Vote for My Blog

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Perspective

"Be kind, for everyone you meet, is fighting a hard battle." -Plato 

One thing that having these special children has taught me is to always stop and think about the other person's perspective.  Because my children see the world from a completely different point of view, I no longer take things at face value.  They don't look like they're having any problems, but they are.  The battles that they are facing inside of their own heads.  They don't "look like they have autism, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, depression or a mood disorder.  Their challenges are not visible to the naked eye.  This does not mean that they don't exist.

The way that I see things is not necessarily the way that they see things.  The way that either of us sees things may have little to do with the way that they actually are.

Though my husband has no diagnosis, I think all of the men in this house actually have a perspective deficit. They just do not automatically think about what the other person may be thinking or feeling. I am often their barometer --the one who actually points out the different perspective.  When I do this, my husband accuses me of taking the other person's side.  I'm just pointing out that their actually IS another side. There is always another point of view.

The way that an individual sees and interacts in the world depends on a lot of variables. What is their life experience? Undoubtedly, it's different than yours.
What's going on with that person mentally or even physically?
Are they suffering from depression, some form of anxiety or some other heavy issue?

Lot's of people put on the bright smile and charm, even a great sense of humor. In truth, we have no idea how they're really feeling. Isn't the recent death of Robin Williams proof of that? O.K. I guess we should have known that he was often a bit manic and over the top, but I don't think most people had any idea how low his lows, actually were.

What looks all put together, flashy, shiny and successful, maybe a hot mess on the inside. Just because a person has a great career, is doing well financially, appears to have the happiest, most perfect family ever, does not mean that they are indeed, actually happy.  The truth maybe that that person is so spent from working so hard, that they have very little left over in their mental bank when they come home from work.

Just because that person has to be "on" all day in order to do their job, doesn't mean that they don't come home and want to hide because of social anxiety, depression or self-loathing.

A marriage that looks happy could be a source of internal anguish. We never really know what is going on behind closed doors much less, what is going on in someone's mind and heart.  The pretty pictures and happy smiles are not always what they're cracked up to be.

Some of the most successful people I know still have some kind of mental issues or insecurities.
You don't know what their childhood experiences were. You may not know what their relationship is with their parents and how that effects them now.
You just never know what battles that person is fighting, or what it really takes to maintain their life.

Before you form your opinions about another person, maybe you should try to really understand them.
Before you feel slighted, or angry or internalize something they said or did as a personal affront to you, perhaps you should actually communicate your feelings instead of making assumptions.

It could be that the influences and experiences in your life, have barring on your perceptions.  Whether or not we want to admit it,  deep inside we all have preconceived notions of certain people, based on race, sexual orientation, religion, economic status or level of education.  And most of the time we are DEAD wrong.

If there is one thing that autism has taught me, and it has taught me SO MUCH, is that if you've met one person with autism, you've met just that ...one person with autism. Each person on the spectrum is unique, special in their own way and they all face different challenges right down to the two-children that I am raising.

The same is true about most people. We're all unique no matter race, sexual orientation, neurological status, mental issues, economic status or whatever ...and we're all fighting something.

My own depression has taught me that my perspective may be skewed.  When I am feeling down, I have a tendency to take things that someone says or does more personally than it's intended to be.

Sometimes we sit in stew in our own juices, holding on to anger, or negative feelings.
We don't communicate because we don't want to be confrontational or offensive.  The only person that really hurts ...is you. The supposed offender is off living their life, probably completely unaware of the offense.

In the end, the truth just may be that the person in question is just an asshole.  And even then, there may be a valid reason why they're an asshole.

It has been said, that I'm a bit of a Polly Anna. I really do try to find the bright side in any situation.  I usually try to find the good in a person, instead of just the negatives.  It's not always possible, but most of the time you can find something positive if you're really looking for it.

