Thursday, July 29, 2010

feeling overwhelmed

I feel like such a crybaby. All I do is complain, complain, complain. But I'm not happy and I don't know how to get happy. I don't know how to take charge of my life.  When I think I am getting close to having even just a bit of control something happens and the rug gets pulled out from underneath me. And I'm left stumbling around trying to make sense of what occurred and why.

My neighbor said I look so tired and stressed.  I wanted to add miserable to the equation. Yesterday was a day from hell. I was so angry and still that anger lingered this morning. I kept thinking about apologies. They are easy to doll out but not so easy to be sincere.  And then there are those apologies which aren't really even apologies.  Apologies without accepting any responsibility for the diss that needs to be apologized for. "I'm sorry you are feeling so..."  How about the notion that the reason I am feeling so... is because of what you did.  It could be "I'm so sorry I was insensitive, or thoughtless, etc. and I left you feeling so..."

Blah, blah, blah.  I bore myself with all this nitpicky bullshit.  I think I'm still angry.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fuck this shit

I was so fucking angry this afternoon.  As I threw my cellphone against the floor, I screamed FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU, over and over again, sobbing and raging -- emotionally destroyed.

I am so fucking tired of being treated like shit. Once you allow yourself to be treated like shit, you attract shit -- all kinds of shit -- from your children, or your so-called friends, even from your lover. I'm like a dog who wriggles around around in shit, smearing that shit all over its body, absorbing that putrid shit odor.  I'm a walking advertisement -- I like shit so please shit all over me...treat me like shit and I'll keep coming back for more shit.

But I'm done being shit. I'm going to disinfect myself and anyone who tries to shit on me or treat me like shit is not going to be in my life anymore. I don't need shit. I don't want to dream about shit anymore either.

No more shit.

Fuck that shit.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It isn't numbness anymore

This afternoon was tough. Every day has escalated my emotional suffering and I kept wishing something would break. Today something broke - me. Work was wretched -- it took me half a day to recuperate from the pill I took last night. Yes, I slept - fitfully at best - but not so sure it was worth the morning sluggishness. At 3:30 I walked down to my car, unlocked the door and climbed into the driver's seat. I couldn't bring myself to start the car. I just sat back and closed my eyes. It only took seconds before I drifted into semi-consciousness. I was thinking about my son's abuse by three teenagers and how I failed to recognize it or protect him. Looking back I can understand all his behaviors -- back then, not at all. And now he hates me - I didn't save him. I started to cry.

Seconds later I had this flood of imagery flash into the darkness of my closed eyes.  And what I was seeing was my own sexual abuse. I had these weird rushes through my body and I thought I was going to vomit. It was surreal and scary and my body started to tremble and stiffen. I couldn't stop crying. I forced my eyes open to stop the visions and tried to catch my breath. I was paralyzed and it felt like hours went by before I could move again. It was actually only minutes.

I had to go to work at my second job. I tried to suck it up and started the car but on the drive north, the tears flowed and my stomach twisted.

I'm too tired again tonight. I think tomorrow I will call Dr. B because I have no idea how to process this.

I texted my love - he's on vacation -  texted back that he would call tonight or tomorrow. But I'm going to bed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

let me just keep beating a dead horse

He hasn't turned on his phone...he's still keeping communication off limits. Perhaps he is screaming in the desert and seeking clarity in our relationship. Or maybe he's just off someplace with friends and family and doesn't want to be disturbed. Does it really matter? Unfortunately, yes. I wanted to speak to him today but no message, email or text will reach him so why bother.

I took a sleep aid tonight. I broke down at Dr. B's and then headed to meet with the woman-friend of my son. Oh, she's 50 not 44. She apologized for getting my son high. Told me all the reasons why before admitting that none of that was an excuse, just a reason. We talked for about 45 minutes.

I emoted enough for one day.

I try to be strong

Really I do know better than to try and call my love. When he is away or has time off or is doing anything other than working his drudge job, he doesn't often pick up when I call.  And now he's on vacation. So, I try not to call because the rejection is much too much to bear.  And I've been good to myself and haven't called.

But this morning I broke; I need to hear a loving voice. Not only did he not answer but his phone was not turned on, cutting off any chance of a communication. Of course, I asked him for his host's number which he promised he would give me but didn't. Not that I would call that number - it isn't a true emergency like a death or winning the lottery.

I got rejected. My stomach turned and got upset. Oh why DO I torment myself?

He's probably wandering around the desert taking photos (with no cell service).  There's that paranoia again and let's not forgot those abandonment and rejection issues kicking me in the gut.

weariness births paranoia

Unto thyself be true.  I guess I didn't heed those words of wisdom last night. I convinced myself that the waters had calmed and I was managing better...better than what is the question.  Better than if I was crushed by my fantasy cement mixer and lay clinging to life in a hospital bed broken and bandaged..

