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Thursday, April 23, 2015

2 Drink Maximum

It got so ugly last night. Blue, the boy who is basically agnostic, called his best friend's mom so they could pray together, for me. He also called his father who is out of town on business to tell him, "Mom is losing it!"
He told me this morning, that it scares him when I get angry. It also makes him really sad. He has this fear that I'm going to die of a heart attack or something. I can only hope that he's wrong.

I am usually pretty darn good at remaining calm.  I will laugh and make a joke instead of yelling or screaming. Sometimes, when Red is coming at me with judgment, lunacy or just looking for a fight, I'll say something ridiculous like, "Yo mama!" It makes me laugh. He just looks at me like, "What do you mean? You're my mom." Or maybe I'll say, "Bye Felicia," just to brush him off and let him know, I'm not buying what you're selling. Of course, he has no idea what in the hell I'm talking about, but I amuse myself instead of getting angry.

Last night, there just wasn't enough vodka to calm my nerves. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of vodka in this house. Unfortunately, my bladder has a 2 drink maximum.  If I drink more than two drinks, I will be up and down all night peeing, and I need my sleep. I think that's God's secret way of not allowing me to turn into a complete, falling down drunk.

Before I closed my door I told Red if he touched the door (he usually starts beating on it when I close it) or if he touched Blue's door, I would call the authorities. He couldn't believe it. He stands there looking at me, and says "Why are you so mad? Why are you being this way?"
Really? Why are you getting so angry, just because I'm doing everything within my power to make you angry?  

The straw, that broke my last nerve wasn't even that big of a deal in his mind.  He was just being his usual special flavor of rude because my mother ssh'd him so that she could hear the last few moments of "American Idol."

"Why are you yelling at me?!" he screamed! (She was literally whispering).
And then it went on and on from there with, "You people need to change!" Yada, yada, yada.
He had just come home from church. What did you get out of being there? 

What really killed me was the night before, his Home Community Supports provider had taken him out and they had a long talk. He really likes this guy. His name is Kevin. He is African-American, retired Army and a practicing Christian.  I say practicing because he's not one of those who claims to be Christian and then goes out and acts like a jerk. He is actually walking the walk in the work that he does with young men like Red, for minimal pay.

Red likes him.  He comes home from every outing with the biggest smile on his face. He seems to also really respect him.  Of course, Red usually shows respect for most adults who don't live in this house.  I thought the conversation they had  was like divine intervention or something. I felt like God sent this man directly into Red's life, like so many other blessings that he has been given. This boy's mentor network is vast and deep! It's extraordinary!

Kevin told him, that he was on thin ice in this house. He gave Red an earful about respecting his parents, following the example of Christ, actually walking in his faith, instead of just talking in it. He told him he's going to take him down to spend some time with the homeless, so he can get a taste of "humble pie."  He wants Red to meet first hand, some of the young men  who have lost it all because they didn't know how to treat the good situation they were in.
He told Red that we don't owe him anything!
We've done our job.
We have raised him through to adulthood.
Still being allowed to live in this house is a blessing.
He's sitting on easy street.
All he needs to do is "honor his mother and his father" who have given him nothing but the best and want nothing but the best for him.
He also said, "I know your mother has given you more than the best. I know she's been fighting for you from day one of your diagnosis."  HELLO! 

He then told me he's coming back to get him on Thursday. He is only scheduled to take him once a week. He wants to know if Red has made any changes by then. Get this ...he is VOLUNTEERING to spend an extra day with Red this week! He really wants to help this knuckle head boy!

I have all kinds of doubt in my faith, but this is nothing but God!

Last night, I guess I just couldn't believe after all of that, and Red seemed to be really listening, that he would turn around and be so disrespectful to us.  I thought that he had received the message that God was trying to send him. When he started yelling I just thought to myself, it doesn't matter how much help he gets, he is not going to change. Nothing helps. Nothing works. He just really doesn't give a shit. Either that, or he is not capable of change when it comes to his family.

Why am I starting behavior therapy? (We had an evaluation earlier that afternoon. BTW...the therapist knew in the first five minutes that even though he was saying he wants to move out, he is very comfortable here, and has no intentions on moving anytime soon. We're going to go ahead and get him ready for it anyway.)