Having children on the autism spectrum has taught me that even through what looks like rudeness or what may appear to be abrupt or insensitive, there is usually a deeper story --another perspective.  The writer side of me makes me want to find out what the story is. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Case of the Stolen Bacon

*Warning there is some pretty descriptive, colorful language in this post. If you're easily offended, move on.

Lately, in the afternoons when Red is about to come home from work or school start getting this anxious, dread that comes over me. I know that sounds horrible to say, but it is my truth right now. Whoever would have thought that it's possible to feel that way about your own precious child? The precious little baby that you gave birth too. Well, he's my own not-so-precious, adult these days and I am just plain old sick and tired of his behaviors.

When he comes home in the afternoon, I usually haven't gotten enough stuff done. When he comes through the door with his long list of complaints and arguments, my ability to think -to focus is cut down by half.  My focus level hasn't been on full for months, so it's really cut down to about a quarter of a tank, about to hit empty with a quickness.

He comes through the door just as I am about to eat the bacon that my mom has made for me along with a couple of waffles.

"I want that! Let me have it!" He is standing over me, totally invading my space. I refuse to give it to him. He continues begging, insisting really. I finally give in, just to shut him up. I give him a half of a slice. "No I want the whole thing!" He yells, and then grabs the other half and puts it in his mouth.

I took it as, fuck you and your feelings. I want this bacon and I'm taking it. What are you gonna do about it? Nothing.  It was just blatant disrespect. I...was...livid!

To make matters worse, my mom chimes in with her outrage over what he did. The two of them start arguing. "Nana! This is none of your business! It's just a piece of bacon!" "I made that bacon for your mother! You have a lot of nerve!" Minutes later, she wants him to be quiet because she's watching her soap opera. Really? You get him started by chiming in on a matter that doesn't  really involve you. Now you want him to be quiet?

I didn't engage with either of them. I ate my late breakfast while it was hot and then went upstairs, knowing that he would follow and that would break the two of them up.

Internally, I was smoking hot! He kept saying, "I'm sorry! Why are you so mad?  Really mom!  It's just a piece of bacon. What's the big deal? You still had some left."
This is not an apology. It enraged me further.

I explained to him it wasn't about the bacon. It was about the blatant disrespect. "If you did this out in the world, at work where someone has food stored in the refrigerator, or in a roommate situation someone may just decide to stab you with a fork for reaching over and taking their food." (Especially if it was bacon.)  In what world is this acceptable behavior?
His reply? "I would never do that at work or to anyone else!"  Wow! Just wow!

I explained that the bacon was just the last drop in the bucket, that made the water overflow.  It's about the way he has been treating me for years and the increased behaviors in the past few months. While being a very generous person to his friends, almost to a fault, he won't share a french-fry with me! This is  about how he made me cry over Thanksgiving dinner because of his rudeness.  Then he says to his dad, "What's the big deal? I've made mom cry before." 

It's about me being very literally at the end of my rope. I am stressed, depressed, pissed off and generally overwhelmed about the crisis that we've been living in for months. We have in this house the total ingredients for a divorce. There is enough stress and discord to totally tear this family apart. Luckily, hubby and I love each other and are determined to work through this situation to get Red out of here, thereby reducing the stress level.

Everything has been neglected.  Our marriage, our sex life.  The house is clean, thanks to my mom paying a housekeeper, but it's like a freakin ghost town as far as upkeep and decor. We need to paint, inside and out. Furniture is falling apart. Blue is walking around in pajamas are now skin-tight, capri pants. I haven't bought him any new winter clothes.  I haven't even shopped for myself! And I'm a shopping queen.  The pajamas I'm wearing are at least 5 years-old. No holes in them yet, but I'm sick of looking at them! I don't have time, energy or focus on anything other than how I'm gonna get this clueless kid out of my house!  The bacon is just really the straw that is breaking my back.

As I was steaming, I thought what can I do to get my point across to this boy. Should I take his food and eat half of it so that he can see how it feels?  What should I do? He has got to learn. I have to be firm.  I decided that the consequence for his actions was that I refused to take him to the camera store after therapy that afternoon.

