Friday, September 30, 2011
Great soccer game last night, it was supposed to have been played on Tuesday of next week when I'd told Daniel I couldn't go to a post season Braves game with him, as I always go to the soccer games. Now I have next Tuesday free and there are no post season games for Braves fans.
Oh well, it was great to be with Daniel and his future wife, Megan, for the evening. Now I'm starting my third decade as his mama. Have I ever mentioned how much I so totally love this guy?
Suzy, a reader, had wished better things ahead for us in a comment, and Bingo, there it was. From her mouth to God's ears.
CJ had dental surgery, a best case in office scenario versus the hospitalization option that would've cost Chuck and Yolie some very big bucks, I was told I didn't have to drive to Macon at the crack of dawn today for a court date, and the chiropractor fit Sabrina in his busy schedule again, as she had inflammation in her neck and shoulders from yet another cheer leading injury.
He made her as good as new. Good thing too as today she'll be gone from 7 am until 11 pm, tomorrow, a Saturday from 7 am until 5 pm when she'll then join us in the UGA stadium recycling job with her boyfriend, Luis.
This morning there are a few Friday yard sales I can get to, all alone, no kids, a breath of freedom for a minute. I don't mind the kids being with me certainly, but a few minutes without them is also nice. Sometimes I only wanna hear silence.
A great soccer game, the teenagers play better when they know Daniel's eagle eye is upon them, they really wanna make him proud. He posted his compliments on their Facebook page as well, they're floating on his praise this morning. A Lieutenant's opinion way outranks Big Mama's congratulations.
I'd told Megan that she, too, outranks me in Daniel's life and heart, as that's the way it's supposed to be. All I've ever wanted for him is/was for him to be happy. Same with Jesse, who's now in his 8th year of marriage to the very lovely Lena, as of yet, my only daughter-in-law. Easy to approve when you simply love their chosen ones.
I'm seriously praying for my dear sweet Sergi to find Ms. Right, as he'll be 30 years old in a week or so, but he's kind of a solitary guy, which I do understand. "I just wanna be alone," he'll explain to me, in his episodes of either very high stress or slight depression periods. Dude, you know I get it.
My own thoughts are often way more than enough for me.
But, I'd love for there to be someone else watching over him, he's so sweet, but could often use a second opinion from a partner (in my opinion). He's a couple thousand miles away from here, living out west, enjoying a change of scenery.
I built myself a new compost heap, dragging the cinder blocks around, this one is larger, and I'm super excited in advance over what it'll do for the gardens next season. Standing there in the back area, I contemplated making the chicken moat veer around the back yard, and up around the swimming pool, an interstate system for them of sorts, then I could hear their happy clucking even more.
I did just have to snap at JoJo for his constant complaining, getting in other folks' business, yammering just to yammer, spiking my blood pressure, but it is so much easier than in the preceding years. Now Allen's arguing with him, double the yammering fun. Emotional Twins at it again.
And today? I'm gonna look forward all day long to the red velvet cake Sarah's making from scratch to commemorate Hazel's 4th birthday.
Jack.s complaining of a sore throat and a stomach ailment. Psychosomatic? Possibly. I'm waiting for the Tylenol to take effect.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Last night was not a quiet, let's settle down after church night, because of me.
No, it was because of the Braves, and their inability to do much after the third inning. Seriously? Were you guys napping in the dugout? You let your mamas down in a big, big way.
Thirteen innings. My room is in the top back corner of the house and all the kids were behind their own self-locked bedroom doors, with fans running and a couple of white noise machines (bought at yard sales), still my dismay and hollering could clearly be heard, "You swung at THAT?" or "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
The older boys pondering, "Think we need to go restrain Mom? She's nutting up."
Thirteen innings, an historic massive collapse of an 8 1/2 game wild card lead, in one lame month of bad plays, a baseball season ending in September?
While the very lovely lady, Jeanne, next to me used her Ipad to look up Bible verses in the Wednesday night service, I kept track of the scores and plays on my Iphone. (Please forgive me Lord) "I shoulda sat next to you," a friend told me later, jumping on his Harley to roar back to his TV after church. "I don't have a smart phone."
Preston had pooh-poohed me. "I don't care as much now that there's football," he brazenly stated, only to check the score later during Bible study and stay up to watch the entire game.
Texting Daniel in Atlanta, his fiance in Athens, and mostly my favorite brother-in-law, Kevin, in the DC area, I watched the game in shock, hope, dread, and fascination. Best Braves pitcher certainly (Hudson), yet worst possible team to go up against here at the very end, the irascible Phillies, now with a staggering 102 season wins.
To the bitter end Kevin kept me cyber company, remarking on the plays and trying to not give up hope...that's what I love about him, even though he's seriously a dedicated lifelong Yankees fan which I simply don't understand what with all his intelligence.
The only redeeming thing about fall would be the furiously played NLCS playoffs and World Series games...I got nothing now.
Every single kid remarked on how noisy I was last night. "Dang, Mom, I thought you had a mouse or a snake in your room with all the racket you were making."
Atlanta fans are devastated.
Best Kevin quote of the night, I'd forwarded it to Megan and Daniel, "Season depends on overworked rookie."
Kimbrell accepted the blame in the AJC, but in his defense, a lot of players let him down, no offense available, no bats working, I raised cain at Venters (good out though) and at Brooks Conrad, who could've slightly redeemed himself from ruining Bobby Cox's last night last October, a night I'm still steaming about, a night that Daniel, Megan and I had stood there in the stands in shock at three errors in one game by Conrad. Hell no, I don't forget - and I don't consider that to be a cuss word. (Please forgive me Lord)
Prado nearly got it done.
I gotta shake it off, get my brain back into soccer. Yeah boy, I'm Nando's mom.
The AJC wants me to pay about reading a mental health article? Like I'm not living one? Dude, y'all should pay me to write one for you. It'd be more hair-raising than anything you could report.
I went to court yesterday, step one accomplished, step two on Monday. A frightening pyscho-sexual evaluation results indicating a severe risk as my ammo. Are you freaking kidding me? I'd initially read the dreadful results, trying not to vomit in abject terror and fear.
"This should be administered to ALL kids before adoption," I said, through my tears of shock, revulsion, and fear.
"It can't be done until about age 12 or so," the therapist told me. "No serious indicators would register on a younger child."
I literally reeled for a few days, trying to comprehend the ramifications of these results. This was quite some time back, it took me a very long time to wrap my brain around what I was reading. How can this be? This seems like pure evil personified, especially when the word sadistic is used in reference to the violence that is threatening to explode. That the imminent threats are toward very young boys? I think I just threw up in my mouth again.
I still care deeply for this young man - that I'm very afraid of, and for his future, should he not respond to the type of super intensive therapy he truly needs.
If institutions, and the agencies that pay, know there's a mom and a home dumb enough to take him back in, then they'll dismiss him, set him free to perpetrate. If I refuse to allow this, then technically I could be charged with abandonment, if I allow him in -and he attacks, I can be charged with neglect.
That's my life. My Sophie's choice. This sucks.
If I refuse, if the judge understands, if CPS cooperates, then it can be a best case scenario, and he will be placed in heavily therapeutic environments which is exactly what he needs.
His potential victims need him to be there.
I will remain the mom, although NIMB, not in my backyard. Just like the opponents of nuclear facilities, so too will I fight this looming potential victimization threat. Less of a threat than a near promise...it indicates a severe risk, when even an infinitesimal risk is too much in my book. Can I get an amen?
I've sat on this information, praying, seeking counsel, finally comprehending that I have no choice. This person is not here, has not been here for awhile, and I cannot ever allow him any access to anyone ever for very obvious reasons.
