Most of Tortuga's "trauma" times (moves from birth mom, moves to foster homes, move to RTC, move to our home, etc.) took place between October 30 and February 20. This is our hell time with him. Each and every year it is as if a switch has been flipped as October 30 rolls around and his behavior starts to spiral downward. He will become easily dysregulated and angry and aggressive and violent. Bad times all the way around. This year, we have been trying to prepare for it a little differently. We started talking about it in August and we started to call attention to the behaviors and feelings that often emerge around this time of year. We also pointed out that we are going to be extra sensitive and extra vigilant to try and address these as soon as they arise. We have reintroduced tapping and practicing patience and alone time under his weighted blanket in anticipation of all of this. Each week I plan on introducing a new guided imagery and a new set of journal prompts to help us all get through the process and document it for him.
Today, as if on cue, his dysregulation was palatable from the moment he got up. He was agitated and "off" throughout the day BUT he held it together for the most part. We have started a "chart" in which he will track each time he finds himself feeling "off" or doing something he should. We have made it a "family project" to help him through this time without letting him blow it for the rest of the family. In previous years we have cancelled many activities because he couldn't handle it but we aren't going to do this this year and he will be writing about each of these in his journal. So far, he seems "on board" with the idea and I think it is helping him feel a little more in control. I don't know if it will help but it may give us some insights as we move forward.