I didn't sleep. I tossed and turned, sat up, went to the bathroom, paced my floor, cried, laid back down, got up did it all again, over and over.  I rehashed every conversation I had with my son and with my love. These two are tied together and I'm sure it's over the abandonment issue but this will be discussed with Dr. B tonight.

I tried to make a survival plan...where to live, how to live, etc.

And then I got paranoid. Why did my love leave the "I" off of his emails. He wrote "love you" and "miss you". Those neurotic thoughts took me back a decade ago when I received a birthday card that just said "love you." I don't think he even signed his name and I knew why but again I chose to deceive myself. Oh, it all worked out in the end and I'm not really going to drive myself nuts over this.  It's just that sleeplessness and weariness bring on paranoia.

I called my son's woman friend. I am going to stop by her house for a chat after therapy. I want to know why she was getting high with my 18 year old son and what she wants from him.  A 44 year old woman with an 18 year old -- too creepy for me.  My older son said it's either a partner to get high with or sex. My sister said maybe she wants to try to be a  mother to someone her son's age because she failed so miserably with her own.  I just don't know but I am going to try to remain calm and centered when we speak later.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

the waters have calmed

The cove waters were still tonight which was unusual because the river was very choppy. But as the waves passed through the rocks into the moonlit cove, they quieted.  That is what I am experiencing.  As the turmoil is being processed and the hysteria waning, I feel calmer. Oh, I don't feel particularly calm or together but I'm not the same distraught woman I was earlier this morning.

I'm depressed and overwhelmed and sad.  My heart aches. And my love is not staying in touch like he promised. Maybe it's more like he's not staying in touch the way I would like him to. He is on vacation afterall (it's the without me that wounds).

Promises can be made so easily but keeping them almost never proves to be easy. How do you trust when you don't believe and how do you believe when you don't trust?

Transition time!

A night's passing did not quell my anxieties about what comes next in my life. I should be able to pay August's rent but after that only time will tell. I have a few ideas which may keep me housed for another month or so but I will be moving and sooner rather than later.

So what does that mean for me and my love? Do I pack up all of my stuff, collected over 14 years of living in one place, and find an interim place with the hopes that he will figure out what he wants.  Or do I just say, my darling (me), take care of yourself and look for employment and housing where you want to be.  Whatever will be, will be.

I have to admit it terrifies me just a bit. All I have ever said since I moved here and divorced my second husband was that I wanted to move away.  All kinds of circumstance prohibited that move - mainly my son. I was court ordered to stay here so he could be with his father. What a mistake the courts made with that decision.

So, now I'm free and terrified of what that freedom may bring.  I don't want inertia to keep me rotting in this life.  Please find the courage to move onward and upward.  I need now, more than ever, to pull myself up over that mattress top and into another world and life.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

abandonment and betrayal

I just might explode; better yet I think I will implode and just dissolve into tiny bits of dusty bone and hair. I was driving earlier today to pick up a new litter box and cat litter and it dawned on me that what I am feeling that is so intensely painful and hurtful is abandonment. Again, damn it. I would say it was the original sin of my family, physical and emotional abandonment, but I think those were symptoms of something bigger and more hurtful.

My son is abandoning me. I don't have an issue with him wanting to grow up and move out but he is doing it in a most hateful and disturbing way.  I try not to think about all that I have done for him - because I am, after all, his mother, and that's what mom's do.  But I was the one and only consistent person in his life who was there for him through all his traumas and self-destructive behaviors. And now he has decided that I did nothing for him but made his life hell.  I feel betrayed - is that right? He's going to move elsewhere and get his life together to prove that he doesn't need me or want me and that getting away from me is the best thing he can do for himself. Maybe it's all true. Maybe I just sucked as a mother but I don't think so.

He's not grown up and he's not behaving like a mature adult. I fear that when things don't go his way at his father's, he will look to come back here.  But it's not going to happen and I tried to make that very clear to him. Of course, in his eyes right now, it's not even an option.  I need to talk to Dr. B - thank goodness tomorrow is therapy.

And then I think about my love and how he's kind of abandoned me too, not fully, but enough to cause me harm and a great deal of hurt. I don't understand.

I need to understand what I have done to deserve this. I really believe I'm a good person, a caring person, a person with a lot of empathy and compassion. Surely that doesn't relegate me to doormat status.

it's worse than I imagine

My son called and laid out his plan. He's moving out as soon as he gets back and going to live with his father. This is fine but it leaves me $600 short in living expenses. This will be tough but I'll make it work somehow.  I couldn't speak to him - I listened and then hung up. I called his father to make sure he understood that if our son went to live with him, he couldn't change his mind in a week and send him back here. He isn't welcome. In the course of my conversation with this not-so-insane-sounding man anymore (but in reality still insane and very delusional), I burst into tears. I couldn't stop and he heard me and was empathetic and told me not to take to heart what our son says.

