Through My Daughter’s Eyes

I have always thought donating any organs or tissue after we pass on to whatever is next for a living recipient is important.  I’m not saying you HAVE to be.  Obviously, it is what it is.  You either are for it or against it.

When my daughter Darrian was in the process of dying, I didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to donate whatever viable tissues/eye/bone, etc.  Darrian wasn’t applicable for donating organs per some medical reason that I don’t recall.  However, it was justified.

When I got this letter today, I was proud.  Truly.  To know that Darrian was able to give someone the gift of sight truly is astounding.  A miracle in and of itself.

It’s bittersweet to know that Darrian is gone.  I feel it more and more every day, and it hurts.  However, Darrian was the kind of person who wanted to help people. And I believe this is what she would have wanted.  I am an organ donor.  (Granted, they wouldn’t want my heart since I’ve had a sudden cardiac arrest) And I am proud to be one.  So one day, when I pass on (which hopefully that won’t be anytime soon), someone will be gifted whatever I have to offer.

cornea

I Said I Didn’t Want To….

There have been many times Darrian and I had discussed her feeling depressed before she died. After living with Ashleigh all those years ago with Ashleigh’s suicidal ideation and hearing of other kids committing suicide, I didn’t want Darrian to be one of those kids.  I told her that I didn’t want to live without her.  And after saying that, I wrapped my arms around her, typically cried, and told her how much I loved her.

Grieving is terrible, and at times bitterly wonderful.  I know when I was grieving for my mom, I could really only think about the wonderful times with her.  I was completely wearing rose colored glasses at that time, aside from the whole missing her so entirely.  There were very few times that I could think of that would make my mom not look angelic in my eyes during that point.  Granted, I grieved over my mom even before she died while she was in the persistent vegetative state.

Early this morning I went to our local Walgreens.  When I walked in, I walked passed all the perfumes and other facial/skin care products and stared directly down the two aisles that would hold the makeup and hair care.  I was forced to try not to break down and cry thinking about how irritated I was at Darrian for how many times she wanted make up or hair dye, especially with the limited income we have.  And then my brain switched to the concept that those things I’d never have the opportunity to buy her again.  And I had to fight back the tears, so much more so because it was knowing it would never be, again.

Darrian was my last kid in the house, so my husband and I (we’re both on disability) are now empty nesters.  I started young, but everything about my existence now isn’t that of a person typically under 40 years old.  Most of my existence isn’t of anything I’d wish on anyone.  Even my ex husband with whom I despise so very very much.  I set impossible standards for myself at times.  Standards that I think anyone should be able to reach.  However, for me it seems like I am facing so much, so young.  And I don’t understand the logic behind it.  I just know I am.

With losing Darrian, I have gone to that dark place.  Truly, a very very dark and scary place within my mind.  This is not me reaching out for a cry of help.  This is just relating to you a thought that went through my mind.  The thought was that I could understand how a parent who loses a child could want to end their life (and in my thought, shoot themselves).  I do not possess any desire to end my life by any means.  It was just a moment of extreme darkness in my own mind.  The extreme sadness and loss that I was trying to grapple with.  Trying to deal with everything that was coming at me so hard, so fast, and so awful.  I don’t want anyone to imagine this, so don’t.  But I am writing it down.  What I have had to see when I go out, or even in my own home these things.

The clean room of hers because she’s not alive to make it a disaster again, the food she never had the opportunity to eat and will never have the opportunity to eat here, the sentiments sent by her friends, family, and other loved ones, out in public I see parts of her everywhere.  Not like a picture of her, but the things she liked I focus on more intently than I ever did before.  The lack of her ever being able to play Call of Duty III (which was supposed to be her Christmas present, or at least one of them), not seeing her sitting or laying on the couch in the living room watching something my husband and I deem as stupid on YouTube.  The conversations we’ll never have with her, the events that will never take place that are part of the growing up experience.  All of that being so incredibly raw in my mind yet feeling this emptiness I haven’t ever felt before.  I just feel at a loss, for better words.

