I Just Got The News

 

You may have read in previous blogs that my brother suffers from Bipolar Disorder type 2 with rapid cycle, he has now also been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to top it off his psych has suggested he stay in a Mental Health Unit for a month. I have mixed feelings about this as I know he needs to be in there, it is the best place for him right now as he is really vulnerable at the moment. At this stage he is unable to get a job as it will simply slip through his fingers, this means he has to stay at my parents house where he doesn’t get along very well with my step dad and feels he could be kicked out at any given moment. His self esteem is absolutely shattered. He also needs to have his medication adjusted, he needs some serious cognitive training and there are some deep seated issues from his childhood which he desperately needs help with.

My brother and I have been through some really hard times together, we had to stick together, we were each others best friend for a long time and as much as I have tried to help where I could there is just nothing I can do for him at this point, that breaks my heart. I feel really helpless for the first time but at the same time relived that someone who is outside the situation, and who has dedicated their lives to, and has experience in helping, people like him will be able to give him a boost up.

I wish him peace first the first time in his life, peace is simply something which most people can easily obtain, yet it has always been just out of his reach. It is for this reason I really hope it all goes really well.

Let the sun set on these dark days, and a new dawn break on a new day, the first page of a new chapter.

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So Something Exciting Happened Tonight…

 

I am currently looking after the two girls from next door tonight while my neighbour rushes her husband to the hospital, his war wound? He managed to drill a hole through his finger. My son rushed back from their house, the two girls in tow, told me the story and I let them in and trotted next door. After I barged in there and found him squeezing his finger with a tonne of blood soaked tissues while his wife was in the process of getting the whole tissue box I got down to business! I went and got their first aid box out from the top of their pantry, grabbed a bandage and began wrapping it tightly over the top of the tissues while she searched frantically for the car keys. Then they were off to emergency! But this got me thinking, why was I so quick in this situation, but I sucked when it came to my own son?

A few months ago my son got a tool box for his birthday, he absolutely adored it! One of the prized and treasured tools inside this precious tool box was a Stanley knife. One day he asked if he could use it to cut a huge piece of cardboard left over from a flat pack outdoor table. I said,

“Yes, but be careful. Cut away from yourself.”

Now before I go any further I want to tell you why (in my defence, not that is it a good one) I walked away from him while he was using it. My step dad had a Stanley knife and for years, from the age of 9, my brother and I used that rusty old thing for all sorts – carving our initials in trees, cutting back the plastic on the brake cables on our bikes, cutting ropes down to size while making our dangerous, structurally unsound cubbies, also cutting windows into our own large boxes. We were creative and unsupervised and you name it, we probably used it for that purpose, and we never cut ourselves with it, not once, not even a scratch. I assumed my son, who has always been quite handy with every tool he ever picked up, would be ok to use it.

So my son was outside cutting the box when after a couple of minutes I heard him yell,

“Muuuuuum, I cut myself!”

I ran out there not knowing what I was going to see. There were drops of blood on the cardboard and on the brick paving, and when I saw his arm and hand I saw a stream of blood, still dripping from his finger tips. I tried to get a good look at it but I was just so distracted and panicked by all the blood that was coming out and that horrendous feeling in my tummy and that creepy feeling the back of my legs under my bum. It looked bad, real bad because I couldn’t see the cut at all, the blood was coming out too fast. Luckily, my friend who is a carer knocked on my door at that moment, I urgently yelled out,

“I need a bit of help hun!!”

She rushed in, saw his arm and quickly tied it off with a clean tea towel. It stopped the bleeding. I then thanked her so, so much and rushed off to the nearest walk in clinic. The cut was only half a centimetre long, but it required a local anaesthetic and two stitches. I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I had let him screw around with that Stanley knife! The guilt I felt was the worst I had ever felt in my life. And I deserved that horrible feeling.

Needless to say I have hidden that Stanley knife (in the bin which got picked up months ago) but it made me wonder and worry. I have had countless encounters with people who I have had to administer first aid to. My brother took every pill in the house one day so I had to keep him alert on the drive while rushing him to our nearest doctors clinic in the country, the longest five minute drive of my life, with all of the pill packets, for medical help and to wait for an ambulance. Another incident I recall was where a friend slashed her wrist in front of me. It was the same thing – first aid box, gauze, a bandage, and straight to the hospital. I was fast, clear headed, focused, yet I had a major brain fart and froze up when my OWN CHILD had much more of a minor cut by far! I was like a dear in the headlights and I was a fumbling mess! Why? I will probably never know. Maybe it was because he was my own flesh and blood. I can only speculate.

