Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Socially Challenged Bozo I Am

I'd like to tell y'all that I've been busy embarking upon some remarkable feat lately, I dunno, like learning a new language, or re-painting my entire house, learning to lay tiles or to refinish furniture.

Instead I've slumped in an easy chair watching crime shows on TV.  Dateline, 20/20, and that new channel Investigative Discovery.  I tell myself it's because I'm absolutely fascinated with human behavior, and that's the truth, Ruth.  One might wanna guide me to studying positive human behavior instead - but with the way I've been living for way too long, it behooves me to learn more about the other side.

Weird though, since on that other side there's so much hopelessness, negativity and precious few answers.  I like the shows that have a forensic psychologist who attempts to deconstruct the criminal's childhood, the common denominator so often being due to being unwanted, unplanned for children, abused and neglected, surrounded by drunks, druggies and other criminals, resented for their very existence, shunted into foster care, few ever being adopted, but even those who did become adopted were so often very damaged - too damaged by their early childhood to not go out into the world in a rage.

BTDT.  I'd be angry too.  I understand.

However, looking at my family and into so many of your families via email telling me your stories, the majority of our adopted children did well.

In my family too, this is true.  Yet us mamas gnash our teeth over those who've seemingly failed to fit into civilized society, the whole Prodigal Son thing where we're expending all of our effort, pouring ourselves into children who turn  everything round to suit themselves as they blame everyone around them.

One of my grown children had gone to a counselor years ago who told her to respect her own boundaries, not to put out the Welcome Mat to those who'd mistreat her.

That's kind of where I find myself right now as well.  If you can't be nice to me, then please stay away.  I'm not a ghetto girl who wants to be in a screaming match with you, I don't wanna argue, I'm appalled by so many poor choices demonstrated by some, I'd best just keep my opinion to myself.  My boundaries are erected, I'm not your punching bag anymore.

I prefer to live in peace and silence, to weed my gardens, to be productive, to attend soccer games, not court hearings.

I forgive everyone, I move on, I need to be left alone if one does not come my way with emotional kindness.

I have many very attached children and grandchildren who need me to not be mired in that which I cannot change, the whole Serenity Prayer thing going on here within my mind.

I've painted nothing, I need to repaint a bunch.  Yesterday when the sun was finally showing, as the temps rose to a paltry 54 degrees I went outside to scamper around like a little socially challenged Bozo and do yard work happily, we got CW's ancient Prelude sold to a guy who already has a couple of these old cars, needing CW's as well.

I've pondered a newer vehicle for me too, if I sold the 2004 15 passenger van.  My 1999 truck has been not starting for me lately, unless I dig around under the hood first, but I'm just not yet convinced I could either swing it without my van yet, or what to do.  When in doubt, don't.  Always been my motto.  I'm happy with not making an automotive move right now.

I've not been exercising, I have been eating right though.  I seriously have Seasonal Affective Disorder, every single symptom.  Just ask my mom how irritable I've been.  Next week is supposed to be warm and I know I'll improve.

The issues swirling around me involving those who I can't force to make better choices still stresses me out, pero no hay remedio, there's nothing to be done, literally there's no remedy.  No spit, Sherlock?

Shake it off Cindy, go on a hike, take your spading fork and flip over the soil in a garden bed. Do something lazy bird, this slump is your own doing.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

IED's Fall-Out Damages

Some very significant difficulties here lately, one can't force feed necessary medications to those who need it.  A parent can't physically stop self-destructive behaviors in children, and it leads to a great deal of stress for a parent.  We KNOW what can happen, they think they know it all, and then dadgum it happens, just as we'd warned them.

I feel often, internally, as if I'm carrying the weight of, and for, so many adults who are stuck - for lack of a better word.

I don't wanna enable and I don't wanna ignore, yet I have to disengage often so as to de-escalate situations.  The other person does not have that coping skill, so I have to try and remain calm as they explode or act out.  It's never easy.

Also the weight of The Blame Game - where everyone blames me for everything.  "They feel as if they can't blame themselves, or they'd then have to make obvious changes.  Easier to blame you, or the cops, or their bosses," professional therapists have often explained to me, as I grapple with the ensuing resentment.

