Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Work In Progress

We have had a great week. Except that today which is 'zoo volunteer day' was cancelled due to thunderstorms. Kalisha and her recreational therapist went to Tokens and Tickets and walked around the mall for a while. Sounds like more fun than picking up goat poop to me. It was fun, I think. It just throws her schedule out of whack. She has come a lo-o-o-ong way since the days when things like that really upset her.
Many times when I say something, even if it isn't anything bad or angry, Kalisha will think I am 'mad' at her. I don't even realize it until I hear her talking to her Behavioral Consultant and she is saying, "Mom's mad at me." I can't even remember what I said.
It's a good thing her BC and I have a really good relationship or she would think I was angry at Kalisha every day. This bothered me. I tried to analyze my tone of voice, body language, etc. I remembered when I was married and many times the kids and I would think their dad was angry about something. I used to tell him, "I am going to tape record you without your knowledge and you can hear what you sound like." Actually, most of the time, he really was mad about something, but that's a whole different story.
I thought maybe I should tape myself to hear what I sounded like. I suggested that to Kalisha's BC. She told me that Kalisha is so connected to me and so badly does not want me to be angry with her, that she is overly sensitive to anything I say. (Don't read the last post if you don't want to hear about me really being angry.)
She suggested I ask Kalisha how she feels about what I just said. (Sounds like the old psychiatrist line, doesn't it? "And, Mr. B. how does that make you feel?)
Anyway, for the past week, I have asked her a few times if what I just said made her feel like I was angry about something. She always looked at me rather strangely and said, "No."
Before you think I am yelling all the time, that isn't what I mean. For example: I ask Kalisha to bring the garbage bin up from the curb. Later, I again ask if she is going to do it. About the third time, I might say, "Were you planning on getting the garbage bin today or just let it set until next week?"  Usually she laughs and then does it, but obviously, some days it sounds to her like I am extremely upset.
It actually takes quite a bit to make me angry, and if you ask my other four children, they will tell you that they never had any doubt about when I was really upset about something. I guess Kalisha is not as sure about different nuances in language and is always feeling her way. We are both a work in progress.

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