This post is meant to provide insight into my state of mind in this very moment. I’m writing this in an attempt to process these feelings and deal with them in a positive way. I’m far from perfect but I get up each morning and do my very best to be what everyone needs me to be. Unfortunately, on days like today, I don’t just fall short, I straight up crash and burn.
These are the thoughts and feelings of an overwhelmed husband and father.
I understand that my logic might not make sense but I’m writing this in real time and it’s how I’m feeling in this very moment. Tomorrow is a new day and things will be better, but for right now, they aren’t. I’ll also add that if you feel the need to say anything about this post in the comments, feel free. Just please practice the art of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Please keep in mind that I’m not in a good place and those kinds of comments are not going to go over well.
I don’t know how else to put it, so I’ll just say I feel defeated. I haven’t had a good day and I’ve been pretty much been an asshole. There’s no excuse for me yelling at the kids or arguing with my wife. All I can do is try to explain what’s going on in my head and maybe that will help me find a better place.
I’m so overwhelmed and frustrated with my life. Nothing I do ever feels like it’s enough and everyone needs more than I have to offer.
Elliott’s struggling with life and it’s painfully obvious that he’s in distress. I’ve tried to talk with him about what’s going on and help him through whatever it is he’s going through but I can’t seem to get through to him.
He’s in an unfair position and he’s upset about it. Gavin is never going to be a big brother and frankly, he never has been. This has forced Elliott into the big brother role and he doesn’t want anything to do with it.
The other night, he was not having a good evening and things got pretty heated. When you ask Elliott what’s wrong, he goes off on this tangent that doesn’t have anything to do with the moment. It’s always the same few thing he goes into but the jest of it is that he’s seems to be unaware of his personal responsibility or his role in many of the things that disrupt the household or cause him distress.
He’s a kid. He’s a pre-teen and puberty is in full force. When you mix that into the pot with Autism, and other developmental disabilities, it makes for volatile concoction.
The other night, he was voicing his displeasure with having to be the oldest. By voicing, I mean he was screaming about it. He said something about Gavin’s mental limitations and that just set me off. I yelled at him but he wouldn’t stop. Finally I snapped and screamed at him to shut up because I didn’t want Gavin to hear what he was saying. I feel awful for yelling at him.
The reality is that Elliott is allowed to feel this way and I totally understand, at least as much as possible. He didn’t mean to come across the way he did. He was just overwhelmed and purging in the only way he could. Frankly, even if Gavin heard what he had said, it probably wouldn’t have hurt his feeling anyways. I don’t think I’ve even witnessed Gavin have his feelings hurt.
I was such an asshole. I shouldn’t have yelled at him. I shouldn’t have fucking yelled at him. He’s a kid and he’s going through a hard time. I need to be better than that. He deserves better than that.
The boys left today about 2 PM to spend the night with their Grandparents. It ended up being me and Gavin for most of the day. It’s cool to spend time with Gavin but it’s also exhausting and stressful.
Lizze wasn’t feeling well and ended up going to bed.
Lizze and I have been struggling a little bit. It comes down to life being very difficult in our kind of situation. Breaks in communication and simply not seeing eye to eye on certain things, doesn’t make matters any easier.
She’s overwhelmed by everything as well and that’s not her fault. We’re both on edge and never really get any meaningful time to ourselves. It wears on us and that doesn’t always end well. Lizze struggles with life because she’s got so much on her physical and emotional plate. I wish I could take away her burdens and carry them myself.
It’s not easy for me to see her suffering all the time. Her health issues are stressful for her but at the same time, they’re stressful for me as well.
I know she does the best she can and she gives all she has to give. Unfortunately, the reality is, it’s not even close to enough to help lighten my load. It isn’t her fault and I’m not angry with her. What I am is overwhelmed. What I am is tired.
I don’t think that it will shock anyone to hear that when one parent has major health issues, it can put a strain on things. It’s nothing to do with love or anything of that nature. It has to do with being human and having limits.
Every single day that I wake up, I get to watch my wife live in unforgiving amounts of pain. I get to watch her suffer, knowing full well that I’m powerless to do anything. On a good day, I get to watch Gavin lose more skills and struggle with the very basic things in life. On a bad day, I get to watch both his body and mind failing him in absolutely heartbreaking ways. I get to watch Elliott struggling in various aspects of his life as well. I get to listen to Elliott call himself a freak because he has begun to realize that he’s different. If I’m really lucky, I get to see Emmett struggle with severe sensory issues, that leave him unable to wear clothes because they hurt his skin or even eat because the way his brain perceives things like taste, smell and texture. I get to watch his mouth fill up with excruciatingly painful mouth sores as a result of his incredibly rare fever disorder and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Every single day, my heart breaks because I love my family so much but unfortunately, that love isn’t enough to remove any of their burdens.
