Today I was thinking….

I really should be doing homework, finals week is coming soon and I have plenty to keep me busy, but I really want to get back to writing more faithfully, I really enjoy it.

Today I was in the car listening to Christmas Music and I played this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf6_JBLTNAM.  While my father isn’t “gone” I started trying to remember the last Christmas we spent together as a family.  I can’t remember that specific Christmas, though I do know the year.  It’s funny how you don’t know that it’s the last time of something until it’s already in the past.

The Christmas of 1995 was the last year all four of us were together on Christmas Day.  I moved out at the age of 17 just two months later, and later that year my mom and dad’s marriage ended, and while my mom didn’t move out until New Year’s Eve 1996, their marriage was for all intents and purposes dissolved.

When I think back to Christmas as a kid it wasn’t my mom and dad that stand out in my mind, don’t get me wrong I have memories of them on Christmas Day, but it’s my sister that I think of first.  Christmas morning was always such a magical time for us.  We used to get up way before daylight, to empty our stockings and see what Santa had brought us.  I know now as an adult Christmas was 99% my mom’s doing.  She shopped, she wrapped, she made the magic.  But my sister and I and the memories we made those mornings are some of the happiest memories I have of my childhood.

I also have good memories of the time leading up to Christmas.  Getting our Christmas Tree was almost always a good memory.  There was the 1991 when my sister and I paid for it because of some family upheaval (not financial but us saving the money from our paper route was enough to humble the party involved).  After that year we always had a “Christmas Tree Fund”.  We each would contribute a dollar until we had the $35ish dollars it cost for the tree.

There are days I think about the good parts of my Childhood, I remember dancing with my mom to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, making cookies, getting our tree, reading Story a Day til Christmas, and the Gingerbears.

I can only hope that I am making Christmases that magical for my kids.

Until next time….

Where have I been?

Well, where HAVE I been? Trudging along; one baby step in front of the next.

I have more on my plate than I can possibly handle and it’s rearing it’s ugly head in my life in ways that increase my symptoms. I fly off the handle, constantly, at those who I love most. I’m tired. My feelings toward myself are the lowest they’ve been in a while.

I lose my patience with everyone- especially my children. And then I hate myself. I try so hard, do so well then become unraveled at bedtime and become a tyrant.

So many days I want to just pack up and leave. I’ve thought a lot about that in the past week. I suck at taking care of people, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better

I just went back and read the last post I wrote, and I’m stuck there. I’m still thinking about “shining” every.single.day. And the closer we get to the anniversary of my “breakdown” the more edgy I get.

There have been some issues with little one at school and I find myself in the middle of a battle with the School AGAIN. And that brings my PTSD screaming back like a maniac which puts me in fight or flight with the very people I’m trying to help.

I’m useless. I say hurtful things. That’s the hardest part. That’s the part that makes me just want to lay in the road and die. I’m just a failure- just like my family believes- they’ve always been right about me- I should just accept it.

Raising Teenagers Is NOT for the Faint of Heart

Big one is 15.  He is argumentative, oppositional, irritable and I am sure there are at least 15 more adjectives.  And yes, all of that is “normal” teenage behavior- but add the Autism Spectrum, bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety and possible narcissistic personality.  It’s teenager amplified.

Ive been trying to help him get ready for camp.  He was leaving today.  He wanted to bring half his stuff in random Walmart bags.  He has ZERO executive functioning skills, and he refused to let me even make suggestions without getting angry and screaming at me (at the top of his lungs- I feel like he’s 8 again. (our worst year to date)).

We definitely are not getting along lately…. yet I am the one in his corner.  I am the one making the cog wheels move so that he gets the help he needs, with the “least restrictive environment”.

But there are days I look at him, and I wonder what happened to my baby?  I think back to the day I found out I was pregnant with him, after failed clomid, attempts, failed IUI attempts, and 2 in-vitro cycles, how happy I was.  And when he was born, the struggles with his seizures, the struggle with developmental delays, giving him EVERYTHING I had.  Driving him 80 miles 2x a week for OT, finding him every therapy we could get. I think about the year he was 8.  The year he was violent, angry, physically abusive to me.  And I feel like I earned a little bit easier teenage years.  After all, we have his meds right, we have had therapy in place long enough.  I just want peace.  I want to remember these last few years as a teenager fondly, not with sadness, and regret.

My kids mean everything to me. They are my legacy, they are my best accomplishments, they are the best of me.  They SHINE in every way I don’t.  I gave them all my shine.

Maybe this is how all moms feel during the teenage years.  But this is my first time being there, it hurts, and honestly PLEASE don’t tell me it’s all normal, I KNOW that in my head, but it’s my heart that hurts, and that will only get better with time.

I want what she has…

My daughter went into first grade in public school this year. I have homeschooled for the past five years. She did first grade at home last year but I just couldn’t teach her to read, or write her letters and numbers.

As it turned out she had an issue with her eyes that needed therapy weekly. She entered first grade without ANY sight words. She struggled writing letters correctly (she still does but it’s so much better). In January with interventions she made it to level 4/5. When they leave first grade they want them to be level 16-20. It was pretty clear my daughter would need summer school. Each week she inched along. About a month or so ago she was at a level 12. Which is AMAZING progress, but they were still recommending summer school.

I got an email from her teacher the other day, her final assessment put her at a level 16, 98% fluency and instructional level comprehension.

I could learn a lot from this soon to be 8 year old. She went from the bottom of the ladder in reading, so to speak, and with hard work and determination she got herself to the top.

She is one of the kindest friendliest child in the first grade. She helps her classmates with the subjects she’s strong in. She’s something special that’s for sure.

And she doesn’t give up. She’s strong. She must have a belief in herself to go from where she was to where she is.

I would be remiss to not also recognize the teacher and reading recovery teacher she had. They were AMAZING and both will be missed terribly. But without an inner drive, an inner strength, even with all the help in the world she wouldn’t have gone as far as she did. No one, not me, not her father, not her teachers expected her to catch up to the other students in a school year. She had eye issues, she was basically starting from scratch. But she surprised us all.

I want to be her when I grow up. I want to be the person who can be last in the race, keep on trucking and finish with everyone else.

She is my hero.

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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“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.

I joined the club…

Today I joined the elite club…. the forty club, the big 4-0 as in cresting the hill (but not quite over it).  In the past decade my body has been preparing for induction into the club with grey, white and silver hair, with wrinkles, and sagging, and most recently bifocals and cataracts.

For months I have been dreading forty; like it was the end of the world as I knew it.  And yeah, I’ll admit it kinda sucks to think that THIS is as far as I have gotten at forty, but at the same time I have accomplished some things worth recognition.  I have two beautiful children, who are smart, funny and amazing- each in their own way.  I have a marriage that after almost 18 years of marriage, and 23 years together is stronger every day.  I have a brother and a sister that I adore. I have a best friend that I admire, who makes me want to be a better version of me.  I have other friends too, friends who care about me, especially when I don’t care about myself.  I have a counselor who I love. And I have finally given her her name- Princess Glitter Sparkle.  (My husband coined it, and I told her about it.). We have sat with it for about a month or so now and she said there’s just no denying it- it suits her.  And in the past decade I also discovered my faith again.  I have a relationship with God.

So yes, while in the past couple of years it seems like the crap has hit the fan, and I have a hard time seeing the good past the crap, I do have some really good things in my life.  On the especially crappy days I need to come back and read this list.

Here’s to hoping 40’s beats the pants off 30’s.