Saturday, June 21, 2008

Serious post here

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." 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?


  1. I understand to a degree what you are going through and I think any parent would as well. I dealt with infertility, having Ella through IVF, and before she was born, I never thought I would have the feelings or thoughts that I have now that she is a toddler. I love her like no one else can love another person on the earth, but sometimes I just want to run. Ella is a very vocal 3 year old. Always wants to have that interaction by conversation or play...ALL TIMES OF THE DAY. She has very good language skills and wants to express them. By the time hubby gets home at 4-5 or sometimes 6pm, I am spent! I mean, last nerves are bulging out of my brain. I ask him to take her away for a while so I can get some peace in my brain. It is a human thing, Kristine, not a mommy thing, not a IF thing. It is purely human. We can only take so much. We can only give so much. And with your son having special needs, that only magnifies the needs that he has. Dont feel guilty. You are not the only woman in the world going through these feelings...with your marraige either. Hubby and I have had our moments too. Not to mention our sex life is way out in left field. Anyone who doesnt have children (and may be going through IF treatment) and is judgemental about this post needs to step aside (in a nice way). You just dont know, until you are living and breathing it day in and day out. Just breathe......This too shall pass.

  2. Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry. Joanna is right - it is a human reaction to want to take a break, and it could be that you DH is retreating because he doesn't know how to handle it either. We never had to deal with infertility issues, and it's still exhausting.

    From what we went through with Boxer's daycare issues, I know that Brief hated coming home because in his words "he never knew what he was coming home to"- maybe I'd be okay, or maybe I had just left (note: I never did- although one time when Boxer was a baby I drove to Brief's work and said, "I need a break. See you later." and dumped the baby off.)

    So DH is probably scared and doesn't know how to verbalize it. From talking to Brief, I know that even husbands who love their wives insanely really don't understand the implications of having children before they do - either the impacts on the marriage or the household or you.

    Even if you get through the day by thinking, "Well, I never have to live through this day again.", you still get through the day. Sometimes, life is about survival, not luxury and happy-happy-joy-joy, but times like these make those happy times even sweeter. Hang in there, and if you ever want to talk, let me know.

  3. I commend you on your honesty. Even though I do not have a special needs child I can relate to your marriage issues. I think just being a parent can wear you down to the point where you just need time to yourself. I know many evenings if you were to peak in our windows that you would see hubby watching tv and me on the computer. At the end of the day I just really want time to be by myself. I don't want to do anything for anybody and that even means talking with hubby. We have been trying to make more of an effort to use that time to just be together. Maybe you all could find a movie you watch or make a special dessert and open a bottle of wine after bedtime. In order to make our marriage successful we do have to work at it and even though we are exhausted it will be worth the effort in the end. Because when it is all said and done and our kids are out of our house we will be the ones to be together forever. I'm praying for you and hope that you can find some ways to bring the spark back!!

  4. All of your feelings are normal and you are definately not alone. As a fellow mother of a special needs child, I can totally relate. Some days are so hard you do want to walk away - but the important part is we don't. We stick it out and somehow make it through. When my SN son was born, by hubby just got back from Iraq. We were dealing with the issues of a sick kid and the issues of Dad coming home. It so took a toll on us, but we took it one day at a time. Try little things to get your marriage back on track. Hubby and I would steal an hour in the morning when the kids were at school to go grab coffee or breakfast - just that 1 hour did wonders. Or force yourself off of the puter and sit and have a drink or share a bowl of ice cream - that worked for us as well. Point being, take advantage of the little bit of time you do get by yourselves - it doesn't have to be perfect, just a bit at a time.
    I'll be praying that you can get through all of this. And of course, as one SN Mom to another, feel free to call on me for support! Any time!

  5. I understand completely. Totally completely. Ben is special needs as well, and although his issues have gotten better with time (some of them) it's incredibly frustrating to deal with.

    I don't have any good advice, just wanted you to know I understand you.

  6. and again i wish i was closer to you so i could help you. :(

    stay strong

  7. Somehow I lost you when you moved. I'm sorry you are going through this. My kids aren't special needs, but I have felt similarly- that they wear us down and we have nothing left to give each other by the end of the night.

    Thinking of you...