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#646760 - 01/29/07 09:35 PM I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
flatcat Administrator Offline
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Registered: 07/11/01
Posts: 25141
Loc: Westborough, MA, USA
I forget that in addition to being the parent of a young child - who is a delight, by the way, just such a great little girl...you know, she loves to draw, and in her drawings, everyone always smiles. Always. It's one of my favorite things.

Anyhow.

I forget that in addition to being a husband and father and musician and engineer and worker for a big stupid company and so on and so on - I'm also a caregiver.

I used to joke that half my family is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I make so many mistakes. I make them all the time. Particularly with my stepson. Mental illness just sucks, and it sucks for everyone in the immediate vicinity, but it sucks most for him. And I don't remember that enough.

Sometimes, when he blows his stack and has tantrums and all of that, it's all I can do to stop myself from reacting emotionally, to stop myself from responding with my own disappointment and anger at being used as a punching bag. I know it doesn't help the situation, so I try and just...walk away. But the feelings of frustration and hurt just...linger.

He's like a little one. They have a storm, and it blows over, and they've moved on to something else. The adults have a hard time scraping it off their shoe, recalibrating, resetting.

Tonight's explosion - and I know it in retrospect - was *really* about not having enough time to watch a movie with me. I went to Blockbuster and got a couple of movies he was interested in, and we were going to at least try and watch part of them.

I asked him to make some cookies - you know, Betty Crocker-add-an-egg-and-a-little-oil, they come in a bag cookies - while I put the littlest cat to bed. But then his iPod stopped working right, and then he didn't read the directions while making the cookies so they didn't come out right, and then he looked at the clock and it was 9:00, so he had a canary. A ranting, raving, throwing things, screaming, yelling, waving his arms and jumping up and down tantrum.

He'll be 18 in March.

Once he gets on a roll, you just have to get out of the way and let it roll until he comes down.

He said "I can't even MAKE COOKIES!!!!" I said, "No, of course you can make cookies. You just have trouble following the directions. I know your mother" - this, by the way, is a running thing in our house. I ALWAYS read the manual first. ALWAYS. And repeatedly. And especially while I'm doing something. Recipe, home repair, I need the instructions and I'm good. I'm ultra-geeky in this way. Mrsflat doesn't give them a passing glance. Neither does my stepson.

So I thanked him for trying to make the cookies. I laughed about it. But our night - my night with him - was wrecked. He just stomped off upstairs, kicking the wall and all that.

I don't normally handle these situations as coolly or as calmly. Most of the time, I must confess, my emotions get the better of me, and I can't remove myself enough to hear what he's REALLY saying. And I get angry at myself for not being a better person.

And I try to remember that I too have a bunch of stuff I'm worried about right now - this stuff that's come out of my physical is really freaking me out. Mrsflat's worried about it, but she's got other things to worry about herself - we're trying to get my stepson ready for whatever the next step for him is...which none of us know what it is, and he's scared, and we're worried, and we're doing the best we can, but jiminy crickets, you know?

Sometimes I have a hard time, and I just need to say that. It's hard, you know? It's just...hard. Every day. Some days more than others.

I just needed to get that off my chest.
_________________________
Professor Truth T. Sweetness says,"Mind your manners!"

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#646761 - 01/29/07 09:42 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Brian Roberts Offline
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Registered: 07/13/04
Posts: 13364
Loc: The Department of Inexplicable...
Exceptional men are handed exceptional tasks.

You, sir, are beyond exceptional. My hat is off to you.
_________________________


"hey, what's a half-step among friends?"
Old songwriters never die...they just decompose. \:p

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#646762 - 01/29/07 09:54 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Wild Offline
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Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3849
flatcat, you have a lot to deal with.

Let me tell you about a scatter technique I have used with some mentally ill people. You might think about experimenting.

Basically, you do whatever they do, mirror their behavior. If they start jumping up and down and acting like apes, you do the same. If they start yelling and tearing at their hair and speaking gibberish, you do the same. Mirror them and do what they do.

Sometimes they wil have a surprise reaction and cease the behavior. Sometimes you will be able to then lead their behavior to where you want it to go. Sometimes they will start experimenting with new behaviors to see if you follow. Sometimes they will feel that you have connected with them in a way no one has before (if this happens, count your blessings, the healing can begin) . . . . you never know in advance what will happen, but always so far when I have done it or seen it done, it has been a big improvement over the subject's whacko behavior.

