Merry Christmas Eve.  I am totally missing my boys tonight.  S is working til 10 (oh the joys of being management in retail).  B is with his dad for the weekend because we had our Christmas last weekend with all the kids.  I am happy that B is with his dad, step-mom and especially his younger sister (15 months) whom he adores, but I really miss him.  It is funny that when B is here, things are so difficult, yet when he isn’t here, I miss him and feel a little empty.  That is the way of the world I guess, we always want what we don’t have.  However, I am focusing on the positive, I have a great son, an amazing fiance’,  the love of lots of great friends and family, a good job, a roof over my head, two wonderful dogs and a fantastic future to look forward to.  That is more than some people have and I am grateful for all that I have.  Tomorrow S and I will spend the day with his parents and that will be really nice.  Merry Christmas everyone, give thanks to God for what you have, as I am!


A Positive Challenge

I found this on a great blog I started following and thought it was so good that I would do it too.  We often need reminders of the good things.It is harder to complete than you think!

Take a Gratitude Challenge

Let’s not just talk about counting our blessings—let’s do it! Write a list of 100 things you are thankful for. If that sounds like it is too many, try this:

  1. Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for:
    1.   I can smile
    2.   I can walk
    3.   I can physically feel love
    4.   I am able to type this blog
    5.   I can hug the ones I love
    6.  I can kiss the ones I love
    7.  I can talk
    8.  I can cry
    9. I can express myself through the act of writing
    10. I can touch 

2.  Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for:

  1. My beautiful engagement ring
  2. My home/apartment
  3. My computer
  4. My phone
  5. My clothes
  6. All the pictures of my family and friends
  7. My Nook
  8. My comfy bed
  9. My Jeep
  10. All my purses/bags

3.  Write 10 living people you are grateful for:

  1. Brennan
  2. Steve
  3. Mom
  4. Dad
  5. Tammy
  6. Nicole
  7. Daniel
  8. Bob
  9. Betty
  10. Cathy    (there are so many more than 10, this was hard to do) 


4. Write 10 deceased people you are grateful for:

   1.  Meg
   2.  Grandma Josie
   3.  Grandma Piske
   4.  Grandpa Piske
   5.  Grandpa Irving
   6.  Caleb
   7.  CJ
   8.  Ellen
  9.  Becky
  10. Loretta 
5. Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for:
  1.  My Dogs
  2.  The sun
  3.  Blue skies
  4.  Animals
  5.  The oceans
  6.  The smell of a fall morning
  7.  Beautiful flowers
  8.  Rain
  9.  Watching snow fall when I am inside and cozy
  10.  The changing of the seasons

6. Write 10 things about today you are grateful for:
         1.  That my son hugged me good bye this morning   

         2.  That I was able to feel the love of my fiance’ through his hugs and kisses
         3.  That it is the last day of work before Christmas vacation
         4.  So far, the kids are only semi-crazy
         5.  That I can stay up past my normal bed time tonight
         6.  It is not snowing
         7.  All of my car pool friends are having a good day
         8.  I am half way through the day
         9.  I am two days closer to Christmas
         10.  I am alive

7. Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for:
     1.  Sherburne, NY
     2.  New Hartford, NY
     3.  Rome, NY
     4.  Oneida, NY
     5.  Zephyrhills, FL
     6.  Fort Walton Beach, FL
     7.  Virginia
     8.  Clayton, NY
     9.  Virginia
    10.  Oregon
8. Write 10 modern inventions you are grateful for:
    1.  Cell Phones
    2.  Computers
    3.  Televisions
    4.  iPods
    5.  Digital Cameras
    6.  Nooks
    7.  DVDs
    8.  Skype
    9.  Email
   10.  Texting
9. Write 10 foods you are grateful for:
    1.   Pizza
    2.  Steak
    3.  Cheese
    4.  English muffins
    5.  Chocolate
    6.  Nachos
    7.  Betty’s meatballs
    8.  Chicken Parm
    9.  Pizza rolls (schools)
   10.  Subs
10. Write any other 10 things that you are grateful for: 
   1.  My parents’ support of me
   2.  The love and future I have with Steve, Brennan, and all the rest of our family
   3.  The help and support we are getting for Brennan through Kids Oneida
   4.  That everything does happen for a reason and I believe God has finally shown me the way to what is right for me.
   5.  That I have friends who support and love me through the good times and the bad times, even if they don’t always agree with or understand my decisions
   6.  That my sister and I have become closer again and I have her love and support in my life
   7.  I have a job I love going to everyday
   8.  That I have a great family to go home to everyday
   9.  I have found an outlet in blogging that is helping my frame of mind become better
  10.  I am alive, and am able to make it through each day feeling safe, supported, loved, and worthy
    When we make a list like this, we discover that a list of 100 doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the things God has given us.