He's the last man on earth that I want offering me consolation. Fuck him.

He is the root of all my son's issues.

Feeling the blues

I think I have gotten caught up in the grips of depression. I finally succumbed and lost the battle, for the moment anyway.

My boy has no respect for me. My lover has fled town. My daughter is lost. I don't make enough money to survive. My insane ex-husband is delusional and wants to be friends. My little dog has a yeast infection in his ear from swimming in the river. And it so freaking hot and humid I don't want to do anything at all.

I cried on and off all night long. My anxiety skyrocketed and I didn't sleep well.  Had crazy dreams which thankfully I don't remember anymore. I keep telling myself that it is all going to be okay. I make promises to myself that it will work out for the best; everything will.

I hope.

Friday, July 23, 2010

As I thought, short-lived

It wasn't technically a lie but he tried again to con me and then got angry when I disagreed. The conversation was painful and hurtful and in the end he told me he had no respect for me. "You wanted the truth, right?" He can be so cold and cruel just like his father. I fought so hard to show him something different but I didn't succeed. Hopefully the future will allow time for someone more human and kind to develop.

I hung up the phone and just collapsed on the floor and sobbed uncontrollably. It was probably a lifetime of hurt released in one monumental cry. I forfeited my future with my love to raise this child. I didn't give birth to the love child I deserved. No one held a gun to my head...I love my son and I brought him into this world. And he hates me.

I don't want to see him or talk to him. I don't want him around me or living with me.

I need to calm and heal and he needs to stop being a self-centered, selfish, disrespectful, spiteful, lying, entitled teenager.  I really want to call him a shithead.

But that wouldn't be motherly.

It depresses me. I'm tired of being a mother to a bastard.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another apology, another lie?

I prayed that my son would miraculously heal from his emotional scars, stop abusing drugs and his mother, and do all the right things. But that hasn't happened. Yesterday and today he told me a pack of lies then got angry with me. I want to be with my family and you're not my family - just my mother. 'Just my mother' became a damning, scornful insult meant to cut right through to the heart. He's hurt me enough. I am not letting anyone hurt me anymore. Enough is enough. He can't come home and he won't bully me into letting him do whatever he demands. I phoned his half-sister on his father's side. Please...I need you to take your brother. He's abusive to me and I can't handle it any more. I was on the verge of tears and she heard it in my voice. Yes, yes, I will. I'll call him tomorrow.  We'll see how she handles him.  Right now, I don't like him and I don't want him home.

My love is leaving very early tomorrow morning to the southwest. He promised he would spend time trying to sort out all the emotions that swirl around our relationship. I struggle not to have doubts. He promised to send me his itinerary and phone number but has done neither. I struggle not to have doubts.

My son just called to tell me that his 44 year woman friend told him to stop being so selfish and stay put for another couple of weeks. Later in the conversation he confessed that he and this woman got high together but now they were going to support each other's sobriety. Yippee!

Why, I asked him, do you trust a drug addict and alcoholic and not me? He provided no answer. I asked where she lived - I would like to chat with this woman. He told me but asked me to wait until he contacted her first. I said I would wait to hear from him.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I got depressed tonight...

I felt empowered when first reflecting on my dream. I knew there was some heavy symbolism but I chose to focus on the outcome. As the day wore on and my inner strength waned, I gave more thought to the symbolism. I compared my life to WWII - that says enough in itself. But even more disturbing is the imagery of me hanging on to the mattress, spead-eagle on my belly, searching for the strength to extricate myself and find safety. Mattress-sex; my backside exposed. What my dreams allude to haunt me.

So much so that tonight I feel very down in the dumps.  I'm trying to hold on to the feeling of the superhuman strength I tapped into to pull myself free.  That IS what it has taken to unshackle the hold my past has had on me. No wonder I cry so much.

the mattress almost foiled my escape

Busy dreaming last night - at least I know I slept. The weather is a tad cooler; the mind a little less cluttered and anxious.

World War II and there was this crazy escape scene - I can only vaguely remember, no details until the end. I had survived all types of attacks and encounters and was scaling a very steep cliff -- the last obstacle to my safety. Gripping roots and cracks in the rock, I was almost to the top, within inches, when the rock wall turned into a mattress and I started to slip. There was nothing to grab onto. Somehow I was able to reach around behind the mattress and grab hold of something. I was in this awkward position spread out vertically on my stomach over the mattress, unable to move.  Finally I garnered enough strength to wrap my fingers around the top of the mattress and I just hung there, too weak to pull myself up; too frightened to let go. I was in a total sweat and on the verge of panic and tears when I was overtaken by this surge of strength and determination and I hauled myself up over the top of the mattress and into safety. I just rolled over on my back breathing a huge sigh of relief and laughed. I had done it - made my escape - and no harm could come to me.

Phew.  What a dream!

