Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Late Start Tuesday

It's quiet in my house at 8 a.m. Of course, it usually is because everyone is at school, but today it is because almost everyone is still asleep. I have one of those days where I can't say I'm looking forward to anything... until 7 tonight. Have an IEP meeting and a PCA evaluation today and neither of them sound all that fun. But I will get them done. LIke always.

Last night Bart and I were dreaming about something we'd like to do and realized that we still have several years before what we want even comes on to the radar. There are children and adults to care for -- some who are givers, some who take, and others who do a bit of both -- and so what we need and want just can't be thought of yet.

This is why I am amazed at the reasons that others want out of commitments they make. The shallow excuses for giving up shock me when I hear them. I know that I don't live in other people's worlds or share their lives, but so much of what I hear and see is selfishness. "It's about me!!!" If I don't get what I want, then it's time to move on.

I don't get what I want all the time, but I value the commitments I have made to stick with and love the people that I have committed myself to. I believe that every marriage is 100-100, not 50-50. And sometimes, if one person is not able to fulfill their part, the other person may have to chip in some more and for a time it may be 120-80, or 150-50. But it's always my job to attempt the 100%.

I also am convinced that I can say I'm sorry regardless of whether or not I'm wrong. I can say I'm sorry that we are having a conflict. I can say I'm sorry that things aren't going well. I can be sorry and still not be admitting that I was the root of the problem. And sorry even though it "seems to be the hardest word" is often the most powerful.

Giving 100% or more, saying sorry, putting my needs second -- sounds like a doormat, doesn't it? But nothing could be farther from the truth. If I choose these things, then my life is full of all kinds of adventures and good things, even if I'm not getting exactly what I think I want or need.

Now, please do not ask me how I got off on this tangent, because I have no clue. I'm not even sure it made much sense. But there you have it. A brain dump for Tuesday morning....


rad said...


I wanted to write and thank you for your blog. I'm in the middle of a radtastic couple of weeks, and your blog has been a blessing to me.

A question if I might: do you have stories of success? Like real success, not 'at least he's not an axe-murderer' success? I'm searching high and low, and no matter where I look, I see only partial success stories. Maybe that's all we get? And when I look back on the last three years of my journey with my son (yeah, I know, only three years), the only real change I see is that he's not raging 12 hours a day now. Instead he's more cunning and (thankfully?) clueless. He lies, threatens, and does eerily violent things, but always manages to get caught (that's the thankfully part)! I'd feel more safe in my home if we could go back to the days of rage!! When I read about your adult children, and others who have older children, I wonder if what we do makes a difference? Like maybe I should just focus on management and less on trying to bond with someone who hates me so, and probably isn't neurologically capable of bonding? Maybe my job is to keep him out of maximum security prison, and only in county jail? Only homeless sometimes? Pie in the sky, maybe I can transfer my authoritarian 'management' to the military when he's 18 (if they'll take him)? I'm sorry to feel so negative, I'm just having a not-so-hopeful kind of day.

Thanks again for continuing to write your blog. You really are helping people.
E's mom

Anonymous said...

The comment from “E’s Mom” could have been written by me, so I could probably just second that. I’m another semi-regular reader who has been lurking out here taking perverted comfort from reading about how much more challenging your adventures in parenting seem to be, and chastising myself for failing to rise up with grace.

We have, after all, only one child with FASD and RAD, and he hasn’t yet been incarcerated. We are committed to being his parents for life, but I do wonder what that will mean in two years when he is 18. The worst part is, although he has had several incidents when his behavior has crossed the line from irritating to very dangerous, it’s really the irritation -- the daily, grating, semi-intentional getting-on-the-nerves -- that seems to push me beyond the saving power of my sense of humor and sense of original purpose. Crises come and go, but annoying, unpleasant habits endure.

This, I am guessing, is among the “shallow excuses” I think you mean when you speak of the selfishness of parents who don’t stick to their commitments. I definitely agree; I sound shallow. But there have been dozens of times in these past four years when I’ve chosen not to be miserable, to offer love without expecting it to be returned, to allow my son to try to earn back trust, to renew efforts to bond with this child whose dishonesty, pomposity and manipulative slyness make him so hard to even spend an hour with -- and each time, my renewed optimism has been rewarded by some younger child (our own or someone else's) narrowly escaping harm, or by his escalating to verbal abusiveness with me.

I’m sure keeping my distance only aggravates his problems in the long run, but I just don’t know how to give him the affection and positive attention he needs in the short run when every natural instinct I possess is warning me not to be an enabler, and to give him fair warning how his behaviors will be dealt with by society when he’s old enough to escape my constant vigilance.