which was loaded with sugar - and I actually enjoyed it. It was refreshing, and I didn't need any sugar in it. The same is to be said for black coffee. I am a HUGE coffee drinker...will drink it all day and night if I could. But, it had to have some creamer or milk or something in it. Not anymore. Now, I usually drink black coffee in the mornings and save flavored coffee for the evenings.
Then, there's the more deep.
If you're a regular around here, you know all about my son - Butter - and the hardships he's been through. If you're not - then I'll give you the quick run down.
In kindergarten, Butter started having some "issues" in school. Those issues escalated in to first and second grade...and by the time he was in third grade, he had to be placed in a therapeutic school because he couldn't function in a public school setting. Things continued to get worse, and by the time he was in 4th grade, he had to be admitted in to a psychiatric hospital.
His problems were found to be a result of medication issues. He was overly medicated - and for the wrong disorders. He would have violent outbursts, and every time the behavior got worse - the medication was upped... and the whole time, I had no idea that his body was reacting to the medicine. Until he was admitted in to the hospital. He spent a couple of months there, the doctors got his medication situation sorted, and last year he was able to return back to public school.
During that time, I dealt with his disorder completely wrong. I would get very frustrated. I would yell and scream at him. When he called me nasty names and screamed at me, I would yell right back. It's what he wanted...I later found out... but definitely not the right way to handle it.
OK, so he has made such great progress this past school year, he was released from therapy and slowly weened off of his medication. For the past two weeks, he has had no medication. The first time since he was in 2nd grade.
Up until Thursday night, things were going well. Then, all of a sudden, he started to go in to one of his "moods". The type of mood that he had a couple of years ago. Talking back, calling me names, trying everything in his power to get a rise out of me. Last night, it was worse. He told me he was going to run away, he started beating the walls in his room, and lashed out at Hubby and I with nasty remarks and anger.
I gave him no response.
I let him have his say. I let him have his fit. I didn't start going bat s**t crazy on him. I just let him be. The more I sat there with no response, the worse he got with his nasty remarks and disrespectful comments. But, still, I just ignored him. Eventually, after quite an evening, he got tired of it and just went to bed.
I went through these fits with him a few years ago - and they always ended up with him "running away" and me having to call the police. Not before most of his toys had been destroyed by his hand, he had gone through a very violent tantrum, and me in tears and so angry that I would have pleaded with someone...anyone... to just take him off my hands... it was just too much to deal with.
But, I realized this morning, I'm not that person anymore.
Of course, hearing him say all of those nasty things to me was hurtful...but I didn't get angry. I was able to stay completely calm and collected. I was able to allow him to have his fit - and deal with it in his own way. OK, I'm not happy about how he reacted... but compared to what I went through a few years ago...it wasn't anything that got out of hand.
I'm not the person I was. I'm different.
Of course, his behavior now has to be discussed with his doctor...and I will have to record the frequency of these outbursts... but I totally feel like I won't be heading in to the same direction I went a few years ago. I've grown up. I can deal with it. I can stay level headed and give him the space he needs to cool down...even if it means listening to him say horrible, nasty things about me.
I know he doesn't mean it. I know it's not his fault. Now.
I'm about to go and talk to him - now that he's calmed down. We'll take things one day at a time... but knowing that I've grown up and can help rather than make the situation worse is a big deal.
I guess I've grown up. And I've realized that I'm OK with it. I like the person I've become.