Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Non verbal children and Halloween

I wish I could make this into a tag for little Landon. One Halloween a lady wouldn't give him candy until he said "trick or treat" we explained to her that he couldn't say it because hes non verbal. She didn't get it. So our kids Cheyenne, Gavin and Brennan felt so bad they all three gave him a piece of their candy to make up for what she did. I couldn't believe it. Sad that my kids show more compassion than that lady. Now we skip her house every Halloween.
Sometimes a kid can't say it because their shy. Sometimes a kid can't say it because they don't know how and sometimes a kid can't say it because he didn't understand. Compassion and understanding goes a long way.

If you come across a kid who can't say it remember that maybe they just can't. Give them some candy anyway. They dressed up and spent their evening dealing with crowds and all the chaos that over stimulates them. Just because they can't say trick or treat doesn't mean that don't deserve the fun of Halloween too. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sometimes I want to run & hide.

Seriously.. I am a mom of a special needs 13 year old boy who I love unconditionally but some days like this morning.. I sit on my porch in tears thinking of doing just that. Actually that's a lie. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Today I told my husband via text.. I want to die. I can't wait for my day to come. I embrace it. I welcome it. Do you know why? It will end my pain. 

My depression. I wouldn't have to live with mental illness anymore, because I would be dead. As much as I love my children. I deal with the bad side of autism with my son every day. I had to chase my kid this morning who thought it would be fun to run to the parking lot behind out house nowhere near his school bus. Then he sat down in the parking lot. Laughing to himself while I tried everything to pick my kid up. The pain he inflicted on me today.. Even his bus driver said "it takes a real special person to deal with what you deal with"

On the outside I put on a brave face. I try to hold back the tears of every smack, punch, kick, head butt and hair pull. I put him on the bus after the struggle and still told him I loved him even fighting back the sadness and tears. I almost lost it when the bus driver asked placing her hand on my shoulder "are you okay?" On the outside I smiled and said "yeah" but on the inside I said "no I'm not."

My husband has no idea what I deal with on a daily basis. The hair pulling, the kicking, the slapping, the headbutting and the constant pain I go through to get my son ready for school. Sometimes he freaks out on me in frustration, He can't help it. Its not like he can say "hey mom, I'm pissed off. I'm angry." No he can't. Landon only speaks so many words. Angry is not one of them. 

In the world of a special needs teenager who is non verbal. He can't tell me what he wants. So he lashes out. Any parent who has a autistic child can tell you the moment this happens it takes everything in us to help them. Trying to calm them isn't a easy task and I have had people in stores ask "how do you not lash out back at him?" I will look at them and say "what good would that do? If you didn't have a way of telling a person how you felt, you would get frustrated eventually and last out too. Right? They usually agree. It comes with the territory.

I love him to pieces. Have fought for him and his well being since he was 12 months old and couldn't walk, sit up or crawl. I fought for his services. His therapies. I am his advocate. But some days I want to throw in the towel. As much as I love my children. I'm tired. I'm tired of crying all the damn time. I'm tired of the pain I endure trying to help him. 

I feel alone. I have never felt so alone in my entire life. I can't talk to anyone about him. My own family don't want to hear about my son. Every time I mention him I get the "here we go" look. So I don't talk to any of them. I don't talk to them about how I feel like some days of disappearing off the face of the planet. Nope, because they wouldn't listen if I tried. Maybe they don't believe that I deal with depression.

My son is 100 pounds and all muscle. Hes almost as tall as me. I don't know what I'm going to do next year when he towers over me like a giant. I think about it all the time. How am I gonna get him on the bus when he decides to go into frustration mode. Its a ugly side of autism that unless you have a kid on the spectrum you wouldn't understand.

Some mornings hes great. Gets on the bus with no problem. But then mornings like this morning are the most unpredictable and tough mornings I hate to face. But as his mom I really don't have a choice. Who is gonna get him ready and on the bus for school... Me. My husband works. I used to but then me being at work was too rough on him and he needed me home to be with the kids.. 

