This is a whiny post filled with strife & woe. If it's not the kind of thing you like to read, just get out of it now. There are days when I just can't read this kind of thing without my mood becoming affected, so I totally understand!
So, yeah, it's been pretty bad around here. And the worst part is that every single thing that's gone wrong has to do with all of the other things. It's a huge circle - and I just don't know how to get out of it...
Let's start with the basic stuff:
1) My oldest's grades are terrible. It's not because he doesn't understand - I've checked this. He just doesn't want to do homework. because it's 8th grade, there is a certain amount of personal responsibility that must be granted to him. He's going to be in high school next year, and he'll be held accountable for even more work! So, we have been going between getting on his case and backing off, just to try to put the reins back in his hands. It's just not working. The kid must have spent half the school year (at least) grounded and only allowed to read school book (no TV, etc.)
Now, I understand his major problem - he gets the ideas being taught and doesn't feel like doing the repetitive homework designed for those who really do need it to remember. But, he knew this was going to happen and fully agreed to take it on. You see, in July of every year, he's offered the chance to re-enroll in public school or be homeschooled. He has chosen "real" school every time since he started this. No problem, but the deal is he has to stick with it and follow the school's rules when it comes to studying. He gets all A's on his tests - but those homework grades are making him get D's and F's as final grades. He's already going to have to take Algebra over again next year because of it. And boy is he going to be sorry!
2) Little Guy is on the warpath! A few months ago, I read two blog posts about how much harder it is to deal with a three-year-old than a two-year-old. (Code Name: Mama's Who Knew Three Would Be So Hard? and Mama Eve's "Three is the New "Two".) I rolled my eyes. I mean, come on! A three-year-old can communicate his feelings and understand what you're going through so much better than a two-year-old! They are able to do more for themselves, so there isn't as much frustration going on. They can keep themselves entertained for longer periods of time doing things like puzzles and coloring without you having to constantly monitor them.
Then it happened.
Little Guy hit 2.5 years old. I swear, the very night that he hit the mile marker, a new little person came out. He is testing my patience to the point where I am losing it! If I ask him to do something for me, let's say pick up his cars so we can go to the park, he outright refuses. It doesn't matter how badly he wants to go, I want him to do it, so he's not going to. I ask sweetly, I tell him to do it, I threaten with not going at all (which always happens when the cars don't get picked up - I'm not backing down on this!), I demand he does it, I try to get him to help me do it. I have even resorted to picking up all of the cars, putting them in a box, and storing them in the kitchen for a few days. The last one will work for two days after he gets the cars back, then he's back to his old self. And it's not just the cars - it's everything. If he has any suspicions that I might actually want him to do something, he refuses.
Oh, and after he was sick a week and a half ago, he got a very stuffed nose. He has two choices: let me use the bulb syringe to clear it out so he could nurse, or go to bed with hugs. He hates the syringe and will only submit to it when he really needs to nurse. The last couple of days, he hasn't even asked to nurse. No biggie for me - while it's kind of bittersweet (I'm not having anymore kids), I'm ready. But now going to bed takes a good hour or two - for nap time AND bed time. He does everything in his power to stay awake. I lay with him, so I'm kind of stuck until he drifts off. I've tried just leaving him alone, but it only results in tears, lots of boogers, and a little guy who's so upset that he couldn't get to sleep no matter how tired he is. This leaves me fed up and exhausted - I try to get computer stuff done while he sleeps and sometimes he's not asleep until after midnight!
4) The kidney problem has been addressed - kind of. I've been told that it's mostly related to my stress. My metabolism is way to high, making my kidneys work harder... blah, blah, blah. I'm supposed to take it easy. HA! He tried to give me a script for Xanax, but I have taken those years ago. They make me very tired and unfocused. Cannot happen with the kids around! Plus, I don't really think a pill is the answer. What happens when the pills are gone and everything is still messed up?! So, I've tried all of the alternatives that have been suggested to me. Some work well enough to keep me out of pain and feeling better. I guess it's the best I can hope for right now.