Facebook – A False Sense Of Special

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How many of you have seen this pic or something similar floating around on Facebook? Now either most of the people on my friends list are a rare, especially smart group and all fit into this tiny 3% category or, even more likely, the fact is MOST people can read this. I find it misleading and it gives a false sense that you are somehow special if you are one of these people.

Another annoyance of mine regarding Facebook is the endless tirade of memes to the tune of Marilyn Monroe’s,

“If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

Well last time I checked, being an asshole is not a quality which makes people want to hang around, it CAN lose some good friendships or relationships and if you are being a dick, no amount of awesome will make up for your douchebaggery if you do it on a regular basis. Just fucking say sorry and learn to regulate yourself!

One more before I go and this one is a little off the beaten path, but cryptic posts of abuse or victimisation, aimed at what seems like Mr Nobody, or constant, attention seeking, dramatic cryptic messages such as,

“My world just fell apart…”

Or,

“That just made me feel so worthless 😦 “

I WILL DELETE YOU if this crap turns up on my news feed from you every day! Call a close friend!! I guarantee you they will care about – whatever is is you’re on about – waaaay more than I ever could Miss ‘I haven’t seen you since high school’.

So to sum things up, Facebook has been great in terms of keeping up with family from overseas and sharing pics instantly about what you are doing, where you are and who you are with, but it is a virtual world where people can look at something which is written and delude themselves into thinking,

“That makes sense, that relates to me, that shit just works!”

However, 99% of the time, that ultra inspiring quote you just read from “unknown” and is probably a verse to a song made and played before you were born, it is something which wont work out in the real world. Facebook has also created a sense of entitlement,

“If you don’t like it, don’t look and don’t comment.”

Well what if I didn’t want to see it in the first place? Facebook is still a community, and with community comes responsibility, but damn! It’s a great place to feel special under false pretences, having a page you ‘own’ with “You Are Wonderful” quotes that show up every 20 minutes will do that to ya!

The Sensitive Ones

If you read my last blog you will remember I babysat two girls for a friend for 12 hours while she was at work, one of the girls, although I don’t like to play favourites, I have a real soft spot for because she just seems so vulnerable.

This little girl, Miss 8, with the wild curly hair, the pleading eyes and the warm, compassionate, cuddly, sensitive but also boisterous nature reminds me very much of Master 7.

Her sister, Miss 10, has Asperger’s Syndrome, and she needs a lot of medical treatment and physiotherapy as when she got sick with the flu a year and a half ago something horrific happened. All of her muscles wasted away so she needs a lot of help balancing and doing every day things inside and outside of the home, her parents also spend extra time working with her at home to help her to regain her strength so that when she is older she is independent, this time needs to be spent with her now, and she is making great strides in her progress thanks to her parents dedication. This wouldn’t leave a lot of personal time for Miss 8, and while her parents do their very best to make sure she gets included and has some personal time spent with just her and one other parent as often as they can, she simply cannot be their number one priority at the moment. An adult can understand this, but to an 8 year old this would be confusing.

I can’t help but take her under my wing, and she has really taken to me too. She spent most of the day with me yesterday, while I cleaned and looked after the other kids. She is also an animal lover so she absolutely loved helping me tip out the bowl with the tadpoles inside and giving them fresh water. I really enjoyed her company.

She did struggle with the other children yesterday, because Master 7 is not into any girl things and doesn’t like to get wet under the sprinklers, and because Miss 10 is Master 10s girlfriend and they were spending most of their time chatting on the trampoline she really took it to heart that no one was spending time with her, I consider this a symptom of her day to day life.

Before she left she said she had a really good day with me and asked if I could look after them all of the time. I had to explain to her that I could only do it once in a while because I work, but I would take them as often as I possibly can. I just hope I helped to make her day a good one and that she felt like she got a personal day with another caring adult.

