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!

“Just make me bleed”

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My youngest son was upset yesterday. He was crying. He was loud. He was unreasonable.

I asked in a calm voice,”what can I do to make you feel better?”

To my absolute shock and horror, my little 8 year old boy sobbed, “Just make me bleed.”

I froze. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to react. I froze for a good 10 seconds, but which felt like an hour. And then I asked him if I could just hug him.

The sound of his sad cry, saying those words was on my mind all day.

Later, during the quiet time before sleep, when we share some great talks, I asked him about what he said. He said he felt like he didn’t want to exist sometimes.

My heart shattered. This isn’t the first time he has said this, and it won’t be the last. My baby suffers major anxiety, and probably some depression. He is too young to feel so wrecked.

His older brother has reactive attachment disorder. This trauma induced condition means he seeks to hurt those he loves. He is a bully to is all. In the years of dealing with this, I believe we all suffer PTSD.

My youngest desperately wants his brother to spend time with him, to play and have a fun sibling bond.

My oldest loves to get the younger one excited for a fun filled day, and then refuse to engage in activities. He gives false promises of game time, to then sit and refuse to acknowledge his little brother is even speaking to him.

It is so hard.

I worry…I worry so much. I worry how much damage is being done.

Today, I feel so stressed I can barely manage my day.

All the changes

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I haven’t written in months! I have wanted to, but things have been busy and I just can’t find the proper time and attitude to put words down.

My attitude kinda sucks at the moment, but since I have no therapist, this blog serves as venting for me.

Well, my family did find a wonderful home and property, and we moved as summer began. That means lots of work to make the home “ours.” We added numerous animals to the family rather quickly. Some traditional, some exotic. All wonderful.

Because of covid, I am homeschooling both of my kids. My youngest has separation anxiety, so I had planned to start homeschool with him. However, middle actually does well at school, and wr can use the brief break from his home behavior. Sadly, he was born with drugs in his system, and therefore becomes sick easily. So…here we are homeschooling both.

My oldest was married. With bkrders shut down we missed her college graduation and wedding. The wedding was actually postponed several times. By the time it finally happened, I was just so relieved for her. I love her husband, so that heps a lot.

This election year is taking a toll on my mental health. I live in a small town area where Trump signs far outnumber Biden signs. Each time I see a Trump sign, I feel disgust. It feels like hate speech to me. And it seems to be everywhere.

I have a love/hate relationship with quarantine and social distancing. I am not a huge fan of social situations. But being forced to avoid them makes you wish you could go out.

It’s a big mind trick.

My family (mother and siblings) are still a disaster. I am tired of all the drama.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. I am going to try to get back to writing cuz Lord knows I need a way to release some of my shit. Therapy would be nice…but this works too.

Being kind has a downside

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I will always help others when I can. I donate often; I give my time, money, or personal things when I see a need. Being kind is how I try to live my life.

The downside to being kind is that people will take advantage of your kindness.

I was almost convinced to give up 4 hours of my day to help a friend yesterday. My husband talked me out of it. I wasn’t looking at the big picture. Had I gone to “help” I would have been enabling and being taken advantage of.

So let me explain the situation.

A friend’s daughter called me very upset. My friend has terminal cancer. She hasn’t been doing well lately. With the corona virus and social distancing, I haven’t been able to see her in a month or so. It is difficult since I know time is limited.

When I got this phone call, I feared the worst. Her daughter began with. “There is some bad news…”

Well, the bad news was just that her mom was running low on some of her prescription medications. They wanted me to drive to pick them up, since my friend shouldn’t be driving in her weakened condition.

My immediate impulse was to say yes. They live an hour away from me. So I would be driving for an hour there, and an hour home. It was 5pm already when they called. Then, I would need to get the prescriptions and drop them off. Of course, more errands began piling on…a trip to another store for extras for Easter, a fast food drive thru request…you see how it snowballs.

So, I have been careful to observe isolation protocols. I have young kids, and I do not want to bring this virus into my home. I was less than thrilled when the trip went from drive-thru med pick up to extra stops.

My friend has 3 children and a boyfriend. Her boyfriend takes the youngest child to his mothers for care, and often stays there as well. He is rarely around, and doesn’t do much to help. She also has 2 adult daughters. Neither work, have drivers licenses, or do much to help out.

This is when my husband stepped in. He googled the distance from where they live to the pharmacy. The distance was under 1 mile. Less than 1 mile!! One of those adult children could walk there and back before I would even make it halfway there!

I quickly realized the real favor was more about the extras…the extra store stop as well as the fast food.

I started to get angry. My instinct was still to help. But I felt asking me to drive that distance and use that much time was ridiculous. I offered to pay for an uber ride.

I was told that the girls were not comfortable taking an uber. Neither of her adult daughters would walk (my kids have been walking several miles at a time since they were 3 yrs old).

I held my ground. Even when I was guilted with things like,”everyone says they are there for us but no one actually shows up.”

I explained that I felt it was unfair to ask me such a favor during this time of isolation. I explain my concern over unnecessary exposure for her, her kids, and myself.

