I don't know exactly when the thought of anxiety hit my own personal radar. I'd noticed the stress certainly, but eventually realized it'd turned into a generalized anxiety issue in that my blood pressure would soar and my heart would pound deafeningly hard for long periods of time. I felt as if the muscle twitching was becoming noticeable so I googled the symptoms only to find a 100 or so possibilities, the knowledge of which then all also caused generalized anxiety within me.
It's not constant, but it is always one twitch away, due to a phone call or distressing events that spring up without warning,
I do not want medication, always afraid that any chemical intervention might impair my judgment, or my faculties, which seem to always need to be on high alert, and therein lies yet another problem also that just contributes to the crappy cycle of anxiety.
I go to bed each night always wondering if I'll be awakened with bad news or a problem to deal with suddenly, my cell phone left on, shoes by my bed, car keys within reach, my mental checklist roaring in my mind.
I simply want inner peace, as opposed to others who might mention, "I just wanna be happy again," oh honey, I'd gladly settle for simply calm.
Hard-headed contrarian that I am, I want to work on this my own self, defeat it, heal and overcome the debilitation involved, and move on. I have a very full life ahead of me, a zest for living, and a faint memory of unbridled optimism that I'm working on regaining. Outta my way devil, I want ME back.
I sat in court late into the evening with a very solicitous D.A. that was trying to re-right a wrong, only to serve as a punching bag for the defense attorney who'd told a blatant misrepresentation in court last week. It's still a long complicated story that I can't divulge, but I'll again be attending a closed room hearing today where I do believe folks are trying to help. We have 19 months and two weeks of program searching as this kid cannot return to my house.
It is all so emotionally painful on every level. I feel as if I've failed to provide the security and stability I'd once promised, yet when a crime has been committed by the other one, when family safety is priority, and when I realize how much I'd been manipulated by the cunning abilities of children who've been so tragically traumatized and are hellbent only on their own survival, exacting horrific tolls from others, I shudder and slam shut, wondering how sociopathic are these elements? What kind of adult will emerge from within?
I'd been aerobically vacuuming, thinking hard, and listening to an podcast of a recent sermon by the now Dr. David Cooper. Back when he'd been my pastor, a long-running joke in the church involved all of us congregants feeling as if he'd been reading our mail, or listening in on phone conversations, so astute was he, so able to pinpoint our human foibles, and zero in on where we needed help, reassurance, understanding, or heart knowledge, and, as he spoke on anger, I felt convicted, comprehended, re-directed, consoled, and placed on the correct spiritual path.
I'm in awe of the concept of logic. My sister-in-law, Adele, sister to my favorite brother-in-law, pointed out that I'd learned my mistakes in onion seed sowing and corrected my attempts, a take on the 'if you keep doing something the same way, you're gonna get the same results' idea. I am perfectly capable of switching horses midstream, of fine-tuning what I do as a parent, and learning from my own mistakes, of which there've been plenty, all honest ones and with originally very good intentions.
Yet I remain frustrated when my children cannot seem to do the same in any way, shape or form. I grieve for their pending adulthood, but I do understand that their synapses were not, and are not formed properly, that the drug and alcohol use by their birth mothers before their births has fried, pickled and forever changed their potential and their abilities to make well thought out decisions. It's ultimately just so sad.
I also know that I cannot enable them, that I must somehow guide, yet try and change their intended, hard wired pathways that'll only lead to doom.
I keep reminding myself that I have no answers, that possibly it cannot be done at all, that, at best, I'm here to provide a childhood, an environment that gives the tools to cope eventually in the real world, but ultimately it is what it is, which feels like a copout to a headstrong woman like me, when in reality, it is the reality.
Pat in Ohio told me, as did Robin in Texas, that I'm writing their stories so clearly, many of you tell me that, our shared experiences are sadly common in the adoption of older children. Us big-hearted women who once had very high hopes for our children, we've now nearly been laid to waste over all this, these paths we're now on, are not ever where we'd envisioned ourselves to be at all.
It's why I'm up at four in the morning, ok well that and being 55, craving coffee and the silence that accompanies me as I click and type together all my thoughts in the morning, girding up for the day, looking at my calendar, and amazed even that I can get it all done each day.
I had a kid suspended for a Facebook threat. "I was just kidding," he wailed in the administrator's office. Doesn't matter son, you can't talk like that. I'd monitored their status updates, but there's no way to control their IMs, chats, or email, or even note passing in school. Accept your consequences and try and learn from this bone-headed mistake. You're now glued to a grownup.
Adding to my anxiety, Bobby Cox will retire at the end of baseball season. No kidding, that's gonna bug the tar outta me, plague my thoughts while listening to as many games as I can this spring, summer and fall. Baseball statistics and the play by play talk soothes my soul.
Hard, physical labor, like double-digging a garden bed or hauling manure, even doing the housework at a very fast clip, or taking a long stomp (walk) helps me eliminate the feelings of impending stress which increases anxiety, so I'm fixing to shut the computer and get busy on my chores, thinking 'bout all y'all and our similar challenges.
Click over to Sarah's new post, her food descriptions are soothing also.