Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I'm reading a book on Borderline Parents, and it's sad that my mom embodies all of the subsets of the borderline person (waif, queen, hermit, witch). I feel kind of upset that I'm back to reading books on psychology to validate my experiences. To keep telling myself, "It did happen".
I spend my days looking for work and meticulously cleaning up after myself. Mom is rarely home. I guess she feels driven out by her child who is trying to be invisible. Read up on BPD, the histronics these people exhibit is insane. What's really scary is that I could become just like her. So I have to watch how I deal with my son, how I deal with others.
I've been re-evaluating my relationship with my brother today. I've always considered us to be close, hell Mom forced us into it. But I am hurt by the fact that he can only admit Mom's abuses to me in private. When asked to say it to the family, he claims they already know. Well if they do, then they must think it's all okay...because no one has ever spoken up in my defense. The women in my family on my mom's side are notorious for trying to screw with their children, especially their daughters.
I've ceased communication with my brother, because each time I try to break free of my mom's abuse, he tells me I'm just like her. That's his way of keeping me quiet. Little did he know that I almost didn't have kids...because I was afraid I'd be an abuser. People, words have power.
My brother has always played the middle ground. My strongest witness, and the most he can do is claim that he tells mom about herself. It's not doing any good, mom still feels that I've made my entire childhood up. No, she insists. I think she knows the truth. When you try to bring it up, she'll attempt to self-destruct.
But right now I'm thinking about my relationship with my brother. Was it abusive as well?
Sure he meant well. He protected me from bullies, and he at least admits mom treated me unfairly. But I also got tied up, put in the trunk of the car, once he hit me so hard it left a knot for days. I've had dirty socks stuffed in my mouth. But the worst of all has been the ridicule. Every time my brother did something to me, he told me, "you know you want to laugh", and being a child, the power of suggestion did me over. So for years, I have been laughing as he has laughed at me. He often refers to me as his "psycho sister", and is very condescending about my "book learning". I don't understand why.
One of the most enduring pieces of his ridicule has been him teasing me when I danced. He always told me I had no rhythm. But I have loved dance and longed to dance all my life. Shirley Temple was my idol, because she could sing and dance, and so could I. My childhood was filled with dreams of being the first black girl to play Annie on Broadway. My brother laughed it away, my mom beat it away.
I hope that one day I can regain all that I have lost at the hands of my family, both those overt in their abuse and those who were covert, in that they let it happen. I really do not like that I have to deal with this stuff all over again. I thought I was free. I guess I was wrong.
One thing about having a borderline parent is that you do not know how to have healthy relationships. I will not even presume to say that my relationship with Steve has always been healthy. But he's stifled me far less than my family has. And our love for our son has changed a lot. That little boy does not deserve to suffer like we have. Steve had his own hard road to travel as a kid. I'm still cracking open that Pandora's Box.
Every day that I'm blessed to get up, I'm going to mark off the previous day on the calendar...if I didn't do that before going to bed. And then I'm going to do whatever it is I have to do that day, until I find myself ready for bed. Before I know it, summer will be here and we will be leaving this place forever.
Apparently the best way to survive this war is to make myself as invisible as possible, to give my mother nothing to complain about. Which strangely enough upsets her.
At this point in time, I exchange few words, make no eye contact, and I have erased evidence of my presence from every room in the house except the bedroom that I sleep in. My son's high chair is still in the dining room, but apparently Mom likes to pretend she has a grandchild and not a daughter. So long as she doesn't try to hurt him to get to me, that's fine.
My room is immaculate. Occasionally she sees me picking up lint balls off the floor (they have wood floors...dust magnets), or washing something, and I see her tense. It'd be so much easier for her to complain if I was as sloppy as she says. But now there's nothing to complain about. And I plan to keep it that way.
I managed to set up a little workspace in the bedroom; I'm looking for jobs when Steven is at school. Hopefully soon I'll find something. Preferably before the holiday season. I could use a routine right about now. Anything to keep me out of the house when my son is not here to take up my time and attention.
Onto Steven...something good to think about:
Steven is really doing well in school. He likes to color now, so I went out and got him a whole bunch of crayola twistables crayons. I have to keep him from eating the wax, though. But he loves to scribble. He loves the colors. They read every day in school, so I think that he'll finally be ready for me to read to him from books other than the ones on my nook (he was attracted to the glowing screen). I plan to read to him nightly, he has a pretty good book collection.
Big Steve and I talk when we can, and we see each other when we can. The distance is hard, realizing the circumstances behind it is even harder. But I feel like the situation is going to cement our family bond. It was our child that caused us to reconsider, and discussing him and his future is always a favorite thing for us to do. The pastor at my church said to read your children, not script them. I think that both Steve and I were scripted. Me, especially. At least Steve's mom loves him and will allow him to make his own decisions. She even accepted our marriage. I was shocked at that.
One day at a time. I just keep telling myself, one day at a time. I'm reading a book on dealing with a borderline parent, I really feel like my mom has BPD. I guess I'm back to just coping. But it'll all get better. I'm determined to morph into who I'm truly meant to be, to break this cycle of just coping with pain from day to day. It doesn't have to be that way.
I think the reason why it's so hard right now, is because I've had a tentative taste of freedom, even though things were not easy in that situation either. Anything other than Mom has always been the lesser evil. But Mom knows that too, and deep inside she's fighting to keep me imprisoned, while I'm fighting like hell to escape. She knows this goodbye will be the final one. But it needn't be that way if she could only admit to what she's done. Just tell me I'm not crazy. Still, she'd literally rather die than do that. She'd rather keep up the oppression. So I must needs go.