I’m angry because I’ve devote the last eight or nine years of my life to documenting our journey and using that experience to help others. Towards the end of last year, I was actually able to use what I do here, to provide for my family in a meaningful way.
We weren’t rich but things were improving in significant ways. I was able to pay the bills and take the family out to dinner or a movie, on a semi-regular basis. Things were looking up and I felt good.
Then in January, Gavin’s paternal grandmother resurfaces (on his 18th birthday) after being gone for almost ten years. She resumes her attempts to create turmoil in our lives. She thinks that because Gavin is now 18 years old, we can no longer prevent her from forcing herself into his life. We ignored her very public attack because responding would only lead to problems we don’t need.
Hate me all you want, but the courts ruled the way they did for a reason and Gavin turning 18 doesn’t change that. Coincidentally or not so coincidentally, that very same day, all of my work started getting yanked off of Facebook because someone had begun reporting everything I’ve ever written or shared on Facebook, as offensive. You get reported enough and they yank everything. Three years of my life was wiped away, just like that.
I appealed the claims and those wrongs were reversed. It happened over and over again, until now, I’m permanently limited to what I can do in regards to Facebook. Everything I’ve ever written and shared has been permanently removed, my url banned and listed as malicious. There’s a list a mile long of things that are now broken as a result and I can’t work around them. Facebook offers no recourse either.
I’m angry because this has crippled my ability to generate an income through this blog, and better provide for my family. I don’t think this is something I can overcome anymore either. The only option I have left is to change my domain. I don’t want to do that but at the same time, my family needs me to do something. I don’t want to go through that nightmare, only to have the exact same thing happen again. I can’t stop this from happening and it’s a very defeated feeling.
Nothing I can do will make anything better. In many ways, my hands were already tied. Now it’s like they’ve cut me off at the knees as well. If I make a mistake, I pay the consequences for it. I’ve no problem with that and if I’d done something wrong, by all means, hold me accountable. However, for someone to do this to me, is a different story all together.
I know she hates me. She hates me because I did for Gavin what her son was never willing to do. She hates me because I adopted Gavin, after raising him as my own since since he was barely able to walk. I get that she wants to punish me but what she doesn’t get is that she’s not just hurting me, she’s hurting Gavin as well.
I can’t prove it was her that did this. I can’t prove it was her that did the same thing to me with my previous blog as well five years ago. I can’t even prove it was her who made turned our lives upside down with what was later determined to be spite calls to Child Protective Services. You can read about our CPS nightmare by clicking here.
It’s just one more piece of life that’s outside of my control. It’s just one more obstacle that I need to find a way to overcome. It’s just one more outside force, exerting control over our lives.
There are so many pieces that make up my current state and I’m doing my best to cope. It probably goes without saying that ability to cope isn’t always up to snuff.
I began writing this last night but was unable to finish it. After a good night’s sleep, I feel much better. I know I lost my cool with my family and my feelings in regards to that haven’t changed. I’m truly sorry about that and I’ve spoken to everyone to make sure they knew that I was sorry.
Sometimes life get the better of me and yesterday was one of those days. I wasn’t able to let anything go and I became extremely overwhelmed. I wasn’t cooping well with anything and it negatively impacted myself and those around me.
I’m trying to be fair to myself because I have countless plates that are overflowing with responsibility and it sometimes gets to be too much.
All we can do is our best, learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward. ☺
I just wanted you to know that I hear you and your feelings are valid. It must be overwhelming and exhausting having this constant stress. In reality, it seems you are the full time caretaker for four people and that is a lot to ask of just one person.
Honestly, the thing with Gavin’s biological grandmother should be criminal. The law hasn’t caught up to all the damage that can happen to a person on the internet. She is harassing your family and causing material harm to you. The only thing I can think of would be to consult a lawyer and see if there are any charges that would pertain to the situation. Sometimes if there is a nearby law school they run low cost or pro bono clinics so that students can gain experience.
A few good calm man to man conversations can make a world of difference when it comes to Elliot’s situation, he might not understand on all levels but it reinforces that you are a source of love and safety for him. Like you said, going through puberty is always fraught but it’s compounded by his conditions and the conditions of his siblings as well.
Thank you, Lindsay. I really appreciate the support. 🙂
I was able to sign in through Facebook. Hope this is a good sign. I am sorry you are so overwhelmed. I too think consulting an attorney would be helpful. If nothing else an official sounding letter through the attorney might help.
With you withdrawing from Paxil and not getting enough sleep, it’s no wonder you’ve been feeling extra stressed. Hope you’re feeling better now.
Thanks Becky. I just published an explanation for why you can log in with Facebook again. ☺