I don’t know if I can do this again… also PTSD triggers.

I will start with the triggers part of this post because it lends itself nicely to the first half of the title. A couple weeks back in DBT group we were asked to write down our triggers, I had a hard time because my triggers are usually internal- my perception that someone is mad at me, answering a question wrong etc.  I couldn’t think of a trigger that someone else could cause.  What I mean to say is I didn’t think there were any topics that were “sensitive”- until today.

I have been locking horns with the special education department in my son’s school over their non-compliance in regards to two specific areas of his IEP.  They are small “things” but they could mean the difference between success and failure for him.  I emailed the director and his case manager a couple weeks ago and voiced my concerns.  The director told the CM to set up an IEP meeting so that we can discuss this. I sorta avoided thinking about it until today.  The meeting date still hasn’t been set, and it was time I started “gathering my evidence”.  As I started this I could feel my chest tightening, my heart beating faster, my thoughts racing and my head aching.  All I could think was I can’t do this again.

When my son was in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade we lived a couple towns over, where he attended the local public school.  Now, I am not sure if I have mentioned his exact diagnoses – but at the time it was Asperger’s, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder.  He has since also added Bipolar II to that list. But we spent 3 years trying to get the school to comply with their own IEPs.  We built a large case against them and brought it to the department of education.  We started with mediation, which failed miserably.  The school couldn’t even live up to their concessions from that.  At that time we went forward with a formal complaint against the school.  We presented about 30 pages detailing 14 allegations against the school.  In the end because I was naive and didn’t eep impeccable records some of the allegations couldn’t be proven but they were found guilty on 7 counts, some of them system wide (meaning affecting all students with IEPs).  They were required to make changes and become compliant or face sanctions.  I don’t know what happened in that district with those specific allegations, because I pulled him out of school and homeschooled him for 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and the first month of 9th. I couldn’t deal with the constant fighting, the anxiety, and nightmares I was having.  I do have a couple acquaintances that have special needs kiddos in that district and it seems like things haven’t changed at all.  One day last fall at my son’s dojo a couple of the mom’s were talking about the director, the blatant violations and I found myself in the middle of a panic attack just listening to them talk about it.  I forgot about that conversation until today.  We moved during my son’s 7th grade year to a nearby district that had a much better reputation.

As I was writing out my complaints with the school, printing out the emails (I communicate only in written form with the school now – fool me once-). It all came back. And I realized I just don’t know if I can do it again.  I don’t know if I have enough fight left in me. I don’t have the same support person I had back then.  She was amazing, and was an amazing advocate for my son, as well as a support for me.  She was at every meeting, the 5 hour mediation, as well as some other dark times in the early years.

I knew putting the kids back in school I ran the risk of this happening again.  I knew that I may end up with a school who wasn’t complying, even with the simple stuff.  But I had heard good things about this district, the benefits to my own mental health outweighed the POSSIBLE run-ins with the school.  But now, I am left sitting here reduced to the same feelings I had all those years ago, but this time I am not as strong.  I am not as able to let things lie.

I am starting to feel like an animal trapped in a cage, pacing back and forth, eyes narrowed, growling, in that fight or flight mode, panicked and dangerous (though for me it’s emotional danger for myself not that I am going to go full lion on those around me 😉 )

Title…

I don’t know if I ever explained why I used the title I did for my blog.

I come from a community of people who are constantly telling me to smile. And well meaning people who tell me to “think positive”.

So, for the most part I hide my feelings inside.  I pretend everything is ok, even when my arms are cut up, or I have spent the morning crying.  It also refers to my signature move- stuff and avoid.

There is so much junk hiding in me, so many scars, and fresh wounds inside it would probably scare people away…. so those are “the things I hide inside”.

Even now, I have backslid in terms of depression, but I am keeping it hidden inside. No one knows I am constantly on the verge of tears, I am irritable and have a low tolerance for everything….

Homework

Princess Glitter Sparkle, much like PollyAnna assigns homework.  I told her this week that inside her isn’t blood it’s glitter. She’s just -glitter.  There’s no way else to describe it.  She’s glitter in people form.

So she asked me to draw what I want to look like inside- and this was the result..

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Envy.

I get it. I know that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I know the grass is greener where you water it. I know all the platitudes.  But for today, I am going to let this emotion define the moment.  Envy is real.  Envy is a negative emotion, I get that.  But I can’t lie and say I don’t have envy in me.

Several people close to me are planning trips to see Mickey Mouse, others building their dream house, others the craft room of their dreams, still other making PRs in 5Ks, Half Marathons or Marathons.  Yes I know people show their highlight real.  Yes, I know that God has a purpose for my life, and I am right where I am supposed to be.  But sometimes you just have to acknowledge that your life sucks right now.  That you don’t have your crap together and you are 40.  That you can’t do the things you want to do.  That you are stuck.  I feel trapped.  I feel like things will never get better.  Like I am on a street and no matter which way I turn, no matter what street I go down, I get no where.

