RAD…

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I am just getting done with this month’s episode of Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

It totally sucks, let me tell you.

Ya know, I also have Asperger’s Syndrome…. but one unofficial diagnosis that I have is RAD – Reactive Attachment Disorder.

I think I maybe should have that become an official diagnosis soon, via my psychiatrist.

I have no idea which diagnosis causes it to be so much easier for me to choose adoption than it seems to be for mothers without these mental health issues.

I intellectualize things. I use logic, sometimes, instead of emotion. I would rather my children be loved and cared for than me struggling to TRY to do those things.

Don’t ever accuse me of not loving my children. Major repercussions for that accusation. I love them. A lot.

It’s just that I remember having to be so mindful about caring for Chloe, at times. I had to think through what seems to come natural for other mothers.

I think I would like to begin helping (foster / adoptive) parents of children / teenagers who have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) – via a blog.

When I comment on RAD message boards (etc.), I realize that I’m very much able to put into words what the child / teenager is probably thinking / feeling / needing (from the parent).

I want to help parents who have children with autism and/or RAD – because, despite its possible rarity (maybe), it is a thing for a child to have both.

I lack purpose in life. Majorly.

One of my biggest strengths (that they list in all of my casework for mental health stuff) is the insight I have into my own behavior … and ability to articulate it all – if I type it out.

Verbally, I become a stuttering fool. I can’t verbalize much of anything, without sounding like a moron. << factual insult to self.

The version of RAD that I deal with is the ambivalent sort.

Traits / Symptoms:

Aversion to touch and physical affection.

Control issues.

Anger problems.

Difficulty showing genuine care and affection.

(Those are just a few.)

…—…—…—

Causes (which my mother has admitted to most of these):

Baby cries and no one responds or offers comfort.

A baby is hungry or wet, and they aren’t attended to for hours. 

No one looks at, talks to, or smiles at the baby, so the baby feels alone.

A young child gets attention only by acting out or displaying other extreme behaviors.

Mistreated or abused. 

littleedited

me, as a baby

Sometimes the child’s needs are met and sometimes they aren’t. The child never knows what to expect. 

A baby or young child is moved from one caregiver to another ((( Grandmother to Dad, constantly ))).

The parent is emotionally unavailable because of depression, illness, etc.

A dust mop is the equivalent of small talk

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A few days ago, I was in the men’s locker room, using an angled broom. (The building was empty, except for co-workers.)

I had used a dust mop to clean the locker room, the day before – but when I mopped, I noticed that the dust mop had done a “piss-poor” job of picking anything up.

So, I happily used the angled broom to sweep the large locker room – just because I like to do a really good job.

I began thinking… “A dust mop is the equivalent of a small talk. It gets absolutely nothing done. It’s a complete waste of time.”

“How are you?” “How about the weather, today?” …blah blah blah blah.

Then, I thought about the fact that I really love to try to be everyone’s friend. I try. But I often fail. I’m socially kind of awkward. I talk too much, reveal too much about myself, and people get bored of me talking. I don’t like small talk, so I avoid it. But people tend to be turned off, if I come at them with heavier topics (that I enjoy more).

Then, I thought about the fact that Chloe’s adoptive dad said (a couple of years ago), “Chloe makes friends with anyone who’s not quick enough to get away.”

That sounds like me… except that I’m grown. I’m not a really, awesomely cute 5 year old girl.

I’m an adult who tries to be everyone’s friend and that’s creepy… apparently. Ugh.

I’m an adult who is bitter. I try to be nice to everyone and be everyone’s friend. But people’s asshole ways have ruined that for me. Especially females. But even some men are difficult to be friends with. Men seem to think I must be hitting on them. The women scoff at me.

Unlike Chloe (so far), I have a lot of bitterness built up against people and their inability to just-be-nice.

Damn dust mops!

You’re sinking your floater!

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For any newbies: I am on the autism spectrum. Sometimes, being on the autism spectrum, some of us need assistance. Those of us who need assistance have usually tried to live / work independently, but we have found it to be an impossibility – despite our greatest efforts.

I have recently re-applied for social security / disability benefits.

I still have my job. I love my job. But recently, I worked too much and had an autistic meltdown.

My boss hired me on as a “floater.” Someone that they’re training to be able to take care of each aspect of the job and to be on-call.

Well, recently – two people haven’t been available. And I’m their only back-up / floater.

I worked 4 hours one afternoon and then 3 hours later I was called in and asked to work another 8 hours. And then the next night, I was called in again  – to do another 8 hours.

I was having trouble coping in the beginning, but I thought I could push through and get it done. Then, the meltdown began rearing its ugly head. It took about 2-3 hours of me trying-to-work, eating pizza that a friend bought for me, some texts and two phone calls …. and then I had my meltdown.

