It's been an unusually quiet day since I took Ian back home to his fathers this morning. He's not noisy or particularly demanding, but his absence is felt. After having someone here for over a month, you get accustomed to their presence. I feel quite badly because I had assured him I was going to do some art therapy with him during his summer visit, but then I decided it was imperative I ween myself off the antidepressant, thus taking a side trip to hell during his visit. I'm still having those brain zaps and feeling a little dizzy and disoriented at times, but I'm finally seeing some light at the end of this dark path.
I've gone from 4 years of the Rhett Butler attitude of, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," to the anti-Rhett feelings of "But I give a damn, a lot of damn, dammit!!" My brain is slowly getting used to the synaptic saddle and not bucking quite so much. I do have my moments, though. I'll cry because I've created this whole scenario that my family treats me like a second hand citizen, some nasty stuff they've scraped off the bottom of their shoes, etc. I'm the chopped liver, indentured monkey girl who is omitted from certain family activities because my name never comes up. So I have to adjust to these truths and just allow them to roll off, after all, life is too short and it's their loss...I'm fun to be around!! But my mother has this thing about her sons...they friggin' walk on water, their stuff don't stink and they can do no wrong, but if they do, oh well, they're still her little baby boys....plplplplplpl!!!!! What's that old say, "A son is a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life!" Who came up with that one, someone's son??!!!??
My daughter began reading "The Alchemist," last week and the title sounded familiar, so I looked it up and it hit me, I've read that book back in the late 80's. Surprisingly, I was still reading some fiction since two years after my son, Ian, was born, I began searching and seeking anything written that described my son's behavioral traits. That book represented a time when I was not only searching for answers, but trying to figure out who and why!! It was escapism 101, however, the truth always lay right there in front of me...this beautiful broken child and how to fix him. I gave birth to him on Sept. 23, 1985. My pregnancy was pretty much uneventful for the exception of having the flu with morning and sometime, all day sickness the first trimester. I figured I was having another boy since the last time I felt like that was in 1975-76 with my first pregnancy.my son Joel. Only a man could make you feel that miserable!! Just like the other two, my little one, after being a week late, (the first was almost 2 weeks late...told the army doc that if he didn't induce this baby, I was going home and sit on a coat hanger...induced two days later and my daughter was 2 weeks late...all born in Sept) was in a big hurry to come into this world after much walking on the ward and mega doses of pitocin, so there was no time for an epidural...felt every inch and pound of him...ya sissies!!! Actually, I had every intention of having pain-free births with all 3 of them, but just didn't happen. Within 24 hours of bringing him home from the hospital, I felt something was different. I couldn't quite place the feeling as being good or bad...it was a very gray area and I had never had that feeling before, so it was difficult to define it.
When he turned 9 months, I then admitted to God and the world that our little piece of immortality was imperfect. Nothing was actually done till he was almost 4 years old. Won't go into the constant battles I had with his father about finding answers and help or any type of treatment since this was very new to the medical community and only one doctor at the time, specialize in it here. He finally gave in but told me I was on my own, he would not support me in any decisions, so I went forward at warp speed. Ian entered an early childhood program in our school district but he was just too much, the kid was a perpetual motion machine and his tantrums were widely known at that school. It was the teachers aide that actually knew of this doctor, so I made the appointment, sent in the filled 20 page questionnaire and had a list of my own questions. He turned out to be a wonderful doc and very supportive in helping Ian attain a certain level of quality of life. I attended all the ARD's which were meetings to set up his next years goals and to mark off the ones he had already achieved for that school year. There was a diagnostician, OPT, occupational physical therapist, principal or asst. principal and the teacher/teachers.
The one ARD that was the turning point for his father and me, was at age 6. As usual, I attended alone and we went through all the information. I recall the diagnostician, who had a royal broom shoved up where the sun don't shine, began giving me the results of his test...he was supposed to know where one bought postal stamps...the post office...he answered the grocery store...marked wrong! I asked her if she ever thought of waiting in a line at the post office with a child who was literally climbing on tables, walls, and throwing tantrums...the asst. principal told her to give him a go on that answer. The other was, where do you go get books...he told her the book store...again, could she tolerate same child in a library....Nooooo!!!! Again, she marked it right. Without knowing it, I realized I had adjusted my life to not the norm but my norm...never thought about it till then. The next person up was the therapist. She began reading from her forms using the therapist/teacher speak...I asked her to speak English please, she then looked up with these sad eyes and said Ian had a form of non-progressive brain damage!!!!! All I heard was "BRAIN DAMAGE!" All of a sudden the room became dim and I heard this loud humming sound, like a generator. I was being pulled back to someplace very dark, beyond dark. Then all was quiet. Out of nowhere a voice, can't describe it, but this peaceful voice told me we would be alright...Ian and I would be fine. I then realized I had taken a trip and never left the asst. principals office...kind of like an acid trip, so I've read!!!!!!!! Where did this voice come from and where in the hell was I when I heard it??
I came home feeling even worse, the old guilt thing began to gurgle up again. Many women who have children with disabilities have this horrific guilt...after all, the ball was in our court for 9 months. I took my baby sitter home who just happened to be my best buddy's daughter, Michele. As she was getting out of the car, she asked me if I needed to talk to her mother because she could see I had been crying, but I told her I would call later on in the week. I returned home and when the now ex came into the house, he informed me he had to cancel the following days appointments since some old fart in his lodge had died and he was in charge of those matters. It was lighting a HU-EG Roman candle! I laid into him about how his excuses for not attending the ARD's were a load of caca (another word was used, but you get the idea) and this caca about the meetings interfering with his appointment, he's a dentist, didn't give him ample time to reschedule...he couldn't reschedule two weeks prior to the meeting??????!!!!??? I told him I set up another appointment for him with these people at the school for the following day and I didn't want to hear about it...dead fart on not!! He was to go at 12:30 during THEIR lunch hour and be a father and be part of the decision making process. It was then that I found my voice for my little guy and by golly, I wasn't about to shut up or take it anymore from no one!!! I guess that's what that voice was intinating about all being ok.
I had become a "we" for the time we were together. After we split up, I was once more an "I" but at that point I didn't need his input or want it. So I now wonder why I needed an antidepressant when I went though this and my separation and divorce with out any kind of chemical intervention. I did discover that vodka and lemon flavoured kool-ade was not a bad mix at all during my separation and my friends became life savers, both new and old. I had a whole new perception on relationships which guided me, whether I was looking or not (not) to find the most wonderful man I've ever met. A man who accepted me with all my craziness, dysfunctional children, especially a very challenging child to learn to love, nutty family, friends and my out- there attitude since I also discovered "me" on this journey and I liked who I was all along, I just lost her for about 25 years except when I was with friends, then she reappeared...that's why the ex didn't like my choice of friends!!! LOL My sister once said the one thing that attracts a person to another is the very thing they want to change after marriage. So true for many, but not in my relationship...not this one anyway.
Well, need to get ready to go out and pick up my two little guys, Ryan and Zachary, from their father. They will be heading back home to Austin this weekend and I want to spend some more time before they're off. Peace out.