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Friday, November 28, 2014

No Thanks Giving

The next time I spend a holiday with Red will be at his house, with his wife and children. I will sit there and whine and complain about how boring everything is, how disgusting the food looks, what I don't want on my plate. I will talk about how I will throw up if I eat one green bean. I will scream how unfair my life was while I was raising him. Then I will laugh manically all the way home.

In the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I knew that I should have sent him away, or I should have gone away. I looked in to tickets to California for me and Blue. When I brought it up, I got the major guilt trip from my mother. "What am I supposed to do while you're gone?" 
"Um ...you could go with me and stay through Christmas with your son." She wasn't trying to hear that. 

She has not picked up on the fact that our family can not always be traditional. We can not enjoy all being at home, for extended amounts of time without there being some fall out. Simple holidays at home don't happen unless one or more people leave this house. 

Life got hectic with my husband's travel schedule and everyday details. Before I knew it, Red was scheduled to work and I was tasked with figuring out how he would get to and from work. Getting away was looking bleak. 

Wednesday morning after sleeping for 8 hours, I woke up still exhausted. I wondered what the heck was going on with my body? Why was I still so tired? Ha! Depression much?  Whether or not I wanted to be depressed, my body clearly was. That evening while I tried to do some food prep, Red came down and started being nasty and negative with his mouth. Clearly he wanted to pick a fight with me. I couldn't take it. I got up and went upstairs and went to bed. 

That night I wrote on Facebook...

"I think my body is revolting against my preparing Thanksgiving dinner. I tried. I got as far as seasoning the turkey. Pray that I get it together by tomorrow, or that we find reservations. I'm out ..."

I woke up Thursday morning feeling somewhat energized. He woke up Thanksgiving morning with the same nastiness. Yelling, angry, and being argumentative with everyone. 

My brother called in the middle of his yelling, telling people to shut up, etc. As, I told my brother what was going on, Red ran up the stairs to his room. He knew my brother would want to talk to him and he did not want to hear what he had to say. 

A few minutes later, my brother/his uncle called him on his cell phone. After their conversation, Red came down and apologized to everyone. 

We had peace for the next several hours while I cooked my ass off. Seriously...I have very little ass left. 
Blue helped me make the stuffing.
Doesn't he look thrilled?
I made everything. Turkey, tenderloin roast, stuffing, sweet potato pudding, macaroni and cheese. My mom made the green beans. Blue helped me with the stuffing, which has several steps and he did great. Everything else was on me. Red was in his room doing whatever. He was quiet and that's all I cared 
about.
My perfect tenderloin roast marinated with fresh basil and rosemary
At about 6 o'clock Red emerged, hungry, grumpy and once again yelling. "This day is so boring! Why is it so boring? Why don't we have any company? Why didn't we have a party! This is the most boring Thanksgiving ever!" 

"We don't have company because I never know exactly how you're going to behave. Up until yesterday, I didn't know if I would have enough strength to prepare a meal, much less entertain guests. How can I plan ahead of time for a party when I'm constantly dealing with your antics? You want to know why their is no party? Your behavior is why we have no party!" 

I ended up sending him upstairs with his dinner. I refused to have him frowning and screaming at my table. By the time I actually served dinner, I was just totally spent. Everyone was going on and on about how delicious everything was. I couldn't even really taste it. I made this beautiful tenderloin roast that I had been dying for.  I did not eat one bite. Half-way through the meal, salty tears filled my eyes and eventually my plate. I was thoroughly, disgusted.

My husband was an angel. He held me, poured me a drink and encouraged me to go lay down. Blue was a real trooper. He thoroughly enjoyed everything that I prepared. When he saw that I was upset I heard him ask his dad, "Is she o.k.? Did I do anything?" Later, he came to my bedroom to see about me and asked if I was o.k. 

A few weeks ago I wrote about the fact that it is time for Red to go.  It's time for him to move out of my house and into some kind of supported living environment. Since then, I've been busy hooking him up with services through different agencies, trying to get that ball rolling towards getting him the support that he needs. I wanted to put him into the best possible situation, so that he can go on from there and thrive. 

