Tuesday, November 19, 2013

working as a team....there is no I in team but there is a U in suck

OK...we are doing so much better...Hubby and I.

No, we are not great.

We are 1 year into dealing with the new demands in our life.

We have changed positions in our family. 

He is the parent that is supposed to be more flexible with time, be the Mom.  Be the one with the part time job, be the one that drops everything when the kids are sick,....Be the Mom.  You know Mom's, they do it all.

I am the one with the consistent job.  Set hours.  I am the...NOT THE MOM person.

I am frustrated.

We both took a mandated parent training class that would enable us to receive a behavior therapist in our home to help us work with Nash.  We could not attend the same class at the same time because it was out of town, a very long day and who was going to take care of Nash?  So, we went 2 different weekends, to 2 different places, taught by 2 different teachers...but the same class.

Hubby came home saying it was a waste, didn't learn much except that we both suck as parents.

I came home inspired, feeling supported, understood for the hardest crap we have been going thru and motivated to do more and try new ways of doing things.

Betcha saw this coming  :)

So, I have been trying new things, finding ways to motivate Nash to do things differently.  Being more consistent with our daily script.

Hubby and I even sat together for 2 hours discussing the class, how we were going to implement what we learned.  We were both there...but one of us had his head in a different game.

Last week when I saw my personal therapist, I was angry.  Angry that Hubby is still...yes STILL not getting it.  He is the one with the BA...not me.   My therapist sees that I have made strides backing off, not controlling everything and letting Hubby be a partner.  And told me to let HIM handle things on his own...not just dictate and expect him to follow. 

So, it has been over a week that Hubby is now in charge of helping Nash to make the necessary steps to be able to walk to his class from the drop off point in front of the school.  It is a long drawn out list of steps and dates with which to to make each step with a success date of mid_January.  Yes, I was controlling it.  So, I told my Hubby...he was in charge.  He could do it however he saw fit.

He is blowing it...BIG TIME.  But, I am keeping my mouth shut because....I want him to be successful.  I want Nash to be successful.

Tonight Hubby asks me for some advise on how things are going.  I try really hard...with out being an asshole....to explain how this is not working.  That you can't tell Nash that he has to get to point Z....without going thru each step...many times.  Points A, B, C, D, E and on have to be done every time.  He can't remember.  He simply can't. 

I do not know how to make Hubby understand.  I can NOT step in.  I have to watch this shit hit the wall.  This sucks.

Monday, October 14, 2013

humming the Rocky tune as I strut my stuff :)

If you are one of my readers and are friends and family but not really sure about the whole autism thing....this might be a boring look into my life  :)  Or you might...just get an understanding of Nash.

For the last year...we have acknowledged Nash and his more than quirky behavior.  We also have accepted that his quirks have a label....autism.  I personally am reading and studying everything I can get my hands on or lay my eyes on.  I am devouring every word I can get.  Hubby...is much slower but in his defense, there are a million reasons why he is behind.  Not to be easy on him....because this war is a win or die kind of thing  :)

he is sooooo cute!

My little boy...that sweet faced cherub....is a controlling bastard!  Don't get all upset.  I love my son!  But, he is an ass.  He can get (our former behavior therapist, Susan called it) stuck on stupid.  Unless you see it in action and are in-tuned to his act...you just might think he is very dumb.  Or we, as parents, are horribly mean.  But, if you study it more you will see the stupidity....the control.

Why does he do this???  Man...I have no idea.  I saw it coming tonight.  I saw it.  I called it.  I got Hubby to witness it.  Of course then I had to explain the entire deal to Hubby after it was over....but I won!  I refused to let this little man....that cherub face control this house...anymore!

Nash has been controlling every aspect of us, the dogs, our daughter....and this is just how damned smart he is!  It is hard to detect....and then when you see it....you can't believe it!  And then...it is so good....you can't out smart it!

My story..................

At 6:30pm, Nash came out of his bath, all smelling good and looking all cute in his jammies.  He walks over to sit next to me and our dog Charlie is there. (Back story...Charlie is an abused dog that was rescued by me....he is very sweet but very traumatized)  Charlie sits up to say hi to Nash...and Nash punches him.  I stop everything...and tell Nash to apologize to Charlie and to promise to never do this again.  Nash sits down and refuses.  I tell him to apologize now!  He meanly says I'm sorry, then looks at me and Hubby...and says I hate you both.

That's it.  I tell Nash this is unacceptable and he will serve a 15 minute time out.  We have a chair that is set away from us but see-able to watch him while in a time out.  He walks over mumbling how he hates us...saying we can't do this.  He sits.  And then demands that I set the kitchen microwave timer.  As petty as this sounds....I know, this is do or die!

I look over to Hubby and tell him....battle stations.  Oblivion to him  :)

I set my iPhone, so I can watch the time....but not Nash.  Normally, when the timer gets close to his punishment being over....he will self-inflict his own punishment.  Stay in the time out longer...taking control of the punishment.  I have always felt powerless over this.  Everything I do...he ends up controlling and I give up.

NOT TODAY BUCKO!

At about 2 minutes before the end of his time-out, I tell him it is almost over.  When the alarm sounds, he is to get up from the chair, admit that the time-out is over, sit on the couch and not mention the punishment.  I look to Hubby...I tell him...do or die Buddy!  Get on board.  Shit is hitting the fan!

The timer goes off and Nash refuses to get out of the seat.  He...folks...is stuck!  He is stuck on stupid!  He says he is still in a time out and can't leave the seat!  Nope...my friend...battle is on!  I shut off the television and all but one light.  I know...that this is now WAR!  I order him to sit in front of me.  He finally does.  I lay out orders...and he refuses to acknowledge them!  I tell him...he will join us in the living room and watch TV or he will take his pills and go to bed...NOW!

I look to Hubby.....no words but the look is...are you backing me up??  I say one more time to Nash, you are NOT in charge, you will do as I say.  You will join us in the living room or take your pills and go to bed!  Nash stands to attempt to hit me.  Hubby stands next to me, showing force!  I say my order again!  Nash finally backs down but Hubby does not move!  YES!  I GIVE HIM THE ORDER AGAIN....HE WAVERS...HE WAVERS.......he starts to back down.  I have him.  His routine, his stuck on stupid will now work in my favor!

I stand, Nash stands...he walks over to his pills.  I am NOT believing what I am seeing.  I stand across from him at the counter.  I say again.....you will join us or take your pills and go to bed.

This is it.  Eye to eye!  I do NOT blink!  He holds his pills....and says....I will go to bed but you can't tuck me in!  He takes his pills!  I am victorious!

He walks off...yelling that we need to call security!  CALL SECURITY!  Hubby, right behind him says...Buddy, I am your security!

OMG!  Now...if you don't get autism....then right now, you are thinking...this is one fucked up woman!  But, if you know autism....you are hearing the Rocky tune right now!  You can see my arms held up......da da da da da da dat duh!

And yes folks.....I won!

I will get the control back....I will take my house back!  I will not be ruled by autism!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

asking for something.....can be the raping of your soul

For the last 6 months...we have been told to file for disability for Nash.  To get assistance.  It's a hard one to swallow but, we finally got up the guts to start the process. 

It's a kind of paper - rape process...yes, that word is rape.  You fill out all kinds of paperwork, then go into the SSI building and have everything you own man-handled and gone thru by their security guard.  Then you sit in an empty room and wait. 

They finally call your number, take you into a very bleak, very grey, sad room and sit you in a grey compartment.  That compartment has nothing but grey, 2 seats facing a grey person...who tells you he is not getting paid for his day there because our government is shutdown. 

So now, this unpaid grey person has a ton of questions we have to answer...personal questions.  Like has Nash served any time in prison?  Has he held a job?  Is he on parole?  When did we know there was something wrong with Nash?  Do we have life insurance, if so how much?  How much money do we make?  Do we have more children that we would like to see if we can get SSI for?  Would we like to apply for SSI?  My favorite was...wow, you got a lot from your first husbands death...you wont get that much now.

And when grey man is done...he excuses himself from the grey compartment.  We wait in the grey room.  Then he comes back and tells us that altho we have laid our pathetic life out for him to scrutinize.......we blew it.  Sorry you make far too much money.  But, should you divorce and Mom take full custody...we can reformulate. 

What?  Really?  What??

