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What Do You Mean It’s Only Tuesday?

October 27, 2010

Some weeks you wish were over before they’ve barely started. Boy, that makes for a long week that way, though. I’m all for positive coping, and I’m a big fan of using chocolate, coffee, and the occasional libation to make the coping easier, but sometimes the hassles pile up and old issues come around and get in the way. Sometimes, there isn’t enough chocolate to put one back to rights.

One of the more pressing worries weighing on me has to do with my girls and school. While I was always fond of and appreciated my son’s teachers from kindergarten through second grade, I found dealing with the school system incredibly frustrating and emotionally exhausting. There weren’t appropriate programs for him at the districts we lived in, and there were no full time special education rooms, which he very much needed. Although we stopped dealing with the school systems for my son when he turned nine (we home-schooled him), the baggage has followed me along. My girls are in good schools with great support systems, but all that baggage is still there; I get anxious over meetings with teachers and really worked up over IEP meetings even when I expect the meetings will go well. I worry over my girls, even though they are in completely different places than my son was and is. That worry is reasonable, but sometimes it amazes me that the heartache and emotions are the same as they were for my son, who is so very much disabled, when my girls are not, not in the same way, not at all. They have issues, but no intellectual disability to add to those issues.

Just as I carry this baggage over the difficulties that my son has faced into the present and my daughters’s situations, I carry the baggage of sibling relationships into the present day, so that situations are filtered through the prism of past situations (yeah, I know that we all do, if we’ve got siblings, so even if your sibling relationships are good, I know you get me here). Family dynamics are complicated and when we’re dealing with folks who know all our buttons, it makes being a grown up a right bitch and a half. And then I think, wow, middle-aged and it’s just not ever gonna happen that my brothers won’t want to push my buttons. It can really be difficult to handle the reality that our present day relationships are continually colored by our varying interpretations of our collective pasts, and I imagine it’s even harder for my parents to have to wade through the tangled mess that sibling relationships can be. Trying to communicate honestly and openly is the only way I can figure out of the messes we make, but that’s often easier said then done and requires the person on the other end to do the same. Hell, and humanity comes on in and kicks me in the ass, and the resentments of a lifetime rise right on up. Ick and sigh. Sometimes being a grown up bites. How can I help my three learn how to navigate their relationships with each other without baggage? Even kids on the spectrum are good at picking out their siblings’ triggers and consistently pushing those buttons. Of course, they may smile and be honest, saying “I’m pushing your buttons now!” Siblings serve a purpose, I guess. They remind us of who we were, and they keep us from getting too cocky.

Combine a day of hassles, heartaches, and worries over one of my girlies and how best to help her function at her capabilities along with slow simmering sibling resentment (be interesting to see if either brother reads this and asks if it’s him I’m resenting, won’t it?), add in some disappointment with a couple students, and top it off with the nightmares from this morning, and I’m gonna venture that this has not been the best of days.

It certainly hasn’t been the worst of days, either, and it’s important for me to remember that these are indeed just hassles. They are hassles that can be put into perspective. My attitude can be adjusted, my relationships can be renegotiated, and I can decide how I will handle the challenges I face.

Ah, sure, sometimes we all need to whine a bit, bitch a bit, and vent a bit, and there’s no shame in that. The shame would be in continuing the whine, bitch, and vent ad nauseam. But still, is it really only Tuesday? Frak. I need more chocolate.

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