I gave copies of this evaluation to the judge, knowing I am incredibly blessed in this arena to have an astute, very intelligent, compassionate judge who reads everything before passing judgement.
My heart slams within my chest constantly, the stress of all this is emotionally debilitating and physically scary. I am terrified way too often. I cannot even begin to convey the stark terror within me as deep lines race across my aging face with rapidity. I look like Hell.
I WILL protect my children and my grandchildren though, I just hope and pray that my over-taxed heart holds out so that I can be there for them.
Mr P is spiraling again. "I want to punch him in the face," a much younger child howled in frustration this morning.
"Honey, I so understand, but you gotta walk away," knowing this sweet, attached kid would do as advised, while Mr P looked for someone else to provoke, of course being predictably busleft so that he could force a negative reaction from me. When I didn't take the bait, he amped it up, slinging Nando's bike on the ground, right in front of Nando just to aggravate him and to make me react.
Yes, busleft is a word down South. It obviously means he missed the dern thing.
Deep, deep sigh. I walked off with two sweet younger sons, advising them to breathe in to the count of five, breathe out to the count of five. Mr P will not have a happy life until he stops provoking others. One day someone will impulsively pound him, either at school or on the streets, out of pure T aggravation.
Thank God this is a Dr. Mandy day. She, too, has been addressing these behaviors with him. In the last six months however, I've seen a massive improvement, that he fell apart lately is also predictable. I don't expect perfection, just progress.
Jack is still reeling over Grandpa, bursting into tears this morning over his lost punch card, sure he'd get an automatic detention, I emailed his sweet teacher, she has a new one ready for him this morning, and I just realized he will have a karate demo presentation on Oct 25th, the anniversary of Grandpa's death. I hope he doesn't know the significance of the day, but since it is also Allen's birthday, I'm sure some yoyo here will bring up the fact that Grandpa had died early that same morning.
Both Chuy and Sabrina are clamoring to go to the chiropractor today, knowing Dr H takes walk-ins. The competition cheerleading practices have strained her neck muscle now, Chuy has soccer injuries in his knees, this is gonna be a tough schedule to facilitate today, especially since I was up watching the Braves lose right before midnight.
If it is even possible, Red Sox fans are in worse shape than us sad Braves fans. Pobrecito David Ortiz.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I'm aware that some mornings I sound absolutely or inconsolably enraged or outraged over the issues, even though in reality I'm just venting, other mornings sound peaceful, but may not be so in either my head nor my home. This is a 20 minute snapshot of a 24 hour day, sometimes bearing no resemblance to what's actually going on in our lives.
I may soon start sharing that which I've suppressed and repressed, but with very few, if any, identifying details. It'll be a cautionary tale, so to speak, examples of several terrible events that've nearly crushed us over the past few years.
I took my ownself to the dentist yesterday, only to be dismayed that I now need to see a periodontist as the extreme stress is wearing away my gums. Well, duh, something had to give. Apparently it's gonna be my pocketbook, as I don't have dental insurance.
Look ma, no cavities, if nothing else, my very decent food habits have protected me... to some point.
If I ever had any striving towards being pretty, happy, popular, whatever, I also already knew that going shopping wouldn't have been the solution, and for that I can thank my mall-less parents who steered me properly into the gardens and many wilderness areas, as we grew up camping as a family, making me still all the more likely to prefer the company of my brothers on vacations. Anyway, I felt validated again this morning by this post.
I am who I am, no purchased products can, nor would, change that bottom line.
Some mornings, such as yesterday, I may have appeared to be ranting loudly, as I expressed my extreme frustration, and I was irked certainly, but no so much that after I'd clicked 'publish post' that I didn't then skip off happily to water my thousand houseplants.
I had a good talk with my Vanessa, she's obtained some babysitting jobs there that allow her to be home with the very lovely Evelyn, which makes me happy, as I don't want it to be Evelyn who's wrested away from her Mama to sit in baby jail (daycare) all day.
A grown kid also asked me, "Was it me in regards to the repo man?" having read my blog.
"Dang, Darling if you don't know if it was you or not, you've got a problem," I sputtered. And it wasn't her, it was another fiscally challenged one.
At the dentist office, my dear dentist relayed a complimentary story to me, where one of his other patients spoke in awe of Nando guiding a play on the soccer field that he the coach, had not explained to the kids, thus Nando, on an carefully planned indirect kick, helped this kid score another goal.
"Nando Bodie?" my dentist asked, as if there's a ton of other little Nandos darting around our small county playing extraordinarily well on soccer fields. "I know him, he's a patient here."
I, of course, puffed up preposterously with pride upon hearing this later.
Again, Nando being the youngest of 21 brothers, he who has no fear on the field at all, on his off days, he plays with the 20 something year old Mexicans on the back fields at the park, keeping up with them, learning everything, and playing his little brains out. He turns 10 next week and he's an amazing son.
One of Scotty's teachers, she who'd also tried her extreme level best with several other hard-headed, unteachable kids of mine, showed up to watch his game last night, another reason I so deeply appreciate the faculty and staff of our schools. The level of support we've garnered has been remarkable.
A very easy night, everyone fed and re-fed, games over, home by nine, kids falling asleep exhausted, house quiet by ten, not a hard way to live lately. Sometimes I even leave my pocketbook downstairs unguarded, knowing I do not live anymore with the feloniously larcenous behaviors under which I've suffered for way too long. Even chewing gum doesn't get swiped anymore.
Lily'd picked some very hot peppers, Chiltepin, to take to school to share with her Hispanic friends, while I cut the bell peppers into strips to eat fresh with sea salt. Tony, who takes tons of photos with my phone, built a white stage in which to showcase one before I chopped it up.
"Use it on your blog mom," he stressed, downloading my phone onto my refurbished Mac, which reminds me, if you're in the market, check out this link, this stuff is better than new, and goes hand in hand with my used products preferences.
"Why?" I asked, "It's just a picture of a pepper you picked," to which he explained about form and composition, and I took away from this that it was important to him. He does read my blog, so here it is dude.
Lily's friend, Jaden, comes home with Lily each Wednesday afternoon, after their Art Club time, to attend Youth Group together. Two nice girls, one more for dinner, no biggie around here, that's for sure. Hopefully I, too, can again attend Wednesday night services.
I have a court date today, needing prayer for favor in that it's another difficult emotional situation, for me more so than anyone else, as I take this so seriously, overall it's another sad commentary on the issues that may not be resolvable in their lifetime, some issues, for example those of a pedophile are nearly unrehabilitative.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
This strong need to be in control is based on a fundamental lack of trust. Usually, because of significant difficulties during the first year or two of life, these children do not develop a sense of basic trust. As a result, these children experience requests by their parents as demands which must be fought. The result of the child’s fundamental lack of trust, is oppositional behavior and an unwilling to follow directives.
A really good article on Oppositional Defiant Disorders lists some common behaviors:
· chronic complaining,
· overt and covert defiance,
· temper tantrums,
· throwing objects,
· talking back,
· use of profanity,
· engaging in constantly annoying behavior,
· ignoring requests,
· physically resisting,
· failure to complete routine chores,
· destroying property, physical fights with others,
· failure to complete school homework,
· disrupting other activities, and
· ignoring self care tasks are all common behaviors exhibited by children with ODD.
Imagine living like this? For years and years and years? Unremittingly? With way more than one child acting as such? It sucks.
It's a full time job for me to maintain my own sanity, to not allow my own once sweet soul to be utterly and bitterly destroyed in the process.
Not engaging when provoked is my only recourse. But when I choose to not engage, they amp it up. There's no medication for this, it is deeply entrenched in the core behaviors.
This is what one lives with, this is why it's hard for me to smile very much out in public, as I'm tensed up trying to maintain ridiculously out-of-control awful behaviors that simply cannot be helped.
