It's important not to lose perspective. What happens in a day doesn't indicate what it will be in the future. I'm learning not to expand a day's activities into what will happen in a year.
The truth is that I don't know what will happen in a year. If I don't engage myself fully in a day does that mean I am taking time for granted? It's okay that I have a "bad" day and that I hope for the next one as long as I understand that doing so means I expect tomorrow will come.
Monday was a day of just putting out fires and I just hoped for Tuesday. Who wouldn't say Tuesday could be just as bad or worse?
Nothing catastrophic occurred ... it was just one thing after another. It was that I didn't line up the coffee pot perfectly with the coffee at 5am and it all back up resulting in a coffee pot full of burned coffee grounds and water. It wasn't a big deal but then the boss that always brings me downer information and basically tells me I'm a downer to the department comes in on a rant at my lunch hour. I stay 110% attentive to the problem and stay late to reconcile it. I spend time I don't really have with another staff member trouble shooting problems. Since last Tuesday, I have been on call 5-6 of the past 7 days and the entire midwife team called out sick. Nobody came to work including my partner. GI disturbances, migraines and moving problems. I come home to Darin having as bad of a violent outbreak as ever (the same, I think, to when I called 911 back in January). I came home and it dissolved, but not before Darin had harmed himself, tried to harm Jenna and really beat up Derek. Had I not come home, I think Derek was ready to call for help. It had gone on for 2 hours.
Derek still has bite marks and bruises that are healing and Darin has marks all over himself and nobody can even remember when each mark happened. Was it restraint? Was it when he hit himself in the face with his prosthetic leg accidentally when trying to throw it? Was it when he brought his arms back to throw punches and he hit the back of his arms on the corner of the wall?
The only good part is that after he has an very violent outbreak we always have a honeymoon period. When I went to bed that night, it was my last statement to Derek before I closed my eyes. I saw it building up the week before it happened. Every day was bad with Darin and when Darin is having a bad day it means every person has a bad day. One night, I was just happy he went to bed because even though him and I had spent the day together he was just incessantly talking and irritable (barking demands to everyone, refusing to follow basic rules, yelling, getting escalated to where he curses, etc).
Honestly, I don't think I'm Adam Lanza's mother, but the cry out for being a parent to a child with mental illness is certainly real. There isn't help anywhere for it. There is little understanding about his diagnosis, which I believe is dead on. It's a burden in our family for sure. Tomorrow, when he has his intake with the counselors I will address this: is there an IM medication we can administer to help de-escalate a violent situation? Is there counseling available for my daughter, who is an innocent witness and victim?
His prosthetic leg is so low on the list of problems at this point. We are in the middle of creating a new leg and the prosthetist (who also has a prosthetic leg himself) is changing his liner and changing the kind of cream he puts on. I don't really want to do that right as school is starting. We have something that works and I'm open to something that works better but it took us so long to get to a place where we had something that works a little bit. This leg he has now never worked excellently and has always caused pain. Darin slips it off when sitting. At times, I have an 8 year old who can't walk and if he does it's not very far.
It's normal to cry every week when starting a practice. I'm not a crier. If I am backed into a corner I will cry before anything else, though. Coincidentally, the boss that chronically comes in my office telling me how dangerous I am and what a bad person I am is leaving for about a year to serve a third world country. As interested as I am in that work (since I was a young adult I have wanted to go to a third world country to serve), I don't want to initiate anymore conversations with her because I always leave them feeling like crap. I don't want to invite any additional opportunities to learn about how awful I am.
Our practice is growing tremendously and we are making positive changes everyday. We have become somewhat of a norm now and other issues have become more important than us, which helps. Our patient outcomes are wonderful, our births are wonderful, our patients are happy with our care. If I wasn't being told how dangerous and awful I was, I don't think I would know it from my everyday interactions with the patients and in our midwife pod. 100% of our patients are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 weeks, we have a near zero percent primary C/S rate, women in our practice cannot believe that we offer them bedside care in labor. I am working an amazing number of hours per week and I am dedicated to seeing this practice succeed for the long term. I work really hard and the only receipt I receive is extremely grateful patients and an equally dedicated midwife colleague. That is enough most days.
Because Darin has known triggers, we are trying to eliminate them. One of his triggers has been electronics (ipad, xbox games) and so now Derek and I are considering eliminating electronics for our children permanently as a trial. Jenna shrieks with discontent but when I tell her that maybe (and just MAYBE) Darin won't ever escalate to severe violence then we all quietly agree that maybe it would be best for us all. As a family, we made a list of things that we could all do to replace that wasted time with electronics and we came up with a good list. I also want Darin to meet friends and spend time with them. He still talks about those friends from Ohio.
To be fair, I still talk about my friends from NJ.
I don't have the flooring installed in my house yet because we want to save up and pay for it outright. This isn't easy considering we got nailed by the IRS again for the year of 2012 (3rd time in the past 11 months - so far we have paid about $15k out of pocket with random bills from the IRS, which prevents us from moving forward with any savings or even catch up from the summer) at a time when we couldn't secure housing and Derek is scheduled to retire.
This might be the longest summer of my life.
This might be a rant on my blog but it's private and it's an outlet. The truth of it is that we are in a new location, we haven't built up local friends yet and we are still learning about where we moved. It doesn't help that I'm on-call constantly so I can't go anywhere. We also adjusted how our family is operated by having Derek at home and me working. It was always two parents working and we are learning to live differently.
Despite some of our family and work pressures, I am optimistic that things will swing up again.
Somehow, I just know that I'm not a bad person. I'm not a bad mother. I'm not a bad midwife. I'm not a bad communicator even. I just somehow know that Fall is my favorite season and that I will get an opportunity to install our flooring. I just somehow know that Darin will find friends fast, that he will find a hobby/activity that he loves and will flourish. I just somehow know that, with counseling, Jenna will learn to compartmentalize & process what she has experienced in her home (it took me until adulthood to learn that).
I just somehow know that it will all be okay in the long term even though there are some days that scream everything is "wrong." I remember one midwife, before I left for Ohio, said, "Jen, you are going off to do something great. I will hear about you someday."
What do I need to do to get the train back on the tracks?