Category Archives: mental illness

Being “supermom”

People look at my son, look at me, and say things like “I don’t know how you do it.” Or “god only gives us what we can handle” 

I know they mean well, what I’m thinking is:

First off, I didn’t know I had a choice, and second, bullshit. If there is “GOD“, then I want to climb to the Highest mountain and scream “FUCK YOU!” Holding up my middle finger at the sky because what the hell did I do to deserve this? And more importantly, What did my son do to deserve this? If “GOD” only gives us what”we can handle” then why do we hear about parents who kill their kids? Why do people kill themselves or kill other people? Why do we continually hear about mass shootings and disease wiping out people by the hundreds of thousands? God’s will? Why create only to destroy? The devil? Why doesn’t God protect us then?

But instead, I smile, shrug or laugh and crack a joke to ease the tension because they mean well. They really do. They don’t realize that we hear these things over and over again and I can feel my eye starting to twitch when I hear that pity in someone’s voice.

They think I’m special because I am my son’s mother. I’m not. I’m just a mom. Just because your kid has the flu, doesn’t mean you drive back to the hospital that you delivered your child at and demand a new one…On the contrary, it makes you care more. Makes you “MOM HARDER’. You get set into hyper parent mode and the maternal instincts are seething out of every pore so viciously, you swear you just felt your mammary glands let down and your boobs start to tingle. You care for your sick child and nurse them back to health… Only with autism, or any developmental disorder, that last part never comes. Things just get a little better. So instead of puking out of both ends, the kid still has explosive diarrhea and a lower grade fever. Or now they have an entirely new menu of symptoms and when you bring them to the doctor, they don’t know what to say… They are just as, if not even more, lost than you are.

So, you try a remedy you heard about, try diets, therapies, apps, different laundry detergent and dish soap… You just want your kid to get better and be healthy. You breath a sigh of relief because today the rash is clearing up or maybe the fever is gone, (s)he stopped coughing non-stop or finally has a solid bowel movement; only to have it ALL return after a week and your back to scrubbing vomit and shit out of the carpet and washing laundry non-stop.

Now imagine this is what life is now. An endless cycle of not knowing what is coming and your kid never seems to fully “recover”.

This is autism. There is no “recovery” you kinda get used to it… But you don’t.

Momming in hyper-mode for 9 years straight has left me with crippling anxiety and depression, left me feeling indifferent some days and others I’m feeling like my emotions are contained inside only a piece of wet tissue paper and soon as there is the slightest disturbance to that barrier, they come pouring out like a landslide that just cannot be stopped and I find myself and my partner are trying to catch it all with a tea cup.I’ve made compromise after compromise on things I thought I could/would (n)ever consider.

I’ve gone through phases where I would drink 1-2 bottles of wine almost every evening after putting my son to bed just to stop the trembling of my nerves trying to escape because I’ve been in flight or fight mode for the past 6 hrs because I have OCD and am fecal phobic and my son was going through a phase that he enjoyed smearing shit all over himself, walls, carpet and any other crevice he could cram his tiny fingers into and I screamed at him with tears in my eyes while I sobbed uncontrollably then spent the rest of the day feeling guilty, angry, resentful and just trying to clean the mess and make it up to him and just feeling more guilt along with the pain of chemical burns on my arms because I can’t stop cleaning. I needed something to ease this pain. 2 glasses in, I’m climbing into bed with him holding him while he’s sleeping and pushing me away then just stare at him while he sleeps and looks so peaceful with tears streaming down my face while I tilt my glass to my lips with one hand and wipe the tears and snot onto my sleeve with the other.

I’ve locked myself in the bathroom to eat a half eaten donut my son didn’t finish that I found in my purse.

I’ve spent days on the couch binging on Netflix or playing video games or in the garage painting every piece of furniture that we own and could carry out by myself while my son is at school.

I’ve gone days without eating, showering or talking to another person.

I’ve given my son benadryl after melatonin failed so I could have some time to sleep, regroup, and shower.

I’ve locked him in his bedroom with his iPad, books, toys and swing to keep from losing my shit while I’m trying to cook dinner or wash the dishes.

I’ve let him eat frozen go-gurts, pizza rolls, and bagels all day because I don’t have the energy to fight him to eat something healthy or just to cook anything in general.

I’ve tricked him into trying new things by disguising them as something else.

I’ve capitalized his fear of the hand mixer and blender to my advantage when I want him to stop screeching or doing something destructive or dangerous.

I’ve paid $40 for an app and $30 for a season of Yo Gabba Gabba just to keep my son busy and distracted so he isn’t dragging me to the refrigerator every 2 mins because his meds give him Stoner-ish Munchies.

