Sunday, February 20, 2011

'Dub. Date. Disaster.

I had a crazy, fun weekend.

Saturday started with a road trip to attend a book signing with Ree Drummond. That's right, the one and only Pioneer Woman. Her current book tour came sort of near-ish to me, and I decided it was worth the drive to go see her. So my friend Jen and I loaded up and headed south. We got to the Barnes & Noble semi-early, got tickets in the third group, and wandered around the city for a few hours until it was time for the signing. We only ended up waiting for about an hour and a half to get to the front of the line, and I got to skim several parenting and sensory processing disorder books I'm not willing to commit money to buying while we waited. Score.

That's Jen, P-Dub (who is super cute and totally nice, by the way), and me.

After arriving home (and very quickly pumping my highly engorged boobs), I went on a date. A friend date with my neighbor, that is. She live across the street, and our kids play together whenever we're all outside at the same time, but we've never done anything socially. She asked earlier in the week if I'd like to get a drink sometime, and I said yes. B and the boys were at my in-laws' for the night, so it was a perfect time for me to go out. We went to a local bar, had a few drinks, and chatted. We stayed out late (until almost 11:30!), then came back to my house, drank a bottle of wine, and chatted some more. She was here until 2:30 (!!!), and no, I didn't get a goodnight kiss. Unfortunately, my stupid internal clock woke me up at 7:00 this morning and I couldn't fall back to sleep. But I was less hungover this morning than I anticipated that I would be, so that was a nice surprise.

Being up early this morning worked out ok because B called around 8:00 to tell me that my van had caught fire. Yup. You read that correctly. B, his mom, and the boys were on their way to church when he heard a pop and smoke started rolling out from under the dash. Everyone got out safely and we don't think it was a real fire (more like a smoldering), but nothing power (windows, door, locks, etc.) works any more and it isn't drivable (it starts smoking as soon as you turn the key). B put a call into the insurance company and started a claim. We're hoping this is a covered issue. Really hoping this is a covered issue. Only in my life, right?

Needless to say, I didn't get much accomplished this weekend, but I've got tomorrow off, so I'm hoping to at least get a little of the house work done. The boys and I might venture out somewhere if the ice/sleet/freezing rain crap that's going on right now stops and clears up, but we don't have any plans. I love long weekends.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Swirly

Today I decided that it's a bad idea to schedule your kid's developmental assessment on the same day as a majorly heavy therapy session.

Though I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from W's assessment, I certainly didn't expect it to be as nerve-wracking and exhausting as it was. I spent a good two hours tense and sweating on a chair in the corner while W "played." A couple of days ago, I was researching something related to W, but not at all related to assessments, and saw a link to an article titled something along the lines of, "Surviving Your Child's Developmental Assessment." I laughed. Why would anyone needs tips on "surviving" an assessment? It's not really that big of a deal. Now I know.

The ironic thing is, after all the worrying I did, now that he's qualified for services, I'm not even sure what, exactly, those services entail. The way some of the assessors were talking, it doesn't sound like they provide much of anything except some playgroups (that probably meet in the middle of the day on weekdays and will be super convenient for us to get to). We meet with our specialist next week, which will hopefully give me the answers I want.

Related to that, they're coming to our house for this meeting. Why, why, why do these people insist on doing meetings at my house??? The initial contact we had with this agency was at our house, two days after Christmas, in the middle of the morning. So I had to present a clean house right after Christmas and had to take the day off of work because of the scheduling. They wanted to do W's assessment at our house, too. I turned that option down, even though it meant waiting two months to get the damn thing done. Now, our specialist is coming to the house. And we apparently get to have quarterly meetings - at our house - with our coordinator, who I've determined is pretty much a glorified secretary. All she really does is schedule appointments for me, which is more of a pain in the ass than anything. The way it works is she'll call me with two or three potential appointment times, and if none work, she calls the other place, gets more times, calls me back, and the process repeats. It's a highly inefficient use of time, if you ask me. I could schedule this stuff by myself much more easily.

But I digress. Back to the swirling.

Anyway, at the end of the assessment, I'm pulled into a conference room with about eight other people who've been observing and assessing W. They go around the table and tell me all about his deficiencies (it wasn't anything I didn't already know, but hearing it from strangers always makes me feel like a mom failure), and tell me he qualifies for services. The emotions related to this are complicated. I've had happiness, concern, fear, disappointment, and more swirling around in my head. It's all very overwhelming - and this is coming from a well-educated, fairly intelligent woman who prepared for the assessment and its possible consequences; I can't even imagine how dealing with this would if I didn't have this stuff working to my advantage.

