You've seen Alice in Wonderland, haven't you? Or read it? Remember that scene (chapter) where she was crying so much the room filled up with her tears and flooded? Yeah, that's about how I felt this weekend.
(photo credit: disney.wikia.com)
It wasn't that anything HAPPENED, per se... it was what I'd held in all week. It was a hellish week with my kids. I alluded to that in earlier posts this week, and on facebook I said:
"This week was hard. Crazy hard. The kind where you don't want to go to sleep at night because that just means the next day will come sooner and facing it seems nearly impossible..."
So right about the time their dad picked them up on Saturday morning, the floodgates let loose. And lasted intermittently throughout the weekend. My poor friends had to handle me via text (I tend to isolate when I'm at my lowest)... most were awesome and encouraging, and tried to come up with solutions (I'm still pondering some of them). One friend had to handle me bowing out of a movie date because every suggestion he made of movies he wanted to see made me start crying again (usually I'm the more agreeable of the two of us regarding movies and I'll go with whatever he chooses, but I was too overwhelmed this week to consider sitting through "Machete Kills" or "Gangster"... something or other. So I asked if we could just do it another time. I don't think he was very happy with me.
The week was so bad, I actually started to consider the recommendations of a few friends to put my kids back in school. Not because they learn there (they don't), but because... well... they aren't cooperating with schoolwork here, either. So they aren't learning much anywhere right now. And they are getting in trouble here, too - being seriously unkind to each other, refusing to do chores. I feel like I have an all-out coup on my hands! By putting the kids back in school, I'd be choosing to remove myself from one battle - the schoolwork. And it just might save any relationship we have (their attachment disorder makes any relationship with them negligible... but being mom AND teacher makes it worse, rather than better like I'd always hoped.)
Then I mentioned to someone else who happened to call me and ask how things were going that I was starting to entertain the idea of putting them in school. And got slapped in the face with "You just got through saying school wasn't good for your kids, and now you're just going to THROW THEM AWAY, just because things got hard?" Um yeah... not really ashamed to say I hung up the phone immediately without even replying to that attack. And cried more. And wouldn't answer when she kept trying to call back. That kind of "support" was the last thing I needed this week.
I spent a lot of the day yesterday researching possible careers. Looking at online colleges to complete my degree. Even applying to one. And then... I closed those computer windows and decided to try yet another technique with the kids.
Because I'm not ready to give up this fight just yet. I'm not saying I won't. I very well might! Just... not today. I re-worked our daily schedule. I changed the way they handle their daily assignments (they are WAY behind to complete the school year on time. Not because they have too much expected, but only because they've been defiant and lazy. But I broke it up into smaller, more manageable chunks at least. They won't have less to do... just less to focus on at one sitting.) This morning, the anger walks have been abundant. I told them I don't care if they just go to the end of the block and back, or if they are gone for an hour... as long as they don't come back until they are ready to cooperate. So far today, they've chosen the short ones, but it's helping some already, knowing that giving me attitude is going to result in my pointing at the door.
As... I just paused in my writing to do yet again with my younger son. Sigh...
According to Molly's most recent letter, she's been in some trouble too. Is it some cosmic force? A full moon? Some odd alignment of planets or tides or some air pressure system that stretches from here to Mississippi? (A few other friends mentioned having similar weeks, too.) She said she was assigned 300 sentences for bad behavior "but I finished them!" I can't wait to ask her what the sentence was and why... as bad as it sounds, I have a feeling it will make me giggle a bit. I still do when I think of the sentence she mentioned getting before she came home the last time. "Screaming and throwing notebooks is never acceptable." We all (Molly included) got a good laugh over the image of that one, particularly when I acted it out, and she said I was pretty much spot on. Yeah... I know my girl. I tell my kids often "I know you better than you know yourself." Haha.
I realize I'm all over the place here. I realize my thoughts are jumbled and inconsistent, and my opinions may not line up from one day to the next. Just ride the wave, ok? I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm not trying to be crazy. But raising kids from hard places, from trauma, from abuse and neglect... it's MESSY! And it makes your brain pretty darn messy, too. I'm doing the best I can, with what I have, in the time I'm afforded, with the circumstances I've been given. And that may not be good enough for some. I may not make the decisions you would make. But I'm trying to do what's best for all five of us. Today and for the long term. (And there is no long term if we don't figure out how to survive today!) This is the family God gave me... for whatever reason. And I'm doing my best to juggle all that entails.
To end with a favorite Alice Quote: