Sometimes My Brain Hurts

I’m tired. Not the sleepy kind of tired…or the exhausted kind of tired. My brain is tired. It hurts. So much going on right now…so much emotional crap being thrown at me from every conceivable place…well not “crap” but y’know.

Someone asked me yesterday if I was really glad that summer was here so that I could have my kids home with me. After I actually laughed out loud I replied, “Yes and no. I’m not a great stay-at-home mom.” Deep down the honest explanation would have been way too hard for her to understand and I didn’t feel like trying. Not everyone cares to know.

Colin has been off his meds for about three weeks. Due to, in part, the fact that he’s scheduled to see his Pedi for a med check and I always take him off a week ahead of time so that we can discuss the differences on/off the stimulants. Butttt….I had to cancel the appointment and am playing phone tag with the office to get a new appointment time. Meanwhile…Colin begins the “Big Spin”. The Spin that doesn’t end.

He exhausts me. Without meds, C is on a constant quest for stim. Tactile stim is his gig. While most mothers would die for the endless hugs and incessant kisses they just make me sad because I know why he’s doling them out. Him and Albert…the fearless stuffed dog who tells me more about Colin than Colin does. Albert goes absolutely freaking everywhere with us!!

“Albert wants a kiss”
“Albert is lonely, will you sleep with him?
“Albert will miss me, so can he ride in your car today while I’m away?”

Albert was at the petting zoo with us today for exactly nine minutes before I’d had enough of Albert needing to feed the ducks one pellet at a time. We decided Albert was tired and should nap in the car for awhile. Then I figured out that Albert is part of his tactile stim need. Once Albert was gone, C decided that putting the little duck food pellets in between his bare toes so that he had 8 pellets stuck in his own little webs was the new “good feeling”. I saw someone walk by and grin while he did that…like it was cute. Maybe to them…to me all I thought was “Please God. Not again.”

The most exhausting thing is the non-stop one-sided conversation. A diatribe on Mario or Sponge Bob I can handle about once a day. Right now…it’s constant. I’ve taken to telling him that he’s got three minutes to talk or he gets to tell me three facts about whatever the current obsession is. (It’s a new rule…should work right?) And then my heart breaks because I realize that we’ve talked all day long with each other and not once has he initiated a conversation that had anything to do with anyone else’s interests or feelings. He’s just researching the facts, Ma’am.

I try to find the fun and crazy things about this Asperger’s Beast most of the time. There are many of them…we giggle a lot and love this little man to death.

But tonight I’m tired. My brain hurts. I need a little bit of a vent…thank you very much.

New Blog Launches

So…I’ve started a new blog. Yikes! I can’t even keep up with this one lately. But…there it is. It will not replace Divine Graffiti…I’ll still be here talking about the things I talk about, don’t you worry.

Third Culture Shock is my attempt to unravel the mysteries of growing up an American, blonde-haired, blue-eyed kid in another country. I have shied away from dealing with that aspect of my life for a very long time and in the past year, as I come to a newer awareness of who I am, I have had to hit it head on. I used to laugh when I heard about people needing to “find themselves.” I’m not laughing anymore baby.

To continue to stuff down the fact that I’m just a little different than many of my friends is simply self-destructive and to deny that the first 18 years of my life didn’t and haven’t impacted the choices I’ve made and am making is foolish. So, let the therapy begin.

With this separate blog dedicated to the discussion of Third Culture Kids…I’ve opened a “can of worms” as one friend put it. He’s right. But, I have to do it.

Post-It Note Tuesday

Tuesday again…one of my favorite blog days!

The following Post-Its are dedicated to my nearly 14-yr-old son Liam. He was reading through the last few months of my bloggy blog and remarked at the decidedly one-sided nature of much of what I’ve written. Yes, it’s true…I have spent much time discussing Colin and Liam felt that was unfair. He wanted his own page. He wanted some recognition. And so, he shall get some.

This child is amazingly funny, honest, kind and empathetic. He is reliable and trustworthy. He’s also quite the all-American boy and fairly airheaded.

And I love him madly.

And then, you can go read more post-its and make your own.

The End of Summer

School starts in two weeks. That means I have only one more true week of summer vacation. “Practice Week” begins on Monday the 23rd. Reacquainting Colin with a more rigid routine is not something I’m looking forward to, but it has to be done. When summer started, I told myself that keeping him in his normal morning routine (get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, take meds before tv or games) would be critical. Also, adhering to a regular bedtime would make it easier on him so he wouldn’t be tired during the day…which brings Tigger out in full force. Did any of that happen? Um…no. The only routine activity he’s clung to is reading the Sunday comics. “I only like the Sunday ones because they have color. The ones on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are not in color and that means I don’t like them. They don’t make sense without the color.”

I think it took all of two days for me to sink into the joy of sleeping in and letting the kids get up without me. Colin won’t walk down the hall to the living room alone if no one is out there…so on mornings that he’s up first…he crawls in bed with me and turns the tv on. Actually, he doesn’t crawl in. He does this wild sort of run-jump-plop-scramble maneuver. Then, because he hasn’t had his meds yet, the stimming begins. That involves rubbing Mommy’s arms, playing with my elbows, touching my legs and putting his face two inches away from mine and asking “When are you getting up?” Not all that relaxing for me, but still.