With struggle comes wisdom and I’ve learned brilliant tricks to get a kid to take meds and get enough fruits and veggies, how to avoid having to change my kid’s sheets everyday, how to hide the taste of kale, how to find shit in carpet and how to get it out. I can find almost anything to help make just about any problem behavior a bit more tolerable.

The point I’m trying to make here, is nobody is prepared for this shit. I’m not special. I’m not stronger than most people. I love my son…. That is all. I love my child because I’m a mother. I’m HIS mother. Loving him is my job. Even if it is a hard job sometimes, it’s not a choice. We don’t get to pick and choose who we love. We don’t get to choose our children. Sure there are days that I clench my fists, bite my lip and think “what the hell was I thinking by having a kid? Why do people do this?” But on the other side of the same token lies the answer… Becoming a mother/father is the most important thing anyone can do for themselves. Because it’s as blissful as it is maddening. It’s as beautiful as it is disgusting and that unconditional love is powerful. That is “how we do it” it has nothing to do with strength or “GOD“… It’s just love for our kids. When people see me on the floor changing my 9 year old’s diaper, and say “how do you do that?” I don’t see a 9 year old. I see my baby. That’s the same ass I’ve been wiping since 2009. I breast fed him so the shit shooting up his back isn’t exactly a new thing… Anyone that loves their kid would do the same. Not ANYONE, but anyone that loves their kid. I have worked with children who’s parents abandoned them at a nursing home because of their disabilities and it was pretty heartbreaking. But then again, who am I to judge? Some people just don’t have it in them to care for someone that needs so much and I get that. I think it would take a different kind of strength to walk away, and that is just not the kind of strength I have.

What people see are the little things parents like us do for our kids that seem normal to us because (at least for parents like me that only had one child) we don’t know any different. We adapt for our kids and find ways to cope. Some healthier than others. We learn to laugh through tragedy, make jokes about the struggle, hell, sometimes we flip our kids the middle finger from the next room or just spend a good 15 mins just talking shit about them and making jokes at their expense when they aren’t around. We know as their parents, our love for them goes unrivaled but kids can be energy leeching, tiresome and annoying little shits. Any parent that says their child doesn’t piss them off is a filthy liar.

We just have to come up with ways to cope and creative ways to get through the day. If you have to take anti-depressants, write poetry, paint, use tinder, play video games or If having a couple glasses (or bottles) of wine at the end of a rough day is what you need to distract yourself to keep from driving your car off of a bridge, then by all means, do what ya gotta do. I feel like we should be allowed to be shitty parents sometimes. We should be allowed to have off-days. Like I said before, nobody is prepared for this shit. Furthermore, few people have any answers and nobody has a real”solution”. We just have to deal. Make the most of it. I take pride that my son can read, is adorable and is ultra affectionate. Has untapped musical talent, Is playful and has an infectious giggle. There are kids out there that are not on the spectrum that can’t or won’t do these things but my little guy is always smiling, singing and ready to cuddle and be tickled. Sure, if I ask him “how was school? What did you have for lunch? Whats your favorite color?” I will not get a response. He simply does not answer them. I’m not sure whether he can’t or won’t but That is fine because I have a stepdaughter that talks enough for the both of them.

Although… Yesterday he walked up to me and said bagel a few times so I gave him one. That was pretty exciting for me. As simple and small it may seem to parents of normally developing children, this is an equivalent to seeing your kid say their first word. Every. Damn. Time.

We autism parents have a full plate of too spicy, bland, or hard to chew food, and someone behind us demanding we have seconds. But when we get to the dessert, it seems to make up for all the trash we had to consume to get to that point. Make no mistake, the discomfort from having more we can handle is still there, The feeling of indigestion is still there, but we forget about it for a second and enjoy that sweet treat that we worked so hard for and it feels incredible because with that, a tiny bit of hope is restored. The future that seems like a pitch black never ending tunnel, looks a tiny bit brighter. I just hope one day, someone would hand my child a flashlight instead of a match. Until then, I will take what we can get and just white knuckle it until the end.

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I AM AN EXTREMIST.

I don’t know how to be inquisitive, I have to be obsessed.

I don’t just really like someone, I adore them.

I don’t hang out with a friend for the night,
I have someone with me all the time.

I don’t just get angry,
I get furious.

I’m not just happy.
I am elated.

I’m not just hurt…
I’m in agony, anguish, despair…

You’ve moved on and I get it. I guess in a sense, I have too. But, there is not a single soul, object, entity, that can fill this gaping hole in my chest. I think this is a love that will never die. Although I feel as though you’ve been an ever changing kaleidoscope of various colors, I’ve loved them all. The blazing reds jealousy, the calm, mellow shades of green, the bright anxious yellows, and the peaceful, pure, genuine loving blues. I’ve loved them all. We’ve grown apart and the colors aren’t familiar to me any longer…they’ve bled together, changed shades. I’m left…grey.

