Emotional Rollercoaster

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I know I’ve been MIA a bit…with my stepdaughter moving back in after her break up with her boyfriend and subsequent stay in the psych hospital, my life has been turned upside down again. I know this is the time I need to write the most, but I just haven’t even been able to pull myself together enough to do that. This is why I’m just trying to even drop this little note to get back in to it, even if only the first step. At least it serves as a reminder of what I need to do to keep sane through a time I can already feel myself sliding down a slippery slope, very quickly. As things start to settle in, I will make it a priority again to get back to writing here. It is essential for my well being. I haven’t even been able to express myself through my music, because the school year came to a culmination and I hadn’t even been able to get myself together enough to email everyone about scheduling, especially since I teach a decent amount out of my house, and my house has been a holy wreck for a month now due to my crazy end of the year recital stuff and my step daughter moving back in, which entails a whole ton of moving things around within our house to get a room ready for her again and moving a lot in to a storage unit. One big ball of chaos and in flux again. I just don’t know how much more of this life (style) I can handle. I’m tired of my life being shaken up by everyone else. It might be time for me to do some shaking of my own…

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Pedigrees

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“Don’t be afraid to lose what was never meant to be……things will never change, till you want them to.” -Matthew and Gunnar Nelson

I’m a total geek. I know. I still love this band. Even back in the day when they were mega popular, they still got ragged on hardcore. When I met my husband, he was calling them Woody and Boner. Still does. Probably hates them more now knowing how much I like them. Though I don’t even think he knows how much of a fan I am. I keep it more downlow with him because I hate hearing him make fun of them. Especially since I met them back in 2010 and found out exactly how amazingly nice they are. The day I met them was literally a dream coming true. I had a dream when I was 13 that I met them at an outdoor concert and was hanging out with them after the concert. When I went to the M3 Concert in 2010, which is a Festival type concert with a ton of bands, I had no clue I’d get to meet them in person. In fact, they had VIP passes that they sold for that festival that you had to purchase in order to meet the bands, but Nelson broke that rule and met everyone anyway, because that’s who they are. They even say it at their shows, that they aren’t just in the music business, they are in the connection business, because they love to meet their fans that much.

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I’ve posted this picture on some of my other blog posts too, but this whole article now is about them. This picture above was when I met them in 2010. Unfortunately the picture turned out blurry. The one on the left is Matthew and the one on the right is Gunnar, for anyone who actually cares. They actually took alot of time that day to talk to me. I was in celeb heaven so I don’t fully remember everything, but I know they actually talked to me more than I expected that day. I also bought a CD for them to sign.

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For anyone who doesn’t know who they are…..they are from a pedigree family. Their grandparents are Ozzie and Harriet’s who had a sitcom when tv was first invented. Their son and the twins dad was Ricky Nelson, who grew up acting on the Ozzie and Harriet Show and then broke in to the Music Business at 16 after singing on the show. Ozzie also had a Big Band as well, so he was also musical. Then Ricky married Kristin Harmon and had the twins who became a popular hair band right at the end of the hair band era with #1 billboard hits of “Love and Affection”, “After the Rain” and “Only Time will Tell”. They are in the Guiness Book of World Records as being the only 3 consecutive generational family to have #1 top hits on the billboard charts. Not only is that their heritage, but their sister is Tracey Nelson who has been on Broadway and was in the Father Dowling Mysteries TV Show, their Uncle (their mother’s brother) is Mark Harmon’s from NCIS and the movie Summer School and their Grandfather on their mothers side is Tom Harmon who was a football player and a Heismann Trophy recipient. They are from a top pedigree family alright. Talk about some genetic line there…..

So, after 8 years, I finally got the opportunity to get a new and clear picture with them last Thursday…..😁🤘

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This time they are in the reverse order, Gunnar on the left and Matthew on the right. This time I went to their Ricky Nelson Remembered Show where they put on a multi-media experience tribute show to their dad and play their dads songs (and a couple of their own). That was where I got my old piano sheet music signed by them which is the first picture at the top of the page. I brought all three of their top hits songs that I still had the sheet music of from back when I was younger and got them to sign it for me.

