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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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/

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/

Guilt, Fear and Shame

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There are two emotions that I feel very predominantly in my life: Guilt and Fear. I have felt them for as long as I can remember. Many people throughout my life have instilled those two emotions in me and then perpetuated their continuation. Due to my comfort zone of “sameness”, I have allowed it to continue. I have come to the realization that so much of my guilt and fear (aside from the fear that is actual survival type Darwinian fear), stems from many of the characters throughout my life holding alot of shame about their own actions or about their own identities. Because they were so ashamed of themselves and feared others opinions, they instilled fear and guilt in me in an attempt to silence me. But it is out of their own shame. And so, doing something like what I am doing here, writing for myself, to get things out of my head, to vent, to complete strangers, under an alias, secretively, still causes me stress, guilt and fear. I fear that someone I am writing about will find this and be angry with me for expressing things I am “not allowed” to express otherwise. I feel guilty for not being able to say some of these things directly to these people because our communication is so far gone, and I am partially to blame for that as well, but I am broken. But I am trying. I try every day, all day, to fix myself. That is what I am trying to do here. But it wouldn’t be viewed as that. It would be viewed as me talking about them “behind their backs”. But I do honestly live by the fact that I wouldn’t say anything about someone behind their backs that I wouldn’t be willing to admit that I said about them to their face if confronted. And if I had a better communication line with these people, I would be able to work through these things with them. But somewhere along the line, fear was created in me and caused me to withdraw in to myself which prohibits me from having the ability to confront the things I am feeling directly with them. Or sometimes there are things that they are just not able to grasp because we are in different places of development as souls on this journey in life. I, personally, don’t think that I am doing anything wrong here by writing and expressing how I feel. And if any of the people I write about were doing the same about me, if they said things that I were hurt by, I would have a different reaction then they would. I wouldn’t be mad at them. I would be hurt. I would be hurt that they felt they couldn’t talk to me about how they were feeling. Especially if it was a flaw about me that I needed to work on. If they were being catty, then it just says something about them, and then that is their problem and then yes, I would be mad at them if they were calling me names. That’s a little different. But if they were just writing about their honest feelings and I came across it, I would just be hurt. But I am pretty confident that those I write about would be mad at me and take it out on me in some way thinking I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. And on the one hand, yes I should have the courage to speak to them about it rather than “talking to strangers” about it, the reason I don’t is again fear. Because I have been met with so much anger in the past whenever I do try to bring up things that need to be worked out, that I don’t feel that much gets accomplished, or I don’t feel heard, or I feel invalidated, or I feel we go around in circles, or some other emotion is evoked that scares me or is pointless. But living with the constant thoughts that swirl in my head without being able to express them has truly been killing me for the past several years, and I need some outlet it has been a big contributor to my depression, and I need something, and this is one of my something’s. So I guess I will continue to live with the guilt and fear of being found out because it still beats the depression of living with the pent up thoughts and inner arguments and tail chasing. Because I do know that I am not wrong for doing this. I will deal with the consequences should I ever be found out for doing this. Sometimes fate inserts itself for a reason.

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

Making an a$$ out of u and me

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So, yesterday’s bully situation exploded in my face today. When doesn’t standing up for myself or my daughter backfires. Learning to love myself entails using my voice, defending what needs defending and not letting people walk all over me (or my daughter) any longer. And of course, just because I didn’t hear any of the specific words that were said by the girl running her mouth, I can’t really defend my position and it becomes hearsay/he said she said. The girl went and “told” on me to the teacher and her mother, who then emailed the school. She claims that someone else said something derogatory about my daughter and that she was defending my daughter. So, I get a call from the principal today to kindly reprimand me for my assumption about what it was that she was saying since I hadn’t actually heard what she said because the mother of the girl also emailed the teacher. So now I’m painted to be the bad guy because I didn’t approach the teacher. But I have approached teachers before, and in fact, my daughter one and only friend, her best friend, had issues with kids in the class and her mom had a conference with the teacher, guidance counselor and principal earlier this year and my daughter became a huge topic of her own conference about her daughter. Because she pointed out to all of them that her daughter is constantly put in the middle and kids tell her she can only hang out with their group at recess if she ditches my daughter. She told them all how mean the kids are to my daughter. Has anything changed this year when teachers and principals are told? No. By the end of this year my daughter is wanting to change schools for next year. I’m tired of leaving it up to everyone else. No one advocates for my daughter. The girl who was talking about my daughter has been known to say and do mean things to my daughter in the past, so I have NO reason in the world to believe that she has a sudden change of heart and is coming to my daughter’s defense. Her mother is also part of the “in crowd” over there at the school because my daughter attends a private school where those who volunteer and give lots of money to the school will always come out on top. And I’m not one of them. So of course I’m the bad parent who is making bad assumptions and scolding kids according to them that should have been handled by a teacher.

