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Moonstruck & Stuck

Random crap that happens to be floating around in my head.

To many questions, not enough answers

As I expected,  today’s debacle at school coupled with the super moon ,have made for one hell of a night. I asked him at 7 to start his chore. I came back again 20 minutes later and reminded him he had his chore to do. And again and again. Now it’s almost 10 pm and he is in full freak out.
I’m rushing him.
I’m speaking to him disrespectful.
I’m messing with him.
I’m purposely trying to set him off.
I walk away and give myself some space. Today has been such a crazy high pain day for me and dealing with all the chaos regarding the school has taken its toll. I’m struggling. I do not have the energy or patience to be cursed out. I’ll do the damn chore myself if it means he goes in his room and lies down.
He just went downstairs to do his chore. But not before he stopped in my room to calmly tell me he reacted like that because I’m disrespectful and go out of my way to make him angry.
These types of days make me wonder if it ever gets easier. For almost 17 years I have done everything I can to make it a little easier. Everyday I try. And every stinking day  I feel like I have failed him.

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Confused

He woke up this morning smiling and playful. He came into my room while I was telling his older brother about the spider I had just killed. He kept trying to engage me, then leaned over and hugged me. The little one walked into my room and he began relating a conversation that he and she had last night, before bed. She was asleep when he went on his tirade, before that she was downstairs visiting with her Grandfather and his girlfriend. They didn’t have a conversation before bed. His younger brother was still upset with him this morning and he couldn’t understand why. I left his therapist a long message this morning. They made the choice to take him off his meds. They made the choice to put his services on hold when he was at Grandma’s. Now, we are suffering the consequences.
The other day someone asked me if I wished he was little again. Without thinking I said what the hell for? He was the same as he is now, just smaller. I don’t know him any other way. If he was little again, we would still have to take this same journey. We would still have to face these hurdles. No way in hell I want to put him or I through all this again.
This roller coaster ride is exhausting. I’m afraid to even guess which one of him will come in after school.

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Danger

Well, we are officially at the “he caught himself before he swung on me” phase. He has been messing with his little brother all afternoon. I kept intervening and telling him to use what he had learned in therapy and he would walk away or laugh in my face. He is out of control right now. Just a few minutes ago they began to argue about who was next on the game. They came to me and started yelling their sides when he shoved his brother. I started toward him telling him to keep his hands to himself. He began cursing me out and calling me names. I walked in his room, closing the door behind me, because the older kids dad and family are here, he jumped to his feet and told me to get the fuck out of his face. I kept repeating “stop cussing” and he kept cussing. I told his brother to leave the room and he pushed past me and followed him telling me to get the fuck out of his face and room. He began his rant of how weird, immature, stupid, irritating I am and that I was only telling him to stop because they are here etc.etc.  I told him I refuse to be talked to like this and to continue doing this day after day.  He rushed up in my face and with his fists clenched, flinched toward me. I didn’t react so he began peppering me with a rush of profanity and threats then his arm began to pull back and his fists started to rise. I calmly told him If he hit me I would call the police. He called me a traitor and some other not too kind words. Then he told me he wasn’t changing and I need to deal with it because in life sometimes you don’t get what you want.
I’m tired. I don’t know how much more I have in me. I’m scared.

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Teetering on the edge

During this move the Grandmother and I made the decision to leave the Boy at her place until we got in our own place, to avoid the stress and chaos that would come with all the unexpected changes and stress. He took that to mean I was dumping him there and moving without him. He stopped calling me and wouldn’t talk to me when I called. We finally got into the new house. And the Boy came home. We didn’t even get through the first night and he had the most epic of all meltdowns. He raged, threatened siblings and finally morphed into verbally attacking me. He cursed, he commiserated with his dad, understanding, finally, why his dad used to beat the shit out of me. He pulled the other kids into his whirlwind of chaos and then began to begin to slowly work on rolling them over to his side. He successfully got his twin to believe it was me against them. Soon they were tag teaming me. One would go one way and start in with their siblings, or even me. Then the other one would head the other way doing the same damn thing. Eventually, the entire house was in an uproar. Ali Baba decided she and the Grand were out of here. The eldest started looking for somewhere else to live. The twins found a common enemy, me. And when they couldn’t get to me they would go after the Youngest. And just like that, all the old behaviors and chaos were firmly entrenched in the fabric of the new house.
Today has been the worst day in a long time. It started before 8 a.m. and he is still rolling along strongly, with no sign of when or if this terror is going to end. He is on a rollercoaster of mania and we cannot get off. I am exhausted and out of ideas. The house is basically at his mercy. I just got him back in services on Thursday and will be calling his therapist Monday bright and early for info on further services. Maybe some wrap around services or increased services through another agency. Until then I will hold on as tightly as I can, but, realistically I am not equipped for this today. I am riding my own wave, of pain. I can barely turn my neck or lift my arms but I have to restrain and block a 6 ft. plus, 280 lb. teenager in full meltdown mode.

