Tired

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I am tired guys. So tired.

I keep trying to convince myself that living apart is working. In some ways it is. Less chaos. Less yelling.

But I just traded the stress and anxiety for depression. We buy this big house, and now we are living apart? I am in the middle of nowhere, alone every night. Well, my littlest is with me. But that is just more pressure on me if I feel nervous. And sometimes I do…gunshots at night. People hunting nearby. I will never get used to the hunters shooting.

I feel lonely. I feel isolated. I feel hopeless.

How can we make this work long term.

How did it come to this?

Why did I sacrifice my happiness for so long? Why didn’t I follow my gut? Why did I let guilt override my gut feeling that this was not going to work all those years ago?

Ugh. Trying to find my new normal. Tired.

The family photo

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It has been a few months now, since my husband moved to the other house with our 12 yo son who has reactive attachment disorder (RAD). My feelings about the move change depending on the day, or sometimes the minute. Mostly, it has been a very good change. But some days, it is hard to recover feom this loss as well. The loss of us being together…an intact family unit.

In the living room, there is a large canvas photo of our family. I find myself looking at it a lot lately. It was taken just a few months after we were told by our youngest son’s birth mother she wanted us to adopt him. She had gone thru the steps CPS had given her and because of her mental illness, she realized she would not be able to parent full-time. In the photo, we were after this decision by her, but before his legal adoption at 22 mos old. Our radkid is about 4 yo in the photo. He sits on my husband’s knee, a sweet smile on his face. Our daughter is smiling, beautiful, always photogenic. And I look happy. This is a rare photo where I like the way I look. My smile is genuine.

As I look at this photo, I just feel overwhelming sadness. At this point in our journey, I had already expressed concerns that I couldn’t parent radkid. He was just 4 yo, and I knew he would destroy us. He attached me. He spit in my face. He pissed on the floor next to the toilet rather than in it when angry. He raged…oh, did he rage. Hours of screaming and kicking walls and throwing whatever he could.

My husband worked 10 hour days then. He saw radkid from about 4 pm til bedtime at 8. Some of that time was spent eating. So that takes the timeframe down to about 3 hrs of real interaction. And those hours, when he was home, radkid acted normal. And at 4 yo, as he hugged my husband, he would already give me smirks and looks that said it was all manipulation.

My husband didn’t see what I saw. He wanted to move forward with adoption. We were all this poor kid had, afterall. We couldn’t send him back into the system. What kind of person does that? The guilt…begins. As if I hadn’t beat myself up already.

In the end, we adopted him, of course. And here we are, living separately. My husband only began seeing the behaviors I saw in the last 3 yrs, after he changed jobs and was able to be home a lot more. When radkid realized this was the new normal, he couldn’t hide it all day every day with his dad, so dad started becoming an enemy too.

So, I look at this photo, and just feel sad. At that point, we could still had options. We could have made different choices. We could have saved ourselves. Because is it worth giving the rest of the family anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, etc., trying to heal radkid? That is what happened. We went from one having a disorder to all of us having a disorder. We went from a happy family to a family on edge. A family with door alarms, hyperventilate, anxious always.

I shouldn’t have let my fears be overridden. As the primary caregiver, I let myself and family down by not sticking to my gut feeling, and insisting we find him a better fit.

I failed. We failed.

Separate but together

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We just bought a larger house last year. And now, only half of us live here.

I finally had enough of my middle kids behavior. He has an attachment disorder. His birth mother neglected him as an infant. Therefore, he makes me the enemy.

He lies nonstop. About everything. He steals. He destroys things for no reason. He yells, screams, tantrums, refuses to comply with simple requests. And, he bullies our younger son. Physically and emotionally.

We have all been on meds for awhile now. I tried to stop, but started something new. Even the youngest takes anxiety meds.

With the radkid (rad stands for reactive attachment disorder) in the house, it is impossible to relax. The house is a constant state of chaos.

I finally decided I was so miserable I would rather die than live this way. Seriously. We are destroying ourselves trying to heal a child who will never accept us. We are causing our younger son trauma to try to heal our middle child (our oldest is now an adult and on her own).

My husband moved 4 miles away with radkid. We are not divorcing, and we are going to try to make it work. But we are no longer living together.

