Friday, March 24, 2023

Hiding

 With all of William's difficulties yesterday, I've been thinking very hard about things. It is very easy to assign blame in this to others. 

I have spent the last months dealing with a situation that was only introduced into my life because the people responsible chose not to deal with it. My life has been turned topsy-turvy by it since before Christmas. Luckily after two solid months of hitting things hard, it appears (knock wood!) that the matter is resolved. I am beginning to breathe a bit easier, but it will be a long, long time before I get over the experience, It will be a long, long time before my hypervigilence settles down. It has been, for lack of a better word, traumatic

So when William's situation popped up, right away, my knee jerk response was to set the blame directly on someone else's door step. I knew full well where he'd learned to 'hide', to 'cover', to simply not deal with things. 

Laying wide awake in bed last night, I pondered a lot of things. Blame never helps, does it? It may assuage our own guilt for a time, but it doesn't fix anything. Blaming also throws up a road block in our relationships. 

In the dark of night, I turned that bright accusing light on myself. 

I am 65. I have a bad knee. I have had surgery on that knee which did not help. I have been quietly dealing with that pain for years now, reluctant to spend more money on medical care that didn't make anything any better. 

Predictably, that problem got worse. 

That problem with my knee led to a slow and steady weight gain. I was moving less, exercising less, but not eating less. The pounds began to creep on. I ignored them too. 

Predictably, that problem got worse. 

I am a self conscious person. I always have been. 

Predictably, THAT problem got worse too. 

Laying there in the dark last night, I realized that I'm a 'hider' too. 



Now, my advice to William was, "We are disappointed, but the fact is, this needs to be turned around. You've gotten yourself into a pickle and you need to get yourself out." We discussed ways he could do that. He's lost his tablet until the school situation is resolved, and believe me, that is some powerful motivation, right there. 

I believe he will turn things around.

I lay in bed and went over my handling of the situation. His mother was very like him. She was my oldest, my first. ADHD was not a 'thing' 42 years ago. I was not as wise and patient as I could have been. I was torn between the needs of two other children, and a child who needed my full attention to accomplish. 

I failed her. I was not the mother that she needed. 

Now I am older. I am more patient. I know what I am dealing with. 

I lay in the dark, replaying the day in my head. I thought of how uncomfortable it had to be for William, being asked, day after day, about homework. "Oh, no. I got it all done in school. I don't have any homework," he assured us. 

Predictably, that problem got worse. 

The undone assignments only increased in number. I am sure that he lay in the dark many times, worrying about the situation, but unwilling to take that first step to begin to sort it out because he was afraid of being found out. 

Predictably, that problem got worse. 

His grades were suddenly in jeopardy, a teacher reached out to his mother, who forwarded the information to me. We walked home last night and he was ashamed, his head drooped, his cheeks red, answering in monosyllables if he answered me at all. 

I'm sure he believed with all his heart this problem could NOT get any worse. 

Over the course of the night, we came up with a plan of action. He began working on it right away. It almost seemed that he might be a little relieved to have it all out in the open and discover that no one loved him any less. That he was not in BIG TROUBLE. (Never mind that he's never really been in BIG TROUBLE. He's still afraid of BIG TROUBLE.) 

This morning he was full of assurances that he was going to get things sorted out, he was going to get the work all done. I watched him walk into school with a determined step. Two of his teachers have already been in contact via e-mail. 

Today, I thought of my own 'hiding'. The last time that I went to orthopedics, they told me that my knee was quite nearly to the point of 'bone on bone'. A knee replacement is in my future. I knew that right along. They suggested trying a short of cortisone to provide some possible relief until then. 

Today, I will call about trying the cortisone shot. 

Yesterday, I started the intermittent fasting once again. It worked well in January, but I fell off the wagon when Tim got sick. 

I probably got the same amount of relief from coming up with my plan of action as William got from coming up with his. We can't expect a kid to do what we cannot.

LATE EDIT: Maybe the knee was a bad example. It made sense to me in the dark. What I was trying to say is that I can see that in many cases, I do simply not deal with problems as they arise. 

