Talking to Myself Makes Me Less Crazy

We like to ratchet up the stress here. You know, as soon as one problem is solved then another appears. I’m using a tongue and cheek tone, because I honestly don’t want to connect with the way I feel about our latest turn of events.  Alas, the cathartic writing forces me to the keyboard and screen to bleed. y

Today, Evan is home from school because he was suspended for biting the teacher’s assistant. So far he has pulled out three of the floor vents, destroyed 5-6 crayons, climbed on top of the entertainment center (yes, by the TV!), destroyed our soap wand for the kitchen sink by tearing off the sponge pad and then pouring all of the soap all over the counter and opened the oven numerous times to play with the glass on the inside. Yay, an oven obsession! Because that’s not dangerous or anything.

It’s 10:00 AM.

So far I have moved a load of laundry, cleaned our shower, signed up for a fitness challenge with friends and now I’m sitting down to write. The truth is that a day with him, though he is delightful, is exhausting. Add in that he is suspended and that after 10 suspensions he can be expelled? Well, I’m surprised I’ve managed to do much of anything.

Very rarely am I at a lose for words to type, but on this issue I have so much apathy. I’ve shutdown so magnificently. Sometimes, I think that is a good thing, because things still get done and I’m not overwhelmed by my emotions. And yet, I know there will be a fall out.

Repressed emotions = Negative Self-talk

I used to think my inner critic was evil, a virtual gestapo in my head. I mean, if she wanted, that critical voice could convince me I don’t know how to read. She’s that potent.

Then, my therapist suggested that the negative self-talk was really just a giant clue – a clue to what was bothering me. This morning I woke up and went about getting breakfast to the tune of “I hate myself.” Literally, the thought was on repeat. It’s not a new thought and one that I am (unfortunately) accustomed to.

I didn’t really acknowledge it and went about my business. Then, the task “write” popped up on my phone and suddenly I just feel a blank void. I didn’t  have anything to write about. How strange (I always have things to write about)!

What is going on with me?

Oh, that’s right! I hate myself has been the background music for this day. I sit with a  blank stare, looking at the shattered screen of my laptop. I know its time to delve. I begin asking myself a serious of questions.

“Why do I hate myself today?”

The reply comes.

“You are terrible at entertaining Evan and keeping him out of things. You suck as a mother.”

“Geez, don’t hold back or anything.” I say to the negative committee in my head.

“Well, you asked! I answered.” The mean voice in my head says, folding her arms across her chest.

“Great job, self! Way to inner dialogue.” I say sarcastically to her.

I pause. I’m supposed to consider what feelings those thoughts bring up instead of having a sarcasm war with myself. Let’s see…

“When the mean voice in my head says mean things about my mothering abilities, it hurts.” I say.

“Yeah, no shit! I’m trying to get you to do better. The kid can’t even talk, doesn’t know how to play, dress himself, read… Geez, we’re lucky he shits in the pot most of the time!” The angry voice says to me.

“It’s just that…even if I do better, work harder…he might not learn. He probably won’t learn. I’ve tried before. It didn’t work.” I say in defeat.

“Yeah, precisely. We need to get this show on the road, muscle up! Let’s go lazy ass!” Angry voice counters.

“No, I don’t think you are hearing me. Look at all I’ve done this morning, while also cleaning up all his messes and managing not to be angry or cruel to him.” I defend. “I can’t do better than this.”

“Really?” She says skeptically. “Because if you can’t do better, then this really sucks. It really sucks that THIS is life.”

“Yeah, I know. It sucks. This life sucks.” I say softly.

“I was just trying to get you motivated, to make it better for you.” The angry voice softens and turns into a good friend.

“I know.” I say.

“He’s really not going to get better, huh?” She says.

“No – I don’t know. Maybe.” I say resignedly. “At least, there is nothing I can do to make him better. We’ve tried all of the *things* that *they* suggest. Seven years of ABA therapy and he still can’t attend school without the threat of expulsion. He still can’t talk. He has no more skills today than he did at three years old, except the potty training, of course.” I shrug.

“Well, there’s that.” She says knowingly.