It is manifested in incredibly hateful behaviors.
I take issue with the author and his alleged success rate. I'd argue that his more severely diagnosed patients simply disappear into the streets at some point.
I also don't think therapists completely understand the soul-decimating aspects (for the parents) of these high-stress, blood pressure raising behaviors. Literally it feels as if one's head, heart or body will just explode from the repetitiously aggravating (hateful) behaviors. It'd almost be a relief for me to explode into a billion broken pieces, as if the explosion itself would then end the intense pain of living under sub-human conditions?
Some of my children are full-blown, walking, talking illustrations of this diagnosis, - some are barely so, some are not so at all.
When these ODD combatants grow up and leave, I always find myself stunned and shocked at the peace and calm that immediately descends in their vacancy. Really? I lived like that? I don't miss them for one single second and I find that to be a very sad commentary, but I'd be a masochistic idiot to miss the above behaviors. Any one of them, for example the constant complaining, would be enough to send a relatively sane person over the edge, try any combination of those behavior on for size 24-7, and see how it feels.
How about the constant complaints every minute that we're at the beach? Every. Minute.
Yolie's husband was a distressed, as I, over the extraordinarily rude and defiant behavior of Mr Angry towards his Sunday School teacher recently. Chuck took it upon himself, as had I, to apologize to this delightful young teacher who'd been treated so disrespectfully, knowing Mr Angry would not do so. He's not even oppositional, he's just extremely guarded and angry.
A teenager used to accuse me of only asking Lily, "How'd your day go, Darling?" as Lily returned home smiling each day from school.
It's true. I do ask Lily. The other snarling, angry defiant ones only bit my head off so dang rudely, and eventually I learned not to intrude upon them in any way.
I'm sick of being ignored or screamed at, being snapped at, growled at and shut off - it eventually teaches one to not engage whatsoever. Or the deep sighs and rolling eyes that I would dare to inquire about anything.
I learned my lesson. I am teachable. Kick this puppy for years and watch me retreat.
But I find it so disturbing to feed, clothe, provide shelter and nurturing to those who'd treat other human beings like that, it's unbelievable. Who does that?
I have one sibling group that is severely ODD to the bone, every single one of them. They're mean and rude, unreachable, unteachable and I have absolutely quit trying, most are now grown, they're treating society the same way they treated me, they're scamming folks, mooching, couch surfing, avoiding bill collectors, being deceitful and dishonest. They even text rudely. How is that even possible? They use my address and bill collectors harass me constantly.
I deeply need my space. I must recover somehow.
Notice I'm not using any names? No identifying ages, nor numbers of siblings in their group, not even a he or a she is mentioned.
It's about the issues.
No, it's about me now. I'm attempting to heal from within, to try and recover from the intense emotional abuse. Every bruise I've ever had on me from someone came out of one of two possible sibling groups. 'Nuff said. Is it any wonder that I find myself both grieving and furious?
ODD sucks for everyone. I have to recover, they have to change. Only one of these is possible I'm afraid.
Monday, September 26, 2011
The place where I get my hair done every three months whether it needs it or not, also has a paint studio and the pretty pictures capture my heart. I'd snapped a few to share with Lily, giving her some painting ideas.
Running numbers through my head as I mowed, remembering that Bodies have always had major issues with thermos bottles, umbrellas and lawnmowers, in that we simply can't use one without breaking it in the process, I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that a riding mower might not be my best bet over time.
Mine and Grandma's mowers have been busted all summer. A drought has prevented much grass growing, but we've been using a push mower and and we have a mongo meadow, likely there's two acres of grass or more to mow.
It was in the upper 80s yesterday after church and the Braves irked me terribly so I drug out the push mower mid-game, the one with an engine, and got busy. Why pay for a gym membership when one can mow? I don't have a gym membership anyway, so that's a moot point, but why pay a couple thousand bucks for a mower that needs expensive repairs?
I didn't have one when I first bought this house in 1993, why have one now? I like mowing, I really do.
Yes I could buy used, as is recommended in this blog about saving approximately $1700 a year, how cool is this? Do the math. In ten years there's $17,000 in your pockets.
I do buy used. Nearly everything except undergarments and groceries, pennies on the dollars at all times.
Mr. Angry mowed for 30 minutes while I took a breather, yet later donned a hoodie and sunglasses in order to better illustrate his inner angst. I get it. I know his issues. "Wanna talk about it?" I dumbly, yet sweetly asked, only to get a glare and the cold shoulder as he stormed past me, no doubt overheating in his weather-challenged clothing choice.
George of the Jungle swung through the house ape-like, pestering everyone at every minute until his meds finally kicked in, annoying as heck, but when a kid is staying on the good side of dangerous, I can take it.
The kids ended the night with a rousing game in the newly mowed meadow until dark which comes too early for me. I can't stand autumn. I don't wanna wear cardigans or breathe crisp air while I watch the glorious vegetation die. I wanna sweat and have fun outside, I want long summer evenings and mosquito bites. I seriously do.
Like a squirrel storing nuts, I've been amassing books from yard sales for my winter reading, really good ones, plus I'd been to the county library's used book sale that garnered an impressive $22,000 profit.
I only have one appointment today, plus one soccer game this evening, and then karate for Tabby, Nando and Jack, an easy schedule and I'll get to continue mowing in the front yard, literally feeling freed up from my decision to not buy another yard tractor, but rather to use my own muscles so I don't become frail as I stand here at 57, rounding myself up to 60 because I like the sound of it.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
The one up in the tree's been struggling with some severe anger issues. I kinda understand because nowadays I share them. I have to work on it as well.
Another son complained about that specific tree climber punching another hole in their bedroom wall. He does not do so regularly, but a door had born the brunt of his wrath as well. He has NEVER punched, slapped, popped, or in any way EVER touched another one in his anger. The door blow came in lieu of him punching out that room's irritating resident, Mr. P, who'd earned the name Mr Provocateur, by continuously aggravating others.
I grew up in parsonages, the Methodist church supplied housing to the pastor, and we grew up as well-trained as monkeys by our parents to respect these homes that'd we'd leave every four years when dad would get transferred. I hated moving, hated changing schools and churches, leaving friends and going to different towns.
I was aggrieved enough by it all and the hypocrisy I saw around me, but didn't then realize that was simply human nature, that I self-righteously flounced out of church for good around age 18.
I returned ten years later, glad for its stability and peace of mind, yet I found refuge in the more rowdy, Spirit-filled non-denominational church. This morning hearing the incredible Dr. Mark Rutland, who I'd not heard in 25 years, last time he preached at my old church he still had dark hair, I was reminded that the travails of life just tend to make us who we now are, and without a spiritual aspect, I don't think I could have survived at all.
It's bad enough to be a beat-down bitter brat, to be one without a well-fed soul would just suck.
Without this spiritual dimension, the last 25 years might feel overwhelmingly pointless. My house has been destroyed for nothing, my sunny disposition shot to Hell, and my banged up body creaking and limping about for no reason.
I do know, somehow and against all odds, against all evidence it may seem, that, at least, I did what I was called to do.
Ain't none of my business why.
Just as the police sometimes become despondent over all they've seen, their work on the dark side of life, the murders and crimes against humanity, so too do I feel shocked and stunned. Mental illnesses in children are not pretty, neither has been victimization nor abuse survivors and what they've endured and lived to tell about, it's the kind of stuff I wish I'd never had to learn about, burying my head in the sand to the evils of life might have been preferable?
I pray for the inner strength and fortitude to keep plodding on, stumbling and struggling, learning and moving in some direction that might vaguely resemble forward on some level.
