Freak Parade

Like a ferret on meth.

Sleeplessness and Spelunking

Depleted. Weary. Consumed. Worn out. Strained.

Yeah. I went to the thesaurus for this one. Saying I am tired just seemed like a joke. The Boy has been going through another incredibly rough patch. Neither of us have slept much in the last few weeks. It is not surprising to me at all, that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.  The Boy’s nights are filled with anxiety and fear. We are awake until nearly dawn. And durig the days? As far as Asperger’s is considered, both for me, and for The Boy, no sleep = no coping skills. All that we have worked to teach ourselves to get us through a day move farther and farther out of our reach with each sleepless night.

I am awake all night, and want nothing more than to sleep all day, but there is The Girl to consider. I was setting my alarm to make sure I was awake for her, but as the sleepless nights dragged on, I began sleeping through my alarm. How many hours can she sit alone? How do I balance her needs? My son’s needs? My own? At this point, we are just in survival mode, with the attention going to the proverbial squeakiest wheel.

I have gotten to the point where I am barely functional….well, at least nowhere near as functional as I once was. My entire store of energy is spent just on the basics…. grooming, kid maintenance, their school, and trying to keep my head above water with my business. And most definitely not all of them on the same day. I thought that it was depression. But, in all of my experience with depression before, I never remembered it being quite this way. I decided it must just be a really rough patch of depression. But that didn’t feel right either. Then it hit me….exhaustion. I am just plain, freaking tired. And not even in the glamorous, celebrity-working-too-hard-on-shooting-a-feature-film-on-location sort or way. Just in a life is currently kicking my ass sort of way. And I realized that something had to give. After months of researching and considering and stressing and praying and crying and cursing…I have made an appointment to see about getting some medication for my son.

I feel both relief and apprehension at the thought of this. But the one thing I also feel, which is the thing that really matters, is peace. I don’t know whether choosing to seek out medication will be a light at the end of a tunnel for us, or the entrance to a brand new one, but I know that it is the right time for us to find out. From my own experience, I know that The Boy’s life very well may be a series of tunnels, but it is my hope that medication will turn out to be another tool that he may use to help light his way.

Drama, Now With Fresh Bagels

The other night was a rough one with my daughter. She was moody, obstinate, whiny, and just no fun to deal with at all.  It was late….it was bedtime..and I had had enough. I got crabby and frustrated and snapped at her…she snapped back. I was beyond done. I yelled. She yelled back. I could feel my blood pressure rising. “What the hell is wrong with her???,” I thought. I spun around to look at her and saw that exact same thought mirrored back to me on her face-  What the hell is wrong with her??? And it stopped me in my tracks. It suddenly struck me that she is her own person…..with her own mind….and that mind can quite possibly think I am unfair and don’t understand her. And she may be right sometimes. It doesn’t take much of a stretch for me to remember feeling that way myself. Looking at my mom, angry and frustrated, thinking….she just doesn’t get it.

I sighed, and sat down. And I was quiet. And she was quiet. I have no idea what was going through her head as we sat. And I have no idea why it was such an epiphany for me that she could be thinking her own thoughts about what had just happened, apart from mine. I mean, it wasn’t as if I had never realized that before…just…maybe not in the same way…..or with the same clarity. And then, her, “I’m sorry,” broke the silence. I told her I was sorry too. And she crawled onto my lap and put her arms around my neck. We let out a sigh together. A meeting of the minds. A few minutes later, we sat at the table, sharing a blueberry bagel and applesauce, her face still red and splotchy from tears, and I was so thankful for that moment. I was thankful for turning and seeing her face when we fought….I was thankful for that bagel……I was thankful for it all. (Okay, so I would have been a little more thankful if we could have shared our special moment over ice cream instead of a bagel, but I made it work.)  And I am so thankful for that moody, stubborn, intelligent, funny, drama-filled little girl that probably is going to spend most of her life thinking I am completely wrong. She is a force to be reckoned with, and is going to grow up to give the world a swift kick in the ass and me a run for my money….and I wouldn’t have her any other way.

Standing

Today was one of those days that I wanted to run screaming out my front door.  Hair flying wild, eyes flashing, I would run down the street and just keep going. No clue where I would go…just…….away. Somewhere quiet. Really quiet. With wifi. Always wifi. This was not one of those typical mommy, “Calgon take me away” type moments either. I didn’t want some stupid bubble bath, I wanted the damn witness relocation program. I wanted someone to hand me a new life in a box. Here you go, ma’am, you are now a freelance photographer in Bangor, Maine. You paint watercolors in the park, have an extensive library of books, and time to read them, and your housekeeper comes in on Mondays. Now, that is what I am talking about. Can you even imagine? I don’t even think my brain remembers what it is like to complete a whole thought. In fact, if I did get some peace and quiet, it would probably still only string a few scattered fragments together and then sputter to a stop, waiting for me to tell someone where to find a pencil, or to screech, “stop teasing the cats!!!!!”  There are just some days where I can feel my brain cowering in the corner, twitching. Days that I find myself sitting on a pile of dirty laundry in my closet just to have five minutes. It’s not quite as sad as it sounds, it is a walk-in..but still. Shit. I am hiding sitting in a closet, dude. What is wrong with this picture?And while my children are….completely nutsinsane…. challenging….. I know it is not really their fault that I am driven to laundry sitting. Not entirely anyway. I was not cut out for this mothering thing. I always knew that. I was an only child, never babysat, never even played with kids my own age. I was positive I was never going to be having any kids. Isn’t it funny how things work out? Ahem.

