Thursday, February 28, 2013

Venting to avoid imploding.

I just took a Devil pill. I had no choice. I wanted to type and my hands wouldn't stop shaking. They're still shaking. It will take a little while to kick in. But I'm typing anyway. And eating carrots, just in case the fact that I haven't eaten all day is part of the reason my hands are shaking.

What's wrong?  I hate that question. DREAD it. Mostly because I can't answer it on the spot. Sometimes I don't know what's wrong right at the exact moment my nervous systems decides to jump ship. However, with some time to reflect and think, I can usually sum up the triggers to a decent degree. This is why I write. This is also why I should never talk. I didn't used to talk much for most of my life. People would say, "You don't talk much do you?" and I would think...why should I? I have nothing to say. Somewhere along the line, though, I realized that I did have things to say, so I started saying those things, and no one listened. When I wrote, some people listened. For some reason my writing is better received than anything I have to say face to face. The lesson? Shut up. But I haven't learned that lesson well enough yet.

In any case, there is a lot that's wrong right now. There's a lot that's wrong with me. Too many things lingering, too much limbo, too many fights, too much anxiety, a lot of noise in my head. In fact the damn thing wouldn't shut up all day.  Mostly I had three phrases that kept repeating themselves. ALL. DAY. LONG. The first was: "The truth of the matter is..." The second was: "I don't even care." and the third was: "I can't fucking do this." I don't know exactly what they are in reference to. They just kept running through my head. This is what happens when I'm overwhelmed.

Jack has been on the top of the trigger list lately. His anxiety. How he is fine one day and so not fine the next. (Payback perhaps for being the same way myself?) It's draining and has become a huge trigger for my own anxiety. Finding him a doctor turned out to be extremely difficult for me. It shouldn't have been but it was. I finally got a call back but they left a message so now I have to call them back again. I haven't been able to do it yet, but I will tomorrow when everyone is gone and the house is quiet, because that's the only way I can do it.

Working has been nearly impossible with school vacation, and sick days and snow days. I don't get sick pay, so if I don't work, I don't make money. Period. Right now I have $9 available in my checking account. I should be fine by Monday but until then...I have $9.

Along with the work issue, there is the house issue, which we are renting. Come May our monthly expenses are going to increase by $400 a month, should we choose to stay here. I want to stay here. I hate the thought of leaving. I've been trying to figure out ways that we can stay, I've been working harder and taking on more than I have time for to try to see if we can even come up with an extra $400 or not. And I'm failing. Miserably. It rests on my shoulders entirely because my BF only makes what he makes and has child support to pay. In fact, he's actually making a little less now and all of our bills have gone up. I don't think I can shoulder this, so last week I called the only other option we had and there is nothing available but we're welcome to add our name to the waiting list. I don't know what to do. I don't know what I can do. I feel like it's completely up to me to figure this out and I can't. The not knowing what the fuck is going to happen is taking a serious toll considering I'm the type of person who needs a plan.

And then you have the day to day crap. All the little things that I have to do because I'm the only one that will ever do them. I feel invisible. Taken for granted. Hung out to dry. God forbid I do that "talking thing" and attempt to share how I feel. Sometimes all it takes to lighten the load is for someone to acknowledge your feelings, or how much you do. I guess I don't ask for that the right way, but in all honesty, it pisses me off that I would even have to ask.

I feel like all that was good has been replaced with shit. Where's the fun? The love? The passion?  Those were the things that brought me here. The things that kept me going. Now I have this huge weight of everything. No one will help me. Not even if I ask. Is it really surprising that having to take the damn trash out for the 160th time or hearing my boyfriend accidentally call his ex wife "babes" would send me over the edge? It shouldn't be.

I think the devil pill has kicked in. Only going over this hasn't helped. It's only made me mad.

Hope, who can't do everything and finally realizes she shouldn't have to.

Friday, February 22, 2013

No accidents.

