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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The feeling must be contageous

This morning I got up just in time to spend a half hour screaming at the top of my lungs to wake up the Boy at the time he requested last night. He is so impossible to awaken that it takes way more energy than I want to expend at 7 am. Way more. But eventually he got up and right away started with the "you're going to your meeting so can you give me a ride to school?" nonsense. Every freaking week we go through the same discussion. My meeting is in the exact opposite direction from school and I have no intention of giving him a ride on a nice sunny and fairly warm day. He knows this. I always say no. But he just has to play the script through to the end.

I'm already annoyed beyond belief with him for several things, including going ballistic because I would not drive him to a very sketchy town 20+ miles away to go see a movie. A town that I'd have to sit and wait for him to get through a 3-hour movie. Not gonna happen no matter how much he harasses me.

Additionally, he ate my entire giant container of yogurt that I eat every morning for breakfast, so I got none, and he drank an entire bottle of cranberry juice that was for his sister who uses it for 'medical' reasons. Really, she does. And the dishes that the Girl removed from his room whilst I was in the hospital still remain unwashed on the screened porch. I've nagged until I have nothing else to nag with. He will not wash them. He's also broken all 4 of my hand blown crystal glasses his father gave me over 20 years ago. They are irreplaceable and I am FURIOUS.

So when I walk into the meeting this morning I already look like hell and I feel stressed beyond belief. As the other members come in, each has the same look on their faces that I have. Uh-oh. It's been a tough week. A tough week means that everyone will be high strung and angry and feeling like crap. A tough week means that our kids have been behaving like animals and we've been bearing the brunt of it.

We go around the table. This person has a 51A filed by a program that is clueless to the real story. This person has a kid who has gotten generic medication for his seizure disorder (from CVS, of course) that was in some way tainted and did not work and he had a grand mal seizure last week. And her other kids are in a tough way too. Then a mom talks about one of her 3 kids, the one usually doing well, who is going through a terrible period of body dysmorphia and it's been very hard on the family.

It is my turn and I go though the litany of things that the Boy is doing that is driving me nuts, and how he thinks that he no longer needs meds (talk about some tough love), and at the end I say, "Honestly, I don't like this kid very much right now."

"Thank God" says one parent. "I feel exactly the same way. I love my kids, but I don't always like them very much."

All the other parents were nodding and agreeing and talking about how hard it is to live with a person who works so hard to make you miserable, who pushes every freaking button they can, who cannot see past their own noses to have some empathy for their siblings and parents. We all got it. We all feel the same way.

Living with a kid with a mental illness is incredibly hard. So much harder as the kid gets older and thinks that they have all the answers. There are days that I honestly don't think I can get through the day. I love this kid with all my heart, but he hurts me to the core at times, and when I tell him how much his words hurt, he can't back down or apologize.

It's not like I can put him in the naughty chair. Consequences don't work particularly well with kids who are bipolar. He has consequences, plenty of them. But he forgets from minute to minute, and so every consequence is an argument. If I take the computer away from him, I have to change the passwords so he can't get on, otherwise he will stay up until I fall asleep and then stay up all night to use the computer. He'll go on it because he "forgot" that he is being punished. He'll sneak on any way he can, and every time I order him off, we go through the same freaking scenario. "WHY?" he asks. I remind him that he's grounded. "But WHY?" he asks. "What is taking the computer away going to accomplish?" And he's off. He will go on and on and on, way past my refusing to talk to him. He will not quit until I send him away or leave myself.

It's beyond stubborn. WAY WAY WAY beyond stubborn. It's a part of his pathology and it is so wearing that there are times I just lock myself in the bathroom with a magazine for some breathing room. Of course he's right outside the door continuing to argue....

It's so helpful to be in a room filled with parents that share my experiences. They don't judge like SOME (CL) morons we loathe. They get it because they are living it. It isn't bad parenting skills, it's kids that are sick and have serious problems just getting through each day. It's being worn down to a nub by kids that can't stop because they are obsessive and have to see it through to the bitter end. We're friends because we have empathy for each other. We get how hard we all have it. We understand that there are times when our kids are totally unlikeable.

When I get together with my group, I feel grounded and happy. I love that I have this community of supportive loving friends. People who GET IT instead of people who tear apart every freaking word I never have said because they have the need to be mean. And oh, isn't that just like all of our mentally ill kids. Hmmmmmm. You do have to wonder.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

I run a therapy group for parents to children 0-4 with extreme physical disabilities.

The parents, myself included, feel the same way. It's nice to be surrounded by people who get it and understand and don't judge.

I'm glad you have the same type of support.

25/3/09 11:43 AM  

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