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Everytime I speak out throughout my entire life, people try to shut me up and/or tell me I’m wrong. It is so defeating. I am tired of being complacent and feeling like everyone else in this world is right…..except me. Everyone else can get away with the same exact stuff that I say and do and defend, but it’s only ever me that gets told I’m wrong every single time, it’s only me who is constantly shoved down so far to the bottom of the trash pile that I do my own compacting. When I’m told over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that I am wrong, it’s pretty hard to tell myself and believe that I am right. Ever. It’s pretty hard to build self esteem and self love and have confidence enough to defend my honor and the honor of my daughter when everyone constantly tells me that everything I do or the way I do it is fucking wrong. I write here because this is the only place I feel validated. Very few in my real world of people validate me. Somehow, they tell me I’m wrong, or challenge everything I say or play devil’s advocate or tell me it’s not as bad as I make it out to be or compare it to something in their lives that are worse. I’m just done with it all. I’m tired of feeling guilty for speaking up. I’m tired of people telling me where my place is in this world. I decide where my place is in this world. Everyone else needs to stop trying to rule over me and put me in some sort of little box they can contain.

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I’m tired of people being so insistent on holding all the cards and for feeling the need to dominate me and disagree with me and all my ways. I’ve let this type of thing push me back in to my shell every time I get push back. But this time it might just be the fuel to my fire. It might just be the anger drive I need to keep my convictions that I will stand ground and hold the power that they all actually do see and are trying to hold back because they are actually afraid of what could be unleashed if I am not contained. I think everyone who keeps pushing down on me sees me bubbling at the surface and is wholly afraid of real truth rather than their controlled world of “truth” and they know they need to keep me at Bay. So I will not be shaken by this. I refuse to feel guilty because I know how my daughter is treated there. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes time and again. And no one ever defends my child except her best friend. Ever. I had every right to do what I did and I don’t care if it wasn’t within the little container inside which the niceness committee wants to operate. Because their niceness is not going very far in protecting my child from the meanness she experiences, regardless of their claims for not tolerating that behavior. It happens every day right in front of their noses and when my friend brought it up to them in the meeting how mean everyone is to my daughter they all said they had no clue about that….Because no one there cares about her well being nor do they really watch or listen for what truly goes on over there. I’ve been a classroom teacher before and I know you can’t catch everything, but I also know that they are missing far more than they should. And I have every right to say that as a teacher who knows EXACTLY what it’s like.

So they can continue their assumptions about me, and I will continue mine about all of them…

 

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

 

 

Bully disappear

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Today, I hope I made a child feel like she wanted to disappear in the moment…Sound cruel? Sound harsh? Do I have your attention? Good……….

This may sound out of character for me, but this is because this is the Mama Bear side of me.

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Today was the Awards Assembly at my daughter’s school. She was only getting one award this year, but it was a pretty big one for her. 3rd place in the 4th and 5th grade Spelling Bee, where she gets to go up on stage and receives a medal this year (there are 12 competitors in the Bee). She’s never placed that high before. My husband, my mother-in-law and I were all there, sitting through an hour and a half assembly just for the 2 minutes she’s on stage for her one award. We listened and clapped for every other kid who received an award.

We were sitting right behind her class, but she was sitting with the band quite a ways away because they play during the assembly. My daughter has Asperger’s Autism. She isn’t treated well at school. On top of her quirkiness, she happens to have inherited the bad luck from both sides of her genetics to have landed in an ill mannered, nasty, bratty class of kids. This was quite apparent even just today by observing her class in comparison to all of the others during the assembly. They are more rowdy then classes 3 years younger than them, and it’s not because they’re just silly nice kids that can’t contain themselves. They are disrespectful, arrogant kids who have no reverance for other children receiving awards or the sovereignty of organized gatherings and the type of behavior that should be modeled. This is not how I raise my daughter. But, of course, these are the children she needs to get along with because they are her social life every day, 5 days a week.

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As soon as my daughter was called up to receive her medal, the girl directly in front of me from her class starts running her mouth to the kid next to her. My mother in law told me that she saw her mouth my daughter’s name. While I didn’t hear anything she said, it was apparent that she was speaking condescendingly about her because the kid she was talking to (who knew who I was) kept looking back at me, then looking at her, then looking at me, then looking at her….as in….shut up, stop talking about her, her parents are right behind you….

