Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Day In The Life...also known as: My Husband. My Hero.

The house is quiet.

For now.

It likely will only last about an hour, but I'll take it over the meltdowns that have happened daily since Hopper broke her leg. It's been a long 4 weeks since that happened.

I'm not complaining. At least I don't mean to be. I can't express how very thankful I am that she's doing so much better. And for the most part, I can handle the meltdowns. They mean she's getting back to her normal self, who absolutely hates being confined to a wheelchair and the frustration it brings. In ways, I'm thankful she's frustrated. It means she's not happy being stuck where she is, and she won't be comfortable staying in the wheelchair forever. She's got such an easy going spirit overall, that one could get the idea that she is fine with things never changing or with a lack of healing/growth on her part.

But I am honestly fatigued by the meltdowns. They wear on me. And while yesterday and today haven't been too bad, the last few weeks have been horrendous.

Bugster and Bubster had their wedding over the weekend, and I'm not sure, if it's a lack of sleep on the girls' part, (Let me break in here by saying the quiet was so quiet that I couldn't keep my eyes open, and we all took a much needed nap! Now...back to your regularly scheduled post...), or what, but the meltdowns have been plentiful. Saturday, the day of the wedding, Hopper probably had at least a dozen meltdowns throughout the day before the wedding. She had a couple more when we were at the park to break the pinata and then again at the ceremony.

Her meltdowns can be a bit contagious. And although Scooter hasn't has as many meltdowns as Hopper, Hopper's have triggered them. Sadly, Hubster and I are not immune. We normally have the patience to deal with a meltdown here or a meltdown there, but we've had no space between them in which to recover, and we've snapped a few times.

Hubby had his parents come over for a visit on Sunday while I was out with my sister and mom for a few hours. He wanted to give me a break, and he thought maybe it would be easier on me to have them over while I was gone, and I was all for both the break and not being here when they were seeing the house and all it hoards. However, it was a bit much for him to handle alone, and he said that he exploded out of pure frustration at Hopper. He didn't hit her. He didn't call her names. But he did yell at her. And he's got a big voice. It's not something that happens with any frequency. We try very hard not to yell at the girls, but we're human, and sometimes, when we've had no break from the stress, when there is no relief in sight, we've been known to yell. And while neither of us want to yell at the girls, we'd rather it come out as something loud rather than something hard like a fist.

And so, when I was away from the house, and Hubster was here alone with the girls, their moods, and their grandparents, he snapped. And his dad, in all his infinite wisdom, encouraged Hubster that maybe we needed to do it more often. After all, it caused her to stop her meltdown.

:::insert extra large eye roll here::::

Hubster put the girls to bed and then talked with his parents, who have never once showed an ounce of understanding for what goes on with the girls, either for us as parents or for our beautiful daughters. And how he didn't totally explode at his parents is beyond me. Instead, he asked a hypothetical question. He asked, "What would you have done, if I was out of control, and yelling didn't snap me out of it? Would you hit me? What if you couldn't or wouldn't hit me for whatever reason? What would you do then?"

His dad didn't have any answers.

He explained that every single day, grown people throw fits. That sometimes, "when Judy hurts my sensitive little feelings, I give her the silent treatment". That other times when an adult is going through a rough divorce, they end up murdering their entire families. And while these are only examples of fits that people throw, that adults with a normal mental capacity still have the ability to pull themselves into check and realize what they're doing. They can typically reason with themselves and stop throwing their fits.

However, the girls aren't typical. They feel the emotions that they feel when they feel them. They don't stuff them. The love, anger, sadness, happiness and joy they feel are more real than what most people feel, simply because they have no way of faking it. So when they're feeling overwhelmed, scared, sad and angry, it comes out in the form of a meltdown. And all we can do is allow them to feel it, even when they sometimes feel those deep emotions when it's not convenient to us.

So his mom asked, if we'd considered taking her to a psychiatrist. Had we considered drugs?

