I’ve commented a lot recently on other blogs about my recent state of mind. I have been calling it my Zen Wave, meaning I am like a surfer riding a wave of peace and serenity.
My life hasn’t suddenly gotten easier, but my reactions seem to have smoothed out. I haven’t been getting as upset lately. At first, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I decided that was ridiculous and that I was just gonna ride the wave.
Today, I almost wiped out.
A little backstory info… Older daughter works the overnight shift at a skilled nursing facility (formally known as nursing homes). Most of the patients are short term, just out of the hospital, they’re generally stable. They need a little bit of physical therapy after a surgery, stroke, fall etc… A good number of these short term patients don’t need any extra help or therapy, they are homeless, and since hospitals cannot release someone to the street, they send them to the skilled nursing facilities.
Okay, to keep from going further down that tangent, let’s just say that older daughter is not happy in her job right now. Her patients treat her like a waitress and some are verbally and physically abusive. She’s also tired from not getting proper sleep. She’s spinning down into depression land. She’s not doing the things at home she should be doing.
She was off work Monday night and Tuesday night. Theoretically I should have been able to sleep in, or at least stay in bed Tuesday morning and this morning. Ben came and bounced me Tuesday at 5am and I just got up with him. I got him ready for school, packed his lunch and backpack… all of the usual things. She put him on the bus.
Today, I stayed in bed. He had gotten in bed with me, but I dozed and let her handle all of the morning stuff.
Now we’re up to where I almost wiped out. She wasnt watching the time and the bus was waiting when she hurried out the front door. This is after school. Ben comes in and does all the things he always does when he gets home… turn the TV on, start the movie, put it on repeat, grab his tablet… wait, no tablet. I hear him trying to get her attention, asking for his tablet, and she’s not answering.
I got up and went to see what was going on, why she wasnt answering him. She was furiously writing in his “Communication Book”, which is just a notebook of blank, lined paper for the teacher and us to write notes back and forth.
First, I get his tablet for him, open his bag of popcorn and get him a juice. I’m wondering what happened at school to make her sit down and furiously write back to the teacher before Ben is even settled. So, I asked.
She tells me that Ben took a toy gun to school today. OH SHIT!
I’m wondering how it happened? I’m wondering if she looked in his backpack? I’m wondering how in the world she didn’t notice he was taking the toy gun with him? I don’t say any of these things because recriminations wouldn’t do any good. Instead, I asked what the teacher said. Obviously it was “dont let Ben bring toy guns to school”. This could have been so bad! We’re very lucky that he’s not in a mainstream school and that his teacher and the staff are so understanding. But this could have been so bad.
Daughter goes back to work tonight (Wednesday) so I’ll be getting Ben ready the next two mornings. That just takes care of the symptom of the larger problem. I shouldn’t be Ben’s primary caregiver, but the job falls on me most of the time. Ben comes to me first most of the time. He even tells her to “go away” sometimes. I can see that it hurts her, so I try to encourage him to seek her out. I also send him to her because I need a break once in a while.
Things are feeling a bit bumpy. My Zen Wave isn’t as smooth as it has been. I’m hoping things will smooth out again.
I’m hoping that today was a wakeup call for daughter to pay attention to her responsibilities. I understand depression, but if she refuses to seek treatment or try to do anything different, I’m going to be less understanding, less accommodating. I have my own mental health to look after.