One of the challenges that destroys the self-esteem of some Hazardous Parents is the professionals who deny our reality and keep throwing more ineffective tools or methods or ideas or strategies at us despite us saying that nothing is working. When they finally do hear us, they determine the lack of change is because we didn't do anything right - and we believe them. I strongly challenge that thinking - I believe we all try our best but some of our kids just aren't going to *okay* during their growing up years and it isn't because of our parenting. Its just the way it is. So, when you find yourself starting to slide down the self-esteem ladder - take an honest look - are you really using the strategies you've learned? If you are and they are working - great! If you are and they aren't working - then accept what you have to deal with and don't take any crap. Most people in the world wouldn't have tried at all. Stand tall and know that you tried, and tried some more. Be proud of yourself as a parent and as a person. Hey, you are entitled to a better day. 

Dr. Brenda McCreight spoke those word on Facebook.  Go 'Like' her page on Hazardous Parenting in order to see these affirmations.

I must've read that paragraph a dozen times.  I've been blessed by excellent professionals, yet I share in this self-esteem issue after having my own self-esteem battered for so long by my kids, by their actions, and by their nonstop lashing out.  It's been very challenging for me to keep forgiving and moving forward.

I really just wanna sit outside and weed.  Forget the world, it sucks.  Go away and let me suck my thumb.

Or me sitting here stewing and wondering how many people silently blame me for my kids' behaviors?  Behaviors they came here with deeply embedded in their psyches.  Or all of the times the kids have lied about me to get what they wanted from other people?  Y'all, it stinking hurts.  All the time.

I retreat further inward.  Good thing that I'm happy alone.

My life is infinitely less dangerous now, and I need to learn to control my own thinking, or to learn to stop fermenting in my own bitter juices.

All of those years that I barely ate or slept, was always feeling as if a fight was fixing to break out around here, because it was - well, all of those years of me putting all of them first?  For what?  I could've just sat in a mud puddle and colored in a coloring book for all the effectiveness that my nurturing, stability and security had on anything at all.

I watched a news thing about a man's murder defense being due to his Intermittent Explosive Disorder.  Oh my.  My kid with that disorder, amongst a plethora of other diagnoses, is in prison for the second time.  Can you imagine living with, and surviving, that?  We did.

From Psychology Today: An inability to resist aggressive urges may be an indication of intermittent explosive disorder. Individuals with this disorder often seriously damage property or assault others, usually in stark contrast to the provocation involved in a situation.

Yeah, no freaking kidding?

I didn't blog for a few days, wanting to not blog negatively, to return to my former Silly Cindy Mentality, but I'm a ways away from that.

I checked my readership stats, they've gone down, and I'm Ok with that, this is likely how it'll end, the blogging might just peter out slowly.  Might suddenly be so, might fart around here for another ten years.

And ending on a great note, JoJo is barely 10 days from his graduation.  I'm so deeply proud of him.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Isaiah's 6th Birthday Party


Big Joe and his baby girl, Alyssa, at the party yesterday. Alyssa later cracking me up, what a mess she is, and us Southerners use the word mess complimentarily in form.  The first photo is of 11 of my 21 sons.

Tabby, Nando, Jack and Scotty returned home from The Mix after second service Sunday, nearly 48 hours of various youth groups from churches in this county all getting together.  Hundreds of teens, why would anyone sleep?  They'd had a blast, Tabby later recounting what they'd learned, since she actually pays attention.

Scotty more impressed at finally discovering Michael G's hiding place in the church, after 8 years of no one knowing during their marathon manhunt or laser tag games.  That's your takeaway, son?  The high school boys slept at the church during the Mix, host homes for the middle school kids and the high school girls.

"So MUCH fun!" they'd hooted and hollered, Jack conked out immediately, fell asleep sitting straight up in a chair at noon, I got him to his room, while the rest of them tried to soldier through Isaiah's party.  By 6 p.m. they were toast also.

My prayer request of y'all the other day?  Thank you for praying, so far, so good.  Still will take prayers and miracles, but hopeful signs have appeared.

Got to spend time with Lena's mom, aunt and uncle before they headed back up north, a 16 hour drive  back to upstate New York, and I also got to be with Daniel and Megan who'd spent the weekend here.

Isaiah's party was fun, a Jedi theme, thus the Master Jedi name tags on some of them.  My three oldest sons, Joe, Jesse and Sergi, who'd all grown up here, BFF's with Curtis, who later married Marcela, were all here for Jesse's son, Isaiah who was so busy plastic sword fighting with his new friends from school and the cousins that he barely stopped moving at any point in the afternoon.






