When I hit my 100 mark, I thought I'd write something poignant. Powerful. Praise worthy. Nah. I vented.
Now It's post 200 (geez, I'm verbose!) and I'd still rather vent than come up with something flowery, fun or fanciful. (Although I will indulge in the occasional alliteration.)
Many huge thanks to all of you that responded SO quickly to my plea for info about fostering a newborn exposed to methamphetamines. As it often goes with fostering, the child was placed with a family member last minute, bypassing the system ... and the waiting, capable arms of a foster family. BUT, it really is best if these children stay with their families. Really. It is. I think...
Anyway, you ladies amazed me once again with your generosity, words of support and kindness. I can't wait to hug you all in Orlando.
Yep! I said it! ORLANDO! I'm going. Are you? I want to hug you so you better be there. I have 200 posts worth of love saved up to pour all over you amazing gals so be there. Or else. Oh, and bring your quilting. And FYI, if we end up in a quad together, I fart in my sleep. Fair warning.
Sissy's a yo-yo with her moods. I think she's trying very hard to keep it glued together during the school day and then it just blows up at home. I really do think it's messing with her head, trying so hard to keep a lid on her crap all day. Psychoses is up, so is rage, and every other behavior. And all of it we get at home. As said in today's school meeting, we really wish she WOULD show her behaviors at school it would make it a world of a difference in getting her the support she needs academically.
A commenter asked about her IEP. That's just it. Sissy doesn't have an IEP. She has and RTI and 504, that's it. So today's meeting was about finding ways to document a medical need for and IEP. In the classroom, Sissy is already getting as many interventions and support as the school can legally provide. But it's still grade school. Next year in middle school it's a whole other can of worms. Our goal is to document the crud out of Sissy's issues so that she has a well written IEP before she walks through the doors of the middle school next year.
And in the meantime, her Dad and I pray very hard that
#1 - she shows her behaviors at school
#2 - she doesn't escalate to suicidal and homicidal again because really? This is feeling a bit like deja vu from last year and I don't think I can do another round at RTC with Sissy. I'm feeling fairly kitschy.
I'm not holding up so well. I think it's delayed grief from all of last year's nonsense and the potential for Sissy to come unraveled again so easily. I read other blogging moms that run circles around these issues, it just doesn't seem to bother you that you have psychotic children or impaired kids. Sometimes when I read your blogs I think Wow. I wish I could be like her. But the truth is, parenting such challenged children is seriously challenging me. I'm spent. I'm overwhelmed. I'm wincing at the years ahead of me as AB and Sissy embark on puberty and I want to curl up in a ball when I think of the level of exactitude, planning and preparation I have to do every single day just to keep it altogether for my kids. And that I have to keep it up for that many more years.
I really wanted 5 children. But I'm not managing well with just these three. I feel robbed and cheated. At the same time I feel weak and foolish. Some of you spin circles around me in what you do every day and I feel like a 25 year old ox pulling a plow through rocky soil; I just can't do it. I rationalize my inner struggle by telling myself that I have other irons in my fire and other issues to contend with personally that prevent me from being a super mom; from soaring over and above my children's needs instead of making it an albatross.
My blog is my venting place, my way of saying how I feel in the moment when I don't feel safe to say it in real life or real time. These thoughts don't belong in the moments when Sissy or AB are in crisis. At those times, I have to be a cool, calm and collected therapist and address their needs immediately and appropriately. When it's been crazy all day long and I finally have a moment to steal away with WG, I want to be happy and joyful for HER sake. When I get them all in bed at night, I want to joke and cut up with The Dad or just sit in the same room with him breathing the same air.
I don't want to rehash it all, play it all out wondering if I could have managed the crisis better or how I could be better or what I could have done differently. I just want it to vaporize. I want to pretend for the hour before I fall asleep in the recliner that I live a "normal" life. I want to ignore the fact that therapists are in my home nearly every day. I want to pretend that Sissy and AB don't have 9 doctors and 15 medications between them. I want to imagine that they'll grow up to have meaningful jobs, relationships and fulfilling adult lives. And then a commercial will come on the TV and it will be some endearing family thing and I'll discover tears rolling down my cheek because it's one more reminder that I live in a ridiculously tiny house with a bedroom in my living room because my 10 year old isn't safe ...
When I think that Sissy is still only in elementary school and that she is already so challenged I stop breathing for a second or two. Good God Almighty. It's a blow to the heart every time. When I pick Sissy up from sunday school and she has the same protruding tongue, blank stare and flat affect as the down syndrome child she's sitting next to, I want to walk away and leave her there, pretending I'm not really her mom, that I'm not really the one responsible to help this child navigate life, that because of her impairments, my life and my future are indelibly altered. I want to imagine that she's just fine, that she'll recover and lead a normal adult life but in reality, she'll probably make me a grandmother before I'm 45. And I'll have to make the choice to either raise my grandchild who will likely be impaired like Sissy is, or find an adoptive couple to endure this same hell ...
I want to be confident in my abilities as Sissy's mother no matter what she chooses to do. I want to think I could help other impaired children too. I want to be OK with this life I'm leading. I want to embrace this challenge without breaking my own psyche. I want to feel whole again. Mental health illness steals too much. I worry that it will take it all.
And that, my friends, is my 200th post.