not angry not awake

It’s been well documented here that my 5yo is a tricky little character. She suffers from multiple food intolerance, only sleeps through the night a couple of times a week (if we’re lucky!) and at five has full scale meltdowns most toddlers aren’t capable of. I firmly believe they are all linked – the stomach problems and eczema make her uncomfortable which drives the lack of sleep and the sleep deprivation drives the bad behaviour. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken, but won’t be until we get to the very root of the problem and set to work fixing it. We are currently awaiting an appointment (for some time in August) for an endoscopy and colonoscopy to be performed, so the doctors can have a proper investigation insider her and see what’s going on. They are looking for things like Coeliac Disease, Crohns Disease, Colitis.

Between now and then she must eat a fully gluten containing diet, which means two months hard work on Full GAPS went out the window. Dr. Campbell-McBride talks in the book about the toxicity of GAPS children’s brains, and how they don’t compute things in the way a healthy childs brain does. This could explain her tantrums! In order to reduce their toxic load as much as possible, they must eat super clean food, and be given good quality supplements. As of this week, in addition to 5yo’s probiotics and kefir she’s now taking fermented cod liver oil. Supposedly the absolute very best omega boost you can give your brain, and it also provides a whole host of other health benefits.

first time motherhood

Since being back on gluten her behaviour has gone from bad to worse. In particular the rage and anger that she is capable of. She has been lashing out on a daily basis, and has even caused her five month old brother harm at points this week. She’s always been spiteful towards her sister, but in the last few days it’s gone to new levels. She tried to push her off the trampoline last night, then threw some wooden toy food at her head afterwards. Then there’s the snatching, the screaming in our faces, and crying uncontrollably at the slightest hint of being told no.

The tantrums get worse as the week goes on, and she becomes more tired. At the weekend we get back to relative normality but by the time Tuesday evening rolls around, things are pretty dire again. By Friday it’s all I can do to get them into bed at 6:30 and hope for an ok nights sleep. I’m fairly good at keeping calm most of the time, but when she goes for the little ones I’m afraid to say it’s another matter. My primal instinct to protect my young goes into overdrive, and my cool-as-a-cucumber-resolve gets lost somewhat. When I start getting angry it just adds fuel to the already smoking fire!

She had an after school strop that lasted a full forty minutes the other day, during which I was kicked and punched and scratched and told ‘I hate you’. When I finally managed to give her a cuddle, I asked why she was so angry. She looked at me sobbing, and said “I don’t know mama, I just am”. It broke my heart a little bit, because there is nothing I can do to help her when she’s in that state.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section if you do.

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22 thoughts on “ANGER

  1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. My daughter could probably benefit from all those things, but as you said it’s impossible in the heat of the moment πŸ™ best of luck to you xx

  2. Ooh sweetie! What a tough, exhausting, emotional time you’re having right now!!

    My 6yo has her moments! …Anger, annoyance & frustration take up an increasingly large chunk of her day …And as far as I understand this is ‘just’ the usual!! So I can’t even imagine adding food allergies and reactions to the equation πŸ™

    We’ve worked a lot on helping Miss 6 understand when she’s getting angry, and helping her find ways of dealing with that… constructively!

    Does she need to walk away? Does she need to go punch a pillow! Does she need to get a piece of fruit or go out of the house for a moment. Does she need some quiet or would she like a minute alone with one of us? Is there something that she loves doing (like drawing) that she can sit down and do for a bit – these things can’t be discussed in the heat of it, they need to be talked about while things are calmer!

    …Part 1 at least!!

  3. Thank you so much Maddy, for your kind reassuring words. It’s really interesting to hear you say that you remember being angry as a kid but grew out of it. I’m just hoping these procedures lead us to an actual diagnosis, so we can hurry up and fix her xxx

  4. Oh this sounds so difficult for you! I feel for your little girl – I remember being angry about everything as a child, for no particular reason although I did (at 8) grow out of it and have felt surprisingly calm ever since! It’s tough being an emotional child. It sounds like the gluten is a major problem for her and I really hope that you get a proper diagnosis and then decent support.

    I really feel for you too in all of this. Well done for staying calm such a lot of the time and absolutely don’t beat yourself up about the times when you do get cross – anyone would! (I have shouted over far less, particularly when sleep deprived) and that protective urge is so strong!

    Wish I could say something more helpful! look after yourself, you WILL get through it! Mxxx

  5. Aw that last bit broke my heart. Must be pretty scary being a kid and feeling that way but not knowing why. Hope that August appointment comes around quickly for both of you. In the meantime, my advice as others said is to use the support of those around you. Also if there is any chance have a bit if time out for yourself. Even if you can only get 30 minutes, it sounds like you’ll need it to recharge a bit. And hang out with anyone in your life who will give you a hug! Sending you a virtual one. Sophia

  6. Oh, honey, I just wish I could come and give you a big hug. This must be so hard, on the one hand because the tantrums and anger are so difficult to deal with and on the other because you know that, at the moment, the diet you have to feed her is contributing to it. Please don’t be too hard on yourself, as you saw in my post, I’m terribly quick to shout at the moment, and although my little girl is a handful, it is just feisty two year old territory, I really have very little excuse. I really hope that the appointment in August gives you the answers you need to start helping her. Thanks so much for linking to #ThePrompt x

  7. You really are doing an amazing job with three little ones and your big one with intolerances. I hope it gets easier for you.

