I've recently come upon an occasion (or 12, I do see a therapist after all) where I have to ask some really difficult questions. Self inventory kind of questions. Questions that really have no right or wrong answer, but leaving them unanswered just isn't an option.
What I've done in the past is just avoid those questions. It's easier that way. Leaving those questions unanswered means that I don't have to look at myself, into myself, to find out what it is that makes me tick.
What I've come to realize is that I'm at the point where I can't avoid them anymore. Let me tell you, that sucks ass.
These kinds of things make me feel vulnerable and scared, and that always rises the hackles and puts me on the defensive and usually leads me to being pissed off. I know I'm getting pissed when I start swearing more (yes, I swear when talking with my therapist). I get loud too. My loudness has taken a long long long time to get to any semblance of control, and when I'm angry, that control slips and slides away.
I've discovered that being the parent of these kids, these very special kids who need so much from everyone around them, is that I really don't know shit. That sounds funny doesn't it? It's true. I don't know a God Damned Thing About Anything. Everything that I've needed to know as an adult I've been learning from these kids. Well, and my husband too.
It's a process. This parenting thing. It takes so much time and effort to be a parent.
I know of many parents who look at me and say "I don't know how you do it all, I can barely handle my *insert any number* kids." This is normal for me. Trust me when I tell you that I don't know how I do it either. I wake up in the morning, do what needs to be done and then go to bed each night. That's how I do it. I know that if someone else were in my situation, they'd do the same thing, or at least I'd hope so. After all, being a parent is doing what needs to be done, no matter how much you want to, or don't want to, do it.
I was talking with Deb today about crisis and what IS a crisis. I've had many family workers who have said "I'm sorry, I can't come today, I've got a crisis" which is ALWAYS ok. It leads me to wonder, what exactly IS a crisis. In my mind, it's a kid ending up in jail or in the hospital. He/she has seriously hurt themselves or someone or are about to. That's crisis to me. Apparently, I live in a state of crisis and didn't know it. To an outside observer at least it looks that way.
I worry about what the future holds for my kids. It's not more one than the other, they each have their own very unique challenges ahead of them. I worry about how James will function in the working world. Authority and he don't mix well at all. I worry about Jayda and how she'll manage with such difficulties with comprehension. I worry about whether Izzy will even be able to communicate in a manner which can be understood by his family, let alone everyone else around him. How will these children hold jobs, have meaningful relationships, build families of their own?
I'm the kind of person who is loathe to ask for outside help unless THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. I've exhausted all of my options, all of my knowledge and I'm left staring at the wall going "Fuck, I need help NOW". I guess that's why the crisis thing to me is so extreme. Anything up to that point can/should be handled "in house". Screaming temper tantrums with or without throwing things and statements/proclamations of anger/frustration/anxiety/distrust/hatred/violence? Check, I can handle that. Needing to be held down in order to administer medication or keep from doing harm to self or others? Check, got that one covered too. Standing for an hour to hold a bedroom door closed to keep the child and keep him safe from himself and others? Yep, got that taken care. Sadly these are instances that happen frequently here. And I don't call for "backup".
There are so many kids out there that are throwing themselves off of roofs (I will admit that when James threatened to do that, I did call for backup, which was NO help and I took care of it myself) and shooting/stabbing/attacking people and running away and so many other horrible things that needing to restrain my child until he can regain his control seems so, well...minor. Deb tells me that I need to stop comparing it to what the other kids are doing. I need to look at it as an outsider would. Which is damn hard considering I'm living here every day.
How did this post go from self inventory questions to defining a crisis? It's simple really. When do I declare the State of Emergency and let loose with the tornado siren? Is my definition of crisis really the best guide? Would it be better to use the guide of someone else? And if I do, what exactly can they do for me? Trust me when I say talking to me/him on the phone won't cut it. If the person responding can't come here, then don't bother wasting my time. I'm too busy handling the situation and he's too busy causing it to be bothered with the phone.
So that's that. We'll see how it goes. I'm working with our family worker, Stacey, now about this. To see what we can come up with.