But, no worries.....when Nash becomes of age, we can file again.

So, we are doing everything we can now to make sure he never has to need this.  He will be a productive member of society....if it kills me, you and all of your friends.  It will never come to that.

I never, ever want to do this again.

This past year...we have laid out our lives, opened up our souls to people to help our son.  We have been laughed at, lied to, pointed in very many wrong ways, told to buck up, go find a sport, be a better parent, give up meat, give up the color blue, don't use dye based anything, vaccines are how we fucked up our child,  I was a bad mother...I did too much or I didn't do enough, I am too old and should have thought about what I was doing when I had a baby at 42....and of course one of the reasons why I don't speak to my family.....I should have had an abortion.

So, I have a son who I love, who is a little different.  Who gets a little over spun by anxiety.  Who goes from soft & cuddly to a screaming lunatic in mere seconds.  Who's favorite target for his rage is me.  I am not counting the injuries because then...I would have to admit them.  And it's embarrassing to admit that your 8 year old son scares you and hurts you.  And you are embarrassed to go to the doctor with damaged body parts because you don't want to have to tell anyone.

These past many months...........we have been interviewed, examined, tested, evaluated, watched, taught....and still.....we don't have much to show for it.  We got approved for some aid but first we have to pay them, then we would get a little respite, but how good is it when sending your child off with someone would only cause more anxiety for him which in turn will lead to more anxiety at home and probably more violence against me?  Or someone not safe around my child.  And having to live with it because that's what they recommend.

Anyway....this may not make sense.....but today felt like a rape.  A rape of my soul.  And when it was over...I was left feeling dirty and stupid and used.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

tomorrow is the IEP

  • My last attempt at an IEP....looking back...was a flop.
  • It was a flop for me and for my son.
  • I did not have a grasp of what I needed or what my son needed
  • I brought lots of people in but they had about as much information as I did
  • I am nervous
  • Nash is in 2nd grade now he needs more
  • I need him to want more
  • I want more
  • I have my list of things to ask for
  • I am more prepared
  • I have a viable diagnosis this time
  • Someone saw what I finally saw last year
  • And...they saw more than I even thought was there
  • I got very scared
  • I had huge doubt that I was the parent for this child
  • I am still scared
  • I never thought I was good enough for a child with special needs
  • Those parents always seem like they were breed to take on a child with special needs
  • My therapist said I was the perfect parent for a child with special needs
  • I thought she was crazy!
  • I remember going to the hospital almost 18 years ago knowing there was something wrong with my baby that I was pregnant with.
  • I was being rushed from Santa Maria hospital to a level 3 hospital in Santa Barbara
  • I was with my husband, my Mom and my mother-in-law...and we were being rushed 
  • I could feel it was bad
  • I prayed that if my son was going to need anything or be special needs...that I was not a good enough person to have him
  • I prayed that he not survive
  • What a double edge sword that was
  • He died
  • I felt the most guilt....ever
  • I live with that guilt all the time
  • And when Nash came along
  • I expected perfect
  • I knew that something was off all along
  • I never thought it would be this
  • More guilt
  • I asked everyone
  • doctors
  • daycare
  • other parents
  • then
  • teachers
  • school staff
  • and then
  • one day
  • October 22, 2012
  • it rained
  • and something was revealed
  • It took all this time
  • to see what Nash was
  • he is perfect for me
  • Nash is my odd little duck
  • There are days that I swear I am going to pull my hair out because he frustrates me so
  • I listen to him repeat a million things......over and over
  • I listen to him tell me about a movie...that he has seen once
  • and has it memorized
  • He can recited the names of the players in all of the episodes of this seasons Wipeout
  • every single one!
  • He talks to me in movie-speak and I smile because I know exactly what movie it came from
  • I know he only eats chicken nuggets from McDonald's and Foster Farms
  • and I know he will only eat KRAFT Macaroni & cheese, made the regular way not instant!
  • and Pop Tarts....in brown sugar sugar-man flavor
  • and eggies with sprinkles.....black & white please.
  • Not salt & pepper
  • there is no such thing as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in our home
  • peanut butter only
  • and he likes to tell me that he hates hot cheetos
  • but he has no idea...he has never tried them
  • but saw them once at school...and they were red!
  • Nope....never
  • Nash is my baby
  • it has taken me 8 years to finally become the parent he needs
  • I am scared that I won't live up to his challenges
  • but I know....no one would fight as hard as I will
  • so, maybe I am the perfect parent for him
  • I can only try

Friday, September 13, 2013

I can breathe....for a while

My last post was about how our life has turned.  Life has been very sucky....really sucky.  I was raised in chaos....and I hate not knowing my next step.  And this past several weeks have been a wait and see kind of YUCK!

We had an official diagnosis of autism on August 19th but the report didn't come for 10 days.

Then we got the report but would not hear from the agency if they would take my son on, for 10 more days.

Nash started school on August 21st and went to school for 3 days...then we had the Rim Fire.  School was closed for a week.  Then school opened again........and we had another set of first day yuckies and worried that it could happen again.

Our school hired a new special education K-3 teacher over the Summer.  She quit right before school started.  Who does that???

The school was right on it and now 3 weeks later...we have a teacher.

We have an IEP in place...but not for autism.  So, waiting to get the autism IEP in place with the new teacher was making me crazed.

I was supposed to wait until next Monday....but this morning...after I dropped off my son in his classroom.....I stopped and introduced myself to her.  Luckily, the temporary teacher that had been subbing was there and the special ed teacher for the older grades introduced me to her.  And she was able to confirm that I can have my IEP this coming Thursday.

Woo Hoo! 

Now, is that going to make a HUGE difference in our lives.  Nope, it will be more change.  But, its a move forward.

And we are going to get some services from the agency...in a couple of weeks.

And we are filing for disability for our son.....sad but really....necessary.

I am breathing.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

when the road is rough

  • Since school has started...the road has been rough.
  • After 3 days of school and the county was on fire and school closed to be safe.....the road was rough.
  • Now, we are back at school for another set of 1st days...this road is rough!
  • Only having a diagnosis, but still waiting to know what to do....is terribly rough.
  • Being asked questions a gajillion times about why he has to go to school.....yes, its rough.
  • Sitting on a bench every morning, while we are at school way too early because of his panic...eh, I can live with that.
  • Watching all the kids play, while yours sit in shear panic because of his surroundings....fucking rough.
  • Having people try to help....its nice.....but also makes it rough.
  • Finally hearing the whistle blow to go to class...and feel the tension so thick you could cut it with a knife....numbingly rough.
  • Walking your child to his class and waiting while everyone whirs around and your child is frozen....heartbreakingly rough.
  • Having the teacher come and know...your child is quietly...freaking out because you are going to leave.......horribly rough.
  • Seeing your child's eyes, as he look at you for comfort and his eyes are welling up....and he says bye.........fucking rough!
  • Walking away knowing you survived another war......and there was no winner....rough.
  • Going to work so you can feel like a human again............
  • Knowing your day is over and now you have to pick up your child and you don't know who will be there.......frightening rough.
  • Hearing your child say...I got lost in class today, I got lost on the play ground, people called me names, people said they hate me............tearfully rough.
  • working on homework....just rough!
  • And now is dinner time....battle stations.
  • the screaming starts...I hate you......I am not going to eat this...where are my chicken nuggets.....this is not protein, this is crap!  You can't tell me what to do.....I wish you were dead Mom.  You are an idiot Mom.....I wish you would go away forever.  I hate you.....then, rams a fork at me....hurts my heart rough,
  • I declare this day to be over...jammies then bed...Mommy has had enough....rough.
  • Allowing Dad to step up while he is crazied....out comes a prison Lieutenant.....that is fucked up ROUGH!
  • Pulling the lieutenant off the boy and asking him to leave....way fucked up rough.
  • Sit with the boy while he cries that no body loves him.  Who will love him?  He wants to go where there are no parents.  I tell him, I love him and always will.  I kiss his forehead and rub his back, I promise to always be there and love him no matter what he does......just plain rough.
  • Get the boy settled in so that he can cry himself to sleep.....broken hearted rough.
  • Wondering where Hubby Lieutenant went...been gone for hours now.
  • Reassuring daughter that this is bad...it will be fine.  fucked up rough.
  • Eat ice cream to make me feel better.....you guessed it...rough.
  • Wondering if I should lock the door or not....scary rough.
  • Later, hearing someone come in the house and hope it's your Hubby......nervous.
  • Being quiet and waiting to see what is what.....rough.
  • Asking if he would like to talk but that you refuse to fight....and he says.....I smell like your Mother because I am drunk.  Leave me alone, I am sleeping on the couch.  rough.
  • today...............was rough.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

we have an answer....autism

I have been avoiding my blog because...then I don't have to address all that is going on in our family.  But, after my last therapy session.....I am not avoiding anything...I am mad, scared, and feeling like I am in a foreign county and don't speak the language.

