Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Official, & I feel validated.

This entire post, is in reference to my loving son,
and his recent, "official" diagnosis....

that title, sounds horrible, doesn’t it????

Maybe I should explain a little more, where I’m coming from here……… Samuel had two appointments after the initial evaluation last week, with the local county mental health office.
TWO specialists/evaluator professionals, "diagnosed" him ADHD w/Impulsively.... Just like Momma.

(insert sarcasm here)
Yes, I know........... 
I'm going to call the place he's going to for counseling/behavioral therapy "CBH"....... MANY of you will know where I'm talking about. . Well the first person that evaluated him, said he's one of the more severe cases she's seen at his age. (turned five last December)

She said, Normally they require 3-6 months of behavioral therapy/counseling before even mentioning medication. Well I did her the enormous favor of announcing, that I'M READY FOR MEDS, IF THATS WHAT IT TAKES TO KEEP HIM IN SCHOOL.....
Once I expressed a FEW of my concerns, (examples below) She wrote on her papers,,,, there's NO NEED to require what we have already been doing, thru the Head Start program and Early Intervention/ESD... 

------here's  a few of the examples I gave--------
~~~in the last 3 months he's been sent home from preschool at LEAST one day per week (only goes 2 days/wk) and during last week, they had a 3 day week, (one extra day of school) AND he was sent home EVERY DAY.... The last day they called in just 35 minutes of me dropping him off.

~~~one day at the daycare center last week,,,, he was still being disruptive in the "time out corner" so they sent Samuel to the office for his time out, basically compared to "Principal's office" type thing. they said he USUALLY realizes how serious things are and calms down. for whatever reason, he didn't calm down, he continued to run from the teacher, eventually running out of the building into the parking lot. when the teacher called ME in a PANIC,,,, She said they "normally end up calling the authorities because if the child gets hit by a car while signed in on their 'watch' they are liable"--well good thing  I was just four BLOCKS AWAY... and I got there in time. . . 

~~~Samuel will "recite" the rules for anywhere, (school, home, playing out in the yard, ETC) to you, 3 or even 10 times in a row. I'll make him repeat something like, "I won't chase the basketball into the street" and the MOMENT that ball rolls into the street,,,,,,,, HES RIGHT BEHIND IT.
this kind of situation is especially dangerous when there is other kids playing, because then he doesn't even seem able to HEAR ME yell his name. but, upon him hearing me, he turns around, and you can SEE the look when he realizes he broke the rule. He's completely remorseful, usually asks, "how can I fix it" or make it better, and seems to get so mad at himself, that he ends up embarrassed and feels BADLY ABOUT HIMSELF..... 

There are TONS more examples, I really could go on and on. He's started to share his feelings/fears/frustrations with me in recent months, too. 
A few weeks ago,
Sam asked me while we were in the car, "why don't the other kids want to play with me at school"
I didn't even know what to say.... I didn't expect that one.... I ended up saying, "probably because you get in trouble, and even though you may not mean to be, the other kids don't want to get in trouble too, so they stay away. they probably would LOVE to play with you, but they don't want to be in trouble, or their parents called. "
that answer seemed to work for the most part. But it's becoming blatantly obvious, he notices the difference between HIS behavior, and the other children's behavior. 
So, at CBH last week, part of the evaluation was going over all the referrals he's had from the early intervention program, head start, his pediatrician, ETC.

I noticed on one of his FIRST evaluations, his age was "30 months"
and it notates, "Samuel shows some signs of IMPULSIVELY issues along with possible hyper-activity for his age group"

When I read that, 2.5 years ago.... I thought to myself, he's WAY TOO YOUNG for that to be an "issue"
seriously.... he's a TODDLER..... okay a BUSY toddler... so what???

I guess the here/now/present time is the WHAT I was wondering about . . 
raising a kid, ANY KID,,,, isn't easy..... I mean, if you CARE about how they turn out, it's not. You pile on top ANY issue, I don't care what it is, then the "job" becomes harder..... 

Before I go any further,
I need to explain that I LOVE THIS KID FOR WHO HE IS.... 

I love seeing him "comfortable" in his own skin.... I want him to be happy, and even with all things considered, he IS a pretty happy kid. 
I love his "ticks" and how tidy/clean he likes things, the personality traits he has where I feel like I'm looking at a reflection of my younger self, and even the moments where I think, well where the HELL did you pick that up from? LOL

I LOVE ALL OF IT.... That's HIM. . . . a little "off" the beaten path, marching to the beat of his very own drummer. I wouldn't have it ANY OTHER WAY, in all honesty. 
My only "issue" is when I see him feel BAD ABOUT HIMSELF..... If this kid is going to have any chance of NOT following in MY footsteps, with self-medicating later on,,,,,, I gotta do something NOW, before he withdraws from his peers, before he gets a complex about WHO he is, before he even knows what that means.
if in reading this, you're thinking, how can this chic be thinking of medicating her five year old?
My answer is,
I've tried EVERY SINGLE RECOMMENDATION I've been given in the last two years.... EVERY one of them. I'm not exaggerating... I'm not too proud to ask for help... I'm OPEN to new ideas, especially if it helps my son, grow up to be a good person... ANY & EVERY IDEA,,, I tried at least once,, if not more than once.

Can anyone else say that?
I've cut out certain food groups;;; refined sugar, colored dyes, carbs, did gluten-free , the Mediterranean diet, JUST to name a few................. All at DIFFERENT times.... 
and think about how EASY that is, when he eats at four different places, during any given week.!!!!!
YOU NAME IT, I"ve done it..... and saw NO DIFFERENCE for better or worse....... NONE.....
Now, just in general terms, we don't eat fast food, or junk food, or refined sugar... first and foremost it's EXPENSIVE... and we can't afford to waste money. Secondly, Sam has followed a lot of my eating habits, and I generally eat healthy... I love fresh foods, salad, veggies, fruits, ETC.... Samuel doesn't like bread, or rolls, or many bread-products. He will want candy once in a great while, but he takes a couple bites, and "saves it for later" AKA, I throw it away later after he forgets....