Why am I getting him connected with any of these resources? Why do I take him to therapy? Nothing seems to matter. Do meds need to change? Why isn't he getting anything? Why does nothing sink in with him? Where is the missing link? Why is he not connecting the dots?

Red ended up calling Kevin on the phone, since I refused to talk to him anymore.  Moments later, he came back to my door and humbly apologized. He asked to come in. No thanks. I couldn't do it. 

I'm praying for guidance and answers. There is a reason for everything that happens. I'm supposed to be learning something through this process. I wish I had a crystal ball, or a whisper from God to tell me what I'm supposed to do. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Evil Medication

When it comes to psychotropic medications, most autism parents have ambivalent feelings...
We hate that our children need it.
We're glad that they have it.
We despise the trial and error.
We love when it works.
We lament over the side effects.
Sometimes, we want to hurt the doctors.
Other times, we want to kiss them. (This is rare.)

I should clarify that medication does not treat autism or make it go away.  It can help with some of the co-morbid conditions such as, ADHD (lack of focus, always moving) ), anxiety, depression/mood disorders, OCD -obsessive compulsive disorder, extreme difficulty sleeping. Many children with autism just can not turn those brains off at bedtime. The same goes for many worried autism parents.

In the past few days, I have been reminded how important medication is for both or my boys.

I wrote a post,  "Turning Blue" a couple of days ago about how well Blue is doing. There are number of factors that are in play, one of which is a medication that works along with several vitamin supplements.

However, this past weekend on Saturday, Blue slept until noon. I never wake a sleeping bear. He did not eat breakfast and therefore did not take his medication and supplements on time. He decided he was going to walk to the local diner for breakfast. Only, he farted around watching videos on You-tube for a couple of hours. Then he went to take a shower and get dressed. By 2:30 p.m. he ended up in full rage.  He came down the stairs after his shower, entered a conversation that he was not a part of, and then proceeded to curse us all to high heavens!

I immediately made him take his medication and literally pushed him out the door to go eat and get away from us. He wasn't finished with me yet. He got down the street and called me from his cell phone,
"Look! You better f-ing listen to me!"! I don't think so kid. Of course after I hung up, I prayed that he had already made it across the busy street and wasn't out there going berserk.

By the time he got home, he gave me a hug and a sincere apology. I told him that from now on he will eat something first thing, so that he can take his meds. Crackers, a piece of toast ...whatever!

Think he doesn't need his meds? It's all a part of helping him keep it together.

Yes, he has made a lot of progress over the past year, but that doesn't mean that we are beyond all challenges.

Yesterday, I picked Red up from work. He works with young children which usually leaves  him feeling relatively happy. As he walked towards the car, the look on his face made me think he had just been fired or something. He looked angry, sad and mad all at the same time.  I felt sorry if the kids had to see that face.

When I asked him what was wrong he said, "Nothing." That within itself was strange. He never passes up on an opportunity to complain.
I pushed.
As he began speaking, tears started to fall.

"I don't know what's wrong with me. I've always felt like I was a messed up person. I'm broken inside. I'm scared. I'm afraid that I can't make it in life.  You're just trying to kick me out and make my life as hard as possible. Dad doesn't love me. No one cares about me. Sometimes, I even think God has forgotten all about me."

It's been ages since I've seen tears from him.  Even as they were falling softly he said, "Men don't cry. I'm usually more angry." He really didn't understand why he was feeling the way that he was.

My heart ached.

This morning I read an article, "Why High Functioning Autism Is So Challenging" .  It described Red to a tee.

"...people with high functioning autism are, in general, very aware of their own difficulties and extremely sensitive to others' negative reactions."

"Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders are more common among people with high functioning autism... We don't know whether the autism causes the mood disorders, or whether the disorders are the result of social rejection and frustration..."

Red being less angry and more vulnerable allowed me to see how he's really been feeling for months. His feelings have been showing up as anger and negative behaviors, lack of forward movement (fear), buying things to make himself feel better (self-medication),  attempts to show me that he is not ready to grow up and be responsible (more fear). He is deathly afraid of the changes that he is facing (anxiety). The possibility of moving out will be a major change. Starting some kind of post secondary education (fear of failure) most likely feels incapacitating.

