Monday, November 23, 2015

A Horrible Day


During our time dealing with the mental illness that ravages my daughter, I have talked a little about my own depression, but I haven't talked about the issues of parenting.  Even with a body that hurts almost constantly, I would rather go back to BASIC training and be yelled at by drill sergeants then have the job I have right now.  I have been yelled at, called a bitch and told what a terrible mother I am.  I have had to compromise my morals, my belief in discipline, and eat a lot of pride.  Today, I am losing the battle.

The last two months have been trying to say the least.  I probably mentioned that the doctor switched Madelle's meds, spiraling her down into the dark pit of anxiety.  We are now upping her meds to bring her back up to before the switch.  It is a very slow process.  And today is a very bad day that started last night.

Madelle came out of her room and asked not to go to school this week.  It is a short week of only two days due to Thanksgiving vacation.  Well, she is getting a five day weekend and I didn't think it was appropriate.  The mom and former educated does not approve of skipping school.  I said no and her dad backed me.  She went to her room.  When he went in to ask what pasta she wanted with the spaghetti sauce, she grunted.  Later I went in to have her take her medicine, she refused.  I prayed and listened to music with her.  I talked.

What I got out of her is that she doesn't know how to make us hear her.  She can't face school.  The days will be filled with busy work and talking.  She panics on those days.  I don't want her home doing nothing, so I told her that she would have to do work.  She has reneged on her part of the bargain of only missing one day a week.  Her schedule was to say a prayer for strength, write an essay, do some fractions, read some literature, work on cell research, play her instrument, and walk the dog.

The reality … I am ready to run away to the coast and live there under an assumed name.  I am a prisoner in my own home.  Madelle woke up in a good mood.  She ate breakfast and said her prayers.  She took out her instrument and sounded off.  The next thing I know she is whining.  I ask her questions and she started yelling.  She went to her room and I asked for her kindle.  I had told her no electricity for the day.  She came back and threw it on the floor and stomped back into her room again.

A short time later she comes into my writing room asking if she is a bad kid.  Part of me wants to scream that yes, yes she is a horrid kid.  Instead I cry and say she isn't.  She said she didn't think doing school work at home is the answer.  I don't have to fear homeschooling.  But I still don't know how to get her to school.  She asked for her kindle back.  Nope.  For some reason I will stay strong on this point.  I am also not giving her my computer.  She is in the living room watching cartoons and putting together a puzzle.  Another loss.  I sit here at the computer with tears in my eyes.  Oh, and I haven't the courage to see if I pushed her to start scratching herself again.

I know people judge the situation.  Hell, I judge the situation.  "She is spoilt.  I am not tough enough on her.  I should force her to go to school so she will toughen up.  Live through those panic attacks.  Ignore the voices in her head that tell her she is a freak."  Well, people, be my guest.  You can take over the parenting because we are doing the best we can.  All I want is for her to be a well adjust happy kid with lots of friends and activities, tons of self confidence.

I read books to try to help me through.  The common theme is to take care of you.  Right, how?    Sure, I am fortunate.  I am able to tell myself most days that life is good.  I smile and push forward with my writing.  I spend time with my prayer group.  I go to church.  But on days like today, I feel horrible.

3 comments:

  1. Prayers to you and Madelle> I would not trade places with you but I also will not judge your parenting. You are doing the best you know how. God Bless & Happy Thanksgiving. Mary

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  2. When we realized that Grants ADHD was affecting him so much that he needed to go on medication our health provider required both of us to have counseling. Separately, and then together. The counselor told me that we were no longer to talk to Grant about anything to do with school. Not his grades, his tests, how his day was a school, nothing.
    We were not supposed to even talk to him about his report card. I told the counselor, "he will never graduate". The counselor said, don't talk about it, at all. You have put too much pressure on him already. So we didn't, it was hard. When his report card came, and it wasn't good, all I could do was tell Grant we got it. He told me, "Mom, I don't want to see it and don't tell me about it." So I didn't. I felt so bad when he said that, because I realized that he had been doing the best he could, and all his grades did, was make him feel incompetent and low. And we had been compounding that feeling by lecturing on how he had to work harder etc. It took some time but then I realized why the counselor asked us not to talk about school. It was more important for Grant to know that he had parents who loved him the way he was, than for him to graduate. It was more important for him to know he had a family behind him, than a good grade. It was better for him to know we had his back, than for him to have a diploma. I am not judging you as a parent by telling you this. And if you find anything in what we experienced of use to you, use it. I know that your situation is different. I also know that parenting is hard. Where the hell is our manual!! I will pray that God helps you with some answers and healing. And I pray that you have many more good days, than bad. Grant ended up going to alternative school, his choice. He excelled in the school of his choice and graduated. I was so happy that he graduated, but I am more happy that my son and I have a good relationship now, instead of the difficult one we had before.

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  3. HUGS!! Huge hugs! So wishing there was something I could do to help. Something I could say that would make a difference. Parenting is the hardest job there is, and as you said, there is no manual. I hope and pray that you have a counselor. We as humans are a bit like a pressure cooker. We all have a breaking point when pressure builds beyond the point of being contained. You know that little steam hole on a pressure cooker? It's a really small hole, and when thinking about the whole pressure cooker, it's pretty insignificant. It's there for a reason. It's entire function is to allow steam to escape. Seems pretty minor and some might say unnecessary. But watch what happens if that little hole is plugged. It's not pretty and can wreck carnage on an entire kitchen and reports say can even blow holes in the ceiling. One tiny little hole.. and some say it's insignificant, unimportant, unnecessary even. Some would say the same about counseling.. I'm talking for you. But trust me Hon when I say, that tiny little hole, that tiny amount of time you spend talking with a counselor, "blowing the steam off", may be the relief that keeps things from blowing apart. You have a ton on your plate. The health issues alone are enough to cause your "pressure cooker" to overfill. We all have a breaking point. Don't go beyond yours. When I read through your day, the first few paragraphs sounded like typical teenage stuff.. and my first thought was to tell you about a couple great CD by Jim and Charles Fay of "Love and Logic" called "Parenting Teens with Love and Logic" and "Hormones and Wheels" I know their stuff is good. I know it works. I use it every day. But there was a time, I didn't, and there was a time, I told a social worker that I thought the teenage foster child they had placed in our home was going to need to go, cause I didn't know how much more I was up for. She gave me a great piece of advice.. and introduced me to respite. Up until that time, I thought only wimpy moms had to get away for the weekend. Now I know that the smart and strong moms are the ones that go away for the weekend. They are smart enough to know their limits and strong enough to stand against anyone who would judge them, even if the judgment is only a perception in their own mind. I now know that the reason Love and Logic works is it gently takes away the power struggles. I certainly don't pretend to know if it would be right for you, I just know it has worked for me. HUGS!!

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