As you know, on October 22, 2012, I finally saw that there was something wrong with our son, Nash.  It rained and it became our first eye opener into...WTF?  I have been running and searching for answers since.  Not that I was questioning things before this date.....but, I had nothing concrete to say....what the heck is this?

On August 19, 2013, we got a definitive diagnosis.  Autism.  Not Asperger's, not PPD NOS, not ADHD

Autism

Even tho I knew it....I was not prepared for the shock of the confirmation.  The doctor that did the psych evaluation was very forth coming with information and preparation of us as parents.  He was not mean or accusatory or blaming....he was informative, in plain language and very matter of fact.  And I believe that he is 100% correct in his diagnosis.

But......that morning when we left our home for the drive to the clinic where this diagnosis was done....I was mentally preparing for a fight.  I have been fighting and yelling, pulling and forcing people to see that there was something going on with my child!  There was a problem that needed an answer.....and no one was seeing that it was a big deal! 

I fought to get people to look at what I was seeing.  And even when I got them to look....they, in many ways, just patted my hand.  Told me it wasn't so bad.  Yes, he would need some help but not much.  Yes, we will give you enough so you think we are doing something...but really, we are blowing you off.  I was getting used to people...professionals...telling me that well, it's a minor issue.  Even the case worker that set up the evaluation told me not to expect much because there wasn't really anything there.

So, while driving to the appointment, and meeting with the doctor, and filling out all of the questionnaires.....I was putting on my fighting gloves, I was getting on my armor, I was in hyper drive....I was ready for battle!  When I went in after many hours of paperwork and all of the testing he did with Nash....I was going to convince him that something was wrong with my baby!

And he told me....there was something wrong.  He explained in very simple terms the long and the short of what was going on with our son.

Autism

I have been calling it autism.  I have been reading many books about autism.  I have read so much on the web about autism.  I even put a magnet with the word autism on the back of my van.  I tell people everyday my son has autism. 

But, when he said autism......it knocked the wind out of me.  I went numb.  I was shocked.  I kept listening to him explain and waiting to fight. 

Autism

Her talked to us about Nash's current schooling, how he would make specific IEP recommendations in his evaluation, how teaching Nash will have to change.  He spoke about Nash's future and how what we are hoping for Nash may not be what is our reality now.  That there are many forms of fulfillment and just because its not what we expect...he will still have a fulfilling life.

I felt like I was hearing about impending death.  Cancer.  The end of the world.

Autism

When he was done...he shook our hands, we smiled, we thanked him, we held Nash's hand and walked to the van.  The sky was still blue.  The wind blew my hair.  A train with many cars whizzed by.  We all watched the train go by.   It was so very hot.  And Nash was waiting for his promised trip to Target to eat pizza. 

As I sat in the van to drive away...my right calf seized into a charlie horse cramp.  But, it wasn't like a cramp I had ever had before.  It became a knot the size of my fist.  And the rest of my muscles were so very tight.  I told Hubby but it was like saying....God bless me, after I had sneezed.  When we got to the closest Target...I could hardly get out of the van...all of my muscles were tight and seized in pain.  I could hardly walk but we were at Target, pizza was waiting....and I had to move!

When we finally got home....I was a mess.  Hubby was a mess.  And Nash was Nash.  The same child that left the house this morning is still the same child with us now.  But, our world is different. 

I felt like my world ended.  But, we still had the same everything.  Everything is still the same colors, and shapes, and smells.  But, we now have an answer.  The answer I have been pointing to.  And now the answer is...autism.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Buying Miss Pissy Pants behind me coffee!

Sunday....Hubby and I were having a nice "sharing of info" conversation that ended weirdly.  Not badly...just weirdly.  He walked away and I went to bed.  Nothing bad was said......nothing was said.

Ok...now comes Monday morning.

The air feels weird.

I do the whole, shower, hair & face, get dressed and walk down the hall to face the war. 

I say war.  I am the general of this mission.  I set up strategy every minute, every moment I am awake because I never know when a  missile will launch, or a case of friendly fire will occur.  If I am awake....I am the strategist!

Hubby and I have been at odds about food.  Both my kids really only eat ten things.  Seriously!  When we got married many moons ago....he was serious that Sophie would eat anything put on her plate.  As a child that was forced to eat what was prepared or stay up all night until it was eaten...I have issues with it. 

I was always on some strange diet to "not be fat" but meal time was not a pleasant thing growing up.  This where your flaws or frailties were put on display for the other family members to rip it and you apart.  This is where punishments were doled out, grades were discussed and reprimands for anything from how you smell, anything you did or didn't do at any time to someones pissed and you crying will make me feel better.

So, I don't like to talk at meal time nor do I like to discuss anything  that will cause pain.  So, my kids picky eating....I just don't address unless forced to.  Hubby...wants our children to be more adventurous about food.  It's hard to be adventurous with 10 items on your menu.

So, we came to odds last night.  Not a fight....just a.....I am not fighting your fight.  I refuse.  You have issues...you deal with them.  You have my blessing but I will be on the sidelines of this one.

So, this morning...like a fool....I asked how he felt and if we were at odds???  He said no....but...

No....but....means yes!

I ended up leaving for work....very....pissy!

I get in my lovely van...and blast Maroon 5.  I am tapping my fingers and enjoying the vibrations.....I am starting to feel a little better. 

I get to the Starbucks drive thru and wait.  I crawl along....and when I was a second late to move.  The old lady behind me honks.  Then honks 2 more times.  WTF?  I look in my rear view mirror to see an older lady looking like she is having a really crappy day.  I watch her...and she honks one more time.  Really?  There is no place for me to go!  I have 3 people in front of me!  I am thinking...I can throw my bad ass mini van in park and go back and rip her up!  The more I think about it, the better I am feeling.  We move up again...and again another honk.  I look back again and this time....I am getting her!  Then the car in front of me pulls out and I am at the window.

Its cute red headed Wes!  He is adorable and he asks...are you having a good Monday?  I look at him and say no!  And neither is Miss Pissy Pants in the car behind me!  He looks out at the old lady and says yeah, she is always crabby!

That does it...lets really give her something to be crabby about!  I buy her coffee!  I tell Wes that Miss Pissy Pants coffee is on me today!  That'll teach her!  That will turn that frown upside down!

Instantly...I am no longer pissy because I took the air out of someone else's pissy balloon.  Now....I am smiling!  I did a good thing....and maybe made someones day...or ruined their reason to be pissy! 

I love when a good deed can be good and a little evil  :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

finally stopped runnning...and now it all catches up

If you KNOW me...you know my life is interesting.  Even the Psychologist I sat with last Monday who gave me a battery of tests was amazed at what I have been thru and how normal I test out  :)

I am going to have bariatric surgery in (fingers crossed) November.  If you are not familiar with the term....I am having the fat surgery.  I used to think it was cheating life.  If you couldn't lose the weight on your own...you had to suffer and stay fat because that is what you deserve....hum, sounds like someone from my past.  But, I have been looking at it for 2 years...not ready to make such a drastic decision...thinking I really needed to just suffer and be buried in a piano box like I was always told.

For the last 4 years...I have been in therapy.  The first year it was once a week...then it slacked off...and then I took about a year off.  Then I had to go back.  I found someone I gelled with better, someone who would hold me accountable and really help me.  And because of my time with her, I have had her see my daughter because if I am fucked up...how can I NOT fuck up my kids?  I am assured my daughter is pretty normal....consider being raised by me  :)

Then last year I asked her to see my 7 year old son.  Over time we learned that my son has autism and ADHD.  She is working with my son and me to learn and deal with it.  And because of my son and other patients, she is learning more about the treating of autism and using my son as a Guinea Pig.  This I find amazing and am very grateful for.

