To add to my situation, I am peri-menopausal, so my roller-coaster hormones are a complicating factor. Even on a low-dose contraceptive pill to regulate moods, I find my moods varying, based on where I am in my monthly cycle. This often makes it more difficult to remain calm in the face of highly negative behaviors when they occur.
Is there a particular CD that you recommend I begin with?
Thank you in advance for your help. I am ready to dive in.
This is not easy, to have a kid with special needs plus fluctuating hormones.
First off, (and I know this is a sidebar to the answer to your question, so forgive me in advance for the digression), I hope you're structuring in some regular, weekly getaway time for you and you alone, where your daughter is with somebody or something else, and you get to have some guilt-free time to do something nourishing for yourself - enjoy that yoga, hang with a friend, get a massage or read a book in a restaurant - whatever.
I'm speaking both as a family therapist here and the mother of 3 (now grown but once little) kids here. Because, trust me, you can do therapy, yoga and guided imagery 'til the cows come home - if you're not getting away from your child on a regular basis, getting some distance and perspective from day-to-day parenting, you're still going to be frustrated and angry. There's a reason why it used to take a village! So please consider that.
The other thing I want to say is, no matter what you do, perfect parenting will elude you. I can tell from the gorgeous way you framed your carefully crafted question (on email format, no less, where one is allowed to be half-assed!! :-) ), that you have high standards and like to do things really well. On top of that, when parents have only one kid, they tend to hang on to the sweetly misguided illusion that, with enough effort, they could get this parenting thing exactly right. The arrival of a second kid tends - blessedly - to kill that idea, but, absent that, unrealistic expectations stay alive and well. This backfires sooner or later.
Now, here’s the thing: if you have less stress on yourself by cutting yourself some parenting slack in the expectations department - for both you and your daughter - you'll be a more relaxed and nourishing parent. Honest. I know your Inner Mom is arguing with me, even as you read this, but I believe I'm on pretty solid ground here.
Now, to (finally) answer your question: as for picking CDs, there are several that would do, but I'd start with one and see how you like it before buying a whole bunch. Maybe the Relieve Stress one - that has 4 different exercises on it, and that might be a good way to start. If you don't like the imagery for Peaceful Perspective, you could try the Affirmations track, or go to the Walking Meditation - that should clear your head and ease some stress, and get you out of the house, too!
And I know you didn’t ask for her, but your daughter might enjoy Betty Mehling's Magic Island or Dr. Rox's Star Within or Healing Heart or Way of the Bear. That will give her some skills in managing anxiety and self-soothing that can last her a lifetime. And, contrary to what you might expect, kids with ADHD tend to do well with a right-brained intervention like guided imagery.
I hope this helps!
All best to you,
(and please keep up your yoga!)