Because the other place is fairly close by, my husband is here often. The small place they moved to has no wifi access or screens for radkid to use. There are no pets. If he picks the paint off the walls, we don’t care. He has books, some toys, and coloring supplies. He likes to color and draw. He is old enough to be left alone. In this house he had to be supervised like a toddler so he didn’t hurt animals or our younger kid. There, he can’t hurt anything, so it works much better.

Can we make it this way, separate but together, until this kid turns 18? I hope so. Some days I think we are great. Some days, I think it isn’t possible.

But, I know I can never go back to how it was, no matter what.

I have lost 18 lbs in the 2 mos they have been out of this house. My stress eating is reduced significantly. My mental health, while I still get depressed because this isn’t ideal, is overall so much better. I can wake up and feel calm. I am not in a constant state of anxiety and anger. I don’t yell anymore! Life is better.

The situation as a whole sucks. But it is necessary. I hope we are strong enough to make it.

Undisclosed infestation

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We bought this house about a year ago. It is pretty much a dream house. A home I never would have dreamed I would live in, or be able to afford.

We had no plans to sell our first home. It was functional and worked well for us. But when we started looking around, we realized we could get a bigger space. With Covid isolation, bigger suddenly became important.

Well, this dream home came with some major headaches. Not only did we have our first experience with fleas, we also have bats.

I was ok with bats when I saw them flying outside at dusk. I would even say I was excited about it. Eat those pesky bugs! Yay!

Then, we realized they were living in the siding. Shit. So we bought a bat house. We hoped they would relocate. We also bought this noise thing that is supposed to encourage them to leave the immidiate area. That thing really pissed the bats off. But instead of finding the bat house, they decided to find a way into our house. Yes…inside my freaking house.

We had 3 inside. My husband was glad for my cats that night because they were rockstars and caught those intruders.

Of course, because they were in contact with our animals, we had them tested for rabies. We know the odds are small, but we were not willing to risk it. Thankfully, tests were negative.

The worst part about that night was my youngest son was upstairs when we discovered the bats inside. I have spoken before about how we have cameras in rooms due to our son with attachment disorder. We are able to see, hear, and talk with these. I immediately spoke to him telling him to close his door and stay in the room. His light was on, and there were no bats in his room. But for him to get to me, or vice versa, we would need to go into the area where bats were circling our vaulted ceiling.

Having him separated, even though we were ok, was awful. I explained to him that I would tell him when he could come out. Thankfully, he has the second master bedroom with a full bathroom. What if he had one of the other rooms and had to pee?! So grateful that he had that room on this night.

Well, since that scary night, we have had other bat issues. We have heard them in our porch area. He have seen them in another area of our roof. And, one night, there was one in the fireplace. Again…in the house.

Our fireplace has a door thank God. I saw 3 of my cats stationed on the rock ledge staring at the fireplace. My heart sunk. I knew what was coming. I went closer and hear the faint scratching. And then, to my horror, a bat emerged from the dark and started crawling around the door edges. My cats were wild, scratching the glass, trying to get it. The bat was not deterred. I turned on a high powered bright light and shined it directly into the fireplace, thinking the brightness would scare it back up and out. The damn thing stayed there all night. And all morning. My husband finally kicked us out of the house so he could try to catch it and get it outside without us there. He was successful thankfully, because having a bat just hanging in full view in the fireplace was terrifying.

Honestly, I would rather have a bear in the house. At least it couldn’t hide, so I would know where it was. I would know how many there were, and I would know when it left.

Bats…I have no odea how many we are dealing with, or if they are gone.

Well, yesterday I heard them in the middle of the day, cats staring at the ceiling, and the unmistakable high pitch squeak of bats. In my ceiling.

Full blown panic has returned. I am traumatized at this point.

I do not believe this is a new problem. Based on all the areas we have seen them, I am convinced the previous owners had to be aware of the issue. They did not disclose it in the sale of the house. Lord knows I would have never bought this place if I had known. But, here we are, new owners of a beautiful, big house, with bats.

Please don’t let this cost us a fortune to remedy. I have professionals coming this week. Until then, we are avoiding most of this house, and basically living in my bedroom with doors closed. It is absolutely ridiculous. I know that. But I am terrified of these bats.

