Thursday, June 5, 2008

Balance

How does one balance all the different aspects of their lives?

I look back at the person that I once was. I look far, far back to the toddler Carrie (yes my memory is very long and precise), the child Carrie, the adolescent Carrie, the teenage Carrie (god help my parents), the young adult Carrie, and now the mommy Carrie. So have I changed? Have any of you really changed? Do we want to? Many people might say that I really haven't changed. I look at myself, and think "boy I really haven't changed!" I am still a great person, a funny person, a vain person, can still get my BITCH hat on, still have a temper, still have no patience for stupidity (including my own at times), still caring, and passionate, spiritual, emotional, strong, loud, inappropriate/annoying (just to see how others react for my own entertainment purposes only), determined, generous, incredibly thoughtful, realistic, and loyal.

I use all of these attributes god gave me and I basically... well just live. Now throw in a major life altering traumatic event and try to keep balanced. I hate that I keep talking about how hard life is for us, but it is HARD! I know life is all just how you look at it. I try and convince myself every day that it's not hard it just is what it is. And maybe Sam's care is not that "hard" anymore because you get use to it. And maybe learning to live with the fact that my baby may never do this and that is not that "hard" anymore (doesn't mean it doesn't hurt) but you get use to it and that becomes OK too. You learn to accept certain things. But... what I do find so hard is trying to balance every aspect of my life each and every day, and trust me it is a constant struggle.

Making decisions about when, why, what, and how to do things and knowing the ramifications if you are wrong kills me. Knowing when to be kind, assertive, curt, playful, etc. with all of the people I have to deal with on a daily basis just throws me into a gigantic tornado where I just want to yell STOP! Having to balance the feelings I feel, my emotions and at the same time keep my cool for my son and those around me and also being careful not to step on toes or hurt any one's feelings is just beyond exhausting...(sigh).

Example... Here comes the roller coaster again... Yesterday Sam had a follow-up eye doctor appointment. Before I even stepped into the day I knew this appointment was not going to be good. The doctor is wonderful and we didn't have to wait, not even for a minute. We were in and out of there within 1/2 hour. So within that 1/2 hour it was determined that Sam has a drift in his left eye which can lead to blindness in that eye if we don't patch his right eye two hours a day. And even that may not be enough to fix the problem. Imagine the enormous pit in my stomach at the thought of the slightest possibility that my child, on top of EVERYTHING else mind you, may lose his sight out of his left eye. Of course I was on the verge of tears but I'd never cry, at least not in front of anyone. So here I am with baby and nurse in tow my mother waiting in the car, plop Sam into the car seat, put on his eye patch, trying to keep my cool, all the while the nurse is saying we should wait until we get home for the eye patch about 10 different implicit ways, my mother asking me twice what happened in the doctor's office, me saying don't worry about it it doesn't matter, then getting a "thanks a lot Ca" because I obviously offended her. All the while I am trying to keep it in the breath and then I got one more annoying comment and finally SNAPPED! I said something nasty to my mother; she got mad at me and stayed that way for a few hours. I can't say I blame her because when the bitch comes out everyone get on their thickest armor. I can be absolutely scary or at least stick the knife in and turn it in just the right way. I don't mean to be this way. I don't want to be mean. I want to be mellow and kind. I am sick of fighting the battle of the everyday maybe you should do it this way versus that way. I wish I could just tune everyone out and not care how many times things are said that bother me.

My question is when is enough enough? How many times do I have to say, "I'd rather not talk about this now, or I am not comfortable with this, or I would prefer if we did it this way." My limit is 3 times. You get 3, everyone out there gets three. If I have to repeat myself to the same person 3 times, well run. If you ask me three times, run. If you bombard me with 3 things when I am already overwhelmed, run. My limit is 3. In this I have changed. My limit use to be 2. I would grow impatient after 2. I honestly would like there to be no number. I would LOVE it if I had the power and the mental where with all to just let it slide…

I have asked many parents in my situation what it is they do. You know, how do they react to those who have the best intentions of course but are adding a little bit too much to the plate at the time and do not get the point after the first few times that they say back off for now. Please do not get me wrong. My intention was not to single out my mom or my nurse. Both are AWESOME and only have the absolute best intentions for Sam and myself. But in my specific situation I am constantly walking on the edge of a very steep cliff. My nerves are shot. So anyone and everyone on any given day could really push me over that edge without even realizing what they are doing. I know we can't control others, only ourselves. So I am asking for advice. What would you do if you were constantly being bombarded? Is there really a nice way of saying fuck off? I dunno, anyone care to give it a whirl? How do you balance being kind, tough, assertive, etc…?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gotta tell you Carrie...I think you are incredible, and oh so human, actually superhuman at times!! It hurts....most people don't realize when they take that one step too far. Don't beat yourself up--you are normal!!! They'll get over it!

Barbara said...

Carrie,

You have every right to go off every once in a while. Everyone does it - believe it or not - even people without special needs kids. We are all human! It is our nature to have a reaching point, a limit and to be exhausted. Don't be so hard on yourself, this is your child you are talking about and you deserve to be upset!