Not enough time now to go into the deeper psychodynamics and neurophysiology of this technique . . . but partly by mirroring their behvaior you are putting some of your neuronal impulses to travelling along the same ones theirs are and this creates a type of rapport . . .

I would say try it, experiment, see what happens, can't hurt anything. For one thing, it's kind of fun and instead of getting mad or getting frustrated, you get to act like a sickass and have some fun with it.

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#646763 - 01/29/07 09:56 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
flatcat Administrator Offline
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Registered: 07/11/01
Posts: 25141
Loc: Westborough, MA, USA
No. No. No.

I'm not exceptional, Brian. Maybe the situation is...I mean, I don't know any household that has the situation we have...Mrsflat and the MS, my stepson with the bipolar...and now, me with some stuff too, apparently...

But on the other hand - everyone has something, you know? We all have crosses to bear. Some are really, really hard.

I guess, you know, when stuff like this happens with him, I just get so...sad. I try so hard, and it always feels like one step forward and two steps back. And maybe if I were a better person, maybe it wouldn't feel like that.

I just needed to get that off my chest.

And you know, it's this experience that has contributed to me trying to exercise a little more understanding to people I don't know. You know? Because you just never know what's going on in peoples' lives.

I used to be a WICKED Ayn Rand head. Wicked.

I still love to read Atlas Shrugged every four or five years or so.

But there are limits to "objectivism". To judgement. Because we don't always have all the information. And because we don't always have *good* information. And because sometimes there isn't necessarily a good "right" answer.

I had a long talk with my priest about some stuff, and that was one of the things he said - and it's true - "Sometimes, there just aren't any good choices. And you choose the best choice given to you - but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good choice".

It's so easy - and we've been on the receiving end of this, more times than I can count - to judge. We're in public, he melts down. It happens. We get the looks, the stares.

No one asks if there's anything they can do to help.

It's really easy to judge people, to be self-righteous. I'm so, so, so guilty of doing that, so often.

My stepson has taught me that you shouldn't do that.

He's a good guy, you know, he is. It's like he can't get to that good heart in there the way he wants, and it makes him mad at the world and most of all himself.

But to be honest, you know, it's sometimes hard for me to remember that when he throws something or he tells me to shut up because I'm not his father and all that.

It hurts. And you know, you're a grownup, so you get up off the ground and you wipe the metaphorical blood from your mouth, and you dust yourself off, and you try not to let it get to you too much.

Still hurts though.

I wish I were a better person.
_________________________
Professor Truth T. Sweetness says,"Mind your manners!"

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#646764 - 01/29/07 10:02 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
NOK Offline
Loquacious Planeteer


Registered: 12/29/00
Posts: 28768
Loc: hanging N the GarAge
 Quote:
I wish I were a better person.
u are,, doesn't matter what others say..

u are a good person


i have been my only critic 4 ever.. nething neone else puts forth is nothing compared to my own thoughts as u havesaid 2 yourslf..

the only one taht matteres is U first .. there is no way you can sa ys o others until that time of remembering

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#646765 - 01/29/07 10:36 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
rhythmace47 Offline
Planeteer/Artist 208
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Registered: 05/17/02
Posts: 10437
Loc: Southern Wisconsin
It's amazing what some people can accomplish in a lifetime...as well as endure. My wife is one of those. I have known her since we were both teenagers, dated, went our separate ways, then found each other after years of marriage to other people. She is my hero. She's an amazing person. What she sees in me...I have no clue. \:\)
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#646766 - 01/29/07 10:38 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Brian Roberts Offline
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Registered: 07/13/04
Posts: 13364
Loc: The Department of Inexplicable...
 Quote:
Originally posted by flatcat:
No. No. No.

I'm not exceptional, Brian. ...I wish I were a better person.
Your own modesty sets the lie to your self-denunciation.

No one expects you to be perfect under such duress--but your courage shines through like a beacon.

Yeah, you're allowed to be human--punch a hole in the sheetrock if it makes you feel better...

...just be sure to miss the studs, eh? ;\)
_________________________


"hey, what's a half-step among friends?"
Old songwriters never die...they just decompose. \:p

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#646767 - 01/29/07 10:45 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
bmushal Offline
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Registered: 10/31/00
Posts: 1352
Loc: Nashville, TN
Flat you are a kindred spirit and your stepson is LUCKY to have someone who even thinks about putting his feelings first.
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Billy

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#646768 - 01/29/07 10:47 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Chimp Offline
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Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 13625
Loc: Overland Park
Bless you and your family too.
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Go to Junior\'s Flat Six Buy the CD HERE See a video about the band HERE VS Artist # 126

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#646769 - 01/29/07 11:13 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Arthur Offline
WaffleMan
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Registered: 04/22/99
Posts: 9619
Loc: a Mac of some kind
Tom, you know better than that, no?