Drawing The Battle Lines – Boys And Girls

I agreed to look after my friends two girls today while she was at work and having them around changes tho whole dynamic! Master 10 is walking around being all surly and bossy. Master 7 is having trouble co-operating, he is frustrated as he likes rules, he has a lot of them and girls like to challenge them by asking a lot of questions and Master 2 is loving the water fights outside and being adored by the girls! He’s just going with the flow. There has had to be quite a bit of adjustment on both sides as they all try to figure out how they all tick together.

I am noticing that with the girls that they have a lot of temper tantrums. Miss 8 flies into a rage, cries and runs away, and Miss 10 stands there with her arms crossed and passively aggressively talks to “herself” about how and why the situation sucks. A far cry from my boys who get into a punch up which I have to break up and sending them into different rooms to cool off, then they’re friends again after saying sorry to one another. Girls seem to seethe and harbour for a lot longer.

Honestly I have idea how to mediate right now! With the boys I can talk to them about an incident and they take it in their stride, the girls are more intent on being the victim in the situation. I’m just down to ignoring the behaviour I don’t like at this point as I don’t like to argue, it goes nowhere, we all seem to be able to come to an understanding.

With this said, however I know that everyone is different, really it just comes down to personality and what the group dynamic is. I’m hoping this will remain as relaxed and happy as it has been for the most part for the rest of this 12 hour stint. I may blog later on the progress, and by that point the tone may have changed quite a bit!

Tired Children With A Degree In Energy Assault And Word Weaponry

Yesterday we went to the beach and that was a lot of fun, but like any trip out like this it tires them out, yesterday was no exception! As you may well know a tired child is a grumpy, emotional wreck, they get riled up about lots of little things, this could be natures payback for when Mummy is tired 90% of the time.

So we had to step out again in the afternoon to get ingredients for dinner, upon arriving there Master 10 was complaining that he didn’t want to be there, can he stay in the car, his socks were itchy, he wanted to go home, he needed to go to the toilet, he had tears welling up in his eyes towards the end of the barrage of questions and complaints. Yep, he was tired, and it was the first clue that this was the start of a fun shopping trip.

We got inside the shopping centre and Master 2 decided he wanted to walk, but not with us. He kept running off to look at anything and everything so I gave him his warnings and on the third I picked him up and carried him the rest of the way. He spent that two minute walk to the supermarket kicking his legs and screaming.

When we got to the trolley bay I thought I would give him one more chance, I put him down and warned him that if he runs away that he would have to sit in the trolley. He responded with “Otay.” I then wrestled with the trolleys, trying to find one which doesn’t veer off in any direction but forward. I found a half suitable trolley and we all headed in. Again, Master 2 was running off and on his third warning I picked him up and told him he was going into the trolley for running away. I then proceeded to wrestle with him for another minute while trying to get him into the seat, legs spread, feet on the sides of the trolley, more screaming, I just desperately wanted his legs to go into the damn holes at the front!! Master 7 and 10 then grabbed a leg each and pulled them through. I held this wiggly screaming mess down as I fumbled with the safety strap and belted him in so he wouldn’t fall (or jump) out. I didn’t think it was possible for him to scream any louder than he already had been on the way there, but he certainly had some reserves left, and he used them all up over the next five minutes. Some strangers looked and laughed, others avoided looking in our direction. This display of crazy was the first I had encountered from this child, and I just had to keep walking so we could get our shit and go home!

Towards the end of the shopping trip Master 7 took off. I just turned around and he was gone! I told Master 10 to go and find him, he returned and said he looked in the lolly section but he wasn’t there, I told him to go look through all of the aisles. When they both returned I told Master 7 that he knew the rules, they can walk away but they have to stay in my aisle. He was now not allowed to get a lolly at the end of the shop today. He looked at me, his face read, tears in his eyes and yelled with a passion I hadn’t seen from him before, the words

“I HATE YOU!!”

I was taken aback! It must have looked like I got a slap in the face because that just blew my mind! This was the first time any of my children had ever said that, or anything even close, to me! I thought I still had at least four years to go before I would hear it and I was totally unprepared for it. I paused for a minute and said,

“You know you’re not supposed to run off so that’s your problem buddy! You know how it goes.”