I wanted to post a little follow up to Let's talk about Jack. If you haven't read it you may want to read it first.  After writing and sharing that post with everyone from family members to strangers with children on the spectrum I received a ton of feedback and contact information. Most of which I'm still following up on. The feedback made me feel good, like I wasn't alone, and I got some reassurance that what I was seeing wasn't necessarily something I should ignore. I've thanked them for that. I did also still get some of the same old feedback of..."He's fine. He's normal. He does so well in school."  All of which is true to a point. In my opinion..."he's awesome!  (although with the budding anxiety, not always fine). And as far as normal goes, he's better than normal. I still have some people to reach out to that may have some better insight, but in the meantime I'm narrowing down a doctor for him so we can start with addressing the anxiety. And go from there.

Today I finally had a few minutes to dive into my Black Box (external drive) and view some old videos of my guy when he was two. I knew I had them and vividly remember him during that time...lining up his tub toys...speaking in a sing song script...and being very repetitive. I watched a lot of them today, with Jack, and we could hardly stop laughing. All of the above was there as I had remembered but at the same time his little mannerisms completely cracked us up. It was fun to do together and he kept periodically hugging me as we watched his former tiny self carry on conversations that so clearly originated from Barney and Dora.

What I hadn't expected to find was an old Blog entry saved away in a word document. Ironically it was written right after I had seen Jenny McCarthy on Oprah. It was a similar eye opening experience as what recently occurred with Let's talk about Jack. For me anyway, and apparently according to the entry is was not my first search for information but my second, making this recent quest my third. What is it they aways say?   Third times a charm?  I don't think it's an accident that I found that entry today, and I don't think it's an accident that I keep being lead down this road.

Here is the Old Post...written when Jack (who is now eight) was three years old.

In addition to spending my week sick as dog with what can only be described as a KICK. MY. ASS. cold....I also spent most of it in front of my computer perusing website after website in a quest for information. A quest I began a year ago but abandoned when I convinced myself not to trust my intuition.  I got a wake up call last week, and suddenly everything became so clear.

Being that I work from home, I usually have the TV on in the afternoon. I don't always watch it but I keep it on...maybe to remind me that there are other people in the world. Anyway, some of you may know Jenny McCarthy was on Oprah last week (and has since been on every other show and magazine cover in America) promoting her new book which talks about her son having autism. I really wasn't planning on watching, but her story intrigued me, and I found my myself sitting there hanging on her every word. Her story was amazing and scary and inspirational all at the same time. Then Oprah went and did what she always does. She asked the "question". Where there any signs early on that you missed? ...and then came the clarity as Jenny went on to describe my son.

 I think I sat there for about 15 minutes with my mouth hanging open and I'm not even sure why. It's not as if the thought hadn't crossed my mind. I'd even voiced it to a few people, but somehow I'd managed to dismiss the idea, for the most part.  After all, when you hear the word autistic your first visual is what? Rainman. Correct. Your second is of an expressionless child sitting off by themselves starring into space, right? A child who doesn't want to be hugged or kissed or even touched.  A child who can't communicate. Well... that's not my he can't be autistic. Or...can he?

Jenny talked about "Mommy Intuition".  You know. You just know. I can't say with certainty that he is, as he hasn't been diagnosed. I can say that my son is not like the other kids his age.  He is different. But not a bad different. In fact just about everyone who meets him falls in love with him. If, in fact, he does have some type of autism spectrum disorder, my guess would be Aspergers, which incidentally, would also fit his father (and in some ways myself) to a T. Again, not a doctor, but time will tell. It could be some kind of sensory processing disorder or just plain quirkiness. In any case, at this point, he doesn't appear to be hindered in anyway. In fact it's just the opposite.

What people say when they meet my son:

"OMG, how adorable, he's like a little Professor!"
"He's so polite!"
"He's only three? He seems so much older!"
"He's so friendly and personable."
"I can't believe he remembered my name, he's only met me once."
"He certainly isn't shy, is he?"
"What a charmer!"

And not one of those comments would appear to be about a child on the spectrum.

Now meet Jack:

He says hi to every adult we meet. He will also ask their name and remember it if he happens to see them again three months from now.

He has an adorable sing song voice and uses words like gargantuate.