On days like this morning I sit on my porch and let the tears fall off my face. My mom used to say "when you feel the need to cry in frustration.. Do it." So I sat on my porch after the bus pulled away and cried. I feel like my soul wants to give up with all I go through. And the only people who truly understand are the ones who walk in my shoes.

I'm tired. I'm broken. Today I said to myself that its never going to get better. I try my damndest every day to be a good mom. To be there for my kids. To talk to them about their sadness if they're feeling it. I don't want them to be like me. Me who holds it in. Me who is in pain from the sadness and loneliness that clouds me everyday. Like Eeyore. 

Mental illness is real. A curse. A state of mind that can't be cured. Medicines can help for those who think they work. But for me nothing worked except writing. Which is why I am writing. It helps me cope. Keeps my thoughts from boiling inside like a kettle that eventually blows. I have to write my feelings. To keep me from going into a state of darkness that I once experienced many years ago.

Would I take my own life? No. I wouldn't want to cause that pain on four little souls who I brought into this world. I wouldn't want them to blame themselves thinking they could've saved me. I just wouldn't. They need me here. But the day my life ends I won't be scared. I am not afraid of death. You know what I hate though? Feeling lonely. Sitting in a room full of people who you have known your whole life and yet you feel alone. That's the feeling I hate the most.

Its a curse that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Yet I was given it. Its sad really. That I have to write about how lonely I feel on a public blog when I have people in my life. Well sometimes they are in my life. Other times I feel like I don't know them anymore. But I guess that's life right? Life has handed me everything including the boulders of the world when it comes to raising a special needs child.

In the words of one of my most favorite and influential bands that got me through many years of darkness... Linkin Park..  Their lyrics from the song "Easier to Run" from the album Meteora. 

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

I love the kid more than life. I love all my kids more than life. But on the days like today.. I just want to run down the street and never look back. Just run into a forest and lose myself. But I won't. I won't leave them. I won't be one of those parents who abandon their kids because they wanted a different life. I don't want a different life, I just don't want to hurt anymore. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

How do you cope?

Is what my doctor asked me today. Today I went to the doctors to find out why I for the past couple of weeks have been feeling like I'm on fire. Skin hot to the touch. Lava under my skin. So I mentioned having my thyroid checked since issues run in my moms family.

Then the doctor asked about my depression...

The issue of depression came up because while I was waiting I had to answer a questionaire about mental illness. I was diagnosed with depression years ago. Something I have lived with for years in silence. He asked if I were on meds at one point. I told him yes... First was Zoloft. It was prescribed to me after I had little Landon. That was 12 years ago. I took it for a few months but stopped because it made me want to kill myself. I would actually stand in my kitchen with my daughter and son and picture myself walking into oncoming cars. I would have other moments too where I thought about ending my life. I didn't like those thoughts at all and stopped taking them. I went to the doctor and told him how I felt and was then put on Effexor XR. Same results. Except the pills made me out of sorts and angry. Needless to say I didn't last on them either. Went back to the doctor and told him I didn't want to do meds anymore. I wanted to find other ways of coping.

So how did I cope? Writing in journals. My mom gave me that idea years ago. Writing my feelings always helped me get through my sadness, pain, anger, loneliness. A question in the questionaire asked "Do you feel lonely?" All the time. Depression is a mental illness where you can be surrounded by all the people you love but still feel like you're alone. I'm surrounded by my kids and my husband and some days I do feel absolutely alone. I feel like I have no one. When I know that they're there.