During the early stages of losing her, I have stayed in bed all day and just cried off and on.  I have rarely gone out to get food to eat that we had to prepare.  I have put one foot in front of the other to get each task accomplished.  Some of the tasks I have not completed, like the thank you cards for those who attended the funeral or those who put monies together for my husband and I to bury our daughter.  I have eaten like a pig.  Or drank rather.  I don’t pay attention to my diabetes, at all.  That probably should be a huge no no, but I haven’t cared.  It’s not like I am trying to shorten my life, but I feel entitled to not caring about me and eating whatever the hell I want because I am grieving.  These are my comfort foods.  Moderation has never been a strong concept for me when it came to my favorite junk foods.  The ice cream, the regular pop, the cheesecake, gorging on foods that should be in smaller portions.  I will have an opportunity to do better.  Just right now I cannot fathom doing it.   Everything is one step at a time, one moment at a time for me.  There can not be anything further from the truth.  How can you not literally feel like you are putting one foot in front of the other?  If you don’t focus on that, you focus on the immense pain, the hurt, the sorrow, and that will drive you mad.  It has me, at times.

In closing, no, I didn’t want to live without Darrian.  I do have a responsibility to however.  I am glad I had those moments of embrace with her where I can reflect back and know that she knew how much I love her. I have no regrets to that effect.  If I could trade everything I own to get her back before she died, I would.  I would give absolutely anything I could to hold her again and to pretend this part of my life didn’t exist.  (With certain exceptions, I have learned some pretty awesome stuff during this period of time and I don’t want to lose that)

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be

Roger Knapp “Love You Forever” Children’s book

Avoidance and Delusions

A friend once told me that after her loved one died, she felt like she saw her son everywhere.  I haven’t had that yet, per se.  What I have had is the delusions that when I get home from a random place, that Darrian will be waiting for me and this will all be a bad dream that I will eventually wake up from.  Or that I need to keep the door unlocked for her in the event she comes home.  I think the fact that I’ve been avoiding looking at her belongings lately helps the delusions that she’ll be home anytime.  That the emptiness in her room, the lack of clothing in there still, and the living room tv not being on – no Call of Duty Black Ops 2 or Vanoss Gaming.

She used to really annoy me with asking whether I would play Call of Duty with her.  I would get so wrapped up in my every day bullshit.  I would still make time to do it.  I had felt so guilty over the years – knowing that her sister abused her so badly and there was nothing I could do about it now.  I would extend certain things to her that probably shouldn’t have been.  She hadn’t cleaned her room but I would still buy her hair dye or new something or other.  It was never anything major, but still.  She drove me nuts saying “Bruh” a lot.  I’d actually have to tell her to quiet down quite a bit from day to day, moment to moment because her voice was so unbelievably loud.  It was like she was still in school mode.  She spoiled our cat Twilight by putting ice cubes in her cat water and it got to the point where whenever we’d open the freezer, Twilight would come running and meowing.  Pavlovian response, right?

I know there is no way to prepare for things like this.  Accidents happen, things happen.  And hindsight is always 20/20.  I had hoped that we could go up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for Christmas.  As it stands, my dad isn’t in good health and we never know when that chapter will close. Darrian was mad that we hadn’t gone before, but finances just wouldn’t permit it.  Now that she’s…. well, gone… I can’t say the “D” word.  I just can’t yet.  Anyway, the opportunity to visit with her cousins has come and gone.  I know I shouldn’t hold myself responsible, but it still hits me hard. I mean, even if we had the knowledge of what was going to happen in the future (especially in this manner), would you truly want to know?  Maybe I would have.  That way I could have made plans to take her out of school and just go up north anyway.  She’d be able to visit with her family one last time.

My husband talked about making some of Darrian’s clothes into a quilt or blanket of sorts with his aunt Sue.  She’s very talented, by the way.  I’m supposed to pick out what items of clothing to incorporate into this project.

Among all the other reasons, it’s a wonder how people lose faith in the deity of their choosing.  When you lose a family member, a friend, or any loved one in general – if it is their will that this happen to you…. why not say “I’m done”, and just wipe your hands clean of the whole thing.  If there was a purpose to losing my daughter, I don’t want it.

