Can’t Do It . . .

I cannot comfort him when he’s in a fit, upset by something that he imagined.

I cannot calm him when he’s in a rage, screaming and out of control.

I cannot reason with him when he’s screaming and repeating the same insult or accusation.

I cannot convince him that what he’s saying didn’t happen, that it’s not true.

I want to comfort him.  I want to calm him.  I want to reason with him.  I want to convince him.

I long to be his comfort.  I ache to be his calming voice.  I so desire to bring him back to reasoning.  I am desperate to be convincing to him.

But I’ve learned that I must wait.

When he’s lost in his out-of-control fit of emotion, his scream is angry and unstopping.  There is no reasoning ability in him at that moment.  When he’s lost in that terrible moment, I cannot talk to him or touch him or even glance his direction.  Those actions from me only fuel his anger and push him farther from me and farther from my comfort and my reason.  When he’s lost in that terrible moment, there is nothing for me to do but wait.

I must wait for his screaming to pause.  I must wait on his cry to change.  I must wait for his sad eyes to appear where the lost and angry eyes had been.

It is in that moment of change — from angry to sad, from lost to begging for my help — that I can step in and help him.  I eagerly step in to help.  I call him to me and hold him.  I hold him tight!  The tightness of my grip helps to calm him.  I am amazed again at how immediately his cry ceases.  He lies limp and defeated and helpless in my arms.  My firm hug helps to drive home the truth of my love and my acceptance of him.  My silence convinces him and brings him back into reality.

And it’s over.

He just starts chattering about something unrelated.  He talks about something trivial and unemotional.  After a few minutes, he is up and running.

He’s up and running because he feels loved and safe.  He knows he has just returned to his harbor of love and peace and acceptance.  And his running is joyful and celebratory.


5 responses to this post.

  1. We hope that Zach has a good time at the Thanksgivng lunch and that things work out well with the therapist.

    Hang in there! 🙂


  2. Oh Kelly, this description sounds sooooo familiar! All of it. The anger giving way to sadness giving way to “joyful and celebratory.” You got me all misty…


  3. […] this post, but I never updated you on it.  At that appointment we told the psychiatrist about the big ol fits Zach was throwing several times a day.  After hearing all about our latest issues, the […]


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