Therapy as blog posts

It’s been a difficult week.

It shouldn’t have been. Honestly most everything has been very nice. Mother’s day was very nice, volunteering at the school was nice, having a few chats with some lovely people was nice. Hanging out with friends was nice. Making pancakes with my boy for his dad’s birthday today was nice. It’s all been pretty nice. 

But sometimes even when everything is pretty nice, my brain does this thing to trick me. It only focuses on the things that are upsetting me. In fact, it focuses on those few things so much that it is difficult to see all of the nice things.

I have been thinking about things I have absolutely no control over, like the state of the world, or missing girls on another continent. I have been thinking about things loved ones did that upset me. I have been uncomfortable in my own skin. 

Those are the times I know I am slipping and I need to stop and get control again. Those are the times when I know I am in danger of sliding down that deep hole of depression. 

So, here I am focusing on the good things.

Yesterday I had a meeting at my son’s school – I heard from three people I have never met about how funny and smart and witty and humorous my son is. It feels good to hear those things from people who are outside my immediate circle, because it tells me he really is ok. He really is happy and mentally healthy despite all of the things we go through to try to make him happy and healthy. The charming psychologist told me “Don’t stop. Don’t stop what you are doing. All these things you do make a difference. They support him at school.” And one of the people I met with challenged me to look at his day as a whole. If he has a bad lunchtime, that’s ok, if he had a good rest of the day and got his work done and got along with peers. I hadn’t ever thought about that. I honestly have always been so concerned with “controlling” all of the things, that I forget we all have good and bad parts of our days. So, a new challenge, and a good one.

I had a lovely mother’s day and I have had a good time chatting with or hanging out with several friends this week. 3 years ago I had very few friends near by and I didn’t have the energy to get together with them. Now I am able to enjoy the company of other people without exhausting myself.

Two nights ago my son had a stuffy nose. He called me into his room several times to help him, then ended up crying in my bed for half an hour until I could get a nasal rinse, nose spray and glass of water to help him calm down. It was really a ridiculous thing – his father and I were frustrated. He hasn’t acted like this in a while (been throwing more fits lately) and it is starting to wear on us. BUT in the midst of it all, at one point I had gone into the bathroom and he was calling me again. His little cries of “mom!” hit me in the heart. I realized that I am the only one who he calls for in the night. I am the only one he thinks of when he wakes uncomfortable and unable to sleep. I am his person – for now – and I love that.

This summer I have whittled down our activities. We will be going to swimming lessons and karate. That’s it. He has one week long day camp, we will be going on 2 trips to Wyoming hopefully, and his cousins are coming to see us. That’s all. The rest of the time we are going to hang out, go to parks, go to the zoo, relax together, play with the neighborhood kids. Go swimming. We are going to enjoy each other. 

I am going to focus on these things and keep them in the front of my mind. And all of the other good things I have in life – like family and friends and health and happiness. Thanks for letting me use this forum as my therapy. It’s way cheaper. Also cheaper than jail or the psych ward.





Slogging Uphill Through Jello – AKA Mother’s Day

Moms, we need a gang sign.

Something that says “I get you, mom” or “I got your back, sistah” or just “keep on keepin’ on – only 4 hours til bedtime, girl.”

I have discussed this with some friends and although I really like the “double chest pound/peace sign”, the kids have already used that for “I’m out” – which isn’t really the feeling I am going for here.

So, can we work on that, please?

For those of you who don’t understand what I am saying, let me be a little more clear.

We need a sign – a sign that says “I saw that. I totally saw your kid spit on his sister. I know he just wanted to make her cry. Ignore the lady behind you giving you the stink eye, because I get it. I get why you are infuriated with him right now – and I know this is probably the 15th time today that you have had to tell him to stop and you just can’t. take. it. anymore. I get that. Don’t you feel bad about loosing your mind right now. It happens to the best of us.”

