Posts tagged ‘God & Prayer’

Chit-chat with Dr. P

Elliott Richard had his bi-weekly appointment with Dr. P, aka Patty, last night. It was mainly a Question and Answer session for me and catch up night for her and Elliott Richard.

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions about my circumstances with Sue, my therapist/counselor, since Patty is the Psychologist “in charge of/over-seeing” my case. A few weeks ago Sue had said I was “too smart for therapy” then she asked me “what I hoped to gain from therapy”. To me, this sounded and felt like she was thinking that therapy isn’t going to help me or that she’s in over her head and can’t help me. I really like Sue and I feel like she is a really good match for me. But I don’t have enough time, energy or sanity to spend it seeing a therapist/counselor who is questioning her ability to help me, ya know?

So Patty and I discussed my questions and concerns. And I decided to have a frank conversation with Sue reminding her of the things I need for therapy to be effective etc. Then if nothing changes Patty and I will reconvene and go from there and decide what to do.

Then it was time to catch up on Elliott Richard and what’s been going on there. I told her about his Day Camp and how helpful that has been. How the Day Camp has convinced him that school this Fall is going to be a lot of fun.

The last time Elliott Richard and I had seen Patty we discussed why Elliott Richard appeared to be struggling with sleep and being alone. At the time, she felt that Elliott Richard was having such a difficult time sleeping because he was struggling to be alone. Which makes complete sense because he struggles to even play alone or be alone.

Day Camp is helping him by leaps and bounds with that. He’s sleeping better unless he has a nightmare, which is understandable. But he sleeps better. He’s slowly learning to play alone. He’s always been opinionated but he’s learning better ways to voice his opinions. It’s amazing!

This is the kind of thing, I’ve always dreamed of as a mother. Having the opportunity to watch this kind of change in my son. The opportunity to watch him grow as an individual.

It makes my heart feel good.

I hope and pray that I will have many more experiences like this in the future. It almost makes me feel like…maybe I’m not a complete failure as a mother. Maybe I’m just a little bit better at this parenting gig than I realize.

It gives me hope and just a little bit of faith…in myself as a mother and a parent in general.

* posted on the fly w/o the use of proper editing tools 😉 *

~ Lizzeann

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Update!

Update to the Update

I originally wrote this update on the WordPress Application on my BlackBerry hours ago; but WordPress and my phone apparently aren’t speaking to each other at the moment. So I had to email it to myself and post it this way. Sorry for the delay.

End of Update to the Update

We’re home! =)

Emmett John was in and out of the ER in no time at all. They were debating putting him in a trauma room and doing a full trauma work up – blood work, brain scans, the whole kit and caboodle. In the end the doctor opted to check Emmett John out first and go from there since he hadn’t passed out at any point in time and he wasn’t vomiting. Thank God. All of Emmett John’s vital signs were normal. And everything checked out A-okay! =) All told, they were gone maybe an hour tops and Grandma G dropped me off so I was there with Daddy and Mr. Emmett John for the last 10 or 15 minutes or so.

I’m just relieved that he’s okay. I was so terrified, words don’t adequately describe how I felt. I try later when I can type on my Netbook rather than my Blackberry. (My fingers are cramping up. Lol)

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers!

Thank you Grandma G for your help with Elliott Richard and Gavin!

Below are pictures of the boo-boos. They aren’t very good because Mr. Emmett John is very wiggly. I’ll try to post a more detailed account.

Update to the Update Part 2
The pictures will come in a few minutes but not right away. Sorry.

You can’t see the bruises under his bangs really well.

Honesty: Part 2: Family Rundown

I was adopted. That alone doesn’t make my Family Rundown complicated. However, once you begin throwing in the biological family with duplicate titles…Oy! Things can get a bit hinky. So here’s the rundown, a crib sheet if you will. (Hahaha I made a funny. (lol) =)

Adoptive Family

Barb ~ Mom

Doug ~ Dad

Zach  ~ Kid Brother

What y’all don’t know is that Fall of last year I had a rather large falling out with my Adoptive Family. We haven’t spoken since. I won’t discuss the details but it was nasty coming from both sides. I don’t regret my decisions because I made them for the right reasons, for my family. That being said, I do regret how the whole thing went down. I regret how it ended. I regret that people were hurt. On both sides. Including myself. So now 6+ months later, I am without my Adoptive Family in my life through my choices and their choices.