Wish us luck…

I like to help, but people take it too far.

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I like to help. I do. I am not good at saying no, but I am learning. And I need to learn to say no because people take it too far.

Example: I helped out my sick friend with some medical supplies a few weeks ago. I know money is tight for her, and when she was stressed about some things her insurance didn’t cover I offered to buy things online and ship them to her. I was happy to help.

Well, wouldn’t you know this week I received a message saying she could really use 3 more bottles of the medicated cream and more bandages. The cream that is $25 per bottle. Bandages in a box that size were around $40. This assumption that I would just be buying her supplies regularly had my jaw on the ground in disbelief.

I simply didn’t reply. I was hurt that this is where my kind gesture had gotten me. And, wouldn’t you know I got a message 5 days later. It said, “thinking of you, how are you?” Well, when I replied, a series of messages followed with the last being, “did you order my supplies yet?”

You weren’t “thinking of me” you were thinking of yourself, and what you could get FROM me.

This learning to say no is easier when things are so obviously one sided. Again, too angry to respond I just decided not to say anything. I need to allow myself some calming time before responding.

I know they struggle with money. But I also know they eat take-out food WAY more often than I do. Budgeting is a real problem. Why am I funding their necessities while they enjoy frivolous things I don’t because I budget.

She is terminal. That is what hits me in the gut. Younger than I am. Terminal cancer. She has outlived the doctors estimated time frame already. We all know time is limited. So, maybe that is why I feel like I am obligated to do what I can.

But truth is, I have my own family and household to manage. We aren’t rich. We just know how to budget. And quite frankly, her medical supplies are not part of my budget.

I am hurt that because I chose to help out that there is an assumption I will buy her medication whenever she asks. Again, not rich over here.

If I offer to do something kind, that doesn’t mean take advantage of me.

Playdate dilemma

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So, my youngest went to play at his friend’s house. They don’t get to play often since we moved. I happened to be coming to that area and arranged for them to play with the parent. The playdate was occurring at their home.

I received a message before pick up time. It told me that the other child was refusing to play with mine anymore. Some imaginary game pissed him off. My child apologized for whatever made him mad, having no idea what fake rule had been broken. This child told him to leave his house, and hid in his bedroom refusing to talk further. The mom apologized but said I needed to pick up my son immediately.

My son was sitting OUTSIDE their house waiting. The kid had LITERALLY kicked him out of the house. He was beside himself not understanding what happened. He insisted he apologized for whatever it was, and asked repeatedly how to fix the problem.

I am just left feeling grateful I was in the area. Had I dropped him off and returned home in between I would have been a solid hour away. Would he have been sitting ouside alone crying that whole time?

And further, since when does a parent allow a child to behave that way towards a friend? If it were my house, my kiddo would have gotten in so much trouble behaving that way. If a friend apologizes, it is time to move on. Keep in mind my kid wasn’t even told what his offense was! No way would I allow my kid to kick another child out and refuse to talk to him during a playdate. I would have spoken with them both and shut down the imaginary game with instructions to do something else.

To be honest, the last playdate was at a park, and this kid just abruptly decided he was done and told his mom he was ready to leave. And, they left. I had driven an hour, and the kid just decided to leave. No fight. No arguement. He just didn’t want to be outside anymore.

From now on, if this kid wants to play it will be at my house. Fuck if I am dealing with his abrupt end of things driving that far. Or allowing my kid to be kicked out, literally. At least I know here that there will be conflict resolution attempts, and my kid will use manners.

At what point did kids start dictating schedules and parents allowing it? And what parent let’s a kid act this way? So irritated. And this mama bear gets really pisses when someone isn’t kind to her baby bear. He isn’t a perfect child. But he tried didn’t deserve that.

Country living

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I was thrilled to move to this country home. This new house is gorgeous. A dream home. Something I never thought I would be able to live in, or call home.

Since moving here, I have acquired many more animals. I love that about being in the country. No animal limits.

I think I get more animals when my depression gets the best of me. Let’s just say, animals have taken over and my depression has been serious lately.

I have also learned that country living has some downsides. Bats. Fleas. Things I never dealt with in my house in our old small town life.

