Friday, November 4, 2016

Close To The Edge... Or Over The Edge?

So, I thought I was handling this Grief Thing, with Mom dying so recently, quite Well since I hadn't actually fallen apart.  In actuality, I'm probably not, since Caregiving does not often give one the Luxury of moving thru the 'normal' stages and phases of any Life Issues like Grief. 

 So you try to just say screw it and move right thru it... with the knowledge of being close to the Edge but somehow without going over the Edge or teetering too precariously close to disaster.  Because there are no Services in place for those that cannot afford them and Qualifying for Help with the prohibitive Cost of them, well, Good Luck with that and we Hope it all Works Out!  You're "it" 100% of the time regardless of what the trite Hand-Outs they give you tell you are vital for Caregiver continued Well-Being and to avoid Burnout.

Caregiver Burnout... it's a 'Given', it isn't a matter of IF it will happen, it's more a matter of WHEN... and how often?   I Predict that if you're ever a Full Time Caregiver and especially if you have little, if any, actual Help, and done it a LONG time... you're gonna hit the Wall even if other Issues of Life DON'T come up.. and they will, 'cause shit happens if you just keep on living.  And your Halo will also slip, count on that too... we don't Believe you if you claim it hasn't. My Halo is skew-wiffy all of the time, I ain't no Saint so it doesn't even fit me properly, I'm convinced it belongs to someone else... a more Saintly Caregiver perhaps?

For example, Mom hadn't even been dead a few days before one of the G-Kids had a Health Crisis again.  He's being weaned off of his powerful Psychotropic Mental Health Med Regimen because he's been on it since Age 7 and now at Age 16 his body can't tolerate it anymore and major organs were shutting down.  So he's having Withdrawal Sickness and intensified Serious Mental Health Episodes, but whaddya gonna do... gotta pick the lesser of two Evils!  Can't have his Kidneys and Liver crapping out due to the Meds can we?

So he's been missing a lot of School... and Crap, I don't Need those ominously threatening letters they send you about THAT when you have a Chronically Ill Child.  We just had our best IEP Meeting ever the day before Mom died and it was Positive for a change in his Junior Year of High School.  I fairly floated out of the room, so I don't Need the Negative Phone Calls etc. to start up again already, lemme bask a bit.  He even missed almost all of Halloween Sick in bed that whole day and several days beforehand.  He's been rendered non-functional in a huge way and in Misery.

Bless his Heart he rallied and Resurrected himself briefly that Evening tho' and put on some Face Make-Up to assist me with The Drama Queen since I'd crapped out walking a block Trick-Or-Treating with her.  My Foot Surgery caused some lingering unexpected complications from wearing that stupid Boot, so I'm hobbling a lot like a lame Horse!  She donned Roller Blades so keeping up with that was not happening.  Grandpa gets Lost, easily Disoriented and is a Wander Risk so he couldn't take her.  So The Young Prince valiantly donned Roller Blades and finished up the Trick-Or-Treat Thing with his Little Sister even tho' he felt and looked like Death Warmed Over in actuality, without the Make-Up!  The Death Mask actually looks more Alive than he did before he donned it in fact!  He was mos def the epitome of The Walking Dead!

Since, Fabulous as he is, he Loves doing Make-Up, his Little Sister asked if he and I would assist her with putting on her Costume this year... and he do the Make-Up and I do the Hair.  *Uh Oh, precursor to Dramafest Halloween 2016* She was a Cheerless Leader Zombie Anti-Cheerleader... or something like that... I'm not exactly Sure what she was... other than being a pain in the ass that Night.  *Smiles*  If you have not had the Joy of raising an OCD Child with Mood Disorder and Extreme Anxiety Issues who struggles with Perfectionism... and Patience isn't one of YOUR Virtues, lemme tell you from Experience that you're screwed!  *Le Sigh*

We were actually screwed before we even began, we knew this, he and I... since about four leggings changes... two hair styles with hair up, down, up and down again ... and several make-up alterations later... we FINALLY just gave up and have her do it herself, since we just didn't Care anymore and were Emotionally spent, Mentally exhausted and Physically drained!   This was Look No. One I think... where she thought Hair by Gramma Dawn looked too Childish and Make-Up by The Young Prince looked too Drag Queen.  *Le Sigh*  This is NOT a Smile, this is her just before Psycho kicks in, I know that 'Look'!  The Switch is about to Flip!