Some of his MOST favorite things, are ; homemade chili, Beans of ANY kind, Cantaloupe, watermelon, Salad w/homemade ranch dressing, broccoli, green beans, pears, peaches, spaghetti w/meatballs (he eats the sauce & meatballs, not much noodles) and he used to love macncheese, but he's kinda growing out of that lately.
I tried "time out" w/timers, the way "super nanny" does it, with the explanation/apology followed by loves/hugs afterward. He eventually took HIMSELF to timeout, after acting out. 
I tried taking toys to "TOY JAIL" aka the top of the living rm closet... he would have to WORK FOR/EARN his toys back, w/good behavior and/or extra chores around the house. . . eventually - that ended when he bagged up TWO trash bags of toys from out of his room, and told me to take them to the thrift store, give them to some other kid that doesn't have toys to play with.. and YES I DID IT... and yes , days later,he bagged up MORE TOYS.... where did my leverage go??? to the thrift store.
"sticker charts"
is the one we are still using, but it doesn't really help... he's NEVER gotten the sticker for "circle time" @Head Start,,, his very hardest part of the day. Sure he doesn't have a BAD DAY, EVERY DAY.... but if the sticker chart was working, , , there'd be MORE good days than just "same  as usual" right?  I still use it, because it's SOMETHING.... something for him to hold in his hand, show me, be proud of, but that's where it ends... and he's had his very worst days, since we started the sticker charts, too.

As I'm explaining these aspects of our life,,,,, I realize there are some parents out there, that take things to extreme, or automatically think their child has ADHD , tries to convince others they are ADD/ADHD as to benefit themselves in some way. . . . . 
Please be able to see that this is NOT where I''m coming from. . .I only want my son to SUCCEED in school, without feeling like a failure, without getting made fun of/bullied for his differences that are most obvious in a classroom setting. I mean, if I do nothing at this point, , , the end result will be him being banished from grade school. 

I've been told over & over that he has to "get it this year, because next year they will just call you and send you the bill for whatever he destroys" 
I've had the explanation of how suspensions work and how that can and does turn into expulsion. They will NOT grab your child's shoulder and walk them back to class. they will just call YOU to come get them. 
I know THAT will be setting him up for absolute failure, and ultimately him not believing in himself as a whole, and/or his ability to achieve goals, succeed in school, and not to mention have friends. 

I realize he's only five.... But I think a lot of people don't realize HOW INTELLIGENT a five year old REALLY IS.... This kid picks up on all sorts of "cues"..... He knows when I'm upset about something, sometimes before I realize I'm upset about something.... 
I want him to grow up and do great things.... he can be an "average" person and STILL DO GREAT THINGS.... I do great things every day, and I'm NOBODY SPECIAL...

So,,, there's my answer... That's ALL I have to say about it. For those of YOU that have REACHED OUT TO ME,,, and helped me deal with these issues, and how I have had my moments of feeling like an absolute failure at parenting.... 
THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER, for the calls/texts/messages/ETC....
I'm unable to find the words to thank you enough,,, for making ME FEEL BETTER about my decisions, helping me be "okay" with them, his diagnosis,,, EVERYTHING..... You'll never know how much it really means to me. 

For anyone who thinks,,,, and yes, I've heard these phrases lately~~~~
"maybe you need to be more firm with him"
"he doesn't have enough consequences"
"He'll grow out of it"

I say,,,, How the hell is he ever gonna grow OUT of it, if he can't go to school??? 
If he can't listen? 
if he runs into traffic accidentally, when I"M NOT AROUND,,, and either gets severely hurt/disabled, or worse, doesn't live another day.

Explain to me, how THEN, is he going to "learn" his lesson???

just think about that for a minute... I'm not just talking about sitting in class.... 

I'm talking about being SO IMPULSIVE HE DOESN"T SEE TRAFFIC.... 

he gets so excited to see someone, he DARTS OUT FROM THE CAR in the parking lot... YES I'll be yelling his name.. it's like he just doesn't hear me until HIS BRAIN CATCHES UP W/HIS BODY

I know, I know,
MOST people mean "well" but that doesn't mean it doesn't HURT LIKE HELL TO HEAR IT....... 
To me it sounds like your saying I'm a shitty parent. After I've tried SO HARD.... I've kept my cool when NOBODY else could or would even TRY.... so that my son will TRUST ME.. 
so he'll TALK TO ME.... 
and share how he feels... 
I wouldn't know WHAT to do with him if he hadn't started sharing his inner-most fears/feelings with me.....

in recent months..... 
He tells me he doesn't want to get made fun of, he wants to have a LOT of friends, he wants other kids to WANT TO PLAY WITH HIM.
I mean,,,, is he asking too much? to want to be played with?
he doesn't soil himself, or drool, or stink.... He speaks SO CLEARLY since having the ear surgery.... it's night & day difference...
All he wants,
is to be a "normal kid"

so please,
think about that, the next time you advise someone, how to improve as a parent... 

maybe ASK , have you tried this? and say why or how that idea worked for YOU,
instead, of coming off, in "attack mode" it's not that the parent is being overly-sensitive TOWARDS YOU,,,,, 
it's the parent has thought to themselves probably daily for a YEAR OR MORE, how they are failing,
and you coming off wrong,,,, just HURTS.... a lot.

Think of me,
Trying so damn hard, to "make up" for past mistakes, for not being the parent I should've been earlier.... 
I'm trying my absolute best, I'm IN IT TO WIN IT, for sure. It's not that I don't want to hear NEW ideas,,,,, I just don't want to hear how YOU think I'm a failure, or "where" I went wrong.... I can't do anything about that NOW... can I??
I can only try harder, tomorrow.

