This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bad Mommy - Warning! Vent - might want to skip!

I look at all the work my friend Lisa does as a working single parent with a RAD daughter. Even when I'm single parenting it on the weekends when Hubby is teaching scuba diving, I'm still not alone, Grandma, the saint, takes all 4 kids almost EVERY Saturday night. I don't know how my friend Lisa does it. She's my idol!

I feel like the world's worst mom (not to be confused with the world's meanest Mom - a title I am honored to accept as the inventor of the FAIR Club). Now that my kids are not falling apart 24/7, I focus on them a lot less. I don't do all the fun things I remember my Mom doing with me. I just sit and stare at the TV or my computer screen - occasionally making a dinner, holding Ponito on my lap, and even more rarely, "beating" (tickling) a child.

Now that I'm taking meds for depression and bipolar disorder (and Bear and Kitty are stabalized too), I don't even have the excuse that I'm too stressed out to cope with the children. The meds really take the edge off the anxiety that comes from walking the line daily with whether or not we're going to make it through this recession. I admit, I've given most of that anxiety away, not to God, as I should, but to Hubby. Hubby is going to take complete responsibility for it whether I worry about it or not. I married him because of his big broad shoulders, but I worry too that he's going to work/worry himself to death.

Sometimes I feel that when I take my daughter, Kitty, to therapy that that is the only time she and I spend together - she prefers to play with Bob, or walk around outside talking to herself. When Bear talks to me, I feel cornered and irritated, before he even opens his mouth. The only other time I talk to him is to tell him to quit intimidating or parenting the kids. He has a deep man voice and his irritation is always right out there in the open. If Hubby is not around, he denies sounding this way, or tells me that's just the way it is.

When we attend Bear's therapy (almost always both Hubby and I, unlike Kitty where it's just me), I always get the feeling that the therapist thinks we are always yelling at Bear and criticizing him (we would never do this). He sees us as tired and apathetic too (this I will admit happens often). He's constantly asking me if I'm working on spending less time on the computer and more time with Bear. He doesn't understand that the kids don't WANT to spend time with me (I'm a PARENT, of course they don't). I might as well be on the computer all the time. Bear would rather be outside demolishing, I mean fixing, things, throwing a ball with Ponito and the little neighborhood boys, or flirting with the neighborhood girls out walking their dogs (- is it his bad boy image that gets him the girls? I mean he's attractive, but not THAT great looking.)
Life is too stressful right now. Hubby hasn't drawn a paycheck from our company since January. I haven't drawn a paycheck since March. Debt collectors call constantly - even on Sunday mornings. We've always been super responsible people who's only real debt was our mortgage. We'd paid both cars off and if we didn't have the money, we didn't spend it. But when we bought the company, we made some big mistakes. We had one company default on paying us over $30K in December and that was followed by a big recession. Now we owe tons in credit card debts and have borrowed huge amounts from my parents. Every time I turn around we have to borrow more just to make it through the week. We have even skipped paychecks on some of our employees (not the employee who went postal!).
Hubby was offered a fantastic job by a company in the UK who want him to open a USA branch of their company and be CEO. He was told the job would pay $250K plus a $150K bonus if he met his goals. We had recently decided that the company was never intended to support both of us, and Hubby was going to start looking for another job. This seemed like the answer to our prayers. The job was supposed to start mid-March or maybe April 1st. Every time we talked to the President of the UK company, he said he had just one more thing to do (meet with the board, meet with investors, have the bank sign off on something, get his products licensed here and in the UK...) and that he would be ready for Hubby to start, and for our company to do some major work for him - in a week or two. He's been saying next week or mid month for, well months now!
Hubby can't seem to find anything but engineering jobs which he hates (that's why he went back and got his MBA - because he was tired of being an engineer). This job is his dream job. It's all soooo frustrating.
We've put off so much until money started coming in. The girls going to private school, allowances, trip to Nebraska to see ours and the kids family, surgery on my thyroid, new contacts for Bob, buying a car that will hold the whole family (my 5 passenger Mazda Proteges was not designed to hold my big children - and anytime we want to go somewhere as a family we have to take 2 cars - which isn't exactly great for fuel consumption). On the bright side, the kids are learning a lot about budgeting. We've found an amazing Salvation Army where one of the staff has taken pity on me and only charges me $1-3 for tons of clothes!
OK, I'm whining. Time to stop. Sorry about that, but this way I don't have to dump as much on the shoulders of my support group. I really appreciate your getting this far, and prayers would be greatly appreciated. If you know anyone that needs product development done... hey, that would help too.


Torina said...

That has to be horribly stressful. My husband and I run our own business, too, and I can only relate too well to the lack of cash flow.

So Kitty walks around talking to herself all the time, too, eh? My daughter, 13, does this constantly, and battles herself. She has even gotten into physical confrontations with her imaginary friends. But all the pros downplay it. She's so young, or going through a tough time, or blah, blah, blah. I do think there is a missing link in that brain. Did Kitty come to you diagnosed? Or did you get to unravel the puzzle?

Lisa said...

Sending huge hugs Mary! No need to idolize me...I'm just an over achiever that crashes into bed @ 9 every night. Most of the time I don't get it right but I just keep trying.
You are a FABULOUS mom!!!!

Anonymous said...

You sound very normal to me! My teens are very used to seeing the top and back of my head as I sit at the computer.

Kelly said...

I feel your pain with the cash flow thing. We used to own a business and will be paying it off at $1000m for the next 9 years & hubby works on commission. No money. It is VERY hard right now.

marythemom said...

Hi Kelly,

$1000/mo! I wish! Our payments were $10K a month until we missed two payments. Now they are $12,500 until we are caught up. We purchased the company a little over a year ago for almost $1 1/2 million!

Unfortunately we've discovered we're too soft hearted. We allowed the company to grow too fast, and then put off layoffs until it was really too late. We have some big accounts (Dell, Nike), but at the moment we're breaking even - and that means we're not catching up on paying all the debts. It's pretty much mind-numbingly scary.


Alyssa's Mom said...

Prayers to you!