We've been home from church for an hour and predictably three teenage boys have irritably bucked up against each other and me, the oppositional tendencies that make any reasonable discussion impossible, snuffing out much hope by me for their futures, yet yesterday, alone with one of them for just a brief minute, I addressed his shutting down, his fury, and unreasonable tendencies, and the fact that he explodes when his behavior is even mildly redirected by me.
"I know," he said quietly and surprisingly. I let it go at that, this acknowledgment alone was major progress.
It'd been his birth sib that was being hunted by a repo man, and as I thought some more, I did remember another incident like this, payments not being made, that person at least voluntarily turning in the vehicle rather than running and hiding.
That particular one did work but the economic mismanagement due to a million little things that add up to at least a monthly car payment, ended up costing that person their credit rating.
I read some financial blog that had discussed the 'entitlement feeling' by young adults today that has gotten so many into financial difficulties via consumer debt. I made up a dummy spreadsheet recently, showing the kids that with minimum wage, sharing apartment rent, buying inexpensive cars, then this equals that, it's hard to even break even, you've got to either lower your expenses or increase your income in order to make the math work - and the math has to work or you'll be in deep doo doo. Duh.
We've been sacked by some medical expenses lately, my EKG, the chiropractor for Sabrina and Jack, my non Medicaid covered kids needing medical care, I'm slowly paying it off, and am again very glad that I live so dang cheaply.
Meanwhile at Ole Miss yesterday, my equally as frugal brother Gary's daughter, Kelly, and her boyfriend, Casey, went down from Memphis to meet Daniel in Oxford for the game that UGA won. That has nothing to do with this post at all other than to make me smile at their adorableness. Two excellent, three counting Casey, young adults with very bright futures.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
On Lily's new rug, Hazel had stayed with me while Sarah and Preston were at a church function. The lady wanted $15 for the rug at a yard sale today, but I drug my feet so she went down to $9 without me even saying anything. I was gonna offer $10.
"Oh dear," she told me, "I just redecorated my kitchen and I really don't even want this anymore," making me sigh with envy that kitchens can be decorated instead of bulldozed after one has had 21 sons rampaging through it for years and years.
Hazel Basil is a hoot and a half, she threw a royal fit for Sarah later in the afternoon, way over-tired from pooting around with me all day, making all my wild Bubbas look angelic in comparison.
Practicing the cheerleading stuff all week long, staying late after school, sideline cheering on Friday nights, trying to wind down in order to get enough sleep before bolting out of bed early Saturday morning to go to a competition cheerleading event, Sabrina's self-imposed schedule is physically wearing her out.
I admire it though, contrasting it to those teenagers who listlessly watch TV and complain about being too bored to get up and scrounge around in the kitchen for a snack.
A busy life is a happy life, and I don't mean just filling each hour with requirements, although that's how mine has felt lately. With kids in residential treatment centers, thus making our own home safe, I'm finding myself running up and down the highway to their required appointments and designated court dates. I just changed my obligations.
Anything for family safety. Anything.
I remain incredibly angry at the faceless entities that expect adoptive parents to endure such unremitting danger.
I'm furious that me and mine have, one by one, become victims of domestic violence.
I'm absolutely raging on the inside about it all.
I almost feel like ending my post right now, before I really let on how particularly enraged I am at some of what has happened to us over the last decade. Just looking in a mirror at the worry lines now etched all over my face, the bags under my eyes, I do not look at all like the photo on my sidebar. I'm beat to Hell emotionally, stress has sapped me to the bone, hatefulness has decimated me, and I'm flat out exhausted one billion percent.
I'm tired of being robbed and deceived on a regular basis - and emotionally disrespected, now that my life has greatly eased up at home, even though there's a pile of young'uns still here, that they are all right nice overall, now that my guard is down just a smidgen, the negative emotions are flooding my soul, wiping me out in a very big way.
I don't socialize on the soccer field, or at football games, I've so deeply retreated inward as to resemble a turtle, I'm resentful and bitter, and I really need to work on my attitude.
One just can't be so deeply mistreated for so long by so many that are lashing out at what their birth parents did, one just can't perk up and easily shake it all off, this is gonna take a lot of work for me, a lot of forgiveness, and a complete mental regeneration.
And yes, in response to an email, we have had birth parents find their/my kids on Facebook or in various other ways. Then there's that, "I love you sooooo much Beautiful One," to the one that kinda let them down in a monstrous way.
However, I'm very OK with it. I want them to go work out their conflicted emotions with their birth parents, if they choose her over me, I'm more than happy to hand off the baton. I've tried. I've failed to make a difference in their attitudes what with my emphasis on therapy, resources, academic help, church attendance, and other law-abiding idiocies apparently.
Go for it.
Older adopted kids often ridiculously feel as if the new parents "stole" them from their birth families.
Far be it from me to stand in any adult children's way.
Once again, The Adoption Counselor, discusses the fallout from hazardous parenting, this time from the viewpoint of the siblings that've lived with violence and aggression for too long.
Honey, tell me about it.
Friday, September 23, 2011
It's what I live with, what're ya gonna do, ya know? They're just silly.
I blew out of the house at 6:30 this morning, leaving Grandma with school morning directions, Yolie as back-up, barreling up and down the driveway, getting kids where they needed to be, while I drove 100 miles each way for a court date for Paloma in downtown Macon.
Gotta do it again in a week.
A hardship on me certainly, a fun trip for her, as it gets her out of a lockdown facility on a jaunt of sorts.
She has two different charges, an assault and affray for fighting with a girl, another charge apparently when she'd first arrived at the other facility, not sure of what came of it, an assault charge.
"How're you gonna plead?' I asked her.
"Guilty," she replied, knowing there were witnesses, "But I'm sorry I did it."
"Then you need to admit to the charges and explain you feel guilty and remorseful," I suggested.
She's truly not been held accountable for fights, assaults and other charges. Miss Kim at DJJ explained there's only a certain amount of lock-ups. In theory I understand that, yet I know Paloma well enough to know that she feels like she keeps getting away with whatever she wants to do.
No amount of lockup will change that very embedded mindset, so I'm left with no solutions to offer anyone.
I remain extremely glad that my younger children are out of her line of fire, yet I grieve ahead for those I know she's likely gonna hurt. She tells me that she just can't help it.
Such a pretty girl, such a terrible attitude. Quite a few mental health challenges...
Maybe we're past geeky into boring, both this is exactly what Sarah and I'd been discussing. She sent me this link, I didn't know she read this blog, it's one I'd been reading as my longtime mentor/pastor Tracy reads it. Last night at soccer my other pastor Tony was standing there talking to us and Lily commented, "It's like having s famous star by our side," as she basically only sees him up on the stage Sunday mornings.
I don't have time this minute to blog, The Adoption Counselor, speaks here about the recovery we parents will need.
I don't have time this minute to blog, The Adoption Counselor, speaks here about the recovery we parents will need.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The thing about garage sales is that these folks have already decided that they don't want that which they're now selling, they just want it hauled off, thus the excellent prices. A buck is usually my tipping point, and as such I have been able to purchase a lot of books, cds or that which the kids have requested.
A Dr. Wayne Dyer set of CDs from one of his books, The Power of Intention, transfixed me yesterday. He'd been a foster child at one point, abandoned, father to a large family, left by his wife who fell for someone else, plus facing daily battles like we all do each day. The words spoke to me as I've been trying to crawl back out from the pits.
I drove to Jonathan's facility, participated in his weekly family DBT therapy - which reminds me a reader had commented on her extreme irritation regarding DBT - I'm thinking that wasn't exactly her issue? Maybe rather the terrible frustration with dealing with a kid who wasn't likely to respond to either DBT, law enforcement or anything else? Oh Honey, you know I understand.
