I have realized lately that every other day my anxiety is just off the charts. And I think that I really don't have reason to be anxious. But I probably do.
Part of my stress is that I am not feeling as comfortable blogging as I used to because there are so many extraneous people involved in our lives now that might read the blog. Birthparents, found without our consent, in-laws, boyfriend's families, neighbors, girlfriend's families, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, etc. This blog started out as a place for me to vent my own feelings about raising the kids, and has never been intended to hurt anyone or cause problems. So far, I don't think it has, but I don't want to start now.
I have tried to be incredibly transparent about my own emotion as I have struggled through tough stuff. In that, I have had to give details about situations in order to process them. But lately I've found myself not wanting to share too much. Blog readership is higher with less comments. I'm not sure I'm meeting the needs of my readers and I'm really convinced I"m not doing a good job of self promotion in regards to my books or my speaking by barfing all over the internet every day. Obviously this isn't a high priority in my life or I'd trash this and start a new blog that was much more professional and careful.
Let me share some glimpses of the past 18 hours, just so you can see why I'm having to remind myself to breathe. Each of them isn't that big of a deal, but put them together and I'm just really stressing.
Dominyk had a super day yesterday. He was very calm all day which was due to medication and possibly the fact that I really watched what he was drinking and tried to control the caffeine. Caffeine used to calm him, but lately I'm wondering if since he hit puberty it is having the opposite affect. But anyway, he had a great day. At 10 we sent him to bed and he began a HUGE meltdown.
His meltdown was due to the fact that Tony, being supervised by his PCA to clean his room, had given Jimmy money to help, and then told JImmy to go get his night stand that he had loaned Dominyk over the summer. So during teh day, while DOminyk was with me JImmy had gone in and taken his night stand covered with all his most important stuff and dumped it on his bed. If you know anything about OCD, having your prized possessions dumped all over the bed is not going to fly. He lost it and for 20-30 of the last minutes of our day, we had to deal with a verbal meltdown that could have been completely avoided. All of this led me to remember that I am 3 weeks away from losing this PCA to a full time job and while I wasn't happy with yesterday's situation, to his credit he has been the one person who can get the most cooperation from Dominyk, so I hate to lose him. But I have to hire someone new, and for those of you who are fortunate enough to have PCAs you know that finding a good one is really hard and that the transition and training piece is stressful. So last nights meltdown led to PCA thoughts preoccupied me quite a bit as I tried to rest.
Further PCA thoughts led to the fact that Salinda and bf (who works for us as a PCA when he is in town) are saying they are coming this weekend and may stay a while. They have been living under an incredible amount of stress since he got out of jail because his mom is sick and the family has very little income and no vehicles can be driven. So, while it will be great to see them, I am going to have to approach things carefully with them as in the past they have never stayed more than a few days and I haven't had to really communicate much. I want their stay here to be pleasant but because of hte situation with Mike and the girl lately, we are going to have to tighten things up.
And that leads to Mike. We have made it clear that none of his friends are welcome in our home because he cannot respect the rules of only having them there when we are home. So now his friend, who is homeless, is parking his car on our street and sleeping in it. I was suspicious of it, but this morning after going to the Y i actually checked and there he was out there in his car just yards away from our home. This causes me several conflicting feelings. Sure, there are homeless people everywhere, but ... dangit ... I feel like a hypocrite for not allowing him to stay with us. We have had many people stay with us in the past, and it isn't even this kids fault. It's the fact that Mike will not obey our rules. The kid probably would.
And finally, yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my sons who recently has connected with a birthparent who is making and breaking promises and being very manipulative. She is saying things like, "you are one and only love of my life" and "how can you possibly have a mother-son relationship with someone who didn't give birth to you."
I am not threatened by her comments nor do I care if my adult kids have birthparent contact. But I hate watching my kids get hurt needlessly by someone who obviously does not have their best interests in mind. He is very confused as to what to do, feeling obligated to take her calls, but feeling both good and bad about the things she says to him. I really think he needs to figure this out -- it's freaking out his gf -- but I am not sure I can fix it for him. I don't feel that based on the kind of things she is saying that she is emotionally ready to reconnect with them. And obviously I'm frustrated that she doesn't have the decency to talk to me about "our" children before talking to them, when two of them are minors.
All this since 4:30 yesterday afternoon. And of course there is more -- like my wonderful to do list that I won't whine about any more.
I'll end on a positive note though. We are trying something new with school shopping. In the past on August 1st the kids start to beg to go get it done. Bombarded by TV advertisements, they are convinced that even though there is still a month to go, we have to go get everything now. Bart and I try to slip trips in, we each take a couple at a time without any planning, and the kids play us one against the other, trying to get the most $ possible by manipulation.
So yesterday I got my husband to agree to a plan. We are blocking off seven lunch time blocks over the next three weeks. We will take one kid at a time and have lunch and then get their school shopping done -- just the three of us. I think having both parents attention, which is very rare, will be fun for them. We won't have any arguing between children, and no playing parents against each other. I also scheduled them in order of dread -- the ones I am dreading most are coming first, leaving the easier kids for last. We start today with Dominyk who I was not dreading more than Tony, but Dominyk has no PCA today. Tony is on Tuesday before I leave on my trip. I'll try to let you know how it goes. I can't imagine that it is going to be worse than it has been the last several years. The nice thing about this is that I made a calendar with everyone's dates on it that explains exactly what we will be spending and what it has to go for. Since then discussions about school shopping have ceased. So if that's the only benefit, it's still huge.
I'm off to a wonderful to do list that I created yesterday. It makes me feel good to have what needs to be done all spelled out, but if you saw the list you'd run in the other direction. Cool thing is, I"ll probably get it all done. ;-)
Thanks for listening. My anxiety level has decreased considerably just sharing this with you. Even if it does mean that a potential book-buyer or conference planner is thinking "no way I'm spending money on that wacko!" :-)