Monday, October 10, 2011
I fully admit that I struggle with depression, anxiety, and now paranoia. I don't believe in hiding my anger. I don't always express it loudly, but I express it.
Apparently now that I just don't speak to my mother, and I shuffle through my day, not asking for anything and not hoping for anything, my mother feels unsafe in her own house.
Of course this is but another of her carefully orchestrated lies. Since she's not getting the normal reaction out of me, she's recruiting new troops in her war against me (people I thought I could trust), and laying the foundation that I'm plotting to do her harm.
I just want to escape. I never wanted to come back here.
It's hard, not knowing if tomorrow my son and I will be put out because I refuse to play in the farce. I just hope I can find work soon. Meanwhile I'm doing my best to give her nothing to complain about...which only angers her. Is that not sick? I'm trying to do what she wants...leave no trace of my existence in this house. I clean more than she does, ask for no rides, cook when they're not around, and stay in the room I sleep in. I come out to run errands, take Steven to the park, go to the doctor...things like that. Then I retreat.
But it's not good enough. I'm alive and determined to have a happy ending to my life, and my mother will stop at nothing to destroy that.
Yet she is afraid.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Perhaps that's why the game of Minesweeper that is my life, I keep failing at utterly. I don't have any more limbs left.
Seriously, I do not want to be a drama magnet...I don't. I don't!
But the roller coaster crests yet another hill, and my stomach flies up into my throat.
It turns out that someone I thought I could trust I cannot, someone I thought I'd never trust again I'm clinging to for life, and some folks just haven't changed in that one is just as evil as ever, and the other will always use denial as a shield.
Since coming back to my mother's house, it seems like I've ended up back where I started. Suddenly that rundown apartment doesn't seem as bad after all. I'll take a cardboard box to the emotional pain I deal with constantly here. Being told essentially that I'm psycho, that I've invented a false reality. The sad thing is, that even though I felt every beating, I felt the razor on my wrist, I felt the tubes down my throat when they pumped my stomach, I felt the taunts and teasing, I felt the loneliness and depression....
I still wonder if they're right, that I'm really THAT crazy, and none of it ever happened. They are so insistent, that I question myself sometimes.
But then my mother pulls more of her shit, and I bounce back to the present.
I've never really put in one place everything that this woman has done to me to make me hate her so. Perhaps I should now, in case someone wonders, then they can refer back to this.
SO WTF IS GOING ON?
My mother had me only for the purpose of keeping my dad around. She got pregnant to snag him, she got pregnant again hoping to keep him. Mom resented her life at home, and sought a man and the chance to play house as an escape. She and my dad divorced when I was 7. I'd been watching them fight for years before that, Daddy was sleeping in the basement years before that, if he was even home.
When Daddy left, Mom turned on me.
I got beaten for missing him. I got beaten when she had a bad day at work. I got beaten for mixing her cold cream with her blush to see what color it made (I was like, 8). I got beaten for putting my bread crusts under the carpet in the living room (I thought they'd disappear) once, when my brother wouldn't cut them off my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Beatings comprised of stripping me naked and hitting me as hard as she could with a belt or switch until SHE was tired. I was expected not to cry...not that I ever succeeded with that. She would draw out the agony of waiting, I'd know before she got home what was coming, and I'd be forced to wait for her while she "got comfortable". She'd tell me her father didn't beat clothes, so neither would she. She taught me to be ashamed of my body, I have never felt comfortable being naked in front of my mother. When she was done, she'd leave the instrument of abuse on the radiator downstairs and tell me that she wasn't finished with me.
Hell, I even got beaten for throwing up at dinner. I had a sensitive stomach, and if I didn't finish it all, I got beaten. If I gagged, I got threatened. Once she made me eat something out of the trash can that I'd thrown in there.
My mother was the ultimate imposing figure in my life. She was God and the Devil. I feared her, hated her, and longed for her to just be nice to me and love me.
She beat me until I became her size. Then the abuse just continued on psychologically. Still, she called me names and berated me from childhood. I was "stupid", "lazy", "worthless", "good-for-nothing", and the biggest insult of all "just like your father". This was the biggest dart she had, because I knew she hated him as much as I loved him.
My dad was gentle, yet ineffective. He never beat me, but he never saved me either.
I grew up hearing aunts laugh about how upset my mom was when she found out she was having me. Stupid women, they didn't realize I was smart enough to put things together. I started wondering at an early age why a mother would NOT want to have a child. And when I learned about abortion and adoption? Then I wondered why my mom hadn't done that, and what life might have been like, living with God or another family. Hell, when I was five I demanded to see my birth certificate. I thought I'd feel better if I knew I was adopted.
I had immense vocal talent as a child. My mom made a point never to encourage it. She said it was because she was made to sing. I tried to reason that I wanted to sing...that didn't do any good. I had musical outlets through chorus until I graduated high school...and then my talent died along with the dream of college. Mom said that she didn't want the Department of Education to steal her identity, hence she would not sign my financial aid forms.
I was suicidal by the age of 12, and that continued until I was in my early 20s. I cut, overdosed on all the meds I was prescribed (14 at one point). The answer to my ailments was so simple, I was depressed. CT scans, X-rays...I've been irradiated so much...and all because the doc was too cowardly to tell my mom she was an abusive bitch.
I got dragged into a dream when I was 13...mom married for opportunity, and off we went to Europe. For the first time I had a name; I wasn't just someone's child or sister. I began to blossom...and Mom killed that, too. She sent me home with the lie that I was on drugs and trying to seduce her alcoholic husband (happy 17th anniversary, you fools...). I didn't find this out for 15 years, and for 15 years her sisters have treated me like trash. When I had my stroke, they were still so scandalized by why my mom would send me 3,000 miles away from her to my father who couldn't afford to take care of me (she had to send me maxi pads and underwear...and that was my birthday present one year), that they believed her when she said I faked my stroke. How the hell do you fake yourself into intensive care? I almost died, and my family wasn't there.