My rant is over I guess...
Samuel doesn't see the actual DR. that can help with any kind of medication until MAY,,, and that's with him in the "express lane" to get there... He's seeing a counselor WEEKLY,,, and I like him, so far. he told me,,,
"you know many times when a parent and child come in to see me, it's half the PARENTING SKILLS or lack thereof, And half the child's issues. But Amber,
I must say, there's not ONE parenting skill I have NOT SEEN YOU USE, that I teach, in the last 2 hours"

VALIDATION ROCKS. I am doing my best  & BETTER THAN AVERAGE... is fucking AWESOME.... 
Sure I knew that before someone with a Master's degree told me so,
but damn, it feels nice to HEAR IT FROM ONE..... he also mentioned, if Sam continues to be unable to use SAFETY AWARENESS,,, and it gets ANY worse, or I become uncomfortable, to take him the emergency room. They might be able to write an emergency prescription, until he gets to the Medical Doctor, in May... She's a specialist for children ages 5-13 by the way. and supposed to be the BEST AROUND... as MY doctor told me, and actually helped Sam get IN to see her as a "new patient"

I know I'm a good Mom.... a loving , forgiving, empathetic parent. 


I'm his friend... when he needs one,
his ENFORCER, when he tests the boundaries,
and his all around "safe zone" to land in, when he falls or stumbles.
at least for now.

I'd say that's pretty damn good, all things considered.....

I already feel better, after expressing myself...something about this is therapeutic for me....
So, until next time,,,,,****** wish US LUCK ******

This is him showing me, "how to look super cool in shades"

The city park, over the weekend


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Everything Changes... part TWO, of two

EVERYTHING CHANGES...................But,  life goes on

part TWO, of two

So, thanks for following along :-)

------------Suboxone/Subutex taper, just plain ,,,, SUCKS !!!!   --------------
so, I'm finding it really important to NOT set myself up for failure, by saying, "I'm going to be OFF by August" but, in all honesty, I would love to be... I'd love to be down to LESS than FOUR MG, at the very least.... 
Right now,,,, I'm TRYING to drop to SIX.... and it's proving highly difficult.... it's nothing physical, that I can't handle,, I mean, I'm a little more stiff-jointed than usual, a little more achy, but that's it... it's the COMPULSION that I need to take SOMETHING to keep myself, sane, that is REALLY GETTING TO ME!!! 
Some people might think I'm crazy,
but I swear it's making me MORE sensitive than "normal" too. And yes, I realize I'm pregnant and that's a big part of why commercials make me cry right now.... I'm talking about being overly sensitive about EVERYTHING......... like what people say, or how they say it,,,,,,,,, the look Sam gives me when he's embarrassed of his own lack of control frequently..... It really sends me into a tail spin!!! and you know what "the cure" is right?
you got it,,,, what's worked the last, ALMOST three years......... taking more suboxone....... 
I'm working on it....... I'm trying just as hard as I possibly can....... I know it's the RIGHT THING to do,,, the responsible thing to do,,,, because you just can't be selfish when you're a parent.... I made that mistake, of my own "comfort level" while pregnant before, and I'm sure not making the same mistake, twice. . . . 
just to keep you updated......
as for today, I took ten mg..... a little more than I planned, my average has been 8, but I'm really trying for SIX, daily....... have I mentioned I'm struggling???

----------Three years ago-----------
I was exhausted........ tired of lying,, tired of having to "hustle" every day,,, figuring out SOME WAY to get what I needed for the day.... I mean it's EXHAUSTING..... 
so three years ago, in March, I tried inducting on Suboxone once, but my tolerance/use was TOO HIGH, and ended up having a seizure.... I didn't lose consciousness for more than 3 minutes or so, and it actually happened inside the Clinic Building, so that was damn lucky...... At which point they told me I had to get my use tapered down pretty low OR, switch to a short acting opiate so it'd "clear" my system faster, and not compete with buprenorphine.
The important part , is I DID IT in APRIL.... and it's the best decision I ever made. I wish I would've "got it together" a little sooner, but maybe it just had to happen this way to "stick" 
Either way,, I'm here.... and I'm still doing well, in that department !!!!
What I told my Doctor the other day....
was that I'm pretty confident, I can get thru pregnancy without using. It's after the baby's here, and not consuming everything I do, that really worries me. . . . . See, this is just the ONLY thing that's worked, and I'm absolutely terrified, to use again. I don't ever want something having that much control over every thought I have, EVER AGAIN........
Anniversaries are weird, though..... there's almost this "pressure" to clean the slate, because there are FAR LESS EXPECTATIONS, that way..... 

Don't worry, I'm just "sharing" here, and these are not overwhelming feelings of using.... they are random thoughts... I call "sharing" these with other people or even just writing them down, "telling on my addiction" therefore, it's unable to gain any strength... it's when I do NOT share, I keep it all tucked away, deep in the back of my head, where my Addiction lives (along with that big ol' shit tornado I drag around w/using) when it can (and does) gain strength , get louder, harder to dismiss, that eventually leads to overwhelming cravings and/or plans on how I'll get away with it.
I highly recommend this practice to ANY recovering addict. Any person recovering from ANY addiction, it really has helped me a ton. Just like anyone else, I have good days and bad, happy days, and sad ones too. That's okay,,,,, and it's how it's supposed to be, when you are NOT self medicating to cope with feelings.

----------Recent Arrests/Media Coverage----------
Here in the very recent past,,,, there's been some arrests locally, that really hit me like a bag of bricks. Normally,,, when someone I "know" gets arrested/charged/convicted with a crime as a direct result of losing their battle, it makes me sad, makes me feel like I want to help in SOME way, or some thing close. But, 
the articles published recently,,,,,, involved some very close friends, from NOT very long ago. They were peers of mine, in one or more out-patient programs, group therapy, community service programs, ETC ETC.... And, if I'm being totally honest, ONE of them actually HELPED ME GET INTO TREATMENT,,, and I've always kinda looked up to her, leaned on her in challenging times, and she's been a source of solid support. It just goes to try and prove to me once more, we are all human, and we can all fall off the sober train really freaking fast.... What took YEARS of earning back, can disappear in literally seconds......