Biological Family

Mary ~ Mother

Charissa ~ Sister (Oldest of the Four)

Mike ~ Brother (Second Oldest of the Four)

Trisha ~ Sister (Third Oldest of the Four)

Me ~ Sister (The Baby)

Now you take current day, I’m not speaking to my Adoptive Family. Except for one Auntie. Whom has always loved me unconditionally. She’s never judged me, even when everything began.

I was speaking to my biological family. The key word in that statement being was. Well, I still speak to my oldest sister, Charissa. I’m currently working on my relationship with Charissa and her family; my niece, Brina,  nephew, Jeff, his fiancée, Dana and eventually their son, Cameron (who is only a few weeks older than Mr. Emmett John). I now speak, with my brother Mike and his wife Sharon. Since I was discovered and all. =) (lol) We’re all getting to know each other, which is cool. But they’re the only people from my biological family I ever talk to. I was close with my older sister, Trisha for about the past year and some odd months. Then I was becoming close with Mary. Then for reasons which I won’t post here, we had a falling out. Now Trisha, Mary and I aren’t speaking.

Hell, every where you look I’m losing family. Granted, I have a part in all of it. I don’t deny that. The parts I’ve had in things may not have been the best parts but I’ve done the best I could with them. I’ve done the best I could with the hand I was dealt. And when the end came, and I had a choice to make, I chose my family – Rob, Gavin, Elliott Richard, Emmett John, Maggie Sue, Cleo, Ducky and Rosalie. I chose the family I swore to love, honor and cherish. The family I am bound by blood, God and purpose to love, teach and protect. In the end, that’s what I did – protect them. I made the choice that I felt best protected them. Yes, it hurt people I love. But they hurt me. I was hurt. I am hurt. But that’s okay because I did the right thing for my family. I’m not trying to start a fight. I’m not trying to bad mouth anyone. I’m merely stating how things are.

I’m not perfect. I’ve never claimed to be. When it comes down to it, I can only be me. Good, bad or indifferent I am me. Love it or lump it.

Honesty

I am not a good mother. I’m not. I hate to burst your bubble. I hate to tell you something you don’t want to know. But it’s true.

I. Am. Not. A. Good. Mother.

I try. God, how I try. But it’s so hard. To say that Gavin can push my buttons without even trying…is an understatement. Then when he does try to push my buttons…it’s enough to drive me insane. To say that I’m stressed out and over-whelmed…is a gross understatement. To say that they all try to push my buttons…it drives me to the brink

I love Gavin. More than life itself. I love all of my boys. I would go to the end of the Earth for them. (You know if the Earth weren’t round and had an end. But I digress.) I would give my life. They mean everything to me.

There are days when I am absolutely certain that God placed me on this Earth to be a mother. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be in life. From the time I was a “tween”, I knew I wanted to be a mother. I wanted a house full of kids. Back then I never thought about “special needs” children. I was going to have a house full of perfect little red-headed, blue-eyed children. I was going to be Super Mom.

Now. Well, now I’m not so sure about why God put me here. I know that tween from way back when had absolutely no clue. Not about numbers. Or needs or the ability of one woman to be all things to all people. There are days when I am reasonably sure that God messed up. I wasn’t meant to be a mother at all. I wasn’t meant to have a Special Needs son. Let alone two of them. IF I was meant to be a mother, and I’m still sure that I was, then someone some where has the children that were meant for me. God has screwed up in a major way and given me someone else’s children. He meant to trust someone else this much. Not me. “God never gives up more than we can handle.” Well, he didn’t mean to give me so much. Surely, he meant all this for someone else. There are days I feel this way. Days I believe this way. Days when this is my truth.

I should probably attempt to explain. I know this isn’t coming out right. I’m probably sounding more like a “super whiny mom” and less like the “super crazy overwhelmed donkey-on-the-edge mom” I feel like. Let me try to explain it again.

In actuality my truth is that I’m over-whelmed. Gavin is exhausting. There are mornings when he comes downstairs and looks at me and I’m exhausted because I can see it in his eyes. I can see that he’s not in a good place. I know how that is going to effect everyone’s day. This look in his eyes and this truth exhausts me.