While in Germany, Mom got upset that I learned German in six months and made friends. She hated my closest friend, often yelling at her to the point where the girl would break down in tears (mom told me she was crazy). On my 15th birthday, my mother came home from being out with my stepdad, storms into my room where I'm eating cake with friends, and starts screaming at me for no reason. I look up, and all my friends are gone. They were forbidden from coming to my house after that. But not from being my friend. Their parents understood that my mom wasn't a good person.
Mom hated every friend I made as a child. And when she learned that Jessi, my German friend was especially close to me, she sent me back to the States just to get me away from her. Just to be spiteful. No matter that all the things she claimed Jessi was lying to me about could be proven, no matter that I had the chance to go to college for free, and the chance to have a wonderful life abroad. She hated me that much, that she'd ruin all that. Then to top it off, she gave the empty promise that I could come back (I lived off that dream, school at my dad's was so horrible, the kids threw trash at me), and then faked being hurt that I was upset for the wrong reasons and not concerned with being with her. She said she honestly thought I wanted to come back to Germany to be with her. I had agreed to get a job, not see my friends, come straight home...just to last until age 18 there, so I could tell her to suck it and run.
I attempted suicide for the first time when she dropped that bomb on me. And her reaction? She drank a whole bottle of wine. Wow.
Mom had to keep painting stories to get my family to look away from my mental breakdown.
Her lies were so convincing, even my dad believed her for a while. When I was a teen, my depression was seen as dangerous. No one tried to help me, they just judged me. Those years were so lonely, I spent 17 hours a day in my room on school days, and the full 24 on weekends. I came out to eat and pee. When my dad died, somehow I got the blame. You see, I was that bad of a child.
And the ironic thing is, I was accused of trying to seduce a man who was grooming me for molestation. When I finally told my mom...she called me a whore behind my back. Funny thing is, she asked me (only because my brother was there) why I didn't tell her before. I told her I figured she wouldn't believe me. And it was convenient for her not to. This man used to stand NAKED at the foot of the steps leading to the lower level each day when I left for work. It scared me so badly. He would find ways to touch my butt, or catch me alone in a room. I used to pray for protection from the evil of that place. And my mom didn't even believe me. But when Woman Thou Art Loosed the movie came out, all of a sudden (in front of her friends) she was my advocate.
When I graduated high school, since I couldn't get financial aid, I started work, hoping I could pay my way through school. Well, I had never been taught to save (hell, I was never taught most things a female should know), so I spent what I wasn't paying mom in rent. I racked up debt. By the time I had paid it off and was able to sign my own FAFSA forms, I had had my stroke.
25 years old, thinking that I just can't win.
I paid this woman tens of thousands in rent, and she was telling her family that I wasn't paying a dime. I used to wonder why she got so upset at me laying the rent money on her bed...it was because she was telling my stepdad that I wasn't paying rent.
I finally escaped when I was 27. I pretty much pulled a move like her, being pregnant and moving in with the father...but we weren't married, and I actually wanted my child. Mom convinced me to move nearby "so she could help". At that time I still held out the hope that she'd care one day. I ended up moving out of that house with no help (Steve was coming from 60 miles in the opposite direction). My mom and stepdad sat and watched me carry every heavy thing alone.
I told myself I'd go to a shelter before I'd live with my mother again.
Mom has done her best to break me and Steve up. She thinks it's okay to spend his money, but I should not let him be a dad. Steve and I have had our own troubles, as laid out earlier in this blog, and they ultimately led me to leaving him twice, the second time landing me back here. My mother told the cops to go away, that she'd take care of me. But she hasn't.
The last time I had a seizure, she was downstairs playing frecell. The baby was running wild. Steve came from work and called 911 himself. But he's a deadbeat according to mom.
Mom told the whole world she was helping me....while doing nothing. I can't even go to the bathroom without having my son in there with me.
She's accused me of infesting her home with ants because I'm so filthy (um, I have to clean every day because my son eats things off the floor if given a chance). She said I gave her MRSA (we'd have had to have skin-to-skin contact for that, and she won't let me touch her...never has). She's now saying she's afraid for her life...because I have just stopped talking to and fighting her. For a minute, she was trying to get me to pay her rent out of my social security. The goal is to leave here! I have to save to do so.
I found out this week that for the past three months she's been talking with Lisa, a person I thought was my friend. Lisa had been pressuring me to go to therapy with my mom, her reasoning being that her adoptive mom was so much worse, and if she could forgive so could I.
Um, I'm not really mad about my past. I'm just tired of being asked to act like it didn't happen. It's really messing with me.
Well, Lisa and my mom have their bitterness towards men in common, and apparently last thanksgiving Lisa was listening to my mom a lot more closely than I was aware, as Mom sat at the dinner table over Thanksgiving and went on and on about how angry and disturbed I was.
So now they talk via cell phone behind my back. They'd made plans to bumrush me on Thanksgiving, but I found out about that. I won't be here. The reason for their ire? I'm back with Steve! I should be struggling on my own like them....to hell with how doing it on my own would affect my kid. I "coped"...so have other kids...so would my autistic son. But there not there as Little Man stares at Daddy out the window and freaks out when the bus takes him away.
But I'm supposed to make that a regular part of his life.