He tried his best to muster up a meltdown. I told him, "Go ahead and have it. I don't care.  But if you don't get your shit together in the next half-hour, I will not be taking you to therapy either. I will just cancel or call your father and ask him to take you."
NO!!! Not dad!

Slowly he pulled it together. He apologized again and again, which I really didn't buy.  It felt like a manipulation to get me to change my mind about the camera store.

When we finally got in the car to go to therapy, he had reconciled that we would not be stopping.  He ended up offering to take me to lunch --to a sit-down restaurant.  I mean, as in actually paying for my lunch, which he has NEVER done.

Quite frankly, I told him I would think about it. I really didn't know if I wanted to sit down and have  meal with him. I was just so disgusted, I thought I might gag over lunch.  At the same time, I could really use a glass of wine to calm my fried nerves.

While he was in therapy, I decided to accept his invitation. We went to the Cheesecake Factory. I ordered my wine. He asked to use my laptop to look something up, which meant I didn't have to listen to him perseverate. It was perfect! Until my phone started ringing over, and over and over again.
My mom called. Blue called. My husband called. My neighbor called. With everyone calling I figured there was some crisis and I better answer.  Mom wanted to tell me that the smoke detectors were going off.  My husband was gone and she couldn't reach him. Blue wanted to ask me to bring him something to eat. So NOT happening. My neighbor was having what she thought was either a panic attack or a heart attack and wanted me to check on her boys if she ended up in the hospital.

I told mom to send Blue next door to a neighbor to help with the smoke detectors. I talked my neighbor down to a calm state where she decided, she just might be o.k. But of course, I would check on her boys if need be.

After that, I sent Red next door to Barnes and Noble and ordered a second glass of wine! I sat there alone, and tried to decompress a bit.

On the way home, we stopped by to check on my neighbor.  Luckily for her, she was resting and not up cooking for her boys.  Otherwise, I may have throttled her and given her that heart attack.

I came home and crawled directly into bed.  Less than 5 minutes later, Blue came into my room screaming because his brother was singing in the shower.  I screamed louder than him. Sometimes, you just have to out-meltdown your kid.  I also added in a few expletives. *Warning, this could turn out badly, but in the moment, it felt like a chance worth taking.

"Do you want me to jump out of that fucking window? Well, you better get out of here and leave me alone!"

After an episode of the Beverly Hills Housewives, my nerves calmed a bit and I felt horrible about what I said to Blue.  I apologized this morning.

These are the confessions of a depressed, lunatic mom.

Just one more thing, although I am pretty severely depressed these days, I want you all to know that I never consider hurting myself or others.  I do sometimes think about slapping Red silly.  Though I know it wouldn't do any good, other than making me feel a little better.  (That's humor for you literal people.)


Friday, November 28, 2014

No Thanks Giving

The next time I spend a holiday with Red will be at his house, with his wife and children. I will sit there and whine and complain about how boring everything is, how disgusting the food looks, what I don't want on my plate. I will talk about how I will throw up if I eat one green bean. I will scream how unfair my life was while I was raising him. Then I will laugh manically all the way home.

In the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I knew that I should have sent him away, or I should have gone away. I looked in to tickets to California for me and Blue. When I brought it up, I got the major guilt trip from my mother. "What am I supposed to do while you're gone?" 
"Um ...you could go with me and stay through Christmas with your son." She wasn't trying to hear that. 

She has not picked up on the fact that our family can not always be traditional. We can not enjoy all being at home, for extended amounts of time without there being some fall out. Simple holidays at home don't happen unless one or more people leave this house. 

Life got hectic with my husband's travel schedule and everyday details. Before I knew it, Red was scheduled to work and I was tasked with figuring out how he would get to and from work. Getting away was looking bleak. 

