Monday, 21 March 2016

Midnight Screams and High Anxiety

Over the last few nights, Nathan has woken up on more than one occasion, screaming from a nightmare.  It's a simple procedure to deal with, I go to him, ask him what scared him, check (because I always hated when my parents told me there was nothing wrong without even looking ... like they never even saw a horror movie), show him everything is fine, hold him for a bit and then get him settled back to sleep.  When asked in the morning, I usually discover he didn't even wake up enough to register that something had happened.

I, unfortunately, do not have that luxury.  

Aside from the sleep disruptions, I'm concerned that Nathan's anxiety levels have gone up a lot over the last few months.  We've had more tantrums (which result in him refusing to leave the house or wanting to return home), more refusing to leave our sides, more deliberate provoking of Alex.  All of these are signs of anxiety for Nathan, but I can't figure out what's triggering it.

Alex has been doing very well.  He's rarely aggressive these days.  Even under provocation, he's more likely to cry or shout than hit or kick.  

Is this a backlash to Nathan wanting to be more independent?  Something happening at school?  Disruption in routine or expectations?  He's been asking a lot about the service dog, and we'd been preparing him that it might come this spring, then we had to prepare him that it wasn't coming.  Maybe it was too much.

Whatever it is, it's certainly not going away on its own.  Which means I'm going to have to figure out what the root of the situation is and figure out how to deal with it.

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