One day, when I was 14, I looked up a book on child abuse in my school library. I knew I was being abused. What I didn't know was that I was depressed and suicidal. Sure, I knew that I was sad and wanted to die, but I didn't know that these things had actual clinical terms. After reading this book, I went to the school guidance counselor, who recommended me to the school psychologist.
I've been in therapy for 16 years. It's the only place where I can talk about my reality.
That's all I really want, to say that it happened. I don't want to punish my mom (I want to move far away from her and not let her know where I'm going), I don't want to flay anyone.
I just want to be free to cry sometimes. That's all. I've held it in for 30 years. Do I have to wait until Mom's dead too to be able to speak freely?
I feel like every step I take is unsure. I never know when Mom is going to go whispering to her sisters, apparently my brother has chosen the side of abuse, he refuses to fully acknowledge what is going on. He wants me to "keep quiet". I'm sorry, but I must cry out.
Every day is like walking through a minefield in the world that includes my mom.
I want to be free. And I don't want the day of freedom to come when they bury her. That's too long to wait.
Monday, September 26, 2011
But now my son hangs on my neck, makes sure he's touching me before he goes to sleep at night, and kisses my forehead at least once a day.
When he's not getting into stuff. *laughing*
Like he is right now.
Will blog longer another time. Like when he's asleep.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Totally unrealistic, right?
Not to mention, it smacks of pride.
Every now and again I search out certain peers from my school days online, just to see how they are doing. I think I'm beginning to see the flaw in my thinking. I always search out the ones I envied to begin with, and with my life it's not hard to see people that you wish you could be. Few of my peers have seen the days I have. They've known the love and support of their parents, if not their whole families. People just don't realize what a platform to success that is. Unless you are a complete and utter brat, if you are loved and the people who love you point you in positive directions, you will fly somewhere.
Me, nobody bothered much with me. I can't say that no one taught me anything, because I did learn by observation, and by cause and effect, but I have rarely known someone I could call a mentor. I've had a few women in my life who took the time out to talk to me, and I will always be grateful for that...but I have been no one's apprentice. I miss having someone to look up to.
Tonight I realize that I need to get over my approval addiction. My purpose in life has nothing to do with the approval of others (in fact, I'll probably end up upsetting the apple cart many a time). So some of my peers lead these interesting, shining lives. My life is book-worthy, and one day I'll birth that book. I wasn't meant to be a singer. At least I don't think I was. That doesn't mean I won't ever lift my voice, but if I were supposed to devote my life to it, I think more opportunities would have come through by now. I'll leave that spotlight for my best friend.
I do know that one thing I am supposed to do is live my life as an example of the goodness of God, and to talk about/teach that goodness to others. I'm only 30, so I have a ways to go before anyone will listen to me. But meanwhile, I think if I can just focus on the future and keep moving, I won't get so disappointed and sad when someone else once again lives out one of my long-buried dreams. It really doesn't matter in the long-term scheme of things.
So I see other people doing great things. I try to do something great each day. What's important is not that a great number of people see, rather that the people closest to me benefit by it....and that God sees.
For a second there, I allowed myself to feel really small. But then I looked at the picture below and realized what a superwoman I truly am.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The first week was definitely an adventure. I was happy to see the beginning of the school year because it meant a break for me. Steven stopped going to daycare back during the summer, when Steve and I split. I was still very ill then, and barely able to keep up with him. These few hours of quiet I get each day, I truly treasure. I wasn't sure how I'd feel the first day of school (hell, Big Steve was in mourning), but I actually did pretty well. I didn't cry. Everyone said I was going to cry, but I was more proud than anything. It's been quite a journey, navigating Steven's developmental delays.
As time passes, I can read his cues better, and so can his father. Yes, Steve is still in our lives. Another blog for another time, but I quickly came to the conclusion that my son wanted him around. Steven is deliriously happy when both his parents are in the same place. He's also more bratty, but at least he's tag-teamed. The boy is quick, he can toss a chicken nugget and flee before you have a chance to go get it. Very scary for me, as I've discovered that more than half of all autistic kids bolt from safe places. No wonder my son wants to play in the street ALL THE DAMN TIME.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Follow me on my adventures with taking my autistic kid into loud, busy public places...
Some relationships have died out, while others have resurrected....
I LOVE EPILEPSY!!! (NOT)
Time to return to school.
A move in the future (out of state)?
Babymamadrama...and I'm not causing it. LOL
Tune in...once I get to a computer. I'm posting from my nook.
Yeah, I wait to long to post.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I love my son to distraction, I'd die without him, but honestly doing this by myself, and knowing as little as I do about autism is hard. Some of my family think it's something you "grow out of". My mom is morbidly amused by my struggles. I have a kid in his terrible twos, who cannot communicate to me AT ALL what it is that he needs and wants. Not to mention, I'm like crack to him, if he doesn't have a good dose of his mama every hour, he practically becomes catatonic. I'm the type of person who needs an hour of peace every night. And sleep doesn't count.
My friend Lisa has offered to come and spend time with him a couple of times a week. Though it's terribly difficult for me to accept help from others (those who were supposed to help me just made me feel worthless for having needs), I know that if I don't take her up on her offer, I may do something I regret. My son is like a cheese grater to my nerves right now. And it's not his fault, he is doing what his little soul and brain compel him to do, I have to keep that in mind. But when I'm trying to take care of normal bodily functions in peace, or even take a bath, and I can't do that by myself because my mom feels that watching him for five minutes is raising him, and again, I am my son's addiction....it gets hard.
