Friday, September 19, 2008

Fred and My Homestead of Bitterness


Just when I thought the fog was lifting and I was feeling more organized and in control of my life, I hit a funk.

I am not sure where it came from but all of the sudden, I was so angry. My anger, deep within, outwardly was pointed towards Fred. It all started yesterday afternoon when he decided to work late - AGAIN.

You see, Fred is a wonderful man. I believe he is my soul mate and that we have a special, true love that God has blessed before we even met one another. We adore one another and are completely honest with each other. We have walked hand in hand through all of the challenges during our 15 years together. We "saved" ourselves for our wedding night, we endured a major Roller Blade injury where Fred almost lost his leg in college. We kept strong through my mother's tumultuous visits, my new business start ups, his inner city school teaching and three houses needing new roofs AND new water heaters, a flood, several snow storms, the typical in-law stresses, two pregnancies followed by two births followed by two daughters on the spectrum. And through it all, we prayed with one another. We loved one another. We accepted one another.

Now, today. I struggle with bitterness. I remember hearing a Christian speaker once in college saying that men will struggle the temptations with sexual immorality just as women will struggle with bitterness. It is one of those flaws from the fall that we were just 'programmed' with.

So, they say the first step is admitting it. Here is my confession. Brutal honesty. I am bitter today because, for the first time in a year and a half, I realize that I gave up my career and my dreams. I gave up my chance at being someone important as the world sees it. I gave up my business lunches and the freedom to meet interesting professionals. My power to influence and my Coach bags are in storage now.

I guess I wouldn't mind it so much if I saw others in our family like my husband and his parents who live only 15 minutes away also giving some things up. But no one else has sacrificed anything, only me. More about my feelings and disappointments about my in-laws in later posts... I feel like I have sacrificed it all for my daughters' special needs. Those special needs that apparently I am the only one who recognizes and is forced to deal with them day in and day out. The school professionals all think I am a gook. They don't respect me or recognize my daughter's diagnoses. Even the other mom's remain an arm's distance from me as not to catch my white trash mothering techniques. (Again, I use that phrase "WT" but I don't like to because I don't think God makes trash. I just use it because it is a term that describes judgement and misunderstanding in social classes.)

So, although I try to be the homemaker diva goddess and manager, I am oppressed to be the garbage collector and the punching bag. I am the one who gets the brunt of my first grader's verbal abuse. I know, I am the parent and I shouldn't allow her to scream at me when she comes home from a stressful day at school, but I really don't know how else to handle her moods and behavior other than leaving her alone. The more I try to discipline her as an exchange, the more it turns into a fighting match and her mood excels and spirals really out of control.

Then there is my two year old who gets special services from the state due to her sensory needs. Two days a week an occupation therapist comes to our home to visit. This OT's voice is so high pitched that is sends chills down my spine like nails to a chalk board. Every time she visits Sarah, Sarah screams and throws tantrums. For a two year old with auditory sensitivities, the OT's every word is a train wreck. I see it as clearly as the nose on my face. But then, the OT writes in her report that all of my daughter's outbursts are from behavior alone. And, I have to endure these visits two days a week. These outbursts, I am told by the 'professional', stems from my parenting.

I just take it all in. These thoughts consume me while I try falling asleep at night and while I try to do housework. Housework that my brilliant mind was not created to do! There has got to be something more interesting than trying to create neat lines in the carpet while I vaccum. And, by the way, I hate carpet. It is so country and suburb like! I am a freakin' hardwood floor city girl. I am supposed to have a cleaning lady that I complain about during my lunch dates in Greektown! Boo hoo. Those were the days. I miss them!

I continue to grieve my life of broken dreams, all while my husband works. Did you know that he leaves the house before we all wake up? He gets a fresh day on his work load. He is climbing his career bent ladder to the top being recognized for his achievements as he works 60 hour work weeks and gets paid peanuts as a private school teacher. He claims that he is working to earn more of a salary. I claim he is working to keep from being part of our circus acts in the home. He has to work dorm duty tonight, Friday night. Another evening that I stay home, alone, with the girls. I used to be social. I thrive when I am networking and making things happen. But, in the home I sit. Waiting. No improvement. Little to no action other than outbursts and anger.

And bitterness.

Feel free to comment how you want - just don't nag at me. Don't tell me there are worst situations out there. I know that I should count my f'ing blessings but right now, I am bitter. Your 'encouragement' won't help. I will come out of my funk in a few minutes. Planning to take my youngest apple picking. If we can do it without a tantrum - PTL. If there is a tantrum however, oh well it will give me something interesting to blog about!

Toodles Blawgers.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...
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autismfamily said...

I never went through what you are dealing with. I was too busy single parenting two kids on the spectrum who are 15 months apart.

I would request a new OT. The first OT who mentioned autistic-like on Nick's assessment was some short german lady and I could not understand her and her writing was terrible and she criticized me.