He has a deep interest in trains, vacuums, ceiling fans, sprinkler systems and telephone poles.

He only eats about 12 different foods. He's extremely sensitive to texture and smell. Will vomit if he tries something new.  Most times he needs to be reminded to eat roughly 50 times per meal.

He likes TV and will recite lines from TV shows or television commercials daily.

He appears to love new things and change, but will link a specific phrase to a place or item...when he goes to that place or sees that item he will recite that phrase. Each and every time.

When I ask him if he wants to go to the playground, he says "Oh yes! I'd love to." and flaps his hands. Whenever he is excited or overstimulated he flaps his hands. When we get to the playground he wanders around exploring on his own, picking up sticks or rocks. 

He loves to dance. He also spins and toe walks (again, when excited or overstimulated)

He's learning the alphabet in sign language (still not sure from where) but still has a hard time using a spoon or fork or catching a ball.

He learned what a W was at 18 months and has started spelling his head only, because he can't yet write.

He's developing quite an imagination but will talk endlessly and repetetively about trains and traintracks.

He's loving and affectionate, but only for as long as he can stand still or take it. During his waking hours he's almost always in constant motion.

He knows which roads take us where. He remembers every place we go to, even if it's only once.
He's always liked to have something in his hand, usually a drumstick (used to be the blue lego). He also takes the drumstick to bed and in the car for rides. :)

He loves to play outside but falls more than your average 3 year old.

I'm constantly saying "How do you know that?"...and he's constantly finishing my sentences. 


That's were it ended. I don't think I had finished it, but if I find the rest I will revise the post. In any case, it was interesting that I would still have this and happen to find it now. It helped to bring back even more memories, and it also helped to remind me that whatever the outcome Jack is and will be OKAY. Better than okay. 

Hope, who kind of believes in Serendipity, and is wondering what's next?

Friday, February 15, 2013


I don't like it. I don't adjust well to it. I know it happens and people say it's inevitable. Some even say it's good. Maybe sometimes it is. If I, myself, am initiating the change it's easier. That might sound selfish. In fact, I'm sure it does, but it's not coming from a selfish place.  I rarely initiate change. Instead I've spent most of my life to trying to find a place to fit into. A place where I'm comfortable, accepted, loved, and dare I say happy. When I find that (or think I've found that) then I don't want it to change. Who would?  But it does. People change, even the ones who claim they can't. They stop doing what they used to do. Saying what they used to say. Stop looking at you the way they used to look at you. Lifestyles change. Habits change. Activities change.

Being a some what logical person I always have to find a reason for things. If something changes and I can't understand why, I need to figure out why, because somewhere in my twisted logic I think if I can fix it, it can go back to the way it was. This never works. NEVER. Instead it will normally make everything worse. And all of the "changing" ultimately takes away the comfort, acceptance, and love that made my life a comfortable place. I end up lost and vulnerable. I don't like that either, so usually after years of trying and failing to get that back, I start to shut things out. I don't know exactly how to explain it, and I don't do it on purpose. People talk about "building walls" and I guess, in a way, it's like that. It's not that I don't want to feel anything, because I do. It's more like I just shut off. Like inside I have some kind of limit as to how much pain or sadness I can feel and once I've reached that limit, a flip is switched. I can feel it coming and I even try to communicate that, but obviously I'm having a hard time now, so saying the words must sound even crazier. In any case, once the switch is flipped, I retreat to a different comfortable place inside myself, and this is when I normally initiate my own change.  It sounds like a cycle. Maybe it is, but it's not done out of desire. I'm sure of this. It's done out of need. It's a survival mechanism.

This could be normal. I'm not really sure, to be honest. I just know that this is how I work (or perhaps, don't work is a better choice of words.) How do you explain this?  How could anyone make allowances for it?  Who would want to? At what point do you suck it up and realize maybe all this wanting to "go back" simply means it's really time to "go forward".