Thankfully, the building was empty, except for my co-worker / supervisor.

My meltdowns have lessened in intensity as I’ve gotten older, but they’re still pretty extreme-looking, if you have no experience with autism.

After my meltdown, I thought I was okay. But I wasn’t. I was mentally and physically exhausted. Which is usual, post-meltdown. My best friend is on the autism spectrum too and she said that it’s pretty usual for her to need at least two days to recover – after a meltdown.

So, this is my first day of recovery. I applied for disability benefits and then came home. I’m getting my shit done – as best as I can.

Please, boss… don’t sink your floater. Please give me a day or two to come back from that meltdown. My brain and body are worn out. It sucks that I had to leave my co-worker to finish the rest of the work, but I had no choice.

Until last night, most of my co-workers and my boss loved me. I came to work, unless I was really sick, every single time I was called in. I think I had to say no twice, since I began the job on Thanksgiving. And that’s with being asked to come in sometimes-with-very, very-little notice.

I’m doing well and I’m proud of myself. But I know my work history. I know that I can’t work full time hours, ever. I want to. You have no idea how badly I want to. But I can’t.

Daphne / Daphne’s father

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If you know me, you know that my conscience is very sensitive. Even just thinking something that would hurt someone else hurts me.

Conscientious almost describes it. Compulsively conscientious. I have to do the best I can do or I fall apart – emotionally.

So, this blog post will be very difficult to publish and allow people to read, but I have to. I can’t let myself OR Daphne’s father get away with this horrible behavior.

Last night, I was mopping at work. Sweeping and mopping give me too much time to think about other things. I prefer to clean restrooms, at work. While doing that, I’m so focused on doing it really well that my brain doesn’t have room for other thoughts.

I thought (while mopping), “More than half my paycheck went to child support for Daphne!!!”

I owe thousands of dollars in back-pay child support. They take out more to try to catch me up.

That’s all while Daphne’s father makes 6 or 7 times (or more) than I do. That’s all while Daphne’s father orders food from restaurants, drinks beer all night, smokes his cigarettes, and has not even one financial worry. He tips people unbelievable amounts – for what little they’ve done for him. He’s tried to pay me for “babysitting” Daphne. He has no financial worry, but I’m worried about my financial situation if I buy a cup of coffee for myself.

I weigh 111 pounds. I’m underweight. But he’s over there eating almost-gourmet meals every single night.

While still clothing a 4 and a half year old with 3T clothing and still having a hard time getting rid of any of her 2T clothing. The last time I was there, she still doesn’t have a proper car seat. Her current car seat won’t buckle properly, because she’s grown. But he puts those kinds of things off.

When she has a tantrum, he wants to “hold her in his arms.” Her tantrums are rarely or never met with any sort of discipline. I’m not talking about spankings, etc. I’m talking about teaching (discipline) her self-control and empathy.

I’m her birth mother, but I wasn’t able to be there for her. I wasn’t able to teach her that she can’t have anything she wants and that she can’t refuse to listen to her parent – all of the time. Yes, I’ve called her a brat (not to her face) several times. Many times. I have no other name to describe her behavior. But that is not her fault. It’s his and it’s mine (for not being there).

But if I had had my way, she would have been adopted. She would have a mom and a dad, self-control, and proper items for every day living. Things that fit her. Things she needs. I want the best for all of my children. Chloe, Daphne, Isaac, and Juliet – they all deserve a good childhood. A safe, good, happy childhood. And two parents. I know there are some great single parents. But Daphne does not have one. He’s not abusive. He’s neglectful, despite having money and a nice house.

Yes, this is a long blog post. But this one was a-long-time-coming. I just tried to hold it all in, but I can’t anymore.

I KNOW that my part of this conversation is almost just-as-bad as his. I know that I’m a terrible person who holds a lot of shame for how I feel about my own 4 year old daughter. I know.

Here’s the text conversation that took place last night:

Me: Hope you enjoy receiving half of my paychecks even though you don’t need it and never use it.

Him: Are you whining? Instead you should be apologizing to Daphne for your behavior in front of her on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You should be embarrassed.

Me: F*ck you and your lazy ass. You have created a brat child and you defend her because you know you have no idea how to be an actual parent. You are just a caregiver. You feed and almost clothe her with clothing that doesn’t even fit her.

Him: Git back to work or go to jail.

Me: You are an idiot. That’s all. You will be alone forever. Have fun.

Him: Jail? Or work?

Me: Go have another beer, alcoholic.

Him: Get back to work, slave.

Me: It is for the brat, not you.

Him: Daphne sees through you better than you see through yourself. She doesn’t want to be alone with your crazy ass. I don’t blame her. Now git back to work!

Me: Cool.

 

End.

