Last night's Walmart trip set Ms. D in a tailspin of acting drunk and dysregulated. I was so worried for her.
Microbio daughter took her to church after we ate, and Ms. D quickly calmed down. It was amazing how quickly she switched to acting normal. She participated in the singing, listened, and took very good care of Brewster in church. She was even able to talk about her experience with Microbio daughter. Ms. D said she forgot how ghetto that particular Walmart was. We hadn't gone there in months, since two new ones opened up recently. They are are cleaner and larger than the old one and are worth the five or ten extra minutes of drive time. The one we went to last night is the closest, but it is also in a bad neighborhood that is also the birth family's neighborhood. Ms. D told Microbio daughter that people were hanging around like it was a mall, and that there were some girls that looked like they were high or drunk. Did some of the sights and sounds trigger some PTSD? Did the thought of
seeing her birth brother cause her to overload with emotion? Microbio Daughter said that by the tone of her voice, she could tell that Ms. D was frightened.
It was good for Ms. D to go with Microbio daughter to her church. They go together often, so it is structured and familiar. I usually think of Mr. I getting dysregulated in unfamiliar situations or places that trigger memories. I am more surprised by Ms. D, though she is just as affected. Mr. I is just usually more demonstrative and I need to focus my efforts to get him regulated in those kinds of situations. Ms. D is normally more reserved and shuts down.
So in order to keep the stress level down, I think I'll have to avoid that Walmart. It's good to slowly push the kids out of their comfort zone, but this was too much for Ms. D to handle. Microbio Daughter's calmness and a routine activity helped Ms. D get to a regulated state. She did well last night and woke up happy this morning. I am so thankful!