Wednesday, March 6, 2019

When You've been Clueless for Several Years

And royally screw things up

And it hits you how awful things have gotten

And you're at your wits end, end of your rope, can't do this another day, etc.

So here's the deal:

Out of my six children, there is one. This one it seems lives to push my every button.  I used to joke and say he would be the one to put me in the loony bin.  I never really thought of him as having an issue, but all kinds of things just snapped into place over the last few days/weeks.

He's been depressed lately, and rightfully so, I suppose.  He needs friends and has been blown off by a kid that used to go to school with him when he went to school.

So Justin (let's call him) the friend from school was all my guy talked about last year (2017) and wanting to get back in touch with him. I fb messaged his mom and she seemed excited to hear from me and gave me the ways in which my guy could connect with him online. Unfortunately, that was an old iphone that only works on wifi or he is also on Xbox Live.  Guy (that's what we'll call mine) tried to text Justin a couple of times, only to get no response. I messaged mom again and she apologized and said the iphone was a bit old and he didn't get it/check the phone, whatever. No prob, we'll try again.

More crickets

Okay, so I'm chalking this up to a hardware issue. Let's try to connect on Xbox. We didn't have one at the time, so Guy got one for Christmas (2017).  He connects with Justin a time or two, but then says Justin is never online, won't chat back, won't respond, etc. I'm thinking this kid (Justin) just doesn't know how to work his devices, but a later invitation by me through another fb message with mom for an actual playdate gets blown off.  Okay, so now I feel that Justin and Mom either don't want anything to do with us or maybe they just don't want to extend their already full social calendar, or they are flaky as Hell.

Guy is very frustrated and tells me later that he doesn't even really like to play Xbox or Video games (which is true).  I spent $200 on something that he really didn't want. He WANTED to get in touch with Justin and have a friend, and I did (and have been) bending over backwards for this kid. I've had so much Mom guilt with the fact that he seems so discontented, bored, friendless that I have done so much more for him monetarily and otherwise to try to "fix" it.

A little history:

Guy has been my most fussy baby, my latest walker, my latest talker. In fact, I was getting ready to have him evaluated around the age of three when he finally decided to start speaking. All seemed well, but as he got older, he would periodically complain about certain symptoms that we did have checked out. His eyesight was the first. We made an appointment and on two separate occasions were told his vision was normal, although we learned he was color blind. Or to say I learned, he knew and had tried to tell me over the years, but I wasn't listening.*

About four years ago, he also started complaining about weird symptoms that I could only describe as "mental" (not in an abstract way, but in a brain way). I took him to the doctor and then a specialist  who did an EEG on him. I really don't honestly remember what they told me, they basically found nothing tangible.

At the time, he was in a hybrid online school in which he had met and was friends with Justin and a couple of others. He went to the brick and mortar school twice a week and did lessons at home three days. The three home days were a living nightmare for me and for him.  I really had no idea how he was getting anything at all done at school, since it was a gigantic ordeal to get any work done at home. He just didn't get it.

A teacher gave him an IEP and extra work to "catch him up." Around this time is when I started longing to go back to homeschooling and I really did hate the curriculum the school was using and none of this was working, so we finished the year out and then back to our thing.

We started back out traditionally, but then wandered into free or unschooling and that's where we've been since. All the kiddos have thrived, but Guy missed the social interaction of the school.

And he complained about everything all the time.

He was constantly bored, constantly needing me to tell him what to do or to entertain him. I indulged just about every hobby, activity, sport, idea and such that he mentioned and nothing would stick. He would just complain about it.

Last winter (2017), he wanted to try boxing, so I found a great place that worked with kids and adults and was FREE. We went a dozen or so times. He was always excited to go, but once class started,  he would completely withdraw and refuse to participate. If he did, he would just go through the motions. He wasn't even trying. Now this was embarrassing and infuriating at the same time.  This ended with me yelling at him on the way home almost every time. I finally told him that the next time we went and he pulled this, it would be the last and that day did come.

He exhausted me, wore me out, frustrated me. He was just one big squeaky wheel.

Everyone else could be content, why couldn't he?

So over the last year or so, our relationship has become quite strained.  I know that much of it is the growing pains of early adolescence, but not all of it. It came to the point that I didn't even want to be around him.

Hoping that most of this was just needing more socialization, I found a local homeschooling group and we (Guy and two other kiddos) have been going usually once a week. The same thing happens, though. He is happy to go, but once there, will withdraw and act very awkwardly.  He also comes off as kind of mean and rude most of the time.

Honestly, he's been a problem around the home, too. He says inappropriate things, blurts out whatever is on his mind, seems to ask nonsensical or out of place questions, repeats himself, seems to be trying to irritate people on purpose.  I've been extremely distressed about this lately. I can't seem to get along with him.  BUT, something my oldest daughter said recently sent me off to do some research.

She compared much of how he behaves to the behavior of someone we both know who is on the Autism spectrum.

After doing much reading and thinking, all kinds of things started snapping into place for me.

It's almost as if I can now see his whole life, the whole thing as this being a thing.

I want to turn my frustration into compassion, my impatience to unconditional love, my harshness with gentleness, but it is so hard. I already have so many things going on and I honestly feel like I don't ever get a break.

So, this is a new area of interest for me, out of necessity. I wonder often if in my religious fervor, I just refused to see it, thinking at the time that such a thing "didn't exist" and Autism was a catch-all excuse for negligent parenting or pushing some big pharma agenda. Not to mention it was one of my biggest fears and one of the biggest reasons the kids' vaccines were delayed for so long. I'm not afraid anymore, but, I am taken by surprise.

*I found that I wasn't listening to many things over the years. When Guy was about 7 or so, we had a project where he was supposed to pick a certain tree in our yard and draw it in the spring/summer. In the fall, he was to draw the same tree and talk about what was different about it. (The answer was the leaves changed colors). He said it was no different and I thought he was being a smart-ass. I remember being very harsh with him about this at the time, but he stood his ground. About 2 years later, we found out about the color blindness (red-green). 😞

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hello World 2019

I've had the flu since Christmas Day. This has without question been 2 of the worst, challenging, depressing, and painful weeks that I can ever remember. I had all these wonderful plans for Christmas Day: video games, board games, pizza, eating, drinking, merriment. Instead, I spent the next several days bedridden and missing work, fun, life, everything.

So, as I try to make it back into the land of the living, I just wanted to show off the fam. This was taken by my sister in law on the week before Christmas at my in-laws. 

Back row: Dan 13, Nick 17, Tim 15, Me (ageless), Rachel, 19
Front Row: Steve, 11, Joe (ageless, but younger), Leah 10

And here we have Rachel and her boyfriend, Nick.

And now it's time to try to get back to life....

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, October 4, 2018


I don't do a whole lot on the blog right now and didn't realize I had a few comments since last checking in. For some reason, I wasn't getting notified. I fixed it, so I won't miss you in the future!!!

Thanks for still reading;)

Friday, September 14, 2018

One of Many

I've been totally hooked on Portlandia lately.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Whitewashed Tombs

I saw this on Facebook this morning.

We were at Holy Spirit. This was the priest who was written about in The Story.