I have sat down many nights and wrote in a book, I feel alone, I have no one, I want to run away, I wish I could disappear from this earth because who would care anyway... In the light of Chester Benningtons death I know his pain. I know his sadness. I know the feeling of wanting to end it. I do. I have been a fan of Linkin Park since Hybrid Theory came out. I was a teenager then and dealing with deep sadness. Linkin Parks music and lyrics brought me out of the darkness many times. His death saddened me because in many of his songs I felt his pain. Its sad to see such a influence take his life. Not gonna lie but in the past I have been there. I however don't want to cause that kind of pain on my husband or children. So I stay and wallow in my sadness, my pain, my loneliness. But for others it just doesn't happen. Others see that maybe their families are better off without them. I once had those thoughts too.

I cope because I have to. I have a husband and four amazing kids that I don't want to leave behind. So I write. I write how I'm feeling. I write if I am sad or lonely. Hell... I write when I'm angry and pissed off at the world. The Dr said that was the greatest advice my mom could've gave me and I smiled and said "I know."

If you ever feel alone or sad just know that there are people who care. Talk about it. Write about it. Sing about it. Do what you gotta do. Life is precious. Live it the best you can.

Lyrics from the song Until Its Gone by Linkin Park always touched me....


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Depression is loneliness. A struggle.

The quote:

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

These past couple of days I haven't been myself. Angry. Sad. Lonely. Resentful to the world. All I want to do is lock myself away and sit in silence. But I have a family to think about. Clearly that can't be done.

I was diagnosed with depression many years ago. I attempted to take my life many times. My husband took me to the doctor and they gave me those "happy" pills that are supposed to help. They didn't. I couldn't tell you how many times while on those meds that I thought about walking out into traffic and hoping someone would hit me. I contemplated it so much that I stopped taking them. Why take a med that makes you want to die? So they changed it from Zoloft to Effexor XR. That one didn't work either. So I told the doctor I didn't want meds. I would try to go back to writing like I did when I was a teenager. I did. For a little while at least.

That was back in 2006-2007. Now I just deal with it in my own way. Sometimes I lose myself in genealogy to occupy my mind. To get myself out of the rut I'm in. Sometimes I try to lose myself in a book. It helps but the depression doesn't go away. I have tried to put up a "happy" front. Tried to make the best of everything and tell myself that "I'm good" but in reality I'm not. I'm not. I'm trying my best to stay on this earth. Anyone who has ever had that feeling are the only ones who truly understand. My kids are keeping me here. They are the reason I wake up and face a new day.

I wish I never had depression. I wish I never had this pain. This unlucky mental illness that has plagued me for so long. That causes me to feel alone in my pain. I absolutely loathe it. I have family that don't know my struggle nor sometimes does it seem they care. This is why I confide in no one. Not since the one person I used to confide everything to died on June 11 2010. The day a part of me went with her. I know that is where my anger has been stemming from lately.

Mothers Day is coming up. On facebook I see friends celebrating with their moms. Enjoying the day with smiles and the "I'm so grateful shes still here". I try to be happy for them. Like their photos but in reality I feel sad and envious because I wish I could say the same. I miss the days of asking my mom what she would like and hear "I don't know" and how it used to annoy me. Now I wish I could hear that I don't know. I wish I could get that hug and photo that so many people get. I wish I could sit in my backyard with coffee in my hand and my mom sitting next to me telling stories of her childhood in Tennessee and hearing about her grandparents that I never met. I can't even bring myself to sit back there with a coffee and it has been almost seven years.

This is also my birthday month. May 18th I'll be 36 years old. Just another day on this earth is how I see it. But I try to put on my best mood for my children. I spend the day with them and think about how my mom used to come over and celebrate it with me. Now its just my kids, my husband and me. Landon keeps asking me what I want for my birthday and I don't know. I don't even want to celebrate it. I just want to hide in my room and nap that day away.

Depression sucks. It drains you. It makes you feel like you're insignificant in others lives. I have never felt so alone in this world until my mom died. Now its like its just me and then there's the world. That's why I call my kids my blessings. They pull me out of my darkness when no one else will. Without them I wouldn't be here.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

When everythings meant to be broken, I just want you to know who I am.