I don't pretend to know all about your situation, but I think I can draw a pretty correct picture based on what we talked about in the past.

I can relate to a certain extend, some of the burdens I have too, some others my sister has (bipolar son). And what I learned from that is, that there is no one right method to handle it.
You can only go with what you feel and know. And from what this ignorant observer here can see, you are doing a great job!

I have been lucky so far, and I do admire your ethics on life.
Hats off to you, my friend!

And if it gets too much, you still have my email addy, no? And a listening ear in Belgium!

Cheers
Arthur

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#646770 - 01/29/07 11:39 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
paulb Offline
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Registered: 06/25/03
Posts: 23691
Loc: Rural Kansas. Sometimes in Oz.
Flatcat,

As disrespectful as this might seem, as soon as I saw your rant, I scooted right past other responses to post this. I will go back and read them, but I wanted to be direct.

Look. You are in an extremely difficult situation. Mental illness and step father are a tough combo.

If you and the boy are both in bed breathing at the end of the night, then you still have the future.

If you think that you or he won't f$ up from time to time, then that is a big part of the deal.
You both will.

But from just what I've seen, I would like to suggest this.

Time.

Time without a lot of instructions, without other loving people, without any distractions, no matter what, no matter how positive.

Your step son will have trouble with distraction, and you are riddled with it.

You are opposites on many many fronts, but not all.

Camping? Fishing? No instructions or rules. It doesn't even matter if you catch any fish. Time. Talk. Hugs. and Time!

A camp fire. A quiet night. Maybe a bit of hard, but simple, tandem work. And hugs, and time.

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#646771 - 01/30/07 01:37 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
motown59 Offline
Planeteer/Artist # 238
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Registered: 03/01/04
Posts: 13998
Loc: California
Thanks for sharing with us. Your situation does sound difficult but I see a balanced man taking care of things well. The fact that you've shared this in this manner suggests that. Imagine what's out there in the world of fathers, stepfathers and caregivers; some really poor examples. Kids getting abused emotionally, phisically, just plain indifference, no respect, no patience or love. That's not you my friend. I'm sure the worst you might be is impatient, and frustrated at times. Nothing to kick yourself over. You'll find some common ground. dump on us all you want.
_________________________
kel

"I love what you guys are trying to do up there" ...from an audience member at one of my gigs.
Gear: Fender Medium pick

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#646772 - 01/30/07 02:08 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Jammer Offline
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Registered: 05/18/99
Posts: 18791
Tom,
When I was a nurse, I worked a lot with folks that had mental health problems. When I got home, I didn't have a very good off switch, so I carried a lot of it with me on my off hours also.

Here is all you can do bro. Do the best that you know to do as often as you are capable of doing so. Period. What else can you do, right?

Ya know, you'll have to forgive me for getting a big grin on my face while reading your post. I relate so well to not being able to let yourself off the hook or always having this haunting feeling that I should be doing better somehow.

What made me snicker is, YOU COULDN'T EVEN CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK IN A POST ABOUT CUTTING YOURSELF SOME SLACK!!! LOL! Man, can I really relate to that. It's a bitch isn't it? \:D \:D \:D

From what I know of your on-line personality, (which I believe to be very straight forward), I think you are a really honest, loving, giving, intelligent guy. You are definitely one of the folks in this here little cyber-community, that I really admire. I know that probably makes you uncomfortable. Good, that's what I'm here for. :p

Love,
Jammer

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#646773 - 01/30/07 02:53 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Funky Low End Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 2935
Loc: across the creek from St. Loui...
 Quote:
Originally posted by flatcat:
No. No. No.

I'm not exceptional, Brian. Maybe the situation is...I mean, I don't know any household that has the situation we have...Mrsflat and the MS, my stepson with the bipolar...and now, me with some stuff too, apparently...

But on the other hand - everyone has something, you know? We all have crosses to bear. Some are really, really hard.

I guess, you know, when stuff like this happens with him, I just get so...sad. I try so hard, and it always feels like one step forward and two steps back. And maybe if I were a better person, maybe it wouldn't feel like that.

