Managing Me on Monday

It is that nagging day of the week again! (Trigger warning, pay attention. If abuse of any kind triggers you stop reading!! NOW!)

Sadly, I am not managing myself as well as I would like to let you think. I haven’t slept in over 24 hours at all. My thoughts are racing, I took my sleep medication. I cannot shut my mind down. I tried sleeping on the couch, in my bed, it doesn’t matter. I do not feel well, I have an un-diagnosed stomach issue that is in flare, along with a mild cough, and a sore throat.

My husband is thoughtful and kind one minute, and the next he isn’t. This is just real life right now. I have accepted my new normal is that I can’t expect help from anyone. My spouse, my kids or anything. Life changes are going to have to happen at my pace. I am imperfectly participating in homeschool, I have yelled screamed, and so has my daughter she has even thrown things. When the teacher sent out a blanket reminder to parents, I felt attacked like it was a nasty gram of sorts for having incomplete assignments. She was just doing her job. Let me tell you that I am being the most real that I can be with you guys in these moments. There are times, when someone needs to know that what they think is chaos or that they are alone in a specific situation,they are not. My daughter this week has done school with literal kicks, and screams. I was extremely but politely honest with the teacher. I explained that my daughter is not in a school mindset when we are learning at home. She will do things and behave in a manor that she does not behave in at school. This is normal. I give up now expecting perfection. I run behind. We sat down and tried to drill in all the incomplete work in a day. My husband was unhappy. I was unhappy. We said things that in our heart of hearts we didn’t mean. I was able because of God’s grace to go back acknowledge that yelling or taking out my frustration or anxiety on him was wrong. I need help though, I know they are my kids and not his,(not that he said that) but as a step father, he could step up to the plate a little more. He wants this awe and reverence from my children, because he is here every day.(when there biological father is not) You can be with someone in the same room and not be with them. (are you feeling me yet?) If you aren’t living out love, care and respect to someone, it can be difficult (because we are human) for them to extend those things in even a general direction to you.

I asked my husband to cook dinner, he said no, then he felt insecure in our relationship, and wanted me to fix his feelings for extending rejection to me. Hard pass. I was not rude, but I was honest expressing that I was disappointed he didn’t help, and he was not there for me in a moment when I needed him most. I told him that I deserve grace for acting out and misbehaving as well. I have tolerated much as has he, and we have grown, but I cannot be the life boat and save everyone. I also cannot always protect feelings, or run backwards because someone is uncomfortable with my growth. You can mock me, and try to trip my trigger, but in some ways I am getting stronger.

I do realize in all this mess of shelter in place orders, there are stages kind of like grief. I have accepted that this is the new normal. We will not be returning to school for the rest of this school year. I told my daughter that it is okay to feel her feelings. I laid out a couple of ways that she could express herself, writing something down, verbally saying it, and in some moments I let her have her tantrum. She refused me many times. I just simply worked through my own anxiety, did some of my own work/or made pennies online slowly, while she did or did not do some of the things I told her were acceptable/tolerable (for me) ways she could express herself. I repeatedly stated that it was okay to feel what she felt, she should feel it, but then she still had to work through it. That is a hard, hard reality pill to swallow even as an adult. I need to learn, she needs to learn, my husband needs to learn, we all do. It is ok. The thoughts/feelings are not exactly the problem, it is what you do with them. Don’t cover it up, confront it. Do the necessary work let’s get real, and raw in our emotions, have a glass of wine if you need to or a smoke, then confront it!!! Numbing a pain with a drug or other source good or bad, prescribed or not, does not actually make an emotional issue go away. It will still be there when the impacts of your coping method wear off!

If you need therapy, get therapy. Need medication, take the damn medication. If you need an app to remind you, don’t be ashamed, download the app. Use it. You can have all the tools, bible knowledge, education, in the world, if you do not apply it, or live it out, it is absolutely WORTHLESS!

I am working through my own deep depths of a chaotic, masterful abyss. I have naysayers in my life. Some of them live with me. I am working on me anyway. I am writing though I am told nothing I do is making real money. I have a teenage son who is constantly, and has been for a couple of years been pressuring me to move out of this house. He wants something nicer, and in his mind set anything is nicer than this place. He texted me rental links during a damn pandemic. Hello I have no job, I have a record but only by Divine intervention, the charges were dismissed, how the hell am I supposed to move?

I have accepted we will all have some battle scars from living during the Covid 19 era. I don’t know if it will ever be over. I don’t know these times are the ” end times.” Someone suggested to me that Bill Gates is the anti-christ. I don’t know. What I do know is that while I am here, my kids need to eat. They need to be taught some more life skills, like that washing a dish is okay. It is stupid that I am the only one that washes them. I have a freaking emotional scar because my biological father was a Jackass while I was growing up and I literally washed dishes every night for two years. He was so miserable with his life that he would come downstairs and throw at least half the dishes back in the sink one by one and say they were still dirty and it was my chore until I produced perfectly spotless dishes. He did this for two years. I watched him pick up our family dog and body slam him. And when that didn’t suffice, mine did. He beat me from the time I was 7 until I went to him and told him I was being raped by his wife’s son. He never beat me again. He punished me in other ways, but he never again hit me. He threatened, but he didn’t.

