Sunday, March 10, 2019

My Scooter Ride

I’ve been on a quest to get to know the woman that I am becoming since my children are older. After years of focusing so much of my energy on them, I am definitely becoming a different person. 

The boys are adults now. They are autistic and both have issues with anxiety and depression. They still need me, but they need me less, and that is by design. They need me less because I push them to depend on themselves more.


They are both working now. It’s such a relief to not be handing out money every five minutes. It’s also really good to have them occupied for at least thirty hours a week. I love that they don’t call me while they’re at work.


These days I say yes to myself and more no's to everyone else. This includes my 79-year-old mother who lives with me. Occasionally, I even say no to my husband of nearly 25 years. Sometimes, the more you give, the more the people in your life begin to expect. Before you know it, you're a second class citizen in your own life. I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t live for the sole purpose of taking care of everyone else. 

As a result, of taking my life back I have been feeling less depressed. I’m almost afraid to say that out loud for fear of jinxing it.


This weekend I said so much yes to myself, it felt surreal. I was beside myself with happiness and a sense of freedom that I've been craving. 

I went to see Michelle Obama here in Austin on her “Becoming” tour. And yes. She was as fabulous in real life as she is in my dreams when we're hanging out together. Seriously...it was exciting to be in her presence. It feels like we are old friends even though she has no idea about our “besties” status.


My heart was full and my eyes leaked with tears before she even hit the stage. Just watching the introduction video with interviews with her family, including her girls, made me teary. Her girls are adorable young women now.

I stayed in downtown Austin after my "Conversation with Michelle Obama." One of the perks of having a husband who travels a lot for business is that I can use points to stay in a hotel now and then. Another perk is that his business travel keeps us from killing each other. Seriously. It’s a good thing because sometimes, I just can’t take it at my house with all of the neediness and the constant phones calls from the child who no longer lives with me. I made it clear to the boys that I would not be available to talk on my two-day me-cation.


The adventurer in me has been buried alive underneath a heavy load of responsibility for the past twenty-five years. Being a wife and mother has clipped my wings and kept me close to the ground for the most part. I am beyond ready to fly.


I spend Friday morning in my hotel room at the Westin. Alan would be joining me later that evening. For the morning and afternoon, I would be on my own. Can I get a hallelujah! I slept until nine, ordered a Continental Breakfast via room service, and spent the morning listening to music of my choice (which included the Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand and Pat Metheny. Pat Metheny is my jam when I'm writing.) I am writing while overlooking the city of Austin. I'm in heaven! Alone.  
Around three I think, I better get out of here and feed myself. Hmm. Shall I go downstairs and grab a bite or should I adventure out? Downtown has a lot to offer that my little suburban community does not. F*ck it! Adventure it is! I do enough of the safe thing every day of the week in my boring little suburban community. I’m in the city. The city...any city, gives me life!


I grew up in the city of Los Angeles. I left it behind for the safety of the suburbs, but the suburbs are beginning to literally bore me to death.   


I call an Uber and within 10 minutes I arrive on South Congress at one of our favorite places for lunch, brunch, and cocktails --Perla’s. They have a great outdoor patio and the best crab and cheese grits that I have ever tasted in my life.


It is now four o'clock in the afternoon. Between lunch and dinner, the menu is limited. So after I eat my shrimp po'boy, and sip my South Congress Fizz (a spritzer with a punch) I decide to meander around the eclectic boutiques which line the trendy boulevard.


I take my time with no intention of buying anything. Although, I seriously contemplate a handmade silk scarf that is reminiscent of one I bought in France a couple of years ago. In fact, as I write this, I’m regretting that I didn’t buy it. The colors were luscious shades of turquoise and ocean blue. What was I thinking, leaving that behind?

When it comes to shopping, I’m trying really hard to be less impulsive. The happiness that comes from buying a thing is usually fleeting. It eventually makes me feel empty and wasteful. Especially, now since I’m trying to channel Marie Kondo and minimize the stuff in my life.


After browsing, I start walking north towards my hotel when I notice that on every corner there are electric scooters for rent. I seriously contemplate grabbing one to get back to my hotel, but I hear the voice of my husband in my head, ”You know you’re crazy right? You know you could fall and break your neck?”


That’s what he said the last time we were downtown hanging out together and I tried to get him to ride.


I thought ...f*ck it! I could fall. I could get hurt, but maybe I won’t. And if I do, what does that mean? I get to lay in bed for once while everybody takes care of themselves. I can’t lose here.


