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Busygoddess
08-05-2010, 03:00 PM
Ok, this is why I want to live on my own private island. (long rant ahead)

My (ex)stepmom had planned a trip to NY for a few weeks this month. She wanted to take Dea. We had said yes, at first. Due to some really bad behavior, we had to change our minds. Then, I got a call from my mom. She tells me "Your aunt is renting a lake house for a week & is going to have your sister's girls. She wants to kknow if she can have Dea, too." Of course, this trip was planned for one of the weeks Dea was originally going to be in NY. I told her hubby & I would have to talk about it. After several discussions, we decided against letting her go. The main reason for this was behavior issues. Part of it was also the fact that we weren't getting any details on this trip. My sister hadn't decided if she was letting her girls go, although my mom seemed convinced that they were. My aunt, who was the one who theorectically wanted Dea for the week, never contacted me about it until after we decided that Dea wasn't going. Then, she sent an email to my sis & me saying my mom had told her none of the girls were coming & she was wondering what was going on. She also 'reminded' us that there were other people involved & they needed to know how many were going to be going so they could buy the right amount of tickets for stuff they had planned. UMMMMMM, other people? This was the first I'd heard about their being other people involved in this. Again, this goes back to my issue about the fact that we weren't being given any details about this trip. They honestly thought it was ok to expect me to give them my kid for a week with no info about where she would be or who she would be with.

Anyway, I thought (well, hoped) that would be the end of it.

Last Monday, my (ex)stepmom's mom died. The funeral was this last weekend. My (ex)stepmom asked if she could keep Dea for a day or two. I figured the extra time together would be good for them both, since this was not an easy death for either of them. We told her we needed Dea back Monday night, since hubby's b-day was Tues & we had plans, but she could have Dea back on Wed for the rest of the week (assuming Dea behaved). So, they picked Dea up again on Wed & said they were thinking of renting a lake house for the weekend. As long as they get her back by Sunday night, I'm fine with it. We need her back by Sun, though, because we have stuff going on & the kids need to get back to schoolwork. This morning, my mom called asking why I need Dea back by Sun. Apparently, Dea wants one of my nieces to go with this weekend, so they called & talked to my sis about it. My sis & my mom live together, so my mom now knows about it. The lake house my stepmom is renting is in the same state in which my aunt lives. My mom decided that, since Dea & her cousin will be so close to my aunt's house, my aunt could just pick them up from my stepmom on Sun. She could then keep them for next week & the week after (which is the week she's renting the lake house). Of course, I said no to this. First of all, I have already said no to it, weeks ago. Second, She hasn't done school in 2 weeks & I'm NOT letting her take another 2 weeks off right now. Third, she only has enough medication with her for 1 week, not 3. She has Bipolar, ADHD, and insomnia & is currently on meds for all 3. She CANNOT go 2 weeks with no meds!

Of course, my mom is now angry with me, but isn't going to say anything about it. She'll just sit & stew in her anger for a while, and will probably wait to say somehting until a family holiday or somehting. I'm sure my aunt will be mad, too (I'm so looking forward to Christmas this year). Niether one has any idea of what it's like to raise a kid like Dea. They have no idea what this kid would be like off her meds. She's not on them to make my life easier. She's on them because she cannot function without them. Yet, they didn't bother to think about her meds at all in this brilliant little plan. They provided NO details about the trip, and expected me to be ok with that & just let them take her & do whatever they want with my kid. They assume that they should be allowed to take my kid whenever they want, because they're family. They figure that, since everyone else is on summer break, the fact that we have school doesn't matter. Then, they have the audacity to get angry at me when I put my kid's education & well-being before the plans they made for my kid, without my permission or input.

Sorry this was so long. If you managed to get all the way through this novel, thank you. I'm just so frustrated with my family, right now & really needed to vent.

pandahoneybee
08-05-2010, 03:11 PM
Dear Brandi~
I am so sorry that you had to go thru this with your family what's that saying can't kill them;) ok so thats the only part I remember! partly because I say it on a regular basis with my own family!
As a parent of a son who has alot of issues right now with his attitude, I totally understand that you can't let them be rewarded for bad behavior! Sometimes I think that our moms forget that they are still not in control of us! I think that you all were totally in the right about the things that you had decided together. All you can do is take an incredible deep breathe no keep breathing and now.....................................let it out;) venting is good because then you don't tell your mom to... ok not going to finish that just in case my mommy would see it;)
hehehe
try and have a good rest of the day! and i am here for ya if you need to vent more!

Busygoddess
08-05-2010, 03:31 PM
Michelle,
Thanks. My stepmom is great. I think it's partially because she knows how Dea can be, partially because she's a teacher so she also places a higher priority on education, and partially because her current husband has a kid about Dea's age and one that older with Autism & a few other issues. So, she understands parenting a special needs child & is still dealing with parenting a child. My mom just thinks that she can tell my sis & me how to raise our kids (even though she didn't really raise us, we pretty much raised ourselves) & my aunt doesn't have any kids.
It is nice to know that I'm not alone, though.

