There are the stupid things that don’t matter, but really matter. For the last three months I’ve been on a 21 day cycle instead of the trusty old 28 days. When my period is heavy, or actually whenever I bleed, my anxiety intensifies.
(Hi new readers! Or do the new readers actually come back? To the folks that have been around for awhile I got Freshly Pressed a couple of days ago. That’s what the new reader thing is about. So, new readers. Hi. Welcome. Fair warning: I talk about my period. And my anxiety. And my Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I hope we can still be friends. If not I totally get it.)
I’m anxious. I’m bloated enough so that my jeans that weren’t tight yesterday barely button today. C was whining all morning as I was trying to get ready for the crew of ladies who were coming to evaluate him. I grabbed him and yelled at him to stop. Just. Stop. It. T looked at us crouched by the sofa and shook his head at me. “Yelling at him isn’t going to make him stop, Mommy.” I tried not to cry and apologized to both of them.
Today our 13th wedding anniversary. When I’m nervous I’m an asshole. I was an asshole to Z. In front of others.
The evaluation is complete. C does qualify for intervention. Managing not to cry during the last 10 minutes of the visit was a herculean feat for me. Listening to the below average results of the first standardized test your kid has ever been given is extraordinarily painful. I wanted to make excuses for him. He was tired. He was cranky. He usually listens better. I wanted to explain that I was always terrible at standardized tests. Only got 1090 on my SATs back in 1994. Seriously low compared to my peers in the advanced track. I was ashamed of that score for years. It still sort of stings. I suck at tests, too! It’s my fault his communication score was low! I wanted to explain he is a wonderful child. He is fearless, his gross motor skills are off the hook, he is affectionate, he should be scored on his cuddling ability because it is that good!
Why am I so upset about an outcome I wanted? I think I secretly expected them to tell us he is perfect in every way and we were all worrying about nothing. Instead the evaluators told me we’d hear from them in a week or so, the plan is two 30 minute sessions a week at our home with a reevaluation in 6 months. I thanked them as they left and ran to our back door, out of sight from the boys, I wept and wept and then I wept some more.
My baby needs help. More help than I can give him or Z can give him. My baby needs help and I yelled at him this morning. I was an asshole to Z, my partner in this whole mess. I was terrified by my period. My period! Which I’ve been dealing with for a fucking quarter of a century. I felt completely defeated by life, by that bitch anxiety who whispered in my ear that I am pathetic. That things aren’t actually bad at all. That I lead a charmed life of privilege and the fact I can’t hack it is pathetic. I started to shake and decided there was no way I could go to class this afternoon.
After a while I stopped crying. I fed the boys. I put C down for a nap. I packed my backpack. The babysitter arrived and I went to class. In a couple of minutes I’ll get dressed for our anniversary dinner.
C is fine. He is going to be even better than fine because we are getting him help. T is fine. I have a feeling he is always going to be fine. Z has every right to be angry at me. But eventually we’ll be fine, too. He has proven over and over again he is on my side. And I am fine. When scary things happen I still think about shutting down. But more times than not I manage to force myself to keep going.
It’s been a shitty day. But it has also been a good day. We are getting our boy help. We are doing the right thing. And we’ve been married for 13 years. Even if I’m an asshole, actually especially since I’m an asshole, that is pretty fucking awesome.
This perfect-for-us kid is loving Mommy’s new backpack. I have no explanation for what his brother is doing.
Thirteen years ago today. We were skinny. And there wasn’t a single tattoo among us. The kid I was in the picture had no idea how good it would get. Don’t get me wrong, she didn’t know how bad it would get either. But the good has been extraordinary.