Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

Sensory Processing Disorder and me-friend or foes

I’ve shared a lot about what it’s like being a parent to children with SPD. One is an avoider of sensory input and one is a seeker and can’t get enough input in his bucket. He keeps emptying his bucket over and over throughout the course of the day. Whereas his brother after a long day of school has a bucket that’s overflowing and can’t take one more cup of input. This is when Mom becomes the referee and I need to separate my sons before World War 3 happens! I do my best to keep them emotionally regulated but it becomes a full time job and I wind up exhausted and depleted. Like my oldest son I also have SPD Sensory Defensiveness in particular. Loud, sudden high pitched noises bother me, more than one person talking to me at a time is like chaos for my brain and body. My central nervous system processes sensory input most of the time effectively. Then there are those days when the world is too busy, loud, bright, and overwhelming. Sometimes I feel so hypersensitive to the world around me I can hear the energy crackling like a campfire. 

Those are the days I put up my hood and read a good book with a cup of herb tea or escape to my bed with my soft, fuzzy blanket and put on my headphones and listen to my meditation music. I need comfort in those moments when my ears feel like they’re bleeding from listening to my children squabbling over the iPad while three different TV’s are playing in the background. I have to resist the urge to bite my fingernails with the anxiety I feel inside. All I want is to chew on something soft and rubbery like an eraser but I don’t because my kids have gnawed on all the pencils like a couple of beavers. In those moments when I feel like the world is closing in on me and I can’t breathe I rock myself gently and I sing. Whenever I was a little girl my Mom would hold me on her knee and rock and sing with me. She’d rub my back and give me deep pressure Mama bear hugs. I’d give anything to go back to those memories and pluck her out them so I could have her in my comfort zone. But unfortunately that’s not possible as she travels a heavenly path while I’m earth bound. My Mom never made me feel like I was wrong or different. She told me I was a special child of God and my “quirky” nature made me uniquely me. When I was a child I spent a lot of my time reading the Classics like Shakespeare, Dickens, Louisa L. Maycott, and Lucy Maude Montgomery. 

I related so much to those characters who thought out of the box and wrote stories and climbed trees like I did. The poetry and beautiful descriptive writing of William and Charles made me want to write like them and capture the worlds interest with my words. So I wrote getting lost in fantasy worlds, epic battles, and fascinating history. This is when the world was a quiet place as I scribbled away in my notebooks filling pages with my prose and poetry. I’m still like this as an adult where I require quiet time daily and my sons are forthright about asking for their private bubble to decompress in. The stress chemicals can build up throughout the day and we need to release them or end up sending our central nervous systems into sensory overload. No one wants that to happen so we give each other the space that we require. Now you add in a few more letters of the alphabet like ASD, ADHD, ODD, and OCD you’ve got a melting pot of hot soup that no one can handle. Those are the times where I ask my children what they need to make their bodies feel better. Or how fast is your engine using the zones of regulation, of which my youngest son has a thorough understanding of this concept. 

Since facial expressions can sometimes confuse him and his recessive language with conversational verbal fluency is severe. He will then tell me what colour he is or ask me what colour I am. It’s an excellent way for him to communicate and be receptive to others feelings.  A breakdown of the colours and their meanings:

Blue- feeling tired or sad

Yellow-feeling nervous or scared 

Red-feeling mad and angry

Green-feeling happy and smiling

With my oldest son who has a better grasp on receptivity I have a diagram of a thermometer and I will ask him how fast his engine in his car is, and he can tell me or show me using the zone regulation colours. Sometimes are tempers are short, our explanations are long winded, and our bodies not regulated  and we react to the stress and pressure of the hot soup and we blow up. That’s when it’s important to remember forgiveness and our brains are just wired a little differently. It’s amazing what love, a deep pressure hug,  and a cup of hot chocolate will accomplish when words fail to save the day. That’s when I feel that even when SPD appears to be a foe when dealing with the chaos and it’s just too much ; I take that moment to breathe letting myself inhale the positive and exhale the negative and realize that it’s my friend after all guiding my family and I to better days ahead filled with love and patience.
Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!