I pull out my phone and open up the Uber App. I remember seeing a bike and scooter option on it before. Although it was a bit off the beaten path, I was able to locate and Uber scooter. I read the handy-dandy instructions and cautions, one of which was that you should definitely wear a helmet. I did not. It was hard enough to find the scooter. I wasn’t about to try to locate a helmet.


The weather is brisk but I am somewhat dressed for it, with a warm scarf around my neck, and a faux sheepskin vest. I’m just going to try it. I’m going to ride half-way back to my hotel, I say to myself. I’ll stop at the Four Seasons which is about half-way, and then I’ll walk from there.


Again, I hear my husband’s voice in my head, “You’re kidding me, right? You’re not really going to get on that thing and ride down a major street...with traffic?”


Yep! I’m doing it! I would rather die having lived than to live with regrets. I have allowed my anxiety and my responsibilities to hold me captive for far too long. I felt like a high school girl sneaking out to play without permission from anyone except for me.


I zoom through those downtown streets, first on South Congress, where I have to ride on the sidewalk, even though the instructions on the app clearly said, “ride only in the bike lane.” Well, I don’t see a bike lane. I try not to hit any of the pedestrians who are walking on the sidewalk. Once I get past the walkers, I zoom over the South Congress bridge where people hang out to wait for the bats to come out. I turn right onto Caesar Chavez. As I approach the Four Seasons, I think there is no way I’m getting off of this thing. I’m going all the way!


I’m sure that I looked completely out of place with my silver hair, riding past all of these millennials on the scooter. I don't care. The wind is blowing in my face. I feel alive, carefree, and happy as I grip that scooter with everything I have especially, as I ride over dips in the road. The adrenaline rush is worth every little body ache I would feel the next day from holding on so tight.


I stop and take a picture before I park. I wish that I was savvy enough to take a video of the ride. But, that would have been an epic fail...as in a definite fall.

This is just the beginning of the rest of my life. I am not totally carefree, but I am taking full advantage of every free moment I have to do what exactly what I want.


And no. I’m not asking for permission.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

When You Were Sleeping

When you were sleeping 
I snapped this picture last night when you were sleeping just after I laid the blanket over you. You looked up at me, smiled and drifted back off to sleep on the couch in our family room.  I wanted to capture the sweetness of this moment.

Watching you sleep is still one of one of my favorite things. Maybe it's because it reminds me of when you were a baby. You were such a beautiful baby and one thing you did really well, was sleep. Maybe it's because it's the only time that you're quiet when you're around me.

When you come home to visit now, I realize that absence has made my heart grow fonder.  Despite how tough life was when we lived together,  it was hard to let go when it was time for you to move out. But it turns out that the distance between us is healthy. You have to think on your feet more now. You problem solve daily, without my input. I can focus on your brother and finding out who I am now that my biggest job has changed.

I want you to know,  it's the simplest things that make me proud of you. Every day you get up for work, on your own; probably without a clock. You make yourself a healthy breakfast. You go work out and then ride the bus to work early, to ensure that you get there on time. In fact, you give yourself a cushion, arriving most days an hour before you start. You're very conscientious about being on time and never missing a shift.

Do you know how awesome that is? Most people your age are not like that. I wonder does your employer notice your incredible work ethic? It will serve you well throughout your life.

I remember in middle school and high school, being on time was not something you were the least bit interested in. In fact, getting you out of bed and out the door each day left me ready for spiked coffee and a nap. Look at you now. I never could have imagined that you could get up early in the morning, on your own, to be anywhere.

When you came home last night, you hugged me. You smelled good; freshly showered. I noticed right away that your jacket smelled freshly laundered. I was like...wow! This boy is on his game! A year ago, you would do your laundry, but things like your jacket and washing sheets weren't on your radar. It required a prompt, and even prompts may be ignored.

I can see that living with your brother is putting the finishing touches on your journey to manhood. You used to wear your hair short so that you wouldn't have to brush it. Now, you brush it after your shower and put on a wave cap as the finishing touch.

I hope that you appreciate your brother half as much as I do. When I'm down and feeling sorry for myself, I think of you two and I am grateful. I could have never imagined him taking on this responsibility a few years ago. Having you come to live with him was his idea. He extended himself and he has really stepped up to the plate.  I think you are helping each other grow.  Seeing where both of you are at this point in your lives, makes my heart sing.

All of the years I thought for sure, I was doing this motherhood thing all wrong. I wasn't sure what adult life would look like for you. The men you are now, responsible, hardworking, positive, contributers to society, and most of all you have loving hearts. It makes me think maybe, I got something right.

