Saturday, March 25, 2006

tick tock

Going off the Lexapro has been interesting. I think it's going to be okay. When I cut down to 3/4 pill, I got odd physical symptoms--headache, jittery stuff--but felt fine emotionally. Cutting down to 1/2 pill, I noticed I had to work a bit harder to stay patient and attached--I'd find myself more easily annoyed and more likely to zone out emotionally. That's a weird issue for me that I don't really like to talk about. I've been this empathic freak girl since I was just a kid--a total sap, really likely to put myself in others' places and get weirdly emotional--but then there are these windows when I just don't feel anything. I get completely detached and it's very disturbing to just feel...nothing. At all. It doesn't last long, a few hours at the most, except during The Big Depression and then it was pretty much more than that.

Anyway, more of that than had happened during the past year, I felt a bit more likely to fly off the handle, so I just started reminding myself to keep an eye on that, and it seems to be okay. The cut to 1/4 pill didn't really produce any noticeable changes. I went off completely a few days ago, and mostly I just have a little bit of dizziness and some odd sleep stuff. I'm a little nervous about being off them, which just makes me more determined to be done. I don't like not wanting to let go of something.

The Boy's started tic-ing again the past few weeks. He hasn't done that for quite a while, and I wonder if it isn't because we haven't been letting him chew everything in site. He started on that about 1.5 months back, and it finally got too obtrusive. I need to find him some of those rubber tubes the OT keeps for chewing, and see if that helps with the tics. His tic is that he does weird things with his eyes...blinking and sort of rolling them and pulling his lashes. It isn't too noticeable. The eye ticking was always his paternal aunt's thing, too. I had the vocal tics. Oh, the joys of our gene pool. It makes me wonder if we'll have to revisit the Tourettes diagnosis, but I'm not making any decisions right now.

Here's the thing with my Boy. He is pretty much a normal kid. He does well in school--not freakishly well, but well enough--8 out of 10 well. He's reading at a 4th grade level, but more often than not he'd still rather be read to than read a book himself. He's good at math, and he enjoys it. He is interested in learning, but it is often difficult for him to focus--he talks a lot, and gets goofy, though not so goofy as Flea's Alex. He always makes sense, he just gets...wild. The biggest issue for him is his mood--one minute he can be a calm, sweet, funny kid, and the next he can be lashing out, yelling and kicking. He is very sensitive and blows things out of proportion. He tends toward black-or-white thinking. He has a hard time letting go of things he's fixated on.

He's in a group therapy that meets weekly with the goal of teaching social skills and problem solving. Right now there are only 2 boys in the group, but hopefully more will be added; the ideal group is 3 or 4 kids. As far as he knows, it's 1 1/2 hours of play every Friday afternoon, but in reality he and the other boy are learning how to solve the social issues that arise as a result of their own challenges, and how to help each other to do that. I try to minimize TV, I try to make a pretty solid routine for homework and dinner and bed, and make plenty of time for physical activity, including one structured event (right now it's swimming classes). Over the past year, what I've learned is that I have to lighten up, and let him learn to deal with his own stuff. We go to the park now, we invite other kids over. I try to keep a grip on my own tendency to overanalyze and overprotect and overcompensate.

The thing that worries me most, I discovered, is that he'll turn out to be his father. And I don't mean that his father isn't a good guy. He is. He's a good person, he's brilliant and funny and kind-hearted, but he's also miserable most of the time. He lives most of his life under a cloud. He hates everything more times than not. It's miserable and it's horrible, and I dread, dread the thought that my baby will see the world like that. Because really? All I want is for him to be happy. And what scares me most is that his genes won't let him be. But I'm trying hard, now, to remember that he's as much my child as his father's, and that his father also went through a lot of environmental shit that our Boy will hopefully never encounter. I also try and remember that I was a complete freak as a child. I had the tics, the neuroses, the self-harming and obsessive behaviors, the eating disorder, the cutting, the fear, the anxiety, the melancholy--and dang if I didn't turn out more or less okay and actually a happy person more often than not. I truly enjoy life. I am happy. I have to choose to believe that my Boy will be, too.