I am so grateful for my friends. I’m telling you there is nothing, that a good long talk with my besties, can’t be solved in my world. Thank you to Elise and Tim for loving me so well.

So I gotta admit that allowing my children to go and live with their father for a week was hard. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I did NOT have a good night on Thursday night. I wallowed in my shit for hours and hours.

As I sat on the plane to Sac on Friday night I tried to figure out, Why. Yes, I was in a total over-thinking mood, all weekend. Poor Tim and Elise. They do put up with a lot from me, and how I am. I can be real mood-killer.

So, Why would it bother me so much to have the children with Barry this past weekend? When in factual light he and I had already agreed that, he would keep the children not only during his weekend, but also on Sunday, and Monday nights, while I was in CA visiting with Elise and Tim. This was only adding 2 nights on, 1 onto each end. Which again, shouldn’t have bothered me; and normally wouldn’t.

So WHY did it bother me so much?

Context.

Before Barry pulled his “Hyde-personality” and “let’s-pick-a-fight”, routine on Thursday morning, I was fine with the kids over at his home for 4 days. Had he asked me to keep them an extra day, as something nice for him; like when he wanted to take them to the beach for 4 days over the summer… I would have said: “Sure. Why not. That would be great. Easier on the kids. I wouldn’t worry about them being home for a few hours on Tuesday night when I arrived home late from the airport.”

But that is not how it went down.

Instead, it was “I’m going to take you to court and sue you for joint-custody of the kids. 50 / 50 so I don’t have to pay any child support. You’re keeping the kids away from me.”

Other than him taking me to court, nothing is further from the truth. Which I pointed out to him, in a conversation about how I don’t enforce our current agreement to the letter. Ever. AND HE AGREED WITH ME.

So why the drama?

Context.

When its me just being nice to him, he doesn’t like it. Why doesn’t he?
I am not him. I won’t speak for him.
I have my theories. Elise has her’s. Tim has his. I have mine. The gal in the check-out line at the Publix has her’s. Every one has their opinion.
Opinions are like assholes, every one has one. And they all stink.

When it comes down to it, I like to be in control. When Barry pushes my buttons this way, bullies me into doing something; I don’t like it. Even if it was something that I was going to do anyways. Its the fact that he bullied me into it. That I felt threatened, and scared of him, once again. Like I was backed into a corner; and did whatever I could, to keep him from hurting me worse, than he was already doing. I followed the ‘fear’ line of thinking. And I let it drag me right down the rabbit-hole on Thursday night.

Hook – Line – and Sinker.

So for the last few weeks the Ex and I have been having productive, even kind, conversations with one another. Speaking on the phone mainly, and once even in public. At one point he asked about my friend, whose health isn’t the best right now. I asked about Rhonda, and her health. I even went so far as to offer to skip one of Russell’s games so that Rhonda could come and see him play baseball. Knowing that Rhonda wouldn’t come and see him play, if I was there. I really thought that perhaps we had turned a corner and that this relationship with Barry could be a good one.

I should have been more cautious. I should have been more aware of what I was leading myself into.

This morning Barry informs me that as soon as he can, he’s going to take me back to court and sue for the custody of the kids. He’s going to take them away from me, because I’m not letting Daphne come and live with him.

This lead to an arguement.

He agreed with me, when I said, “This is why I shouldn’t be nice to you. This is what it gets me.”
He said, “I was being nice to you too. But you say one thing to me, then write crappy stuff about me on that Blog of yours.”

I do, but not always. I have on occasion written nice things about him, and how I am happy to see us working together. He said that I never write anything nice. I asked him if he had read it. HE said, “No. But I hear about it.”
Me: “Then you shouldn’t listen to rumor. You should go and get the facts for yourself, instead of relying on someone else’s lies.”
He didn’t have anything to say for that.

Ulitmately this was about Daphne.

I can see it for what it is now. I can see his worry about her. I have the same worries. He can’t control her cutting, or solve her depression, by moving her out of the enviroment that gives her stability and forces her to heal. Does he really think that allowing her to just “Up and Move to Dad’s” is going to solve this?

I can see her not liking how I hold her accountable for her actions. Her words. I can see her wanting to have something “easier”, and that she thinks she will get that from Barry. He claims that he can hold her accountable. That he can monitor. Be on top of her. Make her have study hall. Make her tell him, wherever she is. Make her give up her phone, and allow him to read what is on there. Yet, he hasn’t done any of these things in the last 2 years. Not on a consistant basis. Not every day.

