no one said that life with a toddler was going to be easy. B is now 22 months old. not a baby, but not yet a big girl. she goes to school everyday when i go to work. after 3 months she is finally at the place where she’s stopped crying when i leave her and she’s happy to see her teacher and classmates. B is even happy to see me when i pick her up; she runs to me with a big smile on her face. it’s the best feeling in the world.
however, once we get in the car all hell breaks loose. there are tears. there is screaming. sometimes there is throwing things or kicking the chair. it’s hard for B too.
last night was no exception.
i picked B up and she was just off. totally cranky when she got in the car. she wanted milk. she wanted a binky. when we finished the 3 minute drive to the house she wouldn’t get out of her car seat. she wouldn’t walk to the house.
inside was no easier. she started by hitting the dog. then she ran screaming to her room, knocking all the books and toys off her shelf. she wouldn’t let me change her. she wouldn’t take off her shoes. she wouldn’t let me leave her to take the dog out. she wouldn’t come with me to take the dog out. she wanted to be held and when i did she screamed and wanted to go down.
this back and forth continued all night – 3 hours full of a manic episode by the 22 month old. I’m sure this kind of behavior would shred the strongest of nerves. but i don’t know what that’s like. I’m bipolar.
i try to remain as calm as possible with B. i try to have a neutral or warm voice. i try not to yell. i try to comfort her or help her find ways to self comfort. nothing seemed to work last night. it took its toll of me. i felt my hands shaking. my face and neck got flushed. my heart raced. my head hurt. i could feel my breathing rise. i was going into an anxiety attack.
i don’t like taking anything when i get an anxiety attack. i don’t like how it makes me feel. i don’t like when I’m loopy or sleep too hard and don’t hear B in the middle of the night. but as the screams and cries continued and the eventual throwing of the dog’s food all over the living room i knew needed some help. when i give in to a medicine to get me out of that state i feel like I’ve failed.
do all moms feel like this when their kids go off the deep end? i only know how i feel and i always make it more about my bipolar disorder. i don’t know another normal than what i experience and even then i don’t know if this is normal for a bipolar mom.
i know it’s a phase. B has lots of good days. yesterday she was off. normally i would be in a funk and starting a depression after a day like yesterday. this would have been a trigger for me. i feel better that i recognized what was happening and after B went to bed i sat down and relaxed. i did some deep breathing exercises and turned off my phone and ipad. i just sat in silence. i needed that relief.