A few minutes, after my husband told Red how much he had upset me, he was banging at my door, demanding that I open it.  He did not care about how bad I was feeling. My exhaustion meant nothing to him. As usual,it was all about Red. 

Hours later, when he came to apologize there were still excuses. "People in high school treated me like crap. That's why I behave this way." The excuses nullified the apology. For once in your life, take responsibility for your actions. 

I'm done. I don't care where he goes or how perfect the situation is, I just want him away from me. I have to think of my own mental health. I will be working overtime to make his departure from this house, a reality. 





Friday, November 21, 2014

Ferociously Facebooking

Why do I blog  and Facebook so ferociously? I am desperately trying to understand and be understood. I'm connecting with people who get me, and I get them.  I feel their pain and I know that so many of them authentically feel mine.  It's crazy to feel connected to so many people all over the world who are going through some of the exact same things that I am going through.  I know it's insane, but it's also incredibly real.  We laugh together.  We cry together. I absolutely get high from the laughter everyday.  It makes this crazy life seem a little less crazy when you can find the humor in it. Oh ...and the high of sharing the laughter and brightening someone's otherwise dark day, gives me a buzz.  I'll admit it. I'm addicted.  It's like one of the genuinely good feelings in my lonely days.

It's also sad. Sometimes it even feels pathetic, that some of the people I feel closest to, I've actually never met. It just is what it is for now.  I feel like the good things that come from it, far outweigh the negatives.

No one in my real life, totally gets what I'm dealing with. I'm always out there searching, trying to understand, trying to do whatever I can to help my boys.  I'm looking for answers to their questions, to my questions, looking for the right things to say and what not to say to make things worse.

My husband gets it but doesn't get it.  He's too busy working to really get it. Then he thinks I'm always making excuses or them. That really pisses me off.

O.k. so maybe at some point I made excuses for them, but I've learned that lesson.  Time is short! One is an adult, and the other one will be sixteen before I can blink my eyes! The last thing I want to do is make excuses for them.  Their issues are real.  They're not imagined. They have huge pockets of intelligence.  That doesn't take away their challenges, their different way of seeing and experiencing the world.  Their intelligence does not deem their challenges null and void. I want to understand how to help them to help themselves!

My mother (another story altogether) really doesn't get it as much as she may want to. I know I've said this before, but this is my rant.  She actually ends up adding to the headache. Imagine having your mother as an audience to all of your conversations with your teenagers. Then top that with their autism and lack of filter.  Oh and the cherry is that she also has no restraint and will say anything at anytime.  She's like uninvited audience participation in my own house. How the hell did I get myself into this situation? How did this become my life?

Yeah. Don't answer that. I love her. I'm blessed to have her. Yada. Yada. Yada. I'd like to have her down the street, in an apartment.

I work to put their supports in place and I'm actually quite proud of our team.  Just last night I had his Job Coach, his Occupational Therapist, one of his high school teachers, and our Transition Coordinator at our house for a meeting.  All here on their time off, supporting him! I am eternally grateful for this team of people.  There are so many kids left out there hanging, with ignorant parents who don't get them and have no idea how to help them.
My Facebook and blog community parents, mostly moms and a few awesome dads of kids on the spectrum actually understand this life.

Damn right! I don't want to hear the opinions of ANYONE who doesn't actually live my reality. And my reality is different than anybody else's reality because these are MY children with autism. Each of them is uniquely challenged. There is no one else exactly like them, so if you're not an expert who's studied, or worked with them.  If you're not some one who's actually living this, you really can just shut the f- up! I don't want your 2 cents.

If you want to give your 2 cents to the help pay the experts, pay for medications and many other bills that come along with autism, you can do so by shopping Amazon with me.  Just Click the link below or use Amazon Search above.

End rant...

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Trapped

Last night I heard myself say the words out loud. "I do it because I'm trapped, not because I enjoy it." 

Wow! What an awful truth to hear coming out of your own mouth. It's that time of the month where thoughts fly out of my mouth without any edit. Obviously, the thoughts are floating around in my mind.  Only, most people don't let the world in to their most private thoughts. Apparently, I do. Hazard of being a writer, I guess. 

