Thursday, October 20, 2016

400


 
 
This is my 400th post.  Wow.  It took nine YEARS to reach 400.  Roughly 3,466 days and I finally hit 400.   Well, at least I didn't give up.
I know some people reach 400 in just over a year, if they’re really dedicated…but for me, this seems like a milestone.  I feel like I should have something of significance to blog about…but really, I can’t think of something.
Maybe it will just be a bunch of random thoughts, stories and junk jumbled into a barely coherent post…yea...that sounds like my life, so why not?

First random thought, or question, if you will…how do you parent an adult bi-polar child?  I am truly at a loss.  Dennis is very patient, but is quicker to lose his shit with her, than I am.  I honestly feel like I have taken the time to learn more about the disease than he has.  He feels like it’s used as an excuse, though, I will say, SHE has never used it with us, I have always used it in her defense btwn Dennis & myself.  He thinks she’s immature (true) and needs to grow up (true to a point) and that telling her when she’s acting ridiculous will make her grow up.  He doesn’t realize the behavior is going to repeat itself b/c she doesn’t realize what she’s doing until after she's already done it.  She needs professional help and to stay on her meds, but she doesn’t.
Whit is good about talking to me when she’s upset, and also when she thinks she can ‘bi-polar’ me into giving her something.  She doesn’t know, I know what’s happening…or maybe she doesn’t realize she’s doing it.  She’s called/texted me upset and crying, saying she doesn’t want to turn into her birth-mom.  I listen and try to console her.  Nine out of ten times, she cries and we hang up when she’s calmed down…but there is always that 1 percent when she talks about money.  She never comes out and asks me for it, but I can hear her tone and tell she’s maybe suggesting it without suggesting it.  

But honestly, that’s not even something I worry about.  So what, she wants to ask me to borrow money…but she knows I’m not going to give it up.  If she needs diapers, I will buy diapers, if she needs lactose free milk, I will buy it…but cash…no.
Back to my question…how do I get through to her?  She is always looking for that next, ‘high’.  Not literally (well, sometimes it is), but it’s more the excitement of a new relationship, a new place to live, new people in her life that she can share stories with and maybe build her forever, happy home and life with. 
I know she longs for a happy ending, but she is too impatient to build it, as most bi-polar people are.  She needs instant gratification and she takes it at the cost of her children.  Not intentionally, of course, she truly loves them.  But nonetheless, she is hurting them.  The constant moving (6 times in 9 months in just 2016!), the lack of stability, the constant introduction of people she doesn’t know well.  She leaves the babies with them and doesn’t take into consideration, the babies can’t protect themselves!  They are two & one years old – what are they supposed to do?  Say no? Stop any abuse that may be happening?  Tell someone? They can’t even speak!  The thought of anything happening to them frightens me to the core.  We love them so much.  How do we protect them from a distance?  When she lives with us, we can, but when she jumps from place to place (especially when the place isn’t local), how do we keep them safe from the dangers she doesn’t contemplate?  How do we make her understand the danger she is putting them in?  If she were to lose the children, I think it might push her over the edge.  Having lived in various foster homes until she was adopted by a family she didn’t get along with, I don’t think she could handle that possibly happening to the kids if they were put in foster care.  She has a lot of baggage, from witnessing her mother’s suicide, to abuse, to her own mental problems.  What is the right path to help her?  Let her continue to do her own thing, without pointing out what could end up bad (it doesn’t really matter if I do, anyway, it goes in one ear and out the next before I even finish) or tell her and harp on her and TRY to force her into doing what is right? 
I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle.  I think (HOPE!) she cares about the things she is doing, I just don’t think she realizes the long term effect of it.  It makes my heart hurt.  So, I implore you…how do YOU parent your bi-polar, adult child?

Random thought, why don’t we eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, since dinner is supposed to be light?

If you could see inside my brain, when I’m focusing on each of my children, it would probably look like a brainstorming cluster, similar to what you use when you’re writing a paper..

You would see a bubble that says ‘Cadence’ and around it, bubbles coming off of it that say ‘ADHD’, ‘medicating’, ‘school; ‘learning disabilities’ ‘happy’ ‘socially awkward’ ‘kind’ ‘helpful’ ‘needs fixing???’ ‘am I doing it right?!’ ‘how do I help her?’ ‘am I doing too much?’ ‘am I messing her up?!!’

This girl is the sweetest thing you could ever meet.  She is always willing to help, she uses her manners (most of the time), she always has a smile to give, but her ADHD and immaturity (mostly socially) scares me.  I can’t be there 100% of the time, so how do I help her?  How do I guide her to act more mature without hurting her feelings?