Monday, July 19, 2010

the rumbling thunder calms me

Dark, swollen clouds approach quickly, thunder bursts grow fiercer, humidity increases beyond unbearable. Just rain, already. The dog and I headed to the river.  The winds kicked up bending the tree tops sideways and roughing up the waves turning them into mini whitecaps. Lighting was doing a dangerous dance across a very black sky just north of us.  The unchoreographed sun rays peeking in and out of the gray skies cast eerie shadows across the river's surface. It's quite beautiful and oddly enticing. The little pup, however, was terrified so we turned back and headed to the safety of the car. Sometimes this weather is just what I need - it's threatening yet exciting. It distracts me from my tears.

I need to vent or I'll cry...

Oh, dear, I can barely hold back my tears. My love just confirmed that he is definitely going on his trip and suddenly, I'm a mess. It's such an old familiar feeling and one that I dislike very much.

I am happy for him - he needs this time to recharge, to be with friends, to take pictures.

But it is so unfair. My hurt interferes with my feelings of joy and love and support for him. I want him to be happy and have great things in his life but not necessarily at my expense - my hurt feelings. It's such a familiar situation -- all my life. I get to take the backseat and I almost always do.

Who can I blame but myself?

The flip side - again, I get left out. Again, I am invisible. Again, he has time for others and no time for me. I feel so unbelievably hurt that he can find time for others but rarely does he want to find time for me. And that's the rub - how do you love someone and not want to be with them? Oh, god, I just want to cry out like a wounded animal but it wouldn't be such a good thing at work. I keep waiting for things to change as the years trickle by.  I suppose I roll with the punches because it's not always this way and when it's not, it's wonderful.  But, why then, does it have to turn back to this? For whatever reason on some subconscious level, I have deemed myself unworthy and that's the position I fall into. Later for you...

I have changed and grown in so many ways but this one. For some reason I am not able to stand up for myself. I swallow down the hurt (oh, I mention it or cry over but it doesn't make much difference).

And I stay invisible.

HEY EVERYONE -- I'M HERE AND I MATTER!!!


anticipation of things to come

I just read this:

Everything feels just a little too exciting
Like the exciting rise of dawn on execution day
It conjures up images that work for me today...

of birth and death,

of blessing and horror

of one life ending and a new one emerging

It's 1:42 a.m.

and all those creepy, insidious thoughts that paralyze me in a sleepless state are converging in my mind. I'm so tired and weary, always.

I just sit on the edge of my bed and cry (and sweat). It's oppressively hot again and although I have the air conditioner now, it just doesn't chill the hot flashes or anxiety. Tonight I cry over my love.  We are taking separate vacations, which is no big deal. We need to take time apart to look inside ourselves and try to understand what it really is that we want with each other. Love is not an issue - it's everything else that comes with loving someone. Sometimes it's just so complicated that it borders on impossible to sort out. But do we need to sort it out?  We do.

He's going to a place that I recently learned to love (in the last decade or so).  It's a place that I have shared with him some of my most intimate and silent emotions. It's a place that I began my journey to healing. It was a long time coming but there were moments that touched my soul out there that have never left me. They unalterably changed me. Heck, they changed my beliefs and opened me up to a new world. It's a geography that holds us together forever in my heart.  He's going without me. I've gone back without him. I understand his need to be there - it pulls him and nutures him and helps him get grounded again. We all need that.

One day we will get back there, together. I do hope so.

No more tears tonight.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

sadness is me tonight

I just want to cry tonight. It's been an exhaustive day emotionally, and quite frankly, I need a day that is devoid of emotional hotspots. My fingers ache. My heart aches.

I made reservations to head west in two weeks. I'm going alone - a well needed and deserved break. My love is heading somewhere as well - alone for a well needed and deserved rest. It's too bad we can't find a way to be together. Hopefully next time.

He said he wanted to kill my parents for what they did.  "They took a beautiful flower and threw it away." It could have been caught up by a gentle breeze and returned to earth in a green pasture of rolling hills, quaking aspens, and maybe even a babbling brook, where it would take root, bask in the glorious sunshine and grow and multiply and blossom every spring for generations to come. 

But no, that didn't happen. I landed in the shit and have been slogging my way out of it for more than four decades.  I think I'll go with the fantasy.

It makes me sad.

Friday, July 16, 2010

my darling mother, again

She never ceases to undermine me and hurt me with her comments. 

Last week when my son first went into the hospital we were having a conversation about his prognosis and she said, with the utmost seriousness laced with sarcasm, "Aren't you happy you had three children?" I didn't know how to respond. Perhaps my retort should have been, "Well, aren't you glad you had five?"  But she thinks we are all perfect, excluding me.  "I love my children." I was defensive. Yes, they are troubled but I brought them into this world and I adore them and I believe in them and their ability to heal.  I admitted that I could have chosen better in the father department but what was done was done. I can't change it now.