One of the coolest things happened today though. I had posted this picture of me with them on Twitter last week and they retweeted it (and it has been my most popular tweet ever, more retweets and likes than anything I’ve ever tweeted before!). And then today (though I think it was yesterday and I only saw it today), they actually FOLLOWED me on Twitter.

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This is so cool to me because they only follow the blue checked marked people, as in famous celebs/pages/accounts. And they followed little ole me. Now, I will admit that I’ve been told it is their management team that handles their social media accounts….however, even still, I don’t know if that means they’re never on it, but even if it’s just their management who followed me, someone from their team took notice of me and followed my Twitter account. It might sound incredibly shallow, and normally I am not some crazed fan girl, but they make me giddy. Must be the teenager thing because I liked them when I was 13 and it takes me back to being a teenager again. It made me feel special today. It made me feel noticed, and I don’t feel that very often. And certainly not by anyone associated with a band I literally dreamed about and hung posters on my wall of when I was 13.  Go me….Manifesting my dreams…The sky is the limit!!!!

My song of the day: Autograph by Nelson

Can’t get any more apropos to this blog post than this song!!!

I think I’ve seen every film you’ve been in
First in line for your magazine
On my bedroom wall you’re staring back at me?

I blew my trust fund, to get to know you
I write you letters and you don’t write back,
but that’s ok~I’ll always love you anyway

I just want your autograph(your autograph)
a sign, I met you in the past(touched your hand)
There’s nothing I won’t do,
So what I gotta give to get an autograph from you?

Autograph
Autograph
Instrumental

I’m Number one on your fan club roster,
You’re number one on the Billboard charts
I don’t think I’ve made to your speed dial yet,
but~ it’s a start.

I think you think we got a lot in common
We’re both in love with you and that’s a fact
Till you cry on my shoulder
I need a little piece of you to tide me over

I just want your autograph(your autograph)
Some Proof I had the Balls to ask (took the chance)

Face Time and One Line,
There’s nothing I won’t do~
to get a Autograph from you?

Autograph
Autograph

Instrumental

I hope this doesn’t come across as scary,
I hope it’s you when I lose my cherry
Crazy maybe
Fate has had Stranger things have happen.

I just want your autograph
Just maybe, you’ll see me on the fair,
Face time, One Love,
There’s nothing that I won’t do
For an autograph from you.

Yeah
Autograph
Autograph

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/pedigree/

Juxtapose my love

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You are correct. I don’t know what it’s like for MY child to want to snuff herself out. Even though I treat of and think of my stepdaughter that I raised beginning at age 11 full time as my own, it is different than it being my own child. But you presume that it means that my pain is less than yours.

I know I always speak of my adoptive parents saying how they thought of me as their own but that I always felt the difference and that I always knew deep down that I was second best to them. They wanted their own biological child first, when they couldn’t have that child, they sought out the “backup plan” which was adoption…ME. And when I didn’t live up to their expectations, they were quick to point out how my genetics were to blame. My adoptive parents are Narcissists. They never wanted what was best for me. They wanted what was best for themselves. They wanted a child for themselves, so that THEY could feel loved, so that THEY could fill the hole they felt.

The difference is, that where my adoptive parents told me the chosen child story, the reality of it was that I was the backup plan. But I really did chose my life with my stepchildren. I fell in love with the thought of a life with them. And that was never something I would have seen for myself at 23. And despite everything I went through in raising them, being extremely young, fighting a battle against a mother who made me out to be a monster, fighting my own demons, and feeling like my stepchildren despised me, I stood by my stepchildren and you through it all.

And even when things got so hard that my stepdaughter and I parted ways, even when I was so hurt that I couldn’t even look at her when she was in the room, we began to work through it a couple of years later. And now, we are in such a good place and we understand each other and are extremely close, a place I never imagined 10 years ago that we would ever be.

Despite how much hurt I endured, how much I put in to my relationship with my step kids, to feel rejection time and time again for so long, my biggest fear because of my birth story, I still opened myself up to it again and took a chance again with both of them.

