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Sensory Overload is no Joke

Tessa BowersLife, Sensory Processing Disorder

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This morning I woke my daughter as usual in preparation for school.  I opened the blinds, turned the white noise maker off, turned the diffuser off, and leaned over to give her a kiss on her forehead, and quietly I said “Good morning love, its time to get up.”  And as usual she rolled over, pulled her blanket up, and grunted something that sounds like a “no, I’m not ready.”  Out of the room I went, off to retrieve phase 2 of the routine.  Molly.   Molly is our almost 1 year chocolate labrador retriever, who loves life more then life it self and loves our daughter even more then that.

“Ok, Molls, its your turn” and I let her out of her kennel.  She races out and straight to the bedroom, where I hear the usual “Mollieee, stop.”  But out of the ordinary happened this morning instead of rolling over once again to hide, she starts talking.  While the constant chatter isn’t unusual it is this time of day. And it was different, THIS was obsessive, hyper focused talking.  I should have taken this as the red flag, lesson learned.

Downstairs we head for the rest of our routine.  T minus 1 hour to get out the door to drive to school.  Breakfast, potty, get dressed, brush hair, take supplements.  To the average child this should be easy, for us its a long distracted process and my usual tools were not working.  This morning its different, she’s extra loud, she’s racing around, rough housing with the dog (which is not allowed,) and playing in her secret corner.  A new corner that at that moment she needed to settle her mind, unfortunately I saw it as a distraction and asked her to continue with the things that needed to be done to get to school.  We work through the list and as she’s getting her shoes on something snaps.  Her whole attitude and demeanor changed and all the red flags went up.  When I asked her if she needed a hug, she said yes and I as I gathered her in my arms her entire body was shaking and she started to cry.  “Momma, my head hurts but not like when it hurts, its different.  Momma I’m scared.” Words no parent wants to hear, ever, especially from a 5 1/2 year old.

I continue to hold her and sing her favorite calming song, music has always been grounding for her.  After a moment, I ask her to share with me.

There’s a fire momma and no one gets out and I’m all alone, I don’t want to be alone.  I love you.”

Did I mention she turns 6 years old in a couple of months. Where does this come from at this age?  The only change in the routine is that, last night I did take a mommy break and I went to a ladies night.   Normally once daddy is home I’m chopped liver, so why was this different.  Was this the trigger or just something building up?

An anxiety attack, people may feel fearful, apprehensive, may feel their heart racing or feel short of breath, but it’s very short lived, and when the stressor goes away, so does the anxiety attack. Panic attacks on the other hand doesn’t come in reaction to a stressor. It’s unprovoked and unpredictable.

Today’s tool box expanded and included hugs, music, writing it down with the intent of throwing it away, oils, and time for recovery.  Here’s what she asked me to write:

“There’s a lightening storm.  You didn’t make it.  And then there is a fire inside my head when I think.  I wish it would go away.  I wish you would never go away.  Hiccup (she asked me to write it down.) I wish the bad dreams would go away.  My family disappeared, they (she actually listed several names) didn’t make it.  I was all alone.  I love you too bits, please come back.”

My mommy heart broke in to a million pieces and my brained raced a million miles on how I can make this all better.  I struggled to keep it together and ran with what I could and what I knew.  I choose several essential oils that would support focus and promote grounding.    White Angelica was created to help you stay grounded, peaceful, and to help protect yourself from other’s negative emotions and feelings.  It also happens to be the oil of choice if you are an empath, which she is.  I am too, but hers is so much more.  The music assisted by taking her mind off her worries and continued to lift her up.  She chose something with a beat and we dance parted to Mamma Mia sound track (her choice.) And the snuggling continued to ground her and allow her to reconnect and know that I was there for her, always.  We made it to school, late but she was able to get out of the car and head to another place of comfort, knowing I would be there soon to pick her up.

With so many testimonies of recovery and equal testimonies of despair, its so hard for a parent to decide what to try and where to go next, especially when insurance doesn’t cover most of the options.  On top of that most doctors don’t understand the triggers and causes; and the good ones that do are few and far between, are incredibly hard to get in to see, and most commonly don’t take insurance.

This momma is off to research and call the doctor. Keep fighting Momma’s, you and your children deserve the best and one day the process will get better, it has too.

In the mean time oil up and stay strong,

Tessa

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