I Am (the start of an awesome Meme!)

Thanks to Robin over at The Forgotten Wife blog for posting this “I Am” piece. I see “meme” written all over it, and I think it will spread like wildfire. It makes you take a really hard look at yourself and how you see your inner you, and it shows what others potentially see as your outer self.

On this Mother’s Day, I think it was the most perfect post to write (more like copy, paste and edit to make more use for my own self lol) and use as a tool of reflection. Feel free to do the same and see how special you are. To yourself and to others in your life.

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mamas out there!..

I am depressive.  It does not define me, but I do not ignore it.

I am a survivor. Of the loss of my mother at a tender age of childhood. And of medical situations that should have killed me at birth.

I am an only child.  But I always wanted a sibling and didn’t always get my way or what I wanted.

I am a GED Diploma Graduate. And I’m proud of myself to have finished High School, even if not under the circumstances I had hoped for.

I am a mother.  I have three beautiful children, two girls with a boy squished in the middle.  Even when they’re being bad, they’re great…. well, maybe not in that instant.

I am the proud mother of a special needs child. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am a Stay-At-Home Mom, but I work.  I have a 24-hour-a-day job that gives no vacation or sick time. And I’m okay with that.

I am an avid reader.  I love to read.

I am an avid movie watcher.  Especially Nicolas Cage movies, Marvel Comics-based movies and a fan of comedy.

I am 5’0″.

I am a horrible cook. But thus far, no one has died or gone to the E.R. to have their stomach pumped. And even the house is still erect and in tact.

I am a lover of Chinese food.

I am a horrible housekeeper, cause I hate housework.

I am a former smoker. Almost 4 years now.

I am a lover of wine, but only in moderation.

I am the person you send your plants to if you want them to die.

I am a lover of animals.  All animals, even scaly ones.  However, this love does not include any kind of arachnid or roach.

I am generous, most of the time.  Or, I try to be. And other times, I am TOO generous and it comes back to bite me.

I am a talker.  I’m working on my listening skills.

I am a toucher.  When we talk, I’ll touch you on your arm or hand numerous times.

I am polite.  Everyone I meet is “sir” or “ma’am.”  These will never steer you wrong.

I am a disciplinarian of my children, and yours if you refuse to do so.

I am the person that knows that family is not defined by blood and I have many family members around the world.

I am someone that loves thunderstorms.  Nature’s fury makes me smile.

I am very empathetic to almost anyone’s situation… as long as it’s not caused by their own stupidity.

I am a person that gives her heart fully when she decides to give it.

I am a football fan and can’t wait for the football season to start!

I am more comfortable hanging out with guys than girls.

I am a master at putting my foot in my mouth.  What can I say?  I like the taste!

I am the person you see singing and dancing in the passenger’s seat of her car.

I am someone who talks to herself.

I am a proud person who understands the value of humility.

I am the person that says “yes” when you ask for help, even when she should say “no.”

I am fascinated by organized religion, but don’t claim any affiliation with one.

I am an absolutely, positively lapsed Catholic. And I’m down with that.

I am a one-time divorcee.

I am the bearer of scars from past relationships, but still give love freely.

I am the person that will find a silver lining in any situation, no matter how thin that lining is.

I am the person that has learned from past mistakes.

I am stronger than I thought I ever could be.

I am married for a second time and loving it!

I am all of these things and more.

I am who I am and I’m alright with that.

The Bully & The Brat… And One Mama That Is Fighting Back.

As some know, my son has a lot of problems mentally and behaviorally (which stem from the mentally disabling aspects). And for YEARS he has been bullied. But only primarily by one particular boy.

Now another boy is in the mix. As is a girl as of late, and where this morning’s call to come down and intercede is rooted. Because my son completely shut down on his teacher and the student teacher (or whatever his area is).

So we got myself, the teacher, my son and the other person who was TRYING to handle things together and got the complete story. We (as in my son and I) talked about what he should have done (again), versus what he didn’t do. And what he wouldn’t let the adults do to rectify the situation.

Yes, my boy will be punished (at home) for how he mishandled all this and not cooperating with his authority figures, and for not coming to the phone to talk to me as requested, resulting in my having to go down there.

But the girl is also in trouble for starting crap and calling my kid names and making fun of him.

Hell, I’m so classy and I’m so awesome, I have the balls to not be ashamed of leaving the room and crying in front of the teacher. Again. I’m just sick of this BS. Add in embarrassment and the fact that once more, I felt like I failed him, and it’s a mess of reasons behind why I broke down.

And people are wondering WHY our youth are offing themselves?

Gee! Let’s take a look at how them bully kids are being raised in a home of intolerance and no teaching of respecting those that are different from themselves in terms of disability (of ANY nature). It’s not just the teen and pre-teen GLBT group.

