Today has been a day filled with frustration. What else is new, right? No. This is a whole new level of frustration. As a matter of fact, this entire post is more or less just me trying to sort out what the hell really happened today. I guess I should just dive right in…
My day started out like all the rest. I woke up after a restless night on the world’s biggest piece of shit “click clack” style futon. Just a word of advice here, if you are ever considering purchasing one of these darlings for yourself, DON’T DO IT! Oh my f’ing GAWD, don’t do it! Lunches packed, kids dressed and ushered out the door. I suppose that should have been my first sign that today was not going to be all sunshine and lollipops. Mother Nature must have run out of Prozac and unleashed a torrent of freezing white precipitation upon the land. A complete turn around from her happily medicated state just a day before when she smiled sunshine and beamed warmth from her very bosom upon us all. No, this version of Mother Nature was pissed off and she was letting us all know it! I dropped the kids off at school and preceded to take my youngest to his first appointment at the Developmental Pediatric Specialist’s office. You see, he is five now. He is in Kindergarten. There is no more happy denial that my son is just a bit quirky. Nope. He’s special or at least acting special. I am not surprised by this. His oldest brother is special too. (Yes, I use the word special to describe the somewhat “off” behaviour of my oldest and youngest sons.) To be honest, I was never really in denial either, I was just okay with not having a label slapped on him. However, to get extra help in school, you need that gawd damn label…
So off we went. The duct tape mobile (my rusted out Dodge Caravan that yes, is literally being held together with duct tape) chugged along the highway through wind and ice and snow and ensconced inside, we arrived at the grand office building owned by one of the richest hospitals in the entire world, The Cleveland Clinic. My son revelled at the automatic revolving door, the modern water feature/fountain in the lobby (“MOM! It looks like a hotel in here!”) and the ebony stone floors with dazzling “diamonds” embedded deep inside…their untold riches and casting miniature rainbows all around. He danced around, marvelling at this glorious building, happily hopping from one incredible discovery to an other; all before we even made it through the lobby. His dirty blonde hair, more light brown than baby blonde anymore, head was bobbing along to a song only he could hear. His face beamed with joy and his blue eyes simply sparkled.
Thinking back, I am amazed at his reaction, and embarrassed about my own. My sweet, SWEET baby boy…so full of life and love and zest, was thrilled to be here with me. To share this with me and I just trudged about, rushing him towards the doctor’s office; afraid of being late and having to reschedule. I was rushing him to see this doctor who would be the first in a string that would pretend to play with him while I filled out a thousand pages of questions about his development. The ENTIRE TIME, he was the very definition of sweetness and light. Me? The complete opposite. The questions frustrating me…I’ve filled out these forms before. Watching the time on my phone…don’t they know I have three other kids I have to pick up from school too? My little guy? He was having a wonderful time. Someone was focusing the whole of their attention upon him. Something severely lacking at home. I am ashamed to admit, that I often just don’t want to be bothered with his demonstrative and insistent displays of affection; that I’d rather he “go play or something”, Mommy’s busy doing nothing of consequence…nothing as important as you, yet I can not be bothered right now because I am so damn miserable inside. It has nothing to do with you, my beautiful son. Nothing at all. Nor your brothers. It’s about me…festering and sad. Overwhelmed and alone. Yet, you probably don’t understand that and I hate myself for it.
That was only the first of a long succession of visits to diagnose what I already know…Autism Spectrum Disorder. There was other speech related disorders associated with it, but who the fuck cares about that right now? I HAD to go and get that label so the school would assist him, so the gov’t would assist US and so I could use that damn label to get him and his brothers things they need…like FOOD and technology. Having two kids with Autism isn’t cheap and when you are already living at the poverty level; that label can be your ticket to a whole other world of help. Yet, I am disgusted. My boys, ALL OF THEM, are perfect. Perfect in every single quirky, obsessive, sweet, terrible, adorable, rotten way. PERFECT, DAMN IT! I want to take that label and tear it in a million pieces. I am ANGRY that I need that label to help my kids to survive. I am FURIOUS that their father can not see that staying in his comfortable job making less than $30K per year IS having a negative impact on MY kids. I do not even care anymore that I know he is running around without HIS label, because if anyone on this god forsaken planet should have an Autism Spectrum Disorder label it is HIM! I don’t care because my college educated (his major in college was PSYCOLOGY) “husband” does not care. We should have to make due. I am spending too much money. I should be able to find a way to get a job. Never him. No, never him. $740 every two weeks, county sponsored health care for the kids, high deductible only-if-you-get-hit-by-a-bus insurance for us, $300 in food stamps and a $1200 mortgage makes perfect sense to him. I am the problem. Yup. You’ve hit the nail right on the head, buddy. It’s all me. It’s always me.
So, I started this post months ago. Months. I have been in such a state that I could not even bring myself to think about writing anything. Then, for the hell of it, I opened up this long forgotten tab.
I guess I still have things left to say after all.