We saw bats outside, and I was grateful. Eat those damn mosquitos, right?! Until we realized they were living in our siding. Ok…we got a bat house thinking they would move. They did not. I wanted to call a professional. My husband thinks he can figure everything out on his own. We ended up with some noise machine that is supposed to make them move.

All was fine until the second week when you change the frequency. Suddenly, bats were INSIDE my house. I am seriously traumatized. We got them out. One of my amazing cats took 2 down. We of course sent them to be tested for rabies, and thankfully they were negative.

And so…note to self that some thing are better left to professionals.

After that awful experience, I have been lighting up my house lime a Christmas tree every night, afraid to sleep if lights are off. Light will keep bats away I am told. So lights on at night it is.

And, to top it off, my dogs have presented with fleas. Freaking fleas! Which now means my cats likely have them as well. I have had animals my whole life and never dealt with fleas. So, with as many animals as I have, one month of treatment was over $200. And, we will now be on a strict schedule of monthly treatments, because I don’t want fleas in the house or on my precious furry babies.

This has been a tough summer. And summer isn’t even over. The bats and fleas are just the tip of the iceberg. I would be typing for days if I got into everything else. That is for another time.

I love not having neighbors close by, and the freedoms of country living. I do not like the home invading pests that come along with this life though. Pros and cons in everything I suppose. I am still up in the air on whkch side is winning at the moment.

Sleepless nights

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My youngest hasn’t been sleeping well again.

My middle has been an incredible piece of work lately. All attitude, shitty tone, and defiance.

I stupidly decided to go off my anxiety and depression meds. Not a good choice, and awaiting an appointment to start again.

We have 5 dogs. Yes, 5. And they wake me up every night jumping in and out of bed.

We have too many cats. Very early in the morning they are ready to run wild and play.

I have a problem with falling back asleep once I wake up. It is early, birds are chirping, and rather than be ready for the day I am exhausted.

With all the unexpected sleep interruptions regularly, I am just so tired.

I hope you all sleep well, friends.

Going off my meds…

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As the new year began, I thought I would try to slowly lower my anxiety and depression meds.

I mean, 2020 is over. We are about to get a new president. A covid vaccine is being administered. 2021 has to be a better year.

Well, clearly I am an idiot for making those assumptions.

The new year began with an accidental flooding of our hot tub room. My husband was adding some water to the tub and FORGOT! So, it began to overflow. The mess even reached our kitchen floor. Our basement was raining. My favorite part is that my 11 yo son SAW the flooding and didn’t tell us. Why?? Because he was mad at us of course! So why not let the house flood?!

Right before the new year we ended up opening our home to a former foster daughter who found herself homeless. She is in her 20s now, and is fresh out of jail. She is dealing with the forced sobriety jail offered, and living with us to resist temptation. No car, suspended license, with no way to go anywhere without permission is helping her be sober. Her drug of choice is meth.

I am not sure how long she will be here. It already seems longer than I thought. She has to serve a few days more in jail soon, a consequence from a different charge that she is being revoked on. Then, a job will be mandatory so she can save for a place of her own.

This, of course means contact with the outside world, and possible covid exposure. Our family has been really careful about isolation. Everyone has been working from home. One person runs all errands. Masks, sanitizer, and more sanitizer. So the idea of someone working outside the house is super stressful.

We had an attack on our Capitol building, and our democracy. Unprecedented mayhem and controversy.

My 11 yo threw things at a kitten in our home. He acknowledged knowing he could have injured or even killed the kitten. But, damn it, that cat was getting too close to his legos.

My mother entered full kidney failure and spent a week hospitalized with no visitors due to covid restrictions. Since, she has had 5 more minor surgeries for ports and things needed for dialysis. She now goes several times a week or she will die.

So…just sayin it was a stupid time for me to assume I would handle life better and should go off medication. But…here we are, and I am now not taking any anxiety or depression meds.

I did however, decide to try a few natural aides to help. I am not taking anything consistently though.

2021 has not been easy so far. I feel like the build up to a better year was bullshit.

I am very much looking forward to President Biden, and VP Harris taking office.

I am also hoping for Trump and his accomplices to find themselves a prison cell soon.

While the year started a bit crazy, I am still hoping it will work itself out and be great.

Cheers to no meds, and 2021!