::::insert monumentally HUGE eye roll here::::

I know. Maybe I should give her the benefit of the doubt. She seriously could have just been brain storming and trying to help find a solution. So Hubster explained again that we had gone the route of the psychiatrist. That he'd put her on medication, and that when the medication didn't seem to be quite enough according to the psychiatrist that he upped the dose, and then she started getting physical. It was infrequent at first. She would only have full-blown meltdowns once a month. We figured it had to do with her hormones, but it wasn't long before she was having meltdowns more than once a week. By the time we realized the meds were the culprit in her uncontrolled rages, Hopper was getting physical with me 3 and 4 days out of the week, and each day consisted of 3 to 4 altercations with her trying to beat me up. She was on the medicine for 2 full years before we realized that it was the cause of the problems. So yeah. We tried a psychiatrist. And we tried drugs. 

Yeah. They didn't work.

It was obvious at the wedding the night before that they both felt that the girls are not disciplined, and if we only (fill in the blank) that they'd behave better in public. The thing is, they're two of the most well behaved kids you'd ever meet. I'm fairly certain the inlaws came to our house thinking the same thing when they visited our home when Hubster was taking care of the girls while I was gone. I think they may have left with a totally different understanding of their son's family and the life we live. 

Hubster wondered, if maybe, somewhere, they might get that we know how to handle the girls, that we might actually know what we're doing after all these years. After all, Hopper is weeks away from being 21. Only time will tell, if they took anything out of the conversation.

When Hubster told me everything that happened, I told him that he'd never been sexier to me. He shows me on a daily basis what we mean to him. We never lack for love. Ever. But for him to go so far as to explain things to his parents regardless of any sort of backlash, it speaks volumes about what he feels for us. 

I just hope that his parents finally see it. 


  1. I hope your in-laws "got" it, too! But, I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Congrats on the wedding! She is a beautiful girl (oops, woman) :)

  2. How funny that I did the huge eyeroll before I read it. It's so easy for others to judge isn't it? I admire you and your husband for your love and devotion to your girls. I'm not sure I could do it. It's so clear to me that your whole family is very special.

  3. I have the same kind of inlaws. We have a child with special needs and we have multiple meltdowns a day everyday. It is so exhausting. However, my son's conditions are different.

    I "get" what you mean that you are exhausted by the meltdowns. They are difficult to deal with sometimes. But somehow, as parents to these children, we find the strength somehow, someway to keep going and always loving them unconditionally regardless of their behaviors or problems.

  4. Congrats of the wedding! How wonderful!

    While I am not comparing, my youngest has Autism Spectrum. He is VERY high functioning and now you'd never know it, but when he was little the meltdowns were exhausting. He still has them from time to time but they are no where near what they once were.

    At times he was physical. VERY physical (he knocked a preschool teachers bridge out once) and all I kept thinking was I can pick him up now (he's 3) what will happen when he's 16?

    Kudos to you and Hubs for doing this every day, and handling it beautifully. :)

  5. Your hubby , quite simply is an amazing man, and you an amazing woman! THank God you found each other

  6. The difference between inlaws and outlaws?

    Outlaws are wanted.


  7. Oh my. What a wonderful man that husband of yours is. Congrats on the wedding, pictures to come??? Please... HUGE Kudos to BOTH of you!!

  8. Yeah. I'm not holding my breath, Portia. And thanks. She is a beautiful young woman. :)

    Jojesek, Thanks. We feel we have an amazing family, but we're sorta biased. And LOL on the eyeroll!

    Hi Shari, Thanks for stopping by. :) And you're right. Somehow, somewhere, we find the strength. I think we draw strength from the kids, because they need us to be strong. I am forever grateful that the Lord blessed us with our girls. :)

    Julianna-It's is the same in that it is so hard to know how to handle the meltdowns and where/how to get the rest and the strength for the next step. I've read your blog often enough to know you handle it well. :) And thank you. :)

    Fern-Thank you. :) He is an amazing man, and I thank God daily that he put us in one another's lives. :)

    LOL Ami. :) Thanks! I can always use more hugs! :)

    And Tiffany...Not sure yet on pictures. They haven't gotten them back, and I had my hands full, so I didn't take any. Guess we'll see what they say when they get them back. And thanks for the the hugs. :)


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