Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Uh-oh, you lost it!"

Once upon a time (20 years ago) I had a summer job working at a residential school.   I was assigned to a class of 6-11 year olds.  There were four teachers and about 8 kids.  I was hired to work with a  cute 9 year-old pixie I will call M.  She required one-on-one attention 24/7 and I was the 8-3 shift.  Evidently there was not a school in CA that could handle M so she was sent to Kansas... and to me.  M had a hard time with many things... transitions, the word "no",  things not being perfect, and with being out of control.  I was supposed to facilitate her learning while controlling her behavior.  M had lots of "triggers" that would set her off.  For example, saying, "It's time to go to music" would be enough to throw her into a frenzy.  I always knew when it was coming because she would say, "Uh-oh, you lost it!" several times right before she let loose.  She would start with hitting and biting herself and then move on to tearing up the room and then scratching, hitting and biting whoever tried to stop her (me).  I was shown how to put her in a safety hold (to protect herself and others) and then I was expected to carry this raging 60 pounds of anger several hundred yards from our portable classroom to the main office--while listening to her repeat "Uh-oh, you lost it!"  In the office was a padded room where I would put M while she calmed down.  (Maybe they didn't have padded rooms in CA.)  By the end of the day I was exhausted.  I wanted to quit many times, but I stuck it out and was glad I did.
Today I felt like M.  I too have triggers that set me off.  Today it was at church.  Graduation Sunday.  No problem right?  Big problem.  The music for the slide show was the same song that Richard had used in a slide show he made of Anna.  The combination of the song and the pictures of the kids growing up and graduating was too much.  I started shaking... then crying--not the "tear running down the side of your face during a touching song" crying, but the "What is wrong with that woman?" crying.  ("Uh-oh, you lost it!")  Richard was out of town so my sweet friend put her arm around me and held me while I sobbed.  Luckily I didn't need a padded room.  As soon as the song was over, I took a deep breath and I was fine.  Self conscious, but fine.


Kelly said...

I'm so sad for you and Richard when you encounter things like that.

Lauren said...

I feel sad for you, too, as I am sure it comes on so suddenly.
You are precious, and I am grateful for the sweet friend He gave you in that moment.
" uh oh, you lost it" kind of makes me giggle.. like, it would be nice if my kids or me would have such a warning to send out before we "lose it"
... plus, I can visualize you telling that story.

BTW, I have to tell you... because of your last post, I have started memorizing Scripture. I was terrible at it. I also started doing a bootcamp, and God was reminding me over and over of that same verse. I just needed a nudge! thankful for you!