A few weeks ago we had a DR. appt with John. The nurse was doing one of those things that just annoy me, like when they keep insisting I do something a certain way. I just blurted out, "Shut the F*&^ Up!". This is so not my nature and I was appaulded with myself after I said it. I apologized to her a few days later and as sweet and loving as she is, she just said, "It's ok, I will never understand what happens to you as a mom of John but I am glad I could be there for you to get it out on - instead of you getting it out on Kevin (hubby)". I was floored that she said that, she was more concerned with my family dynamic then her own feelings that day!

You are going to have plenty more days and people have now been warned 3X's is the limit! If they persist after that then the bitch hat goes on... :-)

Your an awesome mama! Sam has made some really great strides and has a long way to go. You hace EVERY right to be emotional, angry, happy, sad, bitchy - Carrie Style!

XOXOXO
Barb

P.S. Johnny seen the vidoe of Sam sitting up and he started signing "baby". I think that was so cute!

Anonymous said...

If there was a true answer to this question life would be awfully dull! I have learned in my years of dealing with difficult people to ignore alot, in my mind I feel bad for them. I just tell myself that they are jealous or ignorant, etc! If you honestly believe that people dont mean to inflict pain it is easier to handle. HOWEVER (you didnt think it was that easy!) if you let it bottle up too much then you need to vent, husbands empty bathrooms even perfect strangers will listen to the unloading of such pent up hostility!

Dont beat yourself up too much, we all have different levels of craziness and it all works out in the end! Breakfast or lunch with a good friend (or family member) works wonders too!

Hugs
Alise

Anonymous said...

The only way i know is to have the decision that nothing but nothing will push me over the edge...simply because there is no edge for me before my son will do this or that...before i get to do this or that. or before I'll reach this or that gall or point and so on and so forth...
Once you get the understanding that when you waist so much energy to think what other people feel or to behave according to someone else's expectations....you lose the energy to take care of the real important things in life.
Remember - nobody judge you. Not even your own Mother. Just don't forget that the rest of the world is allowed to act Human from time to time as well (to get insult and sensitive). But that does not have any thing to do with the way you behave. This is their choice to decide how to feel and what they feel.
In your everyday hard struggle with Sam...you need to keep your energy for him & Scott. The rest of the world can wait for you to be friendly, nice; kind, sympathetic ect', but all that can not be provided just according to ones wishes for immediate satisfaction.

I can say only on behalf of myself ( though I'm sure most of your family & friends will agree):
"We are all happy that we can be there for you to get it out on –( because of the distances – only while reading/following your Blog - instead of you getting it out on Sam or Scott."
Love U
Irit

Anonymous said...

Hey Carrie - I always say "Dont Sweat the Small Stuff" -
AND in this big world of Craziess
Mom fights - "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" -
I know that you know - that
I know - !

Ya know - >??

You Do U !

Vanessa and John said...

I wish I had advice but I don't. I am EXACTLY like you, must be the italian. I give off the pissed vibe very loudly. I don't know how i do it, but people pick on it very quickly, otherwise i bottle it up and cry in anger later...on put it on my blog. People have their own issues and soem are too self centered to understand. Take a good friend of mine who had a baby one month ago bitching her daughter hasn't smiled yet! She found THE most hurtful thing to say...bitch! Anyway, you're human we make mistakes and if anybody should be quickly forgiven it's us! I wish it would just STOP hurting! :(

Anonymous said...

Carrie,
As I sit here reading all of this my head is spinning. Life is hard and that SUCKS! I know I have told you this so many times before but you are amazing. You continue to amaze me every time I read your blog. As I sit here with tears running down my face I want to say that I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! I truly believe in fate- Sam was meant to be your son. He is truly the luckiest child to have you and Scott for parents. I don't know if anyone else could be the person you are being for Sam.

I have known you a long time. I have seen all of the hats come on and off. We have been through a lot over the years and I know that you could always be counted on. Not many people have that quality. I have seen you grow from a little girl to an amazingly beautiful woman. You are the true definition of strength. As women we are expected to handle so much and just keep going. It is hard- people can be horrible whether they mean it or not. People just don't think. I like to think that people are good and their intentions are good, but not everyone is like that. As you confront these people just remember you are a strong woman, mother, friend. Don't let anyone break your spirit- it is a beautiful one. Everyone in your life (including me :0) is truly blessed to have you as a part of their life. I believe that you learn from everyone that you meet. Look what you are doing for these other families. You are an inspiration.

As for how to handle these situations- I wish I had some good advice. People who know you should understand. They should know when to back off. If they don't- tell them. You do not have to be the nice person all of the time- you are only human. Everyone snaps. The people who love you and know you will understand that. If you snap, you snap. You need an outlet- your family and friends will always come back.

Just remember when things get tough that you are STRENGTH. YOU are MY role model. I am learning so much from you on how to be a great mother. You have touched many lives, especially mine.

I love you,
Deb

kristi said...

Let me tell you, I bite my tongue a LOT!!!

The other day my sister and I were discussing TC and I said, "When he graduates..." blah, blah, blah. And her reply was, "Well, he won't graduate til' he is 21, right?"

HUH?? I wonder where she got her info. I ALMOST went off on her.

My Mom is "negative Nelly" She always says how TC is never going to be independent, etc.......and I have told her countless times that he will be just fine.


It does get exhausting. And nobody understands unless they have gone through it. :)