Have a voice crying out in the wilderness moment. Actually, screaming out in the wilderness.
Feeling at the end of my rope about Julia’s picking. And sinking to a new low in how to cope with it. These have been the strategies I’ve been using so far, not necessarily in order, but as they come to me. Upped her Adderall and her Prozac, in an effort to increase her frontal lobe function to give her a better understand of what she is doing in the case of the former, and to decrease her anxiety in the case of the latter. Twice a day, I am doing EFT, an alternative medicine technique which uses acupuncture points that aims to pacify negative disturbances. Every day, I do strong sitting and a loving kindness meditation. I put creams and lotions on her skin to help heal her many scabs and to keep her skin from getting dry and itchy. In the morning, I put bandaids on her arms on the worst of the scabs to physically prevent her from getting at them. I cut her finger nails short for the same reason. I dress her morning and night to make sure that she does not have time with her body alone. Her autism therapists and I have just started a few series of alternatives and reminders -- signs in the house to remind her not to pick, coins with stickers in the bathroom to allow her to pick at the stickers when she is on the toilet and has access to scabs while she is peeing. Talking to her about her body, its health and well-being. Visualizing healing.
We talk about negative reinforcement. Specifically, showing her pictures of infected sores and comparing them to the scabs and sores on her body. For me, that has been a bit drastic and unkind, but this morning I sunk to a new low and told her how ill her body could get and that it could keep her from going to school and eventually she could die from it. I felt incredibly sad, like I was losing her, like she was dying in front of me.
I did not push her through her morning, like I usually do. I asked if she wanted to take medication and gave her the option of not taking it. The same about eating breakfast. I told her that if she didn’t want it, she should not eat it. I asked her if she wanted me to pack lunch. That if she’d rather not eat it, I would not bother to pack it. And the same about strong sitting, if she didn’t want to do it, she could pass. The same about putting on her coat and catching the school bus. If she didn’t want to put on her coat or go to school, it didn’t matter.
This morning was terribly abusive. I gave up on her. This is the last thing that Julia needs and I did it. It was awful. I was going to moan about this for a few more paragraphs and dig myself deeper into a hole of depression and anxiety, but I called Marilyn, our attachment therapist and I am seeing her at noon, before our regular appointment at 1:30. I need help because no one, not even me, is going to give up on this child again. I love her too much for that.