Because it is hard. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of effort. He did not show that effort when he lived at home. He has not shown that effort since the divorce. Buying the kids whatever they want, is not being a parent. Feeding them junk food, because they don’t want to eat what you cooked, is not being a parent. Being a parent means making some choices for your kids, that they are not going to like; but are what they need to do. Even if its hard.

I spoke about some of the things like this. He just sat there. He just sat there and stared at me like I grew 3 heads or something. Then he started in on how he was going to take me to court if I didn’t let Daphne move in with him.

I know in my heart that if I let Daphne move in with Barry – she won’t be around this time next year.

So today I had my daughter talk to her pediatrician about the birth control pills. I decided that this year, each kid would be able to do their own time with Dr. Kelly (*not to be confused with Kelli, my midwife*) during their annual physicals. I needed to get my daughter to open up. I can’t be the one to do all of the talking. She is going to have to use her voice. Especially now that she is chosen to take this step into adulthood.
She is so shy.

So we get in there. Its her turn. We are near the end of everything. Which is all normal. I told my daughter to ask Doc her questions.
Daughter – What questions.
me – The ones about the stuff.
D – *stares at me blankly*
me – Well I found out that you can’t go and talk to Kelli, because you’re not pregnant. So here you go. A female medical person, also named Kelly.

Doc to Daughter – You’re pregnant.
D – No.
Doc – You want to be pregnant.
D – Hell no.
(*again looking at me*)

me – Use your voice. Talk to her.

Doc – So this is about sex then?

D – yes.
D – Mom, you don’t want to just tell her.
me – No. You have to do it. She won’t bite.

Doc talking directly to Daughter. “So you’re having sex. Often?”
D – Just the one time.

Doc – You plan on doing it again.
D – maybe. but my periods have never been regular. Ever.

Doc looks to me.
me – Nope. Never. (*then explain the irregularities*)

D – And I don’t know if its because of a pregnancy now. Or the other.

me – Or the stress from wondering if its one or the other.

So Doc nods and we talk condoms. Birth control pills. Pelvic exams. Condoms are must – disease wise. But not 100% – as I inform them both about Russell’s creation. B.C. is okay, after testing is done – and yet not 100% either, due to lack of taking them. Or forgetting. And doesn’t help with disease. Pelvic exams will not be right now unless actively doing it repeatedly.

So Doc is going to have a pelvic ultrasound, to make sure that nothing is out of place and some blood work to make sure that she is healthy enough for B.C. She has always had irregular periods. Before she just worried because she wasn’t regular like her sisters, or me. Now she is worried that she could ‘worry’ about pregnancy when her period is irregular.

And not know if she is just stressing herself out – over worry…
if its a pregnancy
if its just irregular.
if its just worry.

For me – I’d like to know when I get to stop worrying if what I’m dealing with is ‘just regular’, or not. 🙂

Okay let’s be honest, every time I have left K’s office, I feel like I’ve been doing this whole mothering thing, Wrong.

She is good.
And kind.
And respectful of RJ and me.
And doesn’t come right out and say anything cruel.

Yet I feel like a failure when we leave. We have only been twice. And each time I have left feeling as though I am not doing a good job. That I have not made the right choices for him. That I have screwed him up because of who I am as a mom.

The first time was when I told her that I was not giving him the medications, and why I felt like that. Her reply was that I had to get over my dislike of the meds. That for all the kids she’s seen with ADHD, and she’s seen a lot of them, RJ is one kid who really should be on them. That the other things are going to be difficult, at best.

When I told her about getting him a bouncy bar, to put on his desk at school. It straps across the bottom legs of the table portion, and can adjust for height, width. Her reply was not to do that because it would make too much noise and cause him to be a distraction to the other kids.

When I told her that I was going to get a 504 plan for him. She told me that was fine, but to find out that it would take nearly the whole school year. (*even J told me this*)

When I told her that I didn’t want to tell him about the diagnosis, that I didn’t want the negative connotations that come from such a label. I didn’t want him to feel like he was a failure somehow, or different, or lesser-than. Nor did I want anyone else to know, because I didn’t want them to treat him like he was diseased. She told me that she will be using the words A.D.H.D. and that there wasn’t much I could do about it.

Then yesterday at the session she managed to tell me that I was doing something wrong. At the end of each session, K brings in the parents. Usually just me – but Barry wanted to come – and we will get into that in a minute too. So Barry and I were on the couch. She was in her chair. Russell was standing nearby. Then sitting. Then standing. The 4 of us were talking about the session and what we would be working on.

As we talked, Russell fidgeted with some toys on a shelf. A rubic cube / a triangle snake / a colorful ball / a small game / different things that required him to move his hands and such, and looking down at it, rather than the 1 of us.