Gavin is creepy. There I said it. I don’t like it. It’s certainly not a statement I’ve ever wanted to make about any of my children; however, it applies. He does creepy things. Rob says that the creepy behaviors have started since he’s entered puberty but that’s not true. He’s always done these things to me. I can remember a time when I had him in the cart at Wal*Mart. I was pushing the cart through the store. He reached up and grabbed and tweaked my breast. Then he gave me the smarmiest grin. It turned my stomach then and it turns my stomach just thinking of it now. He was 4 years old then. He knew what he was doing. Now as he’s entering puberty I’ve watched him grope others – male or female he isn’t particular at this point. So far it’s only been family members. I don’t know if that’s because they are the only ones easily accessible or what. He’s left me out of it until the other day. We had picked him up from school as a family. I left Rob and the Boys in the car while I went into the school to pick him up. While I stood talking to his teacher, Gavin came over and nudged his head under my right arm – much like a cat or dog does with your hand when they want attention and you are “ignoring” them. Then he nuzzled my right breast. I was humiliated, grossed out, shocked. What was I supposed to do with that?! At school no less! Do I take him aside and humiliate him in front of everyone, which promises a horrible night. Hands down. I was screwed. So I did nothing. I stood there. Frozen. Looking at his teacher – just as humiliated and frozen. We stood there. Trying to talk. Looking at each other. But trying not to. I tried to nudge him away. He finally caught on and moved. Then we left.

The relationship I have with Gavin is not what I want. I want to be able to snuggle him and hug him. I can’t do those things because he takes them too far – each time, every time. I don’t even know which family he believes he lives in anymore! Just last night he was gathering his clean pajama’s together to get ready for his shower and this is our conversation:

Gavin: Mom, can I have a hot shower tonight instead of a cold one?”

(Whawhawhat?!?!? I swear that I do not give any of my children cold showers/bathes. Really, I don’t.)

Me: Gavin, what are you talking about??? I always let you feel the temperature of the water first. Have you ever actually taken a cold shower?!

Gavin: No. I just don’t want to.

Me: But. You said. (insert me stammering like a fool)

(This is the part where I engage him in frustrating conversation. I shouldn’t have. I knew I shouldn’t have. But I couldn’t help it. I was trying to get answers. He’s the only one who can give them to me. So I tried. I ended up making my migraine worse.)

Me:  Gavin, what’s going on? First, we are starving you. Now we make you take cold showers. What’s going on with all this?

(Back story to the starving comment: Yesterday, he had just finished breakfast then all three boys had killed a pack of graham crackers when maybe a half hour 45 mins later he came over to me and said, “Mom, oh never mind.” When I asked him what he had wanted he told me that he was going to ask me for a snack but he knew I wouldn’t feed him so he changed his mind.

(Yes, that’s right. I don’t feed him. I admit it. It’s bread and water if I remember to feed him at all. (That’s some heavy, duty sarcasm there, folks. Just so you know.) I do actually feed Gavin. We feed him a lot. We also have to be careful because he does not possess the skill set to self-regulate. So when you and I eat and our stomach signal our brains to say, “Hey you, you’re full!” His stomach either doesn’t send that message. Or if it does send the message his brain doesn’t receive it. So he keeps eating until eventually he vomits. Then he will keep eating until eventually he vomits again. Do we see a pattern here? He’d just keep going because he cannot self-regulate and tell when he is full. So Rob and I play that role for him. We work with Dr. H and the food pyramid to be sure that his dietary needs are met. And we watch what he eats, how much he eats, and when he eats – as much as we can anyway, when his PICA is active and takes over we obviously have no control over that. So I didn’t want anyone to worry. We most certainly do feed Gavin. I swear to you all.)

I just looked at him, completely dumbstruck. I seriously couldn’t believe that he was standing there, claiming that we don’t and wouldn’t feed him. Unbelievable. I told him so. When I confronted him on why he would say such a thing? His only response was, “I don’t know.” Niiiiiice. So my son feels we starve him. He doesn’t know why he feels this way. Only that he does. Can’t wait to see the fall-out from these random statements. Oy.)