Now we're back to the heavy duty soccer, my attendance required for four separate team schedules.  Oh my.  Plus I wanna get to Isaiah and Ray's games too when I can. This week will be chilly (crap) and rainy (yes!).

I can't even detail all of last week, my several trips to Atlanta, as clearly I can't divulge everything, gotta deal with stuff, and I know it's things y'all encounter as well.  It emotionally wore me out, and reading up on stress, I'm wanting to take better care of myself.

I generally remark on news items that get my goat.  Almost four out of 10 Americans are living on the edge of financial ruin, given rainy-day funds that either match or are lower than their credit card debt.

About 24 percent have more credit card debt than emergency savings, while another 13 percent have neither credit card debt nor emergency savings, a new survey from Bankrate.com found.

I struggle financially too, just like everyone else, but am I just so simple minded as to think:  Stop Buying Stuff America.  Everyone owns too much crap, likely could remove 80% of the items in their homes and not even miss any of it.

I love HGTV shows, especially the House Hunters or Fixer Upper shows, but I cringe as young couples bark their disdain at the lower quality finishes, demanding granite counter tops - which is fine if they make that much money, but my experiences tell me that most folks don't, they just charge it.

My generation (uh-oh here she blows, eye rolling time) and my parent's generations had nothing.  Seriously had nothing that wasn't either used or paid for, no credit ever used back then, savings accounts promoted, rather than everyone paying interest constantly and getting nowhere.

I just pray that I got some of this across to my own kids...a better way to live.  Live beneath one's means and be happy about it.  It's a choice how you're gonna feel.  Choose to feel good about not owing money on restaurant meals, unaffordable trips to Cabo, or clothes still sporting tags in one's closet.  See?  Ya didn't really need it.




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tea Drinking


Two sisters, both friends of mine, need y'all's prayers this morning for a third, out of four, sisters total. A lot of prayer.

I went up to the hospital right early this morning, since I'd had to get my 33 year old son to his second job, city bus doesn't run that early on a weekend. I'd gone to visit another longtime friend with serious health issues, and I spent the rest of the morning in a bit of a daze, thinking about what both of these extended families are dealing with, plus church families that have loved them for decades, neighbors and friends, everyone concerned and praying.

I'd spent some time with one of the aforementioned sisters too, the sister who needs prayers is in ICU.

Ya just don't know.  Life throws out so many challenges.

I would personally lose my mind if I didn't have God to lean on each day.

My 33 year old son is always gonna need help, he just is.  He's been in VA clinics and facilities, he seeks out professional help thankfully, and Big Joe's been tending to him for the past year, and I know it's been tough on Joe.  I'm proud of him certainly for rising to the challenge.  They're not birth brothers but they grew up here together, and have been brothers for nigh on 25 years.

My others Bubbas still living at home have been going to Fabian's apartment to get showers, for three days we had no water, it was not a busted pump, and the plumber's bill was so very low compared to what we might've faced.

That was during the time my dear friend, Jessica, was specifically praying for us.  So spot on that I'd texted her back immediately. Man, that was some good praying girlfriend.

So now I have water to make hot tea and coffee.  Sarah's recently found out that one of the few herbal teas that are organic are Numi - this after us wrongly trusting Celestial Seasonings for 40 years.

My grandson, Isaiah, turns 6 today, I'll see him this evening.
Scotty, Nando, Jack and Tabby are all gone for the weekend, at a church retreat called The Mix.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Quit Typing And Pray

Stress doesn't begin to describe the issues today.  Another day yesterday in Atlanta trying to establish a suitable address for an ex-con who has, shall we say, stringent limitations based on a previous crime.

A program, and I wanna use the term loosely, because if they're getting federal dollars for this, I'm a little suspicious as to where the money's going.  I gave up all of the last of the cash I had for the month so this family member can eat.

My 24 year old daughter was with me all day, helping me navigate a subculture of street people that I know nothing about thankfully.  She's living safely in a rented basement in a right nice part of town, but she'd previously spent years struggling, due to mental health issues.

She'd spent the past five or so years fighting many difficult, uphill battles, raging against the world, but has since finally settled down very decently.  She's always stayed in touch with me while living in a million places in Atlanta.