She has since referred my Hubby and I for marriage therapy.  And even tho I was thinking divorce was in my future...therapy has helped us both.  We are closer than ever and are finally working as a team most of the time with our kids.  Both of us are committed to each other and to be better people, a better couple and better parents.

But, last Monday, while sitting for hours taking tests and then having them analyzed and talking to the psychologist....I saw things that my other therapists have said.  But, this time I got it.

So, how to explain it?  I was just trying to explain it to my Hubby.   And now...I think I need to explain it to myself.

This week, I was plagued with several days of hives, I have had a pretty high pain level (I have fibromyalgia and yes, it is real), not sleeping well, and several other lovely aches, pains and yuckie things.  The psychologist said things in a way that explains why....I missed so many things or really...ran so fast from them, I never saw what the Hell was going on.  Like autism, I can't even begin to say what I put up with from my maternal family, and it goes back to the death of my son & 1st hubby and my childhood.

I have become the perfect illusionist.  I can have horror right in front of me...and disguise it or create a smoke screen in such a way that I don't see it.  How you say?  I am still figuring that out.  But, I know the smoke screens are going away and so are the disguises.  I have stopped running and performing the big picture show...so that I can start to see my life.

I became the perfect volunteer parent.  I became Errand Girl...the problem fixer.  I became a human backwards tornado....instead of creating havoc, I can make it be perfection.  I truly can perform miracles and did it everyday...except for me and my family.  I was out saving the world so that I didn't see that my world was crumbling.  My world was waving a white flag and I didn't see it.

It's kind of my pattern I am seeing.  I started young.  Creating the illusion of a perfect student, so that no one would look past it and see the molestations, the crazy Mom, the non-existent father, the weird situations that my family life was involved in and how my family of origin functioned....or really didn't.  I worked my ass off to build up many smoke screens so that no one ever even thought to look.  I have been doing this for 40 some odd years.

You talk to anyone that knows me and they will tell you....I get shit done!

But, the first time the smoke cleared...just a little......on October 22, 2012 and it rained...it was enough to see that my son was not just an odd duck....there was something wrong!  And now, I look back and see that it was wrong for many years...I just wouldn't, couldn't see it.

So, I made the decision to stop.  Stop running.  Stop the smoke screens...even tho I really didn't get that I was creating them.  Learn to be still...and see.  Stop and take inventory of my life.  Stop saving the world and save me and my family.

But, stopping is not easy.  Creating smoke screens and saving the world is a drug.  It's a drug that makes it feel OK.  It gives me the sense that I got it....I am rocking it.  And now...now that I am stopping....all that baggage, all that pain - physical & mental, all that vision...is here.  I have been running from it....but its been about a mile down the road, following me in a moving truck.  And folks....it's here.

This week, I am seeing more and more.  The other day...I missed a weight group meeting with my therapist because I took sooooo many Diphenhydramine for crazy, itchy hives that I passed out.  I didn't know why I was itchy...But, I was drawing blood I was scratching so much.  The next day, I took Nash in to see her and she looked at me and said what is happening to you?  I didn't know.

On Thursday, I had my meeting with the therapist.  I had my epiphany!  I saw it and she explained it.  All the pain and suffering I have been running from...is here  :)  So, I looked at her and said....fuck this!  No, I don't have time to do this now.  And she asked me if I was going to run some more...because if I was....I could.  But, it won't go away!  It will follow me and rear its ugly head again or...I can feel it now.  Deal with it.  Quit playing games and face my shit.

Obviously, I stopped running a little while ago because the fibromyalgia that I have had and thought it was a made up disease, reared its ugly head.  And I hurt!  I have invisible hives.  Oh, I have it all.  I have had horrid pain that all I could do was cry in bed.  And from what I am told...I can't choose to feel one thing at a time.....it's black or white.  Feel nothing or feel everything

All the pain I never allowed myself to feel...I am feeling now.  And if I choose to stop it.....I can....but it will come back.

I am fifty now...and I hurt!  And I am going to consciously allow myself to hurt.  I am NOT enjoying it.  But, I know it will get better.  And I am going to learn things about me and about my family.  Once I feel it all......I will be done.  So....wish me well.  Know that while I am limping....its not about what happened today, I am just learning from my past.

And I am NOT going to go out and save the world!  I wrote the new SSS President that even tho I said I would be available for things......I can't.  It's my drug of choice.  Who would turn down saving the world?  Me.  Because I have to.  I must for my family.  I must for me.  I can NOT bring out my cape...it is retired until I can use it for "my good".

Today, was uncontrollable burning muscles and joints.  I survived.  But, you MUST know....feeling sucks!   I am assured that the more I feel, the easier it will get.  Funny how things happen.  How our brains work. 

So, I will be feeling.

FEELING SUCKS!

Friday, August 2, 2013

have you ever done something for someone...just cuz?

I met this young, adorable couple at my job a couple of weeks a go.  I liked from their first couple of words.  They were little special people you could tell.  They are moving up here from San Diego for the hubby to go to school and learn how to run a backpacking type business.  He was in the war and is using his benefits to go back to school...and found a school that teaches what he wants to do in our community.

They made the decision to move here and the next day...drove up here to find a place to live.  I showed them several houses online and gave them the Mom lecture of where to live and not live, how to be safe, where to eat while in town and...what?  you have no place to stay yet?  They stayed in town a day then went back home.  When in my office I gave them my cell phone number just in case something happened up here and they needed help.

I kind of forgot about them and then....a couple of days ago I got a call at the office from them.  they were going to be here and need to find a house.  They were having a VA award letter faxed to us because they don't have a fax.  Yay!  The cute couple is coming back.

When they arrived in my office....there was a crowd of people in there...but I saw them gleam when they walked in!  My cute couple was back.  We talked I showed them a couple of properties online and had another gal take a look at there application to see what range they should stick too.  And after I asked all the Mom questions about where they were staying...and also about their wedding that just happened.  I asked them if there was anything I could do for them.  Britton, the girl, asked me if I was the owner of the van outside?  I said yes...why?  She said you have an autism magnet on the back of your car...do you do something or are connected to autism in some manner.  I smiled...and showed them my Nash.  I am a Mom of a boy with autism, I told her.

She smiled and said.....I hate to ask but I need to find a job and I work with children with autism.  She told me her credentials,,,and I was in love!  I told them...I am the one you needed to meet!  I know people in this town.  I know I can find you a job!  What can I do?  I called everyone I know and posted something on facebook.  I got that girl leads!

And today, another new tenant came in to move in...she just happens to work in the autism field and they are looking for someone to hire!  Boom!  I texted her the info.  Then she called me back feeling bad.  Tammy, we found a house on Craigs List...not with you.  And I tell her...great!  I hope its the perfect house for them.  And that they now have a friend in Sonora.  I will have them for dinner and introduce them to people that will make life easier.

When I got home....at dinner...I tell my family.  My daughter is always Ms. Negative.  She says "Mom, one of these...those people you always help are going to kill you"  LOL  Really?  She says I do too much for everyone and called me a doo-gooder. 

So, that's not a bad name!  It makes me happy to help people.  And I know...they are sweet kids, just doing that crazy thing we all did.........jump.  Put everything you have and move somewhere you have never been.  Because what have you got to lose?  You have the one you love beside you.  It's you against the world.

Isn't life about paying it forward?  Reaching back and pulling forward?  Doing a kindness because you just can.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

back to school shopping

My son.....loves to shop but not for clothing.  He won't try anything on and will only wear certain things.  We shop online for most all of this clothing.

This boy has really grown in the past 2 months!

He has moved from the little boy section to the big boy section.  This....is...going...to...be...a...hard sell!

Nash really is almost 8 years old.....but, mentally is about 3 to 4.  He likes playing with younger kids if they are around and he likes younger things.

The clothes in this new size have characters that my son is not a fan of or doesn't even know.

Can't they make clothing the same in one store for our children.  So that...is my son at the age of 13...wants to wear Superman pajamas, they will be provided, in the same style he is used to.

Sure,,,there are others out there like Nash.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

parenting...on a team

I never wanted to be a parent.  Not that I don't love my children...because I love them more than life itself.  But, I really, never wanted to be a parent.

I don't have high opinions of the parents I grew up knowing and the parents I thought were good parents....never really were around nor would they be MY parent.

