Monday, April 1, 2013

Too much information?

Remember when I used to blog?  Remember how it was sarcastic and light and fun to read?  I think I have been having a hard time the past few years feeling light and fun.  Maybe this explains why I stopped blogging.

Those that know me know that we have been through a LOT the past few years, and I think I really am starting to notice what a negative impact I have allowed our struggles to have on our lives...and that makes me really disappointed in myself.  (Have you caught on that this will NOT be one of those light, fun posts?)

Today at work, one of the speech therapists brought up a patient to check out and pay her copay.  As part of this patient's therapy, she had made a list of things to talk to me about and her therapist stood there to make sure she remembered.  At one point, the patient started to launch into a personal story (that totally applied to what we were talking about), and the therapist stopped her and said "Too much information!"  I know this was a part of her therapy- something they had been working on together- but it just didn't sit well with me.  It made me feel sad and uncomfortable.  I can be a bit of a talker (and sharer of personal information), myself, so I felt a little defensive.

I mean, what is so wrong with taking the time to listen to a little story someone wants to share?  Honestly, I'm kinda bugged that I didn't get to hear how it all played out.  She was telling me about putting in eye drops and losing her balance...then the story ended abruptly with "I got a bruise" when the TMI warning was given.  We are all so busy and impatient and focused on our own time constraints that we don't allow ourselves time to be human!  I could go on and on about other things that are ruining our humanity (Facebook, texting, etc...), but since I'm such an offender, I won't get on a soap box.

I was still kind of thinking about this throughout the evening, even as I sat on my bed checking emails and yelling directions to my kids to get ready for bed.  But when I glimpsed my little girl in the mirror of the bathroom across the hall, brushing her hair and quietly singing to herself, my heart broke.  How is this any different?  I come home, exhausted from work, and selfishly want to crash on my bed and veg out while my kids take care of themselves.  They are mostly self-sufficient, but does that mean they no longer need me?  When did I stop brushing Hazel's hair?  When did I stop singing them to sleep?  Reading a story?   When did I become so impatient with their long, run-on stories about every little detail of a video they saw or a conversation they had that day?  When did I start treating all their treasured words and actions as TMI? 

Yes- our lives have been really tough lately, but why should THEY suffer?  I can't keep beating myself up about it, because I know that won't help, but I stood up from the computer and made sure our night ended on a positive note.  One day at a time, I'm going to make it better.  I'm going to erase their memories of my selfish neglect and replace them with happy ones as much as possible.  That's possible, right?  RIGHT?!?!  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Can we just pretend is hasn't been almost three months YEARS since my last post?  I'm just sitting here going over every experience and thought I've had in that time, and I can assure you- you haven't really missed anything.
Tonight, I want to complain.  You may have seen this precious little picture on Facebook:

This little girl is so many things.  She is beautiful, smart, HILARIOUS, determined, entertaining, talented, sensitive and just super cool.

 But I swear she will be the death of me. 

I can remember crying when I found out I was having a girl, and again when I had her.  I turned to Nathan and said through sobs, "She's going to hate me."  Granted, there's just a little bit of emotion flying around when you're giving birth, but I've had that same thought many times over the past 8 years.

I feel (on a pretty regular basis) like I am failing at being Hazel's mom.  I just haven't figured myself out enough yet to figure out how to raise a little mini-me successfully.  Does that make sense?  I could go on forever about all the issues we struggle through together, but suffice it to say it's just hard being her mom sometimes.  She's one tough little cookie. 

She (and therefore all of us) deals with pretty extreme anxiety, and that's what I want to focus on in this post.  She fixates on certain things for long periods of time.  "What if I'm too small to hold my baby when I have one?"  "Do I have to move away from my family to go to college?"  "Do we have to drive on the highway to get there?"  "How old am I going to be when you die, Mom?"  I don't mean that she has these thoughts and over-analyzes them in the moment.  I mean she will think about, dream about and talk non-stop about one of these thoughts for months until it becomes almost crippling.  I feel like it prevents her from being as carefree as she should at her age.

Most times, this anxiety translates into an upset stomach.  That's where the crippling comes into play.  I feel like this little girl's stomach controls our every move sometimes.  It becomes very frustrating.  This past couple of weeks has been no exception, but I just haven't been able to pinpoint something that is stressing her out.  She complained for 8 straight days about her stomach, but never threw up or had a fever (or any other symptoms). 

"Can you turn down that music?  My stomach hurts."

"I don't want to eat at a restaurant tonight.  My stomach hurts."

"I just turned cartwheels across the living room, then did a back flip off the couch, but I can't help straighten up 'cause my stomach hurts."

Needless to say, we lost our patience.

So when she woke up in the middle of the night last night saying she was going to throw up, I sent Nathan to deal with it (by yelling at her that she wasn't sick and better go back to bed).  When she got up a second time, I sent Nathan to deal with it again (in the same manner). 

When she got up a third time and I had had enough of his yelling, I finally stomped into the bathroom to take over, and she proceeded to throw up....6 times throughout the night.  After the first time, she looked up at me with the saddest little face and said "NOW will you just believe me?"

See?  Failing.