Wednesday morning after sleeping for 8 hours, I woke up still exhausted. I wondered what the heck was going on with my body? Why was I still so tired? Ha! Depression much?  Whether or not I wanted to be depressed, my body clearly was. That evening while I tried to do some food prep, Red came down and started being nasty and negative with his mouth. Clearly he wanted to pick a fight with me. I couldn't take it. I got up and went upstairs and went to bed. 

That night I wrote on Facebook...

"I think my body is revolting against my preparing Thanksgiving dinner. I tried. I got as far as seasoning the turkey. Pray that I get it together by tomorrow, or that we find reservations. I'm out ..."

I woke up Thursday morning feeling somewhat energized. He woke up Thanksgiving morning with the same nastiness. Yelling, angry, and being argumentative with everyone. 

My brother called in the middle of his yelling, telling people to shut up, etc. As, I told my brother what was going on, Red ran up the stairs to his room. He knew my brother would want to talk to him and he did not want to hear what he had to say. 

A few minutes later, my brother/his uncle called him on his cell phone. After their conversation, Red came down and apologized to everyone. 

We had peace for the next several hours while I cooked my ass off. Seriously...I have very little ass left. 
Blue helped me make the stuffing.
Doesn't he look thrilled?
I made everything. Turkey, tenderloin roast, stuffing, sweet potato pudding, macaroni and cheese. My mom made the green beans. Blue helped me with the stuffing, which has several steps and he did great. Everything else was on me. Red was in his room doing whatever. He was quiet and that's all I cared 
about.
My perfect tenderloin roast marinated with fresh basil and rosemary
At about 6 o'clock Red emerged, hungry, grumpy and once again yelling. "This day is so boring! Why is it so boring? Why don't we have any company? Why didn't we have a party! This is the most boring Thanksgiving ever!" 

"We don't have company because I never know exactly how you're going to behave. Up until yesterday, I didn't know if I would have enough strength to prepare a meal, much less entertain guests. How can I plan ahead of time for a party when I'm constantly dealing with your antics? You want to know why their is no party? Your behavior is why we have no party!" 

I ended up sending him upstairs with his dinner. I refused to have him frowning and screaming at my table. By the time I actually served dinner, I was just totally spent. Everyone was going on and on about how delicious everything was. I couldn't even really taste it. I made this beautiful tenderloin roast that I had been dying for.  I did not eat one bite. Half-way through the meal, salty tears filled my eyes and eventually my plate. I was thoroughly, disgusted.

My husband was an angel. He held me, poured me a drink and encouraged me to go lay down. Blue was a real trooper. He thoroughly enjoyed everything that I prepared. When he saw that I was upset I heard him ask his dad, "Is she o.k.? Did I do anything?" Later, he came to my bedroom to see about me and asked if I was o.k. 

A few weeks ago I wrote about the fact that it is time for Red to go.  It's time for him to move out of my house and into some kind of supported living environment. Since then, I've been busy hooking him up with services through different agencies, trying to get that ball rolling towards getting him the support that he needs. I wanted to put him into the best possible situation, so that he can go on from there and thrive. 

A few minutes, after my husband told Red how much he had upset me, he was banging at my door, demanding that I open it.  He did not care about how bad I was feeling. My exhaustion meant nothing to him. As usual,it was all about Red. 

Hours later, when he came to apologize there were still excuses. "People in high school treated me like crap. That's why I behave this way." The excuses nullified the apology. For once in your life, take responsibility for your actions. 

I'm done. I don't care where he goes or how perfect the situation is, I just want him away from me. I have to think of my own mental health. I will be working overtime to make his departure from this house, a reality. 





Friday, November 21, 2014

Ferociously Facebooking

Why do I blog  and Facebook so ferociously? I am desperately trying to understand and be understood. I'm connecting with people who get me, and I get them.  I feel their pain and I know that so many of them authentically feel mine.  It's crazy to feel connected to so many people all over the world who are going through some of the exact same things that I am going through.  I know it's insane, but it's also incredibly real.  We laugh together.  We cry together. I absolutely get high from the laughter everyday.  It makes this crazy life seem a little less crazy when you can find the humor in it. Oh ...and the high of sharing the laughter and brightening someone's otherwise dark day, gives me a buzz.  I'll admit it. I'm addicted.  It's like one of the genuinely good feelings in my lonely days.