Gavin: I don’t know. ….. I just don’t know.

Me: Gavin, please. I need to know… I don’t want you to feel like… We try very hard not to be… OH! I just can’t find the right words.

(Insert me feeling defeated.)

Gavin: Bad parents?

Me: Wha-wha-what?!?!

Gavin: Bad parents? You feel like Bad parents?

Me: No, I don’t feel like a bad parent. I know we do the right things. Dr. H says we are doing the right things. Dr. R backs us up. Patty backs us up. All of your doctors back us up and supports us! They wouldn’t do that if we were doing the wrong thing. I just don’t know how I feel.

Gavin: Oh. I just thought you might feel like a bad parent. That’s all.

(I’ve resigned at this point. He apparently feels we are bad parents who don’t do enough. While I’m sorry he feels that way, I don’t agree. I know we do right by him. It may not be cake and candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But we give him what a growing 10-year-old needs. We love him. We care for him. We make sure his needs are met. So I gave up on the conversation.)

Me: Gavin, is this water hot enough for you?

Gavin: Yes, that’s Hot.

Me: Good. Please take your shower. Wash and rinse your hair. Wash and rinse your body. Turn off the water. Please, please, please, be sure to DRY everything off – including your hair when you get out of the shower.

Then I left the room. I was done. I had a pounding, raging migraine. I was crushed. It hurt, a lot, to learn that Gavin felt we were taking adequate care of him. It hurt even more to realize there was little to nothing we could do to change his mind. Most moments with my relationship with Gavin are painful and crushing. No mother ever wants to hear the things I’ve heard about my son.  “There’s a very real chance he could be a sexual predator if we don’t curb those behaviors NOW.” or “You have plenty of time but he just needs to function enough to live in a group home and hold a part-time job somewhere – like the Photo Department at Walgreens or the Circle K.” My little boy who could have done great and wonderful things is now sentenced to work at the Photo Department or the Circle K. This too, breaks my heart.

These little things. Things I don’t often share because they are dark and painful. Things that are not pretty. They are my truths.

Don’t rock my boat

Seriously, don’t. I’ve got enough going on in my life at the moment.

Gavin’s meds aren’t working, which you know if you still read Rob’s blog. I think you do. Dr. R wants to switch him to Lithium. I don’t want to go to Lithium. I don’t see where we have a choice.

We have Help Me Grow coming on Monday to do their unofficial evaluation of Emmett John. This is where they tell us if he is Autistic or not. I feel like I could grab the lady who works in the local day care. After all, she works with kids all days too. That doesn’t mean she is educated or should be evaluating children for Autism. Yet, the Children’s Hospital is waiting for Help Me Grow’s eval to help decide if they will evaluate Emmett John. You know, my 22 month old who still doesn’t speak.

Emmett John still doesn’t speak. He’s still angry. Developmentally he’s in two groups – he’s either right where he should be or he’s stuck some where between 9 to 12 months. He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t point. I can’t figure out how this happened.

Elliott Richard is stuck in the middle. He stands to lose his childhood – either protecting himself from Gavin or protecting Emmett John from Gavin. Or there are the rare times that he plays big brother to Gavin. He’s 4 years old and if we don’t fight for it, he may never get to be a kid. His childhood may become a casualty of war.

My migraines are worse. I’m reaching the limit on my Topamax. It isn’t working anyway, so what does it matter? Dr. J has increased my pain meds and added an anti-inflammatory that I can’t pronounce, which I should only take when I can’t take it anymore. He’s ordered bloodwork and an MRI. I should take my new meds but I don’t. I scared. I don’t want to end up like House – addicted and crazy, seeing people who aren’t there. I just don’t want to end up crazy. I’m all full up on crazy. I’ve had enough of my life being filled up with everyone else’s crazy.

Rob and I are fighting. Not over anything. Just over everything. Big. Little. Everything. Nothing at all. We’re stressed. Over-whelmed. Taking it out on the only safe place we have. Each other.

We’re all surviving. Just barely. Bobbing along in a little lifeboat. Some days the waters are calm and survival is easier. Other days, it sucks. I’m not gonna lie. The boat rocks. we take on more water than we can bail out. There are days our little boat nearly capsizes altogether, but for the grace of God. I don’t  know how we survive at all sometimes.

