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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Recognizing my shortcoming.....

Actually, I think I should have entitled this "Getting whacked across the head and slapped in the face by my own shortcomings....."

I woke up Monday morning about 20 minutes before i had to get up.  I did NOT relish the idea of crawling out of bed, letting the dog out, getting the kids clothes for school together and waking them up...I did not relish the thought of having to vacuum and wash last nights dishes before the kids I take care of arrive....I did not relish the thought of another day of worrying about how Josiah's day was going....I did not relish the thought of dealing with the building permit process AGAIN (yes, I am still working on just GETTING the permit)....relish, relish relish--maybe I need to add some mustard to my thoughts....

So after a few minutes of dreading the day, a day that had not even started yet, a day fresh and new, a day that Who Knows what is going to happen, I realize I had already judged a day that had not even begun...

I have been doing that too much lately. A dear family member of mine is going through a deep depression.  I can empathize with her and give her advice and a listening ear because I have been there.  I spent many years struggling with clinical depression, which eventually neared the debilitating level.  I finally got serious about fixing some old problems that I never dealt with by going into some intensive therapy.  It was not an overnight fix, it was a few years of developing a rapport with a new therapist, working through various trauma's on a variety of different levels, and learning to trust myself, and to know how to separate the emotions tied into the past from the actual emotions of the present.  Sure I worked full time, had a good social life, and an overall successful and good life while I was doing that.  The internal changes that came about gave me the ability to really appreciate and enjoy those external successes.  It was amazing, for the first time in my life I knew how to embrace life without have a constant cloud subduing and dampening everything. 

That was before I met A, before I adopted my children, before all hell broke lose in our lives 3 years ago....And I weathered the ups and downs, ins and outs of these past three years well.  Even with the many challenges, the losses, the stress....All of it I have been able to role with.  My battle with clinical depression appeared to be over...if I could make it through all of what I made it through the past few years and still have my emotions and attitude in check, well I figured I had truly overcome depression (real depression, not hte normal blues and blahs that everyone gets).

But lately I have found my attitude being in totally the wrong place, sometimes, Like Monday, bad from before I even get out of bed.  Today should have been a great day--I went with Josiah's class on a field trip in the morning.  We had fun, and it was great to be part of that adventure.  It was only a 1/2 day trip, so the kids still had school to finish when we got back.  I knew Josiah was tired, but his wonderful aid was going to have him take a rest on his mat.  I figured he would fall asleep, so I left to run errands before my little charge was to be dropped off at 2:00.  I went to my dad's and fed and watered the chickens.  Then I got my mail, and my parents gifts had come in.  Christmas shopping is almost done.  Then I went home and checked messages, I got a call from the town, and my building permit was done!!  Yippee!!!  So I ran down there and paid the fee and got my permit, NOW i can begin renovating my new space and turning it from a laundromat into a house equipped to do daycare.    I was back easily in time to be there when the little one I babysit came.  So I should have had a good day, right...?

Well, after Jos got home, the phone rang and it was the school principal telling me that Josiah had exhibited a very disturbing behavior and asked if his aid had said anything.  She had not said much, just that he did not nap and had a rough period int he afternoon, but that he had come around and finished the day okay.  But the principal was very concerned, and was going to look into the incident more closely.

And I had an emotional meltdown.  THAT is what is zapping my strength, that is my shortcoming...I don't understand what is going on with Josiah.  He has always been my little charmer, my ALWAYS happy boy.  He has always been strong willed but ever since he was a baby, he has been pleasant and self-motivates, and more than willing to push through obstacles.  But ever since starting school KINDERGARTEN he has been exhibiting SO many behaviors, so much frustration, so many inappropriate responses and actions--I am literally beside myself trying to figure out what is going on with him.  The weird thing is that if this were Gonz, I would be upset or annoyed with it, but not dumbfounded, because Gonz HAS a  lot of social and emotional issues that stem from so many places.  With Gonz, I almost expect poor behavior and work very hard to support, encourage, and wrangle him into a secure position to keep behaviors and anxiety in check.  BUT JOSIAH!?!!?? 

My shortcomings that have been running into me lately--I have not been eating right--yes, I do the whole grains, eats beans, lean meats, and try to get enough veggies--but lately my evening have wrought with hunger that is not based in nutritional need but rather in emotional need, so I have been over eating very often.  I have not had the energy to keep a neat or tidy house, so every morning when I get up, I run around for the first half hour doing dishes from the day before, cleaning up the living room, doing all the things that I could have and should have done the night before.  I have multiple baskets filled with clean unfolded clothes, that need to be folded and put away, but I have a motivational or action block that I just donw' understand.  And the longer these behavior issues with Josiah go on, the more I feel like i must be doing something wrong as a parent.  I have tried so many different "expert" parenting techniques (and some old school ones too).  I don't know how to help him understand that his behavior is making his life uncomfortable.  I don't know how to understand what is wrong that makes him have to act out in such drastic ways.  I don't know how to help him. Everyday I put on a strong, confident face, I talk to the teachers and others who work with him and try to remain personable, professional, and share what I know and what I have read about.  I try to be a good parent and a good team member.  And still I feel like Josiah is slipping through the cracks.  The boy who ALWAYS had a smile spends a lot of time crying and being angry now.  My son who was just a ball of joy and amazement is just clouded and fearful that what he is doing is wrong.  I don't know what is happening with him, for him, I just know that I don't know what to do to help him, and no one seems to have any answers.

 And I feel powerless......I just keep praying for something, anything to help this situation.  I-don't-know-what-to-do-for-him or for myself........And slowly but steadily I feel that dark cloud of depression growing, and I am pulling out everything in my arsenal to not go back to that state, but until I can figure out what is going on with Josiah and help him find himself again, I don't see how I can escape the slow dulling of my world.  That is my biggest shortcoming of all......

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