Then, opportunity knocked on my imaginary door… Have (one of the few of them) bullys in room, take a chance. That’s how good I am. I don’t have to talk TO you, for you to know I am referring to you.

Let’s hope my conversation with the brat being present sinks in. It was dealing with the one boy that has picked on my son for YEARS in this school. And now, they are BOTH going to the same Middle School next year.

I even made certain the little demon heard about MY OWN problems with being made fun of as a kid.

I KNOW he listened because if I turned to glance at him, he turned his eyes from me like he wasn’t paying attention. And he now knows I will NOT tolerate it, am utterly sick of it, and this is DAMAGING my child.

Believe me, bullying today is on an entirely different level than it was in my days as a kid with physical differences. I would NOT want to be a kid in today’s society.

What A Difference A Fish Makes!

Meet Lumineon, formerly known as “Petrie”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew that a fish, of all things would be just what Dr. Mom ordered?

B’s birthday was on the 12th, and his grandparents gave him $10 to spend HIS way. So, he thought about it, and knowing that the girls were saving for a hamster, he wanted a pet too. And I thought that between the three, they were going to break me. Because, whatever the $10 did not cover, Dad and I would have to make up the difference.

To my surprise (and relief) B said he wanted a Tetra Beta fish. He’s been actually bugging hinting towards having a fish for a while now. But it really picked up steam once he had received money for his birthday. So, seeing as his older and younger sister had saved up enough of their money from chores, and he had his birthday money, a-shopping we did go!

My husband went downstairs to the fish department with B, as I stayed upstairs with his sisters. The guys (as usual) were done WAY before us ladies were. But everyone was happy when we left the pet store.

After Dad set up Lumineon in his bowl and placed him back in to B’s room, the next morning, I’d found something that my son had written. Something that kind of had taken me aback.

A *reminder* note! No one told him to do so. He had thought of this on his own.

Basically, it was stating to feed his fish in the morning and evening with 3 or 4 food pellets.

So far, so good, too. He has been doing well to remind me to feed him if he couldn’t, or to feed Lumineon himself. Let’s just say, we have a VERY happy Tetra Fish.

Oh, and as for the name? Petrie (pee-tree) was initially the name. For one thing, it made sense. The other was that it was easily stated. But, of course the boy just had to switch it on me. And being the Pokemon nut that he is, why was I even surprised at this? Because apparently, the fish is the same colors (blue and red) as some Pokemon that is named “Lumineon”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I honestly HATE typing the name out too, because my fingers get tongue-tied and I cannot for the life of me, get the name spelled straight on the first try. But I will have to admit, that the Pokemon version of Lumineon is cute.

In the end, having a fish called Lumineon is teaching my son, who usually is one to pass off responsibility to others, and not take ownership of pretty much anything, that HE is responsible for HIS pet, and it’s proper care. And it is teaching him about ownership, not just of a living creature, but that he must take ownership of his own actions and decisions, and of his own things. Plus, B seems to be more focused with tasking than before Lumineon came in to his life.

Thanks, Lumi (my short nick-name for the little guy) for helping my son see the true value of being a responsible, honest and reliable person in his community, and within his home. You have accomplished what most “experts”, and even us as his parents have failed in doing. He may have his “quirks”, but now, we have you. And you, my friendly fish, are showing him the way to being the kid I know he can be, and you are helping to let his full potential shine through.

A Rant, a Worry & A Missing Kid

Not a good start. Not at all. Was going well until I got yelled and screamed at. For being almost 11, he acts like a three year old.

Oh, and I called the school to be certain my youngest had made it okay, seeing as I didn’t see or hear her leave, thanks to his fit taking my time and attention away from her, and the bus apparently must HAVE gotten her, being they rounded the corner to go up the road after dropping kids off.

No seven-year-old in sight, so I’m certain she got on to the bus and went…And it’s since been confirmed that she did. Thankfully.

THIS is the kind of stuff that I try to stress to his Case Manager. What B pulls/does/doesn’t do affects especially the little one. But to her, HE is the *only* important factor. Not the repercussions on the other two.

But this type of stuff is causing SAFETY issues, as well as eating issues that are not only upon him, but are rubbing off on his little sister. The oldest of the three can hold her own against her brother. Most of the time. But his little sister should not have to suffer as well due to HIS problems and reactions.

Of course, all SHE cares about is getting the proper papers turned in, and rarely will she call for other reasons than for that. THAT is the only time she asks about him and what’s been going on. And it’s never about how it is in the overall home environment. Just how HE is doing and if there are any problems that she needs to be aware of.

She knows he has a severe problem with eating. She never calls even to check on him for that.