Last night I made a pot-roast for dinner in the crock-pot. It turned out rather well, I think. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, except for Red. He wouldn't even entertain trying it, with the gravy, vegetables and all. I've never made a pot-roast before in my life. It's not really the kind of dish that I would think of making, but on Friday at the grocery store they made the recipe and were handing out samples. It was good as pot-roasts go. It had the tangy taste of red-wine in the sauce. I knew it was going to be a cold weekend. I wouldn't want to go out, so something in the crock-pot would be an easy idea for Sunday dinner. 

If I'm honest with myself, I don't even like Sunday dinner unless someone else cooks it. The best idea for a Sunday dinner is going out to a nice restaurant, but not with the entire family. That's not fun. At all. 

I go through the motions most Sundays because I know that my mother enjoys it. Hubby appreciates a good, hot meal. Blue loves food.period. Red doesn't appreciate a god damned thing. Never really has and probably never will. I certainly don't cook with him in mind. 

My mom complimented the meal and followed up by saying something like, "You should enjoy cooking. You're a homemaker, a wife, a mother and a caregiver." Where does she get this 1950's bullshit? 
She couldn't believe her ears when I said, "I do it because I'm trapped." 
"What did you say?" 
I repeated, "I am trapped by the decisions I made a long time ago. I don't cook for this family, because I enjoy it. I cook because I feel an obligation to do it."  And that's the ugly truth. 

My husband heard me say it and brought it to my attention this morning. Yeah. I said it. I'm sure there are moments that you feel the exact same thing. In fact, I know there are moments that you do. The difference between you and me, is that you get to walk away twice a month on an all expenses paid business trip, to a nice quiet hotel room.  

This marriage and raising children thing is no picnic. It is not for the weak who easily walk away when it's not fun anymore. It was actually kind of fun when the kids were young, cute and didn't talk back. And my babies were really, really cute. Adorable. Most beautiful babies ever, even.
See! Really Cute! 
I do enjoy caregiving ...sometimes. In fact, I have been known to often over do it. I was the mom who made warm cookies when the boys came home from school. I enjoy putting a smile on my husband's face when I bring him a hot cup of coffee ...sometimes. Sometimes, I enjoy being his team mate. 

However, standing for hours to prepare a meal, only to have it gulped down in less than five minutes, while listening to arguing, smart-assery, or 'What is this? It looks disgusting!" ...is not my idea of enjoyment. 

Am I really trapped? No. If I was not a responsible person, I could walk away from my obligations. While I'm here, I can take breaks and find moments of happiness and fulfillment. I can make more of a concerted effort to make that happen more often. Sometimes, I can pay someone to do the stuff I no longer enjoy doing.  

Do I love my family? Of course, I do. I want to see them happy. I want to them to leave the nest knowing how to fly.  
Do I enjoy everything that it takes to get them to that point? 
No. I certainly do not. 
Do I want them to leave the nest like ...yesterday?
Abso-freakin-lutely!

In fact, I'm counting down the days until that happens.  

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Aspergers at a Party

This weekend we took Aspergers to a party and we really had fun!


Pretty flowers from the party
I realized last night, that the majority of my blog posts lately have been about Red. He has been the biggest pain in my ass -the source of most of my frustration  --and for that, he has received a lot of the limelight and attention lately.  It's sad but true. I hardly have anything left over after dealing with him. So poor Blue has been out there surviving the best he can, without much help from me.It's actually a really good thing.

I have to say, while Red may be a quite a Mama's Boy, Blue is so much more independent. It brings a huge smile to my face every morning as I hear him get up on his own, before I get out of bed. He goes downstairs, makes his breakfast, packs his lunch and is ready for school on time every single day! He is using his supports at school -his Case Manager, his favorite science teacher (who helped him start a club for kids on the spectrum), Mrs. E. who worked with him at home quite a bit over the summer. (She also teaches in the behavioral program at the high school.)

I don't get phone calls from the high school during the day.  He handles his business, including his grades and homework with zero prompts from me! He even takes his showers without me reminding him. He and Red are like night and day. 

