At 4:30AM she turns on her light and goes back into her room. I lay there, hopeful she is just going back to sleep after getting a glass of milk and using the bathroom, but no, she walks back out. Her American Girl doll catalogue bag slung over her shoulder, she heads to the kitchen table. I know I am in trouble, yesterday was rough, her explosive behavior coming out in full force. This is easily a sign of what I suspected yesterday, a swimmers ear infection. Makes sense, she's awake early and swimmers ear especially hurts while laying down. I quickly go to the kitchen and tell her it is too early to be up. She growls at me and I say it again nicely, showing her the darkness outside. My head starts to spin, what if she won't go back to bed, what if she can't fall back asleep? Today is my fifth day in a row caring for Teale all day. Her school program ended last Friday and she doesn't go back until September 3rd. These weeks off from program can be tough, Teale likes the routine of school and she loves her friends there. Add in the fact that her favorite person in the world is at work all day (her Daddy) and she is stuck with me, well lets just say, the days are long. I added a challenge this week and am helping out a dear friend who has a son with behavior issues and special needs. She can't take him just anywhere for care and she needed to go to a work training this week, so I agreed to have him a couple days. Honestly, he is great and my other daughter Gwenn basically cares for him, but there is stress having another person in the house. Gwenn mostly respects the strange boundaries of Teale, staying out of sight is usually her M.O. Although there are times she seems to purposely push Teale's buttons, Gwenn gets that a Teale rage throws our whole day. Yesterday was debatable, Gwenn and my friend's son were in the kitchen when Teale started to turn. I often struggle with letting Gwenn live her life normally, which also involes helping Teale to understand and embrace their relationship or keeping the peace in the house at all cost. Just Gwenn's being in a room with Teale can set Teale off. Yesterday was no exception, Teale was sure Gwenn "was looking at her iPad." Gwenn was in the kitchen after waking up, looking for a drink and something to eat for breakfast. Teale was at the kitchen table watching YouTube videos on her iPad when she started in. She was immediately pounding the table and freaking out that "Gwenn was looking at her." Teale is diagnosed with many mental illnesses, but Intermittent Explossive Disorder was the first diagnosis. On a dime her mood goes from even to explosive, often without reason and in those moments there is NO REASONING with her. I try, I talk to her and try to get her to see Gwenn is only in the kitchen for breakfast, not to harm or upset her, but the morning had been edgy and I usually can tell when the rage is just going to have to play itself out. I start moving things that can break and be thrown at us, subtly but quickly I try to clear out her path and get Gwenn and my friend's son out of sight. The screaming increases, the pounding on the table is intense. She's angry her iPad isn't responding to her and that is being slammed. I take it from her, which than changes where her anger is. She doesn't always come after me the same now, on some unconscious level she may get that she is bigger and stronger than I am? Her anger has shifted though from Gwenn to me. I have her beloved iPad and she wants it back. I'm calm, years of training by circumstances have taught me to stay calm. The kitchen is one of my least favorite rooms (Funny statement, hu?) for her to rage in though. I will try to get her to our safe place, the couch in the living room. On the couch she rocks herself, screams and often bites herself, but strangely, she will stay on the couch and not attack me, as much. Getting her from the kitchen to the couch is the challenge. She slams the hanging light and then knocks over our large picnic style table, I jump at the opportunity. Grabbing her left arm I put her in a walking hold and to her surprise I and able to get her to the couch. There she continues the rage, coming at my face a few times but I am standing and she is seated on the couch in front of me, so I have a better vantage point and deflect her attacks without too much pain. Like I said, many years of experience have gotten me here, but it never ceases to amaze me how sad I am while observing a rage. A glance by her sister started this? A half hour of extreme anger because a person walked into the same room as you? She's biting herself to bleeding, blood is all over her arms and her mouth. Sometimes I try to stop that, but often my efforts to stop her biting just make it more intense. Today my head says to let it go. I try to use it as a teachable moment as I see the calm coming over her though. I still hold such hope that I can teach the inappropriateness of this behavior. I'm stubborn and I'm strong, my faith keeps me going and my prayers have been flying this whole time "please help my daughter to have peace in her heart" runs through my head over and over again. I'm sure God is with me, I'm sure I'm surrounded by angels who help me stay calm. I watch as her screaming loses intensity and I talk about how her behavior is inappropriate. She's waffling by now, exhaustion has probably kicked in and the adrenaline is fading. I video tape a small snippet, sending it to Mark and a few of my friends, some of which who are also Mom's of special needs children. Support is my M.O. in this life, my friends and especially Mark, are my lifeline. They get it and I need them. I need someone to see what Hell Teale is living in. There are tears wiped away as I watch my daughter suffer, sadness and a healthy bit of fear fill me. I still have over seven days alone to get through. So today, when she wanted to start the day at 4:30AM, my heart jumped with fear, but I won the battle and got her back to bed, pain killers and ear drops in, she went back to sleep... I just didn't.