Drip, Drip, Drip: Water and Absorbing Materials

It was very early Sunday morning.  He was bleary-eyed and shaving with a sharp razor.

I held up an Always-brand Ultra Thin feminine pads eye-level and pronounced, “This is an answer to your prayers!”

He turned from the sink where he was rinsing his razor, his hand now dripping wet and stood frozen.  A lake of water formed on the bathroom at his feet.  (Like a whole bunch of water!)  He just stood silently, staring at the women’s hygienic product in my hand.

To back up, my bipolar, level 2 autistic daughter at our home on a weekend pass from her home – a therapeutic group home – waddled up to me a few moments prior.  Not being mean –  no – literally she waddled up to me.  It was early in morning and in an early- morning-and-easily-annoyed mood prior to taking my prescription meds for anxiety and depression , PTSD (brought on by violently extreme rages of our adopted kids) I said, “I can’t hear you and please stop waddling like a penguin.”  She approached me again with less waddle.  She whispered again, “I need a pad!”  I heard her the second time.  “We don’t have any here,” I responded, now understanding the awkward amble.  She had just gotten her period two other times.  Unchartered territory.  Then I added, “Have you brushed your teeth?”  She, “No.”  I said that it was not pleasant when she came so close to my nose!

She went to the hallway bathroom.  I went to my bathroom.  I fumbled around under my bathroom sink and ‘Lo and Behold’ — Always Ultra-Thin pads.

I stood up and held the pad eye-level and said to my hubbie, “This is the answer to your prayers!

Ah -hah!  The desired results I had hoped for enveloped his face: CONFUSION!

It may have helped to have filled him in on a few more details about my conversation with our daughter before telling him a pad was his gift from God.  He had yet to drink his morning coffee.  He does not function properly without it.  The drug in coffee has altered his executive functioning – I think.  So my strange and crazy way of making my husband scratch his head plus ginormous stress from the broken water heater forming a lake of water on the laundry room floor, and lack of regular sleep because of his own depression from watching his family be ripped apart from numerous adoption traumas, and me subsequently developing PTSD, my ears always attuned to the slightest noise in hypervigilence to catch any situation in its infancy before a full-blown implosion of bipolar rage sends me careening downhill might also be contributing factors to his confusion.   If you are keeping track, that is two lakes in 24 hours at our house.

I did later explain my comment, which made Kyle laugh (LIKE DEEP BELLY LAUGH) at the mission I accomplished in totally unbalancing an already  teetering pre-coffee man.  He just laughed as he communicated his thoughts or lack of them going through his head.  He frankly had no idea how what I said about Always made any sense.  Everything I said was true.  My purposeful delivery of the information was what confused him.

Since adopting our son and daughter, my husband has had to take on the roles of:

warden,

buffer,

protector,

bread-winner,

father,

public middle school teacher,

soccer training business owner,

judge,

parole officer,

psychologist / therapist/ counselor,

husband,…

and a plumber at times when lakes form in the house.

Prior to the adoption of our two loved kiddos and the ensuing trauma, his roles were largely amazing husband, best-ever daddy, and bread-winner.

It had all gone a little too well.  We began to believe the lie of Satan that we could control our lives while shaping and molding our children into godly, happy believers in the grace and salvation that we have found in Christ.  (… we can’t, He can!)

We have learned some awful and great lessons in seasons of sheer misery.  The monsters of trauma nearly devoured me.  Only by the sustaining word of God and faith in His goodness, I was not completely annihilated.  Behaviors of our kids became increasingly aggressive and destructive – and aimed primarily at me…MOM.  I have been hit, bit, spit upon, and poisoned.  I have seen rages so strong and intense, my very young children have jumped out of cars traveling close to 40 mph, kicked through wooden bedroom doors and glass window to escape their captivity, and broken furniture, mirrors and anything lying around within reach.  While doing life as a mom with my other biological children in that same environment,  I feared for the damage being done to their minds and hearts.  There has been incredible damage.  I have diagnosed PTSD.  My kids have hardened and closed off their hearts to a great deal.  Some have turned from God battling with the questions I also ask, “If there is a God, why would He do this to our family?”

Well, deep lessons have been learned.  And other lessons are being learned.  Sometimes I wish I could tell God – we GOT IT!  Please let the lessons stop.  I am tired of being in the school of HARD.

Here is some of the instructions we have received:

LESSON #1:  We aren’t in control of ANYTHING except our responses to stimuli.  We don’t control our own lives.  We certainly don’t control the lives of our offspring and adoptees.  They are entirely in the hand of a merciful and loving God.  He allows things in our lives for his glory and our good.  That is promised in His word – the Bible.  He also allows us to make our own decisions outside of His will.  He is loving, his is just, but He isn’t a people manipulator.

