Friday, February 11, 2011

Home is Safe

I've had a blissfully quiet morning, a gift in a hectic life, and a great time for reflection.  The monster in the room these past several months is my fear that I haven't been a good enough mother to keep Lily safe.  I have an uber case of mother's guilt - even if I don't exactly know what for.

Was I too impatient with Lily?  Have I expected too much?  Did I push too hard?  Did I cause and/or make worse her mental illness?  Am I blowing it on a daily basis even as I scramble to keep it together and help Lily and my son get through each day?  Should I expect more, less, nothing at all?  Am I asking all the right professionals all the right questions?  Am I documenting Lily's daily symptoms and meds adequately?  Should I also be tracking what she eats, how she sleeps and what she's feeling in every moment?  Can I just video tape it all?

I make myself that much more crazed.  The questions don't stop, my head is constantly spinning.

And I need a moment, this moment of quiet, to try to objectively evaluate what I'm doing, what I've been doing all this time.

To my surprise, I can see that I've managed the one thing that's always been most important to me.  We're together, and we're safe.

I grew up in an unsafe household.  I didn't want that for my kids.  I've done everything in my power to protect my kids.  I've been an overprotective mom for almost 32 years now.  I'm not saying that's the best parenting practice, but it was a goal born of my experience, it was what I knew to do.

So while my blog clearly indicates my distress and uncertainty during this scary time, I'm finding a bit of compassion for myself and my efforts.  We're struggling financially and emotionally, but with a little help, I'm successfully providing shelter and basic necessities, along with the best medical and mental health care I can find, for Lily and her brother.  I probably - absolutely - have made mistakes during the past 8 months, hell, during the past 32 years, that impact my kids.  But we're here - we're safe, in our home. 

We're together, and we're safe.  Home is safe.

Monday, February 7, 2011

grumpy grumpy mom

Lily did great her first week at school, and really, really well the second week!  Yay yay yay!!!

So why am I so grumpy?  She's making progress, and I'm back at work for a few hours a week - which I'm thrilled about.  The difficulty is that Lily has had a few hallucinations over the past week and a half, maybe due to the stress.  But she's also getting more aggressive with her brother, bordering on violence with definite physical threats, and that worries me.

I spend my nights imagining horrible scenarios, trying to figure out the logistics, if A happens then how do I handle B, and - oh my goodness, the worries escalate.  So, I'm borrowing trouble, but also trying not to get caught completely off guard like I have been before.

Our meeting with Dr. Chang at Stanford was so great!  He's brilliant and personable, and Lily spent an hour with him, disclosing things she hasn't brought up before.  So in my book, he's amazing.  On the other hand, it's becoming more clear that we are probably not talking only bipolar disorder at this point.  Continued psychosis, including sensory hallucinations like spiders crawling on her skin, and new delusions (super powers) point to a darker disorder and I find that scary.

I need to sort through my waning expectation that things will return to normal - not that I haven't had a clue, but I do tend to hold on to my unrealistic expectations a tad too long.  I suppose it's because I long for a return to an innocence we won't ever have again.  So yes, I've heard we'll have a new normal, and I am often able to focus on our good moments, knowing that they're precious in a way I didn't understand even a couple of years ago.

But I'm not in the positive and accepting place that I see in the writing of so many incredible special needs parent blogs.  Those lovely folks just humble me in their grace and perseverance.  I can only hope it's an example I'll eventually come to emulate.