In fact, I am procrastinating right now.
There are meal plans to execute, and I am sitting on the couch. I would rather write and emotionally work through my latest kerfuffle with Hope (which happens to be ongoing on text at the moment), than fix the marinate for those chicken thighs that have been defrosting this afternoon.
Hope? Hope does not procrastinate.
After some google searches ala “why does my child take 5 hours to accomplish three tasks that should take no more than 3 hours max?” I turned up on the term time blindness.
Apparently time blindness is when you think you can manage time, but you totally, totally can’t. Not only can you not manage time, it’s almost like clocks don’t work for you at all. You need stimuli to remind you want you need to do next.
You think you’re just going to spend 15 minutes on this task, but somehow 2 hours have gone by while you went down a KPop YouTube rabbit hole.
Just going to run in an change clothes really quick? And 4 hours later…
It’s not that it happens once in a blue moon; it’s that it happens all the time. It’s persistent.
IT’S ALSO DRIVING ME BATTY.
It is beyond frustrating. It is hard to get anything done in this house when it takes Hope 30 minutes to make her bed.
I’m constantly working with her to actually care about time. I am also feeling backed into a corner with being really restrictive and limiting stimuli to help her stay focused.
Naturally restrictions don’t go over well; and with a side of melodrama you would think I don’t let her do anything.
This leaves me feeling icky. I know she’s got a lot going on in that brain of hers. There are big emotions, dark thoughts, and tangled neurons.
I also know that all of that puts her at greater risk for so many things that could further devastate her.
I often wonder if I’m just piling on to the myriad of drama we experience.
I am constantly researching interventions. I’ve got a couple that are core to my being able to survive this. Hope buys into none of the interventions. And it’s beginning to dawn on me that the consequences don’t mean much to her. I mean, yes she will suffer, but when her depression and anxiety are already high and her self-esteem is already low, then what really does she have to lose but to actually embody all of the bad things she thinks about herself?
So what exactly am I doing and is there a way out of this?
I’ve come to accept that straight A’s aren’t in our future and that my beloved daughter needs some additional support. The goal is getting her to a place where she can launch into a future life that will be good for her and to her…a life where she can be self-sufficient and live the life she wants to live.
I want that for her.
But if I’m being totally honest, I want that for me.
There is a lot of emotion for me around whether and when Hope will launch into a self-sufficient adult. I know it won’t be after high school. I know that it may or may not be right after college…if she goes to college. With every life skill that is missing or developing or is behind in develop, my own anxiety ratchets up.
I’m ashamed that this sounds like I just can’t wait for her to be off into the world. It’s so much more complicated than that. I know that I still want more for my daughter than she wants for herself and after these years together, I still have trouble wrapping my head around that. The regressions are exhausting and I wish they would end, but I know they won’t anytime soon.
I also worry about how all of my worry and fretfulness affects our relationship. I can’t say I feel like we’re in the best place right now. I can’t say that she feels like I’m the safest person in her life right now. I mean, she knows I’m ride or die on the “big stuff” but this is really just daily life stuff. I can’t say I’m the most patient or empathetic. I can’t say I’m doing any of this right to meet her most urgent needs.
I’m also starting to realize that her most urgent need is simply to lay off and just be with her…to just catch her when she stumbles instead of trying so desperately to remove all of the barriers. I think she just wants me to love her, and this feels like conditional love, like all I’m trying to do is fix a broken daughter. And that breaks my heart.
I want her to be successful, but I haven’t given a lot of thought about what Hope’s definition of success is. Maybe for now…this is it. Just getting up everyday, going to school, trying, coming home, having dinner, petting the dog and mustering the energy to do it tomorrow.
If this is true, then a lot of my frustration is of my own making. I mean, don’t get me wrong, that 5 hours ish is still frustrating as hell, but it’s just symptomatic of much larger emotional sludge we’re covered in. So maybe the appropriate response is to just love on her and step away from the interventions and just let nature happen, whatever happens, just let her be loved. Our respective levels of frustrations need a break—surely my cortisol levels have made me have more than one food baby.
Maybe I’ll just go back to love as being the only intervention. I mean, things can get worse, but maybe this way we can at least be more secure as a mom/daughter unit if things do get worse. I’m tired of being frustrated. I’m ready to take a break.