Monday, October 3, 2011

Long silence

I haven't posted here in a month because I haven't had much that I felt like sharing. To be honest, things are not going well at all. They haven't been for 4 weeks, and it started getting rocky a few weeks even before then. This is not to say that we haven't experienced some good things lately: a weekend visit from Grandpa Pat and Grandma Shelley, a brief afternoon with Judy and Kyle, and even a really fun 3 hours at Sea World this past Saturday, but for the most part, things at home have been very, very difficult.

Our oldest daughter is really struggling right now. She has not handled the transition to first grade very well and is an almost constant distraction in her class. We have already had meetings with her teacher, and although we are saddened by her behavior, we are so grateful that she is in an awesome school where the class size is still only 22 students, so at least we can try new things with the teacher to help Ohana think through her choices. This all starts at home where she is not sleeping well at night. Every night she wakes up 4-6 times in various states of consciousness. Sometimes she wakes up in a panic. Sometimes she wanders the house crying and upset but completely asleep. I have looked in on her and while asleep, she is waving her arms and legs wildly in bed. It is clear that she is experiencing a great deal of anxiety at night. Unfortunately, this carries over to the day and basically, if anything does not go her way (which unfortunately happens in life all the time), we are seeing the kind of temper tantrums we saw when she was four - throwing herself on the ground, screaming and banging walls, etc. Something as routine as "put away your shoes and your backpack" can turn into a huge meltdown.

This anxiety is causing her to be out of control at school and a distraction to other kids. It has brought up a lot of strange and sad behaviors both at school and at home. She is chewing her hair and pulling out clumps of it. We have had to take away the pink comforter on her bed because she tore it open and pulled out wads of stuffing. The only thing that seems to calm her down is lots of physical activity, so I've been taking her running again (sometimes in the middle of the night if necessary). Yesterday afternoon she wanted to run to grandma's house, so we ran almost two miles to her home (and got a car ride back). We are trying to take things one day at a time, but it is difficult not to envision her as a teenager out of control and making choices that have lifelong consequences or even to hurt herself.

We are both exhausted because we haven't slept well in weeks, and we are both feeling the effects of the constant stress of this. It is affecting Lynn as well. She has talked about how Ohana is making her sad, or how her crying hurts her ears, and Lynn has reverted back to having multiple accidents. We have had to move Lynn to the guest room at night so she can get enough rest at night. So we are all affected by this.

We've looked at medical reasons, dietary reasons and psychological reasons for this in our search to find help wherever we can. One of the things that is so heartbreaking is that in Ohana's more focused moments, she describes what is going on with her as "something wrong inside her brain." And she prays a lot that God would take away whatever is in her brain that makes her afraid or worried.

Things are hard for me at work. I find myself greatly saddened by all this and have been brought to tears by the pain and exhaustion of it all. Fortunately, I can close my office door and have privacy when moments like this come.

So we would appreciate your prayers in this as we take it one day at a time. We know that we do not have to worry about problems that may come up in the future - we only have to deal with what we are facing today.
Things are very hard for us right now.

5 comments:

Nikki Crockett October 3, 2011 at 10:18 PM  

I had no idea. We will be praying for you guys for sure. If there's anything else that we can do to help please don't hesitate to ask.

Greg and Tanya October 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM  

Jon,
I read your post and I feel your sadness. I just want to affirm you that you two are WONDERFUL parents!

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Tanya :)

Jess October 4, 2011 at 7:55 PM  

My dear brother, I am so sorry to hear about the struggles you guys are having. Know that I will be covering Ohana and the rest of you in prayer. Thank you for being open and honest and for sharing what's really been going on. Please keep us posted! And we'll keep praying for you! If you ever want a listening ear, I'm here!! Love you!

Marge October 10, 2011 at 2:47 PM  

Jon&Jenetta,
I am so sorry that you are facing such challenges. I pray for you to have patience and more patience and that your parenting will be effective. I can not imagine the trauma the girls are trying to sort through in their young minds.
You are loved,
Aunt Margaret

Marge December 30, 2011 at 4:03 PM  

Hi Jon & Jenetta,
Happy Anniversary!!!
Love you,
Aunt Margaret

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