The Most “Wonderful” Time of the Year

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Bah Humbug.

I haven’t felt Christmas-y since 2013. In 2014 I was incredibly pregnant with Squeaks, in 2015 Poke and I had been split up for five months and I was dealing with JI’s behaviour, and this year we don’t have our own home and I don’t have any money to buy new presents for the boys or gifts for anyone else. It sucks. I’m so happy to not be homeless, and I am so happy that I have Squishy in our lives. I got a job and I’m only part time for now, but I am happy to be employed.  Overall, things are fine. Nothing is terrible.

I feel terrible though. JI keeps asking why we haven’t decorated, why there is no tree, why we have no lights. He wants to know if he is going to get a lot of boxes on Christmas morning. This is the second year he has been interested in Christmas, and I feel like I am going to fail him. I know that it is not all about the gifts, but when I have practically nothing to give but some old hand-me-down playsets, I feel like a bad mother.

In addition to feeling badly about not having enough things for the boys, I feel bad for just not being in holiday spirit. I have been trying very hard, but things have been rough around here lately, and I just don’t have it in me to be jolly. I am tired and stressed all the time. I have $40 to last me two weeks. I have no idea when my first paycheck will come. I feel like I am hovering over an abyss that could suck me in at any time. It’s so frustrating. This headache hasn’t gone away for almost a month.

But damn, as happy as I am for the things mentioned earlier, it would be really nice to get a break. I’ve been busting my ass for these kids and my family and our lifestyle for so long, and I have absolutely nothing to show for it. JI tells me that he loves Squishy more than me, and he wishes I would go away. Squeaks went from being a great sleeper to some kind of 3rd shift monster. Very little of the furniture and stuff in the house is mine; I’m simply existing in someone else’s world. It hurts.

There’s nothing to do but carry on, so carry on I shall. Keep smiling, keep being cheerful, fake it til I make it. Right?

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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.

Prisoner

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I love my sons and I love my job. Nothing is better than getting to play with kids and cuddle a baby all day! But I am a prisoner in my own home. I am a prisoner in my own life. I might as well be writing this from prison. The only difference is that they actually get to interact with other adults on a daily basis, whereas I am stuck with all children under five 24/7.

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I am very lonely. It has become physically painful. I’ve never had much depression, but lately everything is horrible. Everything makes me cry. I can’t be happy about hardly anything. Last weekend I threw a small birthday party for my best friend; after everyone left, I basically just sat on the couch and bawled my eyes out. Yesterday we had JI’s birthday party, which was huge with lots of festivities and people, tons of gifts, food, and lots of fun. I went to bed early, I slept for a long time with a few interruptions, and then my bio mom left this afternoon. Now I want to cry again. Tomorrow it’s back to the grind, trying to make kids listen to me and cleaning up bodily fluids.

wp-1468790378293.jpgWhat is my problem? Nothing is wrong in my life. The stress of dealing with Poke and going through this divorce isn’t that bad. It’s mostly annoying. My income is good right now. My health is fine. My kids are healthy. My family is fine. Nothing is WRONG. This can’t all be caused by loneliness, can it?

I was dating a guy for about three weeks when he suddenly disappeared. He literally texted me that he wanted to come over and I never heard from him again. That former marine who I have been talking to off and on all year randomly contacts me every six weeks or so. I lost a good friend over a guy who lied to me and lied to her. I hardly get to see my best friend because she has a boyfriend now and only wants to spend time with him. Even when we do hang out, he comes along and they leave early. I like him, I like to hang out with him, but I miss my best friend.

wp-1468790431696.jpgI truly feel like I am completely alone. I have lots of friends online, but what kind of life is that, living online only? There’s no guarantee that they care about me. I know some of them do, but others, who knows. Guys online tell me how beautiful I am, they want to send me dick pics, they call me “baby” and other lovely pet names. How do I know I’m not one in a long line of girls? I don’t. So it’s hard for me to be completely open when talking to these guys online. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t have the option of joining any kind of groups because I don’t have anyone to watch my kids. I do have a babysitter, but she is young and I don’t want to keep her out late… pshh, as if I have any dates anyway. Yeah right. I guess I’m just feeling like a big fat loser right now, and everything that is happening keeps reinforcing those feelings. Are there any good books on how to simply live with loneliness?

