Yesterday I wrote about the difficulty to live in a place of not knowing and reevaluating behaviors all the time. (I think this hits all parents.)
There was an afternoon where we had company over and Big had an episode. It was a strong flashback to days gone by, memories I would like to trade, and my responses being so far below appropriate. I was trying so hard to keep my cool, but really, really struggling. I went upstairs where our friend lives and asked him to come downstairs and take care of the kids while I found my control. I needed a couple moments to find God’s peace, seek His guidance and find my composure. I started to weep and in frustration ask “Why?” What did he eat? Would he lie about it if I asked him about school? And God quietly spoke to me, “Sometimes the why doesn’t matter or what he ate doesn’t matter. He will eat things that will hurt him. That is a fact. Things that will make him angry and loose all control. We have to teach him how to handle himself and find control even in these situations. We have to learn how to deal with it, regardless.” So from that day, we have tried to live that way.
However, I have also learned that when my gut is speaking to me, I need to listen. Sometimes the why or what does matter because the answer brings freedom and understanding and a healthier way of living.
Which brings about another story.
It was days before Christmas and small behaviors started to come out again. Constant pushing the boundaries and rules. Constant disagreement. Constant arguing. No threshold for sharing or speaking politely. Angry at the world for every little thing that doesn’t go his way. The key word here is CONSTANT.
I need you to understand that I have a strong idea of sin and knowing that it is apart of our life. Knowing that that we naturally have these tendencies, these reactions, these behaviors. They are very normal. But when my nice boy never shows up, and then, Big is distant and irritated all the time, my gut tells me something is off.
This is what it was like before Christmas. His behavior was different than if he ate something, but at the same time, something was off. Paul and I could both tell, but we had no idea where to start figuring it out. We felt lost. I don’t like asking big about what he ate every time something feels off. I don’t want it to be an excuse for him. So we patiently wait and watch and pray.
I was deeply sadden this time because we were heading down to Texas for Christmas where my mother-in-law spent the last couple weeks shopping and preparing special meals for us, and instead of taking our healed son to be with her at Christmas, we were bringing our enhanced son.
(We have started talking about Big’s responses in this way because his feelings and reactions are normal, but they come out in the most extreme way when he is filling his body with toxins. So he isn’t really crazy, his emotions, responses, lack of control are enhanced. More extreme. Get it?)
He was HIGHLY distracted on the plane. He couldn’t focus. He was angry that we weren’t going to Denver. He was on edge and distant and frustrated with us.
Christmas got a little better and then we came home. Things were starting to feel off again. Then when I was away in Baltimore speaking with my friend Henry Graf I was talking to Paul. He told me our contractor was over working and cleaning up the mess upstairs from the repairs he did to the ceiling. Then it hit me. Henry’s wife got very sick when she visited this summer because she slept next to an open piece of drywall, and she is highly allergic to wheat. Drywall has a large wheat component.
The whole ceiling upstairs was getting ripped down and rebuilt. Dust was everywhere. He wasn’t eating anything but his body was absorbing the toxins.
It is fascinating to me the body’s response to food and toxins.
Yes, we need to move forward from the reason for the behavior and work on our responses to the world and what is happening. We can try to control our behavior and responses. However, we can’t tune out completely because something might be truly be hurting you. When Big is getting filled with toxins, its like he is living half a life. He has hardly any joy, he fights with his friends and can’t focus on school. Everything we do as a family is filled with stress. So yes, I always want to keep my eyes open so that maybe I can notice if something is wrong and I can help him to the best of my ability.
I don’t know where you stand on the issue and frankly it doesn’t matter. But just as I never saw my son through the eyes of someone else who could notice behaviors, I encourage any parent who might have some doubts to pray over the situation. Teaching our kids how to control themselves is a critical life skill, however, there might be something real going on that is keeping your child from embracing their real self. I am not saying that every temper tantrum is cause for pills or a gluten free diet. Big still has temper tantrums. He’s an opinionated strong willed six year old that lives in a sinful world. It happens. But never underestimate your sixth sense, your gut. It’s always right.
So if you didn’t know…Drywall has wheat in it.
They need to work more upstairs next week to fix the mistakes they made. We are getting our insurance company to put us up in a hotel due to our issue. I sure hope that works.
And if you think I’m making this up, it has been unbelievable the difference in both my sons the last week once the cleaning company came. We knew something was up, but we couldn’t figure it out. Another lesson learned in our adventure.