So over this past weekend, my best friend was having this fancy smancy party. Her teenage girls who Blue has known since he was a toddler were going be there, along with a number of their friends from school. Since I can never leave Blue and Red at home together I thought,lets bring Blue along

But what if it's socially awkward for him with the girls when they are surrounded by their high school friends? Then he'll just feel bad (and want to talk to me the whole time). Let's also bring his best friend Jake. At least they will have each other to talk to and hang out with.

I love, love, love Jake! He is also on the spectrum. He is has such an inquisitive mind, a great sense of humor, a love of music and of course, he's not shy at.all.

The party is a blast! Jake jumps right in with every adult he meets saying, "Hi. So did you go to high school in the 80's or the 70's? What year did you finish? So that makes you (such and such) age. (Which of course, he nailed on the head every time. Sorry ladies if you didn't want to talk about your age.)  Did the kids where a lot of long hair back then? Did the guys have facial hair?" And so on.

Blue introduces Jake to the girls.  The boys were actually pretty social mostly with T's friends, who are in their last year of middle school.  According to Blue, they were a little more approachable than the high schoolers who were B's friends.

There was a moment during the party when Blue came to me and says, I haven't had a chance to talk to B~ all day. She's been around all of her friends.  "Guess what kid? I haven't talked to her mom (my best friend) very much either. She's entertaining a number of guests. I can't expect for her to stand around talking to me the whole time. That kind of comes along with the territory of a big party." He got it and let it go for the moment. When things slowed down at the end of the night he finally got a few words in with B~.

The boys roamed around, enjoying the free flowing food, drinks and the live band. There was even a video game truck. Every once in a while, Jake would disappear. We would find him at the piano inside the living room of the house playing Beatles, Eagles and other 70's rock songs by ear.  

When the party ended and most of the guest left, we were invited to stay for more wine and hot pizzas. Jake pulled out his guitar and played.  The few people who lingered behind made requests and sang along. It was awesome!

The funniest thing about the party that I noticed was that I actually had to take quite a few sensory breaks. There was a live band, and even a belly dancer who coaxed me out onto the dance floor for a little belly dancing lesson.  Some of us have much more belly to work with than others. I'm just sayin.  

I met and had conversations with a lot of interesting people, including a Neuro Scientist (totally held my own through that conversation). After a while, I had to find a quiet place just to sit, hide and decompress. This NEVER happened to me when I was younger. I was always the life of the party. The more talking with friends, meeting people, dancing and drinking the better!

I don't have Aspergers.I have self-diagnosed myself with A.D.H.D, which I've probably always had. I also have a smidgen of anxiety, that came along with motherhood. And yes ...I was the one who needed sensory breaks.

My world has changed so much. As I approach 50,I am constantly barraged by noise, chatter, arguing, preaching, talking, fighting.  I no longer thoroughly enjoy the constant loud noise of a party or a nightclub. I have to find a quiet place to pull myself together (a bathroom, an empty chair in a corner.) I find a pet or a baby to play with. I'd much rather sit one on one having a glass of wine or a cocktail or three, with a few of my girlfriends than be at a big party.

I have also given myself a diagnosis of P.T.T.D. (Post Traumatic Talking Disorder). Really. It's a thing. Just ask any mom of an Aspie.  It comes from living in the war zone that I call home, where it is almost never quiet. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"You Have No Power Here"

This morning I am publishing part of the little love note that Elizabeth Gilbert wrote on her Facebook page today (9/11/2014).

Though Liz is not a mother, I think that this message is so vitally important to us parents in the trenches trying to raise our kids.  In fact, just on Sunday I made this meme for my followers on my own Confessions Facebook Page . I thought it was so ironic that Liz posted a letter with this very same theme today. Of course, she spells it out much more eloquently than I ever could.

Many of us continue to try to no avail, to control our children. However, there comes a point in their lives somewhere close to the teenage years, where we as parents are really no longer in control.  We are guides, we are examples, we are counselors, we are consultants.  We can not make them believe what we believe. We can not force them to have the same values. They just are who they are, imperfections, unlearned lessons and all.

Sometimes, trying to force them to be who we want them to be, has the exact opposite effect and can even be damaging to their spirits.  A  parent can try to control a child's behavior, but you can not control who your child really is at their core especially, as they grow closer and closer towards adulthood.  You may be controlling their behavior when they are in front of you.  However you may be causing them to lie to you and sneak around in order to be who they really are as soon as they're out of your sight. I've seen this in some of my children's friends. I went through that myself with a controlling mother.  No thanks. I'd rather know the truth about what my kids are doing and who they really are. Even if I don't like it.

