Lately with the holidays coming up, I am so much more depressed than usual. Aside from the stress of having to buy presents and consider what to do for everyone – this year presents a new challenge.
Ashleigh has been homeless for a while. She told me she was pregnant in August and just recently (around Halloween) told me she had a baby girl that was “premature” but 7 lbs 6 oz (premature? seriously? at 7 lbs 6 oz? Darlin, you were 7 lbs 13.4 oz and full term…. come on)
I played along. She said she had the baby at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Mind you, at first when she told me I was in shock. And I was mortified. What if? What if she had this baby? I started asking her questions, telling her I wanted to be a part of this baby’s life. Because essentially, I would be grandmother. She became very defensive. Telling me that she didn’t want her child to be around someone like me, etc… etc. Which threw me! You don’t want your child around…. me? What do you mean? When I told Eric about all of this, he felt that she was not being truthful. We still have yet to see any proof of this alleged child. He also felt like the things she was saying to me was to hurt me. And to be honest, I don’t understand it. I think I do, but I don’t. Eric at that point decided to write her off. Nothing she was saying made any sense about this whole baby thing. And the whole conversation blew up. So with this cropping up and past behaviors still cropping up into current day – Eric has basically written her off. She has done so much damage to this family and to herself. She continues to be unsafe and unwilling to take accountability. She is still emotionally abusive to Darrian. And we have attempted to fill out paperwork for the restraining order but how is the Brown County Sheriff going to serve her at address unknown?
Darrian gets mad at me for that, by the way. It’s not like I made the rules. You cannot give a restraining order legally to someone who is homeless. How do you know they will be in one place from day to day? It just doesn’t work.
The fact that Eric has basically written Ashleigh off hurts me immensely. I can’t even begin to explain it. When I talk to him about issues with her I just feel like he’s not even emotionally present for me. Like I am an army of one. And it really hurts inside to know that even though I know he’s listening, he’s not really engaging in a way that shows empathy or anything other than pure frustration or irritation.
When I did talk to Eric about Ashleigh the last time I told him that even though he is probably right. Ashleigh probably was saying those things to be hurtful to me. I had to look past that in order to continue to love her. I just did. It would hurt way too much for me to just dwell over that concept. There is a lot Ashleigh does. Eric did level with me and tell me that he doesn’t feel safe around her. Ashleigh’s behaviors and lack of accountability remind him of Rich (Ashleigh’s biological father). So when he sees/hears about her, it’s as if she is him. He doesn’t want to do anything to accidentally hurt her with that in mind.
As much as he and I both realize that she is not him, and he is not her – I have difficulty with his rational. The sins of the father are not the sins of the daughter. The similarities might be there – but I guess that’s where it begins and ends in some ways to me. It does complicate matters for the fact that Eric has paranoid schizophrenia and has been subject to hallucinations/delusions. And bipolar type 1, which in the right mindset can be prone to extreme anger for really no reason. That makes it hard.
So, we’re approaching the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both holidays of family togetherness and/or gatherings. With Darrian wanting a restraining order against Ashleigh because of her continuing verbal abuse against her despite not living with us, and Eric’s feelings…. we are a separated family. By force. And no matter how you try to explain it to Ashleigh, she doesn’t understand it. Her rational is always different than the average Joe. She understands things in a very different way and can demonize us very quickly because of her mental illness and alternative viewpoints to how things work.
In addition, I deal with my own frustrations with Ashleigh. I seem to be convenient to Ashleigh. I can drive her places or potentially provide her with things – as opposed to a relationship with her. And as much as she says she wants that relationship, right now she wants items. Money, material things, rides, wifi, food… etc. And when I cannot provide those things to her and force her to figure things out on her own, she starts to say she’s losing control. And that is hard for me to deal with. She is manipulating me, I know she is. When she calls, she doesn’t immediately say she wants my help. She goes around it. Well, the bus isn’t running anymore and this girl told me that I could live with her for a few months in Green Bay, but I’m in DePere (which is at least 6-10 miles away depending where she’s at and where her friend is at). Well, I just happened to be in Kewaunee at the time, which was over 30 minutes away from her having my own life. (Visiting friends) Or I couldn’t bring her female hygiene products because I was going to get food for the home from the local St Vincent de Paul pantry (and that took me two hours to sit there and wait because of the Thanksgiving holiday offerings available during the time I went for food… oops!) Her expectations of me are very different.
Oh, as for the baby issue. She has said that the baby was put into foster care. I did look up births in the Green Bay hospitals around the time in question. The baby she allegedly had is not listed in the newspaper birth announcements. So, all in all from what I can come to grips with, this baby is falsified by Ashleigh. And it is quite possible she was using this as an opportunity to hurt me. Quite honestly though, it would have hurt me more if this baby did truly exist. Factors however did not add up. She will not admit to any of this, but…. it is what it is.