5) This is the BIG one. I believe that affects every other one of these problems in a huge way. My husband, for those who didn't know, is a recovering drug addict. Not just one drug, any drug that will make him feel happy and care-free. Soon after we moved in together, years ago, I found out just how bad it was. Slowly, after talking and talking and talking to him about how his behavior affected everyone around him, he cleaned up his act. Not all at once, but in stages that took a very long time. I stuck it out with him. He'd have little "episodes" where he'd relapse for a day or two. First it was monthly, then every few months, then a couple of times a year.
Things were steadily getting better until his doctor prescribed Lyrica for his pain. (He does have debilitating pain that keeps him from doing a LOT of things and sends him into depression often.) This stuff is evil!!! It sends him into moments of rage, throws him into depression, gets his manic tendencies up and running to where he doesn't sleep for days at a time and is constantly on the go. I swore the stuff was being abused, so I put it in the little box he asked me to keep all of his other abusable (?) medications in and doled it out just like the bottle said. It didn't work.
The past two months, things have been getting worse, either he's stomping around the house pissed off because the phone rang and woke him up, he's laying in bed staring at the wall, or he's rearranging all of our stuff stored in the basement (again) in different boxes - by color, or age, or use... doesn't matter as long as he's staying busy. (He doesn't use this energy to do anything I might need him to do like wash the dishes or scrub the kitchen floor. See #2 - this is where Little Guy gets it from.) He's spending less time with the family and more time doing these three things, all in cycles. I don't know what to expect from one day to the next.
Then I found out a week ago what's been going on. He's hoarding those pills that I have locked up. First, when he picks them up from the pharmacy, some get stuck in his pocket before they get to me. Then, when I give him his pills, he doesn't always take them. This accounts for the constantly doing stupid sh** (when he decides to take a bunch of the pills at once), the sudden rage at minuscule things (he just ran out of his stash), and the depression (the pills are finally getting out of his system.) The man is 50 years old. He goes days with little food and no sleep. Then he eats everything in the house. Then he sleeps for days. Over and over.
It's Almost Over - Here's the Conclusion!
So, I've been realizing that I just can't let my kids grow up around this. My oldest sees this happening and is beginning to believe it's normal. OMG! I do not want him thinking that THIS is how the man of the house acts!! I'm very up front and truthful with him and have explained that this is what drug abuse looks like and that you can abuse the very drugs your doctor prescribes for you. He gets it and we talk about it often (whew!) My husband is dangerous to my little guy in more ways than one. When he's flying high, my husband is careless. He wants to take Little Guy for a walk, go to the park, etc. No, it's to dangerous for a curious and head-strong little boy. The other thing is that I see a LOT of my husband's characteristics in my little one. He adores his daddy. I can't let him grow up trying to imitate Dad, you know?
I want so badly to help my husband. I love him. But I just cannot keep these kids in this situation. I don't want my oldest to walk into the bathroom and find my husband passed out (or even dead!) on the floor. I don't want to have to constantly be watching that he doesn't accidentally hurt himself or the kids. I'm the only one around here who can speak up for them, so it's my responsibility to be their protector. My stress is up so high that I feel like I'm going to snap. Then what good am I as a mother?! So... I asked his to leave a few days ago. He's on his manic kick, so it took quite a few rounds of I need you to go away before it got through to him. He agreed. Maybe a month? He's supposed to go on Wednesday. I don't know where - he's got two grown daughters that live about 25 miles away. I'm guessing he'll bounce between them. BUT, he hasn't made any arrangements. He hasn't cancelled any appointments. He has just been going on the same way. I keep reminding him, but to no avail. I've threaten to call someone to take him in for a psych evaluation because I think it would really help, but who do I call and should I do it? I'm all for one making his or her own decisions about this stuff and don't want him locked up in a nut house because of me.
So, that's why the posts haven't been coming from me. I just have too much on my mind to feel much like writing about fun crafts or anything. I feel like the all of my goals are gone - no teaching degree, no off-the-grid home, no keeping little guy out of day care (which means he's going to need to get all of his vax!), no growing old with my best friend... Hopefully this will all be resolved soon - one way or another - and we can all get on with life again.
If you made it this far, thanks for letting me unload. I already feel a little better just by getting it out.