StartingOver
08-05-2010, 03:47 PM
HUGS !!!

I have been there, it stinks.

schwartzkari
08-05-2010, 04:15 PM
I hope your situation works itself out!
Dealing with family is sometimes a chore...

InstinctiveMom
08-05-2010, 04:40 PM
Hang in there, Brandi!!
~h

MamaB2C
08-05-2010, 05:54 PM
Hang in there! Have you ever told them, flat out, that due to her special needs you need to plan things out carefully and that schedules etc. are important?

wild_destiny
08-05-2010, 06:04 PM
Brandi, is your family channeling my family, because it sounds like they are all the same (and they wonder why we speak so infrequently). As everyone else has said, hang in there. Mental illness is nothing to sneeze at. As hard as it is for the person who has it, I believe it is harder for the primary caregiver (this said from an experienced point of view). It baffles me that people are so blase these days about simply letting their children go off with other people without getting any "game plans" about what is going to happen. Not to sound paranoid, but it IS a dangerous (and beautiful--but still dangerous) world out there. You have every right as a concerned parent to expect not only notification of what is going to happen on any outing involving your children, but to also expect to be actually asked if your child has your permission to go. Family or no, those are still your children and your responsibility--not anyone else's. Hang in there and good luck! :)

Busygoddess
08-05-2010, 07:11 PM
Thanks everyone.

I have tried to explain to them that, because of her Bipolar & ADHD, certain things need to be done a certain way & the rules we have are there for a reason. There are 2 big problems with that, though. Problem #1 is that they don't understand what it's like to raise a special needs child. My sis has Bipolar & I have ADHD, but (like I said earlier) my parents didn't really raise us. They refused to acknowledge that we had anything & never bothered to understand us. So, they have no understanding of how to really deal with a child like that. The rest of the family has never raised special needs kids. Problem #2 is that most of them don't believe that the kids have anything. We get together for the big family Christmas and there's about 10-15 kids. All of them are running around, being loud, getting into stuff, etc. So, they all say "See, all kids are like that. It's just kids being kids." Yeah, all kids are like that when there's 10+ other kids around. However, mine are like that ALL THE TIME, 24/7. The rest of the kids will go home & be calm, normal kids. Mine go home, run around (they don't walk, they run), yell (what's an 'inside voice'?), draw on walls with markers (the oldest, not the youngest), etc. It's not a discipline issue and it's not just kids being kids. It's hyperactivity combined with a lack of impulse control due to the ADHD (both kids have combination-type ADHD) and violent mood swings due to Bipolar. They don't see that, though. I have to keep the fridge & the pantry locked because Dea will take entire jars of peanut butter, whole loaves of bread, anything with sugar (including bags of sugar), etc. without permission. Jay used to play with the food. I'd go to the bathroom & come out to find him sitting on the floor with a whole bag of shredded cheese dumped on the floor in front of him. I'd go out to check mail & come back in to find him drawing in a puddle of salad dressing. They have to stick to their meal schedule & bedtimes or we have problems. Two of Dea's pills look very similar & you have to be very careful to make sure she's getting the right ones at the right times. She spent the weekend at someone's house once & accidentally took 2 of her ADHD pills in one day & was sick to her stomach all the next day. We're still tweaking the dosages of her meds. If a child has Bipolar & is not on mood stabilizers or is on the wrong dosage of them, and they consume stimulants (like many ADHD meds) their manic episodes are worsened. So, we have to be careful about the amount of caffiene she ingests while we figure out the dosages, which is easy at home. However, she regularly cons people (who know we don't let her drink soda) to let her have highly caffienated drinks like Mt. Dew. Yet, my family still seems to think that I'm being needlessly overprotective.

wild_destiny
08-05-2010, 07:58 PM
My thoughts are with you, Brandi (for all the good that will do you, huh! What's this? My child is sitting on the floor, playing in mayonnaise? Oh well, at least I have the sympathetic thoughts of someone else for comfort! :)) If you can deal with bi polar disorder and keep your sanity, then you are something special. That you can handle that, maintain your sanity, run a great household (I've read your other posts and know how on top of things you are), and homeschool practically qualifies you for sainthood in my mind! So cheers to you for the efforts you take each and every day. You are an inspiration! :)

Busygoddess
08-06-2010, 06:41 AM
My thoughts are with you, Brandi (for all the good that will do you, huh! What's this? My child is sitting on the floor, playing in mayonnaise? Oh well, at least I have the sympathetic thoughts of someone else for comfort! :)) If you can deal with bi polar disorder and keep your sanity, then you are something special. That you can handle that, maintain your sanity, run a great household (I've read your other posts and know how on top of things you are), and homeschool practically qualifies you for sainthood in my mind! So cheers to you for the efforts you take each and every day. You are an inspiration! :)

Thank you, very much, for those incredibly kind words of encouragement!
Honestly, just knowing that there are people who understand, people who don't think I'm an awful mom when they hear how my kids behave, is a huge help. It was such a relief when Dea was finally diagnosed with Bipolar. After years of violent tantrums, horrible mood swings, awful behavior, people telling me that it must be me because she doesn't act like that for them, etc., it was fantastic to find out that I wasn't imagining the behavior & I wasn't causing it with bad parenting.

