Were you ever told that if you made a silly face, it would stay that way? I wonder if emotions might function in a similar manner.
I have sought to downplay my birthday since I was a child. My birthday was frequently a disappointment to me. Whether that disappointment is justified or not is beside the point I am trying to make. If I was disappointed, it is no doubt because my expectations surpassed the capacity of my parents or whoever is around me to make it whatever it was I secretly wanted. I think I am doomed to this worst of both worlds - not wanting to make it a *thing* and being disappointed that something about it sucked (and suckage seems like an inevitability).
Yesterday was my birthday. Saturday night, the adults went out for a swanky dinner and I had the best meal of my life. It was a long time coming. I am really trying to hold onto that. Really, I am. But this year, what I wanted was a peaceful, pleasant birthday.
As for the actual day ... let's just say that the cake went uneaten and I went to bed at 8 p.m. The kids were uncooperative and D was sick so there was a lot of refereeing and lots of redirection and lots of talking in a slow, deliberate and stern tone of voice. "Look me in the eye. Do You Understand?" And I may have torn up the over-sized birthday card from my coworkers out of frustration when the hellions, er, kids, were fighting over it while I was trying to prepare dinner. Because by then, I. was. done. and counting down to bedtime.
But you know, the truth is that my birthday came downstream of some news with which I am struggling. My kids were probably acting out because they always seem to do so when I am stressed and sad and have little capacity for shenanigans. And too, I overreact and see profound implications in a cup of carelessly spilled milk, like I am reading the proteins for further signs of irreversible disaster. He pees on the toilet seat! A future sociopath! Because I know what we know -- that everything may not, in fact, be alright. May never be alright. With apologies to Leibniz-by-way-of-Voltaire, we do not live in the best of all possible worlds.
My son was diagnosed with AD.HD a few days ago and I am just in that place where I have to integrate this knowledge and I wish I could say I am bouncing right back, but I am not. Intellectually, I know that this diagnosis does not change the fact of who my son is, and in fact, is a positive development in that we will take what are hopefully the right steps to help him. He will finally and as expeditiously as possible get what he needs. But...
This is heaped on top of a pre-existing anxiety condition -- his and mine -- which confounds us and complicates him. Now I can no longer hope that his behavior is normal or a phase or even fallout from my long hospitalization and Eva's death. I can't pretend that the weekly therapy and sticker charts and activities and positive reinforcement and all the accommodations we have already made to our lives to fit his needs are enough. It is time to pay the piper. It's time for a formal plan with his school and for adding a psychiatrist to our growing network of support and [gasp] for the possibility of medication if worse comes to worse. It's time to face
So, yesterday I felt beleaguered by their inattention and poor choices. Being an incorrigible brooder, I read into my daughter's defiance and decided that she's probably got the dreaded "it," too. I see hopes dashed and potential squandered. I am, in short, totally wigging out.
But writing helps. Today is my day for wigging. Tomorrow, we start making appointments.