Are you ready for this?

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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Give me strength, or failing that, drugs, happy drugs.

I'm not sure I should even start this blog post, it is sure to be a crazy ranting of epic proportions, which is right in line with LIFE as it is, here, now.
H has always been a believer in being positive, think and ye shall be kind of person, why if you are thinking in a mean and negative way, you will BE a mean and negative person so let's not do that. Let us think in positive and helpful terms and be a helpful and positive person. Oh, how I wish I had appreciated THAT while it was around.
So, life is pretty crazy here, watching Eli and his precious way of thinking, he is still as delicious and eccentric as ever and we seem to notice every single thing he does and note it, in our heads, ready to share with doctors and pediatricians and teachers. For the record, my head is so full of quirks it has totally let go of anything remotely important, I can recall each and every quaint and touching action of Elijah's past month but don't ask me what *that* thing is called, you know that um, round thing right there ...oh you KNOW the sandwich holder, YES ! THAT! The PLATE...phew thankyou.
I have been looking for small musical instruments for primary so that we, the people running it can enjoy the melodies 30 + children form 3-11 can produce when handed such things as cricket rattles, bells, bongo drums and triangles when they are practising singing....I KNOW, darling isn't it? Would you like for me to tape that and share one day? I thought so!
So, the boys have seen me pounce on all and any such noise makers at car boot sales, on ebay etc and on wednesday, Elijah came down from his room with the most glorious look of pride and triumph on his face, holding what appeared to be a drum stick, split at one end. "Look! He said, I know you want some drum sticks and I saw this and it is a GREAT drum stick, isn't it?"
"well, yes, it is, where did you find it?" I replied, looking and trying to think where he could have found such a treasure.
"On my bed, I was lying in my bed and there are lots of THESE at the bottom, you know, where my feet go and I saw it and thought it was a great drumstick so I got it for you, you can have it...."
So, he kicked out one of the rungs at the foot of his bunk bed and really, what can I say? I love that he was falling asleep and saw that and thought of a way to please me and make himself happy but forgive me, if I don't hold out a little hope that one day, perhaps in the future not so far away, he might be bale to continue his thoughts right up the point where he thinks " Great drumstick but hey, probably best not to kick the thing out and break the bed huh?"
We have all manner of tales like that to take with us when we go to see the pediatrician in 3 weeks time, something tells me that we will have a few more by then too.
So that's Eli, Isaac has turned into some kind of loud shouting person with no filter, none at all, why let's YELL in that Robot voice about having SEX EDUCATION shall we, did you hear that? Isaac is going to LEARN ABOUT SEX!!! At SCHOOL! YES! SEX which is THE MOST EXCITING AND HILARIOUS THING AND WE MUST LET THE WORLD KNOW! OK?
He shouts whenever he is speaking to me outside the home, gone are the days when he would whisper oh so quietly, almost silently and ask me to tell people. I miss those precious days. No, now he thinks and he opens his mouth and he YELLS!!! ALL THE TIME!!!! HA! LIKE THAT! TELL JAMIE A's MUM I WANT TO GO TO HIS HOUSE! TELL HER...she is RIGHT THERE TELL HER!
Seth is a precious little ball of emotion, EMOTION ( oh look at me, am yelling, can't help it, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em) crying, stamping, door slamming emotion about everything that isn't fair, which is EVERYTHING! OK, here's an example, and it doesn't make me look good but it does show just how insane this house is and how close to a padded room and a mountain of calming drugs I am.