That is why I hate washing dishes, my current therapist is not equipped to handle the mess that I am. Neither is any pastor’s wife I have ever met. Discussing things like this triggers other people. I am ending this damn stigma. I will be damned if I will raise a son that acts like my father, or a daughter that is forced to care for everything. I hate washing dishes, I am sitting in my house trying to figure out how to use solar lights inside, so that I can exchange electricity like it is currency. I turn this off and unplug that so the bill won’t be 300 this summer. I keep the thermostat at 78 in the summer 65 in the winter. I can’t pay 300 this summer. I also cannot wash another dish right now. I paid for dish washer detergent. The really really good stuff. To save my literal sanity. Someone took a dish out of the dishwasher and was upset it wasn’t clean. I in a very polite non angry way stated that at this point if they need it they can wash it. I am feeling ill, and I need time to heal. No one in this house is an infant or toddler. No one person in any family should have to take care of everything. For the love of all that is good, help each other. I know I may never gain readers or may lose some because I am finally being real, and raw. These are some of my most real most raw experiences. I am managing me very well, but not well at the same time.

Germs and all, I will find a way to make bread tomorrow even if it is in my crockpot. I have scoured dry ingredients as I am able, because when we go to the grocery store, or place an online order most items are gone. My kids still need to eat. My ex husband got laid off, I do not know if I will get child support. If I cannot make enough money online, I may have to go back to food delivery to cover the lost income. I do not know what God has planned, but I have had conversation with him. He knows my heart, knows where I stand, and I take him at his word that he accepts me as is, and nothing is too big or to small for Him to change, and He will make a way where there is none.

There are no pictures for this post. Sometimes we don’t need a picture that ties it up and makes it all pretty in a package. Somedays are days when we need to read, sit back, and learn.

In very Plain Sight,

Masquerade Jade :/

1 thought on “Managing Me on Monday

  1. You are not alone in dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of staying at home during this pandemic. Many are struggling along with you. Teachers are aware that not all homes are happy places to be for many of the children in their classrooms. They know that asking families to homeschool is not going to be perfect. So take a deep breath and let go of the need for it to be perfect. You, along with many other families, are doing the best they can to keep their heads above water right now. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!
    I have an autistic teenaged daughter, who struggles with school at the best of times. She is currently in highschool, but is in a LLS (Life & Learning Skills) class, which means she doesn’t get credits for the schoolwork she does. I’m not really happy about that, as she is very intelligent. But I’ve never been so relieved the pressure is off, when it comes to homeschooling efforts during this time. I was very clear with the teacher, when they started setting up homeschooling, that we needed to live together in close quarters. If schoolwork became heated, I would not hesitate to shut it down for the day, and try again the next day. She understood, and accepted whatever we could do. In fact, from general emails sent since, I know that some of the other students are not even responding to her email, let alone doing the work. The teacher has stated she understands, but would really love to just hear from them to make sure they are all ok.
    To help things go more smoothly, I set up the boundries on how schoolwork would happen right from the beginning. I decided, before the homeschooling started, that we would do no more than 1-2 hours max of schoolwork each day, Monday through Friday (normal school holidays and weekends off are still observed). The first week, I read through what was sent, discussed with my daughter what she would do, and had her do one item each day. I then realized that it would be easy for my daughter to just pick the fastest option and zoom through in 10 minutes, to avoid work. So, the second week, I specifically told her she was to do 1 hour of work each and every day. Math is a huge trigger for her. So on “math day” she does 30 minutes of math, then works on something else. I go through the work options with her, then set the timer, and let her do the work. If some of it required my help, we sit down together during that hour and do it. If my help is not needed, I make sure I am available, should she need help or directions during that hour. But as soon as the time goes off, she is done for the day. Since she know the expectation, I get very little arguements from an autistic teenager who can certainly throw elaborate tantrums (a very autistic trait!) and will outright refuse to do anything asked of her. I can get very frustrated, and I, too, do a lot of yelling. But I am trying extra hard to stay calm, persistant, and consistant, in order to get through this. And, yes, the realization that ultimately, whatever she gets done is what gets done, is how I let go of those perfectionistic expectations! Guess what? It’s working so far!
    As for the dishes, I get it. They are a trigger for you, due to past experiences, and you don’t want your children to have those experiences too. But you have 2 children and a husband, as well as yourself in the household. What about setting up a schedule. Everyone has to take a turn washing the breakfast and dinner dishes. It could rotate per task, daily or weekly (whatever you feel would work best for your family), but everyone has to participate in the schedule, even the adults. This way, it is fairly distributed over everyone, and no one has to bare the full load of responsibility. I say breakfast and dinner only, because it is unfair for you to do some cooking or baking in the afternoon, make huge amounts of dishes, then expect someone else to clean them later. So if you are doing cooking or baking in the afternoon, set up a sink full of hot soapy water, then wash the dishes as you use them. Counter should be clean when you start, because the breakfast dishes would have been cleaned. If you do them as you use them, the counter should be relatively clean when you are done (other than the bake pans, which you could leave for washing with dinner dishes). Otherwise, the lunch dishes can wait to be washed until after dinner. The easiest way to decide the order of who starts, is to draw names. That way, no one feels picked on. Sometimes it’s important to remind everyone that, like it or not, you are living in close quarters right now, during a very stressful time, and everyone has to do their part to help keep the peace in the home as much as possible.
    By the way, I really liked your post on Friday. Loved your idea of using solar lights to keep the electricity costs down. You mentioned you have a lot of hydro loss in your area during storms that last extended periods of time. Those lights will definitely come in handy then, too!

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