I just needed to get that off my chest.

And you know, it's this experience that has contributed to me trying to exercise a little more understanding to people I don't know. You know? Because you just never know what's going on in peoples' lives.

I used to be a WICKED Ayn Rand head. Wicked.

I still love to read Atlas Shrugged every four or five years or so.

But there are limits to "objectivism". To judgement. Because we don't always have all the information. And because we don't always have *good* information. And because sometimes there isn't necessarily a good "right" answer.

I had a long talk with my priest about some stuff, and that was one of the things he said - and it's true - "Sometimes, there just aren't any good choices. And you choose the best choice given to you - but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a good choice".

It's so easy - and we've been on the receiving end of this, more times than I can count - to judge. We're in public, he melts down. It happens. We get the looks, the stares.

No one asks if there's anything they can do to help.

It's really easy to judge people, to be self-righteous. I'm so, so, so guilty of doing that, so often.

My stepson has taught me that you shouldn't do that.

He's a good guy, you know, he is. It's like he can't get to that good heart in there the way he wants, and it makes him mad at the world and most of all himself.

But to be honest, you know, it's sometimes hard for me to remember that when he throws something or he tells me to shut up because I'm not his father and all that.

It hurts. And you know, you're a grownup, so you get up off the ground and you wipe the metaphorical blood from your mouth, and you dust yourself off, and you try not to let it get to you too much.

Still hurts though.

I wish I were a better person.
Flatcat, I only quoted everything that you said so you could read it again.

Read it like someone else is saying it this time though, not you.

I think you'll see that "that" guy is pretty exceptional.


The Grammar Nazi is gonna have a field day with that that. \:o
_________________________

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#646774 - 01/30/07 04:51 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
RGR Offline
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Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 23279
Loc: UK
keep reminding yourself that those flash mood swings are a result of the illness. I am subject to similar mood swings, and all I can say is that I don't mean a word of the hurtful things that come out of my stupid mouth, it's like being taken over by something thats not you. The frustration & self directed anger vents itself on others, it isn't personal (although I know it may seem that way). Small stupid things become major hurdles to a depressed person.

I suspect that you are a lot more important to him in his mind than you may believe yourself. From what you have posted I think you are doing a great 'job' and should be proud of yourself.

There have been some good suggestions posted in this thread. Time out together in a different environment (camping?) makes sense as long as it is something you BOTH enjoy. So does the mirroring thing (on occasion) he does need to know how his reactions make you feel, however sometimes the illness dictates those reactions which needs to be remembered, self control is often lacking in depressed people.

I dont want to talk about myself too much here but it may help?...One thing I find helpful myself is to 'simplify' my surroundings, by which I mean removing some of the stuff that can go wrong. In my case I hate clutter, lack of space, tripping over things etc I also can have trouble dealing with hi tech stuff or self assembly units etc... my guitar rig is simple because of that reason. I react negatively to time deadlines, and can get very frustrated at myself if I cannot achieve what is expected, especially if I get no support.

You said:
 Quote:
I asked him to make some cookies - you know, Betty Crocker-add-an-egg-and-a-little-oil, they come in a bag cookies - while I put the littlest cat to bed. But then his iPod stopped working right, and then he didn't read the directions while making the cookies so they didn't come out right, and then he looked at the clock and it was 9:00, so he had a canary. A ranting, raving, throwing things, screaming, yelling, waving his arms and jumping up and down tantrum.
If I may offer my thoughts (hoping they may help here..) as to what this scenario would likely have made me feel like?...

1) You asked me to make cookies...I feel under pressure to meet an expectation

2)The i pod stopped working...had the ipod not been around at the time it wouldnt have affected things...'simplify the environment'...now there are two problems to deal with instead of one , both of which I cannot control.

3)Time...'man I have to get all this done on my own before 9pm??!!' I'm feeling stressed/pressured and I cut corners which adds to the problem (not reading the instructions)

4)"while I put the littlest cat to bed"...sure that needs doing, but the result could have been a lack of support when he may have needed help with the cookie task.

the situation was out of his control/comfort zone maybe?

In short...I know being given too high expectations, in too short a timescale can trigger frustration and stress in me which leads to anger and outbursts, it may be similar for him I dont know?

Might it not perhaps have been 'better', given the time ,to put the ipod aside, forget about making cookies and get him to load up the DVD and start watching while you put the little cat to bed? Dunno just summising here..but I know I would find that less frustrating.