Even when you were fighting so hard against us, you were paying attention.

Now, can you convince your little brother to move in with you next?


I am praying for you always...

Love,

Mom

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The girl


Woke up thinking of the girl
I used to be
wild and free
no responsibility
not afraid
or even cautious
Did you know me?
You could not know
the secrets
so scandalous
I could never be 
First Lady
or President
of the U.S.
my background check
would be a wreck
men friends came and went
wild times were spent
no worries or seriousness
carefree, fun and frivolous
dating for the fun of it
filled countless
hours of freedom
and loneliness
good friends, 
plentiful 
girlfriends,
beautiful
honest and real
true bond to feel
the rest of our lives 
never counting pennies
Would there be enough
Could times be rough
always worked out
despite the tiniest doubt
one job or another
another lover
who wanted just 
enough of me
I saw the forest
and the trees
didn’t scare me
unafraid
you might say brave
but definitely
I was free

Friday, December 7, 2018

Subtle Art

I wish that I could master the subtle art of not giving a f*#%.  There is a book by that title. Have you read it?  Maybe I should, but for or some reason I think that things that work for the average person will not work for me. My situation is definitely not average

I'm not good at not giving a f*#%.  I want to not care about what my son is doing or not doing with his young-adult life. 

"Mom. I'm taking a break from college." 
Great! I don't give a f*#%. Good luck with your future. 

The new medication he's taking makes him sleep all day. 
Oh well.  What do I care? Sleep well. 

Philosophers and positive thinking humans like my friend Rebecca believe that you are in charge of your thoughts. You can always dismiss thoughts that you don't want in your head by accessing the voice of your negative alter ego.  Simply tell your intrusive thoughts to go away or better yet, to f#*% off. Replace them with positive messages like... 

Tomorrow, he will go back to being the responsible person that he was in 11th grade.  (Insert eye-roll here). 
It's not my job to help him. I can only do so much.  
Think about the things you can control Karen, because he ain't one of them! 

A couple of days ago, I was feeling especially stressed. I felt like my heart-rate was elevated. There was some tingling in my left arm. I thought my blood pressure was up.

Something told me to drive to Walmart to check out my blood pressure on their machine. I have a wrist blood pressure cup here, but I wasn't sure if I  could trust it's readings one-hundred percent. 

My blood pressure registered 155/102. I thought this has to be wrong, so I took it again. The result was even higher!  I was sitting there taking deep yoga breaths, trying to relax. Hoping I could trick the machine into believing that I'm calm. It was funny, in a very dark humor kind of way.  

After the reading at Walmart, I went to pick my mother up from her nail appointment. Her first question was, "What about my fruit? Did you go to the store yet?"

"Yes, Mom.  As a matter of fact, I did go to the store. I went to Walmart to find out my blood pressure was notably high. But you sit right there and relax while I go next door to Randall's to get your fruit!" 

Over the next 12 hours or I would measure my pressure periodically.  It came down as I tried to relax hiding in my bed from one son, and not talking on the phone to my 23-year-old son. 

I called the next morning and made an appointment to see a doctor. Notice I didn't say, "my doctor?" That's because my doctor moved away over a year ago. Since then, I have seen a couple of medical doctors that I have not liked at all. 

There is nobody like Dr. Obrien. She was no-nonsense and very straightforward. I loved her. She had been my medical doctor for 16 years. What can I say? I don't like change.  

When I got into the doctor's office, my pressure read almost normal. Which of course made the white, male, doctor completely dismissive of me. He made it seem as if this problem was all in my head or maybe, it was due to my faulty blood pressure cup. Only I had the cup with me and we measured it against his. It got the exact, same reading. Asshole

In the interim between the high reading and the appointment the next day with the white guy doctor, I imagined my death by stroke or heart attack. It may be very strange to actually joke about this with my husband. 

"What would I do if I lost you?" he asked. 
"I don't know. Celebrate?" I kidded with him. He did not think this was funny at. all. 

I can't help but turn to humor or as he calls it sarcasm, when life is stressful, which is pretty much all of the time.  It's the Ward "Hollywood" Wesley  (my father) inside of me. He will not be denied these days since his death. His presence is stronger than ever in my DNA.

Since the doctor dude basically blew me off. Now, I will keep measuring my pressure and go see someone else if I need to.  I will also try to relax more. 