Here we go again.

It’s not my fault so many shitty things happened to me that molded me into the mess I am today. But I’ll say this… I’m no longer allowing his indifference, silent treatment, and mind games control how I feel. At some point the bullshit has to stop and what better way to put a halt to it than give him a taste of his own medicine? I have someone whom wants to be with me. Someone awesome he could turn out to be an amazing guy that doesn’t care about my past…in fact I’ve shared a lot of it with him and he has been so understanding. Although it’s too soon to tell,  One day I might even be able to love him. He’s had a rough go of it as well which affected him into adulthood but he’s beating his demons while mine are still active in my mind. I can win this. I can win anything. I refuse to give up, I refuse to let them win. I’ve always been competitive… my abusers won’t win nor will those whom make me feel inferior or unimportant. I’ll teach myself to not care. I WILL MAINTAIN CONTROL.  My heart and soul are not anyone’s stomping grounds. Now…I just need to figure out how to un-love someone.

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Today is.

I get a call late in the evening from him as I’m driving through cliffs and valleys down a country road. I know cell service is crap so i don’t bother picking up…besides, it’s darker out there than an inside of a coffin and its best I focus on the road in case a deer leaps out into the road. I look at my phone because my Pandora keeps freezing. The missed call was from him. There is his face, smiling huge clenching a potato in his hand. He sent that picture to me years ago referencing an inside joke. As soon as I get into the next town at a stop light I pick up my phone and text him “I’m driving. Call you back later” his response

“I need to talk to you

” I promised I would call him back. But much to my surprise when I arrived home, my ex gf had cleaned my entire house. All she wanted was for me to lay with her and talk. She had just saved me at least 3 hrs of work. I lay with her, she massages aching back. My plan is to call him when she drifts off to sleep. Spending the day at mall of America was taxing to say the least and i slipped into a sleep coma. The first thing I did when I woke up was text him, apologizing for falling asleep. 2 days later, he still won’t answer me. THESE Goddamned  Mind games he likes to play are getting old and although I still love him, so much, they are just going to backfire now that he is 2000 miles away and he can’t make the ice that is crystallized around my heart melt with his sweet kisses and soft gaze with those beautiful hazel/green eyes and the exuberance that beams from them like a small child on Christmas morning. I’ve got a new guy. He is finishing up an assignment in Kansas and still has about a month left. He wants to fly me down for a long weekend. He’s amazing, handsome, wealthy, brilliant, incredibly chiseled and has that glow…exuberance, but not jaded. He calls me his queen, treats me as such… he becomes excited when I tell him we could be together, he was excited that I told him I would try to fly to Kansas to see him… I really like him but it’s so hard to focus on him when I’m trying to get over someone else. On paper, it’s no contest. My new guy has it all. He’s so smart and accomplished. Wealthy, generous, and still acts as though he isn’t worthy of me. I think I could one day, love him. Honestly that is what scares me most. I think it may too good to be true. And no matter what the circumstance, I could never completely cut my California boy off. He taught me so much. But maybe this is the end of that chapter and its time to move onto the next… I guess only time will tell.

I know you’re probably reading this my poopyface. I love you.

Still dreaming

I’m angry at myself for missing something that wasn’t mine. Still thinking about our brief sample of what life could be like if we were together. It was so easy for you to just pick up and move away. Ditch me like one of those empty water bottles that used to litter the floor of your car. You can drop anything you love without ever picking it up again. Quit smoking cigarettes just like that, quit eating junk food and dropped me…not only me. Us. The three of us. He still asks about you. I still have your picture on my fridge and my heart still skips a beat when I see it. I keep asking myself…why? Why do I love someone that cannot love me? Why do I care when I can get a new boyfriend or girlfriend tomorrow if i really wanted to? I start to like someone and then it starts burning out before the spark even turns into a flame. Because i subconsciously push people out. It makes no sense because as soon as I sense that they are no longer interested I start clawing for their attention to the point I have back ups if the one I’m with isn’t readily accessible or available to give me attention. There is always an ex that will come to my aide even if all I want is company or to be held and told I’m pretty. I just want to know what real love feels like. I’ve never experienced being truly loved. Everyone I’ve been with but one, confused the hell out of me. I’m socially inept. I don’t understand the subtleties. I don’t pay attention to things like body language, or passive aggressive attempts at communication. Fucking tell me what you’re thinking or feeling. We’re grownups. Open your goddamned mouth and discuss it. Anything I do as a result of your ill attempt at dropping hints is your fault if I overlook them. I just don’t understand why people have such a hard time being direct. Sure, people may say I’m a bitch, but at least people know what I’m trying to say. At least I’m honest. I don’t live many things about myself, but my ability to speak my mind, is probably my favorite thing about being me. You should try it sometime.image

Things aren’t what they seem.