So, growing up I never thought about being a parent. 

I never wanted to be married.  I saw the many marriages my family went thru and I never wanted that.  I never dreamed of that white dress.  I never thought about walking down the isle because....I never had anyone that would have walked me down the isle.  So, screw marriage too  :)

So, here I am...married with children.  How did that happen???

It's a long story....but, I want to talk about my marriage and children today.

My daughter was raised solely by me.  I never had to consult anyone else about how to raise because he was dead.  I made decisions alone.  I had advise from family and friends...some good and some really shitty. 

When I met Hubby...I did not want to get married.  I loved him and we got pregnant with Nash but, being married was not for me.  I was fortunate enough to have death benefits from my first marriage so I continued to be a single parent who happened to live with the father of one of my children.  LOL  I know...sounds crazy.

I raised my children and loved Hubby...who was not my Hubby.  I didn't ask his opinion of my parenting and he just went along with what I did because he could NOT oppose me.  And if he did....it was regretted.  Wow...I sound awful but truthful.

Then we got to where we are now.  This is not working for either of us.  5 years ago, I decided to marry Hubby.  Not for pure love but because I needed insurance and he needed deductions.  I thought nothing would change....but everything did.

The more I tried to be independent...the more I couldn't be.  I was married.

Then we flipped roles.  I went to work and Hubby came home after retiring.  And we found autism.  Even tho we flipped roles....I did not budge on doing it all.  It was my cape...my badge...who I was.

Last month...we cracked.  Our marriage cracked and looked like it was going to fail.  And since I was having to actually share parenting...even tho I said I wanted to share...I am learning...I really didn't.  I asked Hubby to be on my team and parent with me....but it had to be by my rules.  Who would do this??  I certainly would NOT!  Hubby went on vacation and while he was gone...I enjoyed it.  I did NOT have to ask anyone anything.  And I told him not to come back.  Can you see how well this was working out??

And as soon as I told him...I was doing this alone....I knew I could.  I have done it before and I could do it again.

But.....

I have been alone my whole life!  Do I want to do this?  Do I want to raise another child...alone?  Do I want to be alone again?  What if I try something new.  What If I share?  What is I allow him to be on my team...how he wants to be?  What if....I quit being a jerk.

While he was gone...we talked.  We cried.  We screamed. 

Then he came home.  I had to decide to share.  To be a team.  To be a couple.  To be parents.  To share our children.  OUR CHILDREN. 

This was huge for us...BOTH of us!

Thank God for marriage therapy already in place.  Thank God for individual therapy. 

I am so proud of me and us.  Because if I hadn't decided to be open and to share....I would be divorcing.  I don't ever want to be divorced.  We are negotiating.  Sharing.  Being kind.  Allowing others to voice their opinions.  Wow...how weird.

This is work.  Hard work!  Worthwhile work.  Scary work.  But, my children are benefiting from the hard work and so are we. 

We are both learning to work on a team.  Parenting together.  It's funny...I have always known that I don't have parenting skills yet...I always thought I knew it all and never let anyone help or give me advise.

I told my Hubby to come home smelling like shit because then I would know he got his head out of his ass.  But, you know what?  I smelled like shit too.  I pulled my head out too.

I am learning that marriage is so very hard.  And parenting is hard.  And I never saw anyone get to the other side of the hard part.  And not that we are done.  We are working...we are going thru the hard part, together.  Marriage is hard.   But the work you do when things get hard...makes marriage better.  I never knew the work existed.  I just thought that's when you walked away.

So, have you been to a hard spot in your marriage?  Did you check out or get to work? 

Monday, July 15, 2013

racing mind....lots of changes

can't sleep.

Going to see my 1st of many people to start the road to Bariatric surgery or...the sleeve.  I have been to the seminars...many, many seminars...until I found a surgeon I liked.  Then I met one on one with him.  Now I start the learning to life a new lifestyle.  This is something I have thought about off and on for many years but always thought I could do it on my own.  LOL  Every-time I try to lose weight...I only get bigger.  And now at 50 years old...I either do it now or die soon.  Especially with our new fun...autism in the house and a new mission daily.

I need to be all that I can be....and this ain't cutting it.  So, for the life we are in now...I need to be my best.  And for years....I never cared to live a long life.  I never felt worthy of living a long life or wanted to because it would be a long time that I would have to live a life I was not good enough for.  Or so I always felt.

Watching my daughter and son grow and become these wonderful people....I want to see it until the end.  Not an early end that I always hoped for.  Until the bitter end....where I drive in hard and have life living wear marks not a blob that was just done and tired.

So, I am going to get healthy....not thin.  Just a healthier weight.  Wear purple/lavender/violet hair and be a source to be reckoned with.  I am going to wear my overalls I have been hanging on to and I am going to get a tattoo!  Because I am my own woman.  I don't need my past to validate that life was hard.  I don't need to listen to a Mom tell me I am worthless and feel worthless because my Dad never cared anything about me.  I now know...it had nothing to do with me.  They battled their own demons and I was just there.  I fought to get noticed and never got noticed by the ones I hoped would notice.  I became big with a big mouth to get the notice I craved.  And I am a commanding presence.  I get done what needs to get done but maybe in not the best way.  And maybe that is how I will remain...I don;t know how that will change.  But, I am here and what I say matters.  I will fight for my children and their right to be all that they can be.  And who they are.  And whatever it takes to get them where they want to be.

When I turned 50 last February I wanted to mark the occasion.  I wanted to make it mean something.  And for the life of me....everything I thought just wasn't it.  And I didn't know it wasn't it until I thought again about going ahead with the bariatric surgery.  This change is not only good for me but good for my family.

I want to have the life I was always told I was not good enough for.  Because I am....enough.  I don't need to hide behind this weight because whats inside is not the embarrassment of my childhood.  I never again have to sit at a table for dinner to have my family laugh at me because I was not allowed to eat what they were eating.  It was always OK in my family to make fun of my weight because they always said if I was embarrassed enough....I would change.

Yep...this was me.  I was not FAT!  But, I was told to take cross tops to control my hunger.  I was put on a diet of grapefruit & hard boiled eggs.  I got a spoon full of peanut butter on Saturdays and Sundays as a treat.  And the bonus....my brothers were allowed and encouraged to call me names like "How now brown cow" or "Burtha Butt and the Butt sisters" and if I cried about the names....I was told to lose weight because this was my fault.

My biggest fear about losing weight.....is to NOT look like my Mom!  That is the scariest thing.  I see her there in the mirror.  Growing up I was always told I looked just like her and I would say no I don't.  I am fat!  She never was.  It was how I distanced myself from her.

So now....I am controlling my life and how I feel about it.  I have had many stumbling blocks but I think...after 50 years.....I got this.  I am facing this.  I am enough.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ribbon Necklace with a little Origami Owl

the entire double ribbon necklace with Origami Owl charms, locket and dangles

When I first heard about Origami Owl....I was entranced!  I wanted to sell it.  But, life happened and I needed to stop doing direct sales and focus my energy on my family.  So, I kind of forgot about it.

The other night...I went on to Facebook and one of my friends, Andrea, was hosting an Origami Owl online party.  I jumped over and was drooling!  Hubby and I are in a interesting time in our marriage and when I am needing soothing...I shop!  And I did.  And...I don't regret the purchase at all!

I LOVE IT! 

I have been wearing my necklace every moment and showing it off to all of my friends.  I even booked my own party that ends on July 3rd  Tammy's Facebook Origami Owl party!

Today...we are having a heat wave!  I took the kids down the hill to Target and it was 110!  OMG!  I was sweating and my daughter said "Mom....your neck is green!"   Well, I have always only been able to wear 18 ct gold or better or my skin rots.  And that was going on today.  ICK!

Anyway...I love my necklace and want more.  So, what to do???

I got out my jewelry making stuff and found some cute go with anything ribbon....and made this fabulous necklace to hold my locket and dangles!  It was so cute...even my teenage daughter said "Mom, you should post it on Pinterest".  I almost fell over dead!

