*This is a draft of a post I never completed. Leaving it unfinished and unposted makes me feel like it’s unresolved.*
This evening (weeks ago) we had a discussion in our house that made me feel like I was snatched up in a time warp and dumped upside down into the chaos of last fall. I felt like all the air was sucked from the room in a nanosecond and replaced with the blackest sludge. My head spun and I thought I was going to throw up. It was all I could do to get to my room before I burst into tears and collapsed on the floor. While I have been diagnosed with PTSD in the past due to an abusive relationship, I’ve never experienced such tangible reliving of a nightmare memory. Sparing the details, we all fought hard for the life of a family member battling severe depression and eventually, months later came out the other side. Scarred, not unscathed, but as survivors. Tonight was the first time that for one moment, I truly thought we could end up back there. (It scared the shit out of me. I can’t think of a classier way to express it, sorry.) The episode back then seemed to come from nowhere. All of the grown-ups were surprised and caught off guard. What I saw and heard today is what I think I missed last year. A teenager getting overwhelmed by school and assignments and homework and time management and being dishonest about what he has or hasn’t done can turn into a really big deal, very quickly. It’s only the second week of school and yet again assignments are incomplete, not turned in and the snowball is rolling down the hill. I want to melt that damn snowball into water so it splashes harmlessly around his feet! I tried to say the right things, encouraging things, non indulgent things, provide practical solutions but I was left feeling like all I did was make it worse and I’m clueless. In the midst of crisis, I handled things that no parent should have to take command of. I made life-altering decisions. It was the sacrifice that my tattoo refers to. The sacrifice of the parent for the child. The price I paid was high.
*That was the last of the unfinished post. The part that follows is in real time.*
This week has been more of a roller coaster. Thursday, I was on the way to see my therapist, the ONE hour of my life that is for me. While driving down 3rd, my phone rings and Preston’s school counselor is on the other end of the line. “I have Preston here, is this a good time to talk?” NO! No, it’s not a good time, a voice screams inside my head. I deserve to have time to focus on my own needs. In order to keep it together as the mother, I need to have time that is just for me. His counselor said that Preston is behind in his homework and has been lying about it and now he feels like giving up and is depressed. This doesn’t surprise me. Does it disappoint me? Yes. She asked if I had been looking on Parent View at his grades. No, I haven’t. I want to be able to ask him and for him to choose honesty over deceit. It made me very angry and resentful that once again he is choosing to lie and not complete his assignments. We don’t ask for grades. We expect him to complete his assignments. This is a cycle of behavior that infuriates me. I was only able to have 1/2 of my regularly scheduled therapy appointment because I had to go to the counseling office and meet Preston and his counselor. AJ, God bless him, agreed to go there too and was waiting when I got there. I didn’t say much during the meeting. AJ, being in better control of his emotions, did most of the talking. It’s very discouraging that despite how much I’ve put into helping Preston succeed at living, that he continues to sabotage himself.
Clearly, we haven’t been able to communicate effectively. For fear of saying the wrong thing, I haven’t said much. In an effort to be my best self and have the most to offer the children, and myself, I have scheduled weekly appointments with my therapist to manage my resentment, anger and anxiety. I know better than to just vent to my blog without help from outside.
Be well. Rebecca