I made a "well" appointment with a female doctor by the last name of Dandekar. Her skin is brown.  She speaks with an accent. It's not that I'm prejudiced against white guys. Especially hot, white guys. But this dude was not hot. I will not be seeing him again. 

My therapist suggested that I become "less available" to the boys. I asked her if she could prescribe me my own apartment. She laughed. 

Oh. And please note, one of my friends was sure to tell me, that the problem with my high blood pressure reading, just might be alcohol-related.  To which I wanted to give her the finger. I refrained. I love her. I know she meant well. She's a freakin' nurse after all.  

I didn't even reply to her to explain. I talk about drinking on FB a lot more than I can actually drink. I do this because I think it's funny. (I know. I'm weird). My body has actually made me decrease my drink consumption as I get older. I've had no vodka in weeks! I've had wine tho! Usually one glass in the evening. If I drink any more than that, I stay up running to the bathroom all night. This is God's little trick that he's playing on me. 

I'm afraid they will have to pry the wine glass from my dying hands because it is a ritual that I enjoy most evenings. There isn't much in my day to day life that I enjoy. Yoga and therapy are the highlights of my day to day existence.  I may have had to cut down, but I will not cut out one of my favorite hobbies. Judge me. If you want. I don't give a f*#%. 

Ha ha! Notice how I did that there?  


To purchase the book Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck click here, or go to my Amazon Link above. I think it will be next on my reading list. 




I

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Dear Blog, Thank you


Thank you for being here for me.
I love that I can come to you whenever I’m feeling sad, lost, and unsure.
When I need someone to just listen and not judge me, you are here.
When I need a way to reach others who are on this journey through life with autism and mental illness, you are a conduit.
I sincerely thank you.

I’ve been feeling some kinda way these past few weeks. Up, down, exhausted, perplexed, stressed. So many days I want to quit all of my jobs. I just want to go away to a place where I am the only person that I am responsible for.

There is really no one I can share all of my secret, insane feelings with. I can’t even share them all with my life partner, and husband. He sees a lot of what’s going on, but most of the time he’s living on his own planet.  Apparently, he also speaks another language because we certainly don’t understand one another.

He will never fully understand what it really means to be a mother to these children. And that's okay. He can't. He can't be inside my head and my heart. He will never have the exact same emotional connection to them that I always will. He is a man. I am the woman who once carried them inside my body.

Sometimes, he blames me for being overwhelmed by them. It's not that he doesn't sympathize. It's just that he thinks like a dude. Everything must have a logical fix. He’s famous for saying, “You just have to draw the line with these kids.” Like it's just that simple.

I have been working for the past two years with my therapist on establishing boundaries. That doesn’t mean that they just magically abide by them all. In fact, when you stop putting up with their shit, things usually get worse before they get better. Even redirection and boundary management take a ton of emotional energy.

If you close a door but you have to hold it shut because they are still trying to knock it down. Are you any less tired? When you finally get the door closed and locked, does that mean my mind shuts down and I can just sleep like a baby? Do I wrangle a meltdown or take a stressful phone call and then instantly turn around and channel my creative-self? Do you think I can arbitrarily sit down, focus and write after I have been run over with emotions and blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of the world?

A couple of weeks ago, my niece who is a fabulous soccer player and all around amazing girl, officially signed for a full-ride scholarship to a major university. She has worked so hard both in her studies and on the soccer field. She has traveled the world, working to become one of the best players in the United States. Both she and her parents well deserve this opportunity. I am over the moon happy for her.

Ironically, a couple of days later, my son tells me that he has decided to take a break from college. Talk about a punch in the gut. Initially, I couldn’t help but think. Great! He’s signing up for a life of mediocrity.

Intellectually, I know that everyone has their own journey in life and the college route is not for everyone. The problem is, I always thought it was for him. The way that his mind works, I think is near genius. Up until his senior year of high school, he was a self-motivated, amazing student. He challenged himself with advanced classes (even when I didn’t want him to because they stressed him out). Everything stresses him out. However, he was self-determined.  So who was I to stand in his way?

Since his senior year, life has been one crisis after another, on top of a mountain of anxiety.

Through it all, he has successfully completed several college classes. He has also successfully dropped nearly as many as he has completed.

He gave some very good reasons in support of his decision and he took full responsibility. He isn’t doing well this semester. He tried his luck with four difficult classes (against my better judgment).  However, he continues to fall behind. Assignments snowball on him until he is overwhelmed with anxiety.