Some lessons we are not meant to teach, no matter how much we want to. For example, no matter how much I want Red to want to take a shower daily, he doesn't want that for himself, so it doesn't happen. No matter how much I want him to learn to spend money more wisely, he has to make his own mistakes with his finances. Some things, he will just learn on his own, in his own way, or from someone other than me. I can not control everything!

I am currently working hard on a couple of new mantras...
"Karen ...just stay out of it!"   (Even when you see the train wreck coming from miles away.)
The second one is ...
"I am the the only person that I can control."

Here in part is Liz's letter...
(Yes. I call her Liz. She's like a personal friend and I'm like her stalker.)

"Dear Ones -

During Oprah's speech at the Life You Want Tour, she quotes Glenda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz, in that fabulous moment when Glinda banishes The Wicked Witch of the West with this line: "You have no power here." 

Oprah was talking about how important it is in your lives to be cognizant of where you have power, and where you do not. She said that so much of the stress and pain we bring into our lives comes from trying to interfere in other people's energy fields — trying to meddle in domains where we simply have no power. 

The truth, of course, is that the only energetic domain in which you have any power is your own. You don't have power over your spouse, over your parents, over your neighbors, over your co-workers. Even regarding your own children, there will come a moment when you realize that you no longer have any power over their energetic domain (and for most parents I know, that moment comes a lot sooner than they are expecting it, and is often a shocker) And trying to hold power (even with the best of intentions) over other people's lives will bring you — and them — nothing but suffering.

Ask yourself how much of the pain you suffer in life is because of something you wish somebody else would be, or do, or fix, or transform. Your friend who needs to stop drinking. Your brother who needs to get a job. Your mother who can't let go of her bitterness and rage. Your father who can't open his heart to love. Your daughter who can't stay in a relationship for more than six months. Your son who needs to change his diet and move to a new city and find a good church and get away from those bad-influence friends of his. 

The fact is: You're probably right. All those people may indeed need to make exactly those changes. Obviously, their lives would be better for it. Any fool can see that. 

But it's not your domain.

And meanwhile, you're leaking energy, when what you really need to be focusing on is your own power, your own life (which is hard enough to manage, and has its own set of problems that really require your full attention...as any fool can see.) 

I have been guilty of this forever. I have a history of getting deeply, profoundly, aggressively over-involved in other people's energy fields — losing sleep and peace over my worry and judgment about other people's lives. (Or, rather, I should say, losing sleep and peace over MY PERCEPTION of other people's lives.) Getting involved where I have no power. Neglecting my own growth and development because I'm too busy minding somebody else's business. Making myself sick with anger or disappointment or sorrow or frustration over how somebody else has behaved. Often destroying relationships because I go around messing where I have no right to be messing. (I don't care if it's out of love and concern — I still have no right to be making myself crazy by getting involved in somebody else's energy field.) 

You have no power in their domain.

You have no power in their energy field.

You have no power over their choices. 

You have enough trouble (I remind myself) managing your OWN energy field. So focus on the one person in the world you can somewhat control (YOURSELF) and stay the hell out of their business.

We must love each other. We must be kind to each other. We must be generous in act and spirit with each other. But for the sake of grace and sanity, WE MUST LET EACH OTHER BE. (Or else somebody might drop a house on you, too — as our friend Glenda would warn with a smile...) 

ONWARD,
LG" 

Isn't this just the perfect message? It's definitely not just for parents.  Even Blue could use this valuable lesson, as the young man who tries to completely control the world and his environment.

Again, I left some of her words out. You can read the entire letter on  Elizabeth Gilbert's Official Facebook Page (post from 9/11/14).  If you are not following her on FB or Twitter ...you should be. She's full of all kinds of wit, wisdom and inspiration.  She feels like a kindred spirit to me --a much smarter, inspiring, sister from another mother.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Frustrated

I feel like I'm swimming upstream, against the current, all alone.  Everyone, in this house, including the person I am trying to help seems like they're working against me.