    A Rough Night

     On nights like tonight, when everything feels strained and I just want to cry, I need to be reminded of all the good things I have.  It has just been a tough one…I came home not feeling good and just wanting to rest, so I slept on the couch for awhile, which I shouldn’t do because my son takes total advantage of that.  B forgot to take his afternoon med, but we didn’t realize it until it was too late for him to take it, so he was WAY off.  Getting him to do his HW was hell, he was rude and disrespectful to both S and I, and we are at the moment ending his evening listening to him yell from up in his bedroom that everything  is retarded and life is gay and he hates his life…all because I made him take a shower (which he has to do every night) and pick up all the crap he had spread throughout the living room.  So hard to deal with sometimes and just raises such tension in the house between everyone, even the dogs feels it.  I sit and look at my wonderful fiance’ S and think “what the hell is wrong with him?  Why would anyone want to take on the stress and strain the my son brings into the lives he is involved in?”  Then I remember all the words he has said to me, how he loves both Band I, that he is here for the long haul, that B is a great boy and he wants to help him and I remember why I fell in love with him in the first place, because he is a kind, loving soul who is meant to be here with me and my son.  I love him so much it warms my heart and soul.
        *Sigh* it is quiet upstairs now and I have to wonder if B is calming down or hurting himself, and hoping for the former.  I continue to be exhausted and not feeling well, but it can always be worse.As my mom says, one day at a time and just breathe…

    Do You Hear What I Hear?

       That’s right, nothing.  The boy is finally asleep in his bed after a day of more cycling  (Bi Polar, not biking unfortunately) than I have seen in a very long time.  I know this is due to the fact that we are mid way through weaning him off a heavy med, but holy shit was he exhausting today!  I kept him home because he had stomach cramps and a headache, side effects or basically withdrawal symptoms and I figured he could use it.  He did need it, but it was exhausting for both if us. 
        At one point he was rolling on the floor screaming because his underwear wasn’t right and he had to keep adjusting himself.  This is an ongoing problem, probably part of the OCD that they are telling me he is showing me more and more signs of.  Of course because I am the mother and he is the 13yo who knows everything, all the suggestions I made to try and help him were stupid and I was dumb and I never understand, or at least that’s what I think he was yelling at me…it was hard to distinguish the words from the screams.  This lasted fifteen minutes or so and then he was fine, like nothing ever happened.  That is the hard thing about his rages and we talk to him about it all the time.  Once he comes out of it, he is fine and often doesn’t even remember what he did or said.  Those of us who witnessed it or were targeted in it are still reeling and need much more time than him to calm down and not take it to heart and then he doesn’t understand why we are upset.

       So we went awhile without incident until I mentioned the homework he had to do with the tutor this evening.  Well, I might as well have said that he had to cut his own hand off.  He screamed and yelled and ranted and raved for a good half hour, though nothing got thrown so that’s a positive thing.  Sad that I can determine a bad rage from a good rage, but that is just our life.  Others who only see my “Jekyll” think I am crazy or exaggerating when I describe these things  because they just can’t fathom it.  I guess that is a good thing, as I would not wish this on my worst enemy.  
        We made it through the rest of the day with only minor issues and he did go with his tutor and get all his work done and we were able to have about an hour of quality time before he went to bed.  When he asks me to tuck him in (which he still does every night and I am grateful for that) and gives me a hug and tells me he loves me, I know it is all worth it.  Easy?  No.  Frustrating as hell?  Yes.  Exhausting?  Yes.  Worth it to have the wonderful, brilliant, beautiful boy that I have?  Yes.  I love him with my heart and soul and would never change him, I just wish I could take his pain away.  Maybe someday, but until then, I remain the rodent and he remains my Jekyll and Hyde.