Jonathan's excellent therapist is having to explain, as if to a child, the many facets of this therapy to me because I get hung up on logic, totally missing the point of the high intensity rages we usually find ourselves involved in with children cursed by temper dysregulation (extreme rages) plus the added awful burden of mental illnesses.
It's tough to be either Jonathan or Paloma, or many of my other children, who've suffered under miswiring, etc. I believe however that me learning DBT will help with JoJo or others that wanna rage around here, it helps me to deal differently with it all, it doesn't have all the answers, but it's another piece for me certainly.
I'd again stuffed my truck with sacks of leaves from a la-di-dah neighborhood, dashing home to spread them lovingly over dry and arid drought-stricken garden beds. This makes me very happy...seriously, it doesn't take much.
I raced over to Alexander's cupcake birthday celebration at his school, he turned six, wearing the class birthday hat, and I briefly got to be with Marcela, Deysi, Ellie and Marissa.
But get this - I also got to go to the Wednesday night church service, something I've wanted to return to for a very long time, but have been prevented from doing so by controlling behaviors and power struggles of the mentally ill. It was on a Wednesday night in the mid 1980s in which I sat through a Biblically inspired study group for six weeks that changed my life. I'll never forget the Larry Burkett teachings.
I sat with Chuck and Yolie, received a disturbing text about an adult child, was awakened later in the middle of the night by a crappy phone call - another adult child failing to realize the consequences of not paying what they owe, this was a new one for me, a repo man hunting them down.
"Seriously, at one in the morning?" I fussed irritably at this hapless creature.
"That's when we work, I'm really sorry," he apologized.
I do not know where this one kid is, I do know they are out of state, I do know they're not likely to pay what they owe, and it was me apologizing to the repo man, but also angry that either my name or my phone number was involved in this situation.
I no longer want any grown children usisng my mailing address as I get crap from their bill collectors.
Sarah's reading Your Money or Your Life and darn if we didn't talk for nearly an hour about the crossover point and how us supposedly educated folks were never taught personal finance in high school or college. It's all stuff taught by parents or learned on one's own, but it is so incredibly important.
I'll never be wealthy, will never have stuff, no bling, no excess, but I will, and do, have freedom from debt, thanks to a very broad unmaterialistic streak within me. I do deeply wish I'd learned all this a hundred years ago. I'd put a sidebar on my blog months ago, top right corner, regarding some of the best personal finance books I'd ever read, truly believing this are must-reads for everyone. I need to add Bach's Automatic series.
I've gotten good budgeting mindsets in quite a few of my children, but again there's that bell curve. Some grown kids are excellent money mangers contrasted with the one who has a repo man chasing them. Some own homes, some couch surf.
Obviously it's for their own good that they learn this discipline but I can't force it upon them. My color-coded dorky geek spreadsheets most likely turned them off, others found it inspiring, but hey, it's worked for me. On paper, what I do is nearly impossible, yet we get by each month, thank you Lord.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
For $164.34 my 1999 truck, with its 175,000 miles on it, is repaired. I'd spent $97.23 filling up the 15 passenger van, I've deeply missed my gas economically feasible truck, plus I need it to haul sacks of leaves home at opportunistic moments.
My brother, Jimbo, could be spending some $400 plus a month on car payments just so he can have a reliable way of driving from Florida here to visit my mother and I several times a year. He has a gas-eating work van. Rather than $5000 a year on car payments, plus property tax and insurance, he just rents some sporty thing to drive up here, leaving his van in his driveway. Too smart, obviously we were raised by parents born in 1930.
Targeted Savings Accounts are written about this morning at Wealth Informatic$, its similar to my love of ING Direct, where I can label my accounts as Christmas savings or New(er) Vehicle Replacement, this nerdiness is especially important for us single mothers, as its up to us to take care of ourselves, married women are likely gonna outlive their husbands, money knowledge is power.
On another note, I'm very grateful to the men in my church who come out and support my sons in soccer games, Pastor Chris and his lovely wife, Sharon, plus Boss, cheered in the light rain last night - that never made it the three miles west to my house.
I'm so astounded at my jam packed daily schedule, I'm somehow busier nowadays than in the years when I had double my numbers here at home.
Yesterday's birthday celebration was with my darling 26 year old Daniel at Cali-n-titos where I ate their veggie Cuban sandwich, we're now past the 20 year mark together, and Daniel mentioned in the very early days he made sure he always knew exactly where Yolie was at all times.
I'd not noticed him being so openly observant back then, it was a sixth sense that kept the innate knowledge of her precise whereabouts burned into his mind at all times, I did notice she was absolutely 100% their emotional barometer, a Doppler Radar of emotions, she still is actually, their sibling bond is forged in cement forever and throughout eternity, of that I have no doubt.
We're exactly 13 months from his upcoming wedding and I just can't say enough wonderful things about his future wife Megan, who will have completed her Master's Degree program by then. She is a dream come true for him and I always knew he'd choose very well, he'd had a lifelong role model in his older sister, Yolie.
I cut my hair off yesterday. Having kept it clipped up all summer, why not? "You look like a different mom," JoJo kept exclaiming, unable to not touch the shortness in the back. I've let all the blonde grow out, I'm dark headed again, and still wondering who that is in the mirror.
I have a super busy day again today, all week is slammed, plus my evenings with soccer and karate, but at least I'm not bemoaning fights, aggression, and violence. JoJo'd had a meltdown yesterday, threatened to run away, yelling at everyone over nothing, but he eventually simmered down on his own.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Brenda, The Adoption Counselor, suggested that I learn to focus on living in the now as I begin to attempt to recover from the PTSD.
We need to live more in the moment. Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. When you become mindful, you realize that you are not your thoughts; you become an observer of your thoughts from moment to moment without judging them. Mindfulness involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.
Mindfulness is also part of the DBT therapy I'm participating in at Jonathan's facility, which illustrates how deeply I need to learn this technique because my mind just wandered from the the now to DBT therapy.
As a busy mom, as anyone in today's world knows, we 're highly distracted, rarely ever in the moment, but rather always planning and thinking ahead about what we need to do. This is an area that's gonna take a lot of work on my part, but I'm more than willing to learn and to heal, this inner fury I now have, this resentment and bitterness, plus the shock syndrome aspects of it, are all combining to take a toll on my physical and mental health, leaving me distraught, anxious, and slap worn to a frazzle.
Part of either wronging someone, or being wronged, is the process of making or accepting amends. It's an important step that is always left out of the trauma equation.
That we parents end up with restraining orders, or having to take the legal step of barring someone from our property, likely means that even when that person leaves prison, there'll never be an appropriate time for the amending.
They're not the ones I'm talking about, it's the ones that should've known better.
But I can't dwell on that either. I know that I taught them properly, they just rebelled against all forms of decent behaviors so violently, so rudely, so drastically, that I now hold little hope for them navigating the mores of society with any semblance of success.
I can't even count the numbers of fights, physical attacks or assaults, the precise number of altercations that Paloma has been involved in over the past five years or so. Who fights? What purpose does violence serve?
I have to be in Macon early one upcoming morning to be with her in court, leaving behind the many children here who start their day off with me coaxing and cajoling them to get up, to remember this paper or that one, shooing them out the door at the proper time. Again I have to leave the ones who are trying hard to succeed, in order to tend to the one who just doesn't give a crap.
I'm blessed to have Grandma here to be a back-up. I don't know what I'd do otherwise. Fortunately I'm a morning person, so the two hour drive at the crack of dawn isn't exactly the issue for me.
I'd drive it every morning if it'd be what I need to do in order to keep my family safe.
Nando again won his soccer game last night. "I told the coach to get the Bodie kid on his team," a man I used to work with told me on the field last night, his son on the opposing team.
Then I overheard another parent consoling their son, "I knew when I saw Nando on the other team, you'd have to work harder."