We need a sign that says “you gotsta pick your battles, mom. There are only so many times you can say no in a day, or stop it, or what is going on with you today? Seriously. You aren’t made of steel. Let that lollipop she probably found between the seats from the dr’s appointment 2 weeks ago go. Just let it go. Like the Disney song you would like to let go of too. Let it go.”

Our sign needs to encompass a lot of emotions. Because we ride a roller coaster of emotions every day. Our sign needs to say “oh mama, with your eyes full of pride for your child and tears threatening to spill over – Oh mama, I love you. I don’t know you, but I love you and I love your love for your babe, and now – now you have me crying too. Mama with the baby that just started walking, or the 1st grader who overcame her stage fright, or the big boy who wrote a poem that you didn’t know was in that amazing heart of his…. Mama, I know that love and I want to share it with you.”

Our sign needs to say “Mom with the special needs kiddo, mom we get it. We know that some of your mornings you don’t think you can get up again. We know that not sleeping for the past 35 years has just about done you in. And we know that every day you do it. You do it again and again. And you love that kiddo with all your might. We know that special needs often also means a special love. That you give so much more than you ever knew possible. We thank you. We thank you for showing us what that love looks like.”

And it needs to say “Child, you need to thank your mom when you grow up, because you have NO idea how patient she is being right now in the middle of the store while you kick and scream and throw a fit over whatever cereal it is you want. You have NO idea how hard it is to stand there and let you scream and fall on the floor and attract attention from EVERY one in the store. How embarrassing it is to have to push you out of the way with your foot so someone can get by. You don’t know the looks she is getting right now, while she pretends to read the label on another package and wait for you to calm yourself down. Thank your mama one day, child.”

Moms, we need a gang sign.

We need a sign that says “It’s ok if your child ruined the chances of my child getting to go outside in the sun on this beautiful day in group therapy because he was melting down and had to take most of the therapist’s time. It’s ok. Sit down and tell me how you are.” Like some beautiful ladies did for me today.

A sign that says “I get it. I feel like I am slogging uphill through jello too. I feel like I will NEVER see the top. And really, I never will. I will worry and hope and wish and love my child every single day for the rest of his life, and he won’t even know how I feel. He may never know this unconditional, pure, perfect love. Maybe if he has a child of his own one day…   But he may never know what it feels like to love him no matter WHAT he does or who he is. In fact, sometimes you love him even more on those hard days because you hate to see him struggle.”

We need a sign that says “Whatever struggle you are going through, you can rest assured that we want to support you. Whether your child is sick, or struggling in school, or just got arrested for possession of drugs. Whether you don’t know where your child is because they ran away, or you can’t get them out of your basement because they are depressed. Whether your are beaming at your child’s graduation from medical school, or you are cheering the fact that they finally talked. We are here. We may not know your specific struggle or joy, but we know what it feels like to struggle and have overwhelming joy. We support each other.”

This sign also needs to say “All types of moms – we are here for you. Moms who want to be mamas and can’t, or moms who are waiting to adopt and have been heartbroken too many times. Moms who have had children but knew it wasn’t the right time for them and gave their baby a chance at a life they couldn’t give. Moms who have inner demons that are too strong to wrestle and who have lost their babies in the process. Moms who have known the pain of miscarriage. Moms who took in children who needed a home, temporary or permanent. Moms who struggle every day to take care of their child. Women who know that they aren’t meant to be moms and trust that instinct and understand that it’s ok not to be a mom. We are here for you. We are thankful for you all.”

We need a way to tell each other that we understand. That we are going through it too. That we are going to keep on keepin on through every bedtime and teachers conference and principal’s call and therapists appointment and bad grade and college drop out. That we may need wine (or tequila) to get through those things, but we will be there. We need something that says “this is the hardest, most demanding, most exhausting, most frustrating, most anger ensuing thing I have ever done. AND it’s the best, most wonderful, most amazing and mind blowing thing I have ever done too. And THAT, my fellow moms, is beautiful.”

Can we work on that, Moms?

Happy Mother’s Day

Keep on keepin on.