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Monday Musings-the lies we tell ourselves

I’m a truthful person I’ve been taught to always be honest but never cruel, to be appreciative and not take things or people for granted. To always speak from my heart instead of inventing a lie. There’s one lie I’ve told myself is that I’m fine. I’m really not when I say that, it’s a easy way of letting the world know I have it together. 

Even though it appears like I do I really don’t, I’m struggling and I hide behind the mask that I present to world. I always think about that quote 

“Be kind to others, because everyone is fighting their own secret battles.”

I am a kind and loving person and I’m raising my children to be this way as well. I teach them to tell the truth, and to let them know they can tell their parents anything. I give them the opportunity to tell the truth first then give consequences if they’re not honest with me. I don’t want them to think it’s ok to tell me they’re fine when they’re not. Or that “I didn’t do it”or “I don’t know broke” the lamp. 

We tell ourselves these lies because it’s hard to face the truth sometimes. But even though it’s an old cliche the truth will set us free. There’s nothing to remember when you tell the truth, there’s nothing that needs to be created when honesty is the best policy. I’m dealing with a situation right now of lies being told. I have given the opportunity to hear the truth but wasn’t given that respect.

 So now there are consequences and disappointment. Why do we have to hide behind a mask of untruths instead of just being honest? Why does it feel better to lie and make ourselves feel better than ripping off the bandaid and exposing ourselves? It’s easier to hide behind a facade then to be real with ourselves. This is a foreign concept for me as I was taught the truth is a positive way to live my life. 

To be lied to is to be disrespected, and the hurt that arises from that is crushing. I don’t need to build myself up with a house of cards where the truth is distorted and I can’t tell what is real or what is not. Whether it happens sooner or later that house of deception comes crashing down around you. Be real, it’s the only way to feel good about yourself don’t build yourself up into being someone you don’t recognize or respect. 

I’m going to start taking my own advice when people ask me how I’m doing I’m not going to say fine. I will tell the truth I’m happy the sun’s shining, I’m struggling but I’m finding a way to cope. I owe it to myself to speak the truth and not hiding behind a mask I’ve created out of fear.  William Shakespeare is one of my favourite poets and playwrights and he spoke the truth when he created this simple but profound quote. 

“To thine own self be true”

It’s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 

Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.
Visit and comment on the posts of other bloggers linked here.

Share the love.

Today’s co-hosts are Everyday Gyaan and Tales of Two Tomatoes

  

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My little box of memories

I like to think I’m a juxtaposition of a person I can be soft and gentle with my words and actions, and tough and hard when I feel I’m wronged. I was raised to be strong, speak my mind, and stand up for myself. My parents recognized a tenacious spirit in me when I was very young. I have been a right fighter most of my life. Now I ask myself do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy? 

As a child I could stay awake for hours on end while my poor Mom was sleep deprived and living on pots of cast iron tea to function. This is when four tea bags are added to a tea pot and left to steep all day. My Dad worked long hours as a logger and he would be up getting ready for his work day at midnight. I would still be wide awake partying in my crib. 

He would come into my room and tell me it was time to go to sleep and I would wail even louder. As I got older his attempts to put me to bed became more futile as I had language and comprehension. I would say “Daddy you just go away and mind your own business!”He would walk out shaking his head and say “that bloody kid is lucky she’s cute!”

These are the memories I store in my memory box in my mind. My parents died awhile ago and pictures I have in my memory bank are all I have left. I rely on my older siblings recounts of my childhood and a box of slides to preserve these precious moments in time. I remember when I was young how much I loved to set up the projector to have a slide show as all the happy times came to life on the white sheet pinned to the wall of the living room. The pictures would paint a lively account of the trips we took, birthday parties, baseball games, weddings, and church events. 

Now I store my memories in a special box that keep on my beside table. Inside are pictures of my loved ones,their funeral Mass cards, poems, prayers, and trinkets that they gave me. I have the first story that I ever wrote with my Mom and the first song I wrote for her. I have my Dad’s pins from Lion’s club that he was proud to be a member of for over 30 years. I have a pair of earrings and necklace set from my Gram and Grandpa that they gave me for my graduation, and a old travel sewing kit of my Grandpa’s from the war.

