We've had a really tough time with J-Man since we moved in March. That was a huge change in our family and change can be very scary for him. Moving caused major regressions for him and the last couple of months have brought out the worst again.
As time goes on, I see him settling in and feeling better about his life. Recently, we had 2 1/2 weeks of bliss with no major episodes for him. No hurts, no mean words thrown at me, no throwing things around his room. It was wonderful! I think time has helped, the Lord has been healing him, and also the new strategies we've been implementing from our Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) training have been very helpful.
So 2 1/2 weeks of bliss and then a week hit where things were extra busy, I was extra tired and edgy, and he had a major episode one day. We did an exercise in our TBRI training where we looked at the different styles of parenting (authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, neglectful) and we had to chart where we parent on our best day, and then where we tend to parent on our worst day. Not our worst day of parenting, but OUR WORST DAY, when we are just having a bad day. When I'm having a bad day, I tend to go more toward Authoritarian, I get less nurturing, and more along the lines of "do it and do it now!" So on this particular week, that's where I went and J-Man did not react well to it. It was kind of like a perfect storm, I guess.
The beautiful and amazing thing was that he had a terrible episode that one day, and then he began to slowly pull himself back to a good place over the next few days. We didn't have to live in this place of hard stuff for weeks or months like we normally would. The next day, he had a much smaller episode, and the next day he had a tiny episode, and the next day he threw out one mean phrase before we were able to get him to calm down and control himself. It was incredibly encouraging to see that he is now at the point where he can have a really bad day, but then he can recover and we can all get back to a healthy place pretty quickly. I can live with that. We all have bad days once in a while. Granted, his bad day is worse than most, but at least it's not a bad month!
So now we're finishing 1 week of no episodes. Maybe this time we can go 3 weeks. But I'm so encouraged to know that even if a really bad day happens, we all have the tools we need to help him recover and to get back to a regulated home. Adoptive parenting is always this 2 steps forward, 4 steps back kind of dance. But I think we've made some real progress lately. And I'll take it!