It's easily one of the most humbling aspects as well.
Today, I will share one of those stories with you all.
This story came to me from someone that I've come to know over the past few years. Someone that I've come to more than know, someone that I've come to love and respect deeply.
In our society, we talk almost constantly about how difficult parenting is, we argue incessantly about whether it is or should be considered a job, we fight with each other over seemingly every single aspect of it and all it entails.
What we so often don't seem to realize while we're busy screaming at each other through our keyboards is that there are parents like the one who wrote this piece. Parents who can barely hold all the pieces of their lives together, who would give anything for a moment to argue with a stranger over something of small significance. Parents who need help from a system that just isn't designed for them.
There are pieces of this story not included here that you may deem relevant, the full picture isn't presented here by any means. As for what that leaves you with, I'm not sure. I suppose (assume, in fact) that you will all draw your own conclusions about what you are reading, and that is human nature. Know, though, that this isn't the full picture and it's not your place to judge, nor is it mine...but we all need to realize that there are parents out there in this place. They are parents that you know and I know and they need help, they need support, they need shoulders to cry on and safe places to vent.
With so much love and respect, her words.
Nobody sees the mess behind these walls. I don't let them in. Not just a physical mess, that I have cleaned, the emotional mess, the tyranny, the tears. The yelling. Reserve the right to judge leave your butt hurt at the door, this is my life, not yours. You have your opinions that's fine.
Keep them for just a moment please, we ain't there yet.
There are holes in my walls, knives are missing, I wear all my jewelry. 4 rings 1 necklace. The rest was stolen, sold, given away. There are no video games, anymore. Sorry no way to start a fire either. We were there for a minute, we ain't going back.
I buy my groceries a day at a time, or I'm feeding the neighbors while me and mine go hungry, everything thing I like in life is hidden in my car or my sister's away from me, I can't enjoy them before the disappear. Never carry cash, keep an eye on your purse.
Watch the cat. He's an asshole
Yes I am quite guarded, unemotional. Unhappy. Sad. I own that, I've been through hell. In my days, I've survived being beaten drugged stabbed hated abandoned. I've dug my own grave. I walked away from all that, and then some. I have a tiara I wear it when I mop, why? Because I can.
But this isn't about me. This is about him.
4'5" 94lbs and 9 years of full bodied mental illness. He's so sick. And I hate that. He's getting "better".
We ain't there yet.
He set fire to my house and killed his sister all in one week, and went right back to watching Blues Clues.
He melts down and calms down with out any notice, there are no indicators or blinking lights alarms don't sound, he just goes rageangerviolencecursingcrying
sobbingthrowingscreamingkickin gpunchingsuicidethreatsattempt svoicessayingkillkillkill....
Mommy I love you.
I love you too.
School calls, cops call, home from work,again.
He told the neighbors I was gone for two weeks and that we had no food,lights running water and his sister made him sleep on the porch... Sigh.
What is wrong with you? Back to the Dr....
Oh the doctors, they say, "He'll grow out of this, it's a phase,he's a bit of a handful huh, try this pill, and this one and this and this and this and this and this and this..."
We're getting there mom, we ain't there yet.
It's like I'm on my own survivor island, except THANK God we don't have a narrator and cameras following us around, that's reality tv.
It's hard not to be annoyed, hurt angry and sad. It's even harder to see the good. I remember the good, his smile his giggle.
I remember, before.
I wish I could tell you that story. I wish I could stop being selfish about that time, but for now, just a few minutes longer I need that memory of his giggle to keep my heart from breaking completely.
Now is nothing like that, we don't have 'good' days, we don't have trips to McDonald's, in fact his little brother has never seen the inside of one. If it can't be delivered or shoved through a window, take out is out of the question.
We stay inside, Windows shut. No-one open the door. Sshhhh he's sleeping. He's asleep. Let him sleep. It is rare. Yes, he sleeps sitting up sideways laying over the chair no he doesn't look comfortable but for now the demons have left the voices are hushed and he looks peaceful and sweet. For now he's done.