On ...oh who can remember? One day this week, I was buried by autism, everything I did, didn't do, thought, wanted, needed was smothered by someone else's freaky need or phobia. Add to that Sophie who at 21 is still mentally 13 in many ways and who also, is and has always been loud. She has made me proud in many ways and I am waiting for the day when she learns about money, I am waiting with baited breath and hope in my heart for the day when she says....oh hey.payday tomorrow and whaddya know I still have £50 in the bank. I am not *holding* my breath you understand because that would be foolish and detrimental to my health. I just live in hope. Until then, I live in the world where she asks, every single day to borrow money. Every, single. day. Like a dripping tap, "why though? I can pay you back in XYZ days? I need it, I want" to go to the pub with my friends, I need cigarettes, tampons, chinese food, the cinema"
Also, Sophie feels, as an adult, that she is within her rights to correct, discipline and aggravate the boys. She is not within her rights and I remind her of that very, very often.
Oh it was Tuesday, I know that because H was out, so here we are, tuesday evening, 3 boys in the bath, I say to them " I am going downstairs to get clean PJs for you, DO NOT SPLASH, I can hear you, I will be back up in a few minutes, just play nicely.
Time enough to walk down stairs, sit on the kitchen floor with the 3 piled high baskets of clean laundry and begin to sort through it for clean Jammies.
SCREAMING, oh such SCREAMING and over the screaming, fish wife of the year yelling " GET OUT!!! Get OUT OF THAT BATH! GO ON! OUT" more screaming because ITS NOT FAIR and YOU'RE NOT MY MUM! NO!!!! NO!!!! OW!!! SOPHIE" and me "SOPHIE!! Leave those boys alone LEAVE THEM ALONE!"
Then her screaming how Isaac did this and Seth did that and " YOU WEREN'T DOING ANYTHING!"
Dear Lord, someone help me.
I calmed it all down and managed to get Seth back in the bath to wash his hair, get the others downstairs and somewhat calmer, although all 3 were outraged at the unfair situation.
All of us in the front room, me surly and keeping my mouth shut, boys all sulking and a little cowed down by all the yelling and shenanigans, Sophie rattling off her bloody mouth at a rate of knots, until I said " Shut your mouth for the love of sanity shut the hell up or GO AWAY!"
to which she replied "Are you still taking your medicine because what the hell is with you today?"
And I lost it, quite spectacularly if you don't mind me saying so. I joined Sophie in the fish wives club and I said " WHAT's WRONG WITH ME??? What's wrong with me is that I have all you fucking children here driving me into an early and most welcome state of craziness.....WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME??? YOU!! that's what's wrong with me YOU!!!"
And then began Seth's woe.
He stormed out of the room and he wailed " I cannot BELIEVE you called me that! Did you actually say fucking child, did you? You did! Oh my, all I have ever wanted is a happy childhood and what did I get? I get you calling me a fucking child! A FUCKING child...ME! I never did anything to be called that, did YOUR mum call you that when you were 9 because I don't think she would have and you DID call me that and all I ever asked for was a happy childhood, I will never be happy will I? Will I? how can any child be happy when it is called such a thing?"
That child should be on the stage really. Right under my feelings of shame were tiny little sparks of joy that this was such a rare thing it had an enormous impact. It told me that despite feeling that I spend my whole life yelling and swearing like a Navvy, I must actually have quite good restraint because he was SO horrified that this word could be used in association with him that I was thrilled to know he must not be used to hearing it, go me!
That is an example of how melodramatic he is, on a daily basis. Did you know that he was incredibly happy with his life right up until Isaac was born, he had an idyllic childhood, one of story book level, until Isaac was born and then, well it went downhill, he has been miserable and ignored, shoved away from love and attention by that cuckoo in his nest that is Isaac. Did you also know that he was 11 months old when Isaac was born. Poor boy, only knowing joy until he was 11 months and then, well his life is pure hell apparently.