At one point, I thought that he was being rude, in not giving K his full attentions, and answering her. He wasn’t speaking to her. Or anyone else. He was engrossed in the game toy. So without a word, I simply took the toy out of his hands, and put it back on the shelf. When I did, he looked up at Kirstin and began speaking his thoughts again. He sat down. We kept talking.

At no point did I admonish him. Or speak to him about it. I just gently took the toy and placed it back on the shelf.

K pointed out to me: There is no need to take the toys away from him. That is what they are there for. They help him to organize his thoughts, and better communicate; by occupying his mind in a different fashion.

me: My apologies then.

I didn’t give him back the toy. He didn’t get back up to play with it. He just rested his head on my lap. Seeking my ‘pats’, his form of affection that he prefers. He answered things. We continued to talk.

We go back next week.

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So although I have the bottle of meds for Russell’s different brain, I have yet to give him even 1 of them. I cannot bring myself to do that to his body. Nor the chemical make up of his brain. Its such a harsh, and un-reversable course of action. Once started, you can’t just stop. Once started, you can’t truly know the effects of such a chemical on his body.

Even if there are nights when taking off my jewelry, and preparing for bed, that I think; “Tomorrow I’m just going to start. I can’t take this any more. The outbursts. The frustrations. The lack of respect. Tomorrow I will start him on these meds.” The morning comes, and I look at the bottle, and I want to throw up. The bottle look like a poison. Its whole energy reeks of foulness.

So I reached out to my sisters. To my tribe. To my community.

Well the first thing we have done is have Solara, see him. She is an acupuncturist. She wasn’t sure how still he would sit with the needles, nor his reaction to them. so she started with laser instead. Quicker, but not as focused. It seems to have helped him with his sleep a bit, but with any acupuncture, it takes time to help clear up the meridians.

She is also giving him some herbals to help heal his adrenals. The adrenal glands are over stimulated, by the body’s reaction to the brain’s needs. Its like being in a war zone.. The ‘fight or flight’ mode that your body goes into. ADHD will force the body’s adrenals to secrete that extra fluid needed to handle the situation. Hence such a strong, and forceful reaction. We are trying to calm his adrenal system down to more healthy levels, and to give it some relief.

We have gotten the insurance to finally approve the Behavior Therapy… but it means taking him away from his current therapist, J.
He has warmed up to J in a unique way, and she sees all of the children. So she is able to get a clearer picture of the family unit, and to help each kid with their issues.

She was really supportive of having him tested. Of my choices to not medicate him. She said: “Well the diet/ routine / structure stuff that you have to follow takes a BUNCH of effort. But of all the parents I know, you are one parent who could make this work without the meds.”

I appreciated her compliment.

As for the diet, it isn’t too far off from what the diet is here at home anyhow. Except for find some more ‘protein’ for his diet, we are already doing most of the diet. Very little gluten. Almost no sugar, except for honey and stevia. But there were some suggestions the K, the behavioral therapist, gave me that I had to check out.

1 – Caffeine for breakfast.
Or any time that I need him to slow down and focus.
Which sounds like complete opposite of what people use caffeine for. Yet, is not too far fetched based upon my own personal experiences. It has never failed to unnerve my friends, and family to watch me down a soda, or cup of tea, or coffee after 8pm, and still have no troubles falling asleep.

2 – Melatonin for bedtime.
I did not know that people with this brain-wiring difference are found to be lacking in melatonin.
Which is produced by the body naturally, in balance with serotonin and dopamine. Without sufficient amounts being produced, the serotonin and dopamine become too pronounced, and thus equate to some unhealthy choices. Such as ‘not thinking before acting’. It is not like iron and vitamin C, which can be gotten from food sources, thus must be replaced with a pill. Unlike iron, and much like Vitamin C, the body absorbs and used the melatonin, and does not store any of it for future use. So it has to be done daily.

By replacing the melatonin in the body, and thus the brain, we balance the 3 chemicals for brain activity. Since the dopamine and serotonin are designed to Ramp things Up… To give us the adrenaline when we need it. To help us Go… The melatonin does the opposite, it helps the brain to shut down. To make the brain quiet, and easier to fall asleep.

One area that I am not sure how to help Russell with is breakfast. I can give him all the things he needs – like the Sweet tea – and turkey sausage on an Whole wheat English muffin. Problem is: The school already provides breakfast every day. Regardless if you’ve already eaten at home. Regardless of pay. It is provided Free. In the classroom. It is a crappy breakfast. It is nothing but sugar / dairy (which he shouldn’t eat) / and carbs. It will do nothing but help him to crash faster – mid morning.