I know th time restraints of a working day often dictate what happens when, I wasnt there, I do not know your family etc...i am just offering up my thoughts FWIW...I hope thats cool.

You are doing a great job, many would fall by the wayside. You will overcome, you will succeed, and you have every right to vent. You were in a situation of stress, you vented here, in this way. he was in a situation of stress, he vented by flipping and 'throwing his toys out of the pram' (as we say over here)...the difference is the illness he has.

Be strong.

\:\)

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#646775 - 01/30/07 08:04 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Marty Gilman Offline
Official Planet Sax Monster - Planeteer/Artist # 117
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Registered: 04/05/00
Posts: 23317
Loc: Palm Beach, Florida- U S A
No doubt you have a lot on your plate. Realize that. You also must avoid getting stressed as much as possible. It is a killer!

Funny, I was going to suggest you read Ayn Rand.A little selfishness now and then can go a long way. \:\)

Let me know if we can help in any way.

-Marty
_________________________
Can you play that an octave louder?


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#646776 - 01/30/07 10:58 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Tom Mix Offline
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Registered: 10/15/01
Posts: 32942
Loc: Mootown, Wisconsin
I saw that too Jammer. He couldn't cut himself some slack in a thread about how he doesn't cut himeself enough slack. I guess the proved it by that eh? \:D

Lighten up on yerself Tom. You are an excellent parent and a good honest person, but you are also human and are not perfect, just like the rest of us. ;\)

If you could step back out of yer situation, and would see yourself as others see you. Why you would be the first to cut some other care giver slack when they get overwhelmed and emotional. Wouldn't you? You should, because you know what they go through... how hard it is. But a life that helps others is a full life.

There are some that think people like Mother Teresa wasted their lives because of the consant sacrifice and lack of worldly pleasures. But I am convinced that people like her experience a far fuller and happier life then those who are self centered and selfish.

Keep up the good work and sacrifice Tom and may God help you along the way. But learn to accept your short comings and imperfections. It's enough to just see it, say yer sorry, try yer best to do better and move on.

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#646777 - 01/30/07 12:05 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Ford Prefect Offline
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Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 2916
Loc: Connecticut Yankee in Georgia
Tom...

we are not capable of perfection... only progress.

Even Mother Theresa wrote of losing faith...of struggling...of wishing to be able to do more...of doubting the very exisitence of God. These things from perhaps the person most universally regarded to have been a saint among us...in our time

See, it's not the falling down that is the measure of a man...it's the getting up, and striving to do better.

progress, my friend...not perfection

You are well-loved Tom... that says a LOT in my book.

(Faith hope and love...and the greatest of these is Love)

bob~
_________________________
Oz was wrong: A heart should be judged by how much one loves rather than by how much one is loved by others...


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#646778 - 01/30/07 01:33 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Geo Offline
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Registered: 11/09/99
Posts: 17522
Loc: within that soul of mine
You may find this book helpful.

On Becoming A Person - Carl Rogers
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The way in is the way out.

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#646779 - 01/30/07 01:34 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
vvvm Offline
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Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 19598
Loc: Clark & Washington
"It hurts. And you know, you're a grownup, so you get up off the ground and you wipe the metaphorical blood from your mouth, and you dust yourself off, and you try not to let it get to you too much."

Yoo doin' good, dood, yoo doin' good.
_________________________

VSPlanutt Arteeste Toonajz .
Sum mo' choonz.
Da Blog.

Spankin' trolls and makin' 'em cry since the last century.

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#646780 - 01/30/07 03:00 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
MadGuitrst Offline
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Registered: 06/10/99
Posts: 13631
Loc: 3rd Stone From The Sun
 Quote:
Originally posted by paulb:
Time.

Time without a lot of instructions, without other loving people, without any distractions, no matter what, no matter how positive.

Your step son will have trouble with distraction, and you are riddled with it.

You are opposites on many many fronts, but not all.

Camping? Fishing? No instructions or rules. It doesn't even matter if you catch any fish. Time. Talk. Hugs. and Time!

A camp fire. A quiet night. Maybe a bit of hard, but simple, tandem work. And hugs, and time.
I think this is great advice.
It might not start off very smoothly, but it's the right direction to head in.

Just spend time doing something he would like to do.....even if it's doing nothing but being company while he does his thing.

