I’m Back

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It’s been a long time since I updated, thanks mostly to my chromebook keyboard suddenly ceasing to work properly. I don’t know what happened, it just stopped working one day. Then a few weeks later, half the keys worked but there was no real pattern to it. So I finally got a wireless USB keyboard and mouse from my dad, and now I can use my chromebook again! YAY!

ji2So anyway, kindergarten started off great. The first day was, in JI’s words, “Absolutely perfect”. I cried for about twenty minutes when he got home. Day two… shit hit the fan. My son JI was sent to the peak aka behaviour room. Day three, okay. Day four, his behaviour was so bad that I had to pick him up early and he was asked to not return. They wrote on the report that he assaulted a teacher. He’s five. He kicked her because she got too close. JI was off for the next week as we tried to find a spot in an ED classroom rather than the general SpEd/Autism room he was in the first week. We got a spot at a different school, and he attended half days at the original school for a week until the transportation was figured out.

He’s been at the new school for a full week, three days, plus Monday and Tuesday. Monday was his first rough day, but he got himself under control. Yesterday after lunch/recess, I guess he started melting down and couldn’t stop. The teacher called me at 2:45pm, and I could hear JI screaming. He said JI was throwing chairs, trying to bite/hit/kick, took off his socks and shoes and threw them, etc. He wouldn’t or couldn’t calm down. It wasn’t until they told him I wouldn’t be coming that he calmed down to get on line for the bus.

jiThe problem is that he doesn’t act like this at home. He doesn’t get violent or aggressive towards me or any other people – and to be clear, he wasn’t at school either, not towards any kids or adults until the adults attempted to get close to him. If he and I have a disagreement, I either remind him of his choices or I tell him the consequences of not doing what he’s told. I’m frustrated because I’m not the special education teacher, I’m not the expert, but they expect me to tell them what to do. I don’t know what to do because he does not do this around me! There was a short period of time when he did, but we suffered through it and moved on. I merely held my ground.

Is JI trying to feel them out? Is there something about school that changes a kid’s personality? Will this eventually pass, or is my high functioning, highly intelligent, super cute, loving autistic child doomed to end up in juvenile detention or some kind of home?! I know it’s the first incident but the way things went at the last school, I’m really nervous. We had a conversation last night and this morning about how he should act when he’s upset or angry, and I hope it sticks.

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Parenting my Autistic Child

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I had planned to post a few times a week now that summer vacation has started, but then, as always, time got away from me. It’s good though, being busy. I lost three of my clients and gained two, but I only had a week off in between, so everything I planned to do with only three kids had to be altered to involve five kids – two of whom are autistic. I’ll manage though, because I have no other choice. I just keep working and saving my money for the inevitable day when the house gets taken away.

Today I want to talk about parenting an autistic child. As I mentioned in my last post, itwp-1465917157645.jpg amazes me how many levels/severities/etc of autism I’ve encountered. My friend has two autistic kids and they’re different from each other, JI is different from them, and kids I’ve met in therapy/meetings/classes are different from them and each other. For me, that is the most frustrating part of being an autism parent. Yes, our kids all share certain traits, but even those traits aren’t necessarily addressed in the same way from child to child. I think that is one of the reasons why this past school year was so difficult.

I know exactly how to parent JI. We went through our rough patches, horrific patches, sad and frustrating patches. Now I know what I’m doing, how to handle his meltdowns, tantrums, fears, etc. Obviously I can’t predict everything or solve every problem, but I am really REALLY wp-1465917063884.jpgfucking amazing when it comes to parenting my child. It is so upsetting and frustrating when teachers or family members want to do things that I know will cause problems. It is absolutely infuriating when they refuse to follow my suggestions or directions. I understand that the educators’ job is to push JI, to teach him how to behave in certain situations, and that they are the experts at their job. It hurts me when he gets in trouble at school just for being himself, for doing things he can’t yet control, like lashing out physically. They say it’s not true, but I know he was labelled “The Bad Kid” in his class last year. I could tell by the way they talked about him, the way they dealt with him, the punishments and discipline he received.