As for Darrian, she had to drop Chemistry because she missed too much core information due to missing medical/dental appointments that were not able to be avoided. She will revisit Chemistry next year and I’m sure she’ll do well. She now has a study hall, which is exactly what she needed to help her catch up with some of her missing appointments. Her braces are coming along. The other night though, she said something to me while her friend Samantha was over. Well, two somethings. I slept late into Saturday. Eric and I were about to go to pick up hamburgers from the grocery store. Before I left I was about to tell her where we were going and what to expect. She flipped out on me. Even though it was only an hour and a half after I woke up, she accused me of getting angry at her and being unfair to her or yelling at her. Which I hadn’t. I was completely thrown for a loop. I can only assume this is attention seeking behavior. Then on Sunday while her friend was still over (since we had her friend over for a sleepover), I asked Darrian if she helped Eric out like I had asked while I was gone to Kewaunee. At first she tried to tip toe around answering directly. She said she didn’t hear Eric call for her. I asked her if she was in her room or what? I didn’t raise my voice or anything. I wasn’t being pointed in my question per se. I was just looking for facts. Immediately she starts overreacting. Saying that she doesn’t do anything right, etc… etc. And where she really threw me was saying that I don’t want her because she doesn’t do anything right and I should just put her into foster care so maybe the foster family might be able to get her to do more. I was so ANGRY at her response. She was manipulating me herself and using something emotionally difficult for me. Yes, we have difficulties with her, but it doesn’t necessitate her going into foster care. She’s a 16 year old girl who is very intelligent. She knows the difference between right and wrong – but she’s trying to push her lack of responsibility on me. Not only was that unfair for that purpose alone, but it was unfair because the process of putting Ashleigh into foster care was incredibly difficult. I became very close to putting myself into inpatient psychiatric care the day she went in. I became very psychologically unbalanced for the first week she was in there because of how hard it hit me. And the fact that she did shove that prospect in my face really pissed me off.
A few hours later I went into her room to tell her what was going on because I was going to do laundry (my clothes I needed to clean to volunteer at the local Humane Society). She asked me for a hug right away. And instead, I gave her a mouthful. I was incensed! How can you ask me for a hug after you said something so hurtful? How do I just shove that under the rug? I can’t just do that. So I gave her a little of my two cents worth to make her think about what she said and hopefully … (yet doubtful) will make her think before she becomes reactive and says things that she might regret. And those things would remove hurt from even starting.
The prospect of the holidays does not excite me whatsoever though. I don’t feel as though I am deserving of anything. As much as I am trying to keep things afloat, I just feel like we have had to ask for too much. Car repairs and new tires that my in laws have bought for us (over $700 worth of investment that we couldn’t afford). I am so grateful that they love us so much and are willing to take the financial hit on these things. Now, with all the complications with both of the kids – the way my brain is processing it – how Eric is reacting to both of the kids… and how my brain is processing that… I just want today to jump to January 1st. Hell, just skip to February 11th. I just know there will be complicated emotions happening for everyone and it’ll just be overwhelming. I know this is a part of my journey and you can’t escape uncomfortable or overwhelming… but dammit, I could use a break!
Thank goodness tomorrow is Tuesday.
Oh! Speaking of Tuesday… I am trying to find a therapist that will do more specific trauma therapy. Like EMDR or Brainspotting… something like that. The problem is, I don’t know if that will cause complications with my insurance company (duplication of services, lose my current therapist, etc….) I really am tired of the PTSD and how it impacts my life.
Last night I wanted to blog more. I was more focused on my emotions about how complicated the feelings are between Eric and I, Darrian and I, Ashleigh and I, Ashleigh and Darrian, Ashleigh and Eric… etc etc etc…. I assume (hopefully soon) I will delve into it on my blog. It is important. I need to get this stuff out there… out of my mind. And I find myself having difficulty communicating it to anyone who is unbiased or biased all the same. The opportunities just aren’t there. GAH! Thank goodness for Therapy Tuesday!!!
I do volunteer two days this week, so I am looking forward to that. It is hard on my body. I really took for granted how good I have it walking or taking my two chihuahua dogs out. When you’re walking a Lab, Rottweiler mix, Pit Bull, etc that has been cooped up in a large enclosure for hours… you get dragged! No fault to the Humane Society or the employees. It just is what it is. I do find myself feeling a sense of achievement and enjoyment doing what I do. I don’t need to get paid. I am just glad i can make a difference to these dogs, even if just for 5 minutes. It really makes me smile and sometimes cry a little bit.
Take care all and have a wonderful week!