Yet, he goes to therapy week after week and talks about how he needs more equipment for his video business, instead of the things that really need to be addressed.

The tears also made me aware that something was way off. After further investigation, it turns out that he has been out of one of his meds (Intuniv) for a few days. He had mentioned it to me casually, after he ran out.  I called it in, but there was a delay because he was out of refills and they had to call the doctor.  Then, the pharmacy didn't have it in stock. You know the drill.

In the back of my mind, for the longest time I thought this particular medication really wasn't doing much for him. He's still so all over the map with behavior. Apparently, it has been helping him sleep and it does augment his ADHD medication (Focalin).

I found out he had been waking up in the middle of the night 2 nights in a row with a headache.

Yeah. So there goes my mother of the year award. Letting him run out of medication. Parenting fail!

The bottom line is that we both were reminded the importance of his medications ...taking all of them and taking them in a timely manner, every day.

I think I will always have a love/hate relationship with psychotropic medications. Unfortunately,  for us they are a necessary evil.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Turning Blue

The amount of growth Blue has gone through within the last year is extraordinary.
From the boy who called me a couple of times a week to come get him out of that f-ing high school...
-to the boy who now calls me to process his feelings before he heads back to class.
From the boy who had a meltdown every Wednesday morning because it was uniform inspection day in R.O.T.C.
-to the boy who started his very own club for those who feel like they just don't fit in anywhere else.
From the boy who thought all high school students were complete idiots because they think differently than he does...
-to the boy who decided on his own, to start working on himself, trying to be more positive so that he can get along better with his peers.

Parents in my support community on Facebook have asked, "What do you think is making such a big difference in him?" I think there are a few factors in play:
  • His hormones have balanced out some. -In the past couple of years we were in the throes of puberty and raging hormones. I saw my sweet little boy turn into an evil teenager who hated everything. He was more aggressive than ever, especially with his brother who at the time, was bigger than him. It didn't stop him from regularly trying to knock the crap out of him. He is 16 now and I think we've made it past the crazy hormonal changes. 
  • We have medication that works in place. We had DNA testing, which showed us that he has adverse reactions to SSRI's. Because of his anxiety over the years, we have tried a few of them. They seem to work for a while, and then end up not working, or making things worse. He can't take them. He now takes a psychotropic med that helps balance the anger and aggression. (I won't say specifically which one for his privacy). He also takes a mixture of vitamin supplements: 
  1. Vayarin (a medically prescribed vitamin food that helps with thought processing and focus) *Warning most insurance do not cover it. 
  2. methylfolate B9 (helps with depression) 
  3. vitamin D (mood) 
  4. B6 (anxiety and mood), 
  5. magnesium glycinate ( helps with his restless leg syndrome and sleep) along
  6. melatonin (sleep). 
  • Person Centered Planning  is a process where we come together with a facilitator, a group of mentors, teachers, parents and friends. (Our facilitator is from the Special Education Department of our school district. As with most special programs, you have to ask for it.  They won't volunteer to give it to you.)  As a group, we help Blue set individual short-term, life goals that help the him develop personal relationships, participate more in the community and develop the skills to take control of his own life.  
Blue struggles somewhat with self-esteem. Initially, depression and negative thinking would not allow him to see himself as successful.  He could not accept a compliment. Even with his excellent grades, he was constantly comparing himself to someone who he believes to be better than him. We put Person Centered Planning on board last year.  However, with his state of anxiety it didn't seem to help very much. He couldn't seem to focus and he really could not see the point of it all.

As we got him balanced out more hormonally and chemically, he started to get more into the process, scheduling his own meetings, without prompts and inviting more trusted mentors to participate in the process.  I am actually very proud of the mentor network that he has developed at school.  He is definitely his mama's son! Except for the whole math and science thing. He's excellent. Me ...not so much. 