I've been busting my ass getting Red connected with services.  Week before last, I met with his Adult Transition team through the school district.  The best thing to come out of that meeting is that the Occupational Therapist is now coming out to our home to work with him on budgeting and some behavior issues. She told me straight out to give up a lot of the power struggles and let him make his own mistakes with his money.  She encouraged me to put him more in charge of his own life so that he can actually feel the pain of being an adult. As you may have read in my last post "Mama's Boy" , I've been trying to do that.

The following week we met with our local MHMR (our county Mental Health agency)  for an intake. This was like a 2 hour meeting just to get the ball rolling with what supports they may be able to  offer him.  The best thing so far that I heard from them, is they can give us Respite Care, where some will come into our home to give us a break.  They can also do Community Supports training where some one will come out and take him into the community to work on different skills, such as money management, shopping, etc.  They could also do Case Management, and help him with community living options (such as a group home) if we were to go in that direction.

This week I did an intake with DARS (Department of Rehabilitative Services).  I could do a whole blog post about the services that they offer, and I will, but I want to get to another point.

Hubby is working and traveling and has not been able to come to one of these meetings.  I basically have to try to regurgitate a shitload of information to him once I finally see him, which is usually a few days after the meeting. I don't half-way understand all of the information that's coming my way, but I'm doing my best to figure it all out.

What I know for sure, is that there is help.  There is supports available to turn our young man into an independent adult.  The ultimate goal is independence!  I can see it far, far away in the horizon.  I need glasses to see it, but I know it's there!

What do I get from hubby as I'm trying to share all of this information? I get, "Bottom line, when can we get him out of here? He's acting like an ass! And I'm sick of it! Well, hello! I'm sick of it too! I'm the primary person dealing with it, face to face while you earn a living to take care of our family. I'm ready for all of this crap, including his behaviors to go away like...yesterday! Unfortunately, it's just not that simple.

Red tries to make improvements and then he turns around and takes 10 steps backward.  Last night he bought a new printer.  He came to his dad and demanded that he help him set it up! Now! Loudly! Obnoxiously!

In what world does that work? I'm trying to help set you up for the best possible life dude and then you just act like pure ass.  He was even crappy with me once we got home from the bank and other errands yesterday, which is why today ...he will not be riding in my car.  He will be paying someone else for a ride.

He needs some behavior therapies, which DARS says they will pay for!  Hallelujah! He needs all kinds of things that I am working on putting in place for him but,  it feels like I'm working alone and everyone in this house, is working against me. Hence,  I am swimming upstream. I'm up a creek without a paddle! Dad is taking all rude (Aspergers) behavior personally.  Red is continually being  ungrateful and rude.  He's always talking out of his ass saying things that make no sense, both for attention and sometimes, just to piss us off.

The counselor at DARS told me, "The easy route to a group home is not necessarily the best route for his ultimate success."  It's putting a bandaid on the situation not really treating it. It's like taking a few steps sideways instead of forward. Ultimately, creating more work to get him on the road to independence.

I can't seem to get Dad or Red to see the big picture. I'm frustrated! I'm tired! And again, I'm frustrated!

Motherhood ...the job you can't quit. No matter how much you would like to!

Dad and I need therapy to get us through this in one piece.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mama's Boy

The fact that I have help create a real mama's boy has been slapping me in the face lately.  I own my part in the equation.  He's my firstborn.  He didn't come with a manual and all of the manuals I found, didn't seem to apply to him. Yada yada yada. 

In his lifetime he has faced so many more challenges than most people.  Most of his school experience was an exercise in pain, competition, isolation and rejection.  When your boy is obviously depressed in the fourth grade, so much so, that he says he wants to die.  When he says that he just wishes that he could just laugh like all of the other kids -naturally, you just want to do something about it. You want to do whatever you can to give him some semblance of happiness.  You want to give him a reason to smile.  You feel every inch of his pain and as a mother, you just want to alleviate it.

I fought for him when he didn't  have the capacity to fight for himself.  When the school system was rigged against him and for the typical kids who fit into the mold,  I was compelled to level the playing field as much as possible.  Who else was going to do it? No one understands him the way that I do.  What's more, is most people don't even care.  Schools typically want to do what's easiest for them, not necessarily what is best for the special needs child.