And, that my friends, is why it's so difficult to get back ON the wagon.
it made me very sad. For some reason I thought of her family, too.... Her parents, and siblings who were all so incredibly proud and supportive, her kids she earned custody of, her employers that continually stood by her side going thru court/probation stuff.... That was "new" for me, to think not only about the person/addict, but about how a relapse effects the WHOLE SUPPORT SYSTEM..... it basically crumbles from within, doesn't it???
This all,
boils down to me, just wanting to be that much MORE aware of my own debilitating, incurable, & ever-present disease...... 
that's another question, I get quite a bit..... "so do you really believe addiction is a disease"
yes, I do.
While a lot of people on this planet believe it's a CHOICE..... I whole-heartily believe, that it in fact may be a choice AT FIRST,,,, but then it becomes an overwhelming compulsion, that gets stronger and more consuming BY THE HOUR....
I've read so much research work, studies and medical journal articles on addiction, including if/how professionals consider it genetic and/or  a disease, and a whole lot more. 
One article I remember very well,
said addiction basically attacks the SAME PORTION of your brain that tells you to SURVIVE.... For example eat, breath, sleep, love, ETC..... The same part of your brain, working the same way as your compulsion TO BREATH IN AND OUT..... Maybe that will help some people?? who have friends/loved ones either fighting this battle or not...... I hope it will. . . . . . And, I still cannot control that compulsion, I can only control how I react to it. 
Another article says, the people most likely to become addicted to opiates/pain pills are people with a generally low-performing dopamine receptors. . . . When they use opiates, they most likely get a boost of dopamine,  5-10 TIMES that of a normal person. So, they feel five times the relief/good/happy/normal feeling the dopamine triggers... No wonder we want more and more???   LOL
Well, I cannot believe it's been almost three years. 
Some days it feels like just a couple months, other days it feels like ten years ago. I know I wouldn't even recognize, the person in the mirror today, three years ago..... 

A LOT has changed, that's a total understatement........

---------Mike's Probation/General Everything---------
So even with his last polygraph, and "passing with flying colors" as to quote the polygraph tech himself,,, That didn't really change anything that I know of, regarding his probation/restrictions/rules. . . . 
Still, he and Samuel are allowed TWO supervised visits per week, two hours each. they are allowed to talk over the telephone, each night though, which does help immensely. . . . Especially with the behavior issues lately. Sam really doesn't like giving his Dad bad news about his day, I think he just dreads hearing him say, "I know you can do better" Which is pretty much the same thing I say, too. . 
It just helps a lot to have "back up"
Well to summarize everything over the last six months or so, Mike started working in October,  washing log trucks on weekends. He worked his way into some "shop" hours, working on the trucks and buildings on the property, and from there worked up to ON the job training to Drive LOG TRUCK.........
Something, he had always talked to me about doing, since he got a commercial licence. Well in December he took his class A test, (step up from the class B he had previously) and PASSED.... His boss still wanted him to get some more hours, "on the road" with someone riding along, so it wasn't until the first week of January,, he started driving SOLO,,, MAKING  a percentage per load. . . 
Well as it turns out, payroll is done monthly,,,, and his employer holds back almost two weeks, running payroll on about the 15th of each month, for the previous month, the first to the last day of that month. To give an example,,,,, Mike started driving SOLO on January 4th, but did NOT receive a paycheck, until FEBRUARY 15TH.....He was however, able to get a few small draw checks, to get by. . . . . 
Well,,,,, from October to the end of December, he basically worked seven days a week. . . 
Only being off early one day per week; to check in at Probation. As you can probably guess his probation fees/supervision costs/polygraph bills, were ALL really behind, including the court house and the restitution account to the state. All the above mentioned accounts, he's signed agreements at Probation to make "regular monthly payments"
Moving on,,,,, His Probation Officer ("PO" for short) knew of the situation, knew of when his first payroll check would be. . . . (remember that for just a second, k)
Let's back up to last May,,,,
and the "new" charge for unemployment fraud, which yes, was pretty much my doing. . . . And he did a plea bargain for 24 months BENCH probation, pay restitution, and 100 hours of community service. . Well last AUGUST, his PO reminded him he had to PAY $45 and go register, to START any community service hours.....It was this meeting in August the PO reminded him he had a due date of February 1st, 2014.
and obviously didn't have fifty bucks at any point really,,,,,, until recently..... and let's face it, there wasn't anyone really willing to "loan" him $50, either. . . so when he had the TIME to do it, he didn't have the money, YES YOU HAVE TO PAY TO DO COMMUNITY SERVICE.
And, when he had the money,,,,
Oh I forgot to tell you,,, his PO CALLS ON FEB 11th, AND SAYS, OOPS GOTTA TURN YOU IN FOR  A VIOLATION SINCE YOU DIDN"T GET YOUR SERVICE HOURS DONE... I REMINDED YOU LAST AUGUST AND YOU SAID YOU DIDN"T HAVE ANY MONEY... SO I'll put in for an out of custody hearing, and I'm going to recommend a 14 day sanction.
Mike gets the papers in the mail, and has NOT ONE, BUT TWO VIOLATIONS..
and yes,
Want to guess, how much he's paid SINCE FEB 11th, When the violation papers, were turned in???????