Russell does not want to be any different than anyone else. So even if I were to insist that his breakfast consist of more protein, like a hard boiled egg / PB and J / or Sausage in a Blanket…
He wouldn’t want it. Typical child.

So we are working on utilizing the Non-Chemical-Made-in-a-Lab pills. Instead using the ones that Mother Earth is already providing for us.

So today I took a day trip with Tim. Just the two (2) of us. Elise really wasn’t up for going out. She has seemed more tired lately. I understand that need to just retreat into her shell, and hibernate. I get that way sometimes too. Other than taking trips to the store, or running errands, she is attached to Tim. She rarely has the house to herself, and gets to just vegetate.

So after being reassured by her, and Tim, that she was okay. That she really didn’t feel left out, in some regards. And that for her, she understood that I wasn’t upset at her not joining us. That I didn’t feel short-changed, that she didn’t want to come along. We headed off for a day trip adventure in the Foothills.

Tim had planned a route for us. 😀 We headed up, along the interstate 80, turning off onto SR49, into the foothills. More like mountains if you ask me. LoL We went up 1,000 feet above sea level. That’s pretty far up, for me. Especially considering that I’m the one doing the driving. And the roads along mountain, (okay hills) are not just straight lines. They are curvy things, that go back and forth. Hugging the side of the mountain.

We drove up to Auburn (not the SEC school 😉 ) and took a little tour of the town, before heading out on the winding road, that is SR49. I saw a winery, advertising, the way that they do, with a sign about hours, now open, etc. I missed the turn of course, so I made a U-Turn. Tim wasn’t sure that they would be open, but I said, let’s give it a shot. Who knows. It could be some undiscovered gem. It was.

Hart 2 Hart was one of those great little wineries. Complete with tasting room. Things for sale, which Elise would have loved. They had facilities that made it easy for Tim and I to get around. The patroness was very accommodating. We were having a lovely tasting of some interesting grapes that I don’t normally see in FL.

Then an RV of people came in. There was a group, traveling around for the day, complete with a couple of children. All, but 1, of the adults, doing some tastings. Having a good time. Then of course, did what tourists do… wanted something for free. 🙂 The elder of ladies stated, in that ‘I can’t believe this’ voice: “What do you mean there is a $5.00 tasting fee? We were just here a couple of months (meaning: a year) ago, I never had to pay before.”

Please note: That more and more wineries are going with such a fee. This particular place went beyond what is normally served, by not only giving you back your $5.00 towards any purchase; BUT also a snacking plate, with meats / cheeses / crackers / nuts. Heck, even the small wine shop, that I love to shop at, has a Tasting Fee, when they do their monthly tastings. That they, also return to you, against any purchase.

I have to hand it to the owners. They did the right thing. He kindly explained to the complaining woman, that unfortunately they were getting large groups of people in limos, (* He did good not to mention their RV *) who were coming in and just drinking for free. They were losing money, because they were ‘tasting’ more than they were selling. This offered to keep their wines at a lower fee, instead of having to increase the prices to cover such a loss.

We found a new grape that I like a great deal: Voignier. (*check spelling*). It’s very much like the Sauv Blanc that I like, with the citrus finish. So that bottle, along with a red blend, that I actually enjoyed, are coming to me later this week. Knowing that I am not a great big red drinker, to find one that I enjoy, I think make Tim’s day. He’s a big Merlot fan. I’m trying to expand my palate.

We had good time, then drove along the curvy road, and went to the place that Tim had destined would be our destination. Gold Hill Winery. Recent winners of the California State Faire. Which gave them a write-up in the local papers. Which is why Tim picked it for our adventure. Another winner, despite the crowds. I think half of the bay area had also picked this winery, for their destination. Probably because of the newspaper article.

The male half of their staff was great, the female, must have been having a bad day. (shrug) Noticing that we were unable to come inside to sample the mustards, he brought us our own sampling plate. She on the other hand, questioned me, as to the type of wine I had just sampled, when I asked for my next one. There was little room inside, so we were forced to stay out on the balcony. The noise level was deafening, in their room.

Despite the crowds, and overly stressed patroness, we sat upon their balcony and enjoyed the scenery of rows of grapes, on vines. The beautiful day. The wine. Although Tim enjoyed a local brewed beer. A treat for him. It was nice to just sit in quiet enjoyment of the day.

For Elise, she said that it was her greatest blessing. She didn’t have to worry about Tim; because she knew that I would take good care of him.