This is me. A mom of four. A mom of a special needs child. Emotionally and physically drained. Some days I feel like years have been added to my life. No joke. I seriously feel as if I am going to fall apart. I cannot stress enough how much it takes a toll on ones mind alone.

People... Since I became a mom of a special needs child it has turned me into a anti people person. I literally can't stand the stares. The comments. The advice they feel you need to hear. This morning was a bad morning and my sons bus driver felt the need to give her own advice. While I'm standing there hyperventilating and crying because Landon decided to fight me to the bus. I was already breaking down. I didn't need to be told how to handle my son. She hasn't been the only one. I deal with this every time we go somewhere. Someones always gotta say something. They know better than you. Its so frustrating. I have thought many times to just pack my family up and run to an isolated place. You know its sad when a person gets to that point.

Yes Landon is a handful. We have good days. We have bad days. There is no in between. Lets be real here. I have cried more in the past year than I ever have. Teenage hormones have changed him. Hes become more outgoing and has acted out more than in the past years. There are days where I do walk into my room and I just cry. Something my mom always told us six kids to do. When you're overwhelmed and feel like you need to scream. Do it. You need to cry out of frustration. Do it. Don't hold it in.

Its a job in itself raising a special needs kid. The hours and days of therapies. The government coming into your house. Dealing with CPS. Having to explain every cut, bruise and mark in notes so CPS doesn't show up at your door again. When you have a son who doesn't feel pain and goes down the stairs on his knees... Writing that note was a doozy. I think I have written so many I could've written a book. Its sad that I have to do that. But I hate dealing with CPS. We had a worker a few years ago. She was a real winner. Actually asked my husband about my mental state because I was still grieving the LOSS of my sister months before. Yeah... Nice right? She really enjoyed seeing me upset. You could see it in her eyes. I don't even remember what her name was but when she tried to throw Native American documentation at me and told me I should do it for benefits I looked at her like she lost her damn marbles. Like I'm going to claim to be from a tribe in Michigan just to claim benefits? HA! (It was her way of making it right.) What a joke.

Dealing with teachers these past couple of years.. I'm telling you. If I could homeschool my kid I would. Just to avoid the constant phone calls, notes and meetings. They want you to medicate your kid until he becomes a zombie you know... aka manageable. If you try new medications and they don't work well try again... Try and try again. If their hyperactive they have to be on meds.  Its a no win situation. The same with cold meds and allergy meds. Landon has allergies all year round like me. He got my curse. There are only 1-2 over the counter meds I can give him for it that don't counteract his four medications he is on. One pharmacist actually told me that certain over the counter meds can cause my kid to go into cardiac arrest because of the strong medications hes on. Try to explain that to the teacher and nothing but argument. Its like they don't want to listen to you.

All of that alone makes me feel worn down. I literally cannot count how many times I have hung up with teachers and cried because of frustration. Somedays I just want to walk into a hospital and say take me. lol. Seriously though I have stayed up many nights in the past couple of weeks with Landon who was too riled up to go to bed and think about how nice sleep would be. How nice it is for everyone who is sleeping right now. Then when that finally does happen its 3 or 4 in the morning. I literally can't sit down during the day because if I do I'm out. lol. Not good folks. Not good at all.

Landon is a awesome kid. He really is. I wouldn't trade him nor his siblings for anything. I love them all to the moon and back. We have given up so much. My husband gave up his favorite job (US Coast Guard). I have fought to get him the services he needs and deserves. Countless disagreements with doctors who said he couldn't do this and that. Well.. They were totally wrong. He did all of what they said and more. He will walk through the house with a smile on his face. Loves to try to sing the words to songs of one of his favorite bands Of Monsters and Men. King and Lionheart is still his favorite song.