Tomorrow will be different, tomorrow he'll throw desks and pull the white board from the wall at school, tomorrow, when the demons have rested he'll jump from a moving car, or lay down in traffic at rush hour. Tomorrow is a new fight. But tonight, now, I hear his laugh, I hear him sing "skidamerink a dink a dink skidamernk a doo I love you"...
We ain't there anymore.
Wake up, wake up it's time for school. Gotta get dressed, eat, brush, catch the bus.
Waaaaaffffles....Syrup or jelly? Both. Can I have peanut butter, like a taco?
Yes, clothes. Wear underwear today, that creeps the teacher out when you don't, and 2 socks...But I don't like them to touch me.
Your feet stink, wear socks.
Mom, I'm gonna have a good day. 3,2,1.....
I can't find my bag, my homework, my shoes, find my shoes.
I don't wear them where did you leave them.
I wanna run away, live in an abandoned house like a hobo and eat waffles and beans.
Hobos don't have waffles.
Then I'll eat beans.
I found your shoes and your homework, I got your bag, want another waffle hobo Bill?
No mom, the struggle is real.
Take your pills. 400mg seroquil 5mg abilify, that keeps the voices quiet, but it pisses off the demons.
He made it to the bus. 12 minute ride to school, cup of coffee phone rings, he punched the bus driver for taking his waffle...
The struggle indeed.
He's currently tearing up the classroom. The other kids have been moved to the gym.
Walking in I hear screaming, crying begging, and him. I see 6 very large men struggling to hold him down.
He sees me and settles, so quickly the men stumble from the quickness if his retreat and the amount of force they were using to hold him still. They all look at me. Little ol' me and wonder how I do it.
With the raise of an eyebrow he stops.
Knees to his chest, hands over his face, breathless.
He took my waffle....
And what happened to the classroom? Forgot where you hid the extra waffles?
No, I got mad. I'm so mad.
You're also suspended.
And I'm not exactly pleased.
The meltdowns at home.
PTSD, ADHD, bipolar, ODD, and RADS, there are too many people in his head, he's frighteningly smart, strong. Manipulative. Mean. Slightly evil.
Also sweet and funny kind hearted, and loving.
We've been homeless, hungry and broke, circumstance didn't change his behavior. I've tried redirection, discipline, therapy, ignoring, giving choices taking privileges medication rewarding crying begging pleading nothing worked.
We ain't there yet.
So I sent him away. On Christmas eve. Because the 23 holes in my walls, the being on a first name basis with the police, almost getting fired from another job, possibly another eviction, the stress the panic, the not momming my other children, not sleeping not eating not anything-ing out of fear and anxiety and worry. Because criminal charges, because he'd go to jail, because he can't remember to put the lid on the peanut butter how's he gonna handle jail because he's small and can't fight because he doesn't know better because he does know better but won't do better. Because I can't anymore. Alone. I can't do the voices, they want me dead, I can't do small bathroom fires, I can't do neighbors yelling judging NOT UNDERSTANDING I can't do crazy irrational rantings finding mashed potatoes in the sink, knives in the toybox, hoarded food, rotten food, he's run out of schools that let him attend, people who have the patients to deal with him, medical options, medications, therapies, excuses to not drink.
I'm sober, completely sober, and a little dead inside but I can't cry and I can't drink, both same reason, I'm afraid I won't be able to stop. That's not what he needs, and I'm fairly sure he's gonna be less fun to be around inebriated.
They told me today they wanna try to transition him home, and I'm scared. I miss him and want him home for selfish reasons, because I'm his mom, and I love him, I'd like to think I can live the life he deserves when he comes home, but we ain't there yet.
I'm not ready for him to come home, I'm not ready to fight,. Fight for him with him fight for sanity.
For now I can rest, actually sleep wear my tiara while I mop. I'm eating triple chocolate ice cream writing this I filled my refrigerator for the first time in years, I can take the kids to the grocery, and McDonald's.
But we ain't there yet.