All you need is ribbon, ribbon pinch crimps, a couple of lobster clips, some O-rings and boom!  Total beauty that won't turn green!  Hoot!  Hoot!

close up of dangles, charms & locket

ribbon pinch clasps and lobster clip

my ribbon  :)
 It was so easy!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Walls up...battle stations

Today was my therapy session.  I do love my therapist...even tho she is teeny, tiny.  But, she is real.  She is flawed and I like that about her  :)

I have been going to therapy for several years...dealing with my past and childhood.  And now....dealing with my children and my marriage.  Boy....you can NOT have thin skin and go to therapy!  Not if you want to get better  :)

I would love....to not be like my Mom.  I know a lot of you love your Mom.  And I do love my Mom.  She was not a good Mom.  She was NOT the worst Mom either.  But, as a Mom now....I see what a MUCH BETTER job she could have done.  I know a lot of people say that when they became Mom's they finally understood their Moms and all that she went thru to raise them and became closer.   
My feelings are......way opposite!

Anyway...the awareness of our son's ASD, the early retirement of my Hubby and his leaving the correctional department after 27 years, me returning to work and closing my business, the financial difficulties these have put on us and the general changes that Mid-life bring upon you...or marriage is rocky.  We have both committed to riding it out and never looking in the direction of the "D" word.

But...sometimes you need a break.  We are at that point.

I have been paddling alone for the past several months.  Hubby has been thinking we are on a cruise to a strange land and has been afraid to open his eyes.  I got him brochures, got him a passport, got him travel books about our trip and a tour guide, printed out maps, stood him at the edge of the dock and then seated him in the boat.  I did everything else....then got in the boat and started paddling.

I am tired of paddling alone.

I see that Hubby hasn't grabbed a paddle yet, or opened his eyes, or read any of the brochures or travel books.  He pretends the tour guide is not there.  And is stuck.

I love my Hubby.  He is my best friend.  But, I can not live his life nor can I change anything about it.  Only he can do this.

He saw his life differently. 

Maybe a life in Paris?  Maybe even fishing off the coast of Mexico. 

I saw a life of a family...I have always wanted a family.

I lived a life of secrets my whole life.  I would see one thing and was always told it was something else.  I was always told I was less than and not enough.  I hated that life. 

I swore that no matter what, I would never lie or keep secrets again.  I would place my roots down for my children and never pull them up for any reason.  I would speak my mind and if someone didn't like it...they could kiss my ass!  I would do...whatever I needed to do.......to make my children's life something they would never run from or be embarrassed by.  I would call a spade, a spade....and explain why to anyone that wanted to listen...or not  :)

And I don't really give a shit what you...or anyone else thinks about me, my life or the choices I have made to be where I am today.

But, from early childhood.....I learned to build walls.  My walls are impenetrable!  They are 100 feet thick and made of steel!  When you come from a tough childhood...you learn to build walls.  One of the things I have been working on in therapy...is to let down my walls.  Take the reinforcement down.  Let some sun shine in  :)

Today, I told my therapist that Hubby was on a vacation to see his kids and grandkids.  He was also on a vacation from me and our kids.  He was tired of living in a mental hospital.  He was tired of trying to understand ASD.  He wanted a better life.  He had other plans for his life.  He had always wanted to travel when he retired and he can't do that now.  He would like to retire somewhere else.  He wanted to be better off financially and not facing loan modification and the possible loss of our home.  He wanted more than what he has.

So, I told him to go on a vacation.  I was already paddling alone.  I told him to think about what he wanted and what he could do about his situation.  I instantly put up my walls....thicker and stronger than ever.  Because now...the walls don't just protect me.

When I told my therapist this....she was not happy.  She saw that when my walls are thick and high....I get very intellectual and rational.  My heart...is gone.  The space between her and I is greater than the physical distance between me and Hubby. 

I am scared.  And then I am not.

I raised Sophie all alone.  And now that Hubby is gone...the stress is gone from the house.  We are not having meltdowns.  Our behavior therapist is calling nightly because she knows..shit is going to hit the fan soon...and it hasn't yet.  Everything our behavior therapist has asked to be implemented months ago...is implemented!  And working great! 

Hubby calls daily.  Nash is distancing himself from Dad because having Dad gone hurts.  I feel guilty enjoying the peace and quiet.  And I am scared that maybe...just maybe.  This is it.

He claims to miss us and I believe him.  I told him that he MUST get his head out of his ass and get over this denial phase he is in.  He MUST read......READ....a Temple Grandin book about Autism.  He must be on the team or submit his application to leave. 

Before he left...I made him see our marriage therapist alone and make an appointment with his doctor that he MUST keep.  Every time I talk to him on the phone...I assure him that if he chooses to stay...I will not fight it.  All I ask is forewarning because this is going to be a HORRIBLE thing for Nash. 

I do not like the unknown.  I HATE surprises.  Yet...after many months of running with band-aides and putting out fires on a daily and hourly basis...I am enjoying the calm before the storm. 

Am I sure there is a storm?  It may not be the storm I am anticipating...but there WILL be a storm.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Do you schmooze for what you need???

We are new to the spectrum.  Yes, we are the late comers to this lovely change....a child on the spectrum.

As I have said before...I always knew the boy was weird.  My little odd fellow, Nash.  And on October 22, 2012...it rained!  And that day...our life changed.  Was it him?  Or me?  Was he always more than weird and I didn't choose to see it.  Or was he just odd....and the rain woke him up to his life???

I have no fucking idea!

Anyway, when it happened....I was all over it!  I have the ability to perform amazing feats when necessary.  I know enough people really to be dangerous.  I know enough people in the right places that when this shift happened...I was able to get answers and get people to listen to me rather quickly.

From October 22 to December 3...Nash went from a very solemn, very active, very odd, rarely a problem child to a child on medications for ADHD with full knowledge that the spectrum is there...just not sure where.

By the 1st of January I was reading everything I could get my hands on and had Nash in therapy to figure out "what the fuck?"  I had the ear of our pediatrician, a therapist, the school counselor, the principal, the special education department of our school and parents in our community that had answers and other connections.

On February 28, we finally were able to get into to see a psycho-pharmacologist neurologist in Walnut Creek and did not accept our insurance but would be willing to see us for $600 and would provide us with a diagnosis and meds.  Because at this point....my beautiful, quiet but active boy had become violent!  And I was the focus of his rage.  I was scared!

On February 28, I had also served the school with a formal request for an IEP.  I never knew I could ask for one.  They gave me SST meetings but nothing else.  And never told me I could ask for this.  Even tho I was talking to people in the know.....it was not laid right out for me.  I was told by the school I had to have a diagnosis to even talk to anyone about asking for help.  And I was asking for help and a diagnosis.

It was before this that I was recommended a woman to see.  I had talked to her on the phone after many well connected people made introductions thru secret doorways on my behalf.  I spoke to her on the phone one evening.  She scared the crap outta me!  I made arrangements to meet her at my office because a Monday holiday was here and no one (was supposed to be) would be at work.  LOL  They were all at work!  But before our supposed meeting...the more I thought about her...the more of a whack job I thought she was.  And I had to pay her cash because we had private insurance and she only accepts medi-cal.  I decided to NOT meet with her and cancelled our meeting.  She never picked up her message...showed up at my office and met everyone I work with.  They hated her!  I later talked to other professionals that explained why she is the way she is and we met again.  I loved her!  And I still see her and pay her cash for her help.  Altho...we are negotiating trading her services for timeshare points with our WorldMark timeshare.  She loves WorldMark  :)  WorldMark by Wyndham

So, back to February 28th.  I walked out of the psycho-pharmacologist neurologist in Walnut Creek's office with a full diagnosis of ADHD, PDD-NOS and the possibility of more and a prescription for a medicine that will make him not so mean!  Best money spent!  SWEAR!

Since then....we have weekly sessions with our behavior specialist, we have our own local psychiatrist that has changed Nash's diagnosis to Autism, ADHD and anxiety.  We have tweaked the meds and added more for sleep...because my kids don't sleep and Nash does not know how to self-sooth.  We have also added a marriage therapist for me & Hubby, single therapy for me and single therapy for Hubby (ok, 1 session....but that was hard to get him to agree to).  And a successful IEP meeting on May 2nd.  I have also gotten myself appointed to the Community Action Committee for SELPA and will see what other stuff I can get myself into.  Because I schmooze and I get what I want and what I need.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

the joy of sleeplessness

My kids don't sleep well. 

Heck...I don't sleep well.  Never have in my entire life!