    It’s so hard not to lose your cool, especially when you’re tired. We’ve all been there.

  8. Wow. Sorry you had to go through such a bad time but glad you got the diagnosis in the end. What a dilemma that must have been.

  9. Hi there! As Mel said this sounds all to familiar!! I would certainly put it down to the gluten. But, it is very important that you feed it to her until she has had the examinations by the doctors. If she doesn’t have it you will never get a diagnosis for coeliac disease…if indeed it is that. That may not bother you and you may give up on giving her gluten if this continues. All I can say is that we faced the same dilemma…we pretty much knew that gluten was the cause of our little girls problems but had to feed it to her to get the correct diagnosis. Initially our instinct was to think well who cares, a diagnosis doesn’t matter provided that she is well. However, we soon realised that a diagnosis is pretty important if you want support and help so we decided to carry on feeding her the gluten even though we knew it was making her ill. You have to try and think that in her lifetime it is only a short period of time…and is hopefully for the best in the long run.

    The anger is so so difficult to cope with. Even off gluten our daughter is pretty feisty but it is certainly worse if we have eaten out and there is a possibility of her having had some contaminated food.

    I can’t really offer you any advice on how to cope with it! I have no idea and although I try and keep it together there are times when I just cannot and I have to walk away from her or shout…making it worse!

    I think the best thing to do when it is all over is to talk about it with them…as you did. And to reiterate that you love them just the same and that you will work something out together. If she starts hurting the others then I guess you need to tell her when she is calm and rational (ie before she is doing it) that if it happens again she will have to go to her room until she is calm. That is what I do because it makes everyone in the house upset. Having said that, that is pretty hard in itself because she won’t stay there!!!!

    Anyway, essay over. Drop me an email if you want…use the contact form on my website. I would be very happy to talk to you over the phone or Skype too. We all need as much support as possible…and over the next few months you are likely to need more than usual!

    Take care and be kind to yourself. You are doing the very best you can x

  10. Hon, this is just awful. Why does she have to be back on the gluten? You are doing such a great job not getting angry yourself, especially when your younger ones are at the receiving end of the anger. I really feel for you. I recently read a post from Vicki (if you don’t know her, check her blog, she is brilliant) about her coeliac daughter having had gluten… and the anger that followed. You will be able to relate. xxxxx
    Just dug out Vicki’s post for you:

  11. Sorry to hear that you’re having a time of it…
    My little boy has autism and he has meltdowns on a daily basis – we also think he may be intolerant to certain foods.
    Tiredness will make matters worse for your child – no question.
    Keep trying different things and do all you can to keep yourself calm…lots of deep breaths. You’re doing a fabulous job! x

  12. My eldest daughter definitely has some food intolerances as she always seems to have tummy aches and my nearly 3 year old has those storms of anger you describe that are getting worse by the day. I can’t imagine how hard this all is for you – especially with the lack of sleep and two smaller children to consider. I really hope that the hideous changes from the altered diet calm down as she gets used to it and the investigations can begin to find some answers for you all. In the meantime, hugs from the bottom of my heart xx

  13. Oh my, sounds like your all having a tough time. I think keeping your cool is the best way to handle things but being patient in such difficult situations must be extremely hard. I think you’re coping well. I hope everything improves for you all soon. x

  14. So sorry to hear that things are so difficult at the moment – it sounds like you are trying to do as much as possible to try and help your 5yo and her siblings. I hope you are managing to get the occasional moments of time out to help you recharge too. I don’t have any advice to offer to help, just a virtual hug and hoping that you get some answers when your daughter has her appointment and life starts to become a little easier for you all x

  15. I am in awe at how your 5YO mirrors my 2YO. (I secretly pray my daughter grows out of it, but she has been this way since birth). It is inherent. She is so angry. A little ball of fire. With intolerance issues too. I think all you can do is accept the way she is – aside from the food stuff issues – and love her lots and lots. And obviously, do not beat yourself up for losing it with her on occasion. You are only human. And you are facing more than your average mother. You my dear, are a star! x

  16. Oh my, I have just read all that and can’t imagine how hard it must be to cope with day in and day out, and the nights too, you are doing wonderfully well and seem to be doing everything you can, including reaching out for support, which you have from me, and I am sure all of us, wholeheartedly. Don’t struggle alone, I think that’s my best advice, know that you can do this with support even if that’s mostly from us online! Be gentle with yourself and take each day as it comes, don’t ever beat yourself up for not being perfect all the time, it’s impossible!! I have many hard days too at the moment (long story!) but seeking support and being as gentle as possible on myself and others is what gets me through in the main πŸ™‚ good luck and well done. Cat xxx

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