If JI doesn’t want to do something, there are consequences. I utilize the amazing and wonderful 1-2-3 Magic system, and it works if you are committed to it – not gonna lie, it fails if you fail at keeping strong! You must use the system the right way, every time. With JI, there is no negotiating, there are no “threats”, just warning and then consequence. If he does something absolutely deplorable, such as intentionally injure someone, then he does get a more severe consequence. Unlike school, however, he does have the option to earn his things back. I make sure to recognize when he’s done something great, so that he doesn’t feel like he’s being “bad” all the time. I have to admit though, I have lost my shit on him more than once, because I’m a human being. It gets to be a lot, caring for five or six kids for 10 hours a day, and rarely having a moment alone from children. JI and I had a blow up the other day where I just lost it and yelled “Why does everything have to be a fight with you?!” and proceeded to list all the things he fought with me about that day. Not my best parenting moment by far, but I think it actually made him realize that sometimes it is easier to just go with the flow rather than resist so much. A huge part of his diagnosis was the rigidity, and it is by far our biggest obstacle to typical childhood.

I am hoping that kindergarten will be a new fresh start. JI says he hates school because hewp-1465916954013.jpg hates friends and hates to learn. I reminded him that he is learning every day, by asking questions, watching videos, helping me do things around the house, etc. He said that I
should just teach him at home! Well, homeschooling would be amazing if I didn’t have four or five other kids here to deal with, and if I could actually find a way to get JI to socialize in groups of peers. I guess we’ll just keep praying that the kindergarten plan works out.

The Year of Me

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2015 was a shit year all around for many people that I know, including myself. 2016 hasn’t started out so great, but I am optimistic. One of my best friends told me to make this year the “Year of Me”, and that is what I am doing. It hasn’t been easy by any means, and I keep encountering toxic people and situations that try to hold me down. I will prevail!

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This year I am doing things that I have always wanted to do, naysayers be damned. I am focusing on straight up ignoring the haters; they only hate because they hate themselves. I am living my life for myself and my children, and not doing it according to anyone else’s rules or ideals. I’ve had enough of feeling bad because of other people’s expectations. There’s the old saying that I cannot control other people, I can only control my reactions to them. Well, I know for a fact that toxic people thrive on reactions, and I’m not going to do it anymore!

I thought about making a sort of bucket list, but really I’ve already got a good sense of what I do and do not want to happen this year. So far I have eliminated two soul-sucking relationships from my life, cut ties with all but two people related to the mothers’ group, come to terms with my horrible marriage and the fact that it wasn’t my fault and he will fthisnever change, and stopped trying to cling to this guy who clearly only had one objective in his mind. I’ve taken charge of my life. I bought myself all new Batman t-shirts because mine didn’t fit anymore, and I finally threw away or donated all the clothes that don’t fit. I joined a hot sauces of the month club. I am doing pretty well sticking to my low-purine diet, which is basically a vegetarian diet. I plan on getting more into juicing, just because it seems interesting to me, and I really want to get back to creative cooking. I am focusing on making JI the best kid he can be, not despite but in conjunction with the autism. I am teaching Squeaks to sign and speak, and I want to learn ASL fluently. I’ve been updating my Instagram on a daily basis and getting lots of followers!

I can’t do this stuff with people barking their negativity at me.

You can speak your mind, but not on my time!

The Knife in my Back

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At the beginning of February, the mothers’ group I belonged to did something amazing for me – they collected $300 and tons and tons of groceries, including personal care items and diapers, for me and my sons. I was shocked and beyond grateful. Nobody had ever done something so nice on such a grand scale before. Yes, I’ve had donations given and friends and family have helped me with bills. On the day these women delivered, my house was literally full, from kitchen to living room, with stuff. I thanked them in our Facebook group over and over for the next several days. I couldn’t believe it happened to me. I used the money to catch up on the utility bills, and with the little bit that was left over, I went out to karaoke one night.

Fast forward about three weeks, and I’m kicked out of the group because two of the three admins have decided that I lied about something menial. Despite giving them proof that I didn’t, they don’t care, and they ban me. I’m shocked. Most of the members are shocked as well, and then I find out that this girl went on a rampage that week that I took off from society and banned a whole bunch of members. So, I didn’t feel so bad. Clearly they are the ones with the problems, and not me. I know I did nothing wrong, and I’m an adult, and I don’t need to prove it to them.

Fast forward another two weeks, and I’ve received my tax return. I paid back my parents, paid the bills current and up through May, gave Poke some money, bought myself a few items of clothing, and got myself a couple of tattoos I’ve been wanting for a very long time. I still have almost 20% of my tax return still sitting in the bank. But here’s what happened: It’s now been about five weeks since those women donated their hard-earned money to my cause, yet someone got wind that I got those tattoos, and they decided that instead of using my own money, I must have used their money to pay for them, to get drunk, and to hire a maid. It doesn’t matter that if I hadn’t gotten that $300 at the beginning of February, I wouldn’t have had electric or gas heat for March, it doesn’t matter that $300 wouldn’t even cover all those things they said I bought, and it doesn’t matter that charity is supposed to be done out of the kindness of your heart without restrictions and expectations.