29 comments:

  1. Please don't blame yourself for any of your children's foibles. You (and many others) did the best you could for what was known then, and the best way you knew how, from what YOU saw and experienced growing up. (I thought the tablet was a school item, not William's "toy.") I think a lot of us keep trying to take care of ourselves, but keep heading towards others needing care. Nurses are the worst at neglecting themselves. I hope you have Medicare and a Supplement G, as it's the best way to have so much paid for, instead of being in debt for all of the co-pays and 20%s. I love mine. All Supplement Gs are the same, no matter what company. Mine is out of Old Surety Life Insurance out of OKC. $20 cheaper than BC/BS or United offerings for the same plan. Hang in there! Linda in Kansas

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't beat yourself up about his mother's ADHD...you did not fail, because it was not understood then, and some authorities still are in denial. How could you deal with something you didn't know about let alone understand? Been there myself.
    The same goes for helping William. With present understanding improving, there is more hope. With steady assistance he will get there.

    Too many of us neglect ourselves when we others have needs. I look at my waistline too...
    You can't pour from an empty cup..take care xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Deb, please don’t beat yourself up for any of this!!! What I see as a long-time reader: You’ve clearly always been doing the best you could — and not only is that all any of us can ever do, it seems to me that you’ve done a phenomenal job under very hard circumstances. You were a single parent (don’t ever let anyone diminish the magnitude of this!!!); you’ve stepped up to raise your grandson; you’ve been dealing with Tim’s extremely serious health issues…. Kids hide this kind of thing ALL THE TIME, and you are handling it. I just don’t see you as a hider, merely as someone who has been forced to prioritize your battles (my fave expression and mantra for this: Dealing with the alligators closest to the boat.). As for self- consciousness about weight gain: The people who matter are not going to judge you for this, and anybody who judges you for this is not worth a whit of your concern! (Except yourself, of course! But you can tell that critical part of yourself to knock it off…). Hang in there, and be as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend in the same situation! — another Deb

    ReplyDelete
  4. And see, all of us who care about you are speaking with the same voice!! Would we lie to you? 😆

    ReplyDelete
  5. And maybe William’s take-away from this will be that it’s less painful in the long run to own up and take care of the issue than to try to bury it? I hope so, anyway…

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am thinking a life of experience would be very helpful when raising children, but no one has that as a young parent. You do your best that can at the time. A child raised by a village is not a bad idea because there is experience available to advise. William is very fortunate to have you and Tim.
    Yes, excess weight will exacerbate knee problems, well many problems really.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such excellent comments above.....I agree with it all.
    Regarding your knee, I finally had a half knee replacement about 12 years ago after many years of pain. Thankfully it is still fine and the best thing I ever did! Get yours done asap if you can. Unfortunately I am now having problems with the other knee, though it isn't the same pain as the other one. Waiting for Xray results and then will have to use my private health insurance to actually get anything done in the next 18 months ( that is how long it would take apparently for an appointment with NHS !)
    William is a lucky boy to have you caring for him.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Seems like you have come to grips with things. It is not easy for those of us who like to eat (me the wrong taste buds too) and who can’t exercise much, are in a bit of a pickle. Real pickles aren’t fattening but but mental ones are. I was doing better before surgery but have lapsed again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just that I've been seeing that I'm on my mother's path. That's a bit frightening to me. She was not a happy person.

      Delete
  9. Debby just don't beat yourself up about things that happen. You have a marvellous talent for life, and talking through your blog. You have had a hard time with Tim's illness and William will survive his homework, so don't neglect yourself - do something about that knee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well. maybe the knee was a poor example of what I meant to say. It's just that I have to address my own short comings if I want William to address his.

      Delete
  10. Please don’t waste time with cortisone injections, they only work for a very short time. Get on with a knee replacement. I live in Canada and had to wait 9 months to get my knee replacements after trying everything else. After the first knee was done, I had the second one done 6 weeks later. So happy now, several years later and the best part was it cost me nothing. G.G. In toronto

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here, the doctor determines when it is time for the knee replacement. He says that I'm not quite there yet and offered the cortisone injections as a relief measure. I just really am afraid to get started on pain meds, and I've been able to tailor my activities to my level of discomfort, but that of course has led to problems as well.