The dumbest thing I did was not enforce his morning routine of getting dressed before anything else happens. By the end of last school year, Colin was finally at the place where he would get his clothing, socks and shoes on independently. Then, eat breakfast…brush teeth and THEN he could watch tv if time allowed. Guess what…he is still in his pjs as I write and it’s 10:30 a.m. So, Practice Week is gonna be tough. Adding to the stress is a new bus schedule, new bus route and new bus number. When I told Colin about this change…”I’m STUPIFIED!!”…was his only response, followed by flapping and spinning. Ugh.

Clearly I am not winning the Aspie Mother of the Year Award. But guess what? We had a fun summer! We stayed up late, swam in the dark, chased fireflies and ate lunch on the trampoline. We laughed a lot and grew a lot. So, my last official week of summer will be more of the same. I promise.

And only when I’m all happy and tired out from playing will I get back to filling out forms, scheduling therapies, IEP meetings, TSS set-up and enforcing routine. For now, we’re all just having too much fun…and I’m fine with that.

I’m About to Come Alive

Someday I’d like a life with some peace, tranquility and stability. I often find myself in constant flux; trying to do the right thing and make the world spin in a perfect orbit. I’ve managed for the last 20 years to narrow myself down into someone who wants to make sure that everyone is happy. That means they like me.

Well…I’m kinda done. Honestly, I’ve been “done” for awhile. A few months ago, a wise man told me I should do more to care for Myself and let other people deal with their own shit. Yes, he used the word “shit.” Yes, my insurance company paid him by the hour to help me sort through the complexities of the place I find myself in. But he was right. In the weeks that followed his mandate, I gave myself permission to be occasionally selfish. I’ve gone out with my friends more, had a few moments of “me” time and managed a whole week away from home with old friends. Yikes! But, it’s not enough. There’s still a lot of me left to reaquaint myself with. I miss me.

I watch my children intently. I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I did. I don’t want them to sell themselves short for the sake of the status quo or to just please others. But I’m afraid I’ve been teaching them that their job in life is to make sure no one gets mad. That is SO NOT cool.

So, from here on out it changes. When it’s just me and the kids hanging out for days this summer, I’ve tried to be nothing but real and honest with them. I’ve always had fun, got silly, carried on and let them explore who they are. But I haven’t modeled independance and I will, from now on out, make sure they begin to be okay in their own skin, regardless of who they think they have to please.

We live in this world to care for others and to love and nurture each person we are in contact with. But, it is not in anyone’s right to change you into someone who you don’t recognize and to manipulate you into someone that no longer thinks for themselves. I will not have my children engage in that life.

My baby boy, Colin, has brought out in all of us the need to look beyond ourselves and learn another world. Frankly, learn an entire new language…and in so doing has brought myself and my children to a place where we respect the preciousness of others and yet are now finding out how real we all are.

I have loved the following song for several years. It speaks of a hurting time between a man and a woman, but the lyrics can apply themselves to anyone who is about to realize that they’ve reached the place where they become who they really are. And the lead singer is pretty beautiful…so that doesn’t hurt!

To Blog or Not to

I can’t believe it’s been over two months since I added anything to this blog! My Writing Fairy constantly torments me with little things that I want to post here…but I’ve managed to ignore her. I’m not sure why I haven’t given in to the urge. I’ve stopped by often to see if people are still reading the stuff I’ve written, and amazingly…they have! I giggle every time I check to see what brings random people to this blog. Every day for nearly three-and-a-half years, someone somwhere enters a phrase like “Do women have nose hair” into their search engine…and pops to Divine Graffiti to read a post I wrote in 2007! Really? Are there that many people in the world worried about women’s nose hair? Apparently.

Maybe I’ve ignored The Fairy because it’s summer and I don’t have to worry about school and just simply set about enjoying this time. Last summer “pretty much sucked” as Liam puts it. This year I’ve tried to relax, have fun and enjoy my children. That will end and in a few weeks and they’ll be back in school.

For the first time in 14 years all of my children will be in full-day school. The house will seem eerie without anyone but me here for 8 hours…but guess what! I can’t wait!!! And, no, that does NOT make me a bad mom. I love my “me” time. A lot!

Soon we will be marking a very difficult anniversary. Charlie died almost a year ago. I just re-read my posts from that month. Such a different time than now. We’ll get through it.

My inbox has an email today from someone asking me when I’m going to start updating this blog again. Maybe I just did.

Flight of Ideas

Well….typical ADHD day for me….brain flits from this to that and then finds a shiny thing to watch for a few seconds.

I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD about four months ago…which caused my mother to say…”Well, THAT explains everything!”.

Wow.

Here’s today’s flighty recap:

“Mom, mom…..Mommy!!!!! Mom, mom…..mom…do you hear me? MOM!!!!!”

Son #1 managed to get through another day of 7th grade without a girlfriend (thank god!) and kick ass in a baseball game.

Daughter #2 managed to get through another day of 5th grade with Maximum attitude…resulting in a few disciplanary actions…..

Son # 2…see Colin Speaks

Hubby? Well, I don’t want to know that he’s in 90 degree weather (and I don’t care how much time he spent inside)….

Daughter #1 I imagine is doing okay since she hasn’t asked for anything lately or wandered into more trouble than she can handle.

Life as a relatively single Mom with crazy schedules and Asperger’s needs gets tough sometimes.
But…it’s good…it’s ALL good…or at least it wil be when it all pays off.

And tomorrow, I cap off or begin (however you want to look at it) my 40 lb weight loss with the beginning of a crazy, insane home workout….

I’ll let you know if I’m alive on Sunday, K?

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