During the first step in each meeting, we go over Celebrations. What has the individual accomplished over the past number of weeks since the last time we met? Nothing is too big or too small.
Blue's Celebrations on Paper 

This year in his more balanced state of mind, he is able to concretely see the things that he is accomplishing.  He sees that his accomplishments are to be celebrated. He has expanded his planning team beyond just me and dad, to 3 additional teachers/mentors whom he respects.  When he hears their praises and then sees them in writing, it makes him feel so much better about himself.

He floored me when he decided to make one of his goals to become a more positive person.  He didn't like the way that he was being perceived when he repeatedly started arguments with peers and always had to let everyone know of his opposing views. He wanted to change that.

Another goal that I love that he set was to try to understand the way his brother Red thinks, in hopes to get along with him better. That's a work in progress for both of us. Red definitely has a different perception of the world and his place in it.

I could go on all day about the positive things that I've seen happen with him this year, like his development of friendship with female peers, but that's a whole other blog post.  I have to leave something for you to look forward to the next time.

*If you haven't joined my Facebook Support page you really should. There's a link above and on the right.

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Love and light...


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Embracing 50

In the months and weeks leading up to my 50th birthday I thought about how amazing it is what time and children do to your life.  Motherhood, marriage and daughterhood have completely changed my priorities.  I miss that selfish girl from my 20's, but I'm so glad I have her to reflect on from time to time.  That girl knew how to have a damn good time! Too bad she wanted so desperately to get married. Like she was missing something. Ha! I laugh at her now.  Especially, when I think of my niece who is in her 20's and spending it traveling the world, without a care about getting married or having children. I am so impressed by and proud of her.

I always thought I would do something fabulous for this special birthday. Maybe I would go to Paris! Maybe a girls trip with my closest girlfriends.  Maybe I would have a big party.  But as it came closer, through mental exhaustion all I could do was think, I just want to sleep for my birthday. How boring am I? 

Having grown up not really celebrating my birthday because of my mother's religious beliefs,  which in turn became my beliefs that I never quite felt comfortable with.  We were a part of the Jehovah's freakin Witnesses until I turned 17 and had finally had enough of that bullshit.  I just could not see why I had to be continuously judged by a group of people about the way I lived my life.  I hated the all invasiveness of it all.  Hence, I am scarred for life.

I finally started celebrating my birthday at the age of 17.  I had the first the birthday party since my 5th birthday. I vaguely remember my mom planning a surprise party for me. That was when she and my dad were still together, before she turned to the Witnesses as her support system.

After reclaiming my life and independence from that religion,  it was like my birthday was a national holiday. I couldn't get enough attention from my family and my friends. I felt like I had missed out all of those years. I had to make up for lost time.

During my 20's when I still lived in Los Angeles where I grew up, my birthday was a month long celebration that I couldn't stop talking about the entire month before. I made sure everyone remembered. I may have been a little obnoxious about it. (Right Jenny and Mary?)  But my friends indulged me and so did my family.  There was a special dinner and/or lunch with each and every set of friends in my honor. Occasionally, there was a party and it was all about me!

As I turn 50  of course, it's hard to believe. I'm still a young party girl in my head. Except now, most of my partying takes place in my car, as I drive around in circles within a 10 mile radius of my house doing all of the mom things.  I dance unabashedly to my 80's and 90's tunes, from rock to R&B to rap. My boys hate my dancing and loathe my music choices. That doesn't stop me. I play it louder when they're not in the car. 

This year leading up to the big day, all I could think about every day was just how tired I am.  It's been a busy few months with trying to pull together services for Red, dealing with his behaviors and crappy, ungrateful attitude. I felt a special kind of mental exhaustion  Some days I was so tired, I wondered if I was dying. Seriously.

I  desperately wanted some peace and quiet. I had nothing left over for planning anything special.  All of my planning and coordinating was for my family.
All I really wanted was...not to have to do anything for anyone
Not to listen to or solve anyone else's problems. 
Not to buy anyone's groceries.
Not to drive anyone anywhere for any appointments. 
Not to cook, make sure anyone eats or takes medication. 
No meetings or phone calls to coordinate anything for anybody.
Not to talk or have to listen to anyone talk, and talk and talk. 

I mused of days of freedom to do whatever I want. Just a few days ...a month, or the rest of my life.
A girl can dream right?