1. CLATSOP COUNTY PROBATION   2/18/14                   $   150.00

2. CLASSES/TREATMENT              2/20/14                    $     80.00

3. CLATSOP COUNTY COURT-  Fines/Restitution-- 2/13/14

account #    618-10-05-1                                               $   710.00
                   618-10-05-2                                               $   358.00


first payment,    2/13/14                                                $ 1,451.00
second payment  2/20/14                                                $ 4,066.00
                                    Total paid on restitution    $ 5, 521.00


Is that some effort, in your un-biased opinion??? I certainly think so... and seems pretty MESSED UP to turn the dude in,,, TWO DAYS BEFORE PAYDAY... I mean, how the F is that helping him in ANY WAY
that's what I'd like to hear the answer to.....
Thankfully, he'll have the attorney by his side, in court,  his boss offered to attend court, on his behalf to verify his unpaid driving/training hours, and that he worked seven days a week, and that his first actual paycheck wasn't until February 13th.... A year to the day, he was released from jail.... 
In my opinion, he's made tons of progress in almost every aspect of his life. . . I really hope he can get off supervision without the suspended prison term being imposed. Not just because I don't want Sam to go thru that, but because I honestly think he's changed, somewhat...... Although I'm not around him nearly as much, I can just tell by his actions especially in times of stress/anxiety/worry that he's grown up.... I don't know how else to put it. 
I'm still amazed on how our country's judicial system works almost solely on the plea bargain, after stacking as many charges as possible on a person, forcing them into a corner , intimidating them until they "fold" and either, take their sentence or go on supervision. Both resulting in paying the justice department TONS OF MONEY over the next years of their life.... I mean,, Not everyone "deserves" what they get, and I believe it's because of OVER charging one thing, and intimidating the person into signing....
I'd say he's doing well... One year down, two more to go. . . . Unless he can do some kind of after hours counseling , the therapy described in his "treatment recommendation" that was ordered by the state and cost 2500 dollars..... If he can do that, then he could possibly file for a hearing, and explain/argue why he should be OFF supervision.... the attorney said, it's not worth the time or money, until the counseling is done though. I'm proud of him for making the changes he has, but I also remain very guarded, kind of "waiting/watching to see what happens"
anyway,,,, there's his update.

--------------LASTLY,,,,, LIFE in general;;;;; on life's terms-------------
After reading my post from yesterday,,,,, I'm somewhat concerned, I may have come off like my own Mom,,, didn't try or didn't understand my problems in school, or as a child.... Now, not having ADHD, I'm sure she can't "see" things, or recognize behaviors,  like I can for Sam... I have absolutely NO DOUBT that she tried everything she could to help me though.... I also think, the 80s were not a good time to be a kid in school with ADHD, anyway!!! since they didn't know JACK about it, at that time as it was.... And what they did know, most viewed as a disciplinary issue, and not a disorder... Oh!! more detentions!!! Yep!! that was thier 'master plan' back then....
Anyway,,, my point is,,,,, I have always maintained my mom and dad did the best they could, did what they thought was right, and no matter what anyone else thinks, THEY RAISED A DAMN GOOD PERSON !!!!!

Another thing,
My Mom and I have been getting along better in the last couple years, than I ever can remember getting along growing up.... Not to mention this is probably the first time in my LIFE I feel "safe" to be honest with her. . . . that's huge for me....... I've come to value what/how she thinks of me, and the choices I make. It's my honest opinion, ALL OF US just want to make our mom and/or dad PROUD OF US....
Just because we make mistakes, doesn't mean we cannot recover, or make up for it, overcome it and move on as an even better person later. . . . 
I'm pretty sure my entry a month ago or so, says, it's just recently that I have begun to understand my parents, and some of their behaviors, NOW..... Only because BEING A PARENT really helps you see where the hell they were coming from......
what a job!!!!!!
the most overwhelming, never-ending job you'll ever LOVE unconditionally.... 
pretty much sums it up!!!!!
i don't think you can understand how much your parents loved you, until you have a child,,, or adopt a child, ETC ETC ETC.... Being responsible for another HUMAN LIFE, is the most responsibility there is....
And the most fun & rewarding experience ever, I think too......

With that,
I'm gonna wrap this up, and say GOODNIGHT!!!!!!

it was so nice of those of you that messaged me, called, sent a text ETC ETC ETC today,
to give me words of encouragement, or share your own experiences like what I'm going thru with Sam right now !! it was SO NICE and unexpected to hear from like FIVE PEOPLE in the last 24 hours....
I just want to say 
THANK YOU SO MUCH,,,, You'll never know how much it really meant......
thank you for not giving up on me, and not forgetting about how much I really do struggle....

-----all my love--------

heres my STUPID BUBBLING TIRE,,, I just bought not even a month ago!!! yes, it was used, so no warranty... on tomorrows' list??? ONE MORE USED TIRE,,, yep, you betcha.                                              

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Everything Changes, PART 1 of 2

EVERYTHING CHANGES... But life goes on....

..................... Part/Entry one of TWO.....

Certainly,,,, it's been much longer than I planned since my last entry..... I just have a WHOLE BUNCH ON MY MIND.... these  days!!! 
and you're about to find out why,,,,,, AND why it takes "two parts"
ha ha ha ha ha ha 

There’s definitely a LOT that I feel like I need to go over. . . . . .

 Life is forever changing… ALWAYS CHANGE… that’s the ONLY thing that remains the “same”
Pretty sure someone bright and intellectual quoted that once, but I have NO idea, whom.

On the subject of : My highly lovable, yet highly challenging son....... 

After careful consideration, and about 18 months of straight up denial,,,,,,,  I have finally come to the conclusion, I do have one challenging, five year old child.  I mean, ALL kids are challenging, but anyone that KNOWS Sam,,,, or has been around him, for ANY length of time, doesn’t matter what setting,,,, KNOWS what I’m talking about. I have friends that REFUSE to go to ANY store,  (example the grocery store) WITH my son and I together…… they will go with ME, , , , no problem. And, these are FRIENDS….. so, that should say something, right there. I guess when you deal with it, day in and day out, you get kind of used to it? The “normal” for your child might be completely the polar opposite of your friends’ children. I recently had a friend, quite a few years older than me, who raised her four kids pretty much on her own; tell me , “thank GOD all four of my kids, weren’t as much work as Your ONE, is, or I would’ve NEVER MADE IT”
Gee……. I dunno if that’s supposed to make me feel better or worse?