I'm trying not to be bitter. I feel like coming back to my mom's house brought me full circle, only the circle was standing on its end, and I only went up to come back down. I told myself when I left here, I'd go into a shelter before I came back here. Well, Steven and I are family number 80. We were family number 93 last week. So at least there's progress there. Still, what is this house, but a gilded cage? Yes, there's money here, but money is as valuable to me as paper currency during the Second Coming. It's the support that's gold to me. I've learned to make do and be satisfied with very little materially...it's the things you can't buy that I hoard, because they come so few and far between.
My spirit is raw. I cannot concentrate on anything but my child when he's with me. If I don't keep constant vigil, he will be into something that is likely to kill him. There is no time to do anything other than read casually, and even that is sporadic. I used to be able to read a 600-page book in a day. School was a piece of cake. I need to go back to school. I only have two more years, and if I'm to be doing this by myself, I'm going to need a degree. Perhaps I'll double major. I want to keep my Christian Studies major, but now Early Childhood Education with an emphasis on Special Education is pulling me in that direction. Perhaps my child won't baffle me so much if I continue my studies through studying him.
Still, it's hard. Every time I smell that he's done #2, I pray that there's no poo on his fingers or elsewhere. I feel myself trying not to cry. I have to somehow overcome personality traits imbedded in me for years (I do not like to be touched when asleep...Steven needs to touch me at night for reassurance), so that my son doesn't feel any more lost than he probably already does.
I'm trying not to resent his father, but at least once a day I hate that man. Did I deserve to be lied to, to have every holiday ruined because someone else mistreated him? Did I deserve the ire of his mother, who seems to think I poured the alcohol down his throat? Did I deserve to have my life threatened? Do I deserve the daily contact, the inappropriate comments, the denial on his part? In his eyes, it's like none of that ever happened. There are no holes in the doors and walls of our old apartment. My son has never been witness to any fights. The reason why we split in his eyes is because we didn't have enough money to stay on our apartment. Perhaps had I not been as stressed, I would have been able to work. There were times when my health allowed me, but more often than not the stress overwhelmed me, and I remained bedridden. That's not an option now.
Still, had I stuck to what I knew was right, I wouldn't be in this situation....but neither would I have my son, and that child is honestly what's kept me alive the past 3.5 years. God took my mess and fashioned a miracle out of it. I would not be here if it were not for him. My family walked out on me for good when I got sick. With each new development in the saga that is our family dysfunction, I see more and more why they hate me. My son gave me love. He gave me a whole lot of need at first, but when I met that need, he looked at me one day and gave me love. You can't replace that. Every time I go into the hospital I worry about him. I keep avoiding the MRI I know I need to get, because there probably is a lesion on my brain....obviously not cancerous, but 2 weeks in the hospital....who would take care of him? No one knows him like I do, no one has tried. They can't feed him, they don't know his cues, and they definitely won't put up with being up half the night changing and soothing him. Perhaps Lisa would, but that day is going to have to be a long way off for now. I'll stick with the silent seizures. But if a Grand Mal one hits, I have no choice. It just sucks that the only hospital that can help me is 20 miles from my child.
The past two weeks have been especially hard, and I sadly admit I have not been the best Mom I could be. My patience has holes in it, and my son keeps sticking his fingers in them. I wrote a blog weeks ago that compared my situation to that in Matthew 25, and my son was "the least of these". I'm ashamed to say I have not been very kind to my Savior as of late. I just feel so lonely, so isolated. My family is not there, the two women I know who have raised kids on the Autism Spectrum live a ways away. My brother is the only relative I speak to candidly, and even he doesn't understand. Steven's father looks at him like he's a trophy. Many people think my kid is a toy, because he's so cute. He does this Puss In Boots thing with his eyes, they get big and change color when he's whining to get his way. I've noticed that of late. It's kryptonite to me.
Lord, take the scales off my eyes before I turn into my mother. I got beaten like a slave for things I could not help. My son can't help how he sees the world, and that will always be, no matter how tired or sick I may be. Not all of his antics are intentional. And he does see some value in me, even though I feel like the Abominable Snow Woman right about now. He just came in and gave me a kiss. Progress in and of itself from a child who used to not notice the presence of other people.
Somehow, I've got to find a way to gain peace in this storm. For his sake more than mine.
Now it's time to put him to bed. He just found another rubber tip to the door stoppers in the house, and was eating it. I think he's trying to tell me he's sleepy. :-) Heaven help me.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Perhaps it's not the best quality to have, perhaps it will end up causing me a lot of grief, but I honestly try to be a fair woman. Despite my differences with Steve, and even my fear of the man, I sense somewhere deep inside me that he does love his son, and have let him keep him the past two weekends with the condition that he would not drink. As of this moment, after looking at what was our bank account (I still have access), I'm not sure if he kept his promise. I have to admit that I'm very disappointed at that, but at the same time resigned. If this man has indeed lied to me, and if all that he has been telling me about wanting to heal has simply been words to lure me, then he is indeed as sick and demented as I have feared, and I must let him go. I trust that God will provide me with the strength to raise my son alone, He has already provided me with many resources to help Steven with his developmental delays, and for these things and people I am grateful. They are a huge help. This week I have felt an increase in my strength, and perhaps that is due to the lessening of stress in my life. Perhaps I won't have to go on disability, perhaps I will be able to work. Who knows? We shall see. Whatever the situation, I know it will work out.
Steve is vacating our old apartment and moving home to his parents. They now hate me, as does his wife (he's STILL not divorced, the date that he was to have his final decree was the date I had a seizure and had to go to the hospital...and he hasn't bothered to schedule another...or even save for the fee), and probably his daughters do too. Outside of the abuse that I've had to endure due to his frustration over his life and issues, the fact that these people show me such animosity over things that I just got caught up in but did not cause is a huge reason why I cannot continue a relationship with Steve. It doesn't matter how much we could be in love, I'd still have to deal with all of them. And their poison would spill over into our home life. I cannot do that to my son.
