Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Name of the Game

For anyone that knows me personally, they know that theater and music is a big part of my life. (Which is why Indy was walking around singing Yellow Submarine and thanks to YouTube and whoever made the Lego version I was able to share it with a 4 yr old) I've also tried to inflict it upon Spawn and so far it's worked which is why she sings Mama-Mia with me, knows the music from Phantom of the Opera and can tell you the Wicked Witch of the West's name is really Elphaba and that she and Glinda were really friends. 

We (Spawn and I) were adding music to her iPod today (yes the pink one that I steal most of the time) and she had asked for the usual requests, a song by Katy Perry (the one with Timeberland), something by Ke$ha (the radio edit) and show tunes.......I thought since that part of the day had gone well that maybe the rest of our day would be okay. (le sigh) I should know better. Since she was up at 645 that might have been a problem and it was. 

True test of a overworked mother's patience is to ask a resistant child to clean their room. We (my roomies and I) are getting ready for one of our annual events on Monday and well we have commenced with the house cleaning. This has just happened to coincide this year with the massive "Get rid of stuff we don't want/need" project that we have started so things are sailing out of the house at a great rate, Good for us we think. I'm sure that it's not going as fast as hoped but you know, these things didn't happen over night and they don't get fixed over night. Couple this with the ongoing issues with my mom, the semester group project from hell and stress about my financial aid for next year and I'm already on edge. Then add Spawn and the normal rounds of "I hate you, you're mean, why are you making me do this, and my personal fave This is not fair that I have to do all this by myself." and this is just over folding her cloths and picking up the things all over the floor in her room. Things she put there. Oy...

Perhaps we are going to start better tomorrow. I can hope, she still has things to clean in her room and I intend to make her finish folding her clothes. Since this week has been nothing but making it from one rage to the next and wondering what is going to be the next trigger to set her off I guess that we will see, 

I know that I am tired, hearing that I'm mean and that she hates me every day is wearing me down. I know she doesn't mean it but it still hurts.  I'm grateful for the support of my friends and their willingness to help me try anything to reach my child. Whatever she is holding inside is preventing her from being able to control her actions like she should and she is refusing to talk about it or let go of it. I don't know if she can't or won't I don't know, but I have a feeling that it (whatever it is) is at the root of the major issues she is having right now. My only prayer is that we get her to respond to something enough to let us figure it out in time to stop anymore permanent damage.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Kitty

We got a new kitty yesterday. So far Spawn is doing well with him. So is Indy (my nephew who is 4, AKA my roomie's son) The roomies and I had a lot of fun playing with kitty yesterday and attempting to break up cat fights. Our other cats aren't too sure about this little guy yet. So this week on my agenda is a trip to the vet to get shots and sniped and hopefully he'll tell me what he wants his name to be. Right now he's being called Kit. Who knows it might stick.

In other news, I feel myself shutting down and pushing away. Something I tend to do when I get really, really stressed. Not an easy trait to have when you are the single parent of a difficult child. Sometimes I feel like I need to just pull into myself instead of reaching out to my friends. It's not a good thing usually when I do it, it has the effect of hurting people's feelings. I do try to be aware of when I get into these moods and send out warnings. It doesn't always work. They also tend to make me hypersensitive to the way I think other people are acting toward me. Now I can tell you, in those situations I'm almost always wrong. I'm such a mess sometimes, but aren't we all?

I'm going to update this post with some kitty pictures hopefully today.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First day in the Tower and I come home to a meltdown and a tough decision

Well as I mentioned  yesterday, my office was moved from it's basement location to the top floor. There is a joke among my friends due to my job that I am a dragon and that they had kept me in my basement office because of it. Well the dragon had a perch in the tower now and it's going to take some getting used to. There is much more light up there and a helluva lot more traffic flowing by my door. It will be an adjustment period but I'll adapt like any good dragon.

I came home early today. I was home by 6pm. That was early for this week. My mom had picked up Spawn from her after school program for me since I wasn't sure what time I would be home. So I called her to let her know I was going to be earlier than expected. I could tell something was wrong when she answered the phone...I delivered my news and got a flat "Fine, I'll bring her home now." When I inquired as to what the problem was I was only told that it wasn't Spawn.

About 15 minutes after I got home, Spawn came through the door, upset. I asked what was wrong and where was Grandma as I watched her car race out of the driveway. Spawn told me that Grandma and her Aunt (my sister) had a fight and that Grandma was upset. So on the phone again I was, trying to find out what on earth was going on. (I should mention that my sister is Bi-Polar and is now at 21 deciding that she doesn't need or want medication. I should also mention that my mother is also Bi-Polar and I think that she's taking her meds.) My mom tells me that Spawn payed her aunt a compliment and that set her off. And when she kept going my mom went off. Fun for all. We've (my roomies and I) have been trying to get my mom to understand that it's not helpful for this type of thing to be happening EVERY time that the two of them are around each other. Poor Spawn has enough going on without this too as one of my good friends pointed out this evening.

So I now have to make the tough decision to not let Spawn be around them until this situation is handled. She can't handle it anymore and I, frankly, can't take it anymore either. I can hope that things will get better, but I have a feeling that this is just the start of the downward spiral. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Out of the Dungeon

My office for the last several years was fondly called The Dungeon. Mostly because it was in a basement (yes I have the red Swingline to go with it and Yes, that is my stapler and No you can't have my stapler) Tomorrow, I'm moving out of my Dungeon home and going up to the Penthouse. (That would be from the basement to the top floor for those of you that don't live in my building)

I'm not sure how I really feel about the move. This week has been 'one of those weeks' (insert echo here) I assume that it will be better. My office will now have a window (two actually) I won't be the only person on my floor....I'm going to miss my Dungeon. We often say that the only constant is change. This is of course especially true at my job. But we shall be okay and I'm sure that I will learn to love my new home.

