Where can I scream in peace?

Raising a child with additional needs can be very frustrating at times.
There I have said it.

It can be so frustrating, maddening, annoying, aggravating and infuriating that you will want to scream this fact from the top of a mountain.

To anyone. Everyone. Just one person who will listen.

You’ll want to grab them by the lapels and say: “this is damn hard. I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s not fair. Do you hear me? DO YOU?”

Stamp your foot if you will. Kick the dustbin. Holler at the world.

Then at other times – you won’t.
Just won’t.

Life will be dandy. All will be fine and you’ll just go about your business like the next man worrying about how many calories a much-craved chicken tikka masala has in it and whether that small hole in your boot will last until the spring transition to ballet shoes.

It is a yo-yo sort of existence that you live when your child is breaking the mold and trying to be all “hey look at me I’m one of a kind”.

Our children tend to over egg their parts, sometimes things are a bit more theatrical (the divas). For example, why have a cold when you can have pneumonia.

Our current coping and attitude to the hand we’ve been dealt will depend on a host of external factors. Our mood can be interchangeable in a single day. It just takes one tiny straw that can break the camel’s back. And often we don’t know it until all the crap scatters across the floor. Once the straw is all swept up and the camel is taken to the vet to be glued, put down, sent to the dog food factory (bah I am giving up on this analogy) then we may feel ready to crack on again with a smile on our face.

This often leaves us in a difficult situation with friends and family.

In the four years since my little boy with global development delay was born, I have led them all on a bit of a merry dance. What bothered me yesterday is of no concern today. What I said was fine last week, is now a worry. How can people keep up?

In the early days when my boy was a baby and things looked bleak, my Mum called many a time asking if I was okay. I’d immediately feel guilty for letting off a bit of steam with the person that knows me best because, more often than not, I probably felt better the moment I had finished my tirade. The last thing I wanted was for her to keep on worrying – especially if the biggest thing on my mind since was what to wear to a cousin’s christening.

With friends it is the same. I might have once got tearful at the end of a night out about what the future held. Now I’m conscious that they might be watching me warily as a gathering draws to a close in case I break down again (or maybe the feckers are just wondering where is open to get chips).

The point is we all need, at some point in our lives, to let go of pent up emotion – whether it is bubbling fear, overwhelming sadness or rising anxiety.  It is healthy. However, as much as we need to do this we might not want to show our nearest and dearest how deep we sometimes fall because I don’t think they realise how good we are at scrabbling back up.

So how do we scream in peace? Without frightening those we love, without leaving dents on their hearts, without having to convince them over and over that we now feel okay when we do inevitably feel okay again?

That these falls are just blips on our journey to strengthening, healing, or whatever.

I have been a big fan of internet support groups for a while. Through them I have met loads of families in similar situations to my own. Friends who get it when I say “this is horrible” one day but moan about something mundane the next (like there were no Toastie loaves left in Tesco. Outrage).

Patient support groups have come a long way from the days when people just debated side effects. There are huge communities sharing stories – the positive and the negatives – and bonding over shared experiences.

Sometimes the urge to reach out in the dark to someone and say “I am hurting over here” or “I am fed up of this” can be overwhelming and terrifying. Sometimes it is hard to articulate or even put a finger on what is hurting. Sometimes you might be embarrassed or even scathing of people in the computer knowing your business. But I say it’s sometimes worth a punt. Because sometimes you will feel better. Sometimes you will connect. Sometimes it will give you chance to off load some of the pressure without worrying family and friends who might watch you with misgiving for weeks afterwards.

Other things can help with these urges to scream that we all have in our lifetime – exercise, wine, chocolate, flicking two fingers at the annoying fart in the post office. Go, try anything that might help you claw back some happiness in any shape and form.

But for me the biggest thing by far that has helped is time. Time to process. Time to accept. Time to heal. Time to learn how to handle the extremes of emotions. And time to become wise enough to know that I need to scream. That by screaming I become stronger.

So now when I do scream, I know I’ll find that much needed peace.

Gabe says: “I am screaming internally as this is a golden egg
and I specifically asked for silver.”
P.S. Note to self: just go and buy some new shoes you lazy scruff bag.


10 Comments on Where can I scream in peace?

  1. brummymummyof2
    March 31, 2015 at 5:07 am (7 years ago)

    Ohhh Hope our little fb group of chatting feels like a place you can have a bit of a rant bab. My place to let off steam is where I shout and tell my Dad. And he tells me to shut up. Which weirdly helps! x

  2. Lianne
    March 31, 2015 at 10:57 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you for this post. There is so much I can relate to, but also so much I cant even begin to. I often look for a place to off load / scream in peace (love this terminology) that won't disturb others as everyone has there own little bit of stress going on and I don't like to inflict mine on others, it defiantly helps to off load I think.

  3. Californian Mum in London
    March 31, 2015 at 9:02 pm (7 years ago)

    I don't even have a child with additional needs and I often want to scream and shout. Okay, I actually do. Is that bad? It's the only way sometimes, so that I don't just run away.

  4. Judith Hurrell
    March 31, 2015 at 9:43 pm (7 years ago)

    Such an honest post honey, brilliant. I do a lot of screaming. More power to the screamers! xxx

  5. Suzanne W
    April 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm (7 years ago)

    I can so relate to this. Most of the time I am on a pretty even keel but every now and again I need to vent and 'scream'. I choose wisely who I do this with because from experience, certain people don't deal with it well – they over-worry or try to fix it (my mother!). Sometimes I just listen to some music, have a little cry, text a friend and then I feel so much better. The worst thing to do is to try and carry it all on your own, wearing that mask 24/7. Such an honest post. Thank you. x

  6. pixiedusk
    April 2, 2015 at 2:08 pm (7 years ago)

    I think that this is that place, your blog. A space for you to express frustrations. Thanks for sharing this. #sharewithme

  7. Jenny @ Unremarkable Files
    April 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm (7 years ago)

    Phillip jokes that he's scared to come in the door when he gets home from work. He never knows if I will be happily fixing dinner while the kids color, or if I will be ready to throw the baby at him and go lock myself in the bathroom to hide! I suppose he should learn to call home and find out first so he can prepare himself for whatever's coming.

  8. Jenny Ripatti-Taylor
    April 5, 2015 at 7:56 pm (7 years ago)

    So glad you have your blog and hopefully a big support facebook or other social media group and followers to share your feelings, your honesty, and your rants even because it's your space on the world wide web and being honest about the good and the hard is great because so many are feeling the same thing and afraid to say it. You are so strong and brave and doing an amazing job!!! Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. Happy Easter! #sharewithme

  9. Sian PottyMouthedMummy
    April 6, 2015 at 9:25 am (7 years ago)

    You can always scream in your FB therapy sessions 😉 Really wonderful honest post lovely xx

  10. Wry Mummy
    April 7, 2015 at 11:44 am (7 years ago)

    I often feel the need to scream so I can imagine you do x 100. Welcome to scream down my feed any time Ali babs. I hope Tesco has Toastie bread today 😉 xxx


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