Stuck In The Roundhouse. Off The Track.

The best I can do is hang out at Target and find the kid pitching the tantrum and the Mom doing everything she can to remain calm (because – due to various counseling from therapists and doctors and books and TED talks – remaining calm is always a must) and just walk up to her, slip her a bottle of wine with my phone number on it and whisper in her ear: Call me.

We’ve had some weird issues lately as it relates to Wesley and the challenges of raising a child who struggles with processing some emotions. While I’m no longer comfortable sharing his story online, I find myself daily wishing I had friends who I could call who really understood these challenges. Just last night I was thinking, No one. I know no one in real life I can call right now to seek counsel. There needs to be support groups, the problem is it’s not an easily compartmentalized or categorized struggle. It’s not autism. It’s not ADD. There’s no physical ailment. My kid struggles with processing shame and anxiety and resorts to anger. There’s no cute logo to put on my license plate to find other parents struggling. The best I can do is hang out at Target and find the kid pitching the tantrum and the Mom doing everything she can to remain calm (because – due to various counseling from therapists and doctors and books and TED talks – remaining calm is always a must) and just walk up to her, slip her a bottle of wine with my phone number on it and whisper in her ear: Call me.

I think she would find that creepy though. Right?

I don’t know. I’m also feeling a little anxious because this entry has gotten shared a few more times than my usual stuff in a few more different platforms and I’m keeping an eye on it. I’m happy people relate to it, VERY happy, as I think it’s important for all of us to recognize our privilege, but THE INTERNET IS FULL OF CRAZY PEOPLE. But when my stats spike for ANY reason I start to panic a little. Once I wrote an entry about how we should quit hating on people who shop on Thanksgiving and quit forgetting that some people need that double-wage day to help with Christmas and HOLY SHIT. That thing got shared like 20K times and I got all of the crazies in all of the land. I had to finally close down comments because I was deleting mean ones (MY BLOG, MY RULES) left and right. And I’m like, If an entry defending shopping on Thanksgiving brings out this much rage, then one about white privilege is going to get really hairy.

I also had to attend a social event last night where there was a lot of people in a small space and you all know my anxieties develop exponentially in those situations. The more people in the smaller space the worse my anxiety. People think anxiety attacks are hyperventilating and freaking out but for me? My anxiety attacks manifest in a few different ways, but the most common way is my whole brain starts to shut down. I try to become part of the furniture or wall or floor and just freeze in some sort of catatonic state. I’m terrible. People kept thinking there was something wrong with me and I’m like, “Oh – don’t mind me. Just faulty chemistry in my brain and this much stimulation and socializing causes all of my neurons to misfire making me unable to relax or enjoy myself! I’m dying on the inside! Merry Christmas!”

UGG. Seriously. I hate myself some days.

And let’s don’t even start on how my running has stopped completely. I came away from my last crazy race weekend with some crazy shin splints and a lot of apathy and the two combined have not done anything to motivate me. Then send my husband away on business for a week and me having no family to turn to for help (see first paragraph) and I just sat on my butt all week.

Ugg. Some days, you know? It’s just like your brain is trying to handle several different conflicts at once and you just cant seem to get on track going in any direction? My train has been derailed inside a roundhouse. Not only am I off track, but there are 14 options in front of me and I can’t even decide which track to finally head down when I get back on which makes me lose all motivation to right myself. I’ll just lay here upside down in my engine car hoping there’s snacks somewhere.

Tomorrow will be better, I’m sure. The rain is supposed to clear which will be nice as I haven’t seen the sun in several days.

12 thoughts on “Stuck In The Roundhouse. Off The Track.”

  1. Even if your friends don’t know EXACTLY what you’re going through with Wes, I’m sure they would at the very least listen to you as you vent. I remember being at a family function years ago when my then 10 year old son was in the throes of his “partly anxiety/partly OCD/partly eating disorder” and I burst into tears trying to talk to my cousin about it. My sister stood by my side and just rubbed my back. Sounds like a small thing, but we’re not a “touchy” family.

    No one can know your individual experience, but talking or even laughing about it can help. Here’s to sunshine and better days.

  2. There is Facebook group you could join called Children with anxiety/anxiety disorders that you might find helpful.

  3. I’d be happy to listen anytime. I don’t share your specific struggles with Wesley, but have been through some very hard to label issues with my kids too. I doshare your party anxiety/crowd claustrophobia and often either don’t go to social gatherings or furiously try to blend into the furniture while I’m there. My running has gone off the rails too. Now my husband who never travels is going on a work trip at the same time as a big deadline for me. Let me know if you want to meet up and talk. It doesn’t have to be a run.

  4. I wish I could help more, but I guess all I can do is say that I’m thinking of you. I know the sun helps my mood, so I hope it helps yours today.

  5. I don’t comment a lot, but I love what you write. You are doing a fantastic job–seriously. You will get back on track–even if it takes a little while.

  6. Recently my social anxiety has been crazy. I feel like I am constantly saying things that come out wrong and then I dwell on it for weeks, so I have started doing the quiet piece of furniture thing too.
    And my running mileage has been crap since the marathon, not to mention my increased anxiety about joining non-NRLB group runs. I am fixated on how I will make everyone frustrated because they have to wait for me.

