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.

Disruption…

Nothing has changed in 23 years. Back then I was the disruption to my husband’s family. I was the one ruining it. I was told time and time again. At one point fairly early into our relationship, sometime after we were engaged but nowhere near our wedding, I tried to end it. If I was ruining his life I wanted to fix it… In the parking lot of a grocery store, I tried to end things and give him back the ring. I’ve never seen him more sad, and more hurt. He made me promise to never do that again. He assured me I wasn’t ruining their family.

If you looked at highlight reels from 1995 to 2018 you would see all the times I was a disruption, not good enough, not good enough wife, not good enough hostess, not a good enough mother to stop autism, ADHD, anxiety, bipolar in my kids…. the list goes on. But tonight my husband was told “mental illness is a ‘disruption'” specifically my mental illness. And I should be better now.

What? Like it’s that easy? I snap my fingers and I’m cured! But I don’t, so I must like being like this. Like not wanting to ever leave the house, like sleeping all day, like being stuck in OCD loops and feeling out of control. I must like being so sick of germs I’m afraid to hug my kids, or let them sit with me in my chair. Yes I enjoy it all… could you all feel the sarcasm dripping there?

It’s always been about this person, it will always be about this person and I will never measure up. This person has always known just where to sucker punch me.

I want to cut

I want to cut so bad. The urge is almost unbearable. But I have to wear short sleeves tomorrow in front of my nephews birthday party, then to dinner with my in laws. And then Tuesday I have an MRI on my hip so I can’t carve up my leg… they’d know….

I am just feeling so low today. I don’t even know why.

This too shall pass?

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 😉 )