Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A boy's cry for help. His mother... crying.

I turned the little stones over in my hand, washing off the green algae accumulated from months of neglect. One branch of the lush bamboo plant had already died off, so I was trying to save the rest. I want it to thrive. It's my son's plant. He not-so-nicely asked me to save it, even though he hates me.

Well, hopefully I am good at saving plants, because I sure am not doing so great with him. I am doing so badly with this child that I'm not sure if the damage will ever be healed. He is 12, and at that age, damage may not heal. Move on, hopefully. But heal, I'm not so clear on that one.

I don't know what to do. I don't know how to help him. He just wants me out of his life.
In truth, we had a good relationship (I think?) until recently.

I am writing from my head while my heart is crying and screaming out "oh my Gd! This hurts so badly I just want to die. The pain is all over my body; the pain of a child's hate (which is really just his own pain, which I probably caused, too). I curl up in a fetal position and cry it out. I've done this actually three or four times this week. It's this week because he is in withdrawal from his medicine. *That* is something I can completely understand. But he is whipping tornadoes around the house, almost all of them at me. He went "cold turkey" by himself without telling us. That usually is a bad thing with this sort of medicine. Consequently, he is imploding and exploding at the same time.

What I have learned is that *I* am not the person to be able to be home alone with this child (who has missed school over this). I am not stable enough to be his tree in the middle of his roaring ocean. I cannot handle it.

I feel inadequate because of this. When he yells awful mean things at me, I cannot separate myself from those things. I get hurt, and then there is a bad combination of mother/child hurt-ness. I, myself have been through this, you'd think I'd be able to have compassion and understanding. But he is ripping me up. I am heartbroken.

That is why you haven't heard from me. Life is just too hard right now.

His "talking doctor" (shrink)'s theory is that my son holds in his feelings each time I am sick, because there is no place for them in the house. When I get better, though, he can let those feelings out. They are angry feelings from when I originally got sick. So now I am in the period of after surgery when things are slowly getting back to "normal", and he is letting it out.
Angry and scared, he was 7 when I got NF and disappeared from his life, however temporarily.

Another part of the fallout from NF. A disease unlike any other.

Oh, and I heard from another mother in my daughter's school that she (my daughter) is involved in something in which she didn't tell me anything about. It isn't awful, but it is the kind of thing I'd think she'd tell me about. We are very close. Now I have to talk to her, and ask her why she felt like she couldn't talk to me about it. I also have to help her deal with the fallout from that event. I haven't had the chance to speak to her yet, but tonight she wound up in very sad tears because she forgot to study for a test tomorrow. Her going-to-bed time was difficult, and I couldn't be there for her. I just couldn't. I am distraught by my son, and have cried so much about that, I am spent and overdrawn on my strength reserves.

They say what doesn't kill you will make you stronger (hat tip to J!).
NF didn't kill me, but I am not strong. It seems to be just eating away at me still.

That together with:
Kidney ultrasound, kidney doctor appointment, results are not great. Thanks again to NF.
MRI for thigh joint, lots of fluid on the joint, bursitis on both sides. Meller visit for this explanation and follow-up in two weeks.

I have been feeling sick all the time it seems. I wake up achy like the flu, and often go to sleep that way. Just general malaise. Hard to handle life with that.

I haven't been calling my father/mother enough. My mother is improving; she can talk more now, and the physical therapy is slowly working on her atrophied body. But when I talk to her, it's not her. She hasn't come back yet. I cry about that, too, each time I hear her voice. Maybe that's why I haven't called much. (but I am planning to tonight)

My father is having his hip surgery at the end of June. I'll go there for that, he'll need me, and so will my mother, without my father by her side. I just want to be there for them.

I want to give to them, to my parents who went through h*ll with me when I was a kid. I want to heal that.

There is so much healing that needs to be done, and it seems that I caused the pain.

Yes I know I am hard on myself. Can anyone please teach me how not to be, other than saying "you are too hard on yourself"?

Speaking of pain, I am in it. Surgery area still quite sore, although I walk usually without my crutch now. I still need to rest the leg, though, and this is the point in recovery where the line of me needing to rest is gray.
Nerve pain severe, and not medicated well at the moment.

How do I break this all up so I can handle it? I am breaking.

I am breaking. 
I'm not sure how much more I can handle.
But I don't have the luxury to break, I have four kids to take care of.


  1. Oh Sarah. That is really tough. The pre-teen hormones plus medication withdrawal plus what you suspect are unresolved issues related to your illness sounds like a difficult mix. I pray that with time and therapy, your son will accept what he cannot change, embrace the good and move on. You raised a good kid, and he's in there.

    I fought with my mom A LOT during my teenage years. Only later did I learn that people usually dump on the people they love and trust most, since they know in their hearts that we will always love them, no matter what. Today my mom and I are best, best friends. But it did take a while.