Isaac came home with a letter saying that he had been chosen to attend a gifted and talented day at a castle, where he will make a mask that will be hung on the wall and displayed for visitors to see. He was THRILLED at this letter and then stated that we would, of course say "thankyou very much, but no thankyou" and never mention it again. OK? Go to a strange place where people he doesn't know will be and then have to do something while they WATCH and make a fuss? Dear life if that isn't the very epitome of hell on earth!
When we read this letter we were equally thrilled and resigned to the fact that Isaac didn't want to go but we would work something out that meant he would go and enjoy it.
Seth doesn't like anyone being good at something if he thinks that someone might be bettering him at anything he will always manage to bring attention to himself by telling us that he was better at that or was higher up in the score department and of course he did the same thing on this occasion by telling us that " Actually I am gifted and talented at skipping ( never heard him mention skipping before, ever) and actually today, I was SO good at it that I had to skip in front of the WHOLE school and show them how talented I am"
"we mumbled something like " Yes, Seth, of course you did" and carried on with our evening.
The next day, cleaning out the school book bags, I came across a certificate of Head Teachers commendation thanking Seth for his "skillful display of skipping in front of the whole school" Whoops.
So you see the sort of life I am living, day to daily, on daily basis, every day. Every single day.
Back to my original topic, H has seemingly stopped listening to uplifting and enlightening pod casts, instead, when I go into the kitchen I have been hearing ANGRY men, SUCH angry men, blithering on about government corruption, medical bullshit and doctors who will POISIN you to make a buck, drugs with EVIL side effects that are more likely to KILL you than heal you. Yikes. When this tripe isn't playing in the kitchen it is seeping into H's brain through his ear phones, all day long, as he walks and works, as he sits and ponders, hour after hour of angry talk show hosts who have decided with what level of research who knows? that doctors, police, government and pretty much everyone really are all out to OPRESS YOU! Trying to take over every aspect of your life and FORCE you to vaccinate your children, POISIN your family with evils like flu shots and FLOURIDE in your DRINKING WATER.
I mention, every now and again how angry these people are and ask innocently where they get their facts and actually ARE they facts because ooooooohie if they don't sound like the crazies to me!
More and more H is expecting us to change our lives, no more tap water, only bottled...can you imagine what that costs for a family of 6? I even saw him using bottled water to BOIL NOODLES today. Slowly but surely the craziness if taking over and last night, it exploded a bit.
I can't be bothered to explain the whole evening but but the end of it I discovered that he has stopped taking ALL his heart meds, every single one.
I was bereft all evening because lie I don't have enough to worry about with these boys lately and now, well now I get to wonder every day if he will drop dead! Yeah! something to take my mind off the niggling worries like 3 autistic children, a daughter who seems not to be going anywhere, rats ...oh rats? Why I'd all but forgotten about that thanks to the latest insanities, actually they are dead and the smell has almost gone. How blessed I am.
I am right at the point where running away seems a great idea, in fact I came close to booking a hotel last night, just to get away but then I remembered I spent all the extra money I had put away on bottled water ,baked beans and cereal because HARD TIMES ARE COMING...are you all READY?!?!?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