We have so much going on. Too much going on. Too much in our tiny little lifeboat. Don’t rock it. Things happen. We may not like them. We may not understand them. They may suck in a major way. Believe me when I say I know this. But don’t rock the damn boat. Maybe the things that we do…the decisions that we make…are for the best interests of everyone…perhaps they are based upon things not everyone knows about…maybe my last act, my last decision was made out of love.

I’m just tired. Life is so precarious in our tiny little boat. We work so hard for our tiny bits of stability. Now we have…this. This drama. This wondering. I don’t want it. I don’t need it. Keep it to yourself.

Don’t. Rock. My. Boat.

How many times must I mourn?!

I keep trying to get this blog exactly right. Just perfect – the way I want it. I’ve decided that it’s going to take me close to forever to get that accomplished and if I keep putting off my first official post until then…well, you may never hear from me again. (lol)

Emmett John had his ABR sedation hearing test yesterday. We’ve been waiting for this test for months. He had his basic OEA hearing test in January and the Audiologist couldn’t officially diagnose him but she said she felt comfortable saying that he had “moderate to severe hearing loss”. Meaning he was very close to being profoundly deaf. I was so sure he was deaf. I was ready for him to be deaf. I was ready to learn sign language.

Honestly, with the Hell that we live through every single day with Gavin and his Autism and Bi-Polar and whatnot. The Hell I endured at the hands of NTD and his mother before I met Rob. Then the continued Hell we suffered because of them after Rob and I were together – all throughout my divorce and custody battle. The various moments of Hell throughout my childhood. Surely, God wouldn’t do this…not again. Surely, he watched and he understood. Surely, he knows and understands that we can’t handle another Autistic child.

Oh forget the we*I* cannot handle another Autistic child…at least not right now. I just can’t. Not with Gavin manic the way he is. Not with Gavin hearing voices again. Starting puberty and having medication changes because we are on the “medication roller coaster” again. Not with Gavin having meltdowns of a caliber unlike anything I’ve ever seen from him before. It’s only a matter of time before he breaks his window or seriously injures himself.

Emmett John’s hearing is perfect. Everything we say…every sound…every everything he hears physically. But developmentally, he doesn’t hear most things. Apparently, this is common in Autistic children. I didn’t know this. He doesn’t make good eye contact – I thought he did. He throws these fits – I thought they were normal 21 month old fits…the Terrorist 2’s…now, not so much. So he can hear us but doesn’t talk. He babbles – like a 9-12 month old. I have no idea if he’ll ever actually talk. Does that mean he’s more likely Full-fledged Non-Verbal Autistic? Or could he still be some sort of High Functioning Asperger’s?

This will probably sound crazy and stupid to many of you. But how many times must I mourn the loss of my baby?!

How many?! He stopped responding to us. So obviously he couldn’t hear us. Right? So we schedule and take him for his OEA hearing test and he fails. The Audiologist says she feels he has moderate – severe hearing loss. I mourn the loss of my baby boy. I mourn the fact that I likely will never hear his voice the way it was intended. I mourn everything that he will never do. Never experience. I mourn every time he shoves a finger in his ear and gets frustrated because he appears to be unable to hear. I mourn because I don’t know when the last time he heard our voices was. Will he be able to remember them? How long can he hold on to those memories? I mourned many things when I believed Emmett John was deaf.

Yesterday all of that was Gone. Swept away in a moment. I had an Audiologist telling me that my baby could hear. Explaining that his “hearing was perfect” and he “doesn’t make good eye contact” and “hearing problems are common in Autistic children“. Now all of my work to recover and work on my mourning over his hearing loss had disappeared in a flash. The sedation nurse was so positive about the fact that Emmett John could hear – isn’t this great? Of course it’s great. It’s wonderful and I’ll do cartwheels – as soon as I mourn, again.

So here I am. Mourning my Baby Boy, again. Mourning for him. Mourning for us. This isn’t a life I would have chosen for him. This isn’t something I would have chosen to add to our lives – ever.

I’m mourning the loss of Emmett John in a host of new ways. I’ll recover in a few days. Until then, I’m just going to mourn and work on trying to make my peace with things.