Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Dam Finally Broke

Yesterday my daughter had a great day.  Smiles.  Laughter.  Good times with her sister and even me.

Today, she vanished into a black hole.  Made plans with us but then hid in bed.  Wouldn't answer the door, texts, or the phone.  Two hours late, she finally appeared and we planned to go out for bowling and dinner.

Walking a few paces behind me, she suddenly came right up on me, like an aggressive animal with wild eyes, heart racing, and shaking hands.  "Don't freak out Mom," she said, "but I'm not going to school this Fall."  Then she passed me to race away but I reached out and grabbed her arm.

"Don't freak out, honey," I said, "but I am totally okay with your decision."

"Pffft!" she uttered in disbelief and we didn't say another word.

Bowling was fun but then some jerk hit my sister's car and left without even leaving a note. 

Dinner was late but we were hungry.  Afterwards, I walked to the car with my daughter and told her I wanted her to go to school to dabble in topics that could lead her to a path she'd like to explore.  I said I truly am fine with her not being in school now because she's discovered working with children is something she "thinks" she enjoys.  She still isn't letting me in and she says she doesn't feel any better since we talked but I will say, she seems more relaxed, her body is less tense and not shaking anymore... she feels better.  I know it.

So, we have a plan.  She's going to live here, up the street from my sister with her sister, my youngest daughter!  She's going to work for an after school program through my sister's employer and will continue with weekly therapy to curb the depression. The younger one will be in school.  Finally, a plan.  And finally, a moment where I could say, "I'm proud of you and you are an adult now who can make you own decisions and I respect that."  She bristled a bit but went to bed chatting with her sister about furniture and move-in dates.

I may just be able to go back home and have a sense of peace about the road my children are currently on after-all.  I realize this is just the beginning but the dam has broken and we are moving again.  Maybe I'll even sleep tonight! It's been so long...

Amy

PS - Oldest daughter is on a roll. She was quite happy on the phone tonight telling me she has lunch with her mentor on Monday.  For the moment, they are all smiling.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Love Language Blueprints

I cannot even begin to write without first thanking ALL of you who have commented, filled my email box, and reached out in all sorts of ways.  I'm sorry I've been very bad about responding to everyone and about checking out other blogs but I'm treading water; as you all know.

One sweet blog friend asked me about love languages with my girls and for the first time, I really delved into how each is different and what each needs. Then, I looked at myself as well.

For me, my love languages revolve around verbal and physical.  My husband has no idea how easy I am when it comes to flipping my frowns, worries, fears, etc. into pure joy and happiness.  We've talked about it but I'm sure it seems silly to him because it wouldn't have the same affect on him.  Quite frankly, phrases like, "I love you" and "I miss you" and "I wish I was with you right now", completely erase any and all doubts I ever have about his feelings toward me.  He can say these things 100 times a day and no matter what is going on, I believe him every time like it's the first time he's said it.  Magical.  Sadly, if he doesn't say them for awhile (two days is awhile, lol), I start to question if he changed his mind and then I read everything he says and does as him trying to figure out how to leave me. CRAZY... never said I wasn't. Sigh.

Anyway, the other thing that works for me is nicknames - LOVE THEM.  Eric calls me Sweet Pea, and Honey, and Sweetheart, and Amy Lynn, and My Little Phatty, and the list goes on.  Fantastic.  Oh, and when I'm floundering with non-Eric related things in my world, it's the hard line HOH statements that bring me great joy.  "Amy Lynn, get your ass out of bed right NOW or my belt will be waking you up when I get home."  Okay, he's never actually said that, but things like that.  "Do you need a spanking?"  "Amy Lynn, I'm about to redden that ass."  Things like that.

Then, the physical side of my love language.  I relax during massages and having my head rubbed, hair brushed, gentle and seductive kisses all over.  I also love to be spanked, hair pulled, rough sex, bound and beaten (not overly extreme but, you know)... played with.  And I LOVE holding hands, everywhere we go.

My daughter does not like to be touched.  And if I verbally compliment or tell her I love her, she gets very uncomfortable and pushes me away.  In the past two days, I realize she feels love through acts of service and through quality time.  When I make her a sandwich or put gas in her car, she feels very loved but lately, only if she asks me to do it.  If I do it on my own, she gets angry and questions whether I think she is incapable of doing anything on her own.  She also has specific things she does with each person in our family that she would rather not do with anyone else.  She only watches movies with one sibling, while she'll do road trips with the other.  With her Dad, she golfs but with her Aunt, she does yoga.  Of course there are times when we all do these things together but she very much prefers the one-on-one in certain situations.