Then maybe you can introduce him to somethings you like or think would be interesting for you both to participate in.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood
It's one of the first rules to employ in any type of relationship (not that you aven't already).
_________________________
My real name is MadGuitrst

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
- Dr. Stephen R. Covey

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#646781 - 01/30/07 04:14 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
kid-surf Offline
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Registered: 09/21/99
Posts: 14908
Tom is exceptional despite what he says. I've meet him and felt it...


Tom -- just because you are exceptional doesn't mean others aren't. It takes nothing away from anyone else. In other words, you are perfect. Perfect in spite of whatever imperfections you may perceive about yourself.

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#646782 - 01/30/07 07:38 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Geo Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 11/09/99
Posts: 17522
Loc: within that soul of mine
Uh, Kid, WHAT did you feel? \:D
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The way in is the way out.

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#646783 - 01/30/07 10:27 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Jammer Offline
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Registered: 05/18/99
Posts: 18791
 Quote:
Originally posted by Geo:
Uh, Kid, WHAT did you feel? \:D
I'm not sure exactly what Kid felt either but it's apparent that he thought it was "exceptional" and "perfect" despite what Tom says about it. \:D :p \:D

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#646784 - 01/30/07 10:29 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Geo Offline
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Registered: 11/09/99
Posts: 17522
Loc: within that soul of mine
They don't call him "Long Tom" for nothing! Ha ha.
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The way in is the way out.

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#646785 - 01/30/07 10:55 PM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
grachus Offline
Planeteer/Artist # 92
Planeteer


Registered: 01/10/00
Posts: 10728
Loc: burlington ont, canada
i wonder about myself for snapping at my own children sometimes. however ussually its because we're hungry or tired or too overwhelmed with the possibilities of what we want to do at a given time. you have a house of cards of things to do
put a kid to bed
watch a movie
listen to ipod
relax
eat some homemade cookies

sometimes we have to simplify get out the acoustic unplug strum sing a few easy ones

simplify

when there is so many possibilities and nothing goes right you are not to blame you havent made a wrong choice you just were overwhelmed by choices.
if one activity was concentrated on it would have all gone smooth
_________________________
Now is the time

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#646786 - 01/31/07 12:53 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
BassPlayer Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 3531
Loc: North Georgia
flat, FWIW, I think you're OK. Loosen the lease a little, will ya? \:\)
_________________________
of COURSE that's just my opinion -- who else's opinion would you expect me to have?
--------------------
If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.

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#646787 - 01/31/07 01:33 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Larry Sheehan Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 04/19/99
Posts: 2855
Loc: Georgetown, TX, USA
Being a caregiver can really wear on you. Just do the best you can, and make amends as required. Sounds to me like you're doing very well at this.

I've been a caregiver, and am currently a stepdad, so I have some understanding of what you're living.
_________________________
Larry Sheehan
San Gabriel Sound www.sangabrielsound.com

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#646788 - 01/31/07 01:44 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Jammer Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 05/18/99
Posts: 18791
Oops!
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#646789 - 01/31/07 01:45 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Jammer Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 05/18/99
Posts: 18791
Oops again!

Trying to edit spelling of previous post and end up doing two useless new posts and Tom thinks he's not always up to par. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

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#646790 - 01/31/07 02:35 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
kid-surf Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 09/21/99
Posts: 14908
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jammer:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Geo:
Uh, Kid, WHAT did you feel? \:D
I'm not sure exactly what Kid felt either but it's apparent that he thought it was "exceptional" and "perfect" despite what Tom says about it. \:D :p \:D
And squishy...

Thanks for the jello, Tom!  J-E-L-L-O

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#646791 - 01/31/07 06:26 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Jammer Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 05/18/99
Posts: 18791
 Quote:
Originally posted by kid-surf:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jammer:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Geo:
Uh, Kid, WHAT did you feel? \:D
I'm not sure exactly what Kid felt either but it's apparent that he thought it was "exceptional" and "perfect" despite what Tom says about it. \:D :p \:D
And squishy...

Thanks for the jello, Tom!  J-E-L-L-O
:D

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#646792 - 01/31/07 06:53 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
klaus dibbelt Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 8225
Loc: erzhausen, germany, europe
tom, FWIW this is the first thought that came to my mind when reading your OP:

your stepson is frustated by not matching his standards. you are frustrated by not matching your standards. you are frustrated, because you donīt succeed in helping your stepson with not being frustrated by not matching his standards.
\:\)

second thought:
your stepson experiences himself not only not to match his own standards, but to permanently miss the standards that society and everyone else holds for themselves and others.
_________________________
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." (Rumi)

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#646793 - 01/31/07 09:44 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
flatcat Administrator Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 07/11/01
Posts: 25141
Loc: Westborough, MA, USA
Thank you for the kind thoughts.