The Journey Continues

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Back in September we got the provisional diagnosis of Autism for JI. Since that time he went through more evaluations and observations, and earlier this month we received the official diagnosis of ASD level II + Unspecified impulse control & conduct disorder.

School this year was, to put it mildly, horrible. The year started off great, then got really really bad, then it was okay, and then it was just nothing. We agreed to end his school year early because he was basically just sleeping at school every day, and the thing they needed to do with him, socialization, wasn’t being accomplished at all. He only missed nine days, so I don’t care, and the daily fighting was getting to be too much every morning. He’s not even going to participate in the “graduation” because merely mentioning it sends him into a panic. No thank you. I’m so ready for summer and preparing for a new start at a new school.

Because we have the official diagnosis, it was added to his IEP and now we can get the exact services and therapies we need for him. When he starts kindergarten in the fall, he will spend some of the school day in a resource room and some of the day with the NT kids in the regular classroom. He will receive behavioural and speech therapy regularly, and occupational therapy as needed.

The strangest thing about autism is how it is SO different from one child to another. Sure, there are certain signs and symptoms that are shared by all kids on the spectrum, but even those are not always the same. Just because I can parent my autistic child doesn’t mean that I could parent your autistic child. Maybe it would be easier, maybe it would be harder. There are so many differences!

Personally, I have very few problems with JI,  likely because I suspect I am on the spectrum myself (a therapist suggested this years ago, and I definitely fit a lot of the traits) and also because I understand what it is like to be a “weirdo”. All my life my mom told me how weird I am, friends and strangers have called me weird, and I always feel weird. I get why he can’t or won’t do certain things, eat certain things, etc. I know how to talk to him to get him to behave and comprehend what is happening. I’m excited for kindergarten and a new school with all new teachers, if only because I feel that his pre-K had their mind made up about him being the bad kid, the troublemaker. I hope that a whole new environment will mean a good fresh start!

Cave

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I have decided to temporarily remove myself from society. Life has gotten to be far too stressful and hurtful, and I have not-so-suddenly found myself surrounded by far too many toxic people and situations. This is not to say that everyone in my life is bad for me; quite the contrary. I have a lot of good friends who help me through the day on a regular basis. The problem is just that though – my friends constantly have to help me through the day. I need to get my life to the point where I don’t need help just to be alive, where I don’t need reassurance just to exist. Let me make it perfectly clear, too, that I’m not suicidal. I want to live, I just don’t want to live like this.

I’ve already gone off Facebook, so if you follow my page, don’t worry, I’ll be back shortly. I hardly use Twitter, so that’s basically going to stay the same. I think that by focusing on myself and the boys, I’ll be able to actually work on this blog more, update my Instagram, which makes me happy because I love sharing, spend more time on Pinterest, which is really relaxing and inspiring for me, and hopefully be able to “get back to me” or whatever the cliche is. I just know that after the deaths of two of my good friends, a huge ridiculous argument with two people I thought knew me better than to have said argument, and the continuing harassment from my former daycare client, I had to go. It was all getting to be too much. I dreaded the phone ringing, I feared opening emails and private messages on Facebook, I even winced when I would get more than one text in a row. I was afraid to live my own life because I didn’t want to feel the next hurtful thing that someone would say or do to me. I can’t exist like that. I just cannot.

