7:51 PM

Over all positive

The past two days have been very good, we were in a routine, a groove. The head banging is continuing but the violence of them was lessening. The main issue we continue to have is that she does not cry or in any way ask for comfort, or food or any thing. Any time she has a need she just quietly starts head banging. Then if we don't catch her and fill the need the banging gets harder and harder, sometimes injuring herself. We were learning to anticipate her needs much better and some of the banging was going away. We have one main challange though, she needs plenty of dark to sleep, but she also can not be left alone because she will head bang in her sleep and also upon waking. At night time this has not been much of an issue since the whole house is dark so she just falls asleep where ever and then we move her to our room. In the day it is much harder to get a safe spot for her to sleep that is dark enough. Today we tried her room since it is the darkest in the house, all seemed to be going so well, until it didn't. She must have woken up lonely and we had a BIG set back. That lead to no real nap and that lead to an hour and a half long melt down today after a poor dinner.
It is two steps forward and one step back right now, but the good news is that we are heading in the overall positive direction.
A few things are frustrating me though, firstly the lack of support from our family doctor. We saw him today hoping to get a lead to some professional help regarding the banging. We got nothing from him, nothing, not even sympathy, just a blank stare and excuses. I have since taken some time away from this crazy day to seek out my own resources online and help is now on the way, but I just expected that we would get more from him.
Attachment is clearly a two way street and although I do love Elora very much she has made me a bit gun shy of her. I am having a hard time sometimes when she is upset, I literally flinch some times because I have been hit by her so many times. Every jerk she makes has my body on high alert, it makes it very hard for me to give her the calm energy she needs in those moments. I find my self wishing she was smaller so that her poundings would not hurt so much. Don't get me wrong, I really understand the how and why of what is happening my mind is calm and loving but my body is still jumpy around her. It is facinating in a way because her melt downs are due to a lack of trust in me and now I need to build my trust in her too, we are both learning through this experience to trust and love each other.
Elora's relationship with Emery is going very well so far. He has been very possessive about his toys, but she has little to no interest in toys so there has been very little conflict on that front. The biggest issue is that she hits him, mainly to gain his attention, she copies him and loves him, but he is aloof. She has not hit him hard enough to make him cry, and he tells her "NO HITTING!" he loves to enforce all the rules and keep her in line. Still though there needs to be some progress in this department. When he does choose to grace her with his attention they play well together, especially peek a boo.
It has only been two weeks since we met this precious girl, but already it seems we have travelled so far with her. We are looking forward to each passing day, as she unfolds her trust and personality.


Jessica said...

Hi, I hope you can find someone who can help with the head banging-my heart goes out to you. That is hard. Elora is a beautiful girl, with wonderful loving parents, she is in the arms that were made to hold her. Hugs my friend as you and Elora continue to grow in love and trust. Jessica

Tas (Theresa) Self said...

From reading your post and Elora'a lack of expressing her needs verbally or even crying,very possible that from an early age she cried and it was met with no response so she resorted to head banging. If she makes any type of verbal expression at all try to greatly reinforce it. What is her all time favorite thing? a special food? sweets? toy? and have this on hand to give her when she makes a sound any sound to encourage her to express herself verbally. Anya was also non-verbal(she screamed but had no words) and she was almost 3 years old on gotcha. The non-stop screaming tantrums eveytime she didn't get whatever she wanted was trying in itself. So when she was in a happy mood we practiced making words or pointing to things she wanted and getting a chocolate chip if she made any type of response other than screaming if she screamed she didn't get it. She caught on pretty fast. : )
You are a great mom and things will get easier as Elora learns to trust you and is able to attain a few verbal skills.
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Theresa

Catherine said...

My heart goes out to you as you are trying so desperately to help your sweet daughter! I wish your doctor was more supportive. That's so disappointing when he's not.

I hope I am not overstepping but am wondering if you are 'wearing' your sweet Elora a lot? I'm guessing with the head banging it's probably the very last thing either of you want but it can be SO beneficial. It is recommended 6+ hours a day. That sounds like a lot but it is SO helpful. I remember when my DD went through a time of hitting how hard it was to wear her as I was placing myself withing striking range but in the long run it was one of the very best things I did. Even now, almost 2 1/2 years later her carrier is one of her safe places and calms her almost immediately. Our kiddos have been through so much trauma and separation in their little lives and lashing out to us and hurting themselves are sadly some of the coping mechanisms they learn.

This is a post of a gal I've recently begun following and thought of it when I read your post. I hope it might be helpful. http://www.zehlahlum.com/2012/03/hold-your-baby.html

Praying for your family. Your daughter is absolutely beautiful and blessed to be a part of your family.

Anonymous said...

It's hard and at the time seems like it's going to last forever.

I found myself afraid of the tantrums and physical results even though I understood why. Even understanding why it still makes it hard to deal with. I lost count of the number of bumps and bruises I got and I blamed myself feeling that I was a bad parent - sleep depravation and stress do horrible things to your mind.

The number of nights I was in tears fearing that she would hate me forever. Doubly hard when everyone else has the hearts and flowers story of how easy it all is.

It gets better.

My daughter used to bang her head when she was angry and I got sick of hearing the preaching about how they wont hurt themselves if it hurts. Yeah right!

It gets better.

It will seem like forever. It may not be as fast as you hope. There may be days that she's fine and then weeks and one day she'll slide backwards and it may seem like you're back at square one.

It will get better. It's a process and sometimes it's not a fast one. One day she'll turn to you and say she loves you and throw herself at you and you wont flinch because you're afraid you're the target of anger. She'll be hugging you and loving you as much as you both need and want.

All the best.


Sylvia said...

Thanks Mamas!!! You and your advice is exactly what I needed. That link about holding is really ringing true with me. I was hesitant to be honest about all the hard parts but I am so glad I was because I have been rewarded with your amazing wisdom, THANK YOU!!! and keep it coming.

Leann said...

this nancy thomas program (Taming the Tiger) was incredibly helpful and requires a lot of baby wearing. It might be worth your time to get a hold of a copy.