It is just really hard, is all.

Mrsflat and he are off to see his psychiatrist this morning. He'd been suspended from his school for Monday; he went back yesterday and had a big outburst, and the school has asked that he get a letter from his doctors saying that it's safe for him to return.

He goes to a school for kids with emotional disabilities and mental illness. He frightens the other kids there when he goes off.

He has big plans for himself about going to college and doing this and doing that. I hope he gets to do those things. I don't see that in his immediate future, though.

There are plenty of people with bipolar disorder who are able to lead relatively normal lives. They go to college, they go to work, they manage themselves. I'm hoping that he'll be one of them. But I'm not sure I'm so optimistic about that any more.

Part of it, too, is teenagerhood, you know? It's hard to separate what's having a problem from being a teenager. Is he being oppositional and rude because he's 17, or because he's emotionally frazzled? It's not all that easy to tell. You know, he does fine when he's doing stuff he likes to do - playing D&D with his friends, going online, whatever. Put an expectations on him - like performing a task such as making cookies, for example - and you never know what you're going to get. I didn't think that'd be such a big deal because he makes himself brownies from a box every couple of days.

It's complicated and it's just....frustrating.

And, as mentioned - I'm his stepdad. I've been as big a champion as it's been possible to be, I think. His father has been wholly absent. I've gone toe-to-toe with school administrators, with his doctors, whatever, trying to make sure he gets a fair shake, trying to help mrsflat and him get what he needs. It's been a long, long process.

I just am having a hard time lately, feeling frustrated by the difficulties he's having, uncertain about his future, and like I can't get a bead on what to do to help him. And often I don't respond the way I should. I don't know what to do, so I either ignore the yelling and pre-tantrum stuff (not feed the beast), or if he does something that crosses a line, I'll respond either in anger or frustration myself and yell right back.

I mean, I feel like I handled the thing I described above relatively well, and I also feel like lately with him, that's the exception rather than the rule. \:\(

No matter what you do, I never feel good coming out of these interactions with him.

Anyhow. Thanks for letting me vent. And thanks for your advice, all.

It is really hard, living with this, day in and day out. It really is. If you haven't been through it, you should count yourself lucky. Mental illness and emotional instability are just...hard.
_________________________
Professor Truth T. Sweetness says,"Mind your manners!"

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#646794 - 01/31/07 09:52 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
flatcat Administrator Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 07/11/01
Posts: 25141
Loc: Westborough, MA, USA
I mean, part of the concern is that he'll be 18 in March. Things change when they turn 18. One important example is that we no longer have any right to see or talk with his doctors or review his medical records. He's considered an adult legally. We don't get to look. It'd be like any of you looking at his records, in the eyes of the law. Because he's legally an adult.

He'll also be legally liable for anything that he does if the police are involved.

There is just a boatload of stuff to worry about with all of this for his mother and me, totally unrelated to whether he goes to his fucking English class or not. You know?

He's also bigger, physically. And when he loses it, it's more...physical. He's more intimidating to people around him. Not to me, of course, but I can see where others might feel frightened.

Just...a lot.
_________________________
Professor Truth T. Sweetness says,"Mind your manners!"

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#646795 - 01/31/07 10:18 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
Brian Roberts Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 07/13/04
Posts: 13364
Loc: The Department of Inexplicable...
 Quote:
Originally posted by flatcat:
I mean, part of the concern is that he'll be 18 in March. Things change when they turn 18. One important example is that we no longer have any right to see or talk with his doctors or review his medical records. He's considered an adult legally. We don't get to look. It'd be like any of you looking at his records, in the eyes of the law. Because he's legally an adult.
Tom, could you possibly get a Durable Power of Attorney to allow you to continue to supervise his medical treatment?

Just a thought.
_________________________


"hey, what's a half-step among friends?"
Old songwriters never die...they just decompose. \:p

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#646796 - 01/31/07 10:54 AM Re: I need to vent for a second - I don't cut myself enough slack
paulb Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 06/25/03
Posts: 23691
Loc: Rural Kansas. Sometimes in Oz.
That was my first thought also.

Or even guardianship.

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