As I ran down the last couple of aisles with that phrase running through my mind I thought back through the day. At the beach I spent all of my time watching Master 2, making sure this vulnerable little toddler didn’t get taken by the waves, and watching Master 10, making sure the little dare devil wasn’t taking any huge risks with the waves. Master 7 would just sit in one spot and wait, or he would run away from the big ones. And the whole shopping trip had been mostly all about Master 2’s tantrums and a little bit about Master 10’s emotional questions and complaints and I realised, almost all of my attention had been on the other two children, Mr Middle Child may as well have been invisible, I gathered he was acting out because he was tired and he wasn’t getting the attention he needed, a double whammy for him!!

When we got home I explained to him that saying “I hate you” is not a nice thing to say, especially to family, that I understand he was very tired and feeling left out but his words still hurt my feelings. He nodded, gave me a cuddle and said,

“I’m really sorry Mum, I wont do it again.”

So we ate dinner and I sent the children to bed early – Billy Badass included. Hopefully they get a good nights sleep, and I will continue to live by the mantra ‘Tomorrow is a new day’.

Being A Cleaner – All That Glitters Is Not Gold

As much as I would love to be a full time SAHM, unfortunately our finances wont permit it, so because I didn’t graduate high school, learn any new workforce skills, go to university or even take any short classes, and because I simply don’t have time to do any of those things at this time, I clean the homes of families who can afford my services a couple of times a week to tie up the loose ends.

I actually find cleaning another persons home very therapeutic, especially the first time I go to some ones house to clean. When I get there it is dusty, a little bit untidy and in desperate need of a refresher. The lady who needs her home cleaned often has other things planned for that day, probably for two reasons, the first being they simply don’t want to get in my way, the second being when they come back, their home smells and looks wonderful! When I leave everything is clean, shiny and spotless. I LOVE getting that “Thank you so much, every thing is PERFECT!” Text message or phone call and it inspires me to do more. I will clean inside your cupboards, I will scrub your grout, I will clean your window tracks. I will clean the crap out of your home!! And all because you appreciate the hard work I put into it, that alone makes the sweat which ran down my back and into my bum crack totally worth it!

The fact of the matter is, every now and then I will get a ‘boss lady’ type who seems nice on the initial meeting before the first clean, then when I get there to clean on the first day, I find the bitch switch is on and I think,

“This is not the shit I signed up for!”

One lady in particular comes to mind. She was a full time stock rep for  dental companies. She had two teenage children living at home, one who was drinking a beer when I got there one day and lied about her age when I asked how old she was. Turns out she was 14, and she came with a smart mouth. This home looked like it had already been cleaned when I got there, so there was no challenge, no satisfaction upon leaving her house, and definitely, no “Thank You” note upon my return, only more requests, which I filled diligently due to my perfectionist nature.

One day this woman told me I needed to do a better job on the cleaning, and I am usually very open to this, I like to do a good job and if there is something extra someone would like me to do on my visits I will try to get it done, time permitting. When I asked her if there was anything in particular she would like me to work on she huffed and said “Everything.” That was the day I knew I wasn’t going to do my very best, in fact, at that very moment, as I smiled my widest smile behind gritted teeth and said,

“I will make your house sparkle today Honey!”

I had a mental image of throwing glitter up into the air, in every room of the house, into every corner, onto every surface, onto every carpet and rug and stomping it in, into every wardrobe – but leaving the money on the bench, because I finally just achieved that good ‘satisfaction’ feeling, and that feeling was priceless. This sparkly herpes of the craft world (because once you have it you can’t get rid of it) was going to be the bane of her existence for years to come and as I hid in one of the darkest corners of my mind from this dickhead for a few seconds, I giggled, and then straightened my face and walked away with my cleaning bucket. Her home did not get a spit shine that day, it got a basic clean. But that moment in my mind, while watching with fascination as the sparkly glitter fell I thought,

“This must be what crazy feels like.”

It was a good place to be in that moment.

A couple of weeks later I found a lump in my boob which had to be removed, and while they were at it they would tuck in a bulging hernia on my belly button meaning I wouldn’t be allowed to clean for 6 weeks. She fired me because I told her I wouldn’t be coming in during that time despite her putting in her best effort to persuade me to come in anyway. I’m not usually relieved when someone no longer requires my services, but this time I was.

Since then I have had a couple of ladies be a tad disrespectful, meeting these kinds of people comes with the job, and I have let those clients go because at the end of the day I want to do a good job and assholes are not what I would call an inspiring bunch of people. It is liberating but it also creates a win-win situation for both my client and I. I do love my job, and it will stay that way.