Anyway, I'm learning.  The best news about being told that a lot of the dire thoughts in her head stem from her interpretation of what I'm saying to her is, I can change how I say things to her.  Yesterday I spent a few hours alone with my youngest daughter.  I realized during that time that her interpretation of the same things I say to her sisters is very healthy and very different than the child who is struggling, yet it's the same words.  Something to ponder.  Also, the youngest daughter's love languages are the same as mine so in just a matter of a few hours she said, "I love you Mom" three times and then at lunch, practically sat on top of me in the booth.  My feelings of being loved spilled over after ten days of feeling rejected and responsible.

So, again I thank you all for everything you share.  I do feel the love from you and am sending hugs your way.  Though I am standing back and not pushing anything as much as I possibly can, this weekend I will focus on filling my daughters love languages by giving her the space for quality time with everyone around us, as well as taking the quality time she is offering to me without pressing the matters that are nagging at me. (Where are you going to live? Are you going back to school?  What about work?)  The thing is, my daughter thinks I'm looking for specific answers to these questions and she's got this idea that she'll never live up to my expectations but this is where I'd like to say, "No honey.  I have these questions because I want you to choose a safe place that you want to live and I'd like to help you get moved in before I go back home or take you with me if you want to live at home.  I want you to register for classes before the semester starts in two weeks if you want to go back or if you don't want to go back, no worries about the pending deadlines.  And, I want you to let me know how you plan to pay for living expenses so if you need help for awhile, I can figure out a way to get you what you need while you are working with the psychologist on becoming independent and joyful." 

I wait..... but it's all on the tip of my tongue.

Amy

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Some Insight

Self reflection - I'm swimming in it, more like drowning in it.

I look in the mirror and don't recognize the person looking back.

I've dedicated my life to giving my children the best childhood I knew how.

My daughter,

not only thinking of but planning to end her life,

my child who I love with every bit of my being.

Today I received some insight from the psychologist
who has the letters and knows what my child put
into what was intended to be her last words....

"I'm can't keep up with the expectations that are on me...."

"STOP telling her to go to college

STOP telling her to get a job

STOP taking care of her

Step back and let her make mistakes and find her own path with your support for whatever it may be that she feels she can and wants to do.

It is you, her mother, she is afraid of disappointing."

She never disappoints me.  Killing herself.  That would disappoint me.  There is no coming back from that.  Anything else, not disappointing.  Life.  Make your way.  Make mistakes. Learn.

Once again, I am to act as though I know none of this but I'm dying inside because more than anything in the world, I want this girl to find whatever it is in life that makes her want to get up in the morning and love the life she is living.

My daughters were/are that for me.  They are my life - my reason for being. Somehow, she never got the message.

She just thinks I want her to do specific things and be like me or her sisters or her Dad.

"Can't I tell her what I meant?"

"No.  Show her by stepping back."

I'll do anything for her.  I'm so sorry I had anything/everything to do with how she is feeling.

I have the grace of being given time to help her by not helping her... trying to focus on that.

Amy

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

River of Tears

The anger of yesterday has been replaced with the tears of today.

Doesn't matter who I'm talking to or what the subject matter is, I've got water running down my cheeks.

I made an appointment with a counselor next week.... for me.

Too many questions

with no one to answer

because my daughter is an "adult"

and not in a place to share.

Time clicks by...

Amy


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Angry

Today I woke up angry.  Just flat out mad.  Hating everyone and everything. 

I've spent days watching my daughter crawl inside herself, blocking out the world and disappearing to a place that I don't understand and can't get to.  She comes and goes. No rhyme or reason.  She lashes out, then cracks jokes, stands up for those of us she abuses, and then rests her head on my shoulder. I can't follow. Feel as though I've got baby quail eggs strapped to my feet and any wrong move with shatter them.

My daughter has another appointment today.  She's found a therapist she seems to like.  She's going of her own volition.

Perhaps knowing she will be taken care of today, by a professional, has given me a moment to come back to me but all I find is anger.  I find myself screaming in my head, "Don't fucking ask me how I'm doing.  My body is fucked up, my husband is gone all the time, my child is teetering on the edge of ... FUCK!!!!!" 