I was never bullied as a child, and I’ve always been thankful. I had plenty of fodder for which to be bullied, but it never happened. Unfortunately, this left me unprepared for adult life. These women are bullying me hardcore. For almost three days straight they sent me private messages on Facebook, texted me, commented on posts in another mothers’ group and tagged me, and even went so far as to attack me in a public forum on a subject completely unrelated to the situation. It is disgusting. Many, and I mean almost all, of these women claim to be Christians. They talk about loving God and praising Jesus, then turn around and call me a cunt. It’s been incredibly hard on me, even getting to the point where I thought about committing suicide just to get some relief from the emotional pain they were causing me.

Luckily I have real friends I can count on, and when I reached out to them they were there to help me and keep me from going to the dark place. I was able to recover in a matter of hours. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I did, and I’m so glad. They made me realize that there is something seriously wrong with those girls, and that they must truly hate their lives if they need to sit around all day and think about me and my situation. I mean, in the end, I know they’ll never believe me because people would much rather believe the bad than the good. But I know in my heart that I did the right thing, and that’s all that matters.

I wonder what Jesus would think of your behaviour.

White Trash Party!

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From Wikipedia:

White trash is a derogatory American English racial slur referring to poor white people, especially in the rural South of the United States, suggesting lower social class and degraded standards of living. The term suggests outcasts from respectable society living on the fringes of the social order, who are seen as dangerous because they may be criminal, unpredictable, and without respect for authority whether it be political, legal, or moral. The term is usually a racial slur, but may also be used self-referentially by working-class whites to jokingly describe their origins or lifestyle.

It always tickles me when people call me white trash. Clearly the official definition doesn’t apply to me in any way whatsoever, but the slang definition (redneck, hillbilly, etc.) also couldn’t be further from the truth. I wonder, then, what makes them think that calling me white trash would be insulting? Let’s explore this phenomenon.

  • Am I white trash because I am overweight? Surely there are no fat rich people. But I can lose weight – you’re ugly on the inside and that will never change.
  • Am I white trash because I receive government assistance? Well, here’s the thing – I never did before Poke fucked up our entire life. I never needed it, I never wanted it. I still don’t want it, but I don’t have a choice.
  • Maybe I’m white trash because I am a SAHM who runs her own home-based business? Or could it be that I’m white trash because I have a college degree, like everyone else in my families?
  • I might be white trash because I don’t spend thousands of dollars on clothing for myself or my children. Because I prefer inexpensive or second-hand clothing, that means I am trashy. It has nothing to do with my disgust at the sheer amount of materials being discarded and piling up in landfills, leaving a mess for future generations.
  • Oh, I know! I’m white trash because I come from a middle class family, my parents (both bio and adoptive) all own their own homes, my father makes over $90K per year, and I went to private school my entire life.
  • Am I white trash because I occasionally feed my family fast food and/or food from a box, like mac’n’cheese or Hamburger Helper? Well, not so much Helper now that Poke is gone – that shit is gross.
  • Perhaps I’m white trash because I have four rescue cats as pets. Everyone knows that white trash have lots and lots of animals roaming around.
  • Maybe I am white trash because I live in a trailer in a trailer park? Oh… wait. I live in a house with a fenced in yard in a nice suburban neighborhood. Weird.
  • I know! I am definitely white trash because I believe in equality for all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., and I am liberal leaning socialist, and I enjoy having Obama as president, support gun control, love the ACA, and yet I’m still Catholic and pro-life.
  • I must be white trash because both my children are physically and mentally/academically ahead of their peers.
  • Am I white trash because I drink my wine from a box? Yeah, okay, you’ve got me on that one. That is kinda trashy… but I also like to save money, so I’ll take it.

Overall, I think it’s pretty clear that I am most definitely not white trash. To me, when someone stoops to calling me that, it’s obvious they have absolutely zero fodder for the fight. They say to themselves, “Damnit! That bitch says nothing but the truth! I can’t prove her wrong! What can I do… hmmm… I know! I will call her names. That’ll show her!” It’s all quite amusing. Call me names, insult me, I don’t care. You can say what you want, but I know the truth, and all my friends and family know the truth as well. The only person who is coming off as trashy – and ignorant – is you.