So although it is different for me than it is for you when you juxtapose how you feel about your daughter wanting to snuff herself out with how I feel about my stepdaughter wanting to snuff herself out, please don’t presume that you know how I feel. Because you don’t. It might be different, but that doesn’t mean that my pain is any less than yours. I do have a biological child, so I can compare and put myself in the headspace of what it might feel like if it was my biological daughter. You have never been a stepparent, you have never been an Adoptee, you have never experienced what I have experienced and still continued to care and come back because you can’t stop loving those children. My adoptive parents never modeled unconditional love for me, and yet somehow I found out what that was through being a stepparent, because despite my many mistakes through their teenage years, I did always try and have tried to better myself and have worked on things so that I can be a better stepmom for them, something my adoptive parents never afforded me. So, my pain should not be looked down upon or invalidated simply because she’s my stepdaughter. You have no clue what my experience has been, so please, stop comparing our pain just to show how much worse your life is than mine right now.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/juxtapose/

Broken

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When someone is so broken that they require the care of a mental hospital, don’t you think precautions would be taken not to further the possible detriment to that person’s mental stability at that time? That would be the logical thing to do, but that’s not what happened this past week in the real life example I’m about to portray to you.

I haven’t been writing much this week because, in addition to the culmination of my year as a music teacher, in that two of my biggest recitals for my students were this weekend, I also got a text this past Tuesday from my stepdaughter (who is 25) asking what my schedule was like for the day. When I asked her why and what she needed, she asked if I could give her a ride to an emergency therapy appointment she made that evening. When I asked her if something happened, she conveyed to me that she and her boyfriend had broken up the night before (they had been together for 6 years), and that she couldn’t stop thinking about swallowing her entire bottles of prescription meds. She has had thoughts and minor attempts before as well with hurting herself and suicide. So I picked up her bottled of pills from her from work so that she couldn’t take them until I came to get her for her appointment. When I took her to her appointment, the therapist wanted me to take her to the hospital ER where they would evaluate her and determine whether to send her to an inpatient psych facility.

After she was triaged and they took a blood sample, she was sent back out to the waiting room with me. After that, a male nurse came to get her and very adamantly and coldly told me that I was not allowed back with her during this part. He worded it in such a way where he mentioned something about her getting undressed and in to the gowns and he gave me the creeps and made my skin crawl. He was one of those people, and I’m sure everyone has encountered those people, that just feels intuitively wrong to you. And he came across to me immediately as some sort of child toucher, vouyeur creep. Immediately, I began texting with my best friend who is a mental health therapist in another state asking if she knew anything about the intake process in a regular hospital psych ER. One of my former students was admitted to a mental health facility for two weeks while she was in high school and later wrote a blog post about it where she spoke about the strip search that was conducted upon her entering the facility that made her highly uncomfortable. Immediately my mind went right to that memory and was worried about my stepdaughter and this male nurse that wouldn’t let me back who said that it would be up to the doctor as to whether I was allowed back or not. My best friend told me to Google it and sure enough I came across several articles about this, many from my state no less. This didn’t sit well with me at all.

After meeting with the social worker, who had called me back to speak with me, she said I would be allowed back, and they called me to come back and sit with my stepdaughter. Pretty soon after I got back there, she told me all about how shaken she was from their procedure when they took her back. They told her that with a male security guard present and this male creeper nurse present (no females mind you) that first they were wanding her down and then she had to strip down naked in front of them and put the gown on in front of them. She became pretty upset by this and asked if they had to watch her or if they could turn around or something and the security guard left immediately. Not creeper nurse. How did he respond? He told her, “This is my job. It’s not appealing you know.”

First of all, I’m pretty sure this is high illegal considering I’ve had female OB/GYNs the entire time, and whenever they performed the exam, they still had another female nurse come in the room, and they were female. In addition to this, there was a camera in her room because she had to press the button to call for the nurse Everytime she wanted to go to the bathroom because she was being watched all the time. So this entire process of her stripping down naked was also on camera, which could have also been a male behind the camera watching as well, and if it is being recorded (as I’m sure it was), who’s to say these people don’t go back and watch it over and over. This disturbs me at such a deep level, I can’t even begin to tell you.