I even found myself having frequent thoughts about quitting my job. Sorry dudes! I quit. I'm outta here. Find another sucker to be your mother.

Back in the days when I had an actual career, if I got tired of a job, tired of a boss not appreciating all of my hard work, that was it! Good bye! Sayonara baby! Moving on to bigger and better things. More money. More opportunities.  Something new. Some place new.

Sadly, this is not a job that one resigns from.  Lord only knows we can't afford a replacement. Someone might take the job, but I don't think they would stay long.

A part of me is still that little girl who would have a big ballyhoo for her birthday.
I just did not have it in me to coordinate such an event that would include everyone that I love, or at least a good portion of them.
I couldn't make a decision about what I wanted, or where I wanted it.
I knew for sure that I didn't want a party for the sake of  saying, I had a party, with only my local friends in Texas and I love my friends in Texas. However,  this place still doesn't feel like home to me. I wanted to be surrounded by my people.  The ones whom I love and who have loved me most of my life.

Lately, my husband hasn't had the bandwidth between work, travel and our family drama to put something like that together.  Especially for a high maintenance, control freak, wife like myself.  He will love that I have admitted this, in writing no less.

But you see that one of the wonderful things about age and maturity...
You know who you are, flaws and all.
I embrace the beautiful mess that I am.
It's glorious really.
I know what I want
I know what I don't want.
I know that I don't have to settle, just so that I can say I did this or that.
I don't have the time or energy to just go through the motions.
If I could not have it all, I'd rather not have it.
I don't surround myself with people, just for the sake of  having people around.
I spend what little free time I have surrounded by with people who I truly connect with.
I spend time with those who I know truly love me, flaws, craziness and all.

I have come to value true friends.
People who never go out of their way for you, but will come to the party to have a good time are not your friends. They are people you know.
People who will actually reach out when they can see that you're down ...those are friends.
True friends are there for you through the good, the bad and the crazy.
True friends are able to pick right back up wherever you left off, no matter how much time has passed since you were able to spend time together.
True friends don't keep score.
They will call you out of the blue to say hey, I was thinking about you. Let's get together, even though it's been months, or years.
My family sometimes teases me saying, "You know your friends are crazy."
I absolutely know this.
Being crazy is kind of a requirement to be my friend.
I don't judge my friends for their choices in life.
They don't judge me for mine.
We love each other for exactly who we are.

For my 50th, I didn't get that totally relaxing week or month, to myself. I chose to spend a fun-filled weekend in New York City, just me and my husband.  For someone who wanted to simply sleep for her birthday, that may seem like an odd choice.  The city that never sleeps. 
Hubby: There's always a lot of traffic on 34th Street
Me: Is it because of the miracle? 
I knew that we needed to reconnect and we had put this trip (that had already been paid for) off due to family obligations last year.  It would not require a great deal of planning, decision making, coordinating or a huge expense.

I got to sleep in, but our days were packed with activity from walking, to subway rides, taxi's, a Broadway show, "It's Only a Play", drinking and dining our way through Greenwich, all over Manhattan, to Mintons, Jazz Club in Harlem.  We even traveled as far north as Yonkers to have dinner with my sister-in-law and her family.

On my actual birthday, we took a long walk through Central Park, sat, people watched and listened to all of the accents being spoken, from German, to Italian and Russian.  The whole time, all I wanted to do is pull out my laptop and write. Wow! So many stories were walking through that park.
Me and Hubby -Central Park
We had a great Italian dinner, followed by an evening of jazz. When all was said and done, I was physically exhausted. But this exhaustion was a good exhaustion.  It did not come from mental anguish or frustration.  It came from living life and creating memories.

The Big Apple was there and I took a bite.
Central Park April 6, 2015
Fabulous at 50! 
I still plan on finding at least a quiet weekend to myself someday in the near future.  I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation.

Wishing you all Love and light....

Friday, March 20, 2015

Blue Sky Among Clouds

Having a public forum where you share some of your deepest feelings and emotions can be dangerous. I totally went left the other night on this blog. I was feeling completely overwhelmed and pissed off, so I purged all of my feelings in writing.  I don't have a therapist (dumb I know).  I have some really good friends and family members who care, but no one knows everything that's going on in my life. Besides, I can't say everything in one conversation. I don't often get to have a telephone conversation without it being interrupted. It was therapeutic for me to get it all out.