Apparently the Expiration Date for Childhood is Age Ten because now she's Eleven I don't Dare to make her look Childish or Ugly.   Like I ever tried to make any of my Children look Ugly... but Whatever!!!  *LOL*  So, this was the Final Look by HER, actually, gotta admit, she did a better job of it herself.  But what can I say, she insists on Torturing us by asking us every freakin' time to assist in these things, Wednesday Addams Child and Malcontent that she is.  See the Countenance Change... Miraculous isn't it?  She can go from Calm to Psycho in a nanosecond and back again, you can't possibly keep up with the Lightening Speed of severe Mood Disorder and total lack of Mood Regulation.  We're like, pick a Mood, ANY Mood, and just stick with it a Minute will ya?!?

It did not Help at all that she's also Growing at Lightening Speed like a Weed.  People tell me all the time she's grown taller again even if they only just saw her a couple weeks ago, I wasn't sure I Believed that until we put this Costume on Halloween Night.  You know, the Costume I bought and which fit Perfectly three weeks before Halloween.   The one we couldn't wait 'til the last minute to buy because then they'd either be out of her size or out of stock and that would be a whole other Psychotic Breakdown of Epic proportions, so I thought I was averting Disaster!  Yeah, right... when those Leggings and Red Fish Net Shorts no longer fit because she's sprouted up damn near an inch, I was utterly defeated and near Panic!  No Time or Energy to go get a new one moments before Trick-Or-Treating... besides we now live in the Boondocks, it's an hour or more to pick up a gallon of Milk at the closest Store and they don't sell Costumes!  Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was near Dusk and Kids were already coming to the door in droves... and here she was already Freaking Out and in advanced Meltdown about looking like a Childish Drag Queen and when the damned Costume didn't fit she was in Hysterics!  Pom-poms were chucked and flying, Hair style was ripped out, Make-Up was melting in rivers down her cheeks with the tearfest... it wasn't Pretty.   And Good Lord we MUST be Pretty, if I'm Ugly I just won't go Trick-Or-Treating at all she wailed.  Yes, she has Self-Image distortion Issues too and I know not why, everyone always Compliments her profusely and Sincerely, but her own Filter is clearly broken.  Mental Health Issues are an insidious Torment to the Minds of the Afflicted.

Grandpa does not Cope well with Children, broken Routines or Drama now that he has Traumatic Brain Injury, so he's trying desperately to convince her that regular Black Leggings under the too Small Red Netted Shorts will Work.  He knows he will deteriorate along with her if we can't get her back to Center Stat!!!  She's grimacing here because it wasn't Working, she was pulling at her crotch, which was really more at mid-thigh since Netted Shorts were clearly way too Small now a fortnight later!  And besides, Make-Up and Hair were still an 'Issue' at this juncture as well.  Yes, we got decent pixs inbetween Tantrums because I've just learned it's the only way to try to Savor these Moments and Salvage a vague recollection of what went RIGHT and the brief Moments of lucidity and Sanity of any occasion!   Hopefully with Time one Forgets the Drama, Negativity and Challenges that played out as well?!  *Bwahahahaha!*

Mix Grief with perpetual Mini-Crisis and you end up with a Hot Mess of Self as you stand close to the Edge... teetering like a Drunken Sailor.  It's almost an out of body experience where you're viewing what's unfolding around you as if above it all looking down upon it objectively in the third person.  Jump comes to Mind, it's Okay to go over the Edge and do a Free Fall, it will only hurt upon impact!   But mebbe that's just me, I'm trying to Maintain my Calm since I'm close to the verge of Tears about all the time right now anyway, so anything could push me over the Edge... Hell, I might even Step Off and not Need a Push!  It's just a matter of WHAT will be that final shove?  So I go into Untrained Counselor Mode... you know, where you're just making shit up that sounds semi-logical, you Hope.  It's a Survival Mode reflex, instinctive.

