Luke and the Living Hell

Today was a difficult day with Luke. He didn’t take his medicine Saturday or today so his behavior was completely out of control. He screamed. He insulted. He blamed. He shouted. He stomped around, broke things, and slammed doors. It wasn’t just one tantrum, he behaved this way the entire day.

By the time he went to bed, he had 4 shouting fits and 3 screaming, crying, hitting, meltdowns. The difference between shouting fits and meltdowns is that Luke retains the ability to speak coherently, albeit horribly, during a shouting fit. During a meltdown Luke vomits nastiness incoherently while screaming, crying, and behaving violently.

I’m taking him to counseling. I’m getting him meds. I’m doing everything in my power to try to help him but it seems his behavior continues to worsen as he gets older. I don’t know what else to do.

The counselor suggested sending Luke to residential treatment – a group home, basically. Jonathan absolutely won’t allow it.

For the time being, I have no choice but to suck it up and manage through the constant insults, berating, screaming, shouting, and violent fits of rage which occur on a daily basis. Luke says his “life is a living hell”, but it’s Luke who is making our lives a living hell in actuality.

Math Tears and Suicide Swords

Well…I was going to write about my new fitness/sleep/activity tracking Jawbone UP, but that is just not in the cards for tonight.

I’ve worked an irregular schedule and I only slept 3hrs last night. I took a nap when I got home because I might be called into work tonight. While I was napping, Luke and Oliver knocked on the bedroom door. I tried to ignore them since Jonathan knew I was sleeping, but they woke me up 3 times.

Neither Luke nor Oliver did their homework or chore after they had been home more than 3hrs so I didn’t grant internet access. For three weeks, I’ve explained that chores and homework need to be done between 4-6P to get internet at 6P. And, for three weeks, neither child has done their homework and chore without being reminded incessantly. Yet, Luke and Oliver were mystified when the internet wasn’t available at 6P and, rather than asking Jonathan WHY the internet wasn’t available, decided to wake me up…3x… to “fix” the internet.

Fast forward to dinner. Oliver brings me his math homework in tears. He’s learning order of operation and is confused if multiplication or division comes first so he has two possible answers – both wrong. Hours before, Oliver asked Jonathan for homework help, but I wasn’t aware this had happened. I started explaining order of operations to Oliver and Jonathan comes upstairs shouting because Oliver saved his homework after Jonathan checked it originally and was asking me to re-check it in the middle of cooking dinner, hours after Jonathan first checked the homework.

At bedtime, Luke started putting the sheets on his bed, which he should have done much earlier in the evening. Luke got frustrated after trying to stretch the short side of the sheet across the long side of the bed and asked for a gun to kill himself. Instead of ignoring Luke, I took his suicide threat seriously. Jonathan got irritated because he thought Luke was being hyperbolic and that, by discussing it, I made the situation worse. Luke admitted he considered killing himself with the sword in his bedroom so I took the sword.

I try to handle Luke’s suicide threats calmly and take his threats seriously. Sometimes I wonder if Luke is suicidal or if he’s using suicide threats to manipulate the situation. Whatever Luke’s motivation, I feel ignoring the suicide threats sends the wrong message.  Some days, I don’t know what to do. Some days, Jonathan doesn’t know what to do so he shouts out of frustration. Since I don’t shout, I guess writing about my problems anonymously on the internet is my coping mechanism.

I’m All Still Here: ISP, Fibro, & Luke, Oh my!

ISP: Irritating Service Provider

After several days, I’m back on the internet. Our ISP has suddenly implemented a 300GB per month bandwidth limit without warning, so I can look forward to losing internet service for the last few days of every month or continue using the internet and pay twice the monthly bill in fines. Not cool, ISP. Not cool.

Jonathan watches Netflix all night and Luke and Oliver would spend the entire day watching youtube if given the chance. The bandwidth restriction is going to be extremely difficult this summer with both kids out of school with nothing better to do than watch Netflix and Youtube while I’m at work. I guess I’ll have to start shutting down the router while I’m at work to ensure we conserve our data allowance so I can work from home when needed.