 Each time someone I love passes on I add to this little box. It helps me perserve the love I have for them and keep them alive in my heart. I take them out from time to time when I’m feeling low and in need of a lift from angel wings. I hold them, absorbing the love, energy, and every precious memory I have of my time with them. I feel comforted through my tears as they overcome me with emotion flooding my thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

This little box is my gift I give to myself to pick me up when I stumble and forget how to fly. 
This is a special keepsake that I can pass down to my children when it’s my time to have the special things I’ve given them to place in that box. I’ve written them letters of how I became their Mom and the joy that they have given me with that privilege. As for now I open that box and lovingly hold those memories close to my heart so I will never forget the people who made me who I am today with their presence in my life. I thank them for the gift of their love, light, and guidance. 
  

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One Liner Wednesday

I have been struggling lately with death, mortality, and grief. I live honestly and my pain is broadcast through my emotions. Sometimes I think I should hide more and feel less, but this moment put all my fears to rest. My preschooler son saw my tears and just wiped them away and said “Mom who hurt your heart?” I was so overcome with emotion I hugged him tight and said “life did, but you’re healing it honey.” ❤️

This has been my submission to Linda G Hill One Liner Wednesday. I didn’t have anything funny to share so today I shared something heartfelt. Please check out all the talent that link up. Thank you. 💕

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Gamble

I’ve been living the life of a gambler. I’ve been running on empty for a long time thinking that I can continue this way. I’ve been going on whiffs of exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Reacting strongly with my emotions and easy trigger finger of blame. I have spent more time looking at a bottom of a wine bottle with only tears and rambling writings to show for it. I have spent nights in overwhelming valley and vacationed at heartbreak hotel. I’ve given my power away only to feel like a shell of my former self. 

I have decided enough is enough since my crazy train has run off the rails. I’m taking a gamble on myself and putting myself on my list of priorities. Self care will be my goal each and everyday. I will exercise to walk, run, move my body to feel good. I will get more rest, even if it’s not a lot of sleep. I will find a routine that works for me. I will have fun again as me not just Mom. Where I can laugh, love, find my hobbies that make me happy. I will be with others who share these common interests. I will begin to create again to draw, paint, scrapbook, and craft with my kids and on my own. Art is the way to my heart’s inspiration, love, and light. 

  
Eating well and maintaining a balanced diet of healthy foods will feed my body and nourish my mind. I will be kind to myself, by putting myself first, seeking guidance from my family and friends, and counselling from my therapist. I will get outside and explore my new town and surroundings. I will bask in the fresh air and the sunshine, and get my hands back in the dirt with my love of gardening. I will seek daily ways to relax, not just when the stress is choking me physically and emotionally. I will not gamble with my health and happiness again. I deserve to be fully, completely, safe and comfortable in my skin. 

 I will participate in my yoga practice, keeping mindful with my deep breathing and my temper. I will put my deepest thoughts that aren’t meant to be published in my journal. I will read to fill my mind with beautiful words, my heart with the longing to write my own words to inspire, and my soul with the love of making those chapters part of my being. And when the world is too much for me to handle I will sink into my loves arms and find my solace and believe in myself again. I vow to make my self care an integral part of me that it won’t be a chore, a list of demands to meet, it will be my gift to me. 

This has been my submission to More Than Cheese and Beer please check out her anonymous Sunday confessions and all the talent who link up. Thank you. ❤️

