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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Speed Bumps and Other Things....

School has started up again for the little ones. This means my evenings are full of homework, showers, and dinner. I have begun to work out again thanks to my best friend Shawn. We both need the motivation and while I am having to modify things because of my back issue, I am still coming out sore so I am definitely getting a workout.

My insurance comp-any has agreed to give me a new roof so now I am waiting for the check to arrive. Then I can meet with the roofer, pick a color, and see when they are coming out. It'll be a few days of noise but at least I won't have to worry. My van is acting up though and I am afraid to drive it at this point. Hopefully i can get it to the shop tomorrow.

My biggest worries now are making ends meet and Christmas. I keep putting in applications for jobs where I KNOW they are looking but I can't get a callback to save my life. I don't care what anyone says about having employment gaps being okay when you have a good reason like raising kids....it's bullshit. They look at the gaps and throw your shit in the trashcan. They don't care why they just know you haven't been working lately.

The stress has had an effect on me. I am not eating more than 1 meal a day, I am not sleeping well at night, and I always feel like if someone spoke the right word I'd probably collapse and cry. The weight of responsibility feels a bit overwhelming. I am solely responsible for EVERYTHING here. Every.Single.Thing. Even the future financial stability is up to me and I am failing at it.

This morning when I woke up I realized exactly how keenly I've felt the loneliness of waking up alone. Sorry but waking up with a child that has snuck into your bed isn't the same thing. It isn't even so much the being alone when I sleep and wake but more like it's the stark reminder of how alone I am out here, how much I am responsible for, and exactly how unable I am to unburden myself or let go.

Just keep pushing the feelings down and eventually you stop feeling things....right?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Partings

My husband left at dawn this morning to return to Colorado. So far we have been living apart 8 months now and in that time I have seen him twice. It is really is very taxing to have two separate households, especially when the separation isn't due to martial problems just the way life is dealing you blows.

The whole thing is bittersweet. We have spent maybe 10 whole days together since December 6, 2016. Each time we see each other every minute is spent trying to reconnect, learn each others new habits, and try to find something familiar in the other person so we can continue our fight to move to the same home.

Yet every time we have to say goodbye it feels as though I am cutting off a piece of myself. The more I have to chop off the closer I get to coming to the point where the pieces start to become critical, to killing my inner me. Think about it, if I was to literally have to remove flesh and blood pieces of me eventually I would die. It has the same basic feeling of desperation and hopelessness; as if you want to fight but you know that it will just leave you smaller. Partings chip away at your very essence, your very soul, when you have to part so frequently from your love. I guess I feel like I am getting to the point where there will be nothing left of me that he will know. Every time we see each other it's more awkward and strange. I guess I should worry more if saying goodbye becomes too easy.

Yes, military spouses do this all the time. I am not a milspouse nor do I have milspouse support group to assist me. I am grateful for the friends I do have here that do their best to keep me sane. I wouldn't have made it this far without them.

Now we are facing tough financial issues. I am trying to find a job but at the same time having to rely on my mentally ill older son to help with his younger siblings so I can work is causing me to panic. However, the thought of not having food, electricity or even Christmas presents is also making me panic. We can no longer fund two separate living spaces on one income. I have been out of the workforce a long time and I know it will be hard to find someone willing to hire me. I wish I could work from home but I don't have a functioning computer and I don't have a college degree so companies that do allow that are out of my reach.

I am tired of hearing things like "You're a strong woman. This is easy for you." NO.IT.IS.NOT! And frankly, I am not nearly as strong as you think I am. I am just really good at putting up a front.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Existential Crisis

I spent the weekend without the little ones. They went to my middle daughter's house for the weekend so I could get a break. The plans I had were postponed so I spent some time just hanging around.

I got asked a question this weekend that I wasn't sure how to answer at first. Now that I have had time to think about it, I realize there really isn't a simple answer. 

The question itself was simple enough."Who are you?" Now this was someone I didn't know well so logically I answered with my name. They clarified that they meant they wanted to know who I was as a person. I replied with a shoulder shrug and said I was just me.

Now that I have had a chance to ponder it.....