Wow, I grinned to myself, proud as all get out about my darling Nando who grins all the time, who isn't physically threatening, but is wildly popular at school and on the field. He's such a good, sweet and loving son. He's goofy too and I feel that's an important component of success.
We jumped in the van afterward, flying to Nando's karate class, he was pulling on his karate outfit over his soccer shorts as he trundled up the parking lot, shedding shin guards and cleats, rushing to join Jack and Tabby in order to learn self-defense and personal discipline.
"This is not a babysitting service," the teacher had explained to all the parents, "Y'all are expected to sit in on the classes, to learn what we're teaching your children," a concept I so approve of both in theory and in practice.
He covered self control last night to my three youngest kids who do understand the concept.
"What do you do when your mom says turn off the video game?" he asked the class of obedient children. Unlike some of my other kids who would holler, "We rage!" in response, my three sweethearts just smiled at the teacher. Lord Have Mercy, could JoJo use this class, or what?
"Heck no, " he told me, serious as a heat attack, "I'm way too lazy for that."
Yeah, no kidding. I sighed. Moving on to those with more perseverance.
My daily schedule has been crushingly busy lately. Both Jack and Sabrina had appointments yesterday with a chiropractor who has greatly impressed me lately, miraculously fixing Jack's neck problem that's plagued him since the end of June, stress related and painful, an indicator to some degree of his level of grief over losing Grandpa.
Sabrina's acrobatic cheer leading has wiped out her knees, a 16 year old with tendonitis, yet this doctor had her good to go within minutes, teaching them both some stretching exercises to help their healing.
Flying back across the county, needing to get home before the school bus dropped off my elementary kids, my beloved truck sputtered and died, mid gear, ka-plunk, I got it to the side of the road, fortunately there on a rural stretch in front of someone's house where I knew the folks, knowing I'd have to leave the keys in the truck, call the wrecker service, blah, blah, blah...waiting to hear the truck repair verdict this morning.
But it's the week of a season change, that's the week I schedule my haircut, knowing I'm more likely to remember to schedule this dumb quarterly ordeal, lunch with my birthday boy today as Daniel hits 26 years old, still looking very much as he did 20 years ago when he didn't want to meet his new mother at all, crying out his anguish when I'd then walked in the door of his foster mom's house.
Nowadays he always smiles at me, he's made me extraordinarily proud of him, he's blown me away with his accomplishments, we're a year away from his wedding to a very beautiful woman who's super intelligent, and I know this lunch is gonna be fun.
Now there's a good feeling for me to learn to trust in, how easy it is to live in the now when I'm with him.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Growing up, I was extraordinarily blessed to have loving, emotionally strong parents who quietly demonstrated good choices and great behaviors. Their friends, just like them, didn't drink, cuss, nor act crazy. Normal with a capital N, and it is that normal that I crave.
Grandma, my mom, still emotionally with me after all these years, for thirty years we'd lived in different states from each other, now she's here and has been so for the last ten years, and she's advising me, of course, to learn to let my anger, bitterness and resentment go somewhere else.
It's neither becoming, nor helpful. It is only hurting me. Those that made me so angry are happy that they have that power over me, it is up to me to work through it and to move on with my life, this moving on is going to require that I avoid toxic people.
I just don't know how to do that right now, what with all the severe trauma overlaid on top of it.
I was devastated yesterday to learn of an extremely rude and defiant teenage son of mine, that he was so blatantly ugly to his Sunday School teacher, the darling son of a friend of mine, who just suffered an unimaginable loss.
I apologized to the young man, fighting my own tears of humiliation that my son would act so ugly in public, those behaviors are usually poured out upon me instead, and this darling young man who I've known all his life said, "Oh don't worry Miss Cindy. I'm praying for your family."
I sadly shuffled back to my van, thinking 'bout how well Beth had raised her three darling children, they're spectacularly loving, well-adjusted, and unfailingly mannerly. I faced my snarling teens, and was again shocked at the contrast, even after all these years.
I debated how to handle this situation, knowing that confronting him about those behaviors would only escalate into him feeling extremely justified, within his own fury bubble that had nothing whatsoever to do with either me, nor his Sunday School teacher.
I'm just about at the point where think I'll choose my battles even less auspiciously. You don't wanna go to church? OK. You don't wanna treat folks with respect? OK. You win this control battle. I'm out, throwing my cards on the table in order to preserve my health and sanity.
But then don't ask me to help you get a driver's license, or buy a car or, seriously have much to do with you when you're grown and still so pissed off at the world that you think it is OK to unleash this unmitigated anger at innocent bystanders.
He knew I was furious, even though I was stonily silent, that's unusual enough in and of itself.
I took the majority of the kids aside later in the afternoon, particularly those who knew I'd usually address these behaviors, and I explained my new stance.
"It just isn't worth it," I explained, knowing the deputies would likely have to be involved if I pushed my agenda of decency in my own house. "Look at so and so. I insisted they go to church, school, and other activities... and look where they are now. What good did it do? It only traumatized the rest of us."
There are absolutely unteachable people on this earth, there are those that will remain hate-filled and rageful, disturbed and violent, aggressive and heartless. There are too many of us still here at home that've been majorly damaged by the venom, the strife, the ugliness, the wanton destruction, the lashing out, and the unbridled fury unleashed upon us.
I've had it. Flat out had it. I'm broken by this level of hatred dished out upon decent human beings, and I wanna get myself fixed.
Yesterday's offender is usually right decent overall, but doesn't respond well to behavior correction, and that's putting it mildly.
He knew I was upset, he trailed around outside with me, wielding a saw, overly helpful, and we worked in silence. The only way I feel this could be made right would be a heartfelt verbal or written apology to the young man that I feel he so wronged.
But my experiences lead me to believe that this remediation isn't very likely.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
And Woza, just like that, I met The Adoption Counselor. I wish I'd have snapped a photo of us, but I was so excited to see her, that it didn't occur to me to do so. Tony takes most of the pictures that I use here anyway, including this one of the sky. She, Brenda, was in Atlanta for a few days.
Dressed in my 74 cent black blouse and two bucks black pants, it's these easy, sensible frugality choices that allow me to spend where I'd prefer to spend, like on an Iphone, versus nice shoes, a case in point, I was wearing canvas sandal flats that cost less than the apps I don't ever buy because you can get most of them for free.
Being frugal gives one the freedom to pay the exorbitant cheer leading expenses for a happy Sabrina, who again won first place with the competition team, or for the three new karate uniforms for Tabby, Nando and Jack, or for a dinner in a very nice midtown Atlanta restaurant.
Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee...out in public, in a very nice manner...momentarily, situationally childless.
Grandma had cooked supper for my children and spent the evening playing Rummicubes with them, even my incredibly cool teenage boys joined their game. Scotty'd gone to a mud bogging event with Boss, a father of five daughters who took him and another guy down to Milledgeville for the event. CW and Sabrina had both gone out as well, due home by 9 p.m.
Brenda, The Adoption Counselor, was absolutely adorable, strikingly attractive, compelling eyes that drew you in, unbelievably brilliant, and best of all, an adoptive mom...therefore she gets it.
I wanted to take notes during our conversation, gonna have to email her later in regards to some terms she used, as well as a professional she'd quoted, as I wanna further research his theories. She has some wonderful ideas for the recovery that parents like us so obviously need to invest in, we're very damaged after years of brutality. The word 'zombie' aptly describes me, especially when I remember the bigmouth imp I used to be, that's what grieves Sarah and my family so much, that I'm not that same Pollyanna anymore.
I absolutely loved Brenda on the spot. We'd grown up similarly, one foot being in the wild child category, the other nerdy foot thinking about dreams, goals, grades on papers and plans for a good life, neither of us wanting to disappoint our parents.
