Friday, April 13, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

As you may know I am in California right now, dealing with the drama of my father being in the hospital.  He was discharged 2 days ago.  He was also simultaneously discharged from his girlfriend's apartment where he has resided for the past several years.  She just couldn't take it anymore.  My dad is a real handful with the, endless conversation, offensive language and yes...I hate to admit, not a great deal of respect for women.  The result is that he is now residing (at least temporarily) with my brother, and will go to my sister soon.

Every day since I got here, I have spent time at his bedside listening to his dialogue about how the world owes him everything and who he is going to take to court next.  It's a bit like listening to Red talk.  I have laughed with him and his sick sense of humor.  I have watched him gain his strength and fight his way back to health.  He's not there completely.  In fact, he may never be again.  But so far, he's not ready to give up.

So we face the huge challenge of figuring out his care.  In the meantime, everyone is a little stressed.  One of my brothers is trying to use me up before I leave.  A couple of statements have been made about "you don't have to work" so you can do this our that.  Or, "You're living the life because you don't have to work." Excuse me!  I guess you don't realize how much work my life really is.  

I have two boys with autism.  Their needs are extremely challenging.  I have my mother with me who also needs care.  I am her administrative and medical assistant.  I am her driver, to all medical and other appointments.  I am the listening ear that she has to talk to on a daily basis, because she has decided not to have a social life at all anymore.  Having my mother living with me makes my life even more challenging because she doesn't always "get" the boys, so I have to constantly referee between them. 

My husband works non-stop and travels, which leaves me there to deal with all of the boys issues from doctors, therapists, medicine, school, social interactions and extra-curricular activities.  I have no extended family in Texas to support me. 

By the way, both boys have been on relatively good behavior while I've been gone.  However, my mother tells me this morning that Red is amping up a little more every day.  He's ranting about how unfair the government is for making school hours so long.  Then he gets into jails...and how they don't help anything.  So I'm sure by the time I get home he will be ready to explode.  

I am reminded that my family who lives several states away, does not live my life.  Not everyone reads this blog to understand what I go through from day to day.  They have no idea how drained I am from constantly living on the edge of meltdowns, fights, and drama.  They just want to suck me dry before I leave here because they are left dealing with the mess of my father. 

Well guess what?  We all have our challenges in life.  When my mother came to Texas two years ago, it wasn't to live with me permanently, but that's what it has turned into.  When I had two children, the thought of autism had never crossed my mind, but it's here, and I am dealing with it.  It's not all warm and fuzzy.  My boys are now these huge, hormonal teenagers, with learning challenges,  depression, anxiety and at times, explosive meltdowns.  I still have the holes in my walls to prove it.  

"I hate myself! I hate my life! I just want to die," are words none of my siblings have had to hear come out of the mouths of their children.  

So I won't take it personally when it is insinuated that, "I don't work."  But on this last day in California, I will not be used up.  I will do my laundry and rest before I go back home to  deal with my own drama and sleep with my own down pillows!

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