Our chat turned to genetics and I was relating a conversation I had with my daughter about checking your potential mate's genetic makeup - is there alcoholism in the family? mental illness? substance abuse? physical abuse? sexual abuse? If so, tread cautiously because you may just be creating a baby that will face a life filled with adversity.

Mom said, "Well, I didn't have to worry about that - your father and I have good genes." I laughed. Dad was an alcoholic. Okay, a working - earning a good salary drunk and he was abusive, physically and emotionally. And what about that wicked temper? "Oh, that was nothing, really. What harm did he cause?" I couldn't continue - it was futile and a waste of my time and it was agitating me big time!

A few days later she called and I was retelling the story about her cousins that I had just learned. She stopped me in mid-story, "Now you see, there were intellectual genes on your father's side and wealthy industrialist genes on my side.  Not that you got either of them."  Gee, thanks mom.  Surprisingly she felt my silence and offered up this consolation - "well, I don't have the genes either."  Even better - I'm dumb and poor and just like my mother, although she doesn't consider herself dumb or poor. Maybe it WAS a compliment.

Nah.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the similarities are eerie

I learned a little more about what was going on with my son and it isn't good. The similarities to my life at that age are creepy.

We were both angry, depressed, afraid, lonely and immature.  That's the beginning but what teenager isn't feeling some of that?  It's a time of transition and growing up and out into the world.  The difference is that for my son and me the issues were fed by childhood sexual abuse and trauma.

I stopped going to school in the 10th grade; not completely, but I rarely went and in my senior got sick and was hospitalized so I missed 3 months of school.  My son missed a lot of school in his senior year, putting himself at risk of not graduating. It came right down to the wire before he pulled through. I did the same thing. He got really depressed. I got really depressed - the reasons are different. He stopped his meds; I wasn't on them. We both found salvation in some form of crystal meth-like drug - speed. My son told me it picked him up, made him feel good -- for a while, until the addiction grabbed him and turned him into an even angrier, more hateful young man.  I involved myself with an angry, hateful, fire-breathing, demented, drug abusing lunatic (and married him). We both drank too much.

And I don't want to forget the sexual predators. I had men, older men, preying on me. My son has women - 40 something year olds. I don't understand. It's all about power and control. It must really feel powerful to control young, lost souls.

Now to the main difference - my son has a mother who loves him and cares about what's going on. I didn't. He wound up in the hospital; I wound up 1200 miles away in a hospital with sun poisoning (a speed-induced road trip in a convertible). The rest was a nightmare. My son is hopefully recuperating and finding a better way to cope.  I am, as well, only decades later.

He doesn't think I understand but I do...only too well.  I wish I didn't.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

another trifecta

I saw Dr. B tonight. After story time (my last week), I cried, "What hurts so much is that I have these three children, all of whom have been abused and traumatized. I tried, I really tried to protect them and provide a good life."  Well, I failed.

"You've been abused - physically, emotionally [and abandoned], and we are pretty certain from your dreams that there was sexual abuse as well."  There it is again, the trifecta -- physical, sexual and emotional abuse -- and I have passed that legacy on to all my children.  "Unfortunately when you have been abused like you have, you do not have the ability to protect your children. It sucks." Thanks, Dr. B.  "But it's not your fault."

How do you stop it?  Convince my children of the importance of therapy and healing...before they are grownups...before they have children of their own who they can't protect...before they pass the legacy on to another generation.

That's my goal.  My youngest got out of the hospital this afternoon.  I put him on a 8:30 pm bus heading south. He was very subdued.

I'm very tired. It was too humid last night for a decent sleep.

Monday, July 12, 2010

same place, next generation, & almost two decades gone by

I'm not feeling so flip today. I visited my son yesterday in Unit A2 of the psych ward. We met in a very light and sunny day room; sat on the window sill and talked. He wants to go home - NOW. I shrugged my shoulders - I don't really care what he wants. And he surely doesn't care what I want. But that's not true - I do care very much. But I am tired of caring and tired of getting mistreated, abused, and lied to.

The trip to the behavioral health unit was a little too reminiscent for me.  I stepped off the elevator and I remember many years ago stepping off the same elevator on the exact same floor - only this time I hung a left down the hall. How many times I came to this floor crying or sleepless or hyper or depressed or anxious or just feeling totally insane and out of control. Rocky...save me, please.  We mixed and matched drugs, week after week, day after day. Sometimes I saw him three times a week. He was convenient - right next door to work.

There were days when I sat in his office, silent, looking totally disheveled - hair a mess, eyeballs popping out of my head, sallow blemished complexion. Rocky always wanted to "see" me because I almost always told him I was fine. It took me years to say otherwise.  Sometimes I would tell him my dreams or about my panic attacks and he would invariably ask me, "Were you ever sexually abused as a child?" I was adamant - NO way. I didn't remember, really, but I just knew it couldn't be.  Rocky didn't agree but he didn't pressure me.  He did ask me though, again and again. He wasn't the only doctor or therapist who asked me if I was abused. My answer - always a resounding NO. What a fool was I.