I know that when Steve moves home to his parents, his sense of worthlessness and victimization will increase, and his mother (who is his enabler) will help to exacerbate that, but she doesn't want to admit that she is the main reason why her son started drinking at 15. Rather, she will continue to blame the black women that her son is attracted to (the opposite of her). I told him to remember that the main reason why we moved in together in such haste (despite my misgivings) was because she was going to "drive him to the shelter" 3-and-a-half years ago. I told him to keep that in mind when she was trashing me over dinner. And to remember that my son would never set foot in that house again. I wouldn't put kidnapping past that old biddy.
I don't know what the future holds for him, I don't know what the future holds for me. But what I do know, is that while the seas may get rough for me and Little Man, I have my faith to steer my ship. Steve has no such thing and no willingness to develop such a thing. He has no desire to change his thought patterns, no desire to examine his life. I fear that in a year's time, he will either be in jail because he failed to complete the terms of his probation (and that will be my fault...after all I should never have called the cops after the first death threat, how dare I?), or he will be barely hanging on, drinking himself numb at night. Either way, I cannot expose my son to that. I will not.
I know his illustrious mother will not understand this, but if she pushes me, I will make her understand that her son is the monster that she made, and that my son will grow up to be no such thing.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Well, the fight that occurred over two weeks ago was the last one for me, and Fairfax County Police have failed to do their job for the last time, so Steven and I are refugees. I'm at my Mom's house, which is not where I want to be, but it's a necessary evil for now. Big Steve and I are on speaking terms, but that's just because I despise his wife and refuse to be like her, and am determined to be the bigger person, the Christian Woman that I've been suppressing through all of this, and a thorn in his mother's side (cow...excuse me, Lord...but she is a cow).
I warned Steve when he was pursuing me that I didn't think it wise to date because of my health, and he assured me that he would care for me. I was so lonely and scared that I fell for it. My family has not been there for me throughout any of this in any way, and I find my health faltering more and more as the years pass. Now I find out that I have a seizure disorder, just hauling my butt up and down the steps is hard, and I have to file for disability. I pray every day that it goes through this time. Please pray with me...if you pray. If not, just send some good vibes my way. I've been to the ER upwards of 100 times over the past four years, and it turns out every one of those visits minus about five were due to seizures. I've been hospitalized twice in the past two months alone because of it, this past month having blacked out for 3.5 hours straight. I can't keep going through this with a toddler.
I think all the lights went out in the proverbial house when Steve told me I was incapable. Hell no, I'm not. I'm stronger than people think I am. I showed my vulnerability because I thought it was okay to do so, but I've spent my entire life holding back tears, because I was raised around a person who beat weakness. She still feels that her problems are supreme, and though I don't take any more mess from her, I don't let her see my pain. I take my issues to God, and it's much more effective anyway. But he plucked my pride that day, standing there drunk telling me that the reason why he was throwing at tantrum was because he was so worried about me. Yeah. Whatever.
But honestly...I pity him. I may not have my life together the way I want it to, but at least I have the faith that I can get it there. I know things are going to work out. Steve does not have faith in anything. He speaks negativity into his life constantly, and doesn't understand why things suck so much for him. Not to mention his mom, she has contributed so much to his downfall. Yes, his wife cheated on him, stole his identity and brainwashed his kids, but join the single dad's club, dude! Men across America are going through the same thing, and they don't just lay down and take it. I'll never forget the night that Steve "told" me about his situation when we were first dating. We were in Outback Steakhouse. He said to me that he had daughters and asked me if I could handle that. It was 1.5 years into this mess before just about everything spilled out, and with each new revelation, more and more of his anger revealed itself too.
In all of my relationships with men, there has been some element of neglect, and recently abuse. I can't stand for that anymore. My dad didn't feel that it was necessary to be accountable to me, to show up when he said he would, to be honest with me, and ultimately to be there for me. I thought in my youth that I had to use my body to make a man love me. I had one man tell me that he couldn't be with me because I wasn't where he thought I should be in my career (ah, the look on his face when he saw me pregnant with my son...that was hilarious). And to be told by Steve that all I wanted to do was control him, and that to treat me decently would be to unman him. Well keep your manhood, dude.
I have a very long and difficult road ahead of me. I didn't want to come to my mother's house. But apparently in Fairfax County, the shelters have hours of operation, not to mention the cops are effing inept. And I told them that to their faces as they ejected me from MY HOUSE. "We can't make him leave because he's on the lease, but we would advise you to go, ma'am. For your safety." As I left, I told the cops that they were damn good at giving tickets, but absolutely useless at protecting women and children. And every time I see one of those blue cop cars with one of their arrogant occupants, I throw up in my mouth a little bit. I honestly do. From here, I will have to go into a shelter in order to get housing, because I will most likely be on disability before the end of the year. I simply cannot work right now. I am in constant pain, and have no energy whatsoever. My neurologist is tweaking my anti-seizure medication, and I have to get another MRI to determine whether or not I have a lesion on my brain. I shudder to think about the possibility of surgery.
Steven's life is a whole other story. He starts school in September to help him with his development. He won't even have turned three yet. He's talking a little bit more, but he's hesitant with it. He told me he loved me the other day, it had me on cloud nine all day. He has speech therapy now, and I have the county all in my business at this point with all the help I'm going to need to get on my own and keep services going for him. But for him I'd do anything.