“Yeah, he shits in the pot. Go us!” I say half-heartedly.

“You know, I’m proud of you for trying to do stuff today – to be productive. For cleaning up the messes and not losing your shit with him.” My new friend says.

“Yeah? You don’t hate me.” I say to myself in surprise.

“No, I don’t hate you.” Former gestapo girl shakes her head. “I was just out-of-tune with . what was really going on. So we’re just going to be sad today?”

“Yeah,” I reply. “Sometimes it passes – the sadness.”

“You don’t say! Huh,” She shakes her head. “I thought it was forever.”

“I know. Me too.”

And so I go about my day, not thinking I hate myself anymore, but feeling really, really sad. Luckily, it passes when I accidently put the hot dogs in the filing cabinet while making lunch. Evan’s sensory toy ended up in the refrigerator.

Life as a mom – sad, happy, tiring and, as always, hilarious.

Candidly,

Ash

 

Jessica Jones A.K.A. My Spirit Animal

I am Netflix binge watcher. Truth. Their latest is the second season of Jessica Jones.

She’s a kick ass antihero. She saves peoples lives and punches people who piss her off. When she goes to anger management, she gives a run down of the atrocity that is her life, all while throwing a ball at the wall. The ball and the wall break. Then, she hands a form to her group therapist to sign. He signs it, terrified of what she will do if he doesn’t. As she walks back to her apartment, she confronts another a**hole entering her building. She says something like “I just about beat up my support group. Back off!”

Oh yes, Jessica is my spirit animal.

I think there is a little bit of antihero in all of us. We long to be great, do good things. Yet, there is something completely insufferable about the world that leaves us ready to punch a whole in a Tesla (yeah, another thing she does). Okay, I might be projecting all of this onto you.

I think there is a little bit of antihero in me.

Some vicious anger at injustice combined with a benevolent spirit twists all my interactions into battles and wars. I don’t really want to fight or view it as a fight. I don’t want to be a victim, but I also don’t want to be an overcomer. Somehow being an overcomer feels too close to accepting the past as truth and the future as a reflection of its power. Why is letting go so damn hard? Why does letting go feel like a concession?

Yes, I like Jessica. She embraces that the future is fucked, but still saves the innocents so they can have the hope, the future, that she wishes she had. Does she wonder if she is a monster sometimes? If she is out-of-control? Absolutely. Every step of the way. I see her try to reason with those questions. Looking at the carnage of someone else’s crimes, she audibly says, “That’s not me. That’s not me. That’s not me.” She’s not saying it for the benefit of others. She is saying it to herself – to remember who she is and who she isn’t.

I relate. When I rage and my children see it, I look into their eyes and see the monster. Then, I say, “That’s not me. That’s not me. That’s not me.” When I hide in my room instead of playing fun games with them or we stay inside on a beautiful afternoon, I say, “That’s not me. That’s not me. That’s not me.”

Healthy me is adventurous. Healthy me loves the outdoors. Healthy me takes deep breaths before speaking. Healthy me holds the space. Healthy me…

I wish I was always healthy me.

Then, there are days where I know, deep down, that the future is fucked. I won’t be healed of a mood disorder. Depression isn’t a one and done deal. Pills don’t fix these things; they moderate them, temper their effects.

There is no cure for what I have.

I desperately want for there to be people with hopes and futures that are bright. I desperately want to give what I can’t have – to others.

Sometimes, I hide. Alone is safer for the world. I don’t want to drag other people into my abyss.

But the world needs antiheroes.

Because super heroes don’t actually exist. Only antiheroes are real. Flawed people doing good things. That is what we really have. Somehow, I think that’s actually better. When Jessica refuses to kill a guy who cheated on his girl…it’s reluctant and ugly, but still possible. When she does the right thing even though the wrong thing makes more sense, would be more cathartic. Well, that’s when we are actually inspired.

Superman might make me want to fly, but Jessica Jones makes me want to actually save the world. There is power in saving a world that doesn’t necessarily deserve it. There is power in saving ourselves, even when we don’t necessarily deserve it.

Now, who wants to be an antihero with me?

Candidly,

ASh