When I went back and read it again the next day, I thought to myself, what the hell did you do? My husband is going to be pissed when he reads this.  Everyone will know how completely nuts I am. I know that's not really a newsflash.  I kind of sound like I'm whining and complaining a lot. I don't want people to feel sorry for me.  I just wanted to get the feelings out.

Hundreds of views later, I couldn't take it back.  Apparently, my feelings connected with a number of you who said it read like it was your life. That's always a really good thing.

Going back and reading it,  allowed me to see exactly what is happening and what part I am playing in the process. Life doesn't just happen to you. You usually have a part in what you are allowing to happen.  This is especially so, when it is a pattern of things that  seem happen more than once.
There are no mistakes really.
Failures are an opportunity to learn.
There is a lesson to in every trial we go through.
I am learning

By re-reading what I wrote, I learned so much...
First, I need to slow down. 
It made me look at myself and say, 'What in the hell are you doing?' Obviously, way too much.
I am allowing too many people to put too much pressure on me, not to mention the amount of pressure I am putting on myself.
I can only do one thing at a time.
I have got to get better at saying no.
Not just no but,  'Hell no! I'm not doing that!  Do it your damn self!' 

For example the other night, Blue comes into my room at 9:30 asking about me warming up tacos for him and his friend.  My first impulse was to say yes,  because that's what I do.  This time, I stopped myself. I thought, I don't want to do that. What's more I don't have to do that. I'm tired! I've been experiencing extreme fatigue for days. I'm relaxing right now. I'm not changing my program just because they came in here hungry this time of night. 
"Make yourselves some corndogs! Have some yogurt, or some popcorn. Whatever it is,  get it yourself." 

Second, I am feeling pressured to make Red gone like yesterday, as if that will solve all of our problems.
The thing is, he's a person. A complicated person and this is a complicated situation.
I can't make everything happen overnight.
I have been working on this process diligently, for months and I am on the right track.
When you are dealing with government agencies, things take time.
When you are dealing with a less than stable young adult who has rights, but not all of the abilities that go along with those rights, nothing is simple.

Third, I need to give myself some credit.
  • I applied and got him qualified for SSI.  Now that he is 18, he qualifies based on his diagnosis, and his own income and not ours. 
  • That helped him qualify for Medicaid to help with the cost of his healthcare and medication. That is major! 
  • We applied and he has been approved for services through DARS (Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services) which is going to help us get work on behaviors and obstacles that need to be removed in order to get himself ready for full-time work and therefore, independence.  We met with his DARS counselor a few days ago. He offered to get  Red a Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Then he will start working with a BCBA Behavior Therapist here at home, in the community and at school.  If he happens to move during that process, the therapist will provide service where ever he lives. 
I have a feeling when the behavior therapist comes, she will note that we are all giving Red a payoff with our reactions.  The rules and structure need to be clear and enforced with everyone who lives here.
  • I have applied and qualified him for Autism services through our local MHMR (county mental health agency).  
  • This gives him a Case Manager to help coordinate services for him.  
  • He also qualifies for Home and Community Supports,  a provider who will spend a few hours a week with him out in the community, taking him to the bank, getting a haircut, going grocery shopping, maybe even taking him on a date! That will give me some relief. 
  • We can now receive Respite services (someone to come into the home or take him out of the home to give us a break for extended time.) 
  • We also put an emergency game plan in place if I am seriously about to break. They can provide emergency respite if I need to get him out of here with a quickness on a temporary basis, before he actually moves. 
When it comes to my mom, I have arranged for her to use a car service for her physical therapy appointments. Next, I will look into her actually having a part-time caregiver.  I can't always be 3 places at once.  It won't be easy to get a 75 year-old woman to change her ways. Especially, when her behavior seems to be going more and more in the direction of childish, antagonizer every day.  She is going to have to live by certain rules as well.  I'm not going to continue to put up with chaos.

It turns out that hubby wasn't mad at me after reading the blog. He actually came home and asked me out for dinner.  Since then, he has been trying to use a firm, yet milder tone when speaking with Red.  I sincerely appreciate the effort.