So that there won't be two Psychos in the house at the same time, you know... cause if I Snap, that's the end result, I'm Sure of it.  And I'm pretty certain my Psycho will trump everyone else's because it hasn't been unleashed in a while, it's been repressed, suppressed and all the other essed it can be and now it's coupled with Fresh Grief.   So I Calmly tell her, while I'm visibly shaking by now, it's clear she's not Feeling the Hair and Make-Up so just go in Gramma's Master Bathroom and use my own "Professional Grade" Make-Up to make herself beyond Pretty and absolutely Beautiful.  She Dies For using MY stuff after all and now she has express permission!  *Winks*  And take the Hair down, it will look ever so much more Mature!  And ditch those Red Fishnet Shorts, they don't look Classy enough for you either, they're rather Common. So... did I Convince YOU?  Did I use enough impressive Adjectives to sway you too like it did her? Yeah, I'm getting pretty good at this Amateur Counselor bullshitting Sessions aren't I?  I don't even Care if I'm going to Hell for it, for being so deceptive and intentionally manipulative to restore Order and Sanity... since I already Feel like I'm in Hell most days anyway... so same Zip Code and gnashing of teeth daily!

Yes, now she Felt positively Radiant, which is how she should Feel since she is Shining with Natural Radiance that she just doesn't always have the Confidence to see or Feel herself.  I think the Tween years are awkward for any Child, but for the Special Needs Child it can be all the more Magnified and Intense due to the disabling factors and knowing they are 'different'.  With having it pointed out to them all the time by those with no Sensitivity to such things and enduring bullying, intolerance, bias and ignorance by some in Society.  Which isn't so unexpected if it's another Child, but is all the more deplorable if it's an Adult who should know better.

Nice as I am most of the time and displaying unnatural amounts of Restraint, do you have any Idea how many Adults I've wanted and had to resist the Urge to Bitch Slap sometimes when they're Cruel or Insensitive to those with Special Needs and Disabilities or say something Ignorant or Pious?  To not lay hands upon or just have no filter and Shut the F*** Up fall out of my mouth is a Huge accomplishment!  *Pats Self on the back.*  If I can Deal with it in Love twenty-four-seven and three-hundred-sixty-five without Help, then I don't think it's an unrealistic expectation to expect Society in general to Deal with it with some basic Humanity extended.  In the brief increments of time that they might have to and be inconvenienced, with an ounce of Compassion and Sensitivity.  Maybe that's a Lofty Hope that Society might just achieve that some day, but I'm a Hopeless Optimist like that.   Making difficult Lives just more difficult does not make one part of the Solution, it makes one part of the Problem.

I Try real hard to be part of the Solution even if it takes gargantuan amounts of Patience I am in short supply of and Imagination in Choosing my Battles Wisely!  And speaking of Problems, The Man had gotten Wound Up by not Coping Well with Princess T's Epic outburst, he was at a loss and Upset is his response to what he cannot handle anymore.   The Young Prince was not feeling Well and therefore was struggling to Cope with her either.  It kinda had a Domino Effect so I had to be the one left standing and not folding up like a Deck in a House of Cards falling!  I had flashbacks of the Fall of the House of Usher... and I don't mean the Rapper!  We're talking Edgar Allan Poe's Horror Masterpiece!  *LOL*  I positioned The Man at his sentry point of handing out Candy.  His Countenance speaks a thousand words of how Thrilled he wasn't at first... and uncooperative.  But he warmed up to it when all the Kids in Costumes came by. The Little Ones made him Smile, how couldn't they, Cuteness overdose... and especially those Older Ones that asked about his Agent Orange Costume.  So he could explain the Dark Humor of it gratis of the VA {Free Shirt at the Veteran's Day Parade} and his extended Special Forces Tours in Vietnam.   It's an Orange Tee... Perfect for Halloween!

The back goes something like: They Killed me in Vietnam, I'm just not Dead yet.  He wanted to put all his War Medals on our Medical Cadaver.  Especially given how many of his fellow Disabled Veteran War Buddies came back as multiple amputees from the various Wars he participated in during his lengthy Career.  But I convinced him that would be too Horrifically tacky a Dark Humor and not at all in good taste... besides, he has too many and it would probably tip Mister Bones over. *Smiles*  I'm usually the Macabre one wanting to make a profound Militant and Anti-Establishment Statement, but I had to draw the line with the suggestion, as Meaningful as it was for him.  He obliged and had Fun that Night handing out Candies and visiting with people.  We got a lot of Compliments on our Vintage Halloween Decor outside and the Dia de los Muertos Luminarias... peeps were diggin' it.