On facebook I saw this meme and it said “If there was anything you wanted for Christmas, what would it be?”.  That’s easy.  I’d want Darrian.

I spent so much of my existence trying to raise my kids to be healthy and happy people.  And Darrian did embrace that more than we knew.  I obviously didn’t get to see the school side of her, but I did see some sides of her at home that were quite happy.  With Darrian… gone, I don’t give two shits about my diabetes or taking care of myself.  I will probably get back on the taking care of myself wagon eventually… but for now I could care less.  I will eat when or what I eat and I don’t care about the repercussions.  It all just seems so pointless to care about my health right now to some degree.  I still care about my asthma and I’ve lapsed a little on my medication, but I’m getting back to it as best as I can.

Today I will go over to my in laws where Ashleigh will be expecting some sort of Merry Christmas.  There will be other people there, which will be fine – ish.  I hope no one expects me to put on too much of a face.  It’s my first Christmas without my little girl.  My baby.  And then on New Years Eve, it will be the first birthday Darrian won’t be around for.  So, silently I will wish her a happy birthday and hope she is celebrating in the afterlife. This grief stuff is truly for the birds.  I know I can’t pretend it didn’t happen.  I know I can’t act as though she didn’t exist.  For 16 years she was a part of my life for good and for bad.  There isn’t a time where I’ll forget her.  I just wish…. wish she wasn’t gone.  Even for a moment or two.  For me to say my proper goodbyes.  I wasn’t afforded one.  She died at the hospital before I could really even see her go.  I wish I could have known and done that part differently too.

In the meantime, I am going to try to find a support group for grieving parents so I can learn to deal with this a little better.

Thank you for reading,

 

Janet

Grief and Loss

The loss of my daughter, Darrian was a complete shock to so many of us.  Our family has a strange cardiac history.  If you’ve read my blog before, you know.  Or if you know my family, you know.  In case you haven’t though, I will detail what we’re talking about.

1988 – My sister Dianne died of unknown causes

1991 – My mom winds up in a coma for six months and then a persistent

vegetative state until 2013 when she passes away 8/27/2013

2011 – I had a cardiac arrest of unknown origin

2015 – My niece (my sister Dianne’s daughter) had a cardiac arrest while

at a punk rock concert

2015 – My daughter Darrian dies, two days before my 39th birthday

So, now you’re apprised of the time line.  Thank you for catching up with me.

Writing my blog takes a heavy toll on me, and this one will be no exception to that rule.  I felt like I needed to get it out there though.  And no doubt this will be a long one because I have a lot to say.

Darrian had brain damage on both sides of her brain because of a lack of oxygen.  Despite the attempts by the adult who was on site that gave CPR, and despite the EMT’s attempts, there was just too little oxygen to her brain.  Before we knew all of this, there was just this hope that Darrian would be okay.  I slept at the hospital for five days solid with hopes that Darrian would come out of the non medical induced coma that she was in.  I had hopes that this neurologist that apparently is very well known in his field and has given talks in the field throughout the country would be able to give me something I could really work with.  If Darrian was able to recover and we had to bring her home in a wheel chair, I could deal with that.  And we could deal with any paralysis that came along with it.  However, once he said the words that she would never live independently and the extent of the damage – I fell apart.  I was watching Darrian slip into the same type of situation my mother was in for ages.  And as much as it broke my heart, I was angry and feeling like I was just a large cosmic joke.  I have felt like that time and time again over the years.  Hell, one night I was driving back from home going to the hospital and it was late, so I took the opportunity to yell at God – I equated him to being like a bully on the playground.  I was literally screaming!  I felt like he owed me.  I know that’s pretty bold to say, but I feel like I have done my time.  I have suffered so much in my life.  And now I’m here.

I was incredibly blessed with support from so many people.  My brother Tim came from New Hampshire, my friend Karena came from Michigan, and a local friend that I grew up with in Michigan named Kelly came to support me while I was there.  Among others.  But Tim, Karena, and Kelly REALLY took over when I couldn’t be there.  They held down the fort for me because emotionally,  I was a wreck.