In the meantime until Red moves, I am going to have to take things one day at at time.
I will work on accomplishing one goal at time, instead of worrying myself to death about every little thing.

As many of my dear friends from my Facebook Support group reminded me, some more subtly than others (Tonya), I can not control everything.  I need to stop sweating the small stuff and let a lot of these grown folks in this house manage their own lives.

I have been getting a lot more rest in the past few days. I can see the peak of blue sky among the clouds, which is God's way of telling me, 'Everything is going to be alright. Trust me.' 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Excuse MeWhile I Go Left

What is so f*#%ed up about this situation is that this is a family crisis, but I feel like the only person tasked with solving it, alongside taking care of everyone's never ending personal needs.

It's not just one issue it's several issues that each and every person in this household is a part of and are affected by. 

It's the toxicity that lives here. It's a bad chemical mix. 

Red is the catalyst and we all are promotors, triggers that help stir the chemicals together for subsequent explosion. 

It's me, the mom.
My lack of ability to make the hard choices.
It's my level of stress and lack of time to take care of myself. 
It's my fear of making wrong choice and how that will impact his life. 
It's my not being able to put the ball entirely in his court, because I don't think he really has what it takes to make the best plays for himself.  
It's me making excuses for him at every turn. 
He's not balanced on meds. 
He needs hospitalization.
He needs behavior therapy. 

Life doesn't slow down long enough for me to think things through completely. 

Life certainly doesn't stop long enough for my partner to be completely engaged in the game with me.

It's my husband, my partner, the dad.  
His big reactions, his anger, his fatigue, his short fuse, his stress, his disgust, his alpha maleness wanting to protect me at any cost from the catalyst.  
It's him wanting me to himself more and me having very little left to give. 
It's how little time we get to spend being us ...being adults, being a couple not just being parents and decision makers. 
It's how hard he has to work to keep us financially afloat because he is the soul breadwinner.  
It's how absorbed he is in work and travel which leaves very little left over for patience, understanding or complete, active involvement in solving this crisis. 

It's Blue with his big reactions to everything. 
He is drawn to the catalyst like a magnet.
It's the fact that they are boys, brothers, teenagers full of testosterone. 
Both of them, jockeying for position, authority and superiority over the other. 

It's my mom literally, constantly, sitting in the middle of everything, commenting on things that are none of her business. 
Our drama is her hobby. 
Today she asked, what happened to my good mood? 
I said, "I spent 3 hours with Red taking him to, from and sitting through a meeting with his DARS counselor." 
She said, "You shouldn't spend 3 hours with him doing anything. It doesn't do any good."  
Boy did that piss me off! 
What if she's right?! 
It's her answering questions when my children are asking me, literally echoing from another room. 
It's the door that she doesn't have to close or the apartment she doesn't have to go home to. 
It's her screaming, engaging, sometimes even taunting, or teasing the catalyst like another child. 
Did I tell you I caught her sticking her tongue out at him the other day? 
It's her adding to my "to do" list, while she is either not capable or doesn't want to do for herself any longer.
It's my guilt trip for feeling like I'm blessed to have her. I should take care of her while I can ...even if it's killing me. 

It's that a year ago we had our 20th wedding anniversary celebration.  
We had to put our trip to New York on hold because my mother was sick.  
We have yet to reschedule it. 

It's the fact that in less than three weeks, I will celebrate my 50th birthday. 
I wanted to finally go on that trip with my husband to New York to celebrate. 
As of today there has been no time to plan any kind of celebration.

It's not one thing. 
It's all of the things. 
I just want someone to come and take over. 
I want to disappear until all of these problems are solved. 
I know that's not realistic, but that's what I want for my birthday. 
I need strength. 
I need guidance.

God are you listening?
btw God ...sorry about that F word at the top. I know you know how frustrated I am feeling in this moment.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Script

The script/dialog all morning and afternoon... 