And in regards to Coping... turns out our Listing on the Old Historic Homestead expired just about this timing too.   We'd turned down multiple Offers that were either too low, didn't Work out for various reasons on the part of the Buyers if things fell thru or apart before Closing, or would just raze everything and build low income high density housing.   I want to Sell it but I want to Try to find the Right Buyer and attempt to Save my Beloved Old Homestead.  What I didn't expect was how much our phones would blow up the moment the Listing expired... with every Investor, Developer and hungry Real Estate Agent in the World descending upon us!   Lord have Mercy, very Stressful, at a time when more Stress on top of Grief is not a Good thing by any means.  How they get all your numbers, even if unlisted, is admirable Recon... I should have hired these folks in my first Corporate Life tracking down those with Delinquent accounts who try to disappear!  *LOL*

I'm afraid to get too excited and jinx it, but we have hired another Agent with a big Firm that Specializes in Selling Historic Fixer-Uppers.  And already have a Serious Client who does Historic Preservation and has written up a tentative Contract to buy if the Home can be a Restoration Success Story with Profit Margins.  So we will see how that plays out?  All body parts crossed... but Selling a Home, Hiring Agents, and Negotiating Contracts is Stressful even if everything else in Paradise is Swell, which it is mos def NOT right now... in fact, it's more than a bit much to be Dealing with all at once.  Hence I always feel like I'm close to tears.

Just the Grieving Thing would be enough really... you don't lose a Mom every day.  I'm Thankful my Younger Brother is handling the Final Arrangements since he knows I've got too much on my plate already and I handled Dad's years ago.  Final Arrangements take a Priority after a Loss but Life doesn't go on 'Hold' just because you're Dealing with a Death in the Family.  In fact Murphy's Law seems to kick in at the most inopportune times doesn't it?  And I abhor crying, I never have been a visibly Emotional person, I'm rather Stoic like my Dad always was.  Crying makes my eyes hurt so bad anyway, probably because I haven't used my tear ducts much in this Life even though I have had many occasion to. And I can sob uncontrollably without shedding a single tear, I know, it's Weird.

Getting thru the Holidays intact during an Intense Time can be quite the Challenge too, but we've had many years of that, so loads of Practice.  When The Man was in the Military it seemed he always got deployed to a War Zone right around Christmas, it's like they Planned it that way to add Pressure to the Military Family Unit.   We lost umteen Christmases and New Years Together as a Family while he was off to War... hard to be Celebratory when someone you Love is in eminent Danger and far away.  I'm Sure it pretty much Sucked for him too... Merry Christmas from the trenches... Peace and Goodwill towards all Men and all that... as you are in the midst of Wartime Battle, how ironic!

So, it's very Nice that he's not off to War and won't be again ever... and especially I'm Thankful for that each Thanksgiving.   My Dad Served in the Military for 27 years as well and went off to War... so I was Raised in that Environment of Loved Ones having high Risk Careers and just Coping with it.  So the Living close to the Edge has been pretty much a Constant really for a variety of reasons and I should be better at it, at not falling over the Edge.  But you can't become too complacent about that very Real Risk no matter how Experience you might be at enduring Crisis onslaughts.

You just can't assume you're always handling Crisis or the Strains of Life Well... because that's when you're at the most serious Risk of losing your Balance and cascading over the Edge into the Abyss.   Long Term Consistency is key, especially when you're doing anything particularly difficult or Stressful and expect any measure of Success.

And since I'm in it for the Long Haul I've got to build upon those Strengths I've built up over the years of Coping and Surviving a lot of stuff consistently that might have sent many over the Edge never to be recovered.  And it's very Important to keep it together and hold it down and never let them see you sweat... since there's always a Battle to be fought and Won, the adversary will always be seeking the weakest link to devour and destroy.


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Oh Dawn Please know that your friends feel & hear your lost and pray for your healing!! You are a Wonder!