LESSON #2:  There is absolutely nothing I can d to save my kids or another human soul.  Salvation is a supernatural event caused by a supernatural being.  I am not that.  In fact, I am pretty natural.  I eat, sleep, fart.. very natural.  And if you Google search about holding your farts in – I did that yesterday on a car trip to Florida Youth Sheriff’s Ranch for Boys – you will discover, it may contribute to bad breath.  I am natural!  He is supernatural.  I can’t save them.  And the best news is that I don’t have to save them.  That is a terribly big job.

LESSON#3:  Hurt people hurt people – themselves included.  Ever wonder why people turn to alcohol? I totally understand.  I don’t drink – too expensive was always my motivation.  But others, they didn’t think that becoming a falling down idiot would solve their dilema.  They did think that escaping from their hurts was a stupendous idea.  Suicide victims also believe this, as well as drug addicts, and people choosing really unhealthy relationships.

Avoiding hurts is completely understandable to me now since adopting children who would unknowingly traumatize me.  Very deeply, they altered my brain – injured by brain.  I know why the mom with prescription pills in her hand takes all of them versus the prescribed amount.  I know why people get into drugs.  I know why people lock themselves in their room and don’t come out.  I know why people eat and eat and eat and eat

They are all trying to avoid being hurt or soothe the hurt.  Even if just for a moment.

They hurt that bad.

I have a long list of avoiding hurt.

After being sexually abused from age 7 – 10, I equated physical intimacy with being liked.  Dumb Dumb HURT teenager thoughts.  Guys in high school are mostly looking for easy.  So I decided to be easy.  That added to my hurts.  I was looking for love, validation, approval, friendships, encouragement, etc.  I found none of those in high school relationships.

So when someone does something incredibly stupid, risky, dangerous, or even life-threatening, wonder WHAT THE HECK HAVE THEY BEEN THROUGH TO GET TO THIS PLACE?  She has been really hurt.  He has been through something terribly painful to act out like that.

Now, I have compassion for the tortured souls trapped in addictions, terrible habits and hang-ups.  It’s LESSON #4-100.  Taught over and over again, love others in their yuck.

[But this does not mean to agree with, support, enable, encourage, excuse or allow those hurt people to hurt you or someone else.  Healthy boundaries are essential in living in this hurt world.]

And now to answer:  Why are the pads an answer to my husband’s prayers?  He was taking our daughter to a soccer game and then back to her current living circumstances because we have demanded healthy boundaries.  We deserve to be safe in our own home.

If we did not have the needed feminine pads, Mr. Amazing would have had to make an unwanted stop to gets pads for our aging 12-year-old.

FUN TIMES!

 

 

 

 

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round.. All around our Airbnb!

     You have got to be kidding… Our AIRBNB sits LITERALLY within the confines of the bus loop at an elementary school.  An actively used bus loop! Come Monday morning, 500 kids under the age 10 will be outside the window of this AIRBNB.

THIS IS RIDICULOUS! 

… AND IT IS HILARIOUS! 

… And you can’t make this [bleep] up!  My husband has booked my son and I an AIRBNB reservation at a home in a very BIZARRE location.  (Me: LAUGHING A LOT.  My 18-yr-old son: not so much laughing)

Life is really, really, really hard – at my house.  It has been that way for several years.  So I use a little crazy as my coping skill.  I find humor in my surroundings.  Honestly, it is there but sometimes it’s hard to see when you face insurmountable challenges daily.  We adopted two kids who have RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder).  They push loving people away because the love from their original family hurt them as infants.

So my advice when life is insanelier HARDER than you could have ever imagined:

LAUGH!  If you can’t find something funny, then be funny!  Wear an Iron Man mask in the Starbucks drive-thru and if the guy named Jeff handing you a coffee doesn’t laugh but you and your daughter do, then maybe you will make it through another day!  Woot!  Woot!

But – oh there is so much more to the story about the time my son and I stayed in the BUS LOOP at an AIRBNB  on the campus of an elementary SCHOOL!

TJ and I were off for another soccer tournament a couple hours from home.  He has played competitive soccer since the age of 7.  He plays at the highest level in the state.  We often need overnight accommodations so we have turned to AIRBNB for help.  We have found this usually gives us more space, cooler places and it’s loads cheaper!  So Dad took on  the job of concierage and booked our lodgings.

To be fair, the description of this AIRBNB was not accurate.  Seriously people!  If you have a home that sits next to 500 small children learning reading and math,  then you should say so.  No where did the write-up of the hotel alternative mention swings, slides, cafeterias or raccoons… or rats!  Upon arrival, my son and I thought “this can not be right” as we knocked on the only building we could find with the given Google Maps directions.  A man and woman looking ready to run a marathon answered the door.  They were actually ready to run a marathon.  And we were the ‘lucky’ family who had booked their soon to be empty home.  They chatted us up a bit when we really just wanted to lay down on a comfy bed.  We exchanged pleasantries about our lives.  They told us they both were police officers.  AND THAT IS WHY THEY LIVE ON THE CAMPUS OF AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.  They have an incredibly low rent and the school gets 24-hour security.  Kinda makes a bit more sense, kinda right?