£84 Million!

Someone won £84 million this week on the lottery. I think we all day dream about 'what if' what if we bought a ticket and then won. Do you imagine it? I do. there is something so improbably and gloriously idle about the idea of winning vast amounts of money, no work, just spend £1 in the newsagents and BINGO, no more worries.
I'm not sure that last part is true though because if I had woken up on saturday and discovered that I now had £84 million, I am pretty sure that I would be terrified. What on earth would you do with all that money? What a huge responsibility that kind of money would be.
When I indulge in the 'what would I do?' dream, I start off, as everybody does by paying off all debts of my family, no mortgages, no loans left for anyone. I buy a huge plot of land or an entire street of glorious houses and we all live close to each other but in our own homes ( thankyou very much!) I vary in where these homes will be depending on how much imaginary money I have won that week. Sometimes modest homes, sometimes great big estates with land and titles!
I imagine emailing friends and telling them that they can choose a home or pay of the one they have, I pay for school for people who want to further careers, I set up childrens' homes in foreign countries, pay for IVF for people desperate for babies.
My favourite part of my dream, after all the lavish and fun get togethers that I will host for imaginary internet friends, is the part where I search for people who need a break. I imagine walking around town looking at families who are obviously trying but need a break. I imagine finding people like us, who are happy, who have all the important things in life but who need a boost and then I just hand it to them. I imagine having the wherewithal to say to people "look, here's this house, it is safe and clean and has everything you need, you can live there for as long as you care for it, you can call it your own, make it yours and the rent is such that you will be able to pay without being afraid but will appreciate what you have and take care for it."
I like dreams, I like that you can choose them and change them, I love the way they make you feel. I like how they make ME feel.
I think though, that my 'what if' dream wouldn't be winning £84 million. Mine is usually 3 or 4 £million. I dream of enough to buy a reasonable house with a garden, a safe house where Elijah can play without escaping, a house built well enough that it won't need constant repairs. I don't mean a mansion because really, too big and too grand would mean too much upkeep and even when I dream I am practical.
I 'need' about £300,000 for my absolute dream house. Imagine having enough to buy a dream house but not enough to do that and share your luck with those you love. That's no fun is it? So £2 million would do for me. I'm not greedy at ALL am I?
I would even be happy to be able to rent my dream house if it meant I would never ever have to move again. If the winner of that £84 million should read my blog and decides that s/he will invest in property, can you buy a nice 4 bedroom house with a big garden and high walls, here in my town please and let me rent it forever? I will look after it and love it and promise not to bother you with minor worries. No leaking, damp or rats and I'll be forever pathetically grateful. Thankyou.
The rats are back here. I can't stand to go into details again because it's more of the same, it's as stressful and miserable as it ever was before, just somehow more hopeless.
Dreaming of winning the lottery is just that, it is dreaming, it picks me up and lifts me out of this situation quickly, without having to make plans that mean thinking years ahead.
I know that for me, the real way out of this is to plan long term. It's unavoidable and it's daunting. The plans and ideas I have aren't even a sure fire way of getting us a new life. They are the only ones I have though so that's where I am heading. While I start on the road, when I am fighting and straining and working along the way, I will indulge in a few dreams of the 'what if' variety because somehow they make it all seem easier.
I will also ask myself why some people DO get the 'what if' for real and wonder how they find that when it happens, if it is as miraculous as we all imagine or if it actually terrifying. Oh wouldn't it be kind of great to find out for ourselves?


Thursday, May 06, 2010

The one where I whine. A lot.