So, now I am facing my son in the A2 ward of the same hospital with childhood sexual abuse issues. He would rather snort adderal than deal with the abuse. He needs to deal with abuse. He is going to be discharged tomorrow and his plan is to catch the bus south and stay with his brother. Not so sure that's the best laid plan but he isn't giving me much of a choice. Play hard ball - tough love. Tell him no ticket. Tell he needs to be in a substance abuse inpatient program. But I don't want him living with me - he's verbally abusive to me and I can't take it any more.  I'm trying to look out for him but I also need to save, no spare, my soul.

I'm exhausted again tonight. Last night it was just too darn hot and humid to sleep. Maybe it's a tad less humid tonight.  We'll see how I do. Hot flashes don't help.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

lions and tigers and bears

Oh my!

Substance abuse and mental illness and trauma,

OH SHIT!

It's the TRIFECTA! Good luck with life...

The therapist said today that my son has three strikes against him -- well, three major things that will make life more difficult for him. Sadly, it is already having devastating effects.

My gift to him -- bad genes (addiction and mental illness) and that lovely legacy of trauma that I have passed on to all my children.  At least he spoke to the therapist about his childhood sexual abuse. It's beyond sickening.  He wants to come home tomorrow -- his 72 hour extensive observation period will end tomorrow night. I don't know what will happen next.

I gleaned an interesting fact listening to the social worker today. She said if you abuse drugs in your adolescence, you stunt your emotional growth at that age. So, my son for instance probably has the emotional development of a 14-15 year old - probably why his best friend is 14.  My emotions would have stagnated at a slightly younger age.  No wonder life was so traumatic and it was so difficult to advocate for or protect myself.  I was a child, always.

Children of my generation rarely confronted an adult -- we ran away or escaped with drugs.

let the dream fill the emptiness

I dreamed about my love last night. I really do miss him. I think about calling or emailing him hundreds of times a day (very slight exaggeration) but when I sit down to write, I stop myself. Do I really want to share my misery? Yes and no. Just hold me for a few minutes and don't ask, don't judge, and don't feel sorry for me. And then if I need you to listen, please offer an ear. But I promised him space to do his own  healing and I must respect his needs and not unburden my troubles on him.  I do have friends and family who have been extremely supportive through this ordeal with my son.

It was a lovely dream. I think I will hold those feelings close to my heart for now.

Friday, July 09, 2010

and so it goes

I came home, called the hospital and spoke to the psychiatrist.  She wants me to participate in a family therapy session tomorrow afternoon. Of course. She also suggested I visit him and expressed dismay that I thought he didn't want me around. I picked up a meal at McDonalds, grabbed some clean clothes for him and headed to the psychiatric ER (he's still there and not on the upper hospital floors with the real crazies). He said he wants to stay in the hospital for two weeks.  He's got a plan but I'm not sure what it is.

He was civil - not happy to see me though. He wolfed down the food then ate his dinner (meatloaf and mashed potatoes and fresh green beans). I met his roommate - a man in his 40s with bi-polar disorder and a dug/alcohol abuse problem. He was hoping to go to rehab. I only stayed 25 minutes - he wanted me to leave so I did. He also gave me a note to give to the narcissist who upset him so. It was an apology and it was not easy to turn over but I promised.

I am totally exhausted and I think that maybe tonight I will be able to sleep. I know that my son is safe - the first time in weeks. It's been an emotionally traumatic couple of days. If it weren't so darn hot, I could probably sleep for days.

I ...

just don't know anymore why...

but really I do.

I feel so helpless

I don't know what to do.

Last night they carted my son off to the psychiatric ward of the medical center in an ambulance surrounded by state troopers.  He ended up going willingly but it was not without battle and police and an injection to calm him.  The atavans they had given him did not work. The doctor at the local hospital where my daughter took him tried to reassure us that it was probably not a psychotic "break" which happens typically to boys his age.

My son wouldn't see me. As a matter of fact it was my presence at the hospital that sent him off the deep end. I don't know what I did to trigger such hatred but it surely does hurt. I'm sitting here in a sort of detached dream (nightmare) state trying not to cry over the situation, remembering what a sweet little boy he could be but also remembering what a troubled and hurt child he was. I never could save him. Now look where we are. Lord knows how hard I tried to make a difference.

He's 18 and the hospital refused to give me any information about him. They will not even confirm if he's there but I know the he is.  I asked my sister to go to the hospital to see if she could find anything out.  She waited in the parking lot until visiting hours at noon and then, with my daughter, went in to see him.  He said he will not sign for me or anyone to know what is going on with him.  It was his business and his only and he would take care of himself. It is something he needs to do by himself. My sister informed me that I had no choice but to agree. He's not on the main ward yet and is being held in the psychiatric ER for three days.  After that, I don't know but he was adamant he's not coming back home.