Fibro Update

Health wise, I’m doing pretty well. I did have a back ache and take a muscle relaxer today, but I’m not too concerned since I spent over an hour sitting in a really uncomfortable chair yesterday. Sitting in uncomfortable, hard, old chairs typically gives me a a back ache.

A likely contributor to my current good health: For the past few weeks, I’ve only worked 4 days or less per week. I had time off that needed to be used up before it expired so I took a series of long weekends. The extra rest (and the time I’ve spent NOT sitting in an office chair) are probably a factor in my current wellness. Unfortunately, I won’t have any time off until the end of June. Here’s hoping I don’t start feeling ill upon my return to constantly working.

Guaifenesin has been acquired and I plan to start taking it this week. The unexpected expenses in April and March prevented me from buying guaifenesin until last week. I tried several salicylate free shampoos, but they all made my scalp peel and itch like mad so I’ve had to switch back to a shampoo that contains salicylates. Hopefully this won’t interfere with treatment since I have coarse curly hair and wash my hair infrequently. Until I have extra money and find a shampoo that is both salicylate and sulfate free, I’m stuck with the shampoo I’m using since I’m not allergic to it. (It’s Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap shampoo and conditioner, if you’re curious)

Kid Update: I’m Still All Here

Photo May 03, 1 41 46 PM

Luke is currently being tested for learning disabilities. He’s completed his 2nd of 3 sessions. So far, Luke has a low frustration tolerance, low impulse control, difficulty paying attention, difficulty finding words, high anxiety, and evidence of other cognitive issues.

Today I had to repeatedly remind Luke to stop shooting himself in the head with toy guns. Luke couldn’t leave Oliver alone. Luke couldn’t stop talking during the movie. Luke also stole more than 10 toys from BioMom’s house. The stolen toys were confiscated and Luke spent several stints in time out. This actually a pretty light day in the land of raising Luke. There were no screaming/crying fits or threats of suicide and Luke didn’t refuse to do every single thing asked of him all day long. Opposition/defiance is extremely common.

Before I had bonus kids, I wondered if I could handle a kid with problems. I wondered if I would gradually descend into mental illness and become my (abusive) mother; completely unable to cope and resort to mega doses of psych meds and spend days in bed un-showered. Yet, here I am, dealing with a child who has behavioral and mental health problems every single day and I’m fine. I work, eat, sleep, and shower regularly. The extra time I spend in bed is the result of RA and fibro, not deep depression or psychosis. Of course living with Luke every single day is challenging. Some days it’s downright hard. But it’s not crushing. It’s not suffocating. It hasn’t changed me. I’m still all here.


I’m Angry (Not Mental)

I should be sleeping but instead I’m wide awake an angry at Jonathan. I know from experience that if I talk to him about why I’m angry, he’ll essentially accuse me of being mental. His ex-wife was mental. (By “mental”, I mean that she has completely untreated bipolar disorder and behaves irrationally)

Jonathan’s ex-wife is the love of Jonathan’s life. I don’t think even he knows that…maybe he does. Either way, it doesn’t matter. If I tell him his ex-wife is the love of his life and that I feel angry about this, Jonathan will just say he never said any such thing and insinuate I’m making things up – like a mental patient.

I’m not a mental patient. I’m angry.

Jonathan has a bad day at work. He was smoking weed in his van right after he got home leaving me to deal with the kids by my lonesome all evening. Luke hasn’t been doing his homework, is failing school, and has been acting like a total butthole every night for the past 2 weeks so he knew what I had to deal with from 6P-9:30P solid; no breaks.

Oh, I’m angry. I’m angry that everyone can handle their bad day by smoking weed or acting like a butthole but no matter how bad my day was, how sick I feel, or how tired I am – I still have to “be nice” or I get labeled mental. The perils of being female.