The daily cycle of anxiety and relief, meltdowns and recoveries is really just…a lot. My birthday was actually meltdown free, but as someone commented on that blogpost, the angst about whether it would be meltdown free really kind of ruined it. It wasn’t that anything bad happened at all. In fact, Hope fixed my breakfast (brought me my yogurt and a spoon and poured my juice); got ready for church without incident (other than being glacially slow, but I’ve come to be happy with the fact that she’s starting to enjoy going); did not throw a tantrum when I chose a place for lunch where she got to try some bison ribs, and she read to me (more Silverstein–ick, but it was a lovely gesture).
Actually it was a nice day. But I was/am still blue.
As usual, I’m just a grab bag of emotions. It’s like the worst PMS I’ve ever experienced. I’m happy about going back to work and embracing that part of my identity, but I’m sad because there was something cozy about being with Hope during the day.
I love that she calls me mom all the time now; and when she calls me mom in exasperated tween-speak it annoys the ish out of me. I am also amused that apparently adoptive mom’s, like our bio-colleagues, instantly gain superpowers like hearing through walls and making things like laundry appear like magic. She has called me no less than 9 times from her bedroom in the span of drafting these couple of paragraphs. I also seem to be suffering from some odd, likely fatigue induced, brain fog. Just can’t seem to get my brain to crystalize much of anything right now.
The Furry One has broken family ranks and gone wolf-rogue. I still maintain he would never bite, he’s much to passive aggressive for that. No. Yesterday, The Furry One waited until I and Hope were in her room working on homework, entered, stood in the middle of her new pink fluffy area rug, lifted his leg and let ‘er rip.
Stunned and shocked, I removed the dog, got the rug, put it in the shower to hose it down (acrylic, Ikea rug), baking soda it and then put it out on the balcony to air out and dry. Meanwhile, Hope finally had evidence to back up her righteous wailing about how The Furry One doesn’t like her.
Turns out, she’s right. He doesn’t. But I still don’t believe he tried to bite her. This passive aggressive BS is way more his speed.
This was followed by a series of math homework meltdowns for her, a bridesmaid’s dress meltdown for me (fitting did not go well), a herd of social workers, former fosters, former therapists, the new social security caseworker and Hope’s new band teacher all calling/emailing/texting in a 3 minute window. It was like being in an electronic sold out hockey game of rowdiness—just too much stimulation. So after homework was done and the dress meltdown was shelved until today for resolution and Hope was in bed, I spent the better part of an hour, updating everyone on the going ons in my and Hope’s life. I had to, right? Because well all these people get to sign all those papers that say I get to keep my kid. Well, a bunch of them do anyway.
Then I spent 20 minutes in tears thinking of all the stupid things I’d done/tried/effed up at while attempting to parent over the last few days. Yeah, several moments of, “Well, how’d that workout for you? Not so good right?” Fortunately, Hope is more resilient than me. When I consciously eff up, I apologize, which shocks her. I tell her how I will do better next time, and then she lets it go, and I continue to silently punish myself until I do something worthy of even greater self-loathing. I feel like the preacher who secretly beats himself in the Scarlet Letter. But, wait, wasn’t he beating himself because he got it on with Hester Prynne? Sigh, I’m not even getting any and am still engaging in this kind of self-loathing. Awesome. I don’t even seen an opportunity for that kinda happy sinning on the horizon–despite Hope’s prediction that I’ll marry by the time she’s 16. Yeah.
So, then I broke out the red solo cup, only to realize that I was down to the last swallow of Baileys. It wasn’t even a full shot.
Double sigh. Really?
This morning, Hope brought up the fact that we’re both going through the blues. Is this a post-placement thing? It’s on my list of questions to ask around about. I asked her what we should do about these blues, you know, besides getting drugs.
She said, “Ice cream.”
Is there a Bailey’s ice cream? Because if there is, she might be right.
February 4th, 2014 at 5:49 pm
I hear you. I was running on 3 hours of sleep in a 72 he window. Stinky would NOT really sleep when she first came. She yelled and screamed and kicked and demanded all the junk food you can imagine. I was either working a 12 hr shift or at home with her. She literally was having tantrums all day long. I felt exhausted, helpless at times and a failure. It was a complete shock to the system with many WTH moments.
I say all this to encourage you that in whatever stage/phase/labeled thing this is…take it day by day and know if ANYTHING…you will adjust your thought prcoess/coping to fit this time of your life and new role. At that point, you may not be skipping around the house but well enough that it’s not so obvious to Hope. Chin up, lady. \(‘-‘)/
February 4th, 2014 at 10:00 pm
Thanks Puddin85–Yes. Lots of shock and lots of WTH??? Just hard being focused. Thank you.
February 4th, 2014 at 7:16 pm
Yes, post-adoption depression is real. Google it. I need to write a post about it, having gotten a taste of it myself several months back. I’m no expert, but knowing what I was feeling was real and normal seriously helped me out.
Oh, and sorry about laughing at the part where the dog let it rip… Maybe he needs some therapy too!
February 4th, 2014 at 10:13 pm
OMG, it’s really a thing? 😦 I guess knowing is half the battle. Yeah, we’ll be going to the vet for some The Furry One’s annual next week and will chat about his behavior–bad dog! Thank you for telling me that this icky feeling is real.
February 4th, 2014 at 10:18 pm
No prob. I was seriously sitting there wondering what on earth was wrong with me that I was OUT of it even though everything was going well. And it hit me that I was having symptoms similar to postpartum depression. And so I Googled “post adoption depression” and BAM! There it was all over my screen. For me knowing was more like 95% of the battle, by the next day I was fine (as in I felt any of my negative feelings were back to normal instead of alien!). Hope you can work through it a little easier now!
February 4th, 2014 at 8:51 pm
I agree with Instant Mama post adoption depression is real. Cut yourself some slack you have never done this before and yes you will learn as you go. Take care of yourself to regenerate yourself, ask for help with little things did I mention cut yourself some slack we all make mistakes. You apologize a lot of parents can’t do that so kudos to you. Stay strong Mama tough times don’t last tough people do!!!
February 4th, 2014 at 10:28 pm
Thanks AdoptiveNYMomma for the validation that I’m not crazy and the reminder that I need to just try to relax a bit.
February 5th, 2014 at 4:23 am
My eyes went when I read what the Furry One did!
So sorry to hear about you guy’s case of the blues. It reminds me a lot of the post marital phase where the honeymoon phase is over. I really feel like you guys are making progress, you just hit a road block every now and then. This too shall pass ABM and if there’s any consolation, look what I found on the google for you 🙂
Maybe you and Hope can make together for bonding (the non alcoholic version for her of course 🙂
February 5th, 2014 at 10:29 am
Thanks B. Yeah, The Furry One…sigh.
I’m guessing that this is probably a common phenomenon for most major life events, huh? I just totally missed any information on this, but I’m hopeful that I can make some changes and address it now that I know. Ha! Thanks for the recipe!
February 8th, 2014 at 6:56 pm
How are you, lady?
February 9th, 2014 at 12:38 pm