Spawn Update:

I found a program through one of the blogs I follow called FAIR Club (see first link here)

(Big shout out to Mary the Mom for this) You can also find her blog, Muddling though Mayhem, in my blog list. I tried it for the first time last night on Spawn. My roomie K asked her to empty the dishwasher and of course she balked (I don't wanna do it Mommy, why do I have to do it?) So we (it's a team approach sometimes) explained to her that we needed her help and that she needed to follow rule 3 (Do your work) and that work meant chores and that yes emptying the dishwasher is one of her chores (newly assigned and she's fighting against it but still) when she evoked the magic works "IT'S NOT FAIR" yelled at us from the kitchen, to which I replied in my great newly acquired parental wisdom, "Welcome to FAIR Club dear" Well that just brought everything to a halt...What was this? FAIR club? She was, shocked, stunned even. I had explained it to her but like most things I try to tell her,  she really wasn't listening when I did. She got the message pretty quick. After approx 5 min, (instead of the usual 30-45 min this would take any other day) she decided that she had enough, she didn't like it there. She liked being a part of the family and she emptied the dishwasher. Tonight, she helped clear the table and load the dishwasher without being asked. So for today something is working. That doesn't mean that it will work tomorrow. I'm just glad for today.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I don't often talk of these things on here but I think I'm going to start having to for my own sanity. Spawn and I have been having problems. I thought that the behavioral issues were a phase, that she would grow out of them. Her father, my ex (hence forth named Vader) kept telling me it was something that I was or was not doing, too much discipline, not enough. I wasn't spending enough time with her because I was working full-time and going to school. Meanwhile, he wasn't really around either because he was "working" The tantrums and the outbursts kept getting worse and they left me feeling helpless. Then there were the secondary reactions, she was experiencing encopresis. So we went though all of the tests only to find that there was no medical reason, so back to the behavioral side we went.

Now I will mention here that I work in community mental health, so you would think that I would be able to find help for my child fairly quickly and effectively. This was not so much the case. I asked for services and was assigned a therapist, it seemed like nothing we tried worked. Our first therapist was fairly good, we tried all the normal things, behavioral charts, rewards, time outs. Everything would work for a little while then just stop. Meanwhile, Vader got married, Spawn had to adjust to me having a boyfriend and I was still in school. Then we were transfered to another therapist due to maternity leave, at first this seemed like a good move, Spawn was talking, or so I thought. There was a little improvement. Then all hell seemed to break loose in our lives, Vader stopped seeing her on a regular basis. That was the first downhill slide, then my boyfriend and I broke up several months later. This was hard on her since he had been a presence in her life for not only the time that we were together but before that and then he was just gone without a goodbye. She was having trouble in school, behavioral wise. I meanwhile was starting my MBA, dealing with the ever shifting moods and outbursts (I couldn't even take her to a store without a meltdown of epic proportions), Vader being no where around and not contacting us, a crushing breakup and trying to find a reason and a treatment for the on-going encopresis, which had been two years at this point.

It was then I made the decision to explore medication for Spawn, and so far that has seemed to help. We still have the outbursts but they are not as frequent nor do they last as long, Spawn is able to focus more. We're still battling the encopresis, but there has been improvement and now her newest therapist and I are wondering if part of it isn't more in an effort to force some control over her situation. Her issues at school have stopped, this year was so much better then last year. We have a new therapist that sees her regularly and communicates with me so that I know what to work on with her and have some direction as to what to do. I don't feel as helpless. Reading other people's blogs who have children with similar issues has also helped. It has made me realize that I am not alone with this. It was also there that I found the suggestion to blog about it.

So look for more posts like this, I know they are not exactly the most entertaining but it's what I need to do to get by.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I don't want to be anybody other then what I've been trying to be lately...

I haven't written in a while...I could give all the normal excuses, that I was busy, that school was taking all of my time, that being a single mom has been so demanding that it has left me no time and all of that would be very true. But that isn't why I haven't written. The cold, hard truth of the matter was that I was scared of having to actually face what was bothering me and needed to come out.

I started this blog as a way to purge my feelings and emotions about a very devastating breakup that shook my foundation. Now almost a year and a half later I've finally realized what I was supposed to learn from that and why I had to go through it the way I did. There were things about it I regret, things that were said that I wish like hell I could take back, a friendship that changed me in ways to numerous to count and the loss of which I still morn. I can look back on the good times now fondly and see the bad times without the haze of crushing pain. I can, most importantly, as I found today, appreciate the things that I have found that never existed in that relationship.

Just to be clear, I'm not speaking in the romantic term, although I hope that one day I am fortunate enough to explore that aspect as well. I am speaking about the basis of a solid friendship, one that is build on mutual respect and support for one another. As I've said before, friendship is not a spectator sport, you get out of it what you put into it. This time I actually am getting out of it what I am putting into it. We're both getting what we need right now, support and friendship. It's nice to know that someone is there when you need them, after you have been there for them. I can't explain why this one is different from my other friendships but it is.  I'm a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason" and I always say that things will turn out like they are supposed to. I think after some of the things that have happened this week I'm starting so see what the reason is, at least this part of the reason.