Life is What Happens

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Seeing people’s year in review posts on Facebook has inspired me to write my own. 2015 sucked. It started out with my husband in the ICU after a suicide attempt, and ended with two of my best friends kissing me and making me feel wonderful.

Horrific and horrible things happened last year, but also I got the best gift that any person could ever ask for; I filled the hole I’d felt my entire life. In April I found my bio mom, and subsequently my bio brothers and sister and family, and those people have absolutely made every shitty moment into a fine, okay, or awesome moment. Finally I have people who love me just because I am part of them. I feel whole, for the first time, despite my recent sadness. And that means a lot.

I lost my husband and eventually my marriage. He didn’t die, but he might as well have, considering the way things turned out. I lost my best friend, who also didn’t die, but simply disappeared from our lives like dust in the wind. I was left with his dog, who I had to rehome, and who is very very happy in her new place with her new owner.

I reconnected with one of my best friends from years ago, and she and her girlfriend are Squeaks’ godmothers. They helped me through the first wave of tough times at the end of my marriage. I successfully started a business from my home, and made enough money to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.

Things didn’t work out with Doc, and though it hurts like hell, I suppose it is for the best. Long distance relationships can be difficult. We’ll still be friends, and we never made things “official”, so that makes it a bit easier. I just hate seeing things crash before they get off the ground. I’m a person who always dwells on what could have been!

We finally got JI’s diagnosis, which has helped immensely in getting treatment. Now that he’s on medication, his behaviour has greatly improved. IF only I could get ahold of someone at the autism center to get this behaviour therapy started…

And, at the end of the year, I received a diagnosis myself – metabolic syndrome. It may be the root of all the mysterious issues I’ve had over the years. I have to switch to a low purine diet, which means no yeast, bread, beer, meat, and other delicious things, but I am allowed to have vegetables, pasta, cheese, and wine! Woo! Unrelated to the diagnosis, I will be having surgery at the end of January for a hernia. Fun times.

Overall, even though 2015 had some terrible moments and had a lost of loss associated with it, last year also had some very excellent and amazing moments.

Imagine That.

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Poke stopped by to drop off my money today, and things are going swimmingly in his life – his car crapped out and needs a new engine, and he quit his job because $9.50/hr (with no college degree) is insulting. I could have fell over laughing, but it’s rude to do so in someone’s face. He says to me, “My life is falling apart!” Um… sorry dude, you have nobody to blame for that except yourself. You literally had everything that a man could want, and you threw it all away. I don’t feel sorry for you.

Found out too that his mom is upset that I don’t want her seeing the boys. Well, here’s the thing – if you come into my home, tell me that you don’t want my son because he’s “bad” and “uncontrollable” and your apartment is not “equipped to handle him”, you can fuck off and die. Her hurtful words ruined JI. He had been such a good boy after Poke left, and with one fell swoop she undid everything. Why? Why would you be such a cunt to a child?  Her excuses are weak, too. When we went to Akron to visit my bio family, I stayed by myself in a hotel room with both boys for three days and three nights. Alone. But for some reason the two of them can’t handle two nights/one and half days, or even ONE night. Poke says maybe they can take just Squeaks. No, you are not going to favor one child over the other. I mean really? Explains a lot about why Poke turned out the way he did! Shitty mothering, shitty grandmothering.

She’s never been a very present grandmother anyway. My parents love to take JI overnight, they shower him with love and hugs and kisses, and my kids are  their world. To Poke’s mom, it’s like they’re a burden, especially JI. But no worries, my bio mom is more than willing to step up. She already has! They’ll be loved by the people who actually want them instead of hurt by the people who don’t. I really don’t understand how she can be this way; my kids are the only grandchildren she has! Poke’s sister hasn’t had any yet and she’s getting up in years, and his brother doesn’t want kids. These boys might be her only grandchildren ever! Yet she chooses to talk shit. Whatever.

I’m not going to play games, I’m just going to act like she doesn’t exist. It’s been working out well for the past couple months. All these years she was on my side, especially when she saw Poke for the monster he could be, but now she hates me. I’m guessing it’s because she is pissed that I returned the faulty product! HA! She said once that she’s afraid for them being raised by me. Well, I guess if she thinks I’m going to be a single mother the way she was, I’d be scared too! Fortunately for my sons, I’m nothing like her.