Thursday, February 06, 2014

Sometimes I bend, but I will not break.

There are times when the weight of the responsibility of raising Noah to be a decent, independent adult that is able to function in society threatens to break me.
I don't think I'm supposed to admit that though. 
As the parent of a child with special needs I should be worthy of hearing "I don't know how you do it," "I couldn't do what you do," and "he is so lucky to have you."
When I complain, and admit to not being perfect, to struggling, to god forbid needing help, it makes people uncomfortable. I rather think they prefer when I write about vibrators over sharing with the world that my son has a mental illness and it really, really sucks.
You know what? I get it!
The truth is, I lose track of that line between sharing and complaining quite often. Too often.
Yesterday, I found out that Noah will not be able to attend the special needs summer day camp he has attended for the last three years. They changed the age range of their program and somehow we missed the letter telling us that. It wasn't until earlier this week when I started to think that I have usually sent in his camp application by now that I thought to question why we had yet to hear from them.

Just as I finished a conference call with my team at work, I received the email telling me he wouldn't be able to attend this summer. 

It is without exaggeration that I say I came close to breaking. I bent, and I bent far. I thought I was going to snap. Like the snow and ice laden trees behind our house did in the storm the night before.

What are we going to do? Where will he go this summer? I will have to quit my job. I can't do that. How will we survive? What will I dooooo???

I cried. I sobbed. I took to my bed and wallowed in my tears.

Oh, the drama!

We are in the midst of snow and ice-storm school closings. Yesterday, we spent part of the day without power. My children forgot how to play with REAL toys, because Oh the injustice, there was no TV or cable or internet or Xbox. And LIFE IS SO HARD YOU GUYS! This house sucks! You obviously don't love us because we are SOOOOO bored! It's not fairrrrr! You are the worst parents ever!

I looked at them through my puffy, tear filled eyes, and said YUP. And then I cried some more.

Because I too was feeling that LIFE IS SO HARD. And IT'S NOT FAIR!

I was tired. Tired of the fight. Fighting to have a family, fighting to bring Noah home, fighting my body to get pregnant with Kiel, fighting to find Noah the help he needs, fighting the school, the system, the insurance companies, fighting my own needs and my own health. Why can't something be easy for a change!

I yelled at my children to pick up their toys, and put the coats away, and stop leaving your shoes and boots all over. 

I can't stand it! I screamed, Why can't ANYONE MAKE MY LIFE A LITTLE EASIER!

Again with the drama!

I texted Noah's behavior specialist and said "I can't do this anymore."

It didn't matter that this was far from the worst thing we have had to deal with - I bent as far as I have ever bent before. The only reason you could not hear the cracking was because my sobs were too loud.

Today I received a message from one of Kiel's teachers. Thank you universe for my boys amazing teachers - especially this one!
My dearest Kristine. I am having snack with your son and he happens to share how sad you are that you got fired from your job. He doesn't know why "that man would do that". Now she is home taking care of Noah. He was so sweet and concerned when he was telling me the story. Not sure if it is true but if it is I'm sorry you lost your job. :) I'm enjoying teaching your sweet boy. Have a good day.

This child! I am so blessed to have this boy as my son!

Kiel saw me cry at the same time he knew I was working. Both boys wanted to know what was wrong and all I told them was I received bad news. Kiel put two and two together, and since he doesn't know how to add yet, he came up with "the man fired mommy" as the answer.

It reminds me that they see everything. They see me bend, and they see me stand back up.
I wish they didn't see my tears as often as they do. Or hear my screams.
I know that I will continue to stand back up because I have no choice.

Today I know we will figure this out. We always do. We have no choice.

I just hope that when my boys see me bend like I did yesterday, then stand back up as I did today, that they realize they too can stand tall and strong after a storm.

Even better if they can do it with less drama than their mama.



  1. Oh, Mama, drama is okay too. It'll show the kids that life isn't all sunshine-y and sometimes things go exactly wrong. That it's really okay to cry and crack a little, it's OK to have drama, to have to change of your plans and let the kids see you take that(those) deep angry, broken, hurting, sad, breaths, then see you dig back in, be strong, work your way through the drama rather than letting it bury you. Contrary to what society seems to think now, “no” is much more common in this world that “yes”, “yes but later” or all or the other cute ways parents are using to not disappoint their kiddos. Life is bound to disappoint everyone. You are STRONG. Incredibly so.
    Look at what you’ve already made it through. In the beginning, had you had all of this dropped on you, you would probably have drowned on the spot. Looking back now, you made it! You adapted, you grew, you made it. This is just another bump in the road. A crappy, cliff off the side of this road bump, but it IS “just” a bump. It's even okay if you need to break a little. Even a tree, on occasion, breaks a limb. Not to perfection, but, as long as the core is okay it can often be mended, continue to grow and live, sometimes, the knot caused by the break’s scar can give just a little more strength.
    I DON’T know how you do it. He IS lucky to have you. I COULDN’T do what you do.
    People can be made uncomfortable. Of course people prefer to be made full of hope and happy rainbows and butterflies. Complete with buzzy vibe! That’s the easy part. The part that everyone tries to leave out is what’s real. The truth is, this sucks. It is incredibly hard to be the parent of a disabled child. It HURTS. Keep your core intact, feet firmly planted in the ground and you can make it.
    You rock. Just admitting that it’s not easy, on your own blog, makes you a Bad Arse. This is your space. If you need to make every word here full of whiney, sad, sharing too much, letting the broken show, admitting you need help, depressed, complaining; well, this is YOUR space. If people don’t like it, screw ‘em. None of your friends, none of your readers, no one, could do what you do. He is very lucky to have someone who loves him as much as you do. Keep your core intact. There is no one, in this whole world, who can do what you do. There is no one like you. You are awesome and you rock.

    1. Thank you for this comment! It was beautiful and exactly what I needed to hear right now!

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  3. lol, I was thinking of a few comments to leave but MammaT said it all, so. That.

  4. Beautiful, Kristine, and so true. They see us bend. Sometimes, they see us break. But they see us mend, too. And be remade. It's a gift to them. I promise. Because then they know they can be human, too. Love to you, mama. xo

  5. (((hug))) Ditto everything MammaT said!