Sigh!

Gravity-Max

Limbo

After the Slum, err I mean, landlord gave me notice my worker told her she had to have a reason other than the one she had for them to accept a move request. She copied and pasted an excerpt from a lease she must have found online because I couldn’t find that specific paragraph anywhere in mine. 5 days into the initial 30 she gave me she used the failed inspection to say I violated a “housekeeping clause” in the lease. Nothing on the inspection was related to housekeeping though. After a few more back and forth emails between her and I and me and my worker, my worker told me she was refusing to make the repairs and that violated their contract with her which meant I still had to move, but I would have 30 days from that day, not her original date.

The first of the month came and went. I deposited my share of the rent in her account, like I had for years. The next morning I had an email demanding that I make housing pay their share to her or she was holding me to the original 30 day schedule. I knew she couldn’t but between the texts and emails plus trying to find a place, pack, figure out how to pay a deposit and deal with some every day and some not so everyday kid shit, I started to slide into a deep, dark place. It took every ounce of strength I had in me to just put one foot in front of the other.  I couldn’t afford to move all our belongings or store them until the place I found was approved. I ended up getting rid of all my furniture and most of my personal belongings so that I could get a smaller storage and allow the kids to keep their stuff. Finally, the big day arrived and we had to go. I had found a place, but housing was short staffed so it was going to take 14 days for approval. I spent my birthday moving my stuff into a storage unit and splitting my family up.

The 3 girls went to the older kids Dad and the youngest, eldest and I went to camp out at a friend’s house that happened to be in the process of moving so she was never there. She had already moved her furniture out so we were on the floor for sitting and sleeping. 3 days after we got there the girls had to come stay with us as well. 6 people, on a living room floor, in a tiny apartment with no hot water or gas for the stove, it was hell. I kept calling the new landlord to see if housing had contacted him and, nothing. 14 days came and went. I called and they said ,”oh it is 14 BUSINESS days.” 14 business days came and went. They said, “we are understaffed it could be up to 21 days.” 21 days later I call back and they say, “ 21 BUSINESS days.” 21 business days later I call back and they say, “ we never received your paperwork.” ????? What the fuck? How? Why have I been calling and being told it wasn’t time yet if they didn’t have any paperwork to determine what day I was actually on in the process? To say I lost my shit would be an understatement.  The person on the phone was very helpful and went through my file to find just when the ball was dropped. She reached out to the supervisor of the department and less than 20 minutes later I was on the phone with this woman being told my paperwork would be approved the next day and that my new landlord had been notified. She apologized profusely about the mix up. They scheduled the inspection for a week later.

To be continued. . .

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Where to?

I never thought I would be homeless. But I was, and so were my children.

After I made the decision to close the daycare I had to take a long hard look at my finances.  Then, in the subsequent months after that, I got the news that the debilitating pain I had been living with for years (and that was getting increasingly worse) was not ever going to get better and that I could expect a loss of mobility as well.

Knowing that my way of supporting my kids was gone and not knowing when I would ever be able to do what I do again, I enrolled in the housing assistance program. There were some bumps getting acclimated to the program and I felt bad every single time I had to go down to the office, but my kids had a place to live and that was all that mattered. Over the next couple years my landlord outright stopped making any kind of repairs or doing any maintenance on the house. She got her portion of rent from me, the remainder from housing and she went M.I.A, unless the rent was late. If the rent didn’t hit her account on the first, no later than the third, she would text and e-mail me to call them and find out where her money was. When she could be bothered to respond to any issues about the house she would always tell me the issue had to be “tenant problem” and I would have to pay for any repairs. When you are on housing they do yearly inspections. The reason is twofold, 1 is that they want to make sure landlords are maintaining their properties and 2; they want to ensure the tenants are not damaging the property in any way. These inspections cover the gamut from structural to housekeeping/cleanliness. If there is an issue they notify the tenant and the owner and specify who is responsible to make the repair or correction. My landlord would email me every time she got a notice, “Martha, take care of all repairs on the list. All repairs are tenant problem no matter what housing say” and, because I had no money to move, I would take from my family and make these repairs regardless of the cost.

Now, when I say repairs I don’t mean anything we did to the house I mean shit like the linoleum curling away from the side of the tub because it wasn’t flush with the bottom but actually curved up onto the actual tub. Or the lovely caulking the owner used to fill in the space between the fake wood floor and the tiled kitchen floor. Mind you this was a 1,700 sq. foot house on a 6,000 ft. lot. This wasn’t a rinky dink little place tucked away in a rundown section of town, it was a nice sized house in a very nice neighborhood. They painted the house so that it looked beautiful from the street, but when you came inside you could see it was a patchwork quilt of mismatched crap. I rented the house from them a month after they closed escrow. They slapped some paint on the walls and posted it for rent. When I initially moved in I was in heaven, this big ole house, with all this room for daycare littles and my kids to peacefully coexist. I realized very quickly that I had rented my own version of the Money Pit (without the funny antics of Tom Hanks to make it freaking bearable) I didn’t mind at first, because I had money coming in and soon, it felt like home. It looked good and felt good. And then the façade started to slip and I began to see issues that had been covered cosmetically but need addressing for the house to be safe and livable.