It’s not so much that I hate kids. I don’t. It’s  just…..Kids are like the ultimate assault on the senses. They are loud. They are sticky. They are needy. They have no respect for personal space or privacy. They transport germs like the rats during the plague. Basically, they are my Kryptonite. It doesn’t help matters any that I have about the maturity level of a 4th grader, and probably even less drive and discipline, and being a parent seems to require large amounts of all of that. Which is totally lame and inconvenient. So, just like going into any job lacking the necessary job skills can make things a bit of a struggle….I tend to struggle through many aspects of this mom gig. And then I sit in the closet. Or fantasize about running away to a different life. One with wine tastings and a house that stays clean for more than five minutes. See, now I could end this by saying something like…and that is when my daughter runs up to hug me and show me a song that she has written, and I realize that it is all worth it. But that would be bull shit. And I refuse to do that. What I will say is this….When something like that does happen…when my daughter makes me breakfast in bed, or my son emails me pictures he thinks are funny……it allows me to keep trying. It allows me the strength to stand up and walk out of the closet. That’s it. No magic transformations. No chorus of angels. Just standing again. And this has nothing to do with my love for my kids. If being a good parent were based on love alone, I would be golden, because I love those two little freaks like crazy. But we all know love doesn’t keep you from having to do the grunt work…so until then….I’m not living anywhere that doesn’t have a decent sized closet.

Passion, Pain, and Patrick Swayze

So, what did you do this weekend? Me? (In my mind, you asked me about my weekend, ok? Work with me here.)

This weekend, I finally got the tattoo I have been waiting to get for over 2 years, but haven’t quite been able to make it work. The kids are always needing things…like food, and water, and electricity…..can you believe that? So selfish. 🙂 So body art just was never at the top of the priority list. But…it was for my birthday…so I was finally able to make it happen.

I decided to get it right after my step dad died. It was an experience that derailed my way of looking at a lot of things. I knew I wanted a tattoo to represent that. It needed to remind me that I am not promised tomorrow, so I need to make today what I want it to be. It needed to be about finding out who I am and who I want to be. It needed to be a reminder to be passionate about something. I decided the best way to represent all of these things was in that one word. Passion. That is why I chose a heart on fire. I spent forever looking for the perfect image. The one I ended up with is exactly what I had in mind, and more. A few little tweaks, and it was like it had been made just for me.

People who have never gotten a tattoo always ask about the pain involved. Well, I think the pain level is pretty tolerable. In fact, the most painful thing about the whole experience was the fact that they had chosen to play “She’s Like the Wind” by Patrick Swayze on a loop in the tattoo shop. I mean, seriously? Who thought Patrick Swayze singing was a good idea? But I was told it would get funnier each time through, and it was true. He certainly put his whole dirty dancing, little heart into it. Poor thing.

So, a very big thank you to Jenn, at Outer Limits. She is awesome. She’s like the wind, through my tree……. (holy crap, that song sucks.)

TA DA!!!

And for a nice brain cleansing after being subjected to “She’s Like the Wind”, I offer another, much better song that was also a part of my tattoo soundtrack. Song, itself starts at 1:30.

Delirium…Wheeeeeeeeee!

So I managed to not get any sleep at all last night. None. I do that sometimes. My body has never really been all that normal when it comes to sleeping patterns. Hell, who am I kidding? I have never been close to normal in anything. But, as far as sleep goes, my schedule has always been a bit different than the conventional, with occasional periods of just completely jacked up. (Damn, that is sounding pretty much like my life again.) And since I was awake, I took my daughter to get breakfast from McDonald’s, which has been the object of her desire for quite some time….Which? Really? Ew. But my kids have never really been normal either, so… So, she got her bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, and I got to see the sunrise. And then I was like, “hell, I am up, I have the whole day ahead of me, just think of all of the crap I can get done!”…. Suuuure. I did get some stuff done. Then I crashed, hard core at about 1:00. Hard to get anything done when I am comatose and drooling on myself in my chair. While I was awake all night, I was thinking about things…all kinds of things….my mind just goes…and I was thinking about this blog…and wondering what the hell I was thinking, starting it up again…and what was I going to write about…and who even cared….And then, I woke up from my chair nap to find these amazing responses to my last post. And I was, like, “Hell yes!” And feeling all encouraged and understood and girl power and crap. And I remembered what drew me to blogging…..no, writing…..in the first place. Words have power. Even if I am not a writer, I can throw my thoughts out there, look at them and try to make something of them. And, if I am really lucky, someone else will look at my words and be able to take something from them…..but even better….people take the time to share their words, and stories, and thoughts in return, And to me, that is awesome. Knowing there are other people out there who are questioning, considering, and struggling….because I swear, if I read one more facebook update about how happy and blessed and wonderful everyone’s life is, my head is going to explode, because I really can’t be the only one fumbling through this shit, can I? Come on, tell me I am not. I haven’t slept or showered, and I am probably delirious. Humor me.

Apparently I am one moody, moody person too, because in the three  hours I have been trying to write this (yes, I said three hours. Scratch that about my kids not really needing me oppressively. Holy crap.) I went from all uplifted and joyous to crabby and mad at the world. Not that I am not still all warm and fuzzy about the feedback people have shared….it is there…..just buried under the argh! and the gah! Nothing a shower, some peace and quiet, and the fact that I am getting a new tattoo tomorrow can’t fix. Temporarily anyway.