The last couple of weeks have been long. Amazingly long. Longer than any number of days really should feel. And while there has been some good moments, there has also been an overwhelmingly large number of moments when I look in the mirror at the end of the night as I'm taking out my contacts and getting ready for bed and am positively shocked that I still have any hair left on my head. Or that there isn't a giant goose-egg right in the center of my forehead from beating my head against the same wall. Every day. Every. Stinkin'. Day.
I don't think it's any great secret that both Bug and I have been diagnosed with mood disorders. Or that we've been diagnosed with the same mood disorder. I'm pretty open about it, actually, as I believe that knowledge is power; and that making the attempt to understand WHY someone acts and feels the way they do goes along way in simply accepting and loving that person for who they really are. I've also found that writing these things down is one of the most effective ways of reminding myself that I've been where Bug is now, and that if I stop for just a minute... I can remember how hard it was for me to cope at his age, too. And then I remember that it's still hard to cope at my age now. Which helps me pivot and take a different approach to whatever obstacle seems to be in the way with he and I.
Most of you know that Coach and I were out of work for a good chunk of time the first half of this year. And since most of you are just full of common sense (which totally explains why we're all friends), you understand that the money? It just ain't there. Which naturally means revisiting what takes priority on the few pennies we do have. Unfortunately, each month Bug's medication becomes something we agonize over. With no insurance, the cost of his medication is several hundred dollars each month. We go over and over and over the same questions.... Does he really need it? Has it reached life-threatening status yet? Are there any activities or anything else important that would be tremendously helped by the added control that the medication gives him? Who else will be affected if he doesn't have them this month? Trust me that when I say agonize, I truly mean agonize. Whether or not to medicate this child on a daily basis, let alone a monthly basis, is not a decision we make lightly. It is a very fine tightrope we walk; wait too long and he gets out of control and suicidal; continue on as usual and we can't pay the rent. Fortunately, with my new job this decision will be less of a struggle for us in the coming months. Unfortunately, we're still dealing with it until a few paychecks come in.
I'm pretty sure we've found that three weeks is the breaking point. And we've reached three weeks. Which is why this last couple of weeks have been so tremendously difficult on everyone. Even Jock, although he tries to hide as much as possible. (I will state, though, that I think the hiding thing is also in part because he's a teenage boy and that's what teenage boys do.) But Bug and I.... well, maybe saying it's been hard is an understatement.
He has been argumentative, disrespectful, breaking rules right and left. I have been short tempered, impatient and fairly inflexible. So we argue. We yell. I threaten and he calls my bluff. He threatens and I call his bluff. There is a lot of standoff reaching going on here, let me tell you.
There are also a lot of tears, from both of us. And so tonight, despite having just had a whopper of an argument over some amazing displays of parental disrespect that he'd been throwing around all evening which normally would prompt some serious amount of time spent in quiet contemplation alone in his room, when he had an opportunity to go spend the night at Grandma's house..... I let him go. I encouraged him to go.
We need a break from each other, I think. A chance to remind ourselves that there are good things about the other person that we love more than the rotten things that drive us nuts. I refuse to feel any guilt over thinking that I need a break from my child. He misses me (he says) when he's away for a day or two, and I know I miss him when I don't get to see him, either. And it will be late tomorrow night before I get a chance to see him, as I'm not coming straight home from work and am going to be at the ballpark until late. I'm not foisting him off on an unsuspecting grandparent. She knows what's been going on; besides, he is always pretty mellow and totally Bug-like when he's with her. What I AM doing is giving my child a chance to refocus his thoughts and emotions, in a place where he can relax and not be reminded that he was in trouble. I'm giving this precious piece of my heart a chance to calm down in neutral territory.
Basically, I'm packing him off to Switzerland.