I wonder often how to start a blog post, when I feel like I have so much to say and can't quite throw it all together. This might be one of those days.
The rats are back.
It is such a small sentence isn't it? 4 words that mean my world is shaking in it's boots.
What is it about these creatures that gives them the power to totally bring a person to their knees?
I tell myself over and over again that they are more afraid of me than I am of them....but I don't convince myself. When one, half way down the stairs notices me come out of the front room and then JUMPS so it lands at my feet and the scuttles away and runs under the stairs, that makes me scream. When it happens again the next day it makes me scream and then swear and then stand with my head against the kitchen wall and pray, while I shake.
We are not dirty, I am a crumb Nazi, I pick up and sweep and throw away, we put lids on things, food does not get left uncovered or left out. Everything is packed in plastic drawers and tubs.
We set traps and then, when everyone but Seth and I was out, we heard the trap snap and then we heard the most awful AWFUL screaming, rat screaming, over and over and both Seth and I ran with fingers in our ears and he sobbed and I tried not to sob while I told him I knew it was awful but what could we do?
Sophie came home and she opened the door to the cupboard, then SHE started to cry because it was a baby rat, huge but still fluffy and obviously young. She was horrified that it was taking so long to die but she, like me, was unable to do anything about takes a tough person to put an animal out of it's misery and I just couldn't even look at it, never mind touch it. I don't think I will ever forget what an horrific sound that was.
I have been puzzled by how insane these rats have been, they appear to have lost all fear of being seen, running about in the daytime, being visible, in the front room, just IN MY FACE.
Seth is traumatised, the night the rat screamed ( sounds like a horror movie title and well it may be!) I heard him screaming for me from his room. I ran up to see him and he was just distraught and said that he was so afraid that they would come into his room and he had tried to pray but was too afraid to close his eyes. So I prayed with him and at the same time I prayed that he would learn how prayer helps, how it can comfort and help us.
He did sleep after we prayed and the rats didn't eat him while he slept.
I am a nervous wreck, every sound makes me jump, every creak, tick, rustle makes me hold my breath. I hate it.
The pest control man is coming tomorrow but both H and I are dreading that as much as anything because Oh dear life, the smell.I don't think I can live through that again. The smell has never really left, every now and then this house smells like a sewer on a hot day and what is even sadder is that we all try to pretend we can't smell it, we can't bear to mention it because, well I know for me, it is because I am so sick of being out of control, so tired of this whole housing business, moving from pillar to post in an effort to try and find somewhere that feels like home.
This house is actually a lovely house, it has great potential but it needs a lot of knocking down and putting right. I am convinced that we need to be out of this house and the floors need to be ripped up and these rats killed, properly.
We know they are in the walls because we can hear them, they are under the floor because they run, from one end to the other and they sound like stampeding dogs, I am not exaggerating when I say they are LOUD. H has never heard them, usually it is at night when he is asleep with his earplugs in. This week we were in the front room, no kids, no TV and they ran, above our heads from one end of the room to the other. H's snapped over to stare at me and I am pretty sure he thought "SHIT!" his face looked like it was thinking that, definitely, he said " What was THAT?!" When I said "The rats, that's what they do at night, Sophie and I hear them all the time. That's what they do" he just looked stunned. What can you say?
We sat here a couple of nights ago and I looked at H and said "There is one behind the sofa" so in a jiffy he had set the scene, front door open, everything cordoned off and me sitting with my feet up on the chair. He opened the front room door, got a walking stick and poked under the couch, that thing ran right under MY he poked and prodded and then it ran right out the front door.
This is not the way I like to spend my evenings!
I have been looking at other houses but my heart isn't in it. What is the point? Wherever we go there will be some problem that we can't solve. I know that in some ways this is the consequence of my actions. In others it is something I can't do anything about.
There are very few things that money can buy, this is really the only thing I long for. A home that is mine, that I can choose, that I can research and plan and make right. I look at dream houses and they are just that, a dream, I know I can't have them. I look at houses that, in different circumstances might have been mine and then my heart cries.
I don't need luxury or grandeur. I don't want marble or sweeping drives. I want safe and I want always. I want walls that will hold memories. I want doors that can shut out those things we choose not to have within them.
I am so bone weary of holding my breath, of being afraid. I am sick to death of pretending it's all OK. This is not OK, I can't even stand to go into nice homes belonging to other people because it makes me so sad I can't bear it.
I am sick of breathing stench.
I am going to stop writing now because I am depressing myself. I know that all around the world there are people worse off than me. I do know that. I count my blessings and I whistle a happy tune as often as I can. Sometimes, I just can't and when I can't, I try and come here and write it out so that no-one has to listen to me or see me with a face like a smacked arse. Onwards and upwards and put on a happy face.
Here's to happy faces.
Also no rats.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Literally speaking....

One of the 'things' about autism / aspergers is a tendancy to take things very literally. I haven't noticed Seth or Isaac doing this noticeably, Elijah however is hilariously and annoyingly literal. Here follows a few examples of conversations with Eli.

" Elijah, if I hear you swear one more time, you will be in trouble, it is not acceptable and I do not want you to be a little boy that swears, people won't want you to play with them, you won't be invited to play at friends' houses, I do not want to hear you use those words anymore, OK?"
2 minutes later when he is playing out in the yard and I was in the kitchen.
" SHIT!"
"But I didn't think you could HEAR me!"

Whining voice "It's not fair, you never give me what I want, I never get ANYTHING"
"You'll get *something* in a minute if you keep whining!"
"Oh. OK.......but now I can't think of what to whine about"

Do not come go through that gate, it is dangerous, there are cars, stay in the garden, do you understand you are not to go out of that gate?"
*climbs over the wall to get out of the garden*