Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quiet

My house is so quiet.  Not silent.  I can hear the gurgle of the fish tank, the click of my son's laptop keyboard, the dogs sighing as they snooze next to me on the couch.  Just quiet.  No daughter asking for a snack, demanding my attention, getting on her brother.  Every so often, letting me love on her.

She got on the plane this morning and later texted me, as required by the teacher, that she was on the shuttle bus to Space Camp.  (I had already checked the airport's website and knew that the plane had landed -- bless technology!)  It was so much fun this morning watching her be as excited as all the other 11- and 12-year-olds gathered at the airport.  She latched onto another girl who had never flown before, either, and I watched them go through security and come out successfully on the other side.  Then they walked out of sight.  Sigh.

I got a couple of projects started this afternoon, and I hope to do a lot more this week.  I can't imagine what it's going to be like not to have to drop everything at 2:00 to get the house ready before I have to leave at 2:15 to get her from the hub bus stop and then monitor constantly until bedtime.  (Really, by the time noon rolls around, the day seems pretty much over.)  Even now, I have things sitting out that I would never leave out if she were home, and it feels so odd.

But I'm sitting here in my house with two people who don't talk, who appear impatient when I talk, who want nothing to do with me, not because they don't love me -- they do -- but because they aren't wired to be social.  Or sociable.  Do I miss my daughter only because, though usually negatively, she interacts with me?  In the quiet of my house, I hope not.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Space Camp

Part of the STEM6 "experience" is a field trip to NASA's Space Camp in Alabama.  My son went with his STEM6 class three years ago.  Because he has Asperger's, we prepped the heck out of him.  He had to learn to do his entire morning and bedtime routine without prompts, to be responsible for his own gear, to be flexible in his schedule -- all kinds of skills unrelated to his academic school day.  We even had him sleep over at a caregiver's house to practice independence!

My daughter has wanted to go to Space Camp ever since her brother went.  We haven't had to prep her as we did her brother.  No, we've just had to keep her out of the hospital for the past three months.  Keep her in STEM when maybe the right thing to do was to pull her out, lighten her load, teach her the skills she needs without the jacked-up executive functioning demands of STEM6. 

Well, whatever.  I don't know what we should have done nor what to do now.  I'm just hanging on.  We have 12 more hours before we drive her to the airport for her flight to Space Camp.  Several people have questioned whether she ought to go, given her issues.  I don't have a single doubt that she will love it and be able to comport herself well.  I doubt that she'll stick to her diet, but not that she'll act out there as she does at home.  It's not her MO.

However, I think that all hell will break loose when she comes home.  She uses home as a safety valve, releasing the pressures that have built up all day, not bothering to engage coping strategies she accesses elsewhere.  That's her MO.  And I think there's a pretty good chance of her being a flight risk after the trip; she's not going to want to be at home.  I get that -- I felt similarly when I was a little older than she is now and came back from a week-long event.

I'm just hanging on.  Twelve more hours.  I think we can.  I think we can.  I THINK we can.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Trying to rest easy

Rest easy in My embrace.

I'm trying.  The worries swirl around and rob me of happiness.  I need to rest easy, so hard to do when I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, for my daughter to leave us not just emotionally as she has already done but physically, whether through hospitalization, incarceration, or a residential treatment center.   

I don't want to lose this child

Maybe she won't leave us.  Maybe one or a combination of all these interventions will work.  This is where I struggle.  I want to have faith.  I want to hope.  If we can't "have back" the child who has left us, can we forge a new relationship and peace with the one still here?  Can she be happy again?  Can we be happy again?

What will tomorrow bring?

I don't know.  I don't know The Plan.  I'm trying to have faith, I'm trying to have hope, because I love her.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This is the post I started two days ago:
Today is my daughter's birthday.  She's now 12.  She's also 5'7".
I had pulled a handful of old photos to scan and add to the post.  Photos of my gorgeous baby just a day old. a year old, two, three, four years old.  So beautiful.  So happy.

Since there aren't any photos in this post, you can likely figure that scanning and commenting didn't happen.  That happy didn't happen.

Instead, I've had a child ODD-ing all over the place, about the farthest you can get from happy and still be sharing a planet.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crossroads

We're coming up to some major crossroads:  Should my daughter stay in STEM?  Should she receive special education services?  Should she be admitted to a diagnostic hospital?  Is the diet helping?  Are the meds working?  Are the behavioral interventions working?  Is therapy helping?  Will she be able to start fresh with the new semester?

All of these questions, plus the many, many questions not mentioned, are bringing us down.  It feels like every answer brings new questions. 

In addition, there just seems to be so much to do:  Trying to find variety in the dietary restrictions; shopping for that variety.  Starting another child in the IEP process; dealing with the daily reasons she may need special education services.  Keeping out-of-town doctor appointments; keeping local appointments.  Arranging to get away to help my siblings with my mother's house; waiting for my mother's death to hit me.  Trying to find thrifty ways to do what needs to be done; robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I'm trying so hard to remember to pray.  Sometimes I say I'm going to and I don't.  Sometimes I have no words.  Sometimes my thoughts boing around so fast I start to and then stop mid-sentence.

And I have to try to listen.  Praying is only part of it; I have to be open to hearing the answers to my prayers.



Friday, January 13, 2012

Bam!

I'm so very tired.  My daughter ran away last night and again today.  That makes four times, all within the past month.  We've put in place so many interventions in the past couple of months; it's hard to say which one she dislikes and is fighting against the most.  Regardless, she really does know how to kick it up a notch.

Prayers, as always, are appreciated. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

IEPs

I have two children.  My son is 14, is very smart, and has Asperger's.  He has been on an IEP for 11 years.  My daughter is just shy of 12, is very smart, and has depression, among a number of other things.  Today we agreed to start the IEP process for her.

My heart is so heavy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We're leaving in a few minutes for my mom's funeral.  The final "goodbye" before she's laid to rest.  We're burying her next to her daughter.
My daughter and I are staying with my sister.  With the passing of my mom, I've been thinking a lot about what she taught me:  Right from wrong, prayer, Jesus; I don't deserve much, low self-esteem.  So last night when my sister asked me to load up the dishwasher, I stressed.  Why? Because I might have done it wrong, and then my sister might not have loved me anymore.  That's what I learned.

Will you still love me if I don't do it right?
Will you still love me if I don't do it well?
If I tell you my story, who will you tell?
Close it up.  Shut it tight.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The funeral was a lovely goodbye.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rest easy

Sharing my niece's post:
Rest easy, have no fear
I love you perfectly and perfect love drives out fear
I'll take your burden, you take My grace
Rest easy in My embrace
 -- Audio Adrenaline
Comfort.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pain

My mother passed away early in the morning on January 5th.

Yesterday.

The breast cancer she had defeated a few years ago had metastasized into her bones.

She was in so much pain.  Pain of body.  Pain of heart.  Pain of mind.

I don't think I can possibly explain the impact of her pain on every area of her life, pain felt for decades.  She tried in various ways to lessen her pain; she couldn't.

When I talked to her the night before she died, I told her that my wish for her was that she would not be in pain any longer; it was OK to let go now.

When I said my final goodbye to her in the morning, my tears were not those of grief but of joy that she was in the Kingdom of Heaven, that she was now seeing the daughter she had had on earth for only two days almost 45 years ago, that she felt no pain.

I loved my mom.  Her release was a blessed thing.

Monday, January 2, 2012