They head out the door and my son and I scratch our heads.  As we look around, we see a lot of ODD THINGS:

  1.  There is the largest, furry, brown beanbag-like monstrosity the size of a baby elephant in the place of a chair to sit on in the living area.  It has a 5″ x  12″ rectangular manufacturer label that says “LOVE SAC”.  I decided to not  ever sit on someone else’s large furry “Love Sac”.  Nope, not gonna sit there.
  2. There is a glass shelving unit outside the bathroom with its’ own set of oddities.  One shelf is devoted to 5 different Wonder Woman trinkets:  a Wonder Woman Pez candy dispenser,  a Wonder Woman mug and a couple other things that I could look back on my phone and see but it is not really crucial information.
  3. There is a hand-crafted sun-catcher – likely from a neice or younger person- that reads NAMASTE.  When I read it aloud to my son, he yelled back cleverly:  “Namaste?[It is important to note the correct pronounciation /naw-maw-stay/]… Naw Maw NOT WANT TO STAY!  I died laughing.  Pretty funny guy huh?
  4. The top shelf has a 18 inch Teddy bear dressed in a police woman’s uniform and a lacy collar.  Do you remember these from the 80’s?  Just.  Gross.
  5. The kitchen reveals a pantry in which 100% of every edible item is housed in a Rubbermaid container and a small circular note adorns one of them at eye-level.  It reads:  DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE RACCOONS!  I am not kidding.  Who leaves a note that says DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE RACCOONS on the containers in a pantry in which they have booked guests?  Well, that’s easy.  The same people who tell their guests that they are new to South Florida and have not had any rodent issues –except– rats— once—- a year ago.  THEY ACTUALLY SAID THAT.  I don’t think I would mention that folks.
  6. The comforter, window coverings and pillows are an awful primary blue fish or planet design.  I can’t quite recollect but remember them being hideous.  Not the type of  adult room decor normally in a guest bedroom.  More of an 8-year-old boy kinda vibe.  But the home owners don’t have a child.  They said they did not have kids.  Oh, okay.   Possibly, the linens could have been from a clearance rack.  They kinda had that look.  Like they would have set on a shelf for a while until the store clerks got the go-ahead to move these atrocious comforter sets out the door by marking them way down.  Cheap.
  7.  Outside we had to be very specific on where we parked.  Ya know – if a giant yellow school bus needed to use their designated bus loop.  We were to park under the tarp held up by metal piping stuck in plastic 5 gallon buckets filled with cement.  Fancy!  Kinda like a portico but in a third world country.

The adventure did not end there with the accommodations.  The home owners did follow ONE traditional AIRBNB protocol.  They had a notebook on the bedside table to give insider tips about the best places to visit in the area.   One look at the restaurant recommendations and I knew where we HAD TO GO for dinner:  MUNCHIES 420.   When you stay at a place where you are pretty sure the people living there smoke pot and arrest people for smoking pot, then you gotta go try the suggested MUNCHIES 420.  I don’t smoke weed.  (While vacuuming my couch cushions. I found a pill bottle with what looked like dried grass- to me.  I did not understand why the kid from my husband’s soccer team who lived with us because his parents didn’t parent him had a pill bottle with grass in it.  I called my husband.  I literally said, “I found a pill bottle of (insert soccer players name)’S and it has what looks like dried grass or weeds in it.  What do you think it is?”  “Weed” said my hubbie.  I was confused and said, “No, it looks like weeds or something.  What could it be?”  Again,  “Weed” said my hubbie.  Took me a while but I finally understood.  Oh!  I was holding weed, like marajuana.  That was a first for me.)   But, I highly recommend Munchies 420.   I ordered the “Dankalicious Chicken Nugs” and TJ got a “Fat Mamma”.  (No, not me.  I struggle with weight gain because of anxiety.  Really.  Every word of this post is true.  I do struggle with not eating enough because of have a nervous stomach. But I didn’t struggle ordering when the dessert menu listed Fried Apple Pie Bites.  I could have ordered the Fried Twinkie.  I was tempted. )  Back to TJ’s dinner.  A Fat Mamma is a pizza philly with chicken fingers, mozzerella stix and spuds.  Or maybe he ate a Fat Daddy.  I can’t remember… so there could be one thing that is not true.  I don’t know which one he had.  But I do know the food was ON POINT!  Great food.  Two hysterically drunk guys about 40 behind us.  Good laughs!

In the end,  I don’t know if my son’s soccer team won or lost that weekend.  I can not remember these games.   He has had hundreds of games but I will never forget –   

The Wheels On the Bus go Around our Airbnb,

around the Airbnb,

around the Airbnb.

The Wheels On the Bus Go Around our Airbnb-  THAT MY HUSBAND BOOKED!