Monday, September 3, 2012

My perfect storm.

I've been offline for a few days.  Most of my Facebook friends know why.  I've placed myself in a self-imposed exile from reality with the help of excessive sleeping medications.  I'm not a strong individual.  I wish I could say I was.  I'd love to believe that I could take on the perfect storm of stress and handle it like the southern Steel Magnolias (a reference to the female characters of the 1989 movie with the same name) but I can't.  I tend to easily wilt under a barrage of pressure and prefer to close my eyes hoping to find what little comfort there is in the soft stillness of my pillow.

The perfect storm of stress.  What defines this tempest in my mind?  First, it's my need for perfection which I realize is absolutely ridiculous.  When I see an inordinate amount of dust, in my thinking anyway, I've failed to keep a clean home.  My husband would never, EVER question my house keeping.  He appreciates everything I do.  In fact, he thinks I overwork myself and often tells me to take the day off.  Our house is big.  I want it to look nice for him when he comes home from work.  I want his dinner started, the laundry put away, the kids quiet (seriously?), therapy appointments finished, and I do not want to smell like something died.  I concede, this is fair amount of pressure to apply on myself even when I have managed to take a shower.

When, in the course of a single day, I receive not one but four separate calls regarding my boys' behavior at school, my teeth begin to clench.  Thank goodness the boys are both in special education programs whereas they won't automatically be sent home when they misbehaive.  Still, learning that my oldest screamed out "Vagina" in English class or that my youngest continuously poked his teacher's aide did not help my churning, stormy sea.  Also, knowing that when Austynn - in particular - comes home to face the consequences, I will be battered with tone, attitude, and behavior so awful, I will eventually sequester myself in my bedroom and insert ear plugs.  Why not confront him?  Because that would only make things worse.  Eric and I have been counseled that when our big 14 year old screams his 4-letter rants, we need to turn our backs and ignore him.  He'll suffer the consequences later.

"Mom, will ya read to me?"

"Austynn, you hurt my feelings.  You called me a fat whore and a lot of other ugly things.  No, I don't want to read to you right now."

"I don't like it when ya say those things, Mom."

"Neither do I, Austy.  Maybe you'll think twice before you scream ugly words at me for things that you did.  Now, show me you can be nice and maybe later I'll think about it."

"I'm sorry, Mom.  Please read to me."

"No.  I don't accept your apology.  You were mean and now you want something .  If you behave for the next couple of hours - don't lie or scream or call me names - than maybe I'll read to you after dinner."  I turned my back and ended my part of the conversation.  Austynn continued talking from three rooms away.

Final piece to the perfect storm.  It's been determined that Austynn has been overmedicated for months - not by a little, but by a ridiculous amount.  So Saturday morning, when our kiddo was pulled out by myself and his dad from within the sofa, Austy decided that kicking his dad was the best retaliation.  Eric and I have repeatedly told Austynn we would call 911 if he became violent with us again (yes, this isn't the first time).  Austynn called my bluff.  Four police cars and the threat of being handcuffed finally brought our son back to reality.  He was admitted Saturday afternoon to Children's Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and a medication review.  This is how it was determined that his meds were causing his behaviors to escalate.

Saturday's perfect storm.  Messy house, children going haywire, and my eventual decision to call 911 to have my 14 year old admitted to a psychiatric hospital shut me down.  It's Monday, Labor Day, almost noon - I'm still in the same clothes (pj's) I've been in since Eric took Austy away on Saturday morning.  I've been awake and out of bed for a few hours now.  The first few consistent "waking" hours since Austynn left.  As I sit here typing, I can't help but question my decision; however, for the first time in months, this house has a calm to it.  I feel guilty yet at the same time, serene.  There's certainly a contradiction to this thing called "motherhood" or is it particularly evident for mothers with special need's kids..or's just me?

*Side note:  Austynn will be hospitalized until the old medicine is slowly weened out of his system and new medication is being administered.  He will be under evaluation and sent home once the doctors feel his mental health has stabilized.