I just smile, and hold my kid close, tell him I love him a couple extra times, because I don’t want him to think I love him less. He’s quite the INDIVIDUAL, and I love him FOR that, not “still” …. I mean, that’s what makes HIM,,,,,,,, HIM….. and nobody else.
There was a big meeting in Mid February, on Sam's current year at Head Start, and ESD classes, and his transition to kindergarten next year. I'll spare all the boring details and say,,,,
he met ALL his educational goals, but FAILED to meet his behavioral goals. They have a specialist that comes in from Mental Health,  to "evaluate" kids, twice a month, so they get to see the children's behavior MORE than just "one day". That way, they get a better idea of what that child's "average day" is. Of course when they asked me to sign, for this a few months ago, I did; pretty much already knowing what the outcome would be, because we went thru the SAME thing, last year. His previous year at head start, and ESD twice a week, he turned four in December, and according to every professional I've asked, and everything I've read online (via reliable sources) it states that even five years old is the "early end" for diagnosing ANY disorder, let alone ADD/ADHD. . . Now its no secret that I am absolutely textbook, ADHD. But I guess I don't really view it as a "disorder" more of an obstacle, but ONLY IN SCHOOL...... Once you're OUT of school, depending on what career path you choose, I think this so-called disorder CAN become a strength. . . . Of course I'm going to remain positive about it, because that's part of how I cope with having it, myself. 
the big meeting plays out like this......... Every single person at the table, has NO DOUBTS about Sam's Intellectual ability, his goals were all met, he definitely made huge progress as far as class work goes. But they all have (including me/Mom) their doubts about his ABILITY TO SIT AND FOCUS.... Or his ability to sit with the group and NOT be disruptive. 
here's the thing....
I know the difference with my son, NOW... in, ...."oohhhhh look what I did ,, ha ha ha " when he messes up, And, this look of outright guilt and remorse, that he so wishes he could UNDO TIME and take it back. he'll even ask what he can do to "make things better" after messing up, spilling something, breaking something by touching it too much, or too rough, you get the idea.
he's NOT blatantly being destructive. 
And upon asking him,,,, "this is broken Sam, what happened?"
he'll say something like, "I dunno, my hands just went crazy, it just happened like that"
and I can totally tell he wasn't MEANING for whatever to happen.... he's truly embarrassed and sorry that it did. 
One idea the specialist had, was to start a sticker chart, he could take this sticker chart with him each day at school, and we'd have "blocks" of his MOST challenging times of the day, on this chart, he could EARN a sticker, for each time he "did a great job" during whatever part of the day.
well the first two weeks went pretty well : 5/8 stars, then 6/8
the third week...... he had a bad day,,,,,, followed by and EVEN WORSE DAY..... which included spilling paint in the floor, pushing a friend, throwing things in class, and pretty much running around the room like a crazy animal, including destroying the bulletin board.
YEP!!!! that's MY KID...
Well,,,,, after that performance, he lost his nintendo, and two of his favorite toys, UNTIL Tuesday came again... let me say, he was NOT HAPPY about having to "live with consequences" for the next four days, as a result of one class time's behavior. . . But I really think he was just trying to see WHAT I would do? I'm not sure. 
After hearing "you know you should have him evaluated for ADHD"
for almost TWO YEARS, now..... and him NOT being in ESD next year, but a FULL DAY of kindergarten.... I finally made the calls, today.... I'm getting TWO SEPARATE OPINIONS... one will be March 24th, and the other May 8th. I'd really like the "medication" answer to be the VERY LAST RESORT..... I was of the opinion, two years ago, I wouldn't put him on ANY MEDS,,, ANY TIME SOON.... but, after seeing how embarrased he gets in front of his peers, when he cannot control himself, and how self-conscious, not to mention anxious and worried, , , well you get the idea......... I'm now thinking.... WHATEVER IT TAKES TO HELP HIM SUCEED...... My dr. is an ADHD specialist, but only for adults..... I've been taking Samuel to my appointments lately, just because of the day/time they fall on..... He even says, hes pretty certain he'll test "on the high end" even for five years old..... when I talked to my dr. about how against I was the idea, of "medicating my child to make my job as a parent easier" 
he said....... how would you feel, if he really does have a problem, and medication really was the ONLY option to help him but he completely failed in school, from lack of self esteem, among other things?
Well,,,,, that doesn't make me a better parent, either, does it?
no , it doesn't
it's a TOUCHY SUBJECT with people.... I have my peers, ask "is he like this ALL the time?"
what do you mean, I think to myself, of course he is!!! this is normal !!!
then I share about the thoughts/refferalls I get from the school and they look at me like one of the worst people on the planet, for even THINKING of medication..... Well, Im sorry, I just want my child to suceed... and obviously,
 if it was MY GO-TO SOLUTION.... to put him on meds,,,,, wouldn't I have been there 18 MONTHS AGO telling them how "overwhelmed" I am by him????
yeah.... pretty much.....
so,,,,,,,,, we shall see...... I am not doing anything, until I get two opinions, and then I want to try any kind of behavioral intervention, or learning/coping skills, they recommend.... because it really is MY LAST RESORT,,, but I'm not totally ruling ANYTHING out, to help my son succeed, as a student, as a person and as a future citizen of this highly UNFAIR WORLD... 
he needs any chance he can get, to get ahead. He deserves the  BEST I CAN DO FOR HIM, and nothing less..... so, I'm sorry to say, that's exactly what he'll get. 

Next topic......... SURPRISE!!!!! Welcome to crazy-land........

most of my family, already knows this..... but, to make an extremely long story short.....