I am more hero than villain. I wear a white hat with a black band, my heart on my sleeve but encased in armor. I am the one you adore and the one you abhor. I am generous and selfish. I am the one you fear and I am the one you helplessly need to protect. I have endless strength and I am weak. I am the most beautiful woman you've ever seen and I am homely. I am a goddess and a demon. I am a queen and a peasant. I am kind and cruel. I am forgiving and a holder of grudges...I keep them close to my heart. I am the first one you'd call for a hand but the last one you'd want to call if you did something stupid. You'd probably call me anyway because I wouldn't let you down. I am reliable. I am loyal. I am sweet tempered but fear my wrath. I am self aware and completely clueless about myself. I am small of stature but large in wisdom. I make stupid choices. I am the person you hate to love but can't help it and I am the one you love to hate. I am everything to some and nothing to others. I am larger than life but will sit in a room unnoticed. I am serious and I am silly. I am helpless and self reliant. I am self confident and completely awkward. I am war and I am peace. I am a fierce warrior and I am a coward. I am simple and I am immensely complicated. I am emotional and my emotions are buttoned up. I am profound and I am a simpleton. I love fiercely and can hate just as much. I watch what I say and I use the word fuck without even thinking about it. I try to not offend and can give offense just as easily. I am perfectly flawed and flawlessly perfect. I am as straightforward and honest. I harbor secrets that I will keep hidden through deception or omission if need be. I am nimble and I am clumsy. I love being alone and I am lonely. I will make you proud and I will be a disappointment. 

I am me. I am human. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Still Breathing

It's been a bit since I updated but my laptop died and I do not have the money to purchase a replacement yet so I write when I can borrow my daughter's.

So far things are good and bad with my son depending on how you look at it. He is more even keeled but he's still self harming but the self harm is reduced to cutting and not trying to bash his own skull in with a weight bar....but when he cuts it's pretty severe...but....it's not very often.....but he's not contemplating suicide....but he's still extremely anxious and obsesses. See? It's all about silver lining versus shit. It's all a matter of how you view things. *stress*

That being said, my hair is falling out most likely from stress. Good thing I have so much damn hair. I will need to start looking for a part time job once the kids start school because we just can't survive on one income for two households any longer. We did what we could for as long as we could but it's come to the end of our rope. This means relying on my son to help with the kids more. I am worried about that but am hoping it'll be low stress for him. His meds aren't worked out enough for anything high stressed and let's face it PTSD isn't something that can be controlled very easily. *Stress*

In the past week my husband got his car towed and it cost $320 to get it out and my son got a speeding ticket going to his sister's place...to the tune of $150. That really clamps down on the budget and makes things extra difficult. I have school supplies/clothes/shoes to buy for the little ones and my younger son's birthday is coming up too. Things are going to hurt financially this month for sure. *STRESS*

My mother has recently learned that being able to continue her work as a hospital floor nurse might not be possible so I have been dealing with her bullshit too. To the tune of defending my son for NOT being in college right now and telling her where she can go. *MORE STRESS*

Since I started writing this, people I know have come forward and told me about their struggles with their children's mental health issues. I am always reading op-ed articles about making mental health issues more out there and for people to quit hiding because there is not shame in it but you know what....not one talks about parenting a child with mental health issues. No one talks about how hard it is to deal with and the daily struggle that comes with not knowing whether or not it will be a good day or bad one with your child. The fear of going to bed because you have no idea whether or not your child will decide to end their life in the middle of the night. No one talks about it. There is still embarrassment and shamed associated with it. That needs to end too.

Today my stress level hit a new high. Between writing the check for the speeding ticket, learning about the impound fees, and defending my son, and his mental illness, to my mother...I had a good cry in the shower. It was either scream and scare the little ones or cry quietly. I chose the latter. There really isn't much lonelier than crying quietly in a shower then getting out, getting dressed, and acting like everything is perfectly fine.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Little by Little, Step by Step

My son was released from the psych ward at the hospital a couple days ago and so far everything is going well. He has new meds and finally a diagnosis. I'll keep that diagnosis to myself since it is rather personal. That being said, it's nice to see him a little brighter. He even has something to take for his anxiety and that is a a true gift. His anxiety was so crippling.

Right now I am trying to take life day by day. As much as I want to get my hopes up that these meds are the answer to his needs, I don't really trust it yet. I find myself asking him how he is doing multiple times a day and I am pretty sure that has got to be annoying to him. Today he left the house and went to a park with his friends. My son....left the house. That's huge. My BFF and his wife took the two little ones and me to an area wildlife park. Of course before we left I had to ask him if he was going to be okay alone. Leaving him home alone terrifies me still even though he is much better. I am so scared I'll come home to a body hanging out the third story window...you have no idea.

Of course now that some of the stress of his issues is starting to abate, I have noticed that I am a hot mess. I have anxiety now. I don't feel like getting out of bed. I don't have the energy to do day to day tasks, and I am just not me. I swear I spend my days spinning in circles. The worst though it at night when I am laying in bed. All the horrible thoughts that run through your brain as you relax sure can screw up one's ability to fall asleep. It would be wonderful to have another body to hold on to when those awful images invade my brain or the nightmares wake me from my sleep. Just someone to hold me, rub my head, and tell me everything is going to be okay. Someone to chase the monsters away so to speak.