What I did not realize until recently, is that Red is a careful observer and much more cognizant of what's going on around him than I ever gave him credit for. He has seen over and over again how I run to his rescue. At some point in time, he decided to take full advantage of this. Probably a lot sooner than I could have ever believed.

Now that we are suddenly staring down the barrel of manhood, I'm thinking, 'Crap! He's a total mama's boy!' He still wants me to do everything for him. He has very little if any, motivation to grow up and take on responsibility for his life.  Why should he when he thinks he can just easily handover most of his responsibility to me? Why should he want to drive when he can be driven? He doesn't want the expense of a car because then his money may be too tight.

Personally, I wouldn't want to have to depend on someone to get where I'm going. I HATE waiting for people! But that's just me. Oh wait ...he does hate waiting for people, and will even have the nerve to rush them.  While he very seldom rushes to do anything himself. One of those Asperger's paradoxes I suppose.

Why should he want to live on his own when he has such a cushy life here?

I swear, I couldn't wait to get away from my mother at his age. I wanted to come and go as I pleased without having to answer to anyone. He would prefer to stay here so that he won't have to struggle. Struggle is hard.  There are too many unknowns and that's scary. OMG! What if he were not able to just buy everything that he wanted as soon as he wants it.  That would be tragic!

He still wants my attention all.of.the.time. He follows me around the house like a lost puppy. He will literally dial my phone number over and over again when I'm out of the house just to say, 'Mom where are you? When are you coming home?' One time I counted 37 calls back to back.  No. I don't answer. Sometimes, he drains my battery on my phone. Otherwise,  I just have to turn it off which then means, I can't even use it.  That really pisses me off! I finally got smart enough to block his number so that now, he has to leave a text or a voice message and I decide if it's important enough to call him back. Who does that? Who has to block your kid's phone calls? 

He still wants me to basically tuck him in at night.  We used to have "me time" when he was still in high school.  Now,  no matter how much I've talked to him all day, he wants me to come in and give him my undivided attention before he goes to bed. I'm over it. Hello! You're 19 years-old dude! He wants me to continue doing for him, just as I have done for him all of these years.  Only now, he's supposed to be transitioning into manhood.

It's time to him to man up.
It's time for me to step back.
It's time for him to think and do for more for himself.
If the mama bird flies her nestlings around on her back all the time, why should they ever learn to fly?
He is no baby chick! It's time for him to take flight.

One step at a time, I am trying to cut the strings.  I make him responsible for more of his own transportation.

He wants to explore becoming a videographer.  So on his last video shoot,  he assumed that I had nothing else to do but be there with him for 5 hours! Not.

I said no right away. For one, I didn't appreciate his assumption that I was available especially, since he had been so disrespectful to me recently.  Secondly, I've been encouraging him to get more formal training --to intern or shadow a professional videographer.  He needs to learn more about the business aspect of running a business.  He needs to price his services to allow him to pay someone a small amount to assist him since he needs a little help with organization. He hasn't wanted to hear any of that, especially from me. Obviously, he has to learn by doing, even if that means making mistakes or failing.
When the time came for the shoot, it was hard for me, but I had to let him fly solo.

He shot the Quincinera completely on his own. Beforehand, of his own accord, he did an online webinar so that he could be prepared. He made a Pre-Production Checklist and a Shot List. When he came home,  he actually felt pretty good about it. He met with a professional, more experienced  videographer who gave him some constructive criticism.  He realized where he made some mistakes and where he could use some improvement.  He even eluded to the fact that he needs more formal training, education and experience.

With my efforts to cut the strings ...he is actually starting to get it. He is behaving better because he knows, we do not have to allow him to continue to live here. He is beginning to see that he is indeed in charge of his life. With the support of his transition team, he now realizes that he needs to pay rent to live here and be more responsible for the decisions that he makes financially and as a roommate in our home.

I'm not saying it's easy to let go, but if I continue doing so much for him, I will find myself doing it for the rest of his life.  He needs to be prepared for the day that I am not around. Sometimes ...I have to let him fall and figure out how to pick himself back up.