You may say, “Well, Kel-Bell, you’re still online, you’re still going out in public, you’re still posting, how are you removed from society?” I will answer this: I get to control those things. On Pinterest and Instagram, I get to choose what I look at and what people see much easier than on Facebook and in “real life”. When I go out in public, which I have done once since making this decision, I don’t look at anyone, I don’t seek out contact, I go do what I have to do and be done with it. Being off Facebook eliminates 90% of the problem, because even though I share all my business on there, and I do so knowing that I leave myself open to criticism and rejection and all kinds of negativity, I usually don’t get anything negative from my friends – it all comes from other places. For example, my former daycare client has taken to messaging all the people who left reviews on my business page, and she reported me to Facebook for a plethora of untrue things, making the simple act of logging in a five minute process. In order to connect with my friends, I have to read their personal stories and dramas, which is not a problem, except for when I can’t even handle my own. Leaving Facebook gives me space in my head to not think about things, and right now that’s exactly what I need.

I wish I could go live in a cave for a month. I wouldn’t even take the boys; I’d let them keep living life normally. I need to be secluded in a dark, quiet place, somewhere I can rest and recharge, so that I can be for once the good mother and friend I am supposed to be.

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.

The Single Life

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wpid-wp-1444259775007.jpegWow. Being a single mom is absolutely nothing like being a single childless person. It’s awesome, because I am fully in control and I don’t have to worry about Poke fucking things up anymore, don’t have to worry about co-parenting or who is doing which chores, or if he’s cheating on me again. I don’t have to clear things with him, ask for permission, or wonder what effect my actions will have on him or our relationship. SO, basically, I’m acting like he did the whole time we were together! Ba-da-bup! But seriously, it is amazing. I am still incredibly happy, though the “honeymoon” – or anti-honeymoon – phase has ended.

I am glad that Seanatello was around for the six weeks that he was, because it helped me get through the toughest part of leaving Poke. If he hadn’t been here, there’s a good chance that on those long nights and difficult days when I missed Poke, I would have asked him to come back. But, because I was distracted with Seanatello, I never even considered it, thank wpid-wp-1444259589791.jpeggod. That would have been a huge mistake. Now that Seanatello is gone, it sucks to be alone, but at least he left his dog. *rolls eyes*

Being a single mom is horrible. Everything is on my shoulders, and I have nobody to blame but myself, ever. I never get any kind of relief, I am literally with at least two children 24/7 – during the day, it’s four to six kids, all boys! – and I have very little adult interaction in real life. When I need a hug, I have to get it from JI. When I am horny, I have to take care of myself. Well, that’s typical anyway, but as a single person with no kids, I could just go out to the bar and take my pick! And, because Poke and his heartless, evil mother refuse to take the boys on weekends anymore, I literally, literally have zero time off. Yes, you read that right, he’s completely abandoned his children, with the guidance or support from his mother. It’s disgusting, because Poke grew up without a father, so he should know better. Apparently he doesn’t give a flying fuck about JI’s feelings. Squeaks is too little yet, and hopefully will have no memories of this traumatic time.

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Speaking of trauma, JI has been absolutely fucked up by this entire situation. After Bitch Mother in Law came to my house and said, in front of JI, that she doesn’t want him anymore and that he is too bad to come over, JI has been a completely different child. He has had one green day, one yellow day, and FIVE red days in 7 days of school. Prior to her tantrum, he’d had only ONE red day, which was because he’d only gotten two hours of sleep before school. JI was set to have an amazing wpid-wp-1444259884824.jpegyear, and now he’s back on the shit track. I can’t control his behaviour anymore; he’s either angry or crying, clinging to me or being a bully to the other kids. He even hit two kids at school! Poke doesn’t care either; when I text him and tell him what is happening, he only has something snarky to reply or he doesn’t reply at all. What a fucking loser. In the long run these boys will be better off without him in their lives, but right now JI isn’t emotionally mature enough to deal with it, and I don’t know what to do. I’m trying to get him into counseling as a start.

…that’s it for now. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, and so forth. Tomorrow I find out more information on JI’s autism (or not) diagnosis, so that’ll will hopefully be one less thing to worry about. Even if he does get an affirmative diagnosis, at least I’ll finally know.

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