I can't stop the images in my mind of her being gone, of me getting that call, of the funeral, the emptiness, the constant pit in my stomach for the rest of all time.  I play that out in my head unless we are in the same room and I can see that she is still here.   I fight the visions.  I remind myself that she is getting help.  I tell myself there is hope and professional help and attention to the situation. I tell myself to STOP IT.

I get busy and find a way to get the thoughts out of my mind but then I dream them.  So I don't sleep.  I haven't truly slept since that first night. 

Today, I am angry.  I hate everyone and everything.  I want to run.  I want to get in the car and drive until the gas tank is empty and then get on foot and go until oblivion. I've always been a runner but I can't run now.  Not even for the break. I'm a prisoner in this body and am imploding.

My daughter will be back in a couple of hours.  I'll try not to look interested in where she's been, who she has seen, what they have planned... it will be all over my face but she doesn't want to share and I've been told over and over by the professionals to let her come to me in her own time and just be grateful that she has people in her life she is turning to.  "Be yourself'" but don't say or do the wrong thing or you'll push her away.

My daughter is like the toddler who just discovered she can do things on her own.  She pushes me away, "ME DO IT!!!" but then when her frustration builds beyond her capabilities, she crawls in a sobbing mess for me to tuck her in bed, to rejuvenate through sleep, to try again another day.  This time, though, she's not trying to do a puzzle or put on her own shoes.  She's on a constant battle field, at war with a dark encompassing mound of destruction that's infiltrated her mind and constantly traps her in the recesses of finality. Find hope, my sweet girl.  Find reasons to go on.....

Writing subdues my anger, today, but I find I am suddenly exhausted.

Amy


Monday, August 13, 2018

Lost at Sea

My apologies, another non-spanking post about my daughter.  Please skip if you are uninterested and come back when life returns to something more appropriate.  Writing here is good therapy for me and quite frankly, I'm getting very good advice and feedback from an amazing number of people who are or have been through similar.

The weekend was non-stop busy and my daughter participated in it all.  Today, we had the afternoon mapped out with her spending time with my sister while I caught up on laundry, chores, and took a break of my own.  When my sister announced it was time to go, she suddenly went to sleep on the couch, pillow over her head.  We didn't know what to do.  We let her sleep for a half hour and tried to wake her. She mumbled something about food and I went to get sandwiches.  Two minutes before I was handed the bag, she text that they were racing out the door to catch a show and would be back later tonight. "See you tonight, Moms!"

My daughter is all over the board.  She's acting normal. Then she's lost in her head. Then she's asleep. Then she's running out to do this or that. Then she's asleep again.  It's like she's got to recover from every single thing she does with a nap - that knocks her out for anywhere from five minutes to five hours and then she is on the move again.

I'm not sure which one of us is more lost at sea. Her or me.

Image result for lost at sea

Amy

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A break in time

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and sending your love and concern.

The weekend brings a sense of break time for all of us.
A pool party with friends and strangers,
a distraction from heart wrenching revelations.
My child, floating on a raft, lost in thought but also free, for the moment, of fear.

We all stayed apart for the bulk of the day, while being together
at the same place, in the same venue.  She placed her head on my
shoulder for the car ride home.

Today, we are alone together. Eric has gone. My other daughter has gone.
My sister is running errands.  We talk about nothing and the elephant in the
room remains but she is not avoiding me and every so often, asks to play
a game of cards, or eat a small meal, or watch a movie.  Progress.

Two more appointments during the week. Questions around meds, school,
work, and living arrangements lingering overhead waiting to be answered.

For me, once again the world is screaming "Patience, Amy Lynn".  Perhaps if
I would finally learn to embrace it, the universe would quit testing me and I
would no longer have to wait for my child to find joy, Eric to be home, us to be
living at the beach.... all situations out of my hands for which I wait.

Waiting is hard.

Amy

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

361 days

361 days ago, I wrote poems about my pink cheeked child on the ice
She had been admitted to a psych ward for 72 hours
Diagnosed with major depressive disorder
Put on drugs and sent back to college
Fighting the pain to fulfill her destiny

I spoke in rhymes and riddles, weaving my way through
a swamp of terrifying revelations, pushing for answers
while reaching out in the darkness, forever hitting and
missing a moving target that until that day, I was unaware
plagued my offspring.

