Yesterday, I appeared to be having “a day”. And my blog is here to help me process, so I turned to my blog. Because it was just after noon and it was a bad morning. Here it is… raw and real and freshly outpoured yesterday. ❤
I love my kids. I really do. I try to follow my kids. I really do. But lately, in the process of following BigGuy’s desires to do the more academic stuff, I feel like my job has become “nag”.
And that is not how I want to roll.
Admittedly, this didn’t start with his academics–it started with basic routines and living with other people. It spilled over into academics today because I’m stressing out about my husband’s job, his health, our finances and BigGuy’s last day to finish his online math course. BigGuy has some challenges that we’re trying to navigate and it’s not really going well. His history is overwhelming and for as far he’s come, this last year Husbeau and I had to really stop to think about what was going on with our boy. He has some serious impulse control issues that I truly believed were a matter of him “not being interested enough” or “not hating the consequences enough” and it’s clear that’s just not the case. He doesn’t have ADD or ADHD–it’s been definitively and objectively ruled out by more than one professional.
He has horrible reactions to screens that are making his pursuit of his interests near impossible unless I can devote more time and attention to him… or so I thought. When I effectively put Girly on hold to give BigGuy more attention and support, it was clear that it wasn’t just a screen thing.
So lately my days have not been loving and carefree. They’ve been increasingly stressful as I try to get BigGuy to get out of his head and into reality… to talk to the other people around him instead of retreat to a book… to stop him from the endless stream of stories he tells himself that have him spending (literally) hours sometimes wrapped up in not-reality.
I don’t ever want him to lose that… but for the love–his sister needs to use the bathroom!! Plus, he has to carry some level of family responsibility. Let’s add the stuff that he took on… the stuff he asked to participate in that he’s just NOT participating in because he is easily derailed–stuff I paid for at his request. Stuff that I tell him “We should probably wait to do” but he convinces me that he can manage. To be fair–he’s done this so many times before and he’s always far outperformed what I thought he was capable of. So I’ve stopped worrying so much when he wants to take something on because he always proves my concerns to be invalid.
But not this year.
This year is different and right now–I just want to cry. I want to cry for my boy that wants to learn things. I want to cry for the stress that is coming from my complete inability to know how to help him. I want to cry for what that disconnect is doing to the rest of us. I want to cry in shame for the resentment I feel that Girly isn’t getting what she could and what that might be doing to her little self on so many levels. I want to cry because I just want to love my BigGuy and I don’t want to deal with any of this. I want to cry because there is more tension between us lately than love. I want to cry because he threw a paper airplane down to me with words of love and compassion when I sent him to his room because I was so stressed out I couldn’t bring myself to utter kind words or offer compassion to him and I’m ashamed of myself for it.
I want to cry because I have no idea how to help him. And he’s struggling. And I feel small and weak and completely helpless. And it’s spilling out onto my children.
So today, I just want to cry. I want someone else to be the mom. I want someone to show me the answers and unlock the door and make me feel like my kid is going to get through this and be alright. I don’t feel that right now. And I certainly don’t feel like school is the answer by any stretch. The more I talk to my friends the more clear it is that my BigGuy would never get the skills he would need to support him on his journey.
I need to just withdraw and reconnect and snuggle in the big bed and read “Make Way for Ducklings” with my kids.
And forget math deadlines.
The aftermath at the end of the day…
My BigGuy not only finished his stupid paper test, but once he submitted it–he got access to the semester exam. He was so giddy he grabbed his math notebook (TO WRITE OUT HIS WORK!!!) and started it right away. He got 102%.
I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad I was able to convince him to wait a month before starting the second semester so that he could focus on Science Olympiad studying (for Regionals). And I’m making peace with having to be by his side and walking him through the anxiety combined with excitement and a generous sprinkle of hormones that keeps him from keeping things straight right now. I need to stay the course and just know that it’s not “lording over him”. It’s “supporting him in his pursuit of his goals”. Because I love him. And he wants this. And seeing his face tonight at the prospect of taking a math semester exam is overwhelming evidence of his passion for doing this. I need to follow…
But tomorrow, we will read “Make Way for Ducklings” and snuggle in Mama’s bed.
2 thoughts on “Small confessions: all out of courage”
Maybe this is an inappropriate comment. Maybe you were just looking for cathartic release and don’t want input from anyone. Maybe this is something you have already addressed and I am just unaware because I am fairly new to your blog and haven’t had the chance to read it all, and thus should keep my trap shut.
In your “about” section, you mention food intolerances. Do you avoid artificial dyes and preservatives? How about high-salicylate foods? Basically, have you investigated the Feingold Diet to see if it would help? Having read The All Natural Mom’s Guide to thr Feingold Diet, I know it’s something that has helped a lot of kids with attention and impulsivity issues. We were already free of dyes and preservatives die to transitioning toward the GAPS diet in our household, but prior to reading it, I had no idea about salicylate sensitivity and the behaviors it can cause. After reading it, I realized that some of the highest salicylate foods – tomatoes, green peppers, grapes, and apples – were a core part of several meals almost daily. While we still have our struggles, our impulsivity and moodiness decreases significantly when we are stringent about keeping our boys’ diet as low-salicylate as possible. Even if he’s not clinically ADD/ADHD, perhaps these might be causing some issues for him? I know it’s even more prevalent for kids who already have other known food sensitivities (that was us, too), so… I dunno. Just thought it might be worth mentioning.
And all that aside… One big virtual hug from me to you. You don’t know me. I don’t know you. But right now, it sounds like you need one, and that you need to hear: you are not alone.
Hannah–All of what you describe is actually my job as a nutrition consultant and a good half of my client base is kids with sensory, behavior, developmental and learning disorders. We eat even more restrictedly (and including) all of what you’ve described. And my son is very much my genetics which means *I* have to eat that way, too. Well, we all eat that way because I have very firm opinions on not ostracizing someone in their own home–and that’s how we’ve found how some of these foods affect people in our house we weren’t intending to impact!
But thank you for spilling all of that out because if I hadn’t known or been doing these things–I would need to know. I agree with all of what you said, it just isn’t enough for my guy. We are currently exploring the link between his behaviors, his outdated epilepsy diagnosis, and potential PANDAS/PANS/PITAND connections.
I don’t know you, but your hug and your care are much more appreciated than you think. ❤