I changed my mind about that group home. 
I don't trust you mom. 
If I move there, they will make me eat nasty food.
I'll have to get up at 5:30 in the morning! I can't get up that early!
I will be so tired. 
I think you're just trying to ruin my life.
You will do anything to ruin my life.
I think you're just manipulating me, by telling me I might like it.  
(He has been offered the opportunity to try it out for a few days). 
You're going to make me lose everything! My girlfriend, my church family, my friends!
If I change my behavior, will you give me one more chance to stay at home? 
You really haven't tried everything yet. 
What about that behavior therapist? 
What about changing my medication? 
I know I need to change, but you really need to change.
I know I'm nice to other people. That's because I like them. 
Do I have to fake it like I like you guys? 
Do I have to be all nice like cousin Courtney? 
Being nice comes naturally to him. 
It doesn't feel right for me to be that nice.
You know that's hard for me right? 
Do you understand how I feel? 
You will do anything so that I will move somewhere and not be able to buy more video equipment. 

If I move there, I won't be able to keep running my own business. 

You're not running a business. You're running a hobby which allows you to buy more and more video equipment. Right now you have so much equipment, it would take two more people's hands to manage it during a shoot. You don't have two more people who know anything about making videos. 

At that group home, the house is closed during the day. What if I need to go back to work on a video project? 

You haven't worked on a video project in months. Even when you have one, you don't work on it during the day. You come home from school or work and follow me around the house talking most of the day or you're watching Sponge Bob. 

You don't support my passion! 

Your passion is for buying equipment and watching You-Tube videos about movie making. You don't actually make movies. You don't actually practice or get involved in the local movie making community like your counselor suggested that you do. You do event shooting if a job is dropped in your lap. If you would do more things to develop your passion, get more education, interact with the local Austin Film Society, practice more. I would fully support it.

Him: Harry! Harry! Come here Harry!(In a very high pitched squeal. Harry runs away.) 
Me: Leave the dog alone. 
Him: But I really love his cuteness. I just want to feel his cuteness. 
(This is an everyday, multiple times a day, script along with the action of chasing the 6 1/2 pound dog, like the 250 pound Jolly Green Giant.) 

I leave the kitchen to go to my room to get dressed to go to the grocery store. Harry follows me to get away from being chased. Harry regularly runs to hide if he hears Red coming into a room. 

Hubby and I are listening to music in our bedroom. When I open the door...

Him: Why do you listen to that rap music when you know I hate it? 
They are cursing and talking about shaking butts!
You're really making me angry. 
You're just trying to piss me off!
Turn that music off! 

We keep listening and dancing ...releasing a little stress. This is my house last time I checked. 

I take him to the grocery store, so that he can buy his own groceries. I have been avoiding the place like the plague for a week, so I need to shop too.  At this point, I have already had it with him. I can't take listening to another pissing, moaning, complaint. I put on my headphones as we enter the store. I play the Prince station on Pandora. I do this often, even when I'm by myself. It makes grocery shopping a little less painful. 
"Mom why are you wearing headphones in the grocery store?"
"So that I don't commit murder in front of all these witnesses."
I send him begrudgingly on his way with his list. He would rather follow me around. I.Can.Not.Do.It. 

Every time I run into him, in the store the dialog starts again...


I can't live in that group home. 
I don't trust you mom. 
If I move there, they will make me eat nasty food!
I'll have to get up at 5:30 in the morning! I can't get up that early!
I will be so tired. 
I think you're just trying to ruin my life.
You will do anything to ruin my life.
I think you're just manipulating me, by telling me I might like it.  
You're going to make me lose everything! 
My girlfriend, my church family, my friends!
If I change my behavior, will you give me one more chance? 
You really haven't tried everything yet. 
What about that behavior therapist? 
What about changing my medication? 
I know I need to change, but you really need to change. 
You will do anything so that I will move somewhere and not be able to buy more video equipment. 
Will you give me one more chance if I change my behavior? 
Do you think I can change? 
I think you can do anything you want to do, but you have to actually WANT to do it. 
Will you give me another chance if my behavior changes? 
Me: I will draw up a contract that you must follow. I can not live like this anymore. If you break it, you will have to move elsewhere. If it's not this group home, it can be another one or another  affordable living situation. 

On the way home in the car the same dialog continues...

I come home pour myself a stiff margarita with a Grand Marnier floater. 

I crawl into bed feeling like this...