About Me


I am a single mom of three amazing boys!  All three of my sons entered my family through adoption.  All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!

Monday, August 11, 2014

You never know where help will come from

Tonight is the night that Robin Williams passed away.  Actually, he didn't really pass away....the reports are saying he committed suicide.  Sadly, one of my first thoughts upon hearing of his suicide was "I wonder if this will bring attention to the mental health issues faced by so many in our country."  Sadly, I fear this will not be the case.  I fear that so many will miss Robin Williams, and for a few days we will hear of his loss, but over a few days it will become old news.

At this time, we are also seeing so many people dump buckets of ice water over their heads in support of research for ALS.  ALS is a debilitating disease, a horrible killer.  A disease that needs to be studied.  I wonder though, if the challenge was to dump ice water on your head in support of those studying mental illness would people do it?

I would like to think that we would see this an ice challenge in support of those afflicted with mental illness, but I can't say I am sure that we would really see this going viral.

Matthew is on edge recently.  I thought it was just me who was seeing it, and then a friend pointed it out at the pool.  He will never know how much him pointing it out helped me.  It is so isolating to be Matthew's mom.  To never know when he will blow up, and when things will be "no big deal" to Matthew.  On Sunday he was pacing at the pool, rather than swimming, and I was watching him and worrying, and then my friend shared his concern.  It was enough for me to know that my friend knows the "real matthew", he sees the "real Matthew" and he is there to support Matthew and me.

Tonight I dropped Jacob at football, and then I took David and Matthew to Walmart to shop for school supplies.  It was a quick trip and Matthew was thirsty and apparently the water fountain at Walmart was broken.  This was enough to have Matthew on edge, but he seemed to be coping as we busily looked for supplies.  When we were ready to pay we searched for a short line.  Matthew was getting more and more edgy, and more and more thirsty, and I just needed us to get out of the store.  Just when I thought it was my turn, a lady with a full cart came in front of us.  I almost said something, but decided we could wait.  Of course, I had Matthew with me, so he screamed out, "We were next, no budging!"

As I was reprimanding Matthew, the lady quickly shared that her daughter had been holding her spot, and that she was in line.  I was beyond thankful that she responded as she did, because so often Matthew is told by others that "it's ok".  It is not ok however to be rude to others.  It can lead to horrible, horrible situations.  If I don't teach Matthew this lesson now, I fear what will happen.  What fights will he get in?  Who will he upset?  What will the consequences be?

This woman was the perfect balance of factual- her daughter had been holding her place, and calm, so that I was able to redirect Matthew.  We actually ended up bonding over the fact that we were both doing some quick shopping while our kids were at football practice, and we were able to allow Matthew's  rudeness to blow over.  He apologized to her,and in her wisdom she said that she accepted his apology.  Again, she never said it was "ok", just that she accepted the apology.

I thought we were all set, and that Matthew truly understood that he had overreacted tonight at Walmart until his "swiss cheese brain" came into action tonight at bedtime.  He was mad because it was bed time.  He was mad because I was making him change his shirt, and he announced that he was mad at the stupid lady for budging.  All of the talking about how she WAS in line.  All of the talking about how no matter what, we are not rude to strangers.  All of the apologizing.....none of it mattered.  Even though he seemed to understand, once he was mad again tonight, his anger triggered his primal misunderstanding of tonights events.  He still does not completely understand why she was ahead of us, and why it was ok, and that he was wrong in being rude.

There is nothing I am going to say to him to make him see it the way the rest of us see it.  There is nothing I can do because his response is primal.  It is all emotion, and no thought.  It is all action, and no restraint.  it is likely going to be what does him in.  It is what I am working against at all cost, but it is saving someone from himself........that is life's biggest challenge.....