Last week my mom and I loaded up the kids and headed to my sister's new home. As we backed out of the driveway it just hit me all of a sudden that I no longer have to worry when I put my car in reverse. I know it was sensory, but any time we used to put our car in reverse Payton would scream at the top of her lungs and just cry and cry (and at that time, it took a long time to get her calmed down). Looking back it is amazing how different our family life feels.
Traveling used to be awful. I know a lot of it was anxiety and I firmly believe the medication Payton takes has made her life so much easier. Like I said, the the processing of going backwards in a car was awful for her, she has since outgrown that. You know what else she's outgrown? The fear of windshield wipers. I remember when it would rain and I would need to go somewhere, I would try to figure out what to do.....it was awful hearing her scream and literally shake from the wipers being used. Passing big semis isn't really an issue anymore, either. Sure, she may say "I don't like it" every now and then because of the noise when we pass them, but she doesn't scream and cry.
Sleep. This has changed as well. For the better! Before, Payton would wake up and just scream - LOUD. She may scream for just 20 minutes or so, or she could possibly scream for 3 hours. We just never knew. What we did know: Exhaustion. Now, if she wakes up, she crawls down from the top of the bunk bed and walks into my room and quietly says my name. Now, that is just peaceful. Sure, every now and then she will wake up screaming, but generally it's because her back or legs hurt. Atleast now she can tell us what's wrong and we can help her. I've found out how important sleep is-and how important it is to take care of yourself so you can take care of your child.
Saying goodbyes. Goodbyes were awful for Payton. Maybe it was transitioning from one thing to the next, I'm not really sure, but anytime we left someone's home or someone left our home she was just devastated. It nearly got to the point where it wasn't worth going to other people's homes, she just couldn't get over it. This has changed as well! Every now and then she may have a meltdown over it, but generally we can get in the car and leave......in peace! This also feels amazing. I would love to get in her mind and see what she thinks, but maybe in the past she didn't understand that just because we were leaving didn't mean she would 'never' see them again.
Our home feels different now. It doesn't feel like the stressful, cut the air with a knife type feeling. For so long it seemed like there was constant crying, emotions, raging fits, etc that we were just living, but barely breathing. Bob and I went thru something that we never dreamed we'd have to live thru and we know we are stronger because of it (even though I feel like my life span is probably cut short :) I know along the way there were family and friends who were hurt because they simply did not understand what we were going thru, but now I feel like we are starting a brand new life. I feel like we are entering a world we haven't even been living in for five years. We're not afraid to leave the house anymore - we're excited about doing it! We're excited to see how Payton reacts to people and things - because she can handle it now. This is seriously going to be the best Christmas yet for our family.