Ugh… I get SO sick of dealing with Case Management. I’d rather just deal with his Psychiatrist and call it a day. Especially when they aren’t really doing their job.

Judgment

Those of you that have a child with Special Needs knows exactly what I speak of.

It can be judgment from a stranger (most usual form). Or from a friend. Judgment can happen even with families.

Judgment is defined as… (via dictionaryreference.com)

noun

1.

an act or instance of judging.
2.

the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
3.

the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.
4.

the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence.
5.

the opinion formed: He regretted his hasty judgment.
    The type of judgment that we are talking about today is within the definition of choice numbers ONE, and of FOUR.
    Although, the basis of judgment more often than not, is primarily upon choice number ONE.
    Because most “outsiders” will not know (even within the family circle) TRULY what life is like for our children, or for us as their parents and their caregivers.
    My son, even at almost eleven years old, is a “safety risk”. He has no “I better be certain it is safe” button. He has a “‘wow, that’s cool and I want to go to it’ button”. He can only see what he wants. Not what it takes to get it. Including safety. I worry every time he wants to walk to school (which is not even five minutes from my home). Mainly because the section of road we live on is high-traffic early in the morning. But I have to let him be independent. If I see him crossing the street in the wrong manner, then after school, when he gets home (via the bus), we have (yet another) talk about safety when crossing the street.
    I have had him walking with us in the mall, and he suddenly is far back behind, because something caught his eye and he ran off to check it out.
    Because of things like that, and because of an incident at a huge Theme Park, over in the water area, I for a good while used harnesses on my child. I never have had to do so with the two girls. But then again, they don’t have the problems that he does, and they are really good about listening, staying close and asking to check something out or to go somewhere.
     The times that I have used the harness, be it a wrist one, or one that straps around the chest and over the head, I have gotten “the look” of disgust and judgment. And I say, KEEP ON JUDGING! You have no idea about my child. You don’t know the dangers he can get in to. You have no clue as to how fast he can honestly be.
      To judge ANY parent, based solely on what you see, and nothing on what is known (which in most cases you don’t due to not knowing the people at all), to me is demeaning and rude. And it’s something that sadly, millions of us mothers and fathers must endure every single day. Because people just don’t understand. Some don’t WANT to understand. Some cannot begin to. Not until they sadly have a situation like I have had. And we aren’t talking about a grocery store or a neighbor’s house.
      My son ran off from us at a Theme Park that has a Water Park built in. We were in the section of the Water Park for the younger kids, playing laughing. Back then, my youngest was a baby. About eight months old at the time. In one moment, when both my husband and I turned for a brief second, he was gone. We called and called for him, only to find him nowhere. That’s when panic set in. Next thing I know, we have Park Security, ourselves and a couple of strangers helping us to look for my son.
       Thankfully, he was found (by Dad) not too far off, in the other section, waiting for the huge bucket to dump water on them (Dad took him there a bit before and played with him and had the bucket splash them). He wanted to go back to the bucket area, but told no one, and just took off. He just got it in his head that he wanted to go back, but forgot the step to get his wish. Instead, he (literally) ran with the thought and took off.
        Hence why the next year, we placed him in a strap harness. It helped us, and it kept him safe. Back then, if it were on the wrist, he surely would have been slick and removed it, only to jet off to God knows where. It was a safety tool. Not an abusive parenting tactic. Abuse would be to NOT do it, and let him run off to anywhere he felt led. With no worry of what COULD happen to him. That’s abusive.
         These days, we are no longer using the harnesses. But I tell you what… IF there EVER came a time to need one, you can safely bet that I WILL indeed use one on him. It’s better than him being kidnapped and have unimaginable speaks of horror possibly done to him. My child is TOO trusting and has no boundaries where his social interactions and self are concerned. So, he is an easy target. Personally, I refuse to take that chance. Even at his age.

At almost eleven years old, even a wrist harness may be embarrassing for him to wear, and for us to have to use it. We will I’m sure get nasty stares and a few finger points and snickers. But it’s worth it when I KNOW my son is safe.

Need Support? We’ve Got It! (group link incl. in post)

I hope that everyone is well and is ready for the weekend. I know I am! This weekend shall be a bit busy. This evening, it’s haircuts for pretty much all five of us. Saturday is CLOTHES SWITCHING day to ready for the warm weather. Then Sunday, I’m hoping to get us and my Brother-in-law, his girlfriend and their kids together for a cookout at the park.

I’d like to take this post and tell you a bit about a place on FaceBook, that while not very active (at the moment), is a place of unconditional acceptance of our fellow members. From all walks of life, and of all different disabilities, as well as care-giving.My group is called Living Life…Abled & Disabled. But the name may change, seeing as I have been sprucing up the place a bit and doing some rearranging, getting things placed in a more organized fashion and whatnot.