So again, thank you all for the support & encouragement!

mommykicksbutt
08-09-2010, 10:53 AM
I feel for you. Your mother and sister are clueless (and don't care) yet your step-mom seems to be instep with you. Your mom and sis are insensitive to your daughter's issues and needs and to your authority as your daughter's parent. Their desired actions are undermining your position as parent. This is your child, you know best for her. They get to be with her only by your good graces and only under your terms when and where you deem appropriate. Without her medication is appropriate and shows total disrespect for your child's medical condition. Perhaps Christmas should be spent on vacation away from family this year. I hear Orlando is nice in December, lots to do and see there.

Lots of hugs, aroma therapy, and a tall glass tinto de verano in my thoughts for you (tinto de verano is ice cold spanish red wine with lemon and lemon soda)

Busygoddess
08-09-2010, 11:41 AM
Thanks. I think the reason I'm so irritated by this specific incident, is the fact that this is not the first time my mom has questioned or tried to override my authority.
Jay was born 12wks early & in Dec (middle of cold & flu season). For most of the first week, I wasn't allowed to see him. I had a fever, and until they figured why, I wasn't allowed in the NICU. I was really upset that the grandparents were spending so much with MY baby & I wasn't allowed to. So, hubby & I decided that nobody, except hubby, was allowed to visit Jay. Even after I was finally allowed to go in the NICU (after a few days, they figured out it was an interuterine infection, therfore not contagious), we kept the ban on other visitors due to it being cold & flu season. Most of my family are the kind that will cough, sneeze, blow their nose, and then tell you there's no way they have anything contagious. My mom got really bent out of shape about that, yelling at me about he needed to bond with the whole family & I was being selfish. We kept the ban inplace, though. They could look at him through the NICU window, but only hubby, Dea, & I were allowed in to visit. Then Jay came home in Feb. The Drs told me not to take him out unless we were taking him to the Dr or hospital, and not to have too many visitors. It was RSV season & he was at higher risk of getting it. So, we decided that he would have no visitors until Spring. Overprotective maybe, but I'd rather be a bit overprotective than have him back in NICU. Again, my mom was not happy. That started us fighting almost all the time & her intrusions seemed to get worse. If we were at her house & Dea asked if she could have chocolate milk and I said no, my mom would say sure you can & go make her a glass. If Dea was at her house & I gave a specific time that we'd be there to pick Dea up, they would just be sitting down to eat when I got there (even if it wasn't their normal meal time). She would then try to tell Dea that she had to stay & eat everything on her plate, which was inevitably something disgusting that Dea didn't like. When I'd tell Dea she didn't have to eat it & we were leaving, my mom & I would get into a fight. We ended up not speaking for a year & a half because of her constantly trying to override my authority with my kid. I thought she had learned her lesson - that I will cut her out if she can't respect me. I guess not, though. She had been so much better about that stuff until this last year or so. She's starting back in with that controling crap again, though. I guess it's time to figure out how to get through to her this time. Last time, I had to write her a letter. She doesn't listen if you talk, so face-to-face doesn't work.

Maybe we'll just do the Christmas with my dad & current stepmom, the Christmas with (ex)stepmom, and maybe one with hubby's parents. I can deal with cutting out half our Christmases this year. If they keep this up, I may just stop celebrating Christmas altogether. Halloween's always been my fave anyway.

ETA: That drink sounds really good. I'll have to try one.

SherryZoned
08-09-2010, 11:59 AM
Thank you, very much, for those incredibly kind words of encouragement!
Honestly, just knowing that there are people who understand, people who don't think I'm an awful mom when they hear how my kids behave, is a huge help. It was such a relief when Dea was finally diagnosed with Bipolar. After years of violent tantrums, horrible mood swings, awful behavior, people telling me that it must be me because she doesn't act like that for them, etc., it was fantastic to find out that I wasn't imagining the behavior & I wasn't causing it with bad parenting.

So again, thank you all for the support & encouragement!

I completely understand about Bipolar. My son was the same way. He was diagnosed at 8 years old. It was tough until then. Luckily for me and him we are able to keep it at bay using natural remedies..so far...well we shall see.. if puberty hits..I am afraid.

mommykicksbutt
08-09-2010, 05:43 PM
Oh yeah Brandi, your mother is totally undermining your authority as a parent and selfishly disrespecting you as your child's parent!