We've not had water for two days, thought our pipes froze, but now it appears to be either a well or a pump issue, and dang if we weren't supposed to host Lena's family here this weekend.  We drug empty gallon jugs over to the church to bring home water to make coffee and feed the dogs, hopefully the well guy shows up soon.

I have a couple of other issues that are enormously stressful, a kid with zero regard for their own personal safety, MIA right now, as has often been the case, turning up later to eat and sleep.

I believe I'll quit typing here and just pray for awhile.  Always my best option.  Always.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Help Me Help

I've been with some troubled, sometimes dangerous, often estranged grown sons, "You have no idea how much I regret everything I've done," one told me through his tears, matter of fact all three cried at various points yesterday, in different instances.

A common thread, repeatedly spoken, "I wish I could be a kid again and I swear I'd mind you, do everything you say.  Mom, I'm SO sorry."

Easy to say, harder to do, with all of their issues, even do overs would be a challenge.

I forgive, yet can't imagine trusting, giving me a glimpse into what they once felt about me.  Why trust this new goofy white lady after only hearing lies all of their lives?

One of those three was recently fired after nutting up at a female boss, fortunately no charges were pressed, he sees a psychiatrist and is on heavy duty meds.  After a wrong address, I got him to a new place that was hiring, and, fortunately they hired him immediately.

The other two not as easy.  Their tears were genuine, sobs even, I get it, I'm not hard hearted but they'd both individually put me and others through Hell, now trying, now faltering, one is employed and renting a place, the other is struggling through a maze of parole restrictions and other issues.  These guys are remorseful, regretful, afraid, stressed, worried, and needing the mom they'd nearly killed via fear, violence, stress and destruction.

This is what the adoption of older kids looks like.  It's unfair to the parents, it's devastating as HELL for the kids.

I didn't cry, crying would make me vulnerable, eventually I've learned these sad lessons.  Show no weakness, lions will tear into you if so.

A program accepted him upon his release, yet the address was bogus.  I'm driving through the bowels of Atlanta after dark, pissed off, glaring at thugs who were eyeing me with suspicion, what's the matter guys?  Ya think I'm a narc? In this ancient truck with horse turds rolling around in the back?

Get real guys, this ole fart isn't your issue.

But I did get permission from the P.O. to let him stay at his sister's house last night, and I flew back home to get to Scotty's frozen soccer game.

I'd been gone from home 12 hours by then, no hat, no gloves, no blankets, and the wind chill was in the teens.  I thought I'd die on the spot.  No way was I not gonna be there for a kid who's doing so well after a day of dealing with struggling, often negative grown  kids.

Coming home at 9, Grandma'd gotten the kids to church and back, my sink was full of dishes, I was whooped, I'll do 'em tomorrow I promised myself, afraid I'm gonna need to be back in Atlanta today, and dadgum if my pipes didn't freeze.

They've not done so in many, many years.  No showers this morning for the kids, no dishes gonna get done, now I need to get on the phone about that court mandated program that defaulted on us.

I'd promised one in town a ride to work today, it's just a three plus mile walk, not an issue for a Bodie, but the wind chill is 3 right now.  I'd taken him a new heavy coat I'd gotten at a yard sale, this isn't enabling.  He'd simply walk in a t-shirt otherwise, oblivious as to why he felt cold.    Bless his heart, he just doesn't think like the rest of the world thinks.

400 mg of Abilify barely touching his psyche, a dose that'd knock out a horse.

Oh Dear Lord, Help me help my kids please.  With many of them, this'll be a lifelong endeavor.  I'm glad I stopped adopting ten years ago.  I now need all my energy in a different way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fabo's New TownHouse




Well, we had a Georgia moment, an ice storm that knocked out our power, cable and Internet for a day, some people still haven't had their service restored, and the local news is awash with Chicken Little's "The sky is falling!" since the next several days will feature very cold temperatures.  Daniel had attended a briefing, sending me the visual which almost made me bellow a cuss word.  Hours BELOW freezing?  Dang, kiss my foot.

Fabian moved into a larger apartment since Jaylene was born; CW, Allen and Martin all pitching in to get it done.  I went over there yesterday because Aliya's bed was still in my garage.

I had a great time with Miriam and Mayra, Mayra predictably yelling at Miriam, "Ha Ha! Mom kissed me" when I left, as if I'd not also brushed my lips across Miriam's cheek, it's just the way they've always treated each other.  Plus Mayra'd recently been on my poop list and she knew it.