I had my yearly inspection in March. The inspector joked with me and teased the Grand like he had the year before, but he looked worried. When he was done he said, “your landlord has some work to do. They need to do some preventative maintenance and fix a couple things. You passed, but they did not. I will send them a letter.” I walked around with a burning hole in my stomach all day, waiting for her e-mail asking how the inspection went. When she reached out I told her he said there were a couple minor things he said needed addressing and he would send a letter. Her response was “why you not have the house ready when he come? You fix it yourself or you move.” Like I was, once again, take care of issues I had been telling her about for years. So, when, my housing worker called me about the letter I told him what she said. He said that I would have to move. He sent her an amended letter stating that the owner is/was responsible for things marked owner and so on. And that if the agency found out the tenant was making owner repairs; both the tenant and owner could lose their contract. I received an email a few days later telling me they would like me to move in 30 days. A house I had been in for over 5 years and, somehow I was supposed to find another place in 30 days.

To be continued. . .       getthehell570

It’s been awhile

It has been awhile since I have posted here, hell, it’s been awhile since I have really sat down and written. It’s time. I had to step back and try to right my world. The past few months have been a struggle. We went from having to move to being semi-homeless for 6 excruciating weeks. I experienced every negative emotion I could during that time. I realized I had been ignoring the warning signs within myself for a long time. Now that we are starting to get settled I need to worry about me and my mental and physical well being. Both are pretty shaky right now.
  I will be taking baby steps into getting back to writing full time. It is therapeutic.
Thanks for sticking around.

Head, meet wall.

Today I am teetering on the brink of disaster. I am empty.  The Boy has been having meltdown after meltdown coupled with defiance and tantrums since Friday night. He is unwilling to do even the smallest of tasks that he is given; he is belligerent and furious over everything and nothing. He starts stimming so loudly that his siblings leave the room he is in so they can talk on their phones and/or watch TV, this makes him think they are ostracizing him which starts the chaos all over again.

I am learning the difference between tantrums and meltdowns and I am seeing a lot of tantrums lately.  They start out as defiance and work their way up. I try to get a handle on them before they gain much steam but, truthfully, they seem to be winning. This makes me very sad. And very frustrated. More often than not the tantrum will segue into a meltdown and then I am at an impasse, I can’t discipline a meltdown. I won’t discipline him for a meltdown. That is unconscionable and utterly wrong.

I am struggling with the implications of what is happening with me. Not just the chronic intense pain, but the loss of sensation in my hands and feet that comes with it. This shit is scary. I do not have the mobility I used to have, I cannot do the things I used to do and things I used to love doing I’m not able to do anymore.  Add all this together with his increasing tantrums, etc. and it is a recipe for a big ole breakdown.

I am trying to stay the course and be the best I can be for these kids and my Grand, but it seems like what I do most often, is bang my head against a wall and pull my hair out.  I need to figure something out. He is escalating and at the same time he is growing taller and stronger by the day. And I am getting weaker physically day by day. And this cannot end well if it continues like this. I need to figure out a solution, to both of our issues. And soon.

frustration

Sigh!

TRIGGER WARNING!

You ever have a wound that starts to heal, it still hurts, but it is starting to scab over? Then that scab gets knocked off and you have to start the healing process all over again? That is how my heart feels today.  January 30, 2012 my phone rang, when I answered it my sister-in-law was hysterical on the other end. She was calling to tell me my nephew had been shot and killed. I don’t remember the entire conversation because all I could hear was my heart shattering into a million pieces. I remember sitting by the phone, numb, waiting for any news at all and then being afraid to answer it when it did ring. I watched some of the strongest men I know seem to shrink under the weight of their grief, I watched his sisters struggle to retain a hold on their sanity and I cried barrels full of tears. And then I had to tell my children. As I tried to keep it together, for them, I wanted answers. How? Why did this happen?

Fast forward to now. The murder trial started earlier this month. His Mother is in court every day. Front and center, ensuring that the jury knows he was someone’s child and he is sorely missed. She shares the proceedings with the rest of the family in a private group and some days it is more than I can bear. Today is one of those days. Today we learned that he had his hands up and was facing them when they put 2 bullets in his heart. I will not share this information with his cousins. I will sit in my room, in the dark and grieve for a 19 yr. old who was killed by someone he knew, for his possessions, while he had his hands up. And I will pray that someday this wound will start to scab over again. It will still hurt, but it will be protected.

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