      Delete
    2. Debby, Googleator or ask your Dr. about combining acetaminophen and Ibuprophen. I have read that it has the same amount of pain relief as prescription pain meds without the side effects or dependency issues.

      Delete
  11. "Blame never helps, does it? It may assuage our own guilt for a time, but it doesn't fix anything. Blaming also throws up a road block in our relationships."

    I wish more people would think this way when it came to politics as well.

    I think William is going to grow up to be a fine man with your guidance. I know learning of my parents unconditionally love for me was a powerful force in my life.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I had the injections in my shoulder, and they really helped. When it was time the doctor told me I needed surgery. I went to a sports doctor, and he said I have done many surgeries like this. I came home after the surgery and never had another pain. Now my knee is making me limp, age helps a little on the limp maybe.(78). Don't be too hard on yourself. William was hurting too about his grandfather; he did not want to add to your worries and did not know how to say he needed help.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am so glad you are helping William work out a plan of action. What a great example for him of how to deal with life. You have solved so many issues and helped others throughout your life, Debby. You will solve your health problems, too. You are a determined woman who shows her love for others again and again. And you deserve all of the love you get!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know many people who have had knee or hip replacements. The universal comment they all have is "I wish I did it sooner". You don't need to suffer, you deserve to be pain free!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That picture is going to give me nightmares tonight, Debby.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think we're all like that to some degree and when we have a lot of things on our plate, some things have to be put on the back burner. Not to make excuses for William (I think school work is important and I hate being lied to) but he's been through a lot too these past few months. You all have.
    Hopefully he learns now, instead of when he's older, that problems are easier to deal with when they come up, instead of putting them off for the future.
    It's kind of funny to read this because our tenant in the condo moved out and I've been getting the condo ready for sale. She broke the kitchen faucet, shower door and damaged the floor but instead of letting us know at the time, when we could have easily dealt with it, she hid it from us. Actually, when I write that, I realize now that I ignored her over the past four years since Jack has been born. I could have done inspections but I was too tired and just crossed my fingers.
    All that came to a head this week when we realized how badly the shower door was broken, that parts were needed, that parts were on back order for six months, etc. We thought we were going to have to spend $3000 to replace a shower stall in the condo but it finally got sorted; it was stressful.
    My oldest also has ADHD, as do I, but he also had learning disabilities. We tried lots of things but nothing stopped him from going off the rails. I don't think ADHD causes people to go off the rails but it probably makes life harder. I don't know that I've minded being easily distracted although I do know it irritates my husband. A lot of the symptoms have softened with time. My biggest thing was daydreaming, all the time, and being impulsive, again, these are better now. It does give me perspective to help Jack though, who I'm pretty sure is also ADHD. There are things I can teach him to make life easier for him, hopefully.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Chronic pain is a bitch. I admire you for dealing with it quietly.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We all hide over certain things that are too painful or uncomfortable to face. I too have let the weight creep on and have ignored some things with my younger daughter that I should have addressed--or handled in different ways. But none of us is perfect and being self-aware is the first step. Best of luck to you and your knee!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I left a comment here earlier, but now it's gone. What's the deal with Blogger and comments lately?

    ReplyDelete
  20. As you know, V had both knees done and it made a huge difference. Unfortunately he was made to wait too long (as he was too young, Drs wouldn't do anything for him until we roped in Dad's specialist) and as a result, his lack of movement leading up to treatment I BELIEVE had a major impact on the full body arthritis that now affects him - but his knees are great!! We deal with ADHD here too, so I hear your laments. All we can do is hope to guide. Jeanie

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are a wise woman. The fellas in your life are lucky to have you. Now apply the same wisdom and care to yourself. You deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can't add much more than what others have already said. I think all of us have tendencies to procrastinate or hope that problems will solve themselves -- and to be fair, they sometimes do. Just not ALL the time!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm about to do intermittent fasting, too! Lately I've been stress-eating badly, and I'd inadvertently been eating about one meal a day from mid 2021 til a few months ago, and it really made me feel great. Now I feel like a slug. lol Getting older stinks. lol

    ReplyDelete

I'm glad you're here!

Holiday Weekend

 If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, has it made a sound? The answer would be yes, of course. I'm sure there w...