And I’m pretty sure this male creeper nurse knows what he’s doing is not protocol. Because later that evening my husband came to visit. Miraculously, during that time period, a female nurse comes in and says she’s taking over as the nurse. So my stepdaughter and I figured creeper was off duty for the night. But looks and behold, who do we are still walking the halls working about 20 minutes later, creeper nurse. My stepdaughter shot me a look when she saw him walk by that told me she thought the same thing, that he took one look at her Dad there and got scared out of his gourd. He probably thought I was her friend when I came in with her and didn’t realize I was her stepmom because she and I are it 15 years apart in age, and I look young for my age on top of that. So he probably didn’t see me as a threat. My husband had her very young, and he is 7 years older than me. So then, oddly enough, after my husband leaves, he starts coming back in to her room to take her vitals and such. Yet someone else had “taken over as her nurse”. And to add to his shape shiftiness, later at night, the female nurse had ordered a recliner chair for me to sleep in for the night (as I wasn’t about to leave her there alone with that weirdo for a hot second), and he’s the one who brought it down and was putting the sheet on it and being extra nice to me and buttering me up, he went and got me a blanket and when I went to take it from his hands he said that he would cover me because, “that’s what we do, we are here to serve. And thank you for being such a great support system for her. We truly appreciate it.” Just wow……Is someone now afraid of being reported????

I told my stepdaughter that when she got released and was ready to talk about everything that we would have a conversation again about it because I am pretty sure what he did was illegal, especially because there were no females present. What if someone was sexually abused? What if that was the reason someone was suicidal? That could push someone towards it rather than helping them, all just to make sure they don’t have a weapon on them at that moment. Um, NO!!!!! I have never been sexually abused in any way and this would have scarred me for life, I can tell you that. I am very protective of my body and the thought of someone violating my privacy like that is one of the most inhumane things I can think of, ESPECIALLY when she was there ego get help. I am utterly and inexplicably horrified by this and I honestly hope that my stepdaughter wants to, at the very least, make a formal complaint to the hospital about this so that he can never do this again to anyone and so that this hospital has proper procedures in place for sensitive intakes like this. I am just mortified.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/broken/

 

Twisted Timbers

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This weekend we spent in Kings Dominion. It was the first time we had been there since the new roller coaster “Twisted Timbers” had opened. That’s the one you see in the background there, stuck, halfway up the first chainpull hill…..Much of our trip this weekend was twisted like that. Our favorite mainstay coaster has been closed from park open to park close the last 4 times we’ve been to the park between last year and this year, that’s the Volcano. So this year, let’s see if I can even get this all correct…not only was the Volcano closed both days, we go to get on the Flight of Fear and it closes 2 rides away from us getting on board. Then we went back to it later only to get on it and actually get stuck WHILE on the ride. That’s right….as in, it took off, because it’s a linear induction coaster, 0-54 mph in 4 seconds and then right up in to an upside down loop. We made it halfway through the loop and came back down. Had to be pushed back to the station by 7 maintenance men and disembark. We didn’t get twisted enough on that coaster. Then I took the picture above of Twisted Timbers to send to my husband while he was checking in at the hotel to let him know as a warning that it was getting stuck too since we hadn’t even gotten on that one yet. After dinner we got on line for that one, got in the car, and had to get out before leaving the station. Someone’s harness didn’t seem to be registering or was going down and popping back up. It was seat number 51, whatever was going on. So we had to wait another 20 or so minutes before that was taken care of before we could FINALLY get on that ride. Which, by the way, was an AMAZING coaster. It is the only wooden and steel combo coaster on the east coast US and man did it take me by surprise as being way better than I thought it would be. Killer coaster of anyone lives over here and has the chance to go there. By nightfall, we start walking the queue for the Rebel Yell, get all the way up there to find out they closed it for the night….Sick, Twisted day.