It's also sad. Sometimes it even feels pathetic, that some of the people I feel closest to, I've actually never met. It just is what it is for now.  I feel like the good things that come from it, far outweigh the negatives.

No one in my real life, totally gets what I'm dealing with. I'm always out there searching, trying to understand, trying to do whatever I can to help my boys.  I'm looking for answers to their questions, to my questions, looking for the right things to say and what not to say to make things worse.

My husband gets it but doesn't get it.  He's too busy working to really get it. Then he thinks I'm always making excuses or them. That really pisses me off.

O.k. so maybe at some point I made excuses for them, but I've learned that lesson.  Time is short! One is an adult, and the other one will be sixteen before I can blink my eyes! The last thing I want to do is make excuses for them.  Their issues are real.  They're not imagined. They have huge pockets of intelligence.  That doesn't take away their challenges, their different way of seeing and experiencing the world.  Their intelligence does not deem their challenges null and void. I want to understand how to help them to help themselves!

My mother (another story altogether) really doesn't get it as much as she may want to. I know I've said this before, but this is my rant.  She actually ends up adding to the headache. Imagine having your mother as an audience to all of your conversations with your teenagers. Then top that with their autism and lack of filter.  Oh and the cherry is that she also has no restraint and will say anything at anytime.  She's like uninvited audience participation in my own house. How the hell did I get myself into this situation? How did this become my life?

Yeah. Don't answer that. I love her. I'm blessed to have her. Yada. Yada. Yada. I'd like to have her down the street, in an apartment.

I work to put their supports in place and I'm actually quite proud of our team.  Just last night I had his Job Coach, his Occupational Therapist, one of his high school teachers, and our Transition Coordinator at our house for a meeting.  All here on their time off, supporting him! I am eternally grateful for this team of people.  There are so many kids left out there hanging, with ignorant parents who don't get them and have no idea how to help them.
My Facebook and blog community parents, mostly moms and a few awesome dads of kids on the spectrum actually understand this life.

Damn right! I don't want to hear the opinions of ANYONE who doesn't actually live my reality. And my reality is different than anybody else's reality because these are MY children with autism. Each of them is uniquely challenged. There is no one else exactly like them, so if you're not an expert who's studied, or worked with them.  If you're not some one who's actually living this, you really can just shut the f- up! I don't want your 2 cents.

If you want to give your 2 cents to the help pay the experts, pay for medications and many other bills that come along with autism, you can do so by shopping Amazon with me.  Just Click the link below or use Amazon Search above.

End rant...

Shop Amazon with Confessions

Monday, November 17, 2014

Trapped

Last night I heard myself say the words out loud. "I do it because I'm trapped, not because I enjoy it." 

Wow! What an awful truth to hear coming out of your own mouth. It's that time of the month where thoughts fly out of my mouth without any edit. Obviously, the thoughts are floating around in my mind.  Only, most people don't let the world in to their most private thoughts. Apparently, I do. Hazard of being a writer, I guess. 

Last night I made a pot-roast for dinner in the crock-pot. It turned out rather well, I think. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, except for Red. He wouldn't even entertain trying it, with the gravy, vegetables and all. I've never made a pot-roast before in my life. It's not really the kind of dish that I would think of making, but on Friday at the grocery store they made the recipe and were handing out samples. It was good as pot-roasts go. It had the tangy taste of red-wine in the sauce. I knew it was going to be a cold weekend. I wouldn't want to go out, so something in the crock-pot would be an easy idea for Sunday dinner. 

If I'm honest with myself, I don't even like Sunday dinner unless someone else cooks it. The best idea for a Sunday dinner is going out to a nice restaurant, but not with the entire family. That's not fun. At all. 