I was watching a video on her youtube channel (it’s shared btwn her & 2 friends) and listening to her speak vs her two friends speak, worried me.  They are such amazing friends to her, but as they get older, will that continue?  Will they want to remain close friends with her if she’s socially inept?  I remember the first few years of her being in school.  Every conference, I was informed she didn’t have any friends and she was usually alone or always offering to help the teacher.  It made me sad.  3rd grade, when she met her first, real bff, was the first conference I didn’t hear that.  The following year, her 4th grade teacher informed me she was once again ‘friendless’ as her BFF was in a different class.

It’s hard to hear that.  I really try not to be a helicopter parent.  I am probably more overbearing than most parents, especially in my family, but I also know what my kids need and are capable of, so I try to make sure they are pushed to and actually working at their full potential.  I don’t want them to rely on me for everything, I want them to be independent.  It’s just hard to watch, Cadence, in particular, when she’s not grasping what her friends are saying or she’s acting much younger than her age.  Her two friends, N & N live minutes from each other and are able to get together regularly.  Cadence knows that and I think it’s starting to upset her.  She is starting to feel left out.  However, I’ve seen her w/them and I’ve seen them ignore her when Cadence isn’t ‘keeping up’.  Cadence doesn’t have crushes, she doesn’t care about boys, she doesn’t care about fashion or who is talking about who….she does like watching youtube videos, which I do not like her to do, but on the other hand, I feel like it may help her understand more things socially…ugh.  Parenting is ridiculous and it can make me so happy and so sad…all at once.
How do I help my girl act more socially mature?  Maybe I wouldn’t be so focused on it, if she didn’t remind me of her cousin, who, is also learning disabled and socially behind.  I know it makes no sense that I would compare Cai to her cousin and not her sister, but when I hear Cadence speak, make certain faces, say particular phrases, I hear/see her cousin and it frightens me to think in 8 years, Cadence may end up like her cousin (a teenage parent that didn’t graduate high school who is behind socially and unable to understand or even say (literally speak them) certain words). 
 
I miss my dad….I miss his smile, his laugh…him yelling at the Bills while they play on tv.  He lied…stole money from my mom, he cheated, he was not always a good husband, but he was (mostly) a good dad.  Sometimes I hate him, what he did to my mom, to our family…but the good memories take over again and my heart aches for one more phone call…

How I felt this morning.

 


As long as I’m talking about the other two kids, I might as well talk about Bryleigh too….Oh Bryleigh.  I am telling you, that girl is going to be a force to be reckoned with as she gets older.  Already I cringe at certain things she says or does.  She already thinks boys are cute, she loves fashion and makeup and she's only 7! she likes her hair a certain way and if you’ve done something she doesn’t like, she will let you know.  She’s bossy and critical and funny and sweet.  She LOVES animals and sometimes, I swear, she’s a dog whisperer.  She isn’t as confident as I would have thought she would be considering her other attributes, but she does try her hardest.
I definitely don’t worry about her socially or educationally the way I do Cadence, which is a relief, but I do fear the teenage year, lol.  I know she’s going to be a handful, I just pray we still love each other once she gets through it – haha. 
I love watching her play soccer or cheer – she loves sports and it shows. 

Hey – maybe even a little blog time for Dennis.  He always gets shafted in my posts… He’s not a social media fan.  He has a facebook, but mostly it’s so it can be linked for him to get more points, etc in game apps.  Otherwise, he’s not actually on the site.  He doesn’t like blogs, he prefers me not to share so much, he doesn’t want his pictures taken or shared, he is more social than me as far as talking to people, but holds back from online media.  He thinks it’s too much work.  Whatever, the more I write, the less I have to talk to people which makes me happy – hahaha.  But for real - how can I only have 400 posts.  I should be at like 40,000.
Dennis broke his foot at work a few months ago and has been having some problems with his 4th & 5th toes.  They won’t bend and the entire outside (near his pinky toe) keeps swelling.  He had a MRI last week and goes for his results today.  I really hope they can figure it out so he can get it fixed or figure out a way to live with the pain.

Did you know 13 Nights of Halloween started on Freeform (formerly ABC Family)?!  This makes my heart sooo happy!!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Halloween.  It may be my most favorite time of the year.  Watching Hocus Pocus makes me all warm & fuzzy.  The best kind of evening for me is when it is a Fri or Sat, around 7ish and it’s dark, chilly and windy outside…you can hear the wind howling and leaves scattering across the pavement…Sitting on the couch with Dennis & the girls, covered in a warm blanket, with all the lights off watching a scary (kid scary) movie.  Those are the moments I want to last forever!

 
Sooo…you made it to the end of this lengthy post…and look - Grover isn’t at the end of it…j/k - here he is! 

So..thanks for reading the pure randomness that makes up my brain.  And if you have any advice for my parenting life – it is all greatly appreciated!


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