Life can be hard!
We all know it. We all feel it at one time or another.
I don’t remember ever feeling anything else. Ever.
If I start at the beginning, this post would turn into a novel of epic proportions. So, I’ll just start where I’m at.
I’m a 47 year old mother of two adult children, 30 and 23, and I have an 8 year old child at home. I’m also a grandmother by the middle child. I have two grandchildren, ages 3 and 2. Parenting and grandparenting at the same time is challenging. However, I find it more than challenging.
You see, due to the special needs of my 8 year old, I can’t do both at the same time. My youngest experiences High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. She flat out doesn’t want anything to do with her niece and nephew, since there is no controlling toddlers in the ways she would like to. There’s no keeping them out of her things when they visit. There’s no keeping my granddaughter away from her. She gets so excited whenever she thinks she’s going to see her aunt. So, she wants to be wherever my daughter is.
That’s not really so different from most other kids around my daughter’s age. However, she can get dangerous and very hurtful, scary even, with her yelling, snatching, slamming doors, and pushing. She doesn’t grasp that her actions are hurtful. All she can see is that her world is being altered and disordered in ways beyond her control.
Which leads me to the next thing: her abusive and violent behavior.
Yes. My 8 year old daughter is abusive with her words and her body. It isn’t intentional, it’s part of the Autism and how she experiences the world as a person on the Spectrum. Whenever she has to transition from something she’s currently doing into the next thing, especially if it’s not on her internal agenda, the resistance she exhibits is phenomenal. I haven’t really figured out constructive and effective ways to deal with this. So, often, I wind up forcing the issue and taking control of her body . . . after getting increasingly frustrated and irritated. Anger and exhaustion are the things I feel most often when I’m around my little girl, whom I love, deeply.
I hate you!
You’re not my mommy!
I wish I had a different mommy!
You’re a bitch!
I wish you were dead!
These are just a few of the things I’ve heard in the past several weeks. Often they’re accompanied with hitting, kicking, and the loudest, highest pitched screaming she can muster.
There’s much, much more going on. Again, if I were to go into it all, it would be another book. It’s very overwhelming. My nerves are shot. I’m pretty sure anyone’s would be. Thankfully, she has her beautiful, loving moments, as well. Otherwise, I think I’d be totally lost.
My Bipolar Depression and PTSD are continually triggered and make it even more challenging and difficult. It’s often nearly impossible, for me to be the mom she needs in those moments. The hurt and rage rise up inside of me. While she’s fighting me, I’m fighting myself. Almost every day I feel like I’m in a losing battle in a never ending war.
This same feeling permeates the atmosphere in our society, in our world. I can’t escape it. It. Just. Is.
It just is . . . injustice, born of inordinate fear and anger seems to be in every corner of the world. It dominates the news cycles and social media. It fills the atmosphere just about everywhere I go.
Ever since October, especially after the election, the oppression of depression has permeated my soul. It’s the season when all of my trauma triggers exist. Current event have exacerbated it.
So, I’ve been just functional enough to take care of our basic needs, and that’s about it.
This is not who I want to be. This is not how I want to live. This is not what she needs. I’ve got to do better, be better, get better.
It’s been so hard to move, much less move forward.
This is the song which has become my anthem in recent weeks.