Last night...my Hubby left after we put Nash to bed to take a 9 day trip up to Washington & Oregon to see his daughters, son-in-law and grand-kids.  I have been preparing Nash for the event making calendars to track when it would happen and a calendar that started today so that he will know when Dad will be coming home.

I did not think leaving after we put Nash to bed was a good idea because he didn't see him leave.  But, I was assured by Hubby that it would be fine. 

Why am I always right.

About 1am....Nash woke up and came to me in bed.  "Mom, can we cuddle?"  Sure, climb in. 

He had a million questions.  Am I sure Dad left?  Where is Dad now?  Is he there yet?  Why hasn't he called?  Why did he leave?  Is he coming back?  I answered every question and rubbed his back.  His anxiety was very high!

I would dose off and on between the questions and concerns that Nash had.  I would ask if he was ready to go to bed...and he would reply nope.  Finally at 3:30am...I am exhausted!  I need to sleep.  I tell him he will be fine in his own bed...let's go. 

I get him tucked in, kissed all over his little face and assure him again that Dad is just driving and we will talk to him in the morning.

I AM NOW WIDE AWAKE!

I piddle on Facebook and shop a little and decide...I have GOT TO SLEEP!

I take a pain pill because I ache all over and eventually fall asleep.

5am....Nash is by my side.  Very upset and worried.  Even tho I told him to go to sleep...he did not.  He laid in bed and watched a movie on his DVD player.....this his therapist thinks is a good idea.  I fought it for a while...but, I do get to sleep when he is watching a movie.  I get him into bed..rub is little back and talk away his worries.

By 6am...he is still concerned about Dad and wondering where he is.  We call.  I put Nash on speaker because he does not like to have the phone touch him.  We get dad on the phone and fine that he is still about 1 1/2 hours from Portland.  He has pulled over a couple of times to rest.  Nash now feels better and is less worried.  We say good bye.

Mom...if I can watch a movie in here with you...you can sleep.  Sure Buddy...why not!  He gets his Kindle because it has his current fav...Toy Story 2.  This is a good one because I have it memorized so when I need to comment...I can in my sleep  :)

When the movie is done....I say its time to get ready for the day and kick the boy out so I can shower.  Then I get our 9 days organized so that we can function while balancing work for me, 1/2 day camp for Nash and Middle College for Sophie all week.

I would like to say this is going to be a breeze...but it won't be.

This is my first Summer that I have worked at a real job.  That Sophie has a life and not my "beck & call" babysitter and Nash is only in 1/2 day camp because Hubby was supposed to be around.  So, it should be an interesting week and if I can do it....I TOTALLY ROCK!

So, here's hoping that Nash stays in bed tonight.  I had to threaten him...because...damn...I am freakin' tired!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

a calendar change for Nash....Wholy Hell Batman!

Since Nash has developed a more distinct side of Autism and it's wonderful spectrum...the calendar has been a friend...and foe!

I have always had a family calendar in a desk type journal and then a weekly wipe-off type on the fridge for quick reference.  My friend Trinity suggested that I make Nash his own calendar to help with any changes in his routine.  This has been a real life saver many times over.

BUT................

A couple of weeks ago I scheduled an intake meeting with a local agency, VMRC.  I didn't really point it out on the calendar nor did I remember to put it on Nash's calendar!  Between the intake guy and me...we screwed up the date.  I had kept Nash home from school to make him late for school and the intake did not show...'cuz there was a mistake.  When I saw the mistake, it was after hours of waiting and drama...I rushed Nash to school.  Swearing that I would NOT do this again!

So, tomorrow is our new appointment.

On Sunday...like every Sunday.....I erase the old calendar and write the new calendar for the family....and Nash.  I pointed out to Nash that on Thursday, he would be late for camp or could decide to not go to camp that day.  I explained what the appointment was and that was it.  It was being done...no more talking.

It has been a source of anxiety ever since. 

Why do I have see this guy?
Who is he?
Why is he coming to our house?
Why do I have to miss camp?
You can't make me miss camp!
You can't tell me what to do!
I don't want to see this guy!
I hate him...he's mean to me.

The closer it gets....the more anxious Nash becomes.  Yesterday....I had a HUGE light-bulb moment!  I got the notice of appointment, with all the pertinent information on it and showed this to Nash.  He is a concrete thinker...this he can't argue with.  It worked!  It worked for almost 2 1/2 hours.  He was accepting of the appointment and even asked if he COULD go to camp late.

I was feeling pretty good about myself!

Then it started all over again.

Why do I have see this guy?
Who is he?
Why is he coming to our house?
Why do I have to miss camp?
You can't make me miss camp!
You can't tell me what to do!
I don't want to see this guy!
I hate him...he's mean to me.

Today...from the moment I woke up this morning...this is all Nash can talk about.

I am crazed.  I have told Nash that I can NOT talk about this anymore!  It's happening.  Stop talking!

Then my sweet adorable son...became the jerk.  Threw a fork at me.  And threatened to throw another one.  He lost 5 minutes of time before bed.  The evening...SUCKED!

Nash is a mess.  Threatening to runaway tomorrow before the guy comes.

But now...it is quiet.  Nash is drugged up and sleeping.  I am PRAYING that he sleeps the entire night because this is a new thing...sleep.  And honestly....I am really loving the sleep!  SLEEP ROCKS!

I am dreading tomorrow.  The appointment is at 9am....so, this is potentially, if we are lucky......3 to 4 hours of crazy.  Or Nash will wake up at 3...like is usual before the new drugs and the torture will be for 6 hours!

Hubby and I started making plans already for diversion tricks.

Can I just say....I hate Autism.  Not just a little...but a really whole bunch!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

filling out MORE paperwork for an intake interview for services

One of the things I am finding now that all I do it fill out paperwork for Nash, Nash's teacher's, Nash's doctors, psychiatrists and now for possible services....................I should have a rubber stamp made of this info!

Unlike my 1st child, Sophie.  I documented everything with her life.  I even added pages to her baby book to talk more about every little thing she did and when...and save it to memorialize at a later date.  I had nothing better to do.  I was crazy.  I was widowed.  And I had nothing else to do but Sophie.

Nash.  The day Nash was born...I was in labor for over 28 hours.  An damn it...it was hard labor for the last 5 hours!  I pushed like no one had EVER pushed to get that boy outta me!  They even convinced me to get on my feet, and hold on to the back of the lifted up bed....squat and push!  Yeah...if you know me...this picture....is....horrible!

The boy was stuck!

I asked for the vacuum to suck him out!  I asked for forceps to pull him out.  HE WAS STUCK!

Because of the pre-eclampsia...I was SUPER swollen!  And they had to now do a c-section.  Nope...no saddle block for me.  I was going to have my baby boy with a general anesthesia.  So, I wasn't even there for the birth...no one was!

They cut the boy out....took him to father and family....and eventually I woke up and they presented him to me.  With thoughts of a change up...since the boy was a red head....I'd swear...there was a mistake!

I was assured by all involved that this kid was mine.  But, because I was NOT there at his birth...I have a hard time remembering his birth weight, length and time of birth.  I know....terrible Mom!

So now..............................I have to fill out paper work asking all of this information and I don't just know it!  I did not do a baby book for Nash.  I scrapbooked his little life.  So, there is not one page that has every piece of his information....its on hundreds of pieces of scrapbook paper in many albums.

So tonight...I went thru Sophie's babybook and looked up stuff and then thought back to when Nash did that....because they were polar opposites.

So, one day I am going to have to go back and recreate a babybook for Nash.  Because he did everything at a weird time.  I hate paper work!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

school changes to Summer vacation

and no....Nash is not a change lovin' kid!

I never had a clue that Nash was autistic....but I always knew this kid was weird!  But now....that we know....it's like duh!  How did we NOT know?

This week was the last day of school and Hubby's first time experiencing the joy this brings  :)  I always dreaded Summer.  Why?  Other than the heat...it was all the crap I had to deal with with my kids. 

We don't like change.

Hell....I HATE CHANGE!

But, I have learned over the years to accommodate and keep Nash moving the first week.  I warned Hubby that this week sucked.  But, really could not explain why...but just assured him...it was awful!

The first day...Thursday.  I got phone calls and text messages of craziness.  I was at work.  And since we had a missing co-worker.....I was picking up some extra hours.  And...don't tell Hubby....but enjoying that I was NOT home!  When I came home on Thursday afternoon...I found a package from Amazon on my bed.....with words written on the box.