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I am a right fighter

I’ve carved out a very sure existence for myself where I know what to expect and I’m secure that I’m right. This something I’ve never thought about it until recently I picked up a Dr. Phil book Life Strategies. I read it a long time ago but as I was organizing my book shelf I took it out. I thumbed through the pages and came across a sentence that asked “do you want to be happy or do you want to be a right fighter?” Hmmm I pondered that question of course I want to be happy, don’t we all?! But there’s a thrill inside me when I know for a fact I’m right. My dear Dad always said I’d make a great lawyer, since I was so passionate about arguing and being right. If I don’t think that I have the information correct I won’t fight to be right. There’s an inner knowing, intelligence, and feeling I get so there’s no need to try or force the issue. I’m just simply right, now there’s people that have argued with me without the facts and have wanted to be right as well. I’ve laughed because I know the truth, feel it, and have absorbed it into my skin. Some people have called me arrogant about not wanting to see their point of view. And I’ve argued what I know is true, because I can feel what’s not being said. I’ve had friends, lovers, family, and bosses stand there and indignantly argue with with me. And I’ve infuriated them by stating my point of view as I believe it. It’s not an attempt to be bothersome or frustrating it just is what it is. Today I answered the phone and had a man who talked like he was trying to win a race. I couldn’t understand him very well, but I gathered he wanted talk to me about my visa being compromised. First the conversation was a pleasant greeting explaining who the company was and asking how I was. Well I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday I know a scam when I hear one. So I simply said “cut the chat, do you think I’m going to seriously fall for this scam?”
“No mam, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” So at this point I knew I was right, (as I reported a phone call to Phone busters last year about said scam.) So I began to get very vocal to the point where my toddler told me to “hush Mommy, I’m watching Zigby!” I needed to end this conversation quickly before my son started learning some four letter words. So I ended it quickly with a curt tone of voice which prompted my son to reply “oh here’s mean Mommy!” I think that guy at the end of the phone was surprised with who he encountered in a routine phone call on his list. I’m sleep deprived, sick, and feeling like crap on a cracker and here he is telling me lies!!! Well that awoke a sleeping beast inside me and she became unleashed with a fury. Now I know I could’ve just laughed and hung up the phone as I realized that it was all a scam. But I realized that yes I’m a right fighter and that’s just not something I’d do. I needed to cleanse that negative energy that was generated from that one phone call, as the air was thick with my rage. So I lit my sage and put on my Happy YouTube video to pump into some positivity into my home. A much appreciated gift from my dear friend sweet pea, and I picked up my son and danced around my kitchen. And I was feeling truly happy in that moment, and something about the pure joy just felt right.

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Run

There are some days I want to run and hide. Sometimes life gets to be too much for me and I dream about getting away. I picture myself in a luxury hotel room lounging in a supreme king size bed, while I sink into the huge pillows, silk blankets, and Egyptian cotton sheets. Basking in this luxurious, sensory experience I began to fall into a delicious nap. I awaken to find I have the remote all to myself, and I can watch anything I want on TV. Without anyone telling me this sucks, or ” I want to watch Toopie and Binoo!” I then feel after such an incredible nap I should have a bubble bath. So I run the water until it’s the right depth and temperature and I sink into the tub. The bubbles feel so silky on my skin and all my tension, stress, and cares dissipate into thin air. But what’s that sound? An incessant beep, beep, beep fills my poor sensitive ears. It’s not music to my ears, as my annoying alarm clock brings me back to reality. I live this dream so many times in my mind that I can smell the coconut lotion soaking into my skin and feel the droplets of humidity from the warm bath. So when life’s too tough to deal with, I retreat to my bathroom and soak in a bubble bath. I don’t want this to turn into my blog about “I just want to get away from my kids because they’re driving me crazy.” I mean I won’t kid you, I do have thoughts like that sometimes. The reality is my love for them is the reason I push myself, to get past these manic, melancholy feelings. When I feel the walls closing in on me I just want to run to the highest mountain and climb to the top and scream at the top of my lungs. Just so I can vent about my stresses of the day and how unfair life can be. I don’t want my sons to be struggling with a world that treats them like they’re unimportant, and insignificant nobodies. So as I advocate and fight for them in the education system, medical field, and from people that don’t see how amazing they are. I feel strong, rewarded, and emotionally battered at the same time. Maybe I should just take up physical running and feel fit, and able to deal with my daily stress. Run away from trouble, run away from my insecurities, run away from my fears. But what would that solve ? As soon as I run away everything still remains the same, and still stays with me. I’m running around in circles in my mind wondering if these swirling, confusing, emotions will ever stop. I see these pictures of people who do run, and the expressions on their faces look blissful. I can’t remember the last time I felt that kind of bliss. I’ve been through a lot in my life, shuffled between both parents in my childhood, and as an adult moving a lot and having to start fresh. I know it’s my choice, and I follow and support my family to where the work and opportunities are. There’s times in my life all that unpacking and packing my belongings just feels like running. If I run to far and get lost will anyone ever find me again?

