I love The Boy. I love him like any mother would. I love him because he is a part of me. I love him because he can be sweet and cute and funny and loving himself. I love him because he needs love, like every child needs love. I love him because he is mine.
That being said, I find myself resenting him at times. I resent what his "problems" and his behavior, have done to our lives. I feel like he is sucking the life out of my marriage and it scares me.
Rarely do AD and I have a chance to let down our guard with TB. Often we feel like we are walking around on eggshells. One wrong move, one wrong word, and more likely than not TB will blow. Zero to sixty in two seconds. Screaming, stomping, throwing, growling. And then, just as quickly, it can be over. But never a guess as to how long it will last.
I understand now why so often you hear of marriages of parents with special needs kids breaking up. It's not that the love is lost, its that there is no time for it. The couples intimacy gets pushed further down on the hierarchy of what is important, what they have time for. It is exhausting and if you do not have a good support system for your family it takes a tremendous toll.
Unfortunately for us we do not have much of a support system. My family is a 12 hour drive away. They visit a couple times a year and in the past have stayed with The Boy for a few days once a year so AD and I can go away. But, their last visit here did not go well with TB and we really felt like they could not get away fast enough. I doubt that they will be willing to take on The Boy and Baby Brother in the future. AD's family is local, but his mom is unable to help and his brother's family never offers. It doesn't help that AD won't tell his family about the issues we are dealing with with The Boy. They know he has "problems" but not to what extent. Granted they never ask, but still, I think that if AD would talk to them they might have more understanding of what we live with every day.
So, our only respite is when we pay for a baby sitter. We are very fortunate that we have a couple great women that sit for us that we trust completely, and TB enjoys being with. But at $15 an hour we can't afford to use them very often. The only break we really get is during the day when TB is at school. I'm lucky that I get two days off during the week and occasionally take BB to daycare one one of those days. That is the only time I'm able to get things done, or just take a break. Even if I keep BB home with me, my day is infinitely more relaxed and enjoyable than the days TB is with us.
I feel like the intimacy in my marriage is lost. So often we are on edge, and it spills over to being on edge with each other. The chaos in our house has my nerves so sensitized that if AD snaps about anything I take it personally. If he complains about how messy the house is I feel like it is a personal attack. AD has never been the kind of person that yells or gets angry easily. That seems to be changing lately. His patience is constantly stretched by TB.
Our house is a mess. It seems to mirror our life in general. I get frustrated that no one is helping me with it, so then I rebel, and stop. Or, both of us are just so tired after dealing with the boys that we never get to it.
We are both constantly exhausted. From being "on" all the time. From getting up during the night with BB to the early morning awakenings (this morning at 5:50am TB was banging on his door to get out). From the constant worry, wondering if we are doing the right things with him, fearing for his future.
The little time we do have together in the evenings is rarely spent together. I spend my evenings on the Internet, which is my stress relief, and AD spends it either on his computer or watching sports on TV. I just want time to myself and so does he.
I've tried to talk to AD about this but he closes up. I even asked him a couple weeks ago if he thought we should go get some couples therapy. His response was a resounding NO. I asked him if he thought everything was OK with us and he said "it could be worse." Right...it could be worse...we could be getting a divorce.
I don't know how to read him any more. He won't open up about his feelings. I never know if he is angry with me or with The Boy, or just tired and withdrawn. I find myself getting angry and resentful with him because he won't open up and I'm left to guess.
I don't doubt our love for each other, but the joy in our marriage seems to have left. It makes me incredibly sad. And scared. And resentful of the impact of TB's behavior on our marriage.
I understand why marriages break up now. I'd be lying if I said I never thought about leaving. Several times in the middle of one of TB's tantrums I've wished I could just take Baby Brother and go somewhere else. That life would be so much easier if it was just us. I WOULD NEVER DO THIS! I need to make that clear, but sometimes the thought is there.
I wonder what people will think as they read this. Especially since this is in part an "infertility blog." I know that many of my readers are dealing with IF, just like I did. I imagine in many ways I sound ungrateful. Do others read this and think that I don't deserve to be a mother? All I know is I'm sitting here writing this trying to be incredibly honest. I know I'm putting myself out there but one of the reasons I moved my blog, to regain my anonymity, was so I could write like this. Hoping that by writing out how I'm feeling I might better understand it.
See why I need therapy?