I'm happy to report some improvement here. We seem to have finally found a med combo that is working for Jeff. That's the first thing, but it's affected everything else. We're getting along better, he and the kids are getting along better. Dinner time is becoming more predictably pleasant, instead of being our daily exercise in falling apart as a family. This is a great relief.
On the less-happy front, I had my first episode of can't-wake-up syndrome today. This is really typical for me in winter, and I was sort of hoping it wouldn't start this year. But, blessedly, Jeff not only ran the household and got breakfast this morning, he also fixed the clogged pipes under the kitchen sink and did the dishes. When I finally dragged my ass out of bed after 11, he told me he'd been hoping to get more done. I was overwhelmed. I still am. For months now, we've been living lives of bare civility and occasional angry outbursts, also occasional affectionate outbursts. Between me being ill and untreated and him being ill and ineffectively treated, things were not going well. But my hope for the future of our family, which never died completely but needed life support at times, is now getting steadily stronger.
It's a good time for it. Because the feeling we've had for a long time, that there is something off about Allie, is getting stronger as well. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't live with us, because 90% of the behavior that concerns us happens at home, with only our family around to witness it. But here's some highlights:
Allie asked us the other day, out of the blue: "why do some parents hate their children and kill them?"
She has started hitting her siblings again, and seemed poised to choke Eva with a jumprope the other day (put it around her neck and started pulling the ends in opposite directions), although I intervened before the actual choking started
She screams inconsolably when I leave the room until I return
She is becoming more defiant, lying more, and refusing to listen to Jeff or me in most instances
She has out-of-control screaming tantrums, where she is mentally unreachable (but obviously terrified) and cannot participate in calming herself down- we have to wait them out, sometimes for a half-hour or more
She was an extremely intense baby, and she has always had periods like this ("difficult stages" is our family nomenclature), but as she gets older, not only are they getting worse, but they're getting more and more out-of-sync with expected, normal behavior-for-age. She reminds me of my brother, which is a very scary thing. Since her preschool screening was A-OK, I think our next stop is a referral to a behavioral specialist for evaluation. Hopefully they'll take our word for it, because she is still her normal, bright, charming self when not at home. I wish I could see inside her head and know what is going on with her, because I know what a wonderful girl she can be.