I told her that her kids could walk the short distance. I was shrugged off. She hung up. And I, of course, felt bad. I still do or I wouldn’t be writing this. She texted to tell me her daughter drove (without a license) to run the errands.

Even though I still feel a bit badly about not helping, there was no need for me to do so. I was not wrong to say no. It was unfair for them to guilt me.

Being kind has the downside of being taken advantage of. Sad truth.

Quirky kids

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Are your kids super quirky?

I am noticing some really silly stuff lately. Maybe this social isolation is getting to me.

My youngest kid is the pickiest eater ever. But…he eats a ton of one food for a few weeks, and then won’t touch it again for months! Right now, it is green apples. The kid eats several a day. But I know it will be something else next week, and he will refuse apples.

My oldest used to mouth her words again after speaking. Think Brick on the show “The Middle.” Except she didnt whisper them the second time. She just moved her mouth. In fairness, she is a theater major. Looking back, I think she was fascinated by facial movement and was practicing. But it was so quirky and hard to tolerate sometimes.

My middle kid likes to ask questions he knows the answer to. For example, our dog could eat a piece of carrot that dropped to the floor and he would ask, “I was wondering if the dog likes to eat carrots…do you think she does?” Um…yeah, we both just literally watched her do it. Annoying behavior.

Maybe I am using quirky wrong. I am using it as a polite way to say weird or annoying. Hahaha.

I suppose we all have our quirks. I am used to being home alone with all my animals. So, I talk to them. A lot. Even when other people are around, I will still have silly conversations with my animals. I also sing, randomly, when doing things around the house. I sing silly, made up random things oftentimes. Or, I may sing a theme song or current radio hit. But I always sing badly. It is my thing. I am sure during this isolation I am incredibly annoying to my family.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! Enjoy your families quirks.

Passports and problems

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I went to get my youngest son a passport today. We did the paperwork and photo. Paid and submitted the application.

I didn’t realize both parents needed to be present and sign the form. I sent my husband 5 messages and called 3 times with no answer or response. His damn phone on silent, and only because he happened to be charging it, he didn’t see the messages.

It only took him 15 min to finally reply, and another 10 to get to the post office. But it felt like forever. Thankfully, in our small town area, it wasn’t a very big deal.

The big deal though was that he took the kids out to the car as I finished up and paid. And he proceeded to bitch because he doesn’t think I should be considering taking my youngest with me when I travel.

I am so frustrated. My littlest has separation anxiety. Legit. Diagnosed. Real. I can’t imagine being apart from him for 10 days or 2 weeks.

Of course, taking him will be a huge expense. This trip will not be cheap. However, I don’t think I will enjoy it if I am worried about him being sad the whole time. For me to enjoy the trip, I think it would be better to bring him.

My husband thinks I am being unfair to him, and that he can “handle” our kiddos while I am gone. He isn’t wrong…I am sure he could. But I don’t think it would be easy. I don’t think he always has patience for our kiddos anxiety and sensitivity. I know I would be stressed.

The fact that he bitched while I handled payment only solidifies my position in my mind. I don’t care if it will be more expensive. Money comes after happiness. We CAN afford it. He just thinks it is wasteful.

Today will be a tense day in the household. We have very few big disagreements.

Oh well. Marriage. Parenting. It isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.

Writing for fun

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Since I have begun writing articles for websites as a “job,” I notice I write less often for fun.

I really want to write a children’s book. I want to write something for foster kids.

I also think I might like to write an adult book about parenting. Not from the perspective of giving parenting advice, but more from the “can you believe this happened” and humorous parenting moments. Something fun, relatable, and about the imperfect world of parenting where we are all just trying our best, with no idea if we are doing it right.

Also, I want to write something for parents who feel judged. Don’t we all feel judged? Aren’t we all judging each other? Can’t we just stop?

Here is the funny part…

I haven’t begun writing yet because my laptop is shared with the family. I am worried about someone reading what I write…and JUDGING ME. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up, right?!

I am not a person who is confident in my work. If I do decide to move forward, I will likely use a pseudonym. I use a pseudonym for my online articles as well. Being anonymous is somewhat freeing.

How do I write a book, and keep my pseudonyms private? My husband and family would find out. Why does that terrify me so much?

I need therapy. Does anyone want to volunteer as my online therapist?

House hunting

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After all the drama of looking at a house where we could potentially care for my mother, we have decided we want to buy a new place anyway.

Looking got us thinking about possibilities, and we found we qualified for preapproval for a loan larger than we expected.

Our time is now consumed with finding the perfect new property. It is exciting. It is daunting. It is exausting. It is fun. I love it.

If you have any tips for me as I look, please share. We have a wonderful realtor that we are using.

Questions and answers

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I am struggling to explain to my youngest son what schizophrenia is. He is getting older, and he is asking questions about his birth mom. How do I explain to him that she couldn’t parent him because of this illness?

So far, I have just told him she has an illness that affects her brain and her ability to make decisions.

His questions are getting more in depth and so I need to figure out how to give better responses.

Any advice blogosphere?