In the letter he sent to his History professor explaining his reason for dropping her class, he took full responsibility for lacking focus because "I really have no clear end goal  in mind.”

He thinks he wants to do something to help the world be a better place. He is very curious about social justice issues and wants to be someone who effects change in the life of others. He has admitted that he is not motivated by money, but by service to others.  (Although, ironically he loves to spend money).

He’s leaning in the direction of a degree in Sociology. Maybe he wants to be a Therapist. We just aren’t sure if he has the executive functioning skills to make his dream become a reality.  The actual execution of the plan is getting in the way.

Every time he sits down to write a paper, he collects so much information and research. Then he becomes overwhelmed by the attempt to organize it all into an effective paper, following the guidelines set out by the professor. And he almost always waits until the very last minute to get started.

The day he told me that he was dropping the latest class, he still decided to go to Starbucks that night to continue writing the paper that he would not turn in. He wanted to write without the parameters and limitations set by the professor.  Who does that?

Last week we sat down with a job coach who works with young adults on the spectrum. They are going to work together to help him find employment. Basically, because he doesn’t know what else he wants to do.

He is really good at eating out all over town and spending money that we supply since he is a student. However, he is a student who keeps dropping classes that we have paid for. So at this point, he really needs his own money. He needs to figure out if he really values an education enough to do the hard work that comes with it.

I am so afraid for him. He’s brilliant. But can he make his brilliance work for him in a college setting where organization and planning are required?

Are we doing too much for him? Are we doing too little? Is anxiety the problem? Does he just not want to do the work?

We paid for a private tutor.  They would work together, but he would still freeze up when it was time to write …alone. He would say, “Mom, I need you to sit down with me and give me feedback.” Only he really thinks I’m an idiot and can’t really help him, because I don't think exactly like he does.

There are other resources on campus, like tutoring and Academic Coaching. I don’t think he utilized those nearly as much as he could have.

I know it’s not an anomaly to not know what you want out of life at the age of nineteen. A lot of people are actively seeking a goal that they may no longer want once they mature and figure out who they really are.

For now, I just wait and wonder …and hope. I can’t walk the path for him.

His brother needed the motivation of being away from me to reach independence.  Is he the same?

I know they both see me as an extension of themselves.

I wonder …if as long as I am within arms reach of him, will he ever grow up?

It’s like since they see me as an extension of themselves, whenever something goes wrong, surely it must be my fault. And somehow, it’s my responsibility to fix it. Only I can’t do that anymore. His life is in his hands.

I feel like I need to be out of sight out of mind so that he realizes that he is capable and responsible for himself. He is frustrated by us, some days he “hates us”.  And yet, he can’t seem to see that he is the key to his own happiness and freedom. He is welcome to walk out this door and create the life that he wants.

My dear blog...

I wish that you could help me solve this puzzle. Tell me what to do, or not do. I want answers. I want fixes. Only it’s all so complicated. And again …I’m not really the one in charge.

Still …thanks for being here. I love you.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Shrapnel

The pain doesn't hit me until I crawl into bed that night.

Earlier that afternoon in the heat of anger, the most hurtful words that have ever been said to me in my entire life came out of the mouth of my child.

My child. The person who I love more than anything.

Love and human decency are lost in translation when this kind of anger takes over. I don't think this was an autistic meltdown. It was more like rage. It was measured at first and then it blew up.

Everything that I stand for. Everything that I've taught him by my own words and actions over the past nine-teen-years, flew out the window. Poof. Gone.

I'm left in disbelief.

Who is this person? 

After the initial shock, my first thought is of him, his life, his future.

When we are both calm I ask him, "What kind of life do you think you will you have if you shoot off your mouth with such venom to a person that you love and care about, especially a female? It doesn't matter if it is in anger. The world is not forgiving. People will say goodbye and not look back."

I'm your mother. Sometimes I want to walk away and not look back. At least not until you have grown into the person that I know you can be. 

In my heart, he is still my most thoughtful, loving child.  He has always been the sensitive one with the biggest heart.

God didn't give me a girl, but maybe he will be the one who will take care of me in my old age.

I'm not so sure.

I have worked my entire life taking care of him,  guiding, and protecting him.

Part of me knows it's not about me.
It's his own pain that makes him say hurtful things.
It's projection.
Hurt people, hurt people and all of that.

I love him, but I don't want to be his "safe person" anymore.

In fact, our relationship feels the opposite of safe.

Our relationship has become unhealthy for both of us.

"I love you too much to let you believe that this is acceptable behavior," I say to him.