I wasn’t about to let that go. It’s bad enough my child doesn’t stand up for herself enough against these kids who make her feel worthless and invisible every day. There was no way I was going to allow that to happen in my presence. There was also another girl that, while she didn’t partake of the conversation, she continued to turn around and give us nasty glances, which she has a knack of doing, and she has said some incredibly nasty things to my daughter in the past as well. She has no fear of glaring at adults in the nastiest of manners. So I had quite alot to say in their direction. When I got through with my comments in letting them know they need to stop talking about my child when I’m sitting right behind them and that I can stare too, and that while I might not have heard what was said, body language said it all and that I’m not stupid-my daughter ranked third in the Spelling Bee for a reason. My mother in law also chimed in and said, “That’s right, we’re right here”. My husband gave them the stare down. The girl who was talking about her was literally scared straight. She wouldn’t even turn sideways and she was rigid and breathing heavily….all signs that she knew she was caught red-handed and was guilty. Those kids need to know that while my daughter might not stand up for herself, that their behavior does not go unnoticed and that her parents are more than aware of how they all treat her and that we won’t tolerate it and that we can be big and scary. Maybe they will remember that the next time they go to pick on my daughter.

Besides being bullied by my adoptive dad my entire life, because that’s just what narcissists do, I was bullied quite a lot in school.

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I will do all I can to try and help my child through these tough years. Childhood sucks when you’re not popular and you are an easy target. I will advocate for her every step of the way.

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Dealing with her pain on top of my own healing is one thing. But what escapes me is that she takes it one step further, as many kids with Asperger’s and PDA do, and she takes all of her frustrations out on me. Now, I know that all kids do this to a degree with their parents because home is a safe haven. But she does it to a ridiculous point. She is like a battering ram coming at me many days. It often feels like she bullies me. And no, it is not because I don’t know how to parent my kid or because I let her run rampant and out of control. She only acts like this to a few select people that she is close with. She is a perfect angel in school. She knows how to behave extremely well. But all of the anger and sadness and frustration from her life gone wrong and from how the children at school have made her feel gets turned on me. There is nothing I can ever seem to do right for this child. And once again, my common thread of….Nothing I ever do is right or enough. I am never good enough for anyone.

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

Second song of the day: Bully by Shinedown….another one of my favorite bands

It’s 8 A.M.
This hell I’m in
Seems I’ve crossed the line again
For being nothing more than who I am

So break my bones
And throw your stones
We all know that life ain’t fair
But there is more of us
We’re everywhere

[Pre-Chorus]
We don’t have to take this
Back against the wall
We don’t have to take this
We can end it all

[Chorus]
All you’ll ever be
Is a faded memory of a bully
Make another joke
While they hang another rope
So lonely
Push him to the dirt
‘Til the words don’t hurt
Can you hear me?
No ones gonna cry
On the very day you die
You’re a bully

Hey!
Hey!

[Verse 2]
Think it through
You can’t undo
Whenever I see black and blue
I feel the past
I share the bruise

With everyone
Who’s come and gone
My head is clear
My voice is strong
Now I’m right here to right the wrong

[Pre-Chorus]
We don’t have to take this
Back against the wall
We don’t have to take this
We can end it all

[Chorus]
All you’ll ever be
Is a faded memory of a bully
Make another joke
While they hang another rope
So lonely
Push him to the dirt
‘Til the words don’t hurt
Can you hear me?
No ones gonna cry
On the very day you die
You’re a bully

[Solo]

[Bridge]
It’s 8 A.M.!
The Hell I’m in!
Your voice is strong!
Now right the wrong!

[Chorus]
All you’ll ever be
Is a faded memory of a bully.
Make another joke
While they hang another rope
So lonely.
Push him to the dirt
‘Til the words don’t hurt
Can you hear me?
No ones gonna cry
On the very day you die
You’re a bully

[Repeat Chorus]

Hey!

Disappear

My song of the day: Disappear by Evanescence…….This song is very personal for me for how I feel about someone in my life that struggles with addiction and my own demons with people and addiction (since it was addiction to prescription drugs that was the catalyst for my adoptive mom to become a background presence in my life but then to turn things around on me and become jealous and angry with me when I became closer to my adoptive NPD father). So continuing to hang around in the hopes that I will finally become more important than the addiction hurts over and over, every single day and I don’t know how long to hold on and keep hoping and believing I will win in the end and finally be number one in someone’s life for once.

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