Step by step I need to gain some control over my life and myself. I guess I really need someone to take care of me for a change but since that is not an option, I need to deal with it myself. Time to square up my shoulders, look everything in the eye, and try to not crumble. I should probably be grateful my bed is queen sized and not king sized or bigger. That would make that empty space next to me that much more immense.

I am still in physical therapy for my back. I really just need to be done with it. I need to start doing normal exercise so I can get back into shape. I miss my old body. I miss being able to wear my clothes. I miss....shit, I miss a lot of things. Mostly I just miss me.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Am But Made of Glass

I don't know why but that statement keeps coming to my lips, "I am but made of glass and if you touch I may shatter." I have no idea where it came from but it fits my feelings are the moment. I truly feel bitter and on the verge of breaking. I haven't been posting about things that were happening here because my computer died and I still haven't the funds to replace it.

Basically, my son hit another crisis and he met with the new psychiatrist....that new meeting did not go well. He was too dismissive with my son and wouldn't actually listen to him. My son left his office within 30 minutes worse than when he walked in. It was so horrendous that within 4 hours after that meeting he had checked himself into the hospital under a voluntary 72 hour psych hold. Do you know how desperate you have to be to go to the one place that scares you the most and voluntarily check yourself in there?

Of course this meant I had to drive him down there and I was with him while he was explaining to doctors and social workers what had been going on in his head. He explained, in details, his plan on how to end his life if things become too overwhelming. I heard things no parent should ever hear come out of their child's mouth. Things that would make the blood run cold if you heard them come out of a stranger's mouth much less from someone you love. Walking away and leaving your child in the care of a hospital is always difficult to do even under the best of circumstances.

I walked out of that hospital with my head up after giving my son one last hug but once I hit the outside, I crumbled. The tears came and the stress of those last 4 hours was released in a way very out of the norm for me. I am not a crier. I couldn't stop. I even apologized to my friend that was with me for being a baby.

That was Tuesday. It's now Thursday evening and my son seems better. He called earlier in the day sobbing. He had had a panic attack and they had given him an injection. I guess he was a little disoriented and groggy after he woke up and he was working himself back into panic mode. He does want to see about being released tomorrow. He has had enough. I am not sure if they will let him go yet. Honestly, I am not sure he's truly ready but he's an adult and this was voluntary so no one can make him stay.

However,  even with the upswing, I find myself still feeling fragile. I am still but made of glass and I will shatter....


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Not Gonna Lie, I'm Drowning....

So after a good day yesterday, last night turned bad. I was up until nearly 7am because my son was just in a bad place. Not bad enough for 911 and 72 hour hold but still, not good. I slept maybe 5 hours total starting after the sun came up. Let me assure you that this is one of the hardest, most painful things I have ever had to do...watch my baby boy suffer. I am not a weak woman and I have had some extremely horrible periods in my life, periods that people would cringe to hear about but this, this is the most painful thing I have ever had to go through.

No one would ever equate me with being helpless but here I am, helpless as fuck. I am also not prone to tears and yet just watching my son suffer makes me cry. It makes me cry thinking about it or even talking about it. I feel like I am watching him drown but I can't quite reach him and the more I try, the more my legs become mired in quicksand. I am being pulled under as I am trying to save him.

Tonight I needed to breathe. My eldest daughter got off work early so I was able to head to my favorite couple's house and watch season 7 of Shameless with them. Well, we started it. It was awesome being able to just sit and watch something without any demands being made of me. Granted, I did have to field texts and calls regarding my eldest son but it was liberating not being in the middle of miasma. I thought everything was okay. He needed some spending money, no big deal.

I was even able to tell my friends more about what was going on, like face-to-face to people I knew loved me and were just as concerned with my family as I was. It felt good. He had slept a little this morning but when he woke up I knew it was not going to be a good day. When I had finally escaped the house, things were quiet. I thought I was in the clear.

I was so fucking wrong. As soon as I got in the car (1am give or take) there was a text from my eldest daughter telling me that my son was not doing well and she didn't know what to do. So I texted my husband to call him and then raced home. He is now on the back porch talking to his dad and I am here, typing this up. I don't know what to do. I am exhausted but I doubt sleep will come. I am too anxious and worried about him. I also have my two youngest kids in my bed. They are more clingy now; though to be fair I think it's more a result of their dad visiting and leaving again than their brother slowly losing his mind.  Then again, it could be a combination of both.

Every day I pray to whatever is out there to help him. To take his torment away. To help me find the strength to bear this burden. I honestly do not think anyone is listening.