In my Hubby's handwriting...I am going to bug you until I get what I want.  I am going to bug you until I get what I want.  Over and over.  I smiled...then got concerned.  My daughter came in and asked if Dad was alright?  I looked at the box and said...nope...he isn't.  And...where is Dad?  Sophie didn't know.

I looked around the house and could see...there had been something going on.

In minutes...Hubby pulls up.  Nash comes in 1st with a handle full of money and declares....this is NOT my money!  Hubby then comes in...looking very tired and very stressed out.  He is talking in crazy circles and then I remember back...to when I was home with Nash. 

I knew.  Someone opened the door and let crazy in!

I tried to talk to Hubby....but he was DONE!  So, I went in to talk to Nash.  In his way...I found out that someone got stuck on stupid and drove Daddy crazy.  And did everything he knew how...to not kill the boy.

Nash broke his favorite chair this morning....and it was all he could talk about.  But, he threw away the chair.  And honestly...has not used the chair in a very long time.  So, it went on...Daddy didn't get it, Nash was stuck...and crazy ensued  :)

Daddy fed crazy all day.

Nash can't unstick himself.  Boy...can that boy focus on a subject!  It was a very long day at my house. 

I may not know the rules to this game...but I have played it many times.  I couldn't explain the game to Hubby but was able to tell him how to stand firm and not get sucked in. 

Like in the "Godfather" movies.

This isn't personal....this is business.
And the business is Autism.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pinterest organization! YES!

I am an organizing queen!

Yes, I am!  <meta name="p:domain_verify" content="2c093e502cba7cc3ad0b01600af45b31"/>

But....

I always had a calendar and papers on the corner of my counter.  Everything was there...so it was not like I was NOT organized.  But, when I knew people were coming over...I always hid the corner.  I would gather it up and put it in a drawer.  If I was taking a photo...I would crop out that area.

Then the other day...while had a brain dead moment at work....I clicked on Pinterest.  I cruised around and saw this!

I owned a file box like this!

I had file folders!

OMG!  This is a Pinterest pin I have to do!

Do you love Pinterest??  I do...altho I do forget it's there sometimes and try to go it alone.  Then...I remember...Pinterest!  I love Pinterest!

So, this morning....after I got my other stuff done...it was corner time!  

But, I was out of medium sized clips and I needed a calendar because I always use a calendar that goes by the school year...and it will end this month.  So, off to Staples!

Have you seen the Martha Stewart section of Staples???  I do believe it is heaven!  

So, I found the perfect sized calendar for the front of my file box.  And it was a lovely blue that matched the colors of the file box.  AND it was on sale!  

Then I looked for the clips....I am hooked on these.  I use them all the time!  They are great to decorate with paper or just ink.  They are great photo holders...and note holders.  So, found them!  

And because I wanted to have a fresh start on organizing....new tabs...that all matched!

I got home and threw everything on the table....and cleaned everything thing out.  Moved everything pertinent from the old calendar to the new.  Emptied sad, old paperwork that was not necessary to the garbage and put new stuff in.  Made nice tabs to find everything....and....

Botta bing, Botta boom......

Here it is!


It is so awesome!

In the original Pinterest post...she had her notebook standing up in the back.  I do not have a notebook...I have a file packet for tax receipts.

Normally, I would have to lift a pile off my calendar....to see my calendar.  But now.....It's AWESOME!





Tuesday, May 28, 2013

trying to be not a "Mommy" Mom...failed

My 15 1/2 year old daughter is preparing for Middle College. At the first meeting with all of the new parents and students....I was told that I am to start treating my child as if she were an adult.  I can not make her decisions for her.  I can NOT find out any information about anything she is doing at the college...because in all intents and purposes...she is an adult.

Last week she sat with NOT the counselor assigned to help students choose their classes for the Fall semester.  Sophie came home telling me that her NOT counselor thought it would be a really great idea to take a night class her first time at a college.  6PM to 9PM.

When I was told...I did NOT flip out.  I told Sophie that I thought having a 5 hour break and being at the college at night was a bad idea.  Asked her how she thought she was going to get home at 9pm in the evening?  She is 15....and will still be 15 when she starts in the Fall.

We have tried to learn how to drive but the motivation is not there.  At this point, she really does not want to learn.  I get it...I didn't either.

So, how will she be getting home from a 9PM class?  Hum.......  The bus does not run that late.  Mommy is on the other side of the hill and will be in her jammies at 9PM.  And what other people will be at school at 9PM?  NOT people I would like my 15 year old baby to see.

Our community college that she will be attending...at the age of 15......is a very rural place.  With trees.  BIG TREES!  And adults.  OK...men!

I have been understanding, I have asked why she needs to take this particular class at night.  Why would anyone want to take a class at night after waiting 5 hours?  What in the HELL was that counselor thinking?  I have asked Sophie....in every conceivably nice way....why this needed to happen.  Tonight during dinner I asked if I could look thru the catalog of classes to see if I could find a more appropriate class at a better time...just to help.  Maybe I have fresh eyes.

I handed her my choices.....and asked her to go to her room and "just think" about my suggestions.  Because my daughter is much like me....speaks before she thinks.  She speaks.  I ask her to please think about what she is saying and don't just "poo poo" my ideas.  She becomes a condescending person because SHE has sat with and talked with the counselors at both the high school and the college and...THEY...all know what ...THEY....are doing.

I am done.  I am tired of treating my baby as if she is an adult.  She is not.  She is and always has been 1 year behind her peers and yet looks like she is ahead of them.  Most are shocked when they hear her age.  She is MY BABY.  And it is now time to be a MOMMY!

Sophie starts to explain that this is what her counselor set up and she was fine with it.  So, I look my baby in the eyes....and say....THERE IS NO FUCKING WAY MY BABY WILL BE ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS AT NIGHT!  The counselor that helped her make this decision will be getting a phone call because she did a very bad counseling job with my child.  And the other counselors had better step up and help me correct this because this is stupid! 

What kind of person can think it is appropriate for a 15 year old to be on campus...at night!?!?!?!?!?  Her first year ever being anywhere.

So, I cried.  I finally just looked at Sophie and said....THERE IS NO FUCKING WAY!  THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN!  OVER MY DEAD BODY!  Sophie is a nice child.  She never wants to get in anyone's way or cause someone to have to do more than they should.  Sophie tells me that this is done...and she will live with it.  Oh, my little precious  :)

This is MY JOB!

In the morning...every counselor will be called that was SUPPOSED to counsel my child...and those that DID counsel my child.  And this will be taken care of.  Thank you very much.  There will be hoops to jump and papers to change...and I will be nice and accommodating.  But, next time...they will think twice before they encourage a 15 year old to take a night class.

In the Fall....they can lecture me on letting her be an adult....not now!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Weekend

This weekend has been long already....good but long.

Yesterday, I got to spend the morning with my BFF...Debi.  Where we laughed till we cried and pee'd our pants.  We had breakfast, and talked..........then went to the soap store in Columbia.  Just like we used to do when our girls were in Kindergarten & 1st grade.  Gosh, I miss those days of leisure.  Me, a single parent(widowed) and Debi...a single during the week parent (Hubby worked in the City during the week)
Now, we both work.  I have a husband and another child....and no free-time like we used to have.  We would drop our girls off at school and then go and sit at Starbucks all morning until it was time to pick them up.  I had started a soap making business...making Castile soap & the melt & pour.  I taught Debi how to make soap.  I sold my wears all over town...I loved making soap! 

I also was very artistic.  I would paint furniture artistically.  I got hired by many people in town to paint rooms and paint furniture.  God...I loved it!  I won several ribbons at the local fair for my soaps and furniture  :)

Anyway...I ended up giving my soap business to my Mom because she needs to make some money.  She never paid for it...and ran it into the ground.  But, I miss it.

Those were the days.  I didn't know how simple life was....because it just was.

Now, I am busy all day and all night with family...mainly our son.  I miss my daughter and see that by the time I get back to her...she will be college bound and gone.

Nash announced to me today that he will live with me forever!  So, now I know....I am never going to sleep during the night...ever!

Anyway...I also spent time with my other BFF and got a hair cut....and got to hear everything that is going on. 

I am so fortunate to have my friends in my life.  I felt renewed and ready for the battle when I got home.