And I'm sorry for announcing this , to my FAMILY this way, not until now, this little short part before my "announcement" , (and especially apologize to my Mother) I just don't like talking about it...... 
 I went on the low dose version of birth control, shortly after having a miscarriage (estimated @9wks along) in late Spring 2013.....NO, I wasn't "trying" for a baby. but I wasn't on birth control, and then my husband went to jail, and the Dr. thinks it was "mainly a result of stress & rejection from my body" 
It wasn't an easy time for me, but I've accepted it, and I've moved on, 
and "that's all I have to say about tha--aat"
 (NO bringing it up, please-----thank you)

The reason behind "low dose" is.......... the immense history of cancer, in my family. Including ------my grandma being diagnosed with breast cancer in her 30's (& having a mastectomy in the 1970's) then fighting cancer twice more to date,,,, her mother (my great-grams) having cancer twice I believe, eventually dying from it,,,, ,,,,, my uncle David; losing his battle with prostate cancer at the early age of 39, my mother surviving colon cancer (in her early 50's) while I was pregnant w/Samuel,,,, my grandma is one of 8 siblings, only one other survives with her, THE OTHER SIX,,, their deaths all resulting from cancer of one form or another. 
you get the idea, yes??

it's not so much a question of IF i'll battle cancer in my lifetime, it's a matter of WHEN they will find it.....
The "free clinic" will NOT give you and IUD, which is what I wanted, unless "you are in a committed, long term relationship"..... well being recently &  legally separated from my spouse of nearly 12 years, that was outta the question !! and believe me; I tried to convince them..... 
Now that's out of the way......... fast forward almost a full year, of yes, taking the pill correctly, daily.....Thanksgiving rolls in & out, Life goes on, you know?
December............ I miss something important..... Something I'm supposed to 'have'  before starting my next month of BCPs.....
I call my dr's office, and explain, then ask,,,,,, well do I start the  next pack, or what?
the medical assistant, puts me on hold for what seems like forever..... She comes back and says, yes go ahead and start your new pack, but can you come down today to get a blood test, just to make sure every thing's alright?
Sure, why not.
So, I go that same day,,,,, get a few viles of blood drawn, and LIFE GOES ON... I pretty much forgot about it. until,,,, just two days later...... the same Medical Assistant calls, from a blocked #, and says, "hello Amber, how are you, Well uh, the Dr. would really like to see you today"
I'm puzzled, I say, well I'm not due for my refill for almost a week (thinking it's something to do with my suboxone prescription) I follow that with ; do I need to take a U/A, or come in for a count? (that's where they count your prescription to make sure you're not abusing/selling it)
M.A. says,
"no, nothing like that, he'd just like to see you today"
I'm still..... NOT catching on......
then , finally it hits me.... and I say.... LOOK, I know you'd just send me the results in the mail if my "test" was NEGATIVE the other day!!!! it's POSITIVE HUH??? HUH???? IT IS!!!!!
she's stuttering now...
and blurts out a time for me to be AT the office, and then hangs up!!!!
Honestly,,, I don't blame her,,, I wasn't being "easy" to deal with, by ANY means, and if I were her, I'd have done the same thing, if not , then something worse probably.
by now,
I'm sure you know what I'm going to say......... by the time I get to the dr's office, he says, "congratulations, you're five weeks pregnant"
I seriously,,,, felt like I was gonna PASS OUT.... lack of oxygen,,, lack of reality,,,, I'm not sure. . . I sat there, absolutely "deer in the headlights" STUNNED...... then I got kinda MAD..... and asked HOW THE HELL COULD THIS HAPPEN????
He says, well we did go over the fact, low dose is only about 80% effective when taken 100% properly... Well I took it EVERY DAY,,, I KNOW I DID!!!! He says,,, yes but also remember you're supposed to take it the SAME TIME, every day as well...... 
In my head.....
hmmmmm..... damn ADHD, anyway!!!!! 
I blurt out.... well this is ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!!!!
he looks SHOCKED and he says, NO ITS NOT MY FAULT,,, I KNOW THAT FOR SURE!!!!
I must admit..... THAT part is KINDA funny,,,, now.
but it sure wasn't at the time !!!!   I was also on some antibiotics for four days, in Late October, so he said, that could have been enough to "mess up the next month's cycle"
ohhhhhhhhhhh thanks for telling me NOW....
honestly,,, he probably DID tell me at the time,,, I just wasn't paying attention... or didn't remember, or whatever.... LITTLE LATE FOR WORRYING NOW,, ain't it??
as of now, I'm 17 weeks along, I'm due in mid-August, and it's going to be a scheduled Cesarean, because Samuel was, and they don't really give you an option of anything else afterwards. No, I don't know if it's a boy or girl yet, I won't know for another couple weeks. . . . I certainly haven't been nearly as sick as I was, when I was pregnant with Samuel, so part of me thinks girl.... part of me wonders if it's a boy though, because ALL SAM ASKED for, for his birthday AND Christmas last December, was a BROTHER...... so maybe it's HIS fault????? ha ha ha ha ha ....... He's certainly excited to be a big brother & hes absolutely CONVINCED ITS A BROTHER!!! Dont try and tell him any different !! he will YELL at you !!  "its a brotherrrrrrrr"
As for the father.... I'm not going to publicly name him... This is my public blog, and not his..... No, we will not be "playing house" anytime soon... that's just NOT our relationship..... it didn't start out that way, and I think he's mature enough, and I've learned enough to know, JUST because it "sounds like a good idea" does NOT MEAN IT IS A GOOD IDEA...... And maybe we both know it would end in disaster??? I will briefly mention that's it's not who you "automatically assume" it is.........which is really very sad, when you think about it, because this is probably the last thing he ever expected, from me....Who's fault is that, though? certainly, not mine........  AND, , , ,  like I've said time and time again..... LIFE GOES ON..... 