I am preoccupied with the thought that at 40 years old I am no where near where I thought I would be.  And the rest of me is preoccupied with my kids growing up.  We are talking driver’s ed, college, with big one, and little one turns 8 soon.  Eight is a big kid.  It won’t be long before she is tired of toys and dolls.  Everytime I think about the passage of time I am reminded of a line from Star Trek Generations:  “Someone once told me that time is predator that stalks you all your life”.  I agree. I wish there were a way to freeze time now and then.  It would make the unbearable days more bearable.

Im really struggling this week.  I probably should’t have written that all out.  But my heart hurts, physically hurts in my chest. I feel broken.

 

“What is it you truly desire?”

The title is a line spoken in a prime-time FOX show called Lucifer.  Im not going to get into the details of the show, if you are interested, google it.  It really is a good show.  However, Lucifer- the devil, has this power where he can look someone in the eye ask them that question and he will find out the true desires of their heart.

I need a little of that. I was thinking while I was on a walk yesterday…. I’m unhappy.  I am not content.  I am sad/angry/anxious/depressed; BUT what would it take for me to change those feelings?  What is it that I want?  What will make me happy, or at the very least “content”?

I feel as though my some of my circumstances are out of my control- our precarious financial situation for one.  The daily stress of one kid on the autism spectrum (albeit high functioning) , ADHD, with bipolar, anxiety and sensory processing disorder, and the other ADHD, anxiety and quite possibly ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).  I can’t change that.  I can’t change that my husband is sick and can’t work, which leads to the financial insecurity; a vicious circle.  There are so many other factors in my life that I feel like are obstacles to happiness/contentment.  But then- is there a way to be happy/content with the current situation? Im doubtful – how can you be content when you’re insecure about the future because of finances, because of your own mental illness, because of your husband’s illness?

So I ask again- what is it I truly desire?

Answer:  I have no earthly idea.

Today I suck.

You ever have those days when you are just a sucky person?  No?  Well then you might want to scroll past this post.  Yes?  Pull up a chair and commiserate with me.

The day started off ok.  Shut off my first alarm but woke up with my second.  Got big one off to school.  Came home and slept from 9-11:30.  Woke up to the phone ringing.  Didn’t make it in time.  Noticed hubby no where around.  Ended up outside looking for him…. in my inside clothes.  Found him under the barn trying to move the lawn tractor.  He asked me to hop on and drive it out because he needed help rocking it off the ice it was on. I looked at the barn, and him, and the barn again. I wasn’t sure I could do it.  But I decided I would just shower and change.  So I did, and I did.

Then we run some errands. And decide we would try a walk. We’ve been doing short little walks but today we decided to do a mile I was really sore after but I guess that’s OK. After that it was time to get the kids and run that rat race. I actually helped with dinner tonight – which I haven’t done in a long time. It was quite stressful for me and anxiety provoking because the French toast wasn’t cooking at the rate I thought it should. After dinner I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that need to be cleaned up, The little one still had some homework to do. We got through that part and then it was time to clean up and I turned in the psycho mom. I was yelling in venting about how sick and tired I am of the mess that I am left with every day in the toy room.

After that she went to bed I went upstairs and drew her picture and wrote an apology. Then we said our prayers sang our songs and read our stories. We ended the night on a positive note, but I can’t help but hate myself for my inability to except her shortcomings when it comes to cleaning and organizing.

By the time I got her to bed it was just about 930 and big one was still up he has to be to school at 6 AM tomorrow. So I got on his case about getting all of his stuff ready because he has lacrosse and robotics club I reminded him that he was supposed to bring a dessert and this was the second reminder tonight. He got all mad and wanted me to make something. By now it’s 10 o’clock and I expressed my frustration repeatedly and in many different ways that basically his lack of planning is not my emergency. Why doesn’t he use the Calendar to track the things that need to be done, but this is not my problem. We argued and in the end I made a batch of brownies at 10:30 at night.

I really feel 90% of the time like I have no idea what I’m doing and I feel like a crappy parent I’m worried that my kids are going to feel about me the way I feel about my parents, I’m worried that all my kids are going to remember is the times that I yelled and became psycho mom and not all the stories I read, and the songs I sang, and the batches of Brownies I made, and the running them here there and everywhere, getting them to school for 6 AM driving them back-and-forth every day taking them to all their therapies.

Today is not a good day. I really wanted to drink but when I looked up my meds and alcohol there was major interactions I was quite disappointed because I was hoping that drinking might numb some the emotional pain I’m feeling. I’m having a really hard time not cutting I want to so badly I want to feel the pain of that and take away the pain it’s in my heart…