It’s strange how quickly emotions can shift. I miss him but not sure if I NEED him anymore. I’ve been creating a distance trying to separate myself emotionally for the guy whom has been tethered to my heart for 3 years. It’s been exhausting. Being the other woman, never sleeping together but coming close. I reduced myself to the other girl and all of my feelings are a result of my own decisions. Granted, he has a way of forming words into a work of art that sounds like angels singing every word a girl has been dying to hear…needing to hear, their entire lives. Leaving cracks in that hard shell i encase my heart in, then Borrowing deep inside like a parasite that feeds off of my joy, sadness, insecurities, talents, and leaving me feeling empty, hopeless, neglected and worst of all, unworthy of love and happiness. I’m just tired of being treated like I’m disposable. I’m terrified to get attached to anyone new because statistically, it is likely he/she will end up being the same way. It will end with me crying over a pint of Ben and jerrys and a 6 pk of reds apple ale trying desperately to numb the agony that that will eventually leave me with emotional paralysis and a broken heart. I’m becoming jaded, cold, and callous. Maybe I’m just not the kind of person that belongs with another…who knows.image

Not a single wink

My mind roars through the night like a storm siren. I managed to drown out the wails by finishing the second season of Orange is the new black and a documentary about Bettie page. I’m wiped but I’m wired… wondering if my choices were the right ones over the past few weeks. The love of my life moved 2000 miles away, considering this has been a turbulent yet incredibly addictive, magnetic, beautifully disastrous relationship, I’ve decided to move forward and accept the fact that he’s gone and not coming back. We both know that our hearts beat for no one else but each other, the separation has been less than easy to cope with for me. I’ve cried countless amounts of tears have been absorbed into my pillow. After having something for a brief period that for 3 years I yearned for it has really triggered my fears of abandonment. My ptsd is raging through my head like a like a rabid blood thirsty animal sucking me dry of all hope for happiness. But I suppose that’s how everything works out for me. I get an awesome phone, it’s broken within a couple of days, I buy a car, breaks down within a few weeks, the love of my life moves in, he’s gone in a month. Moves to California. He told me he would fly me there in a couple of months but it hasn’t happened. I’m pretty certain it probably won’t. All extra money goes to levis and the dispensary across the street from his studio in NOHO. I’m happy for him and I’m happy he’s made his dream come true but I just wish we were a part of it because heaven knows being with him is mine.

I started dating a very successful, attractive, intelligent and interesting man. I like him but when thinking of the one who has my heart, and how that turned out, I’m shaking in my chuck Taylor’s at the thought of being hurt. My emotions are just stirring under the surface of my skin like watching fish swim under a thin sheet of ice after the first freeze of the winter. The slightest pressure causes me to crack and the raw emotion comes gushing to the surface. The therapy I’ve been attending has made me even more fragile so I can’t even pretend anymore. So I’m in hiding. Just waiting for the next big freeze so it won’t be so easy to see those fish swimming or until I can keep the spear fishers at bay.

Maybe it’s some kind of karmic retribution. Maybe, I was a horrible person…maybe I AM a horrible person. I know I’ve said some pretty shitty things. I can be a very cruel person when provoked. Perhaps this is my punishment. A life of heartache, loss, grief and frustration. Bipolar disorder, major depression, severe anxiety, severe adhd, severe PTSD, oppositional defiance disorder… I need therapy. No matter how crappy I may feel now, maybe at the end of it all I won’t feel like I NEED someone around all the time. Just my son and myself. That’s all I should need but presently…it’s torture. As soon as the sun starts setting, my pulse quickens, my palms become sweaty, and I’m overcome with sheer dread and I’m desperately reaching out…more like clawing for attention because being alone just leads me to believe that I’m not worthy of being loved. I feel so stupid saying it, because I know it’s not true. It’s programmed into my brain that if I’m alone, I’ve been abandoned, nobody loves me, blah blah blah… I’m a whiney little bitch. So I started writing. Something I’m not horrible at. Started playing my guitar more, singing more, and although I’m so sick of Frozen I give in, mirroring the movements of Elsa and anna singing along putting on a live show for my little boy as well as dr horrible while listening to my son giggle because these things make me forget that I am 32, never been married,bat shit crazy, and a single mother of an adorable, autistic, insanely hyperactive little boy who makes noise constantly unless he’s sleeping, if he  decides to sleep that is. Although he’s so amazing, my hero, my little musician and vocalist… he intimidates people. As do I. But I won’t make anymore compromises. Accept US completely. We aren’t a perfect family but damnit.   We are very worth it. I’m alive. I’m okay. We’re okay. We’re survivors.