That was the first and last time we saw her. Speak up and get someone else.

Long ago I read two things about autism I never forgot.

1. After speaking to the child/person on the spectrum = wait 15 seconds for them to process the info and can respond, do not ask something else or speak too soon since they are processing first sentence.

This was even brought up at the AAC/AT workshop I was at the other day, he said count ten mississsipiis while waiting

2. The kid feels safest at home and once home from school will let loose from all the days events, since most likely they kept that bottled up all day to manage at school.

So basically school could say kid is great and you have someone else at home, there is safe and they can unload their feelings from the day and freak out, so to speak. Happens here.

Also I would suggest a hobby, not sure what since I dont have many and gave up my love of Nascar and dream of taking kids to races. It is not a big deal though.

I also caution writing negatively about child who one day will see it online, etc. I focus more on my nonverbal son and get feedback from HFA son on books and toys for reviews and he feels important sharing that info.

Re- the husband, no experience there personally, but statistics are out there that raising autistic kids, etc contributes to divorce, so I would think twice before alienating the other parent and try to make him feel wanted when he gets home with special meals or a card from you and girls.

I just started reading a blog I came across the other day of a suddenly single mom to three kids on the autism spectrum. On my blog list it is photomom think her id is photomom3.blogspot.com

Good luck, soon the 2 year old will be at school a few hours and you can regroup.

Why can't you use the Coach bag now? I bought one a few years ago with income tax return $ and felt so good with it and going to IEP meetings and even the lady at the District commented on how nice it was. Two aides at Matts last school would chit chat with me about purses and QVC.

Look forward to when girls are older and you can attend meetings and get involved in groups, organizations or disability stuff with the school district.

I now want to work as a Liason someday. Look to the future instead of wanting the past. Might help you find new perspective.

autismfamily said...

One other thing I forgot. Last Sep I started homeschooling Nick and I gave up my freedom, no more going to the gym or shopping at the mall.

He came to meetings with me and brought his video game and liked the food. We got a rhythmn going and I could do the gym this year, but I cannot afford the $47 per month now that I have a car loan, higher ins rate for auto and rent increase.

I am trying to stay positive and working on a budget so I can do the gym again and we have ex bike so started doing that in AM since not too hot in house.

I wanted son to do the gym but no money for that too. Maybe when we get income tax return can pay up front for one year.

There is a lot of give and take, that is what parenting is all about.

My father worked for a company as a mechanic for air compressors, taking train to work, but wanted his own biz. Well he did start and run his business, but money was less.

He complained all the time about how due to my sister being blind from brain tumor and his business he could not take vacation.

Try not to do the same thing to your kids making them feel they are the reason you are not working or being social, etc. it will backfire on you and something they will never forget.

I went and stayed with parents when pregnant with matthew (who is 12) after I split with their father and we were in FL, he came back to ca via plane and I stayed with my parents in NJ for 6 months to save money and wait for income tax return. Those six months were hell on me, I was pregnant and had a kid and my asthma was very bad they had a dog. My father brought up stuff that happened in high school. I was 34 at the time and he went on and on about never having a vacation.

I feel bad that I did not know about his cancer, and then recall how he treated me that time and no longer feel bad. They lost contact with their two other kids due to their treatment of us and their feelings of raising a child with a disability and threw it in our faces all the time, we had to take her out and they always said how would you like to be her.

We both left home at 17

Elizabeth Channel said...

Nothing I say will make you feel any better so I won't say anything except that I know it sucks and I am sorry.

Tomorrow is always another day.

(I know that doesn't help either.)

I'm with Bonnie, though. Break out the Coach bags.

Elle said...

I can't give you any advice, just hang in there. I also agree, get those Coach bags out of storage. You deserve to use them now. Why wait?

Janine said...

I'm so sorry you feel like this. I don't have any advice - just want you to know that I'd probably struggle with bitterness too if I were in your shoes. Hang in there.

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

This may sound really crazy, but I think that there is a spiritual dynamic to what is going on. After reading your two latest posts back to back, I think that negative forces want to rob you of the positive. They want you to stay in the "bad" stuff and linger there instead of seeing the good and finding more positives.

I've been where you are at and have lots of advice. But I don't know if you want advice or not, so if you do, you can email me! Just know that things won't stay this way forever!

Angela Moore said...

Hang in there Chica - do something for you. My hubby and I have a deal. We each get one night out to do whatever we want; visit friends, see a movie, be alone, whatever. I crave my night every week. It's my release. Get out that Coach bag and pamper yourself. Even if it's only one night a week, it's something to look forward to. Lots of us know exactly (and some of us only somewhat) where you are and what you're going through!

Tammy Warren said...

You are in my thoughts. I will not tell you how to handle life on this front. You have a great deal on your plate.