The conversations are unbloggable in that there was such a freedom to discuss what we've been through, confidential and private, yet on total common ground, both of us now shocked that there's unstolen ice cream in our homes. I've had the same quart of Earthfare's mint chocolate chip for a few weeks now. No green dye in it, as it should be, I've been eating out of the carton for quite some time, just me, my inner pig and a spoon, the other kids not stealing it, as I have a great bunch of darlings living with me now.
That Brenda and I can both keep cash around nowadays is astonishing to parents like us. It's unheard of in our world..
I'm still afraid to trust my good fortune, she's a bit less twitchy than I at the moment.
A delicious meal, I managed to not sling food every whichaway, to remain seated without wiggling and squirming, indeed I was just so entranced with Brenda. Later, unable to decide on a dessert, but eventually choosing key lime pie, the portion was bigger than my fat head. Seriously. "It's meant to be shared," the sweet waitress murmured, neither of us hardly made a dent in it, it was humongous. I brought the rest home, neither Grandma, Lily, Sabrina, Allen, nor Martin could quite finish it, so dang rich and creamy.
We so blatantly admired the Baked Alaska that our waitress was taking to another table that those table occupants immediately sent us their other huge half that, I swanny, was the size of a newborn calf. I've never had Baked Alaska.
Wow! And you know I disdain the overuse of exclamation marks. I was buffaloed.
I told the waitress how amazing that gesture was to us moms of so many children, we later met the couple, a beautiful woman named Lu Ann, she turning 50 that night, looking better than most folks maybe in their thirties. I nearly never have stuff like that happen to me, usually I feel as if I've battened down my hatches, fending off the next blow, figurative or not. A blessing? It knocked my socks off.
We walked back to her hotel, Atlanta being in a cool snap this weekend, and I drove back toward Athens listening to the Ted Talks I'd downloaded, happy and content, such an unusual feeling for me.
Like foster children who just can't allow themselves to trust their new families and apparent good fortune, so too am I having difficulty believing that we could really now have family safety and happiness. I still have some issues to press through and I don't anticipate a huge fight about it, that I could have the remainder of my years with a good, albeit boisterous, group of children with way more numbers than most families on earth...can this really be true for us?
It's so hard for me to trust this feeling after decades of being dumped upon so negatively.
Yet Preston's grandmother rallied, improved yesterday in the hospital, now I'm praying for a deputy's mother who received a cancer diagnosis, and a mom here who reads my blog, who's now struggling with a runaway situation.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
I'd like to thank Sarah, pictured here with my friend Dottie's dog, Ebony, in 1975 somewhere in the woods outside VPI in the Blacksburg, Virginia mountains, for introducing me to Ted Talks.
Downloaded to my Iphone, super fascinating, revolutionizing how I can learn and be less bored while I do my never ending, mind numbing chores and then on to my most excellent farm work tasks that I truly love.
Twenty years ago this weekend I was headed to El Paso to meet Joe, Daniel and Yolie. Sarah was starting college that coming Monday at UGA, and Grandma and Grandpa drove down from Virginia to babysit my other children while I was gone.
This photo was taken the next summer at Nags Head, Joe was playing cards or something with Grandpa, I'm including a picture of Daniel also there at Nags Head, and one tattered one of Yolie and I the minute she got off the plane that night, disoriented, angry and ill at ease. Literally the Texas social workers had shoved her onto the plane, she was screaming she didn't want to be sent across the county.
Fortunately we worked out that major kink in our relationship.
Daniels had put an ESPN app on my phone that notifies me when a Braves game has started and who's pitching. Clicking into it allows me to see every single pitch and play of the game, it's quite like watching it on TV. Last night I watched it in irkedness as the Mets trounced the Braves, but I was at the football game that the high school won 69-0. I was only there to watch and support Sabrina's cheer leading activities, I'm not a football fan at all, so the Braves were a diversion at least.
Standing up when it was over, I nearly reached for the strewn about empty bottles to recycle like we do at the UGA games. Oh, but this time I just get to go home and relax.
Uneventful yard sales for me today, I was able to get Nando a new bike with gears, Lily scored with two new pairs of boots. Last night the temperature plunged to 61 degrees and all us Southerners froze to death at the game, even I was wishing I owned a pair of boots.
Paloma's been placed again in a lock down facility, I'm not certain of the details, I do know she has two upcoming court dates for assault and affray, and honestly, that my children were not the victims of either attack is my main concern. That sounds mean and selfish of me, and I'm sorry to come off like that, but we've so long been victimized that I do feel like that, plus the facilities have a staff for managing violent behaviors. I just get slung into walls.
I have children here, not only recovering from their birth circumstances trauma, but also from the destruction, violence, aggression and bring-down-the-family attacks that both Jonathan and Paloma wrought upon us for nine or so years. We, as a family, have been very damaged, emotionally and physically. I'm sick of it.
I feel badly that we've lived in such danger, that everyone's nerves have been shot, that none of us yet dare breathe any sort of sigh of relief. Even a professional had asked, "Aren't you afraid that someone will come back later and attack?"
Heck yes, I'm very afraid.
I'm severely traumatized.
But even with everyone I still have here at home, even with anger issues and oppositional behaviors, there's no insanity, no mental health diagnoses, and the difference this past month has been nothing less than astonishing. I'll not let my guard down, I'm not stupid, nor naive, but we can certainly breathe easier nowadays, and we sure do know it.
I just got a call that Preston's jumping in his truck to get to Atlanta to be with his 90 year old Grandmother that he so adores, who has just had a setback and is asking for him. We're praying for him and for her.
Friday, September 16, 2011
I nearly busted out crying, hot tears of joy, when Daniel and Jesse, together at Fenway Park, sent me these pictures. Two rock solid wonderful sons that make me smile just thinking about either of them. Such good men, decent, honorable and nice. That's it. There's not enough nice in this world. I'm so proud of them both, literally bursting with pride.
This is how I wanted all of my 21 sons to turn out, I do have more good sons, thankfully, and I need to remind myself of that fact.
So will this be an angry diatribe this morning, frustration oozing from every pore? A treatise on minimalism, or a lesson in sustainability? Am I moody? Swayed by season changes? Aggravated at the Braves?
The truth is, I just get up and start typing, going where my own words lead me each morning, figuring that's the best way to empty my mind of its racing thoughts.
I did talk with Dr. Mandy about trauma, about me processing what I should do, how I should attempt to heal. I'm tired of being a kicked puppy, tired of melodrama, the criminal actions of others, and of no peace in my life. I need to rediscover contentment.
Mr P is cycling downward again, not speaking to me, agitating others, disobeying in minor ways just to get his behavior corrected and then believe it's OK to be as rude as heck in response. I don't engage, I just walk away. He MUST have the last word, I don't have that control issue need. I know the end of this story.
Matter of fact, I don't even feel like blogging, got a long list to accomplish, only seven hours here now to myself, I'm deep in prayer over two major and very dangerous obstacles to our family safety, hard to breathe normally in response to both situations.
I forced myself to take pre-emptive action yesterday, and it was with great despair that I did so.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Like many other psychiatric problems, trauma is not only profoundly distressing but also bewildering—to patients, their family members and, at times, even mental health professionals. Persons in close relationships with traumatized patients—including their therapists—are exposed to emotional contagion and vicarious trauma. Secure and stable relationships are the foundation for healing; yet these trauma-related problems undermine attachments, often creating a vicious circle of spiraling distress wherein the traumatized person feels increasingly alienated from sources of support—and further traumatized.
As I've already mentioned, I really, really like the therapist at Jonathan's facility. Very DBT oriented, she suggested that I find a good therapist to help me deal with my own very obvious primary and secondary trauma. "You Type A people keep on going even when you're crushed on the inside, yet we all know what happens when stuff is not dealt with professionally."
