When life becomes overwhelming I find it best to sit down and write or vent as some might say.
So if you dislike whiny, feel-sorry-for-yourself, bitch sessions I suggest you pass this entry right by.
Last night I could hardly sleep because for the umpteenth time in the last few months a child silently stood by my bed in the middle of the night waiting for me to wake up and notice him. For those who have not experienced this type of middle-of-the-night wake-up call let me just explain it as one of those heart stopping moments when you roll over to see a face level with yours in the pitch dark. It’s one of those moments where every morsel of foul language startles loudly out of your mouth and in turn scares your child half to death. Now we’re all shaking, pissed off, scared, and fucking wide awake!!!
I wouldn’t complain about this if it happened once in a while but lately (the last two months) it is happening frequently each and every night. We have two children experiencing insomnia and nighttime anxiety and it’s killing us! It feels worse than being back in those days of setting the alarm for every three hours of nursing twins. I feel more helpless and useless.
But it’s not just the middle of the night zombie fest that’s sucking me dry. It’s the 2-3 hours it’s taking to put the insomniacs calmly to sleep in the first place. It’s the kazillion times during my “quiet” time with Mark that I hear “Mom, I’m scared. Dad, I can’t sleep. Moooooooooom!!!!!, Daaaaaaaaaaad!!!!!”
I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about nighttime approaching. I’m up in my room typing this blog in complete avoidance of what’s to come.
Last night I was unable to put myself back to sleep because I became so overwhelmed with the needs of my family. I have four boys. The oldest is 8 and adopted. He is continually being tested by psychiatrists, school psychologists, pediatricians, occupational therapists, speech therapists, special needs teachers to accurately diagnose his learning disabilities as well as what appears to be a highly functioning disorder falling somewhere on the autism spectrum. He’s a beautiful child but it’s extremely wearing constantly fighting for his needs, having school meetings, trying to make the most informed decisions, walking next to him as we battle the emotional ups and downs of medication trials, trying to build his self esteem when he feels dumb because he’s slower than other children, doing exercises with him to build his muscle tone, investing hundreds and hundreds of dollars in special needs equipment for his classroom and for our home, helping him struggle through a simple book or homework assignment. It’s a non-stop job trying to care for this one child alone! And I often feel as though I’m failing because I can’t seem to do it all and he’s still spending each and every day struggling. And now his sleep issue on top of everything else and my heart just breaks for him but I’m also often at my wit’s end. It’s a vicious cycle and one that I’m completely burned out on.
Take boy #2. The older of the twins (by one minute but, hey, someone had to win!) aged 5. He’s rough around the edges and very very needy. He’s such a mama’s boy and I feel like he needs me every minute that I’m around. He demands my attention and gets bored easily. He is offended easily as well and it’s easy to set off his temper. In fact this child threw such a fit on Thanksgiving Day that it was disturbing the entire household so Mark set him outside and asked him to calm down. Well he was screaming so loudly that a neighbor called 911 and said it sounded like someone was being murdered at our house. The word murder apparently sets the police in motion and we soon had 5 police units at our house and they came in to see that everyone was okay. I had just had surgery the day prior so was strung out on percocet when the police asked me to come downstairs. Lucky them I was strung out and in my underwear. Ugh! What a thanksgiving memory!!!! Needless to say this child keeps me on my toes and can wear me down with his constant neediness and unfortunately he has trained me to walk on egg shells around him. Yes, he has that much power over me and that makes me feel horrible.
Boy #3 is the younger of the twins so also age 5. He is the other anxiety ridden insomniac as of late. This is new for him but not the first of his issues. He’s also asthmatic and needs constant monitoring and medications for his asthma condition. We have to be extra careful around any cats or mesquite trees or we will have a hospital visit on our hands. This is the child who quietly stalks me in the middle of the night until I go off on him out of pure fright. He’s the child who stayed awake from 230-530 the other night because he couldn’t shut his mind off. This is the child that will throw a four hour fit of punching and kicking walls while screaming because he’s scared of falling asleep. This is the child that’s oddly the easiest to get along with during the day but come night is someone we hardly recognize.
This child had me sitting in the doctor’s office today discussing reasons and options for his insomnia. Without sleep and without any way to soothe him outside of him sleeping in our bed every night I feel that there’s no out. How long will this last and what can I possibly do to help him curb this fear of night? And now we are thinking he may have a food allergy so we may need to start cutting out dairy and glutens. That seems overwhelming to me.
Boy #4 is adopted but is also age 5. Boy #4 was born cocaine addicted and had quite the traumatic start to life. We saw issues with him from the first day he stayed with us but much of it calmed down once he started experiencing stability and continuity in care. But as things go in this house when it rains it pours. He has begun showing severe ADHD signs as well as developmental delays. He’s also begun hitting and punching and resorting to violence to resolve his differences with his brothers. He doesn’t understand instructions very well and often doesn’t seem aware of his surroundings. So I’m sitting here thinking that he may benefit from the care of a psychiatrist as well but OMG how am I going to fit all this in? How am I going to manage it all? How am I going to handle fighting for his rights in school too? How? How? How?
And that’s where my panic begins to set in….There’s marriage counseling, personal counseling, psychiatrist appointments, OT appointments, asthma appointments, doctor’s appointments, special ed appointments, karate classes, school battles and decisions, school work that takes hours with my oldest, reading with the twins, boys who want one on one time, there’s the dog and the chickens, the house, repairs, cleaning, grocery shopping, gluten free cooking, cooking in general, babysitter scheduling, searching for a new sitter, trying to date my husband still, trying to have friends, trying to exercise, vaccines that are needed for our travel in march, taxes to be done, a budget to be balanced, a yard that needs trimming, christmas lights and trees to put away, a car that’s filthy, an enormous amount of laundry, clothes to be purchased, constant trips to the pharmacy, and really what I desire most is sleep and normalcy.
I feel that even if I catch up on all of these things it will not be enough. Someone’s needs will go unnoticed or neglected even at the cost of sacrificing all of me.
I was hoping that this vent session would help lessen my burden. Not so much. Think I’ll just go bury my head in the sand for just this one night and await for the inevitable call back to duty.