I go through the motions most Sundays because I know that my mother enjoys it. Hubby appreciates a good, hot meal. Blue loves food.period. Red doesn't appreciate a god damned thing. Never really has and probably never will. I certainly don't cook with him in mind. 

My mom complimented the meal and followed up by saying something like, "You should enjoy cooking. You're a homemaker, a wife, a mother and a caregiver." Where does she get this 1950's bullshit? 
She couldn't believe her ears when I said, "I do it because I'm trapped." 
"What did you say?" 
I repeated, "I am trapped by the decisions I made a long time ago. I don't cook for this family, because I enjoy it. I cook because I feel an obligation to do it."  And that's the ugly truth. 

My husband heard me say it and brought it to my attention this morning. Yeah. I said it. I'm sure there are moments that you feel the exact same thing. In fact, I know there are moments that you do. The difference between you and me, is that you get to walk away twice a month on an all expenses paid business trip, to a nice quiet hotel room.  

This marriage and raising children thing is no picnic. It is not for the weak who easily walk away when it's not fun anymore. It was actually kind of fun when the kids were young, cute and didn't talk back. And my babies were really, really cute. Adorable. Most beautiful babies ever, even.
See! Really Cute! 
I do enjoy caregiving ...sometimes. In fact, I have been known to often over do it. I was the mom who made warm cookies when the boys came home from school. I enjoy putting a smile on my husband's face when I bring him a hot cup of coffee ...sometimes. Sometimes, I enjoy being his team mate. 

However, standing for hours to prepare a meal, only to have it gulped down in less than five minutes, while listening to arguing, smart-assery, or 'What is this? It looks disgusting!" ...is not my idea of enjoyment. 

Am I really trapped? No. If I was not a responsible person, I could walk away from my obligations. While I'm here, I can take breaks and find moments of happiness and fulfillment. I can make more of a concerted effort to make that happen more often. Sometimes, I can pay someone to do the stuff I no longer enjoy doing.  

Do I love my family? Of course, I do. I want to see them happy. I want to them to leave the nest knowing how to fly.  
Do I enjoy everything that it takes to get them to that point? 
No. I certainly do not. 
Do I want them to leave the nest like ...yesterday?
Abso-freakin-lutely!

In fact, I'm counting down the days until that happens.  

Help support the blog ...click below to shop Amazon for the holidays 

Shop Amazon with Confessions

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Aspergers at a Party

This weekend we took Aspergers to a party and we really had fun!


Pretty flowers from the party
I realized last night, that the majority of my blog posts lately have been about Red. He has been the biggest pain in my ass -the source of most of my frustration  --and for that, he has received a lot of the limelight and attention lately.  It's sad but true. I hardly have anything left over after dealing with him. So poor Blue has been out there surviving the best he can, without much help from me.It's actually a really good thing.

I have to say, while Red may be a quite a Mama's Boy, Blue is so much more independent. It brings a huge smile to my face every morning as I hear him get up on his own, before I get out of bed. He goes downstairs, makes his breakfast, packs his lunch and is ready for school on time every single day! He is using his supports at school -his Case Manager, his favorite science teacher (who helped him start a club for kids on the spectrum), Mrs. E. who worked with him at home quite a bit over the summer. (She also teaches in the behavioral program at the high school.)

I don't get phone calls from the high school during the day.  He handles his business, including his grades and homework with zero prompts from me! He even takes his showers without me reminding him. He and Red are like night and day. 

So over this past weekend, my best friend was having this fancy smancy party. Her teenage girls who Blue has known since he was a toddler were going be there, along with a number of their friends from school. Since I can never leave Blue and Red at home together I thought,lets bring Blue along

But what if it's socially awkward for him with the girls when they are surrounded by their high school friends? Then he'll just feel bad (and want to talk to me the whole time). Let's also bring his best friend Jake. At least they will have each other to talk to and hang out with.

I love, love, love Jake! He is also on the spectrum. He is has such an inquisitive mind, a great sense of humor, a love of music and of course, he's not shy at.all.