We accept members as young as thirteen years old. And we do not limit the types of disabilities to be within the group. And there’s also a few “common sense” rules that I have in place, as to deter any major problems, spamming or other unforeseen fiascoes that could arise.

Here is the “description” from the group’s page itself…

“Some of us are deemed “disabled”, and some of us are those that care for someone, or love someone who is disabled.

Together, we join as one, to support and gain insight and help from one another.

We accept those that are 13-years-old and up to join us.

*Instead of “auto-adding” friends to the group, please send them a private message with the link available to them, and explain why you would like to see them join.

I personally hate the “new and improved” way of having the FB groups ran via the site managers. I want people to WILLINGLY join. Not feel forced.

Thanks for understanding.* “

Underneath that, are the rules that are laid out for members and prospective members to adhere to. Like I stated earlier, they are all common sense, and are a means to keep peace, order and organization within the group’s walls.

I’ve been trying my best to get more members involved with the group. I’m not just talking about posting articles and whatnot. But ACTIVELY conversing with one another. At least on an every-other-day basis. And it’s true that I had not been quite active in the last couple of weeks. But that was due to out-of-the-home commitments where my kids and volunteering are concerned.

Plus, I put a quick end to obvious “spamming” that was happening. I don’t care WHAT it is being posted. If that’s all you post about, then to me (and most others), it is spam. And I refuse to have that in my SUPPORT group, where I want to see EVERYONE participate and support ONE ANOTHER. Not just take, and NEVER give back.

Support. That is what we at Living Life…Abled & Disabled are all about. Support, understanding, and a shoulder. But I want it to cut BOTH ways. And lately, it has NOT been that way, like it used to be in the beginning. And I’m hoping that soon, we will have that once again.

So, if you feel that the group is right for you, where we VALUE YOUR PRIVACY, seeing as it is a “closed” group where only members can see what is being posted, and you feel that you can contribute, not only for yourself, but to be a support to other members, then please, by all means, join us TODAY! All you have to do is “Ask To Join” and I will approve your request.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I hope to see you become a member of Living Life…Abled & Disabled soon.

Retard!… That’s So Retarded. *Let’s Change.*

“That’s so RETARDED!”

“I feel retarded for saying/doing that.”

“What a retard!”

Have you ever heard someone, or heard yourself say any of the above statements?

How about, “I’m sorry, but your child is retarded.”

When you say things like “I’m/that is so retarded” or “what a retarded thing to say/do”, you are not just cutting down those that have said or done something out of the so-called “norm”. You are hurting those with in the Disability Community. Especially those that have cognitive/mental delays and/or brain injuries. You are implying that they are stupid. Even without aiming the R-word directly at them.

Yes, there is a medical definition of “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded”. But now, as a move and as a means to help end the use of the R-word, medical professionals have become known to now use the terms “mentally delayed”, “mentally handicapped”, “mentally disabled” or “cognitively delayed/handicapped/disabled”. Where in those latter terms do you see “retarded”? Nowhere. And that is a GREAT thing!

Take my pal, Holly over at Holly’s House; Not A Perfect Mom’s Blog and her little girl, Brooke, who has Downs Syndrome. Brooke is what you would call “Retarded”, but that word is NEVER used. She is cognitively delayed, but perfectly cute (and sly) in every way imaginable. And like Holly, I deplore the R-word. And I think it shows one’s ignorance when a person uses the term in a way of means to cut themselves or someone else down. Intentionally or not!

When I was little, I required a trache to assist me with my breathing due to other health issues with my lungs and airway. I had that thing in my throat a good chunk.. no my entire childhood. Had it removed 17 days before my 13th birthday. For years I was ridiculed, called names, mocked and made the butt of my peers’ jokes. And…

I was labeled “Retarded” by children and adults alike. Especially the adults that knew NOTHING of me, except my appearance out in public.

For years, I had to fight that R-word label. Seeing as I was NOT cognitively/mentally disabled. And even if I was, would that really and honestly be a “good” name to label me with? I didn’t think so either.

Please spare me the “Politically Correct” crap. I really don’t need to, or want to hear about us parents of Special Needs kids (or being a currently or formerly disabled person ourselves, possibly) getting all so-called ‘uppity’ over a “word”.

Maybe if you had to wear the label for a day, or even a week, and see how it feels, then rest assured, you would change your mind in a hot second, my friend!

So, join me and take the pledge to “Spread the word to end the Word”.

Go to R-Word; Spread the word to end the Word and tell everyone that you want to help us collectively say “this is wrong and it needs to stop!” today. I did.