Hope, who is ironically calmer than she has been in a while.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Feb 8th

Today is the start of "The Blizzard of 2013".  The media is making a big deal, as usual, like we've never seen this before. We have.  We will again. This is New England.  First we ask..."Did hear about the fuckin' stawm we're gettin?"  And then we answer..."Yeah. Wicked fuckin' pissah."  And...we move on. So...Dear Media, Cut the shit, already. Sincerly, The Massholes.

Today is also the anniversary of my Mother's death. 29 years ago. Holy crap!  It makes me feel old. It makes me feel older, even, to have lived more years on this earth that she ever got to. If you could make wishes on Deathaversaries (not a word? who cares.) you do on wish would be to get to talk to her one more time. There are so many questions I have to ask her now that I'm adult...questions that weren't there when I was a child. So many things that could help us to understand things better now. I know it can't happen, (Although, I'm starting a savings Jar for a visit the the Long Island Medium... Can't hurt to try, right?) so instead, I'll just have to believe that she finally has the peace she could never find on this earth. And that's she's gotten to feel that peace for the past 29 years. That has to be enough.

RIP, Mommy.

We will someday see you again.

Hope, who is enjoying a Smirnoff Ice and awaiting the Blizzard. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back to School

The little man has been home sick for the past two days. Not really, really sick, mostly just a cold but because he's been running a low grade fever, I kept him home. We all know how it feels to have to go about your daily routine when you feel like crap. For most, a couple of days to recover is welcome and then we're ready to go. Not so with a person (adult or child) who suffers from anxiety. What two days away from the thing that is making you the "most" anxious it reinforces your desire NOT to do it and makes you even more anxious when you have to go back.

It started last night after a chatty bath, where he informed me he believes he more of a Tom Girl, because he likes some girl things too. "I'm addicted to shiny things." he says. This made me laugh and immediately conjured up the scene in Running with Scissors where Augusten's Dad says "Augusten, what ARE you doing?"  "I'm polishing my coins." he says. "Yes, WHY are you polishing your coins?"  he asks. "Because I like shiny things." He responds, very matter of factly.

After some more chatting and me telling him it's okay to like girl and boy things or not like some girl and boy things, he seemed pretty satisfied, and we moved on to a game of Super Hero Charades, in which, I got my butt kicked.

Fast forward to bedtime.

 ..."I'm sad."

Me: "Why are you sad?"

Him: "I'm not sure. I just feel really sad."

Me: "Do you think your sad because you have to go back to school?"

Him: "Well that's part of it, but not all of it."

Me: "What's the rest of it."

Him: "I don't really know."

This was literally minutes after laughter and fun, and I do really believe that he doesn't know. It's hard sometimes to pick out the typical kid behavior/anxiety/manipulation from something a little more serious. Most people tend to shrug things off. I know this because I used to be the little girl that said she was sad or scared or that she  felt like something terrible had happened. No one ever listened. But I'm listening. Probably mostly, because what I'm hearing is a very familiar song.

I'm not sure if this can all be chalked up to Anxiety or if the Anxiety is actually a symptom of something more. I guess there is no way to know for sure until we start seeing a doctor. What I am pretty sure of is this is hereditary. I don't know much about Jack's Dad's family as he had little to no contact with them while we were together, but I do know more than I need to know about mine. And the last thing I would ever want for him is to take that road as a way to cope. I'm also sure that Anxiety and Sadness (depression) live in the same house, though often not at the same time. There have been times when my own Anxiety was so bad that the Sadness was almost welcomed. It had a numbing effect and provided some relief (believe it or not) from the constant state of anxiousness.

It's heartbreaking to see these things emerging in your own child. We only want the best for our children. We only want them to inherit the best of us. Never the worst. We never ever want to see them fighting the same battles.

We made it through the morning though and even though he was tearing up he still got on the bus, with a little smile.  Before the bus came he had asked me, was there any way he could be home schooled?  I had no idea how even knew that home schooling existed. But apparently there's a lot going on in that little head that I don't know about. I know I should be grateful that is coming out even in bits and pieces, rather than just floating around up there.

Now we hope for a good day and a big smile as he gets off the bus this afternoon. In the meantime I have to make up some work hours and start looking for doctors.

Hope, who wishes she had a charger that she could plug into.