Over the weekend that I wasn’t at the hospital, Darrian had roughly 70 visitors.  There were people that had waited for an hour.  It was incredible the outpour of support that we were given.  My husband went up there quite a bit too when I wasn’t there and he was able to report to me the goings on too.  Eventually we had to stop the visitors though because the breathing tube was coming out and once that did, we were going to have the doctors/nursing staff remove the feeding tube and fluids so she could pass on.

The process seemed to last forever.  Darrian didn’t pass away right away.  As a matter of fact, she was breathing just fine.  Which gave her friends hope that she was going to make it through, and that was hard to explain.  It didn’t mean that she was going to be fine.  It just meant that the primal parts of her brain which said to breathe were working.  Not the more complex parts of the brain.  Those were gone.  How do you explain that to a teenager?  I mean, honestly.  One of the kids she was with that night, whenever he came to the hospital to see her before we stopped visitation, you could see the absolute despair in his eyes.  He was absolutely torn up.  When we got hospice set up for Darrian, I offered the hospice grief support number to his family as a means of helping cope with the situation.

My sister in law Karin (my brother Tim’s wife) created Darrian’s Caring Crew so people could be updated as to how she was doing.  What we heard. And it made things so much easier.  Social media – it has it’s downfalls, but this was a perk.  We have people from all over and we had phone calls up the wazoo to make.  So instead of calling people one by one to repeat the same story over and over again, they could read it on Facebook and we could communicate that way. My brother Tim set up the GoFundMe account to help us with the cost of burial.  Granted, the state will cover $1500 for the funeral home, $1000 for burial, and $130 for the obituary – but we have more costs, especially once it comes to the headstone.  We’ve gotten a quote for anywhere between $1500-$2500.

I have had an especially hard time.  That Tuesday, December 15th, I planned on bringing the movie “Anne of Green Gables” up with me to watch in the DVD player in her room.  I was going to go down to the gift shop area and get a less expensive peppermint mocha from the Starbucks they have in the hospital.  Despite feeling dirty for ordering a fancy schmancy drink – I do enjoy that.  When I woke up that morning though, Eric was looking at me with that face, the face that you just know.  So I looked at him sorta blurry like saying, she’s gone, right?  And he just said “Yep”.

I can’t express how much grief a person goes through.  I hope to all that is Holy that no one that reads this ever has to bury their child.  If you have, you have my most sincerest of condolences.  A parent should never have to bury their child.  Ever. The way it should be is: the parent goes before the child.  But death is not age discriminatory.

Knowing Darrian was going to die, it was an easy decision to make to donate any viable tissues, eyes, etc… for anyone who needed it.  When the organization that handles that called me, she said Darrian could potentially help between 50-70 people.  And I almost cried because despite Darrian not being with us, she could help so many people live more functional lives.  Granted, I would take Darrian back in a heartbeat.  Play one more game of Call of Duty Black Ops 2, go to the DePere Walmart and go shopping for groceries.  Maybe get her a new shirt.  And I was so angry because she needed a new pair of shoes so badly.  She had a hole in the top of her shoe and she covered it with this bright almost neon green duct tape in the meantime.

Darrian didn’t get the life she deserved.  We were looking at getting a restraining order against her sister for Darrian because of the seriousness of the harassment.  Darrian suffered from PTSD from the emotional and physical abuse that she suffered at the hands of her sister from years prior.  She was stressed to the gills about growing up.  And near the end confided in me and told me that she didn’t think she was going to live past 18 years old.  I don’t really know what to think about that.  But now, here’s where I stand.

I go to the grocery store and I see the corn dogs she liked or the cotton candy grapes that I couldn’t afford to get for her and I wanted to run out of the grocery store.  I have yet to really do any considerable grocery shopping.  I have gone for immediate necessities, but that’s it.  The grocery store is hard.  And I refuse to go to the DePere Walmart right now because that was her favorite one out of all of the Walmarts in and around Green Bay.  I look at pictures, or the brief goofy videos that were taken of her – just being herself and I cry.  When I went to my in laws to do laundry and realized that all her laundry was down there, I cried.  I go into her room, I cried.  When I was paring down all her writings and such (notes from school for different subjects, etc….) and brought them to the recycling bin, I felt guilty.  Because in that handwriting is a key to her personality.  And I felt like in throwing them away, I was throwing her away.

