Good Bye 2012

2012 was a long year and I am not sorry to see it go. My health reared up and demanded attention. I lost my focus with Hope, lost it in a sea of attachment. I forgot I was trying to make Hope an integral part of my family. I let others take the lead with Hope. I have never done that with one of my kids.

I thought I was improving my relationship with Mk, but it was superficial. She still hates me and thinks I hate her. I have been married almost 35 years and this year I came closer to divorce then ever before.

There were mixed events. I got to know GB’s needs much better. The cost? I had to face how much damage alcohol exposure prenatally did to her. My pain has steadily increased, but I discovered acupuncture provided relief. I dared to reach out to new friends. It is a much better way to live, but it sometimes results in pain.

There were a couple of blessings. Jimmy came back into our lives. I have three new grandchildren and became a great grandmother for the first time. We found a team of four therapists to work with our family.

2013 holds the joy and promise of healing and a new start.

Christmas Is For Family

Jakob Gabriel, mom, grandpa, and ... yup great grandpa.

Jakob Gabriel, mom, grandpa, and … yup great grandpa.

Christmas is family time. We started with friends before Christmas, did Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with just our nuclear six and had my sister and her family for Christmas dinner. Before my sister left this morning, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law arrived. We had an unexpected surprise when not only Jimmy and his family visited this afternoon, but also brought my first great grand baby- Jakob, who will be a week old tomorrow.

I am fighting off a bug and couldn’t hold him. The Dad had no problem taking my turns as well as his.

GB was thrilled to be taken out to lunch by her biological grandparents and her aunt. Hope did lots of sleigh riding at Bella’s. All the kids enjoyed the snow. No excitement and minimal drama makes for a good Christmas at home. The drama? That can wait until I have enjoyed the rest of my holiday.

Family Traditions

Mali

My sister and her family arrived from North Carolina in time for Christmas Dinner. Our matching pajamas have become a family tradition. We were blessed with six inches of premium snowman making snow. So far, we have had three game nights, a beautiful snowman built, gone to a movie, and went roller skating. Skiing is on for tomorrow for the older kids. Bowling and the city are still on our to do list. Everyone has been busy. GB fell asleep waiting for her bath tonight.

Happy Holidays to All. May you enjoy your family’s traditions, whatever they are, who ever they are with.

Whose Mistake?

We went to Radio City Music Hall and saw their Holiday Spectacular. We went with another family. We took the train down to Grand Central. We meandered around Rockefeller Plaza. The kids each picked an activity from the MOMA gift shop as a souvenir. We had hot dogs from street vendors and went to the 1pm matinee. Our seats were in the second row and each girl had cotton candy and a Radio City Music Hall Santa hat which came with cotton candy.

The show itself was an absolute success. All the girls were mesmerized.

Dinner was not as successful. We had reservations, but the restaurant was $50 an entree and had no kid’s menu. My Fillet Mignon  and the sauce it came with was delicious. Everybody else had trouble finding something they thought they would eat. I didn’t recognize most of what was on the menu.

Hope had an awful day. The only time she enjoyed herself was during the actual show. She was difficult all day. She had two full blown rages. In the middle of Manhattan. We had no graceful exits,

That old dilemma again. We want her to enjoy the family time with us. She can’t handle anything but a small, confined world. I am glad Hope had the experience of seeing the show. I never want to take her anywhere again.

This Trip to Michigan

The last time I visited Michigan, it was unpleasant. J was off his meds and that had the entire family in chaos. I set clear boundaries with J that he would not see GB until he was in treatment. As out of control as he was, GB had no interest in interacting with him and  told him so.

About six weeks ago, Joel applied to a new program, that was based on DBT. The psychiatrist and therapist work closely together and there is also group work involved. J likes the program.

In the four days we have been here, my son has been stable, responsible, and enjoyable. My grandchildren are happy and relaxed. J and GB have spent time together having real conversations. GB and X have a connection that is enjoyable to watch.

Hope is still having major struggles and difficulty with daily life,  even with her world very small.  We leave tomorrow morning, early enough to meet a friend 20 minutes north of Detroit. I am happy I came to visit.

An Update on Michigan

This is my grandson, X, on his first day of second grade. Thanks to a trip I made to Michigan, X is reading on grade level, although still a year behind chronologically. The one on one tutoring this summer (paid for by the school district) made a big difference. I think he is the world’s most handsome second grader, even if I am biased.

My son, J, is back on his meds, attending therapy regularly (I call and check), and has a new job. I was unable to talk to him regularly before he was back on the meds because I did not have it in me. Our relationship is much better now.

My granddaughter, K2, is still struggling with an overwhelming weight problem, but has managed to keep her weight stable three months in a row. I am so proud of her!

My oldest granddaughter, Kaylee, is a senior in high school and has a job.

I am encouraging both J and my DIL to develop some skills through vocational training. I have offered to help pay for it and this is the third year I am trying. I have hopes that they are both stable enough that this may be the year they decide to go for it.

X’s birth mother has warrant out for her arrest, hasn’t seen him in over eight weeks, and has an open CPS investigation for leaving her 2 year old alone for 72 hours. No body has seen her or her two year old in several weeks. I told J to file for a suspension of her visitation rights. I hope he does. X is really struggling with this. He is afraid for his baby sister. Any prayers you have would be appreciated.

It is Wednesday

My sister and her family left this morning. Organizing and cleaning are the order of the day. I loved having my sister here, even when we agree to disagree. My 19 year old autistic nephew did well. He only needed to be separated from everyone a couple of times. MK did well. My 14 year old nephew with ADHD and a mood disorder really struggled. He clashes with GB always, but this visit he had difficulty self-regulating most of the visit. Hope continued to struggle, no surprise, but GB spent the last four days at the edge of tears. Lots of little things, all out of her control. She just can’t go with the flow. It might not have mattered what we did this year… I think this holiday was destined to be a struggle.

The guys’ pajamas had pockets. I think we might all get guy pajamas next year.