The party is a blast! Jake jumps right in with every adult he meets saying, "Hi. So did you go to high school in the 80's or the 70's? What year did you finish? So that makes you (such and such) age. (Which of course, he nailed on the head every time. Sorry ladies if you didn't want to talk about your age.)  Did the kids where a lot of long hair back then? Did the guys have facial hair?" And so on.

Blue introduces Jake to the girls.  The boys were actually pretty social mostly with T's friends, who are in their last year of middle school.  According to Blue, they were a little more approachable than the high schoolers who were B's friends.

There was a moment during the party when Blue came to me and says, I haven't had a chance to talk to B~ all day. She's been around all of her friends.  "Guess what kid? I haven't talked to her mom (my best friend) very much either. She's entertaining a number of guests. I can't expect for her to stand around talking to me the whole time. That kind of comes along with the territory of a big party." He got it and let it go for the moment. When things slowed down at the end of the night he finally got a few words in with B~.

The boys roamed around, enjoying the free flowing food, drinks and the live band. There was even a video game truck. Every once in a while, Jake would disappear. We would find him at the piano inside the living room of the house playing Beatles, Eagles and other 70's rock songs by ear.  

When the party ended and most of the guest left, we were invited to stay for more wine and hot pizzas. Jake pulled out his guitar and played.  The few people who lingered behind made requests and sang along. It was awesome!

The funniest thing about the party that I noticed was that I actually had to take quite a few sensory breaks. There was a live band, and even a belly dancer who coaxed me out onto the dance floor for a little belly dancing lesson.  Some of us have much more belly to work with than others. I'm just sayin.  

I met and had conversations with a lot of interesting people, including a Neuro Scientist (totally held my own through that conversation). After a while, I had to find a quiet place just to sit, hide and decompress. This NEVER happened to me when I was younger. I was always the life of the party. The more talking with friends, meeting people, dancing and drinking the better!

I don't have Aspergers.I have self-diagnosed myself with A.D.H.D, which I've probably always had. I also have a smidgen of anxiety, that came along with motherhood. And yes ...I was the one who needed sensory breaks.

My world has changed so much. As I approach 50,I am constantly barraged by noise, chatter, arguing, preaching, talking, fighting.  I no longer thoroughly enjoy the constant loud noise of a party or a nightclub. I have to find a quiet place to pull myself together (a bathroom, an empty chair in a corner.) I find a pet or a baby to play with. I'd much rather sit one on one having a glass of wine or a cocktail or three, with a few of my girlfriends than be at a big party.

I have also given myself a diagnosis of P.T.T.D. (Post Traumatic Talking Disorder). Really. It's a thing. Just ask any mom of an Aspie.  It comes from living in the war zone that I call home, where it is almost never quiet. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"You Have No Power Here"

This morning I am publishing part of the little love note that Elizabeth Gilbert wrote on her Facebook page today (9/11/2014).

Though Liz is not a mother, I think that this message is so vitally important to us parents in the trenches trying to raise our kids.  In fact, just on Sunday I made this meme for my followers on my own Confessions Facebook Page . I thought it was so ironic that Liz posted a letter with this very same theme today. Of course, she spells it out much more eloquently than I ever could.

Many of us continue to try to no avail, to control our children. However, there comes a point in their lives somewhere close to the teenage years, where we as parents are really no longer in control.  We are guides, we are examples, we are counselors, we are consultants.  We can not make them believe what we believe. We can not force them to have the same values. They just are who they are, imperfections, unlearned lessons and all.

Sometimes, trying to force them to be who we want them to be, has the exact opposite effect and can even be damaging to their spirits.  A  parent can try to control a child's behavior, but you can not control who your child really is at their core especially, as they grow closer and closer towards adulthood.  You may be controlling their behavior when they are in front of you.  However you may be causing them to lie to you and sneak around in order to be who they really are as soon as they're out of your sight. I've seen this in some of my children's friends. I went through that myself with a controlling mother.  No thanks. I'd rather know the truth about what my kids are doing and who they really are. Even if I don't like it.