Like I said earlier, his father and I are on speaking terms. I think deep inside Steve realizes that he and I are not compatible. He also realizes that he has problems. He also realizes that his life is messed up and needs fixing. I am hesitant, but I let him see his son. Partially because I need a break from time to time, but partially because I know that child is a lifeline for him. But I've made it clear that if he drinks around him I'll paint the walls of that apartment with his blood. I think he believes me. Steve accepts that I will call several times a day and that I demand pictures and updates by text until my trust is established, and it does help that the baby is five minutes away. Still, this past weekend was the first weekend Steve kept him, and I cried and prayed the whole time. But baby came home happy and none the worse for wear. When I dropped him off, he ran into the house, the place he's known as home since birth and didn't even notice me leave. When Steve dropped him off he squealed at delight over seeing me. I feel like Little Man's parents need to love him more than they may dislike each other, and distance definitely deflates animosity. Actually, I pity Steve when I don't have to live with him. Living with him breeds hatred. Probably on both sides.
Living with Steve I had expectations, and Steve probably felt like he could never meet them. Not to mention, we had nothing in common, and I'm sure Steve felt intimidated by my intellect. Most people do, and I refuse to "dumb down" to make someone feel comfortable. I'm not arrogant, but forgive me if I like Tudor history, it's what I like. Leave me to my Renaissance fair, and you stick to TruTV. You like what you like, and I like what I like. Whatever.
It was honestly getting to the point where I was thinking that the only thing we had going for ourselves was that we could settle our debt, have a small wedding, and buy a house so he could be on one level, I could be on another, and our son could float between. What type of life is that? And every time we argued, Steven would start stimming so badly. He doesn't do that so much anymore, he's so happy. The joy of my son is the greatest reward of the past few weeks, no matter how afraid I may feel.
One immediate benefit of all of this is that I gain my spiritual life back. I don't intend to jump back into dating any time soon, but I've learned a lot in the past three years. I see now why you seek out people who share your beliefs and outlook on life. I found myself making so many concessions over the years until I suddenly didn't know who I was, I was angry and had lost track of all my interests and dreams. Strangely enough, I had written a song (first time since my father had died) that turned out to be prophetic in nature. Just a few days before my split with Steve. I thought it had nothing to do with us, but the lyrics rang true. It's called "Why Are You Hanging Around?" I was so thrilled that my muse had returned, not knowing what else was coming.
I look forward to the future. Of course I'm scared, but I want to return to who I was before all this happened. I want to be the mother my son deserves, and I want to be true to myself as well. I know that everything will work out, and though sometimes the feelings of fear and loneliness may overwhelm, I know they are temporary. I just pray on it and move on. Because nothing is worse than being stuck in that situation. I thought I was supposed to stay for my son, I went back for my son, after climbing out of the bedroom window at midnight with him in my arms. I think part of Steve thinks that this whole situation is just a repetition of last year, but he is wrong. I am done. I hope it sinks in gently for him, because one slip up and he will never see his son again. I don't want to be harsh, but I must protect my boy. HE is the most important thing now. I have to preserve my life and health for him, but it is his future that matters.
Monday, May 9, 2011
I guess this is the way my life is supposed to be, and I kind of want it to be that way. I want to be able to help support my family financially, but given my health problems and the outlook it's given me I'm dead set against working myself into an early grave to get rich. All I want is a house big enough for us to be comfortable in, a car that runs decently, and no debt. I do not want the current American Dream of flashy things that keep you up at night worrying about how you're going to pay for them. I don't want to leave my son that legacy. Especially if his autism is such that he will be considered disabled.
Here's the short story. I've lost two jobs in 3 months due to being sick. What ticks me off the most is that the health problems come from a stroke I had on the job. I won't get into all the shady stuff this job did outside of harassing me in the hospital (they even called to see if the hospital had a notary, demanding I somehow get out of my bed and to that notary so I could get a notarized document in order for my mom to pick up my check...I'm calling the Dept. of Labor on them this week...not to mention all their paychecks are post-dated), and refusing to give me my check once I did get there (I ended up getting discharged last friday).
I'm tired of being treated like a machine. If I were in ideal health, it wouldn't be a problem. Our Nation is used to running 50+ hours a week on "E". But after the 12 hours of running around for someone else, I have no time for my child or my home, and my child needs me. And eventually my relationship with Steve will be beyond repair if we don't find time for one another. And what about my spiritual life? What good does it do me if I'm too tired to crack open my scriptures at the end of the day? What good is a hastily uttered prayer before I fall asleep? What type of walk is that?
My health is deteriorating. My migraines have changed; I've gotten used to being in constant pain and always tired. It's been this way for four years. Social Security told me "you just have headaches", and me not knowing how the system works, I didn't know to appeal. Not to mention I didn't have regular insurance so no doctor could track me. Now I do, and I've had plenty of tests, not to mention this recent hospitalization. But lately my body has just rebelled on me. I've been to the ER eight times since mid-March. The pain meds I take for my migraines are several times stronger than morphine, and that's on top of the blood-pressure pills, the migraine pills...I should be on blood thinners. I've had so many IVs it's insane. The people at INOVA think I'm an addict until they read my history.
I want to be able to do more than just function for someone else. I want to be able to keep my house clean, read to my son. I used to play the piano, study other languages. There was so much more for me out there. Even today I'm still tired, and I have a buttload of doctors appointments to schedule and attend. I can't do this while working. I missed two days of work and then got hospitalized, and my boss sent me an email from the "HR" account saying that I was never at work, I was disorganized, and that I wasn't asking for help. I told her in a nice way to take a hike. She is holding my final check (she wants me to come pick it up so that she and her husband can yell at me, her husband is a tool, he yelled at someone every single day), or else she wants to take $12 out of my check to send it certified mail. That's not going to happen. They're going to end up getting sued. It's illegal for you to do anything other than send me my money, check. I love this country, people get a little bit of power and they think they're kings. Well, unfortunately those checks and balances can weigh kinda heavily...it's going to be funny seeing how this pans out.