Aliya is not my grandchild, due to no marriage between her mom and my son, but she calls me Bita.  I'd used the term birth grandchild speaking of Jaylene and Elias, which is funny, or ironic, since neither Fabian nor Miriam are birth children, but seriously after all these years, there's too much attachment to be filed under the term 'adoption'.

Maybe even the fact that Fabian was so dadgum awful to me for years, so violent and dangerous, that we have a good relationship now might have been surreptitiously accelerated just because it is indeed now a good one. That doesn't make sense, but it was forged via trauma.  Not much in a family of 40 makes sense.

But on yesterday's freezing no sunshine?  I just wanted to cuddle with Jaylene and Elias.  Elias too active to sit with me much, but he tolerated a bunch of kisses, rewarding me with sweet smiles and hugs.

And Aliya?  If Fabo and his girlfriend split, there goes my relationship with Aliya.  Not fair, makes me sad at the thought.  None of us get to see his first daughter, that baby mama is very angry.

"See Fabian?"  I've preached, "How does various baby mama drama bullspit help anything?  Get married or don't have kids.  IT'S NOT FAIR TO THE KIDS!" I really have bellowed this to all of my grown kids with visible exclamation marks.

Martin and Allen were with me, I''m not fixing to haul that bed upstairs in their town home, and our time was cut short, since there'd been a two hour delay due to the ice, my other kids not going to school until 10ish.  The power crews had to come down my long dirt driveway and trim back some trees that hit the power lines and I'd later called Charter about no Internet.

My friend's husband works for them, and Elizabeth had let me know there was an outage in our area.  When one calls the 1-800 number, one can't hardly speak to a human and it makes me nut up.  Tony'd made the call for me so I wouldn't lose my religion.  I suggested he just babble into the phone, since the computer generated response would then just give up and put him through to a real live person.  "Just say my butt itches," I told him.

"My mom's butt itches," he dutifully blared into the phone, and dang if it didn't work instantly.  He handed me the phone triumphantly, and I spoke to the sweetest African-American woman on earth.    We called each other honey and darling like all Southerners do, she was in the North Carolina call center, she told me so and she chatted about everything, we practically ended the call with "Love you," and Tony was overcome with giggles listening to us.

A Charter truck was there within 30 minutes fixing everything, Sarah hooting, "Pigs are flying!" with a silent, but obvious, exclamation mark which likely left her stricken at her overenthusiastic response, but she desperately needed the Internet to keep working, and clearly she was still high from all the dark chocolate cherries of the previous day.  Yes the little bird turd is still skinny as a stick after eating all that, she's on a 120 day streak of nonstop yoga.  Every. Single. Day.  I'm proud of her and the bird turd descriptor is of the highest order.  Love that girl.

Daniel ended our phone call telling me about a sleeping bag he'd seen in a Target store in Atlanta, laughing to his wife that Mama needs that one.

Nah. I overheat when I hike, a Yankee would need that one.

The funniest comment ever is one I can't repeat that Jesse made in a group text.  No cussing, just a reference to bad kids of mine, and we say the word baaaad with love, Marcela chiming in with an equally apt and hilarious sentence that still can't be said here.  The ones we were talking about called me yesterday wanting me to come fix something, someone to be more precise.  As if.  Clearly we're talking about two sons of mine, now 33 and 31.

I'm gonna share some quotes from our sheriff regarding the other evening:

As part of your winter storm preparations, please lock up all your skillets, kitchen knives, rolling pins and scissors. You may be forced to actually talk to some of your family members if your power goes out. You may be tempted to whack 'em or stab 'em if they aggravate you. Please don't do that, this stuff will melt and you will still be in jail. Winter storm preparations go beyond milk and bread. Consider staying out of jail too!!!

If your power goes out, please call your power company. Calling 911 will not get your power restored.

If you have a pipe burst, please call a plumber. Handcuffs are rather poor tools for fixing pipes.
If your cable goes out, read a book... unless your power is out because reading in the dark isn't easy.

There are no reported road closures. If you want us to close a road so you don't have to go to work, make us an offer. Other than that, you are on your own

He will also post lost dog pictures. or when Justified is coming on. I'd told the Charter lady I had to see my story that night, not wanting to miss Justified here in its final season.  Best show on TV.  I might really need to get myself a life.