    I try to remember this on days like today, when one of my kids dumped on me, big time. Sending love.

    1. thanks, Michele. It's good to hear the message of "this too shall pass". I also fought with my mom and was rebellious like crazy, and now I love my mom so much, I can't imagine ever hurting her. I pray to get all of her back.
      Thanks again.

  2. Sarah, it's so awful isn't it to see your beautiful child's sweet face screwed up in ugly hate. At you, even worse. I always admire what you go through, even healthy I often feel I can't give all my children enough of what they need. My first question to people I meet with five or more children is usually an earnest 'how do you make sure you meet their needs?'. It's very hard for all of us mothers - you do an amazing job, and that will definitely come through once you all make it through these teenage years. Dov and the others will make it through, look back and be glad of the legacy you have left them.
    And if it helps in any way, in the area of 'there are always others worse off than you', today marks nine years since my cousin died at 31, of a brain aneurysm while sleeping. Leaving four children behind, the oldest of whom, at 13, found her mother dead in the morning. You are still here, still with them. Even if it was very close! xxxxx

  3. I know that's really hard on you. Remember "this too shall pass". And remember your (and others') teen-age years. Parents are an easy target for all that anger and angst that comes (in part) from hormone surges; behind all that is the knowledge (probably subconscious) that your parents will always be there for you, regardless of what you do. It's not easy, but try to acknowledge his feelings without taking them inside yourself; they are his, not yours.

  4. I so wish i could kiss and make it all better - sending you the best vibes I know how to.

  5. Thanks, dear wise women. I am hoping today for a better day. Y had a talk with my husband yesterday and they played a bit, too. Looks like "good cop-bad cop" happening, but that'll have to be OK for now. Y did tell R that he doesn't hate me, he just wants me off his case. I guess in his language, "I hate you" means "I am mad at you". Makes it a little more palatable. I also know that it's the meds/withdrawal that is talking a lot, too. Today is a new day & I haven't seen him yet. Soon... love you guys! Shabbat Shalom

  6. he is really hurting and because he needs you and trusts you, he also lashes out at you. in our community we have organazations that offer a big brother program. someone just to hear him, and go out and have a good time also.did you think of taking this child to the states with you when you go for your parents. maybe he can stay by cousins etc, and be around you also. rochel.

  7. Dear Sarah, a hug first ((((((((((((((Sarah))))))))))))))))
    Okay. A few points.
    1. Get another opinion on your son. Yes, you illnesses may be the stresser that lead to this behavior, but don't discount something else happening. It may not be about you at all and his behavior might be a cry for help that he doesn't even understand. I'd get him evaluated by another person whose judgement is not colored by knowing your health woes.

    2. It sounds like all of you are keeping up the same pace of life even though the heart of the family, its mother, has to dramatically gear-down for treatments and appointments. A relaxing time on vacation, a stay-cation at home for a week, or some other time treat might be in order. I too have found myself getting way too serious lately (though I don't have such serious health problems) and need to lighten up. I want you to have a big belly laugh or at least watch your kids and husband have one. Is there a way you could all relax together?

    3. OMG, you are such a Jewish mother! It's NOT all your fault! Oy, the guilt! Sarah, I know you. You have such a sweet heart and gentle spirit. You have been driven to your knees. Let G*d take care of the big stuff and give yourself a break. Whatever you do as a mother, it can't be that bad. Look at all the families in the bible. Loads of bad mothering and great kids. You are FAR from a bad mother, Sarah. Have a little faith. I have faith in you!

    Chin up, Sweetheart!

  8. Of course he loves you. Don't forget he is an artist, even though he is still a child. Artists are difficult to be with because they go to extremes.

  9. they say that kids only act out where they feel safe and secure and despite you bearing the brunt it means he knows you love him and won't stop even if he says terrible things...just keep on loving him...adolescence will pass...I am still waiting with Nadav and it is not easy I know!

  10. The stronger and more confident we feel about ourselves, the easier it is to handle the vindictiveness,arguing, and anger a teenager (inevitably?) throws at us. Your kids are catching you at a very vulnerable and challenging time. Please Remember, Sarah ..... Mother Does Know Best (YOU!), and we are looking out for the best interests and health of our children, whether they realize or like it or not. You can feel good about that. YOU are a wonderful mother.

    Lots of Love, Deb

  11. Sare, I was thinking that maybe family therapy might be a good idea. Another thing to schedule in, but therapy is a wonderful and effective tool and resource.

    Dev from NJ

  12. Thanks, Dev. I also believe in therapy, I've seen it help in myself. There isn't 100% chorus of agreement, though, in the Klein household to go ahead and try it. And I'm not talking about the votes of the children....
    love you, Dev!