But, on a happy note, W got a pretty cool dinosaur ABC book and some goldfish for a snack, so I think he considered it a successful morning.

A bit later in the afternoon, I had a counseling session. I knew it wasn't going to be a pretty one. And it wasn't. I brought up some ugly stuff I'm dealing with and had to face it, which is never an easy task. Although I felt better when we were done, there's a lot to mull over. So much is swirling around in my head about me, my family, my life, that it's starting to resemble a tornado in there. And it's making me a bit nauseated.

The happy bit from counseling is that I confessed to some things in my head that I've been hiding, even from my counselor, but didn't end up in the psych ward (which has been something of a real concern for me). So...hooray?

Anyway, that was my day. It's been a swirling mess of emotions. Which really isn't so different from any other day in the recent past, I suppose. I just know where the storm is coming from today.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

There's always a straw

I took a huge, scary step tonight. I really don't want to get into the whats and whys of the situation right now. Suffice it to say that the situation has been building for awhile and the final straw was heaped on tonight. I'm putting this out there just to make those of you who follow my life aware that things might be a little rough(er than they have been) in the upcoming days (weeks? months?). Hang in here with me. Hopefully this will blow over and be nothing. But if it doesn't and it is something, I'm going to need more love and support than ever.

Also, blogging from a phone kinda sucks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Poor life choices

I heard yesterday that the girls on MTV's Teen Mom make $60,000 a year.

This makes me think that I've made some poor choices in my life.

I could have gotten knocked up at 15 or 16, whored myself out to a TV channel, and had a more lucrative career than I do currently, all without doing much of anything! I mean, going to college and law school and doing things like "being responsible" and "acting like an adult" are hard. I would have made more money and probably had a better standard of living if I hadn't done any of it.

I think I'll advise the boys to take this route rather than doing something worthwhile with their lives. Seems like solid parenting to me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Finding my peace

In working on my word, and after my little snit the other day, I spent some time the other night coming up with a list of things that bring me some measure of peace. I did this partly to remind myself that my life isn't always a throbbing mass of messy upheaval (though it usually is these days) and partly to give myself an easily-accessible list of things I can reference when I need to step back from my situation a bit. It's pretty short, but it's a start.
  • Reading while sitting alone in my bedroom and not hearing screams on the other side of the door.

  • Finding writings by other moms that make me feel like I'm not the only person who's going through what I am or that give me some hope that maybe, just maybe, someday things might get better. I found today's on Mommypants:

  • "I have learned through trial and error and self-doubt and self-confidence that Mommypants don’t just come made to fit: you either have to suck it in and squeeze them on or hold them up until you find the perfect belt. And sooner or later you will be strutting your stuff, forgetting that there was ever a day when they weren’t hugging your legs and squeezing your behind every time you looked in the mirror."
  • Rocking and nursing R in the dark at bedtime.

  • Crossing important items off my to-do list.
And that's it. For now. I'm hoping I'll be able to find more of these and add to my list over the course of the year.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rage

I know that comparing myself to others does me n0 good. It leaves me angry, sad, and feeling more than inadequate.

But I do it anyway.

Today, I compare myself to another mother who has fought - and mostly won - a battle against PPD. She had it worse that I did/do. She descended into psychosis. She was hospitalized. But in a year she's managed to overcome this awful, awful disease. She's a happy, fulfilled mother. She's getting off her meds. She loves her baby. She's back to normal.

I've followed her journey, cheered her successes, and rued her setbacks. I should feel joy and pride for her.

Instead, I feel angry and bitter. Jealous of her progress.

Her success reminds me of all my failures. It makes me take a long, hard look at myself.

And I am disgusting. An embarrassment. A worthless wreck.

I've been battling a moderate case of PPD for THREE FUCKING YEARS and I have nothing to show for it except a miserable existence, a nearly-constant disdain for my offspring, and a deep-seated desire to run far, far away, back to the days when I was single and hadn't procreated.

Three years, and I'm in no better a position than I was when I started down the PPD rabbit hole. My babies deserve better. My husband deserves better. I deserve better.

But I'm helpless to make it better. Nothing seems to work. So I sit here at my computer and I rage. I rage at those who cope better than I, rage at myself, rage at the unfairness of life, rage at my disease.

I rage at the disease that has taken so much from me and my family because it's all I feel I can do.

At least the rage makes me feel something, even if it is only self-loathing.