I feel so incredibly sad. It's a little hard to function (oh shit, they I go minimizing again).

And I'm afraid to tell the LOML any of this because he will fall off the planet too.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

I keep thinking it can't get worse

But why tempt fate - it always can and often does.

I questioned the "fresh start" with my son for good reason.  I didn't want to feel so pessimistic but I'm not so naive and last night, in the soupy hot and humid night air, I slept in the front driver's seat of my car in the hospital ER parking lot.  Why? Because I got a phone call at 3 a.m. from a young woman who said, "Um, um, I have bad news about your son." I didn't say anything and waited. My heart didn't beat. "Um, here, talk to my friend." And a young man got on the phone and proceeded to explain to me that he believed that my son was going through narcotic withdrawal. The police had been called and an ambulance and they took him to the medical center.

I got dressed and dragged my weary self down to the ER (a 20 minute drive). There was my son laying on the gurney, wrapped in a white cotton hospital blanket, IV in his arm, and an oxygen mask over his mouth to calm his panic. He was drenched in sweat. He was angry at me and asked me why I came. I wasn't in the mood to argue. Why? Because I'm your freaking mother, that's why. Do you think I want to be here? I told him I was concerned and worried and he rolled over on his side, back to me, and pretended I wasn't there.  The residents came in and asked what drugs he had done - my son asked me to leave and I did.

After a few minutes I was allowed back into the room and I fell into the chair exhausted and watched (and listened to) my son twitch and tremble and sweat and choke. Painful.  I turned the lights off and watched him fall into a deep sleep.  They had given him atavan to calm him. It worked.  I slipped out of the room and walked out to the parking lot to my car. It was 4:15 and there were only 4 cars in the lot. Unlocked the door, rolled down a few windows, put my seat back and fell right to sleep. I woke up 30 minutes later drenched in sweat. It was still oppressively hot and humid. I rolled the windows down further and slept again until 6:00 a.m.  The temperature had finally dropped a little.  I walked back in and asked if I could bring my son home. His bloodwork came back fine (I don't know what that meant) and he was released.  We drove home in silence and he went straight to his room to bed. I took a shower and went to work.

Tonight he's back in the hospital. He had a total meltdown earlier this evening. He broke the phone and ran out of the house screaming. My daughter jumped in her car and went to find him.  She's now at the hospital with him.

I don't take responsibility for his poor choices but I did introduce him to a woman who turned out to be venomous to my son.  When it comes right down to it, narcissists make really lousy friends.

I need to rethink this a little.

I'm numb.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

triggers

It is curious what sends me to the threshold of a panic attack. At first blush it would appear that it is anything that is beyond my control but that's not quite true.  I think it's some inbred fear that I am inadequate - I can't do it by myself.  Thus the irrational fear of being alone. 

It reached a record 100 degrees today. I heard it over and over on the news while I sat in my air conditioned office. I wasn't in any hurry to head home knowing that I have no air conditioning. And every time I thought about the excessive heat, I felt the stirrings of a panic attack. How was I ever going to survive the oppressive heat?  So I continued to work later and later hoping that the weather would magically drop 20 degrees before I left. No such luck, however.

As I left my building and walked out into the world of bright sunshine and high temps, I felt a suffocating pain in my chest. It really wasn't that uncomfortable - more so in my mind than what I felt in my body. But was that true? Maybe I was just detaching so I didn't recognize the miserable state I was in. I hopped into my car and immediately put the A/C on full blast.  Phew, I could breathe again and if necessary, I would go out in the middle of the night and drive with the A/C on.  There, problem solved except it wouldn't allow me to sleep.

I arrived home and walked upstairs to my apartment. It was hot; it was not unbearable.  I was going to survive no matter how hot and sweaty and uncomfortable I became.  And I am all of those things.  I have two fans blowing the hot air all around my bedroom.

Lots of things trigger me lately or maybe I'm just more aware. The shopping trip triggered potential panic on Saturday. Loneliness triggered Sunday's panic and today; it was fear of the extreme heat (according to the panic-mongering weathermen), and the biggest trigger of them all -- the separation from the LOML -- didn't result in panic.  I need to have more faith in my ability to cope.

I am  healing. I just have to learn to trust in my healing and stop fighting myself.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Holidays are not for the lonely

or for those working in retail. Holidays torture single people and lonely people and disconnected people.

But me? I had two invitations today for BBQs and parties but I declined. I get tired of being the third or fifth or eleventh wheel...not to mention the invites came from those friends whose friendship I question.

As my daughter and son were getting it together to head out for the night, I resisted the urge to plant a big fat "L" for loser on my forehead.  Alone again, naturally.  I dropped my daughter at the train, took a deep breath and returned home for an afternoon and evening of solitude. On the short drive home I made a vow to myself that I would never celebrate another holiday solo unless by choice. I don't even give a shit about the 4th but it sure seems like everyone else does.