Apologies and saying you didn't mean it begins to read like an empty book.

I am collateral damage after his words explode like shrapnel.

He feels all better because he let the anger out.

 I'm left sitting with holes in my heart.

My heart still beats. I still love, but the holes remain.

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I think we need to test this theory.

Change is imminent.



Friday, October 19, 2018

Grace

When I wake up each morning, I try to have a game plan for my day. Giving my son a ride to campus twenty miles away was not a part of my plan. I told him I would not be involved in his daily transportation when he registered for these classes months ago. It's a daily piece of friction that neither of us needs. 

After the week that I’ve had with him when he persisted, asking me more than once, and then he threw in the extra part about having a test today and not wanting to be late for it,  I agreed to take him. A decision I almost immediately regretted.


You know that feeling in your gut when you say yes when you mean really mean no? That feeling is getting bigger lately. My body is no longer giving me a pass on going against my gut. Every fiber of my being tells me, this is wrong. This is not serving you.  What’s more, it isn’t serving him on his journey to adulthood. Doing things for him that he should be doing for himself
is stunting his growth.


I found myself on the road this morning so angry with him and with myself. I could hardly see straight. This is definitely not healthy for either one of us. I dropped him off without speaking too many words (aloud). There was plenty of cursing inside my head. 

I made it to yoga class but found my frustration hidden in the corners of every quiet space.  


My dear friend Rebecca
It wasn’t until I sat down to write at the library that I found a little relief. I texted my friend Rebecca (lovebecca.com) my very wise younger friend. She reminded me of something that my therapist has been working on with me for months. “Forgive yourself. Show yourself some grace." 

I'm doing my best on any given day. Tomorrow I’ll do even better. One thing for sure is I can’t give up, or give in. Every single thing that happens on this journey is teaching me something. Total course correction is not going to happen overnight.


My "yes" today came behind what was already not a good week with him. There was an ugly meltdown with some serious implications. He had to leave the house and wasn’t allowed to return for the night. Luckily, we have a neighbor and friend who was gracious enough to allow him to spend the night in her home. Things are getting to the point where I know for sure, that he is going to need to live away from me sooner than later.


Unfortunately, it seems like our relationship is a trigger for him.  Hopefully living away from each other will help reduce these incidents. I just don’t know where he can go at this point. He will not qualify for some of the same programs we used for his brother.


Autism meltdowns are ugly. Autism combined with a mood disorder can be a nightmare. Blue is nineteen.  Some of the behaviors that occur during a meltdown could get a person into legal problems if they occur in an uncontrolled environment. 

Where is the line? What is he in control of? What can we do to stress to him, this behavior could cause you big problems? He is a male. He is black. If law enforcement gets involved in any way, will they have the proper training to realize that this is a neurological and mental health issue? We’ve been there before. I don’t trust law enforcement.


If you’re lucky, you end up in the hospital and not in jail. Will the hospital really help you? Or will they try some new med that makes matters worse?  It's a coin toss. Who wants to toss their kid into a mental health ward?


Both boys seem to see me as an extension of themselves ...like I’m either the other half of their brain, their legs, or their arms or one of their feet. They don’t believe they can operate without me. If something goes wrong in their lives,  surely it must be because I’m not doing my part.


Kendal doesn’t live at home but in this transition to living with his older brother, he reaches back to me more and more, obsessively, compulsively.


As Blue goes through his transition, it feels like he didn’t get the memo that my role in his life has changed. He is an adult who is primarily responsible for himself. He still has this natural inclination to call on me to do things that I did for him as a child and yet he wants the autonomy of being an adult.


At least once a week he says to me, “Why is everything about responsibility with you?”


My question is, “Why isn’t anything about responsibility with you?”


The mental energy that I spend just trying to maintain boundaries is exhausting.  The more I draw the line for my time and availability, the harder they push the boundary with phone calls, text messages, and requests.  If I give them an inch, they run me over with a truck.


It makes me want to run and hide. When they were younger, I would hide in the bathroom, just to center myself. I would play on my phone, read a blog or chat with some of my autism mama friends who understand and make me feel less alone ...less crazy.


Today it feels like I need much more than a bathroom between us. I need my own apartment, without a forwarding address, and a new unlisted telephone number.  Either that or the last adult child in the house needs his own place.


There are too many questions and not enough answers. Add on my irrational, sometimes incapacitating anxiety and forward movement feels next to impossible. There is no choice but to keep it moving.  

As always, I am always a work of art ...in progress.