Almost a year and she has blossomed in so many ways.
Two more semesters down, a job, new friends, and
hobbies.  Nothing balanced and no sense of security
but signs of improvement, plenty to keep me at the
fountain of hope.

Last time, there was a plan to end it all.  This time, no plan but
letters and gifts, saying her goodbyes.  Again, the wave of despair
and agony has crashed down and swept us all into the sea. We
got her to a psychiatrist who set up safety plans, treatment
plans, and a path to put in motion.  She was home an hour later,
worn out, distant, but trying to be a part of bland conversation
with that huge elephant in the room haunting every corner and
every space in our minds, our bodies, the air.  Late at night, plan
tucked in her pocket, with shaking hands, stiff limbs, and a stare worlds
away, she crawled into bed to drink in an escape through sleep.

I lay in bed, eyes huge, heart pounding, hearing the words over
and over and over again. "She wrote letters." Three words,
enough to clog my thoughts and block any positive messages from my
mind. "She also reached out for help and we have a treatment plan
in place."

On the edge of a cliff, every moment of my child's life flashing
before my eyes, the wind howling around me while the pit
of my stomach weighs so heavily in my gut it anchors me
to the ground, ready to withstand yet another storm.  "Take
care of yourself so you can be strong for her" - instructions
for me. "Sleep. Eat. Rest." I cannot sleep when my child is hurting.
I cannot eat when my baby, who came from my belly, is wrapped in
a spiral of choking despair.  I cannot rest when my heart stops in a
myriad of fears building inside me.

Eric will be here soon. Tomorrow we go to family therapy
to learn more, understand more, be given a plan for our
role in the treatment plan for a magnificent girl who is
drowning right before me.  Right before my very eyes,
my child is sinking and I have no rope and my feet are lead
and I can't move and I can't yell and I can't seem to do a
damn thing but add tears to the pool that is already
consuming her.

"Take care of yourself"
I have no self.
I am a shell of her mother
Going through the motions
Of spinning my wheels
to try and save
my child.

Amy

Monday, August 6, 2018

Promises Promises

Eric is traveling for work again.  We'll be apart the rest of this month and maybe into September.  The day before he left, I found myself pouting in bed.  He texted from the office and it went like this:

E: How about a sexy pic Amy Lynn?
A: Still in bed
E: Great place to send a picture from
A: Beg for it
E: Send three Amy. 
A: Beg
E: Do it now
A: That sounds more like a command than begging
E: It is bitch. Do it now.
A: Fuck you, I'm busy.
E: I said NOW
A: Bossy
E: You are so sexy when you talk back.
A: You are so hot when you're in charge
E: Send those pictures and I'll show you in charge when I get home
A: Promises promises
E: AMY LYNN - don't make me spank you
A: Doing my best
E: Are you having a bad morning?
A: Yes
E: I thought things were better after our talk
A: Feeling disconnected. Sad.
E: Get up girl. We are not disconnected.
A: I don't want to do anything.
E: You are going to do everything I say.
A: You're leaving AGAIN.
E: Amy, don't tank yourself. Get up.
A: I don't want to.
E: I'm not asking.
A: Pout.
E: Where are my pictures? Start there.
E: We are going out for dinner tonight.
E: Find a pretty dress and be ready by 5.
E: Before then, pay the bills, vacuum the house, do laundry, and send me three things you've been putting off.
E: You have five minutes to send those pictures and get moving.
A: Or what?
E: Or you're going to be sitting on a red ass at home while I go out for dinner without you.

We did have a lovely time that evening and yes, I did behave just enough to join him for dinner but  that's a whole other post. Since he's been gone, I've been stuck on the "promises, promises" I threw out mid-text exchange.

Ever notice how we are programmed from a very young age to never, ever break a promise? We expect promises to be kept and in turn, most of us do our best to keep them as well.  However, it struck me that promises seem to be reserved for other people.  We set goals for ourselves, make resolutions even, but when do we ever promise ourselves something?

I wrote in a journal tonight, with a pen, and it's been forever since I've used paper and ink.  It started with, "For the first time in my life, the promises that I make are going to be to and for me; and I always keep my promises."

What promise would you like to make yourself today and can you keep it?

Promises, promises!

Amy