Today’s Sunday confession is brought to by Ash at http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Today’s prompt is run, check out what Ash blogged about and all the talented bloggers who link up. Love and hugs. 💓

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Fridays Feats and Fails

Well here am I again writing about my week in review. As I look back now, I wonder how I survived with my sanity intact and didn’t run down the street stark raving mad. 😉

Feat
Well my kids and I got through the first week of school. I’ve been tired and behind on housework. So starting school early in the morning after an early summer break has been exhausting. I’m not complaining though in the province of BC the teachers strike is still on going, and a lot of my friends are starting to homeschool. I was able to meet some new friends at the play group I took my youngest son to. That felt so much better than drowning in my mountain of laundry. What was most shocking was the early snowfall in Alberta. I woke up Monday morning with 2 cm of snow. Now I know that I live in a different climate in a new province, but even the locals were surprised to see the white stuff. ⛄️This 3 day #abstorm became to be known as #snowtember and I cuddled in my blanket fort and drank hot chocolate until the sun came out and melted all the snow. 🌞 ❄️

Fail
On Friday my oldest son came home from school and told me he had the worst day. I inquired as to why and he told me he was bullied. This kid was bored and just decided to start hitting my son with his own hand!!! My son didn’t even have a chance to defend himself. As it had happened so fast and he was in shock. Well since he was bullied before in his previous school, I was very upset. I failed miserably about handing this well. It brought so many of my own feelings of being vulnerable and the victim of bullying. I had to pray on it, and blog about it. I went through the proper channels and spoke to the teacher and vice principal to get the matter resolved. When all I really wanted to do was beat down someone’s door and get answers. But of course I realized this wouldn’t be the appropriate reaction. Hell hath no fury like this Momma bear protecting her child. ❤️

Feat
So I accomplished not beating or berating anyone for this bullying incident. And found it much more powerful to write about it and get those deep, ingrained, feelings out. I’m very honest with my children and I’ve shared stories age appropriately, of how I was bullied. I’ve done some research and found out a lot of great info on http://www.StopABully.ca. And I read a newspaper article from contributor Dave S. Clark, about the Canadian anti-bully awareness organization Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network. He wrote that the (PREVNet) is currently working on a study that looks at the brain function of youth who have been bullied. It has found that when a youth is bullied, it activates the same part of the brain that’s activates when there’s physical pain in the body. “Their brains are recognizing the pain of bullying with the pain of physical injury.” According to the founder of (PREVNet) Wendy Craig a psychology professor from Queens university. She also states that for youth who step in and support the victim or stand up to the bully, it was discovered the bullying has the same effect on their brain as it did to the victim. So reading this information has blown my mind and now I know why I can’t “get over it.” The bullying I suffered changed who I was…. So as I process this information, I’ve been encouraging my son to write in his feelings journal. And providing lots of encouragement, positive feedback, and plenty of love.💓

Fail
As I’ve been dealing with my sons turmoil of emotions my heart’s been breaking for him. I haven’t told him or let him see me cry. This is all about him, and I will protect him with all the fibre of my being! I love my children with a fierce love, and NO ONE will break them or my bond with them. I’ve hardly slept and I’ve been praying and researching to help work out all this negativity. I’m not the patient Mommy and I owe an apology to my husband, for snapping at him when he just wanted me to come to bed. So not taking care of emotional self as much as my physical self, has resulted in a sleep deprived “Mombie.”

Feat
Here it is a week later, and I went to bed earlier last night out of sheer exhaustion. And for a proverbial night owl like myself that’s a huge accomplishment! I’m being gentle on myself as I’ve been struggling with my little ones sensory issues, and my oldest sons anxiety. It makes my own emotions go into a whirlwind of fear, anxiety, and dread. So I’m meditating, praying, and putting my feelings first. And as a result my sons and I are laughing a little more, and crying a little less. Thats the greatest gift we can give to ourselves. And there’s a powerful force of love in that. So it’s been a messy, tear stained, emotionally charged week, and I’m glad it’s over. Bring on the weekend and the wine and let’s call it day. 💓

Today’s Fridays Feats & Fails brought to you by the beautiful soul http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Please check out her awesomeness and all the other fab bloggers who link up. Smooches. 😘

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