((( On Christmas Eve, Daphne was behaving especially bratty. Why? Because the night before, her father allowed her to stay up all night on her iPhone. She didn’t get a normal night’s sleep. She “slept in” until 11am, but woke up in a bad mood. I wasn’t in a great mood either. I hate the holidays. I always have.

Daphne could tell that I was in a bad mood. I wasn’t my normal self. I had a short temper that day. I put her in time out in the bedroom and shut the door (that she’s able to open by herself). I called him (as he was Christmas shopping for her). I told him that she was in time out. By the end of the conversation, I had decided that I needed to go home before I ended up ruining the holidays for them. On Christmas morning, I decided to go visit. I tried to be okay, but I still really wasn’t.

Eddie said he was going to go get eggs for Christmas morning breakfast. Daphne didn’t want to stay with me alone. She wanted to go with him. Children are sensitive to the emotional atmosphere. I don’t blame her either.)))

Did I ever claim to be mother-material? Nope. I chose adoption for many reasons. One being that I don’t have patience for some children’s behavior. Especially if that child hasn’t had any real parenting.

So, that’s that.

I’m done with trying to be in Daphne’s life. She can come find me when she wants to. But not with him there. It’s not that I’m done with Daphne. I’m done with her father. He’s an asshole. Period.

the first step is admitting…

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In 2013, I was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Just months before my diagnosis, I applied for several jobs – all at once.

For about a day and a half, I had three jobs. THREE jobs. (I was hired at three different places, but didn’t work all three jobs in that day and half.) I was pretty excited!

Before I was able to work as much as I was hoping I would get to, I had to quit two of the jobs. 

I felt like I had the whole world on my shoulders, having been hired at so many different places.

I was newly pregnant with my son Isaac. ( I’m going to stop calling my babies by their blog nicknames. I just don’t think it matters anymore. :-p )

The job that I chose to try to keep was at a Subway. If offered the same job today, I would quickly run away.

Subway requires a massive amount of multi-tasking and an ability to process information at quick speeds. Neither of which am I capable of doing.

Any way, yada yada… in 2014, while pregnant with my daughter, Juliet, I had a data entry job at an insurance agency. Contracted position.

If I could give 2014-Stephanie some advice, I’d tell her… “don’t talk to your co-workers.” … “sit at lunch, alone.” … “just do your d-mn work.”… and … “emotionally prepare for Chloe’s adoption anniversary in October.”

So, it’s 2016… and I can very readily admit which jobs (and housing situations) I can handle and which ones I should run away from – faster than …whatever’s really-really fast.

I’d describe my current situation as OK. It’s not a long-term solution for homelessness and unemployment, but I’m OK. 

I think it’s been a little over a month since I’ve seen Daphne. I think my friends would agree that I’ve done the best I can do to be apart of her life. And that’s all I can really say, right now.

PMDD

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Want to see what I’m like, when I’m TRYING to be nice – when PMS (or, in my case, PMDD) hits? See previous blog post.

Darn, that it had to hit during Mother’s Day weekend!

It’s all over and I’m back to being the-real-me.

Step 1: bloat

Step 2: crave chocolate; be not-as-nice

Step 3: be really, really not-as-nice

Step 4: notice that I’m not-as-nice

Step 5: feel better, become the-real-me again.

There’s more, but this is my attempt at documenting it, without being all-TMI about it.

Hey, my-daughters, beware that you’re susceptible to this PMDD junk. It really sucks and mine began affecting my life at age 16. I just forget, every month, and then live in denial, until it hits again.

Love y’all.chloe

Mother’s Day…?

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Let me not assume you know how I feel anymore. Let me just be me… really, really straightforward.

Almost 6 years ago, I became a mother. Again, a couple of years later. Again. And then, again.

So, 4 times, I’ve given birth to a human being. That, alone, makes me a mother.

So, after giving birth, there are 364 other days of that one year.

Those 364 days, do you think I really just…forgot… that I’m a mother?

Then, take out my child’s birthday and let’s look at Mother’s Day!

So, 363 days of the year, it’s not one of my children’s birthday and it’s not Mother’s Day. Do you think I forgot that I’m a mother, during THOSE 363 days of the year?

So, when you don’t say anything to me on Mother’s Day, I’ve just been sitting here for over 300 days of this particular year KNOWING that I’m a mother.

But on that one day, my so-called friends choose not to say anything to me, because reminding me that I’m a mother would be so hurtful and I might get upset.

REALLY?

Your logic has completely failed.

Let’s just celebrate cappuccinos, on National Coffee Day! Yeah… ’cause regular coffee doesn’t want to be reminded that they don’t taste as good. That would be so hurtful. Regular coffee forgets that it’s coffee, until National Coffee Day, doesn’t it?

That’s just as stupid sounding, as the aforementioned Mother’s Day logic.

 

Thank you… strange, not very thoughtful people.