Laugh at accents like they're the greatest thing ever. He lives his life like there isn't a care in the world. I wish I could live like that. Finally have that library I always wanted. Go on a honeymoon we never had. Even just go on a hike in the woods and lose myself. But all of that is just thoughts. Wishes. Something that is never going to happen. But in the end seeing his face, Cheyennes face, Gavin and Brennans faces every day makes it worth it.

People ask me "how do you do it? How do you raise a special needs child and not drink or lose it?" I simply say " I'm his mom. I accepted this when he was 18 months old. I have been by his side since day one and honestly...
I do it because no one else would."

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Never apologize

In the past couple of years I learned a lot. I learned who I can confide in and who I can't. Who will listen and who won't. I learned where I stand when it comes to family and friends. Its okay. But the one thing I learned most of all especially on facebook is that people will change their opinions of you in 2 point seconds flat if you don't see things their way. Its the most FRUSTRATING drama I have ever dealt with. I was accused of hating Obama (never hated anyone in my life) because I pointed out ONE policy I didn't agree with. One. I didn't bash Obama. I wouldn't bash anyone. But apparently because of an opinion I am officially a "Obama hater". Quite laughable honestly. I didn't like Clinton and wasn't accused of being a Clinton hater. I wasn't a fan of George Bush. Never was accused of being a "Bush hater". Although I'll admit his speeches were pretty entertaining. I don't even like Trump. Didn't vote for Trump. I don't like a lot of what our American government does. Honestly I wish America could've gotten a redo on candidates and now we're stuck with Trump for four years.

The thing that irks me more than anything else. Why is it that people don't comment or like posts on your facebook until you post something they don't like or "against liberals". That's where they all of a sudden come out of hiding for a witch hunt and start drama where its not wanted. It was a DAMN VIDEO I didn't even make. I didn't have any control over what the guy said about Democrats yet here comes the hate. This is why I almost left facebook yesterday. You can't share anything without someone getting butthurt and starting drama. Its like I'm dealing with facebook police. If you post something Anti Trump you can hear crickets. But you post a video of a guy talking about the protests and BAM here comes the bitching. "People have a right to protest their beliefs" etc etc. What about mine? Why can't I post something on facebook without someone pouncing on it? Why can't I have a difference of an opinion without feeling attacked because you feel the need to tell me I'm wrong? Its like you can't win on your own facebook. Or you have the "friends" who are on your facebook but unfollow you or hide your posts. Can someone tell me what is the point of that? Seriously? I want to be friends with you on facebook but I don't want to read your views or thoughts. Just want to string along.

Its mind boggling how people are. I seriously want to just clean out my friends list and start over. Just keep the ones who actually enjoy my posts. I have people on my facebook who I have never met who are more like family to me than my own family. Its pretty damn sad. Seriously though. I feel like a person should be able to post whatever they want regardless if you agree with it or not. I have seen people post things I don't agree with and I keep scrolling why? I don't let it bother me. I have seen pictures of things I don't want to see and do I bitch to them about it? No. I keep scrolling. Honestly. Facebook is my getaway. People don't know whats really going on in my life. No one does. I was hardly on facebook when my mom was alive because I could go to her. I would sit in my backyard and talk to her for hours with coffee. There are days where I feel so damn alone and no one knows because I don't say it. I don't tell my true business on facebook. I used to until my family criticized me for it. They think I spend all my time on facebook. While sadly they spent their entire lives criticizing me, bringing me down, making fun of me and making me feel like shit.

However the one thing I will never do is I will never apologize for who I am. No one should ever apologize for how they feel, their opinions and beliefs. Never let anyone make you feel you need to change your way of thinking because to them its wrong. Never. You be you and if they don't like it that's on them. I was raised to speak my mind. I was raised to never let anyone tell you different when they don't agree with you. Its okay to hear what they have to say. But never let them bully you into changing your mind. Thats they great thing about being able to think for yourself. I'm not gonna change. I'm going to be the same person I was yesterday. I have come to the conclusion that Facebook used to be fun. Now its all politically correct and drama. Its like high school all over again.