    If Patience Is A Virtue…

    then tonight I am far from virtuous.  Have you ever watched a rodent in those wheels, where they just keep running and running, but never get anywhere?  That is how I feel some days (like tonight) when trying to help my son.  I am the one running and running and getting no where, while he watches and doesn’t care.  He has an excuse because it is the worlds’ fault, never his.  So I a run like that rodent because his tutor is coming to take him and work with him tonight.  I am getting together the papers he needs to write the essay for English (the class he failed first quarter and is still failing and the essay that is already two week late) while he goes into a full blown rage, slamming the table, throwing himself to the floor, yelling at me that he isn’t going to do it and it is stupid and I am stupid and slams his fists against the floor…all while my fiance is doing all he can to stay cool and not lose it with my son and my fiances’ parents sit quietly in the living room because sadly they have witnessed this before.  Welcome to a typical Tuesday night at my house.  Then of course he forgot to bring home the chocolate that we sold for his choral trip in May, so that means I have to run and get that at his school before making it the public library on time because I myself and tutoring because we need the extra money.
        So, I send him to his room, screaming and punching all the while, get my fiance settled with what papers need to with my son and the tutor, say good bye to everyone and out running I go.  As I go, I can only hope that he pulls himself together and goes easily with his tutor and that I don’t get a phone call while I am working that I have to run home due to his defiance.  I am the rodent again.  As I get home, it will be to wait to see who comes back from tutoring, Jekyll or Hyde and that will depend how the rest of the night goes.  It could go either way, we constantly live on egg shells, hence the Jekyll and Hyde, which I nick named him years ago, but we will save that story for another blog, perhaps later tonight if I am up monitoring a raging child, but let’s hope not.  Maybe tomorrow I wont be the rodent.  One can hope, right?


    Words To Live By

    I was given this poem when my son was around grade 2 and diagnosed with ADHD (if that was all we had to contend with, how much easier things would be).  I read and re read it many times up to this very day, laughing and crying as I do.

    Welcome to Holland
            by Emily Pearl Kingsely
        ” I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability- to try to help people who have not shared the unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…

        When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip- to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans.  The Coliseum, The Michelangelo’ David, The Gondolas in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It’s all very exciting.

        After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands.  The stewardess comes in and says “Welcome to Holland”.
        Holland?  You say.  What do you mean Holland?  I signed up for Italy!   I’m supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.   

        But there has been a change in the flight plan.  They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay. 

        So you must go out and buy new guidebooks.  And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.   
        It’s just a different place.  It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you’ve been there for awhile and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandt.   

        But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go.  That’s what I had planned”. 

        And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, go away, because the loss of a dream is a very significant loss.

        But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.”

    Well, Here We Go…

        I decided to actually start my blog instead of always talking about doing it.  My reason for doing so is multi-layered.  First and foremost, to help me keep my sanity.  Seriously, the last 13 years of my life have been more of a roller coaster than anyone can begin to imagine and you can only hold so much inside until you burst.  
        Secondly, if I can help even one person cope with having a child with a disability, then all my rantings, tears, laughs and moments of clarity will be worth it.  **My disclaimer is that I am not a doctor, all I write here shall be my opinions and my perceptions on how things have and are happening.  I may change names and places to protect those in my life, but all events, thoughts and happenings are as true as I recall them to be.**   
        Thirdly and lastly, I enjoy writing, so why not do something I enjoy while also getting out my emotions and the crazy description of that which is my life, while sharing for the world at large, or at least a few acquaintances crazy enough to read these posts?  So hang on kids, it is going to be a bumpy ride for sure, but here we go!