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Friday, March 20, 2015

Blue Sky Among Clouds

Having a public forum where you share some of your deepest feelings and emotions can be dangerous. I totally went left the other night on this blog. I was feeling completely overwhelmed and pissed off, so I purged all of my feelings in writing.  I don't have a therapist (dumb I know).  I have some really good friends and family members who care, but no one knows everything that's going on in my life. Besides, I can't say everything in one conversation. I don't often get to have a telephone conversation without it being interrupted. It was therapeutic for me to get it all out.

When I went back and read it again the next day, I thought to myself, what the hell did you do? My husband is going to be pissed when he reads this.  Everyone will know how completely nuts I am. I know that's not really a newsflash.  I kind of sound like I'm whining and complaining a lot. I don't want people to feel sorry for me.  I just wanted to get the feelings out.

Hundreds of views later, I couldn't take it back.  Apparently, my feelings connected with a number of you who said it read like it was your life. That's always a really good thing.

Going back and reading it,  allowed me to see exactly what is happening and what part I am playing in the process. Life doesn't just happen to you. You usually have a part in what you are allowing to happen.  This is especially so, when it is a pattern of things that  seem happen more than once.
There are no mistakes really.
Failures are an opportunity to learn.
There is a lesson to in every trial we go through.
I am learning every.single.day.

By re-reading what I wrote, I learned so much...
First, I need to slow down. 
It made me look at myself and say, 'What in the hell are you doing?' Obviously, way too much.
I am allowing too many people to put too much pressure on me, not to mention the amount of pressure I am putting on myself.
I can only do one thing at a time.
I have got to get better at saying no.
Not just no but,  'Hell no! I'm not doing that!  Do it your damn self!' 

For example the other night, Blue comes into my room at 9:30 asking about me warming up tacos for him and his friend.  My first impulse was to say yes,  because that's what I do.  This time, I stopped myself. I thought, I don't want to do that. What's more I don't have to do that. I'm tired! I've been experiencing extreme fatigue for days. I'm relaxing right now. I'm not changing my program just because they came in here hungry this time of night. 
"Make yourselves some corndogs! Have some yogurt, or some popcorn. Whatever it is,  get it yourself." 

Second, I am feeling pressured to make Red gone like yesterday, as if that will solve all of our problems.
The thing is, he's a person. A complicated person and this is a complicated situation.
I can't make everything happen overnight.
I have been working on this process diligently, for months and I am on the right track.
When you are dealing with government agencies, things take time.
When you are dealing with a less than stable young adult who has rights, but not all of the abilities that go along with those rights, nothing is simple.

Third, I need to give myself some credit.
  • I applied and got him qualified for SSI.  Now that he is 18, he qualifies based on his diagnosis, and his own income and not ours. 
  • That helped him qualify for Medicaid to help with the cost of his healthcare and medication. That is major! 
  • We applied and he has been approved for services through DARS (Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services) which is going to help us get work on behaviors and obstacles that need to be removed in order to get himself ready for full-time work and therefore, independence.  We met with his DARS counselor a few days ago. He offered to get  Red a Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Then he will start working with a BCBA Behavior Therapist here at home, in the community and at school.  If he happens to move during that process, the therapist will provide service where ever he lives. 
I have a feeling when the behavior therapist comes, she will note that we are all giving Red a payoff with our reactions.  The rules and structure need to be clear and enforced with everyone who lives here.
  • I have applied and qualified him for Autism services through our local MHMR (county mental health agency).  
  • This gives him a Case Manager to help coordinate services for him.  
  • He also qualifies for Home and Community Supports,  a provider who will spend a few hours a week with him out in the community, taking him to the bank, getting a haircut, going grocery shopping, maybe even taking him on a date! That will give me some relief. 
  • We can now receive Respite services (someone to come into the home or take him out of the home to give us a break for extended time.) 
  • We also put an emergency game plan in place if I am seriously about to break. They can provide emergency respite if I need to get him out of here with a quickness on a temporary basis, before he actually moves. 
When it comes to my mom, I have arranged for her to use a car service for her physical therapy appointments. Next, I will look into her actually having a part-time caregiver.  I can't always be 3 places at once.  It won't be easy to get a 75 year-old woman to change her ways. Especially, when her behavior seems to be going more and more in the direction of childish, antagonizer every day.  She is going to have to live by certain rules as well.  I'm not going to continue to put up with chaos.

It turns out that hubby wasn't mad at me after reading the blog. He actually came home and asked me out for dinner.  Since then, he has been trying to use a firm, yet milder tone when speaking with Red.  I sincerely appreciate the effort.

In the meantime until Red moves, I am going to have to take things one day at at time.
I will work on accomplishing one goal at time, instead of worrying myself to death about every little thing.

As many of my dear friends from my Facebook Support group reminded me, some more subtly than others (Tonya), I can not control everything.  I need to stop sweating the small stuff and let a lot of these grown folks in this house manage their own lives.

I have been getting a lot more rest in the past few days. I can see the peak of blue sky among the clouds, which is God's way of telling me, 'Everything is going to be alright. Trust me.'