The good news?  I had no problem being home alone. I savored the solitude and was very productive. There was no crushing loneliness or anxiety that the world would come to end leaving me the sole survivor. Geez, I sound neurotic.

I took the dog to the river for a sunset walk. The heat was still oppressive but the scenery was quite inspirational. Deep tones of golden yellow yielding to a fluorescent orange against a sky blue backdrop perfectly reflected in the stillness of the water. Silhouettes of geese leisurely drifting single file through the flame-colored waters. As I laid on the bench by the water's edge, I think I may have felt a moment of joy.

I believe there is definitely a difference between being alone and being lonely. This evening my aloneness was not lonely.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

It's not always what it appears to be

Why does a simple endeavor suddenly become something so monumental?  A 40 minute drive and the anticipation of a focused shopping trip left me emotionally fragile. It boggles my brain that I can slip into a mindset of such incompetency. My foot can't press the accelerator pedal to go over 45 mpg and I waver in the lane closest to edge of the bridge. My eyes want to close and I am so worried that I will miss my turnoff, get frustrated and lost.  It was really absurd because I knew exactly where I was going. I almost get too tired to think so there is no room left for error.

I did arrive at the Marketplace with no problems and parked my car in the orange lot, aisle L. Then I strolled through the store filling my cart with all types of items I didn't need.  Then I walked around again returning everything to where I got them. One more pass and I had the mirror I came for and a few inexpensive miscellaneous items. Check out and I was back in the parking lot. Only I couldn't find my car and I walked up and down every aisle looking for it - for 30 minutes at least - pushing my cart, trying to stay calm.  I did find it at last without crying or calling security.

There's a strength in my detachment - always has been.  It's what has kept me alive.  Feeling emotions can leave me feeling fragile and vulnerable - a perceived weakness. "Suck it up" is a family motto. In a strange way my detachment allowed a certain level of internal calmness and fortitude to exist despite the totally chaotic world in which I lived. It was all an illusion and it was detrimental, only I didn't know it.

the apology was necessary

Sometimes we need an apology before there can be a fresh start.

My son and I had a silent encounter before he left. I sensed he wanted to say something but I just wasn't able to look at him. My head was still reeling with betrayal and hurt from his caustic email.  I wasn't in the mood to be social so I locked myself up in my bedroom and played around in Photoshop (obvious in my other posts).

Around 11 pm the little darling called. "Um, never mind. I'm just walking around." Yeah, okay, what do you want. "Nothing, I'm going to go." Wait, what's wrong? A question I seem to ask everyone I know these days and there's always an answer.

He proceeded to tell me how he fucked up and how sorry he was. He was frightened and couldn't cope with everything that was coming his way - his father dying, school ending, looking for a job, etc. -- growing up. He knew he was behaving poorly. "I just want a fresh start...for me, for us." Much better than a death wish.

My gut is harboring my edginess. I want to feed the angst to calm it but isn't that what's got me in the middle of this weight problem in the first place?  I'm missing love and food isn't love.

I'm missing the LOML.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Smiles bring forth joy

Sitting outside on a warm summer afternoon enjoying the quiet - a few birds trilling and chirping, a slight breeze in the air. No one is home on this 4th of July weekend except maybe my angry son. His door was closed and I really didn't feel like knocking to see if he was home. I don't want to see him - he's mean and hurtful and cruel. I don't know what's gotten into him, he's more angry than normal, and when he does choose to communicate with me it's abusive and cruel.

I want to cry. I can't find joy. Maybe I don't seek joy; maybe it just happens. I am being crushed by unhappiness and it's not even my own unhappiness or maybe it's like that old adage of misery loves company. But I don't love misery. I don't even want it around me. I feel like it's been forever since I've seen someone I love smile.

I need someone to look at me, straight into my eyes, and smile - because they are feeling joy, because they are happy to see me.

I need to smile again, inside and out.

it wasn't what it was supposed to be

Is it desperation and loneliness that drives me to choose so poorly in the friendship realm? Because I sure can pick doozies for friends. Yesterday all I wanted to do was see the bird woman exhibit again in the city. I thought this was a simple journey on a absolutely gorgeous day. What could go wrong?

But, of course, alcohol, narcissistic behavior, miserable moods all interfered.  And the only one not bitching or complaining was me!  And I developed one gigantic blister on the bottom of my left foot with all that walking -- but I suffered in silence and took pictures.  No, I wasn't upset that my husband didn't buy me $1100 tickets to see Carole King and I wasn't puking on the side of the road from a hangover.

I did my best to ignore all the unpleasantries and spent an hour or more with the bird woman and her husband. I was totally enamored with their creativity, their life together, their love, their travels, their passion... It's how I have always envisioned the LOML and me.

Oh well.

That's seems to be what I say way too often....oh well.