I agree, and I reiterated that I had the benefit of Dr. Mandy who totally understands trauma. Reading up on it, I can see also in Dr. Mandy a change in her after all these years where she's seemingly more guarded nowadays, after so many years of absorbing my family's trauma, as well as the rest of her own caseload.
I don't know that I'd say I'm increasingly alienated from sources of support, I cling to them, but I do find myself increasingly alienated from social situations, and from those family members (and I use the term loosely) who've caused so many seriously dangerous problems over the years.
One just can't absorb all this backlash, in the form of silent yet seething birth mother resentment via the adoptive mom who gets all the mean hatefulness dumped out upon her, and keep a dumb smile on one's face.
I just want to be left alone. I want my front gate slammed and locked. Leave. Me. Alone.
Trauma refers to persistent negative effects of experiencing extremely stressful events. These negative effects may include psychiatric disorders, such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as psychological and interpersonal problems more generally (e.g., distrust and resentment).
I'll admit I'm an emotional wreck, still not really grieving Grandpa's death, maybe that's because it was a slow, nearly deliberate process, and I cried buckets during his last two weeks on earth. Jack's grief has been crushing, and, as a parent, difficult to watch.
I'm grieving the loss of decent futures for some of my children who continue to make bad choices, I'm struggling not to use the descriptor 'idiotic'.
Many patients struggling with trauma suffer from stress pileup, an accumulation of traumatic stress over the lifetime.
I don't like referring to myself as a patient, although I've often felt like a dadgum inmate here.
I'm liking this information from the Menninger Clinic, knowing I need to seek out my own resources and attempts at healing, and someday eventually returning to that strong optimistic goofball I was happily was, skipping through life giggling and having a grand ole time.
Would that ever be possible with what I now know about human nature and violent behaviors? That there is so much ugliness within some people? Those that want to viciously destroy others absolutely scares the peaturkey outta me.
It’s natural to avoid emotional distress, but this natural strategy may backfire: having blocked your emotions, you can be blindsided by intense emotional upheavals. Thus it’s best to take the opposite approach, cultivating emotions, increasing your awareness of your feelings so as to regulate them before they get out of hand. And emotions are adaptive. As the fight-or-flight response illustrates, emotions such as anger and fear are adaptive: they are fast; they are informative; and they are motivating—they can save your skin.
I know I have a lot more to learn. I'd hoped yoga might be an answer. Ms Carr, privy to much of the back story here, pointed out that me learning, or trying to learn yoga, was similar to some of her struggling students trying to learn academics which gave me pause, a light bulb moment. When I repeated this to Jonathan's therapist, she correlated it as well with someone like Jonathan trying to learn emotional attachment, or the concept of relationships while not using physical aggression.
Ray's home school nature lesson event took place at a large public park in which Ms. Carr was his volunteer teacher, making him heady with excitement, so glad to see her. He and Hazel with their "Ms. Carr, Ms. Carr!" exclamatory moments while the rest of the kids shouted "Miss Emily" at her, but years of us using her proper school teacher designation is impossible to shake off, it's Mizcarr as in one word from my children and grandchildren.
It's as if I have to decompress, to de-escalate as I leave Jonathan's facility. He'd again, third week in a row, melted down, I'd again been sent off on my own merry way, still shocked at not having to tend to his rages, but my own inner trauma making my heart pound dreadfully, it's very hard to calm back down again. Negative fear floods my soul, creeping in everywhere, coloring my world.
I picked up sacks of curbside leaves from a ritzy Atlanta neighborhood, me who is never excited about pretty packages nor wrapped up baubles, but I couldn't wait to get home and tear into these bags, as if the nicer neighborhoods had more extravagant leaves? Indeed I did score with pine straw and leaves that'd already been dessicated by some power tool. Who throws this brown gold away?
So weighty I could barely lift them into my truck with its broken tailgate, and once back home I heavily mulched my blooming again gardenias off the back deck where the heady intoxicating scent invigorated me to work hard on this possibly final 90 plus degree day of summer, while I thought about such severe trauma... and how to ever begin to heal.
I believe Heaven will smell like gardenias, and that my heart will not pound with fear there. I will be safe there someday.
Fear and related emotions (anxiety, panic) play a major role in trauma, and fear illustrates a crucial fact: you can become conditioned to respond automatically with fear to stimuli associated with traumatic experiences, and these triggers can evoke fear responses in a fraction of a second—far faster than you can think. Thus you may not be able to prevent fear from erupting, but you can learn quickly to regulate your fear once you do feel it, so it does not escalate into panic or terror. You can also lower your general arousal level by such means as routine relaxation and exercise, as well as by learning to diminish your anxiety sensitivity—fear of fear.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Two dollars for this dresss that she wears so well, thank you Lord for yard sales.
I don't know how many people over the years have suggested yoga for my hyperactive self, knowing its deep breathing and calming aspects might serve to slow down my racing heart and burning energy. I copied the yoga moves once from a TV show, figured I must not be doing something right so I signed up for a class with Sarah taught by a very knowledgeable woman.
Within the first 60 seconds I realized I was gonna nut up.
I could've walked 6 miles in those 90 minutes, stomping and pounding the ground as I'm happy and prone to do.
Instead I nearly had a stroke trying to act calm, to not embarrass Sarah, and to stay centered.
I was trying to copy Sarah's graceful moves, swan like, lithe and gorgeous, she moved in and out of every pose with remarkable ease.
My legs twitched, my big feet were restless, constantly moving, my underwear crawled up my butt, my skin itched, my knuckles cracked, my nerves were shot, my mind was racing, and I thought I'd scream in frustration and aggravation.
I know I need it, I know I can't do it. I can't act centered.
The longest 90 minutes of my life.
Later in the evening I hauled logs and branches, sawed roots, and began to move the compost pile - this is an activity I can do. I can't explain it. Something about the physically exhausting work appeals to me.
Jack's neck seized up again. He was in tears, Sarah suggested a chiropractor. Bingo. Problem solved.
I realized I knew the man, he'd coached my kids in soccer before, I'd driven his daughter home from the soccer fields the previous night, he was an acquaintance of Chris and Cristy, he knew my other kids, and his nephew'd played football at the high school back then with Big Joe.
He worked on Jack's neck and shoulders, realigning, or whatever they do. Oh my goodness. Totally stress and tension related, linked to his grief over Grandpa, he literally had a neck muscle all knotted up, swollen and excruciatingly painful, now immediately easing up after this third various attempt at medical intervention.
I am so relieved on his behalf.
While in the waiting room, I'd received a call that Paloma had fought again in her facility. I don't want anyone to be a victim of her fury and rages, but I can't help being relieved that it's not a younger child of mine. The facility has a staff...I don't.
"I wondered how you managed all by yourself," the chiropractor asked me, having been to my house before, picking up Allen who is great friends with this man's daughter.
"I just do," I replied, never sure how to answer that question that I get from folks a lot.
I go full speed ahead, plowing through yard work, home repairs, laundry and chores, meals and dishes, games and practices, appointments and events. It's what I do. It's counter intuitive to yoga. Speed freaks like me wanna fly.
"But mom," Sarah logically pointed out, "Sometimes you can't even breathe from all the stress," in response to my major irritability at the meditation part of the yoga class, where I couldn't keep my eyes shut, nor my fidgeting limbs controlled at all. At least I kept my mouth shut.
Yeah, I get it. I need the benefits of yoga, but I feel physically incapable of behaving properly in the class.
Hauling manure is more my speed and relief, serving a visual purpose, as I again miss the point of centering myself.
I'm an over-doer. I know that about myself.
If one ladder does well holding plants, let's hunt yard sales for more ladders. I now have quite a few of them.