My condition is such that a rise in blood pressure could cause another stroke. I just can't deal with corporate politics. I would love to have a daycare, but I don't even have the energy anymore. Steven starts school in September, I want to be able to dedicate myself to him and his progress. And I've noticed over the past year that my short-term memory is leaving me. I don't know what this means for my college education. All I know is that I have to accept this change. At least Steve finally has. This issue has been a running one in our house for years.
So I submit myself to whatever is coming. Whatever that is...let it be, let it come. I don't want to be rich, I just want for there to be enough. And God has always supplied enough. We may not have a car right now, but we will in future. We aren't hungry, we can pay our rent. We have clothes we have more than most. So we'll see what happens next.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Well Steven is two now. This picture was taken Christmas day, as he opened his presents. Well, we kind of opened them for him and had him look at them. He plays with pieces of them, he's into blocks and cars now; his grandparents got him a red tricycle now, and he loves that. He also likes to torture the new cat we have. Our cat is named Toby, and he's part-feral. Toby is a little bastard, he likes to poop on the floor right in front of his litter box if you don't give him a good rub-down the moment you come home. It irritates the heck out of Big Steve (not that I'm upset about that). And yes, I have somewhat reconciled with him, but that is another story for another time, and that could change any day now. That story is like one of those books that you have to choose the outcome of on every page. The endiing is different for everyone, and the ending is truly up to him, if he wants this that badly, then he needs to get in line with the Father's wishes and get his stuff in order. NOW.
But onto my son...my wonderful son.
Steven just turned two. His father and I got along long enough to give him a wonderful birthday party, we had it at Chuck-e-Cheese's. I will never go there again. Well, yes I will, but that was the longest 2.5 hours of my life. But my son was so overjoyed, so it was all good. He went home and fell out, and so did Mama.
We found out recently that my suspicions were well-founded, and that Steven does indeed show signs of Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. Steven has had issues with food since birth. That kid threw up on me daily. Right now, he still has a limited diet that he will eat...well except for when he's at daycare; he's in love with his daycare provider, and you know what? That's okay. Due to his issues, I'm determined that he will have a group of people around him who not only love him but understand him, and she is one of those people. I am deeply grateful for her. She has become family.
Honestly, I have not had a chance to wish that Steven were a different child, he has always been who he is. I just want to make sure that we are prepared as parents to offer him the life he deserves. Occasionally I come across a child who is his age who is developing "on schedule", and it hurts a little bit, but I look at it this way: Steven was put in my life to give me purpose, a reason to live. I would not be here if it were not for him, as hard as it was to get him here, as much of a risk towards my life as it was to have him. He brings joy to every person who knows him. And ALL special needs children teach those who care for them to take nothing for granted. So I thank God for my child. Even when he's refusing to sleep at night, touching me with a slobber-drenched sock, or jumping on my head (his most favorite pastime). Steven does not know how to show excitement appropriately, so he just spazzes out. And no one makes him more excited than Mommy, I guess. So I must learn to endure it. :-)
Steve tells me that when he brings him home in the evenings, Steven takes a bottle, climbs on the bed, and surrounds himself in my pillows (because they smell like me). He also told me that he was in the car with him one day and a song called "A Song for Mama" came on, and Steven started singing along. That brought tears to my eyes, and when I hear it now, it brings tears to my eyes. He can't say much more than "Mama", but the fact that he recognizes that in a song and will sing along means so much to me.
Steven is only about 60% along to where he should be at his age, but we see progress every day. It's usually in the form of defiance, but it's still progress. Now that we know what the problem is, it's so much easier to approach him. Steven is a very bright, inquisitive, fast-paced little boy. He's just frustrated with the fact that his world does not seem to fit him right. I remember when his good pediatrician out at Kaiser (Steve's good gub'ment insurance) recommended that I have him screened for autism, I thought to myself, "how will other children treat him, will they pick on him?" I still have memories of how I was tormented as a child, and I will not tolerate that happening to my child. Goodness, some of the people I grew up with still had a healthy dose of disdain for me when they saw me at our ten year reunion. But they're buttwads anyways, and that's all they'll ever be. I asked a mommies group I'm part of what they thought, and one mother chimed in and said Steven would most likely be oblivious. And he is. For the most part, other kids don't exist to him until he's ready for them to. He will just ignore the crap out of you, and if you annoy him enough, he'll sock you one. So I think he'll be okay.
As far as his development goes, his speech is very limited, it dropped off at about the 18-month mark. Cognitively, I think he knows far more than we are aware, but since he does not talk, we cannot tell. He's very stubborn, so we have yet to learn just what he can do. But is participating more and more at daycare, so that is a positive sign. His therapy starts tomorrow, his therapist sounds like a really nice lady, and both Mommy and Daddy are excited. We will have to split the therapy sessions, because I'm working now. I got a temp-to-hire job out in Chantilly, and it pays really well. Today is a quiet day due to the weather, and so I decided to blog a little bit because it was long overdue.
Here's a picture Steven and I took at his birthday party. It was wonderful to see him so happy, and to see his eyes so clear. One of the things that I've noticed as his disorders have progressed is that a sort of film has dropped over his eyes, he's often off in his own world, and it makes me so sad. But occasionally you reach him, occasionally, he reaches out, and it's truly wonderful. I am so blessed in my little baby boy.