I have enough financial support to where I don't really HAVE to work, to live and eat, and keep a roof over my head... in NO WAY am I "rolling in the cash" but I'm not starving, either. And, who the hell wants to work construction, while pregnant?? Been there, done that,,, and got the shirt... No thanks regarding the "replay". . . . . . I'll go back to work when I can, hopefully start with part-time and work up. I'm good with that idea, and comfortable, too. 

THANK GOD for my FAMILY  & CLOSE FRIENDS..... there's just NO WAY
 I could do this, without each and every single one of them, supporting me!!!!! 
(this means even if I only "communicate" with you via email/text/FB, you're still CLOSE, to me)

 they all have been surprisingly positive about the whole thing... I always have felt sad, at the thought, of Samuel being an only child... he's just SO LOVING,,, and wants to help everyone, all the time,,, he really has SO MUCH LOVE TO GIVE...... So, really I think this will be great for him, and will help me A WHOLE LOT.... You know, once he gets over the whole, newness of the baby, wearing off, and I'm sure we'll go thru the "I'm jealous" stage, and ETC ETC.... I'm talking about after all of that transitional time... I think he'll be a great big brother, and a great help to Momma, as well. 
so, I must be NUTZO, right>????
especially considering my first topic, and the difficulty Samuel is having in PRE-School.....
I really think I'm doing a good job, I KNOW I'm doing my absolute best, and sometimes, when I look around, I KNOW that's more than "most" parents, these days..... I say that because about half of my son's class is grandparents, and Great-Grandparents, picking up these 4 & 5 year old kiddos. . . .  . . 

(fade into being a parent isn't easy)

there's.....something to that,, I think.. Or at least a long story, I don't know about. sure for some it makes absolute sense... but for others, I think it's just an easy way-out. Then again,,, I kinda think everything happens for a reason, although we might not know WHY at the time. why did it take over five years to get pregnant without ANY kind of birth control, the first time? Yet, I get pregnant ON birth control, this time? I don't know the answer, but part of me JUST has to believe and have a little faith, that this IS MEANT TO BE.... 
No way is it the "portrait of perfection" I had planned, in my twenties. 
but, I'm happy..... I really am.... and I'm happy ALONE, too..... I enjoy my TIME ALONE, these days... I used to be absolutely TERRIFIED, of being by myself !!!!!  which is why I was ALWAYS SOMEPLACE WITH SOMEONE..... Until my addiction stole, that , too.
My point is,
you really do NOT have to have "the finer things in life" that only rich people can buy.
I'm happy dancing while doing housework, on Saturday afternoon, with or without Sam there. Sure, I love him to death,,, i really do. and even when I THINK I'm "tired of him and need a break"
it isn't even 10 minutes of him being gone, and I think, wonder what he's doing? if he misses me yet?
One thing I have definitely learned in this last 1.5 years, is I"M A BETTER PARENT WITH A BREAK once in awhile... I'm saying even the couple afternoons a week, he's in school, is enough. . . . . Unless he's really having a hard time, then I do ask , someone I trust with all my soul, "can you hang out with him, for like an hour so my nerves can re-charge?"
And you know what goes with that?
that's why I just cannot for the life of me understand,
these articles in the media,
"two year old found in bathtub, mother's boyfriend arrested on aggravated murder"
I'm not saying, no good parent would ever GET this point, right before...... I'm sure some parents have ALMOST gotten to the point of no return, and probably don't even know it. I'm just willing to bet, if a parent, of a child of ANY age, if they came to let's say YOUR DOOR and said something like;
"oh I hate to ask you this, and I may not know you all that well, but seriously I'm gona lose my shit if I don't get like 30 minutes without my kid in my ear,,,, NOW"
your reply,,,, pretty much unless YOU were having some kind of emergency,
"SURE YEAH,,,,,,,,,,,,, bring'm in,,,,,,,,,,,,, you got a half hour"

because if your any KIND of a decent parent, that tries, and loves with their whole heart and soul,,, YOU'VE BEEN THERE, Or Close and KNOW it's an emergency!!!!!!
I've had my moments, where I wasn't sure if SAMUEL & I WOULD BOTH BE BREATHING @BEDTIME !!!
Thought, for sure one of us, was gona strangle the other... NO not literally... don't twist my words around and make me sound evil, alright? it's a joke and anyone who's talked to me longer than thirty seconds knows the EXACT humor I mean, and I'm using. . . 
this is a sensitive subject, so that's why I'm trying to not leave any "questions" in what I'm writing about. I wish you could "hear" my tone..... You'd get it, easier. 
to all those, hard-working REAL PARENTS OUT THERE:::::
Please, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and even when you don't.... I bet you'd be superbly shocked in how MANY people you don't think about, who would GLADLY watch your kid(s)
And believe me,,,,,,
it makes you a BETTER parent, , , , , , , , , ,  because you can "recharge"
just who the hell can YOU take care of , when you're NOT taken care of??? 
.....nobody.... especially not a child, that needs patience, tolerance, forgiveness, an ear for never-ending story telling , ETC ETC ETC
Just ask,,,,,,,,,, please.. ANYONE you trust. . . .it sucks to see articles like that, in the media/news 

And with that, I'm going to say goodnight,
and don't forget to make the BEST of what you have, and who you have in your life.... 
you never know when it, or they,  might be gone one day. 

---------topics to hit for part/entry two -------

recent media coverage  involving close, very close friends from the not so distant past. . .......

lowering dose on subs to  SIX MG per day (down from 16mg )........

coming up quick, on THREE YEARS OFF THE JUNK!!!!!!.............

Mike's upcoming court date, for two probation violations. . . . . 

until then,,,,, THANK YOU... you know who ya are !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Sam's school picture day! he "styled" his very own hair, telling me,
"I don't NEED My Momma to do it!!!"

Just one of my favorites, I wanted to SHOW OFF, again !!!! 
Sam man, last summer, in Florence Or
("our road trip" he calls it)