  7. Hi — I wish I could help you. My son is about Wesley’s age and is suffering with a lot of the same issues. Anxiety which translates into anger. He’s also got some so-far un-nameable learning disorders. (He also has ADHD too.) I’ve got anxiety issues, mild ADD and depression.

    If you want to find someone to talk to, I’m Diane, and I live in NY. (My contact info is here…)

  8. I love the honesty of your blog posts, I truly do. You put to words what many of us feel from time to time. I hope it is as helpful for you as it is for the rest of us.

    This is SO none of my business, but I’ve been wanting to say this for a while, and so I am finally going to do so. I have no idea what has or has not been diagnosed, but just want to share my own experience because maybe it is something that has been overlooked by Wesley’s doctors…

    I had very similar problems with my son when he was younger (he is 12 now, 8th grade). We finally took him to a very renowned child psychiatrist and he was actually diagnosed with ADHD. We were pretty surprised because it didn’t really seem like the ADHD we had heard about…he was doing great in school as far as grades and learning, he was able to complete tasks (you know, as well as any other 8 year old…haha…with a lot of prompting), etc. But, apparently, for some people the way the disorder manifests itself is in “impulse control.” So, my son would just blurt stuff out, or get up and go fiddle with something on the other side of the classroom while the teacher was doing something else, or act all loud and goofy when it wasn’t appropriate, or knock over someone else’s sandcastle, etc. We would tell him not to do these things…trying to teach him right from wrong, but he would do them anyway and then get in trouble. What we didn’t understand was that he just simply could NOT help himself.

    But, HE didn’t understand this, either. He just thought he must be “bad”, so he had that guilt and shame, and then would go into a rage.

    I want to preface this next part with: I am NOT a go straight to medication kinda gal. His dad is, but I am absolutely NOT. But I have to tell you, the difference in this kid’s personality and behavior once he got on medication (he takes time released Concerta) was nothing short of a miracle. I’m not kidding you! It is like night and day. And it isn’t just a matter of it “quieting him down” or “mellowing him out” or something…he’s not walking around all zombie-like. But he is able to control his impulses, he is able to engage with people, he isn’t totally annoying (ha), he doesn’t go into a rage and break things, etc.

    Suddenly, the kid had FRIENDS! He never had any friends before. I couldn’t believe it the first time we went to a school function and kids left and right were saying, “Hey, Sean!” “Hi, Sean!” “Oh, there you are, Sean!” Unreal. I cried.

    So, as I said, this is none of my business. And for all I know you have already been down this path and found it was not the case. But, if so, maybe one of your other readers will find this helpful.

    And, by the way, I would NOT find it creepy of you slipped me that note and a bottle of wine in the toy aisle of Target! Lol!

  9. Okay, so picture yourself outside of Target. Wes is melting down….

    A woman with short, dark hair comes up to you and hands you her phone number. She might babble something about her kid being very similar, she might even say he’s sometimes an asshole, then will babble more about how that sounded inappropriate, didn’t it, and she really doesn’t mean it the way it sounds, except sometimes he really IS an asshole, but oh shit, she said it again and now you’re going to think she’s weird and you’re probably already backing away and hoping someone is calling the cops, but she’s going on about how her son is 9, and she really does know what you’re going through, and she would really love it if you ever wanted to call, whether just to vent, or cry, or just talk. She’s happy to give advice, but she knows you’ve heard it all, and if one more person, so help you, tells you to stop using red dye (or gluten!) in foods, or that it’s a parenting issue, or that you really should try (insert therapy, medication, supplement, etc here) you are going to go berserk, so she’s also happy to just listen, or share stories. If for some crazy reason you realize she’s NOT nuts, just awkward and a bit tired, then feel free to email me and I’ll give you my phone number. 🙂 My son is 9, was diagnosed with ADHD with he was 3, and with ODD when he was 5 (earlier than most kids because it was so obvious). I won’t go into exhaustive detail, but I DO know what you have gone through and are going through. I know how exhausting it is, and how hopeless you sometimes feel. I know how sometimes you are scared for the future of your son because you just want him to be able to function in society and sometimes you’re scared he won’t learn how to do that. Please feel welcome to email me. You are not alone.

  10. Maybe we should all form our own online support group? Della, your son sounds exactly like mine. We’ve struggled with him for years and I think he’s finally on the right track, but not a day goes by that I don’t jump every time the phone rings, expecting it to be the school with some new horrible story.

    I’m really far away, but seriously, if you ever wanted to call and chat or vent or whatever, just let me know.

  11. Sorry for this being off-topic, but I wanted to share an article I read that made me think of your recent political posts: I think you might enjoy that article. The quote that jumped out at me was:

    If you are appalled at the election outcome and feel the call of hate, perhaps try asking yourself, “What is it like to be a Trump supporter?” Ask it not with a patronizing condescension, but for real, looking underneath the caricature of misogynist and bigot to find the real person.

  12. Colleen – you already carry a lot of the burden of my life (grin) I would feel terrible calling you! However, I am doing my best to go to OTBX after work to “socialize” with other blue peeps so if you have any time tonight, text me!

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