Some lessons we are not meant to teach, no matter how much we want to. For example, no matter how much I want Red to want to take a shower daily, he doesn't want that for himself, so it doesn't happen. No matter how much I want him to learn to spend money more wisely, he has to make his own mistakes with his finances. Some things, he will just learn on his own, in his own way, or from someone other than me. I can not control everything!

I am currently working hard on a couple of new mantras...
"Karen ...just stay out of it!"   (Even when you see the train wreck coming from miles away.)
The second one is ...
"I am the the only person that I can control."

Here in part is Liz's letter...
(Yes. I call her Liz. She's like a personal friend and I'm like her stalker.)

"Dear Ones -

During Oprah's speech at the Life You Want Tour, she quotes Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz, in that fabulous moment when Glinda banishes The Wicked Witch of the West with this line: "You have no power here." 

Oprah was talking about how important it is in your lives to be cognizant of where you have power, and where you do not. She said that so much of the stress and pain we bring into our lives comes from trying to interfere in other people's energy fields — trying to meddle in domains where we simply have no power. 

The truth, of course, is that the only energetic domain in which you have any power is your own. You don't have power over your spouse, over your parents, over your neighbors, over your co-workers. Even regarding your own children, there will come a moment when you realize that you no longer have any power over their energetic domain (and for most parents I know, that moment comes a lot sooner than they are expecting it, and is often a shocker) And trying to hold power (even with the best of intentions) over other people's lives will bring you — and them — nothing but suffering.

Ask yourself how much of the pain you suffer in life is because of something you wish somebody else would be, or do, or fix, or transform. Your friend who needs to stop drinking. Your brother who needs to get a job. Your mother who can't let go of her bitterness and rage. Your father who can't open his heart to love. Your daughter who can't stay in a relationship for more than six months. Your son who needs to change his diet and move to a new city and find a good church and get away from those bad-influence friends of his. 

The fact is: You're probably right. All those people may indeed need to make exactly those changes. Obviously, their lives would be better for it. Any fool can see that. 

But it's not your domain.

And meanwhile, you're leaking energy, when what you really need to be focusing on is your own power, your own life (which is hard enough to manage, and has its own set of problems that really require your full attention...as any fool can see.) 

I have been guilty of this forever. I have a history of getting deeply, profoundly, aggressively over-involved in other people's energy fields — losing sleep and peace over my worry and judgment about other people's lives. (Or, rather, I should say, losing sleep and peace over MY PERCEPTION of other people's lives.) Getting involved where I have no power. Neglecting my own growth and development because I'm too busy minding somebody else's business. Making myself sick with anger or disappointment or sorrow or frustration over how somebody else has behaved. Often destroying relationships because I go around messing where I have no right to be messing. (I don't care if it's out of love and concern — I still have no right to be making myself crazy by getting involved in somebody else's energy field.) 

You have no power in their domain.

You have no power in their energy field.

You have no power over their choices. 

You have enough trouble (I remind myself) managing your OWN energy field. So focus on the one person in the world you can somewhat control (YOURSELF) and stay the hell out of their business.

We must love each other. We must be kind to each other. We must be generous in act and spirit with each other. But for the sake of grace and sanity, WE MUST LET EACH OTHER BE. (Or else somebody might drop a house on you, too — as our friend Glinda would warn with a smile...) 

ONWARD,
LG" 

Isn't this just the perfect message? It's definitely not just for parents.  Even Blue could use this valuable lesson, as the young man who tries to completely control the world and his environment.

Again, I left some of her words out. You can read the entire letter on  Elizabeth Gilbert's Official Facebook Page (post from 9/11/14).  If you are not following her on FB or Twitter ...you should be. She's full of all kinds of wit, wisdom and inspiration.  She feels like a kindred spirit to me --a much smarter, inspiring, sister from another mother.