Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I Just Need To Bitch For A Mo

I feel deflated today.

just like this.

As I was driving Jack to camp this morning, I had such a knot in my stomach.  I was nervous.  I felt a little bit ill.  I felt a bit of doom the closer I got to the place.

And all the while I was thinking:  who the hell is the GROWNUP in this scenario???  Aren't I supposed to be all calm assurance, and CHIN UP and all that shit?  Well, I'm not.  At least not today.

There was my boy in the back seat, all quiet and resigned.  Somehow his resignation is almost as bad as anything else.  He was really good when I finally told him he'd be going to camp, too.  He cried a bit, and he was upset for a few minutes, but then he was resigned.  It's as if he's really getting the message:

Life is one big shit sandwich, and we have to take bites out of it.

Do you like that?  I came up with it myself.

The biggest thing is that he keeps asking "WHY?"  Why does he have to go to camp?  Why does he have to go to Autism camp?  Why?  Why?  WHY?

OH, I try to come up with all kinds of "logical" reasons:  blah, blah, blah, the world is hard, and we have to develop coping skills...blah blah blah, sometimes if we do hard, [sucktacular] things, when we're done we see how strong we are, and how much we're capable of...blah, blah, blah, wouldn't it be nice to see that there are other kids who think and feel the same way you do???

And about that last one?  I'm not entirely sure.  Where do you fit in, Jack?  Where do you fit in.  I've been wondering this.  At school, with his "neurotypical" classmates, Jack is the kid who's a bit quirky. He's the annoying kid who mimics them when they cough, or when they say something loud.  He's the kid who's scared when the teacher puts a movie on.

But, does he fit in with the other spectrum kids?  Jack's right on the border of his spectrum.  He's well-behaved at school.  He suffers along complacently enough.  Only at home is he mouthy and indulges in some really good melt downs.  Is he the only one there at camp with tics?  Is he too "spectrum-y" for the neuro kids, and too neuro for the spectrum kids???  I don't know.  I just don't know.

And by the way:  I hate that stupid word; neurotypical.  I don't know why but it offends me. It bugs me to my core.  Am I jealous?  I don't know.

So I dropped him off at camp. It's a thousand f*cking degrees out today.  I've got this stupid idiot smile on my face, and this bullshit breezy attitude.  I'm cracking jokes as we walk across the parking lot;  "ha ha Jack!  I forgot your 'communication log,' and your swimming goggles, and I didn't even know which door to go in and YOU did!  Har de har Jack, maybe YOU should be the GROWNUP!"


And the kid's not happy.  He hates camp. He hates that he has to be there ALL DAY.  Going under water in the pool, he told me, gave him a 'headache' yesterday.  He never wants to go to camp again!  Why!  Why does he have to go in SUMMER???  WHY????  

But, he's not saying any of these things that he said last night.  He's walking, quietly, resigned to camp.  That's good right?  He's not crying, right?  He'll survive and so will I.

So, I asked him if he wanted me to walk with him down to the gym, and he said; "Mom.  I'm fine."  And then he left.

So, I was standing there in the hall with all these fresh, eager, idealistic young adults in "AUTISM, YAY!" shirts (no, they didn't say "yay" on them), and they're all quiet, and smiling at me, and I shrugged and said;

"Well.  I guess that's it then."

And they smiled wider.

And I left.

I got into my car, and I looked around, and for just a moment, I hated that school, and I hated that parking lot, and I wished I never ever ever had to see places like this, or drive into places like this, or contact any place that has anything whatsoever to do with


And I don't care if I'm being a big pouty baby.  I don't care if I'm looking at the glass as only half full.  I'm sick to death sometimes of looking on the bright side and remembering that it could be so much worse.  And for just one minute, I want to be the MOM who doesn't have to do IRP's, or google how to stop my kid from being verbally abusive, or try to look up what nutrients might help alleviate bodily tics.  And I don't want to get any bullshit invitations to money-making golf tournaments from institutions that only have us on WAITING LISTS.  I ripped that one into many pieces.

But this is just today.  I'll put the smile back on when Jack comes home.
I know I'm doing the right thing, but I don't always have to like it.

This is just today.

I'll be better tomorrow.  


  1. Oh, Karen! I can't really imagine. Some days I hate motherhood and I don't have to deal with what you do on a daily basis. Go relax in a hot bath.

  2. Oh yeah! Ruth, I'd almost forgotten your LURV for a hot bath! Damn, even though it's ridonculously hot outside, that still sounds good.

    1. That's cause it's good for what ails ya.

  3. Karen you have nailed it and I am so happy for you: we're in this thing together, jack is teaching you, as much as others are teaching him.
    Him being the "grown up" is actually spot on it I think :-). Why? Cuz it is so cool to be supported at an early age that hey man, you got this.
    Jack trains all of us, reminds us really, how great and good life is and if people can't hang with our uniqueness then f*ck 'em.

    1. Oh Christina, I've missed your upbeat perspective on the world--which is usually the total opposite to mine, and that is SO refreshing :)

  4. That's it, you need to move in here with us and keep me company all day long. And then Jack and John can hang out and be odd together. Sound like a plan?
    You're a good girl. I like you!

    1. Thank you Mark. I like you too. That sounds like a wonderful plan. You and I will be sitting there all cocktailed up and loving our new VIEW on life!

  5. You are AWESOME. I don't even know you but I can tell from this post that you are doing a tremendous job as a parent. You care SO much. Pat yourself on the back, please, since I'm not able to do it for you. :)

    1. thank you Carol. You're very kind. And thank you for stopping by!