    1. Thank you as always for your kind Words and Emotional Support during difficult or challenging times. This too will pass... it's just good to be able to Share it with a Caring Community here in the Land of Blog and get things off my chest so I don't implode! *LOL*... Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. Dawn, I hear you with the chronic illness school notes. And then add a Dr that won't write a note. As if parents/grandparents can't tell when a child is ill. WHAT a relief to be homeschooling.
    I also know what it is to look after a drama king with OCD. So I feel your pain in these areas.
    But my Mum is still with us, and my hubby is not ill. So my empathy only goes so far.
    My sweet, you are able to put down your feelings in your blog and we hope that gives some relief. I hope the care I send through the internet makes some difference. Sending hugs. Xo Jazzy Jack

    1. It certainly does my Friend, the Blogging Community has been such a Joy to Connect to and to Share experiences with, be they the Celebrations or the Sorrows. In hindsight we always manage to laugh about some of the struggles of Parenting... The Grandson said there is a new movie out about 'Peculiar Children' that we just MUST see. *Smiles* I'm Thankful that his Doctors, both the Psychiatric one and his Primary Pediatrician are Wonderful and would write a Novel if that is what it takes to alleviate some of the stress he and I face with the Public School System. Thanks for dropping by for a Blog visit and being an encouragement... Dawn... The Bohemian

  3. My heart goes out to you, and at the same time I applaud your strength. Still, grief will have its way with you over the course of the coming year. When that happens remember it is normal and that, over time, grief becomes manageable. I know it sucks living with grief until it is no longer raw, especially on top of everything else on your plate. It makes me spitting mad that people without financial resources are unable to buy help. GRRRR. Write, write, write. You have raised so many important and compelling issues in this post.

    1. Thank you Colette, you are indeed an Encouragement, as so many other Blog Friends are, I've found a huge Community here of Kindred Spirits to Share Life with. Yes, I am not timid about being outspoken about important and compelling issues and Publicly exposing injustices. I think if more people rallied and were aware perhaps it would promote some Change in a Positive direction? I know I learn about Issues thru Blogs that I wasn't necessarily aware of and need to be addressed and at least be a topic of debate and looking into by the Powers that be. The Grief part is a Process that indeed takes Time and has it's ups and downs over the course of that Emotional rollercoaster of expressing it. Thank you for stopping by with Kind words... Dawn... The Bohemian

  4. Dawn your strength in all you do is encouraging. I just started following your blog recently and enjoy dipping into your world, I have quickly learned you have a heart of gold.I myself am an OCD, bipolar, manic depressive woman, and I admire your compassion and care for your family. Thanks for sharing your truths.

    1. Welcome Holly, so Glad to have you as a New Blog Friend, what a Fantastic Community of Souls this is! I have found a lot of strength and Encouragement here in the Land of Blog. Our immediate World can feel so limited, especially if you can't get out so much, but thru the magic of Technology I have discovered so many more people who have points of reference for my Passions and my Pain or Challenges. Sharing Life is after all what it's all about and your Kind words mean so much. I Pray that you are having great success in managing your condition, it is a tough row to hoe indeed. I think that is the most difficult thing for me, watching my Loved Ones struggle against incredibly difficult chronic and incurable medical and mental health conditions and the Misery it can cause, along with the Social stigmas that still prevail and just make a difficult situation more difficult at times. I Hope you will stop by often for a visit, I've Enjoyed meeting you! ... Dawn... The Bohemian

  5. Good Grief, Dawn. You don't have a plate-full you have a BOWL FULL of you-know-what!
    Good luck on the homestead, and may the FORCE be with you all. Grins, Sandi

    1. You made me Smile Tonight Sandi! The Force be with me indeed! Winks... Dawn... The Bohemian

  6. Dawn, I'm sorry you're having such a hard time since your dear mom passed away. Me and my sister and brothers took care of my mom and dad when they were sick, so we were pretty much the caretakers. It's hard when we lose someone that is so dear to us, but they will always be in our hearts. I loved looking around at all the eclectic things around your house, and your Header has some of my favorite things.....peacocks, deer, fairies, and jewels.

    Happy November, Dawn.


    1. Sheri Thanks for stopping by for a Blog visit... Yes, losing one's Parents is indeed a profound loss no matter how old you are. I was so Fortunate to have had both of mine for a very long time. Dawn... The Bohemian


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl