Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Can I resign from being a parent?

What? I can't? Read the small print? Dude! But I didn't know it was going to be like this...

I told my husband that one phrase sums up our evening with the kids...it is from the movie, Dodgeball..."If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a dodgeball." And we've been dodging wrenches all night...

I know...you're thinking I'm a whiner...complain, complain, complain is all I ever do...but dude...this is my blog...it's my only place to vent!

Necessary background info: Pediatric Bipolar Disorder has only been recognized as being valid and therefore truly studied for the past 10-15 years. And really, no drug other than Lithium has been seriously followed/researched/documented in children. The down side to Lithium-it has to be monitored closely so that it doesn't reach toxic levels, which in turn means several blood draws for the patient. Knowing this information, it naturally follows that 1) the school system hasn't knowingly dealt with a lot of bipolar students and therefore hasn't learned quite how to help these students like they could/should 2) Any medication prescribed for Pediatric Bipolar--other than Lithium--is considered experimental which means you are trudging through unknown territory.

Fast forward to present day/my life: Last week I met with my younger daughter's teachers in an attempt to get her more of the help that she needs. While the teachers seemed fairly receptive, they are unskilled in dealing with psychiatric illness and therefore make her feel singled out and condescended to with their attempts to help her. "Little" things like saying "Your mom said your bipolar makes you forgetful" instantly piss her off. I don't blame her. She feels as if anyone--regardless of medical condition--would feel the same way she does in her circumstances, so when they add "your bipolar disorder causes this" she feels as if she is different from everyone else. Well, in a way she is and in a way she isn't. Not everyone has a mood disorder, but I also can't think of anyone who likes to be told "You're doing this because of your (insert medical condition here)." To make a long story short--she hates the changes they have implemented and she ranted/cried/incessantly harped about it from the time I got home from work until the time she went to bed...seriously...that's over 4 hours. I tried my best to change topics, address her concerns, stop the freight train...but she wasn't having any of it. I ended up having to give her an extra dose of meds (written in her prescription/OK'd by doctor) because she was so agitated. Everything set her off--a sigh, a questionable tone of voice, a delayed response--it all pissed her off tonight.

My oldest daughter came home from her school musical practice and was severely ticked because...well normal angst-ridden teen feelings of inadequacy. She actually tried to tell me at 8pm that she was taking a shower and THEN was going to start her 5 paragraph essay that is due tomorrow...WHAT? No, no ,no...homework first, then shower if there's time. Oh boy! That set her off into a drama queen tirade full of tears and attitude...to which Mom responded "Tough crap. Write your essay."

Throw in a husband who had class tonight (evening classes to finish up his degree) and then came home and took a nap...and 2 puppies that wanted to eat my couch...Am I overreacting or do I have some right to be frazzled?

This of course then leads in to my own personal dilemma...when I have Mood Disorder Central for a home where crises always abound and a full-time job outside of the home--how do you add things like global warming, peak oil, presidential elections and eating locally to the mix? Right now, I just want to rip open a plastic-wrapper encased non-sustainable Snickers bar and chow down! I want to get in my pollution-causing car and drive far, far away... I want to accept the plastic bag from the store in case I decide to stick it over my head! I don't want to research which candidate to vote for because none of them are in my home tonight dealing with my life...

So what do I do instead? I hang on with my last, very frazzled nerve until the kids are in bed. I put the dogs in their kennel. I leave my Guitar Hero husband in the living room to rock like nobody has ever rocked before...I sit down at the computer and I vent to the blogosphere...in a few minutes I'll go to sleep and when I wake up, tonight will have turned into a distant memory. I won't have contributed positively to the world like Crunchy's reusable pad drive...I won't have figured out who to vote for...I won't have made any further steps in the eco-friendly department. On the flip side--No one died/my family is safe. I have food in the cupboard, shelter, and even if I don't always feel it--love.

No, I'm not going to resign...even if my contract would let me... There is an old Japanese proverb that says: Fall seven times. Stand up eight.
It is my mantra. Of course, I will keep on moving forward. Of course, things will look better in the morning. Of course, things will be just ducky again.

Wow! That was cathartic...we should do this again sometime...you are such a great listener!


Anonymous said...

"I won't have contributed positively to the world like Crunchy's reusable pad drive."

Yes you will. You just did. Must be hard to summon the energy to write about dealing with children's mood disorders while dealing with one's own depression/mood issues.

We should chat privately sometime. Feel free to send me an email. beth [at] fakeplasticfish [dot] com.

Burbanmom said...

Hang in there Ducky. Tomorrow just might be better :-) And if it's not, I won't tell ANYONE about the Snickers bar....

leslie said...

Oh, Ducks!
I came to tell you that between you and Burbanmom and the broccoleeeeeee song, you have totally altered my mood to semi- hysteria! I have spent the last day humming to myself, and thinking... going to the traaaaaassshhhhh, putting out the liggghhhhttttt, folding up the clooooothes, walking with the dooooooooog, watching the TVeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. You guys are killin' me over here :)

I had a rant the other day. Perfectly normal, I think.
I may well have blown steam for four hours if my teacher had been that patronizing. I particularly like when people say to me...It's because of your 'hormones'. Same damned hormones I've always had. Wanna make somethin' of it?? HMMM????

Good choice, Snickers. Save me one.

Oh, full lunar eclipse last night. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

It's great tosee that someone actually rants about their kids, dogs and electronic playing/ napping husbands-drama queens and mood disorders...you may not feel you contributed positively to this world but ya did to mine-at least I don't have to feel like I'm the only one out there with a household in perpetual chaos!

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