    Imma write a song about you. And put it on a tshirt. And shoot it into space. And name a star after you. So everybody knows how fabulous you are.

    And then Imma bring you over a big bottle of something delicious and we are gonna get shamizzled together and that will be maximum funnage.

    Sarah xxx

    1. thanks to you, Sarah, I'm all into saying IMMA again. Yeah, I was just lying on my bed tonight before dinner and asking anyone who was listening how the average person makes it through life sober ALL THE TIME???

  7. being a parent is the pits sometimes. having to be the adult with the tough love and maturity in the face of our own hidden feelings. you're doing good, mama. and the life skills that'll likely be learned at this dumb camp will be beneficial even if they just feel like suckage in the process.
    chin up mamacita. and when i say chin up, i mean with a bottle of something yummy and alcoholic pressed to your lips as you tip.
    also, if they teach the kids to not hate bathing at this autism camp, can you share the secret with me? cuz making my kid shower is like forcing poison down her throat every time. i keep hoping she'll develop an interest in boys or popularity just enough to make her calm the frig down about the showers.

    1. Funny you should mention the bathing, Sherilinnie, because here I sit with two baths looming over my head and two kids who flip out every time--one more than his sister. Sigh.

      Thanks for the wisdom again. I agree, it does have its good sides, this autism camp.

  8. Oh Karen, you are totally entitled to vent. A great majority of the time you ARE positive. But no one, or no one telling the truth anyway, can be Miss Sunshine 100% of the time.

    1. I Am?!? Hey! I'm all pleased now! I thought that I usually let my negative bad attitude shine through more often!

  9. This may be an odd thing to say but I loved this post. Not that you're having a bad day. That part sucks and I'm really sorry and wish I could make it better. But that you got it out and you're saying exactly how I feel a lot of the times ... minus the camp. I totally loved the line about life being a shit sandwich.

    1. Thanks Deenie. I worried about posting it for a minute, because I thought it was too whiny, but then I thought damn it, isn't a blog supposed to be our own little corner of the world? So yeah.

      Yeah! I'm glad you liked the sandwich reference! I was particularly proud of it, but I spout out a lot of stuff like that around here and everyone's kinda started to ignore me ;)

  10. Karen, I really appreciate how you feel. It's exhausting trying to be positive and upbeat and reasonable and so bloody ADULT all the time. It's NOT fair, and you are allowed to feel aggrieved and pout and hate it all sometimes. You know that, you don't need permission from me.
    I know Nina's condition isn't life-threatening, there are many other issues which are probably tougher to deal with, but I still think it's shit that she has to put up with it all - and that I have to as well. Yeah, cos it's all about ME!
    I don't want to be the mum who always has to chase up prescriptions, argue with GPs, talk to teachers because some shitty kid has said something mean to Nina about her skin, and race up to school because she has fallen and gouged all the skin off her knee and they don't know what to do. I want her to go away on cub camp and go for sleepovers, but I don't know how she can. I want everything to be "normal" (whatever that may be) but it isn't - and I want to stamp my feet and bawl about it too. Cos life is indeed a big shit sandwich, even if it's got mayonnaise slathered all over it...
    Still - breezy, Curtise, try and be breezy! Hope Jack is OK. xxxxxxxx

    1. thanks Curtise! Sexay new photie by the way...

      Yeah, maybe it's okay for us moms to take a day every now and again and say THIS BLOWS AND I'M NOT MAKING CUPCAKES.

      I'm sorry about your daughter. I keep forgetting to email you and offer my support. I suck.

  11. Hurrah - Sarah's right - you are a total ROCKSTAR! Neurotypical is pretty bleeuugghhh isn't it? Poor Jack - maybe he'll do what I always do with new things which is HATE it at first, then end up liking it. Fingers crossed

  12. thanks Clare. Yes, I hate NEUROTYPICAL. It sounds like kids are nothing but walking brains on legs, and there's good brains and shit brains.

  13. Well... you said it way more eloquently than I could... but I FEEL it too. And being a Custodial G-Parent whose already raised 2 Special Needs Children of our own I'm wondering why I've been Called to do this again with a couple of our G-Kids who obviously have similar Issues? I'm fairly certain I sucked at it last time since as you know you do most of it Solo and without much Assistance or Encouragement from the Agencies that allegedly are there to be of Service to the Families and the Children. I daydream of having that Normal Family... but then I realize its all subjective... maybe behind closed doors they're all a bit 'off' too?! *Winks* Maybe they're dealing with other stuff I couldn't or wouldn't cope with? It is said that often your Misery is your Ministry... and though I have trouble sometimes Believing that completely, I have connected to other Kindred Spirits who are 'going thru' whatever we're going thru, and together we are able to encourage and offer Hope and tips to one another... on what might make this Path more tolerable and even enjoyable at times. But on my deflated days I am right there along with ya and it actually Ministers to ME to have someone else who is keeping it Real in a Humorous way that makes me laugh out loud... and not putting on a facade about how Life with 'Issues' that sometimes push us above measure and beyond strength really IS... and well... just SUCK! *LOL* Dawn... The Bohemian

  14. Thank you Dawn, you put that so well. We do indeed derive comfort from other kindred spirits who are going through the same thing. I will have to ponder this idea that my Misery is my Ministry. I suppose there's something to be learned from everything that happens to us, even if it's trying. Yes, I suppose there's a reason why you are the one raising the G-Kids. I believe things happen, for the most part, as they should, so I suppose you're meant to do it, and for good reason. I barely know you but already can tell you are a warm, friendly, kind-hearted person.


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