And now, two days from this moment there is Christmas.  And then eight days from now is Darrian’s 17th birthday that she’ll never see.  And I’ll never see her graduate, or get her drivers license.  I’ll have my memories, but to me that’s just not good enough.  And now I understand the grief of a parent who has lost a child.  And I wish I didn’t.  I’m walking what feels like a thousand miles in their shoes.  It’s a terrible burden, and it’s like I’ve lost half of my heart because she’s gone.  I know she wouldn’t want me to express myself that way, but it’s true.  I know Darrian and I butted heads a lot, but I love her.  Everything that I intended was only to try to help her.  To make her a more functional human being than I ever had the opportunity to.  She wanted to either be a hair dresser or a nurse.  She was good at math and science.  Her Spanish teacher said she really was quite proficient with it and could really use it to her benefit.

Her items are still at school in her locker, and her meds are still there that needed to be distributed to her throughout the day.  I just can’t go get them yet.  I told the school that I would get them after the new year started.  Knowing that I will be walking into that school for the last time is devastating to me.  I always knew that one day there would come that day.  I never knew it would come so soon.  I thought that I would leave that school on better terms.  Not carrying her belongings that she’d never wear again, or anything.  I’ll never get to hear her laugh, or to get into a petty argument again because both of us are just alike in many ways.  She was so unique in ways I can’t express.  And as much as I miss her.  Oh God I miss her, I am so grateful for the 16 years she was with me.

I will admit wholeheartedly that I feel cheated out of what could have been her growing up.  I feel like I should have had that opportunity.  And anyone who tells me everything happens for a reason has a punch to the throat coming via me.  Just saying.  (Sorry, I hate that saying to the very core of my soul)

I will probably watch Red vs Blue at some point in memory of Darrian.  Eric wants to contact the guys that do the Vanoss Gaming videos on YouTube because Darrian loved them and everything they did.  Despite the fact that hearing it made both Eric and I just angry.  Especially when it was like eight hours a day, straight.  The funeral is planned, the burial is planned.  Everything is set.  And now for the rest.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it, I just don’t.

Darrian Seppanen’s Obituary

She was incredibly special and will be missed by so many.  I can only say to her now:

Darrian, I’m sorry I wasn’t a better mom.  But I swear, I really did try my best.  I know I failed you in probably many ways.  Just please understand, whatever I did I did to make you better.  It may not have felt like it at the time, but it was.  Your dad and I miss you so incredibly and I just wish we had one more chance.  I LOVE YOU.

GoFundMe – Darrian Seppanen – Deterville Funeral

Darrian Seppanen – Deterville Funeral Fund

My daughter, Darrian Seppanen died on December 15th, 2015.  She was initially hospitalized on November 28th, 2015 for what we assumed was another passing out incident.  However, it was nothing so simple.  She suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain and damaged both sides of her brain.  The parts that impacted memory, movement, personality, etc.  Her primitive brain functions still worked.  She was able to breathe on her own the second time the doctors took her breathing tube out.  I watched painfully for many years, my mother in a nursing home in a persistent vegetative state.  Now, my daughter was in a persistent vegetative state.  So I had to make an ugly call.  I had to elect to remove feeding tube and fluids so Darrian could pass away instead of “living” in that shell of a being.  She would never return to that kid we all knew and loved.

The fund was created because I cannot afford the expenditures involved in the funeral and burial/headstone.  I am posting this with hopes that we can reach out to a larger audience help in our efforts.  I never dreamed I would have to bury my 16 year old daughter.  However, the apartment is quieter and my husband and I are now forced to be empty nesters.  The pain I am feeling is unimaginable to anyone that has never lost a child.  And for those reading this that have not, hug your children young or old and tell them how much you are grateful for them being in your life.

Darrian, you truly were a blessing to me.  I will miss you forever and always.

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Together,No More

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!