The following day was no better, at any given time there were 3-4 coasters shut down at a time. That’s insidious for an amusement park. They shouldn’t be having that many problems with coasters on a daily basis, especially when they have people on them and they are getting stuck. Way not cool captains. I have anxiety, and I’m glad that anxiety didn’t really bother me with getting stuck on that coaster. Would it have been half way up a hill, I very well might have had some issues considering my fear of heights. If I would ever have to walk down the stairs on a hill from a coaster, I’d be no good sister….but that Twisted Timbers, check it out if you can….sweet ride ya’ll 😝

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/twisted/

 

Archaic Diagnoses/Archaic Parenting

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As she asked to print more pictures to color after yesterday’s batch for the ride to the amusement park tomorrow, she originally said 1-3. Then she said it might be 4. Later on when she started to actually look them up, I specified no more than 4. As I said it, I knew she would ask for more. Because I know my daughter has Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) in addition to her extremely high functioning Asperger’s Autism. Sure enough, within 5 minutes she said, it might be more like 5, and I said gently, no, I said no more than 4. I had already let her increase the 1-3 up to 4. Even though PDA is currently only recognized in the UK, it is starting to gain more clout in the US. She is not officially diagnosed with this, but I know without a shadow of a doubt she has it. She is officially diagnosed by her pediatrician with Asperger’s Autism. Technically, it is now Autism Level 1. Asperger’s is now an archaic term since they released the DSM-5. All Autism diagnoses are just a spectrum and divided in to 3 levels. Level 1 is High Functioning which is where those who would have formerly been diagnosed as Asperger’s are now placed. I personally still prefer the term Asperger’s and continue to use it.

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Giving children sentences with multiple directions to follow is an actual developmental milestone. It is one for the age of 3 year olds. But children with PDA are overwhelmed by demands that are thrown at them at the same time. Any instruction is processed as a demand, and thus, this developmental milestone becomes a hotbed for attitude because it puts these children in a pressure cooker. Today when I told my 10 year old that it was time to take a shower, and then followed that up with the sentence of to make sure she also cleans up the mess she had left downstairs from her homework, she answers with an attitude how she knows she knows…When her father comes down, all of her stuff is in front of his seat and he comments how he sees a tornado passed through. I told him how I told her to do that part after I told her to take the shower so of course she has to do them in order. But when she comes down the stairs, for how much attitude I get the “I know, I know” when I remind her earlier of cleaning the homework mess up, do you think she goes right to cleaning that up? Of course she doesn’t. She tries to avoid that demand altogether. She goes right in to the other room to color and begin making another mess in there. It’s a never ending battle. And I know in many ways this sounds like typical child behavior, but it’s the constant attitude that I get when I ask daily for the simple task of her to clean up after herself. You would think I was asking her to move a mountain. You would think I had never made her clean up after herself before. You would think I had never held her accountable for herself before the way she speaks to me when I ask her for a simple request. And that, my friends, is definitely not a typical 10 year old.

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Still, at 10 years old, even with no wait at a restaurant, she has no patience. When we are done with our meal, she wants to leave so badly and is so bored that she is blowing bubbles in her water and playing with it like a 3 year old. Before we were ready to leave, because she was ready to go (as in, showered, dressed etc, far enough in advance) she wanted to leave 15 minutes earlier just so we could get to the parking lot and wait, just because she didn’t want to wait any longer at home (which is honestly a better place for her to wait where all of her stuff is to occupy her). But the idea of waiting in any way is torturous to her.

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I have definitely learned to allow a few minutes of leeway whenever I need her to be ready to do something or go somewhere because when I give her a warning or tell her it’s time to go to bed, or to stop what she’s doing because it’s time to go, I often get told to wait till she’s done with this game or this video or this episode etc….And I know that if I don’t, she will have a fit. And while I understand that children need to know how to not get their way, this is a little different because if it is a real time constraint and I can explain to her a real reason as to why she must stop right then and there, I’d rather save those demand times for important times when it is absolutely necessary and have her cooperative on those days rather than force her compliance every single time.

Many people disagree with the way it is recommended to parent children with Asperger’s and PDA. But I know for a fact that the old school hard knocks version of parenting was NOT working with mine. And although mine can still be a handful at times, I think all in all she has done much better, and I think the times she is at her worst is also when we are and that we need to remain calm and model for her the way we want her to act in a situations so she can learn by example. It just makes more logical sense than to instill the fear of God in her with something like spanking. That just teaches her that when our level.of frustration rises that it’s ok to hit and that’s not the proper message to send her. Just my personal opinion.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/archaic/