Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fight or Flight

I've been in and out of this mode continuously today. It usually takes me a good hour to come down so it's been quite the roller coaster. I've tried alcohol, staying constantly busy, and deep breathing. I finally settled on an Ativan because I'm hoping it will help me sleep longer than four hours tonight.

Literally, every one of my buttons has been pushed. Every trigger set off. Why? It's a Kid weekend.

I'm a single parent to a son, who despite his challenges, anxieties, and quirkiness, is an amazingly well behaved child. He's a rule follower. He's quiet. He's fairly neat for an 8, almost 9 year old. He's routine. He very rarely needs any kind of discipline. In fact, I can't even remember the last time he was disciplined. He just simply responds to knowing what is accepted and what isn't. His only form of meltdown is usually directed toward homework, a video game, or himself (perfectionism), and even then it progresses to tears and we can work through it fairly quickly. Not to say he's doesn't try my patience daily, because he does, but basically he is a good kid. Almost too good, but given who I am, this works well for me.

I'm also a single Mom who lives with her boyfriend. Every other weekend we get a "break" and actually have two whole kid free days to ourselves. If I had to list the benefits of divorce, this would be number one on that list. Of course, this also means on the opposite weekend we have three kids. My one and his two. His two are not rule followers. In fact, I don't see that they have any set rules at all. His two are not quiet ( mine, who is easily stimulated is not as quiet when they are here either). His two have no routine. His two are the opposite of neat. And lastly, his two fight. They're siblings. Of course they fight. This is all pretty normal, I suspect.  Just not for me.

Where we plan and like to know what's next, they fly by the seat of their pants. Where we are not interested in groups or sports, they are very busy team players. Our weekends and activities obviously have to revolve around their schedule. A schedule I very rarely know about until the last minute, which either prevents me from making plans or it constantly screws up any plans I had. I'm still irritated right now, so I'm sure this is coming off as I'm right, and he's wrong, and that's not what I'm trying to say. We're just different. Completely different. From what I can tell, I'm the only one who is having a hard time functioning with these differences.  What I'm trying to say is this particular "way" isn't working for me.  This might seem selfish, and I realize that, which is why it's been so hard to voice in a way that someone else can understand. Even I hoped that maybe I could adjust, but I'm not. In fact, I'm getting worse.

We're going on our third year now, and if I were a normal person, I would probably be used to it by now. I'm not though. Not even close. I don't get " used to" things. If it makes me uncomfortable once it will make me uncomfortable forever. I'm not sure if this could be related to AS is any way, but it is definite part of my make up.

During these weekends, all of things I need to function and make sense of my world, are replaced with what I can only describe as an unpredictable tornado. Chaos. The whining and the fighting sends my nervous system straight into hell. While I realize, again, this is probably very normal, it is not something I tolerate well at all. (I can't even tolerate my own mothers raised voice whether she is angry or not.) Besides being like nails on a chalkboard, it sends my own emotions into overdrive. If I hear or sense the tension/anger, I somehow absorb it. (This I've learned is most likely a part of AS, as is everything else) Not knowing how to deal with these emotions (that are not even mine to begin with) makes me want to flee the situation. My instinct is to run. The constant changing of plans, directly conflicts with my intense dislike (to put it mildly) of last minute changes and my inability to switch on a dime. This adds to the already panicked feeling inside me. And, of course, the mess. I've already discussed how my outer world needs to be organized in order for my inner world to be organized as well. If it's not, I have an extremely hard time dealing with anything. Anything. I can't concentrate. I can't regulate my emotions.

(I wrote half of this last night, and finally passed out. The other half I'm writing today.)

What has ultimately ended up happening on these weekends, is because I can't keep my "world" manageable , I end up taking Ativan. And while it works like a charm, when I try to stop taking it, it sends my whole system into a withdrawal like I've never felt before. I've had people tell me, if you only take the lowest dose, or if you don't take it every day, it shouldn't be a problem. Even the Nurse Practitioner doesn't seem to think I'm taking too much. But, I still have a problem. I've read over and over again that people with AS are highly sensitive to medication and don't require the recommended dosage. I've always been this way. It's rare that a drug actually effects me the way it's supposed to.  I've done okay with Celexa but Wellbutrin took all of my symptoms and amplified them, as did Zoloft. I can see why some people will kill themselves on those type of drugs if that's what it does to you. What's worse is if you tell your doctor, they say, "oh, it takes a while to work, just keep taking it." Seriously!? It's statements like that, that convince me they are the crazy ones.

I don't really know what to do about any of this. I could say, hopefully, I'm not alone here, but I'm sure I am. (I just had a deja vu). Perhaps someone might suggest, I talk about it, and try to come up with a solution that works for everyone, but I'm the only one with the problem. A problem that no one else is remotely interested in learning anything about. I try talking. I apparently suck at it and everything comes out seeming like blame. No one wants to be blamed. I don't mean for it to come out that way, but when I'm upset enough to even attempt to voice it, my emotions are already at a level that is uncontrollable. Pair that with my bluntness and you've got the beginning of fight that no one can ever win. It's pointless.

My BF, just informed me that, we won't have our free weekend next weekend either, due to the kids schedule. After all of my cross wiring so far this weekend, what do you think happened in my head? Routine. Routine. Routine. INTERRUPTED. If I voice this, which I won't because I know better now...this is where I get the "Why can't you just?" comments. BECAUSE I CAN'T! This is where my own frustration with not being able to be who other people want me to be causes me to feel less, and broken, and probably better off alone.

So, for a few days that's what I will be. Instead of staying here next weekend and twisting and turning around other peoples schedules, I'm going to take some time for myself. It's Mother's Day weekend, so why not. I won't have my child with me, because he'll be with his dad, and I'm sure that just because I'll be alone, won't mean I'll be lonely...

Hope, who sometimes wishes she was someone else. 


  1. I totally get what you're saying. I feel similar when my kids have their friends over. My quiet house turns chaotic, and the other kids don't mind. There really isn't anything that I can do about it, besides not let them have friends over, and that isn't fair to them, so.... I soldier on best I can.

  2. Glad I'm not the only one. I do hate that it makes me seem so dysfunctional, but I will never be one of those people that can "go with the flow". Thanks for commenting. :)

  3. We have our issues as well so hang in there. Surprisingly you can be one of those people.. it happend to me.