Thursday, February 26, 2009

Women falls off the Edge


Well it finally happened.

I got stopped today and cautioned for Road Rage.

I also got cautioned for driving a Micra in the "Over taking Lane" as the young Garda told me it is called and told that it was to be points and an €80 fine next time.

It wasn't actually a marked police car so don't think I am that stupid, but an unmarked grey Mondeo that was behind me a bit on the M50 motorway even though I was doing at least the speed limit. (maybe hovering just above, sorry)

They flashed the lights and I moved over into what I used to call the slow-lane and then gave them my usual pinkie wave as they passed. And then I saw that there were about 7 aerials on the roof of the car and both occupants were wearing blue uniforms. OH CRAP.

They slowed down, got behind me and flashed me again, this time with the special lights that say "pull over you stupid girl, you have really messed up this time'

He came over and lectured me about the pinkie wave, then the lesson about what the right hand lane is for. I apologised and when I tried to turn down the radio to explain, Bratty began screaming (she wants the radio loud) and then Boo started pulling my hair. So I explained and apologised. He said next time it could be a stolen car I give my signal to and then I could get hurt.

Yep; I was bang to rights. I was road raging, I do drive like a bloke but I drive a Nissan Micra which is an old ladies car and blokes in Mondeos are always tailgating me to move over. I figure if I am doing the legal speed limit then I have a right to be in the fast lane and I will move over when I get past the slow vehicles in the slow lane. So I have form.

I am also having the week-two weeks, okay lets face it; The Four Months from Hell.

Not only is Boo biting, hitting and trying to knock me over several times per day, he is screaming, thrashing around and hurting himself and biting his hand.

He also lies down in the road when you are trying to get him to go for a walk, he won't wear his shoes properly, or a coat. He won't get dressed in the morning easily, he won't go to bed at night, he won't get into the car when it is time for school, he won't get out of the car when we get there.

Oh yes, we are making changes and have got rid of the VCR, all his videos, we took away his television and left him with a mini dvd player on a battery - which runs out. And some limited access to his computer, but not at the same time.

This change has been painful for all of us. If he misbehaves we put away the computer, then the dvd and on the third strike I start putting actual DVDs into a suitcase saying I am taking them to Farmleigh, the Health Board Respite House which he hated. Because I made the Videos disappear completely, he now takes this threat seriously, so by the third overnight bag full of DVDS (he has several hundred Discs) he usually does what I want. But with a lot of self harm and stress for all of us.

Oh, and did I mention that Bratty doesn't like Boo's Tantrums and My Yelling? So she screams and continuously asks us to repeat her comfort words "Icecream" and "Coota" (computer)

all while Boo is thrashing about throwing things, taking his clothes off, and biting himself/me.

So the change has not been accepted easily.

Put it this way: I watched that stupid show "Airline" the other night while cleaning the kitchen. A problem with Air Traffic Control had grounded a lot of flights in Bristol and the Easy Jet Customer Service Guy was Having a Bad Day.

(have you ever watched that show and wondered if maybe they did less talking to TV crews and more booking of flights there would be a lot less angry people hanging around their desks?)

At the end of 9 hours of telling people to go and feck off as there were no flight, he put on his jacket and trudged past the cameras in the foyer to go home.

I looked at him and imagined how it must feel; first to get home after such an awful day, and then to have to get out of bed and force yourself to come back into work the next day.

And then I realised; I never get to "go home" from my sometimes awful job of parenting a pubescent boy with autism, and I certainly have no choice about forcing myself to do it all again the next day.

I am one of the worlds great optimists. I can honestly say that I have never woken up and thought "this is going to be a terrible day, I'm not getting up"
Never. And I worked retail for 4 years!!

But yesterday was world championship standard awful. The morning was awful, I fought with Boo to get him ready. The day was awful as I managed to offend Mr Hammie over the phone, the afternoon was gold medal awful as the road lying, non shoe wearing incident on the forest walk happened, and the evening was all hurt silences and and misunderstandings and not enough hot water in the bath, and " you go and deal with that"
I was at breaking point but there was no one to catch me if I broke. Simple as that.

Oh, and to cap it all off there are hot north winds and a bush fire burning less than 30 kilometres away from where my sisters live in Victoria.

But I still got up and did it all again this morning. I got them to school, I got him out of the car and I came home for coffee, some work and then faced into the fact that I had to go and collect them. And face Boo again for the Afternoon Walk. And I might add that the walk is part of the Exercise is Good and Reduces Aggression program. And there is no one else who can take him for it.

So Yes, I was quite stressed out.

I'm sorry I made the hand signal. You are right Garda, I could get into trouble (more trouble) doing that.

But what I also could have done Garda is handed you the keys and stepped out of the car.

Gave you the two children to parent, exercise, entertain, teach and try to control.

You could probably manage Boo, you looked strong and trustworthy. You could probably make Boo wear his shoes and hold hands crossing the road and not lie down in mud and blackberries and walk in dogshit in his socks.

Instead I put my head down on the steering wheel and cried my heart out, and when I looked up, you were gone.

xx

18 comments:

Blogdog said...

Oh lord, what can I say, wish I would think of something uplifting and positive. But at least that cop has something to think about tonight!

drwende said...

I'm not a huggy type, but there's no other answer to your day...

(((hammie)))

It was crappy in every way possible; and you're still alive and coping.

K.Line said...

No wonder you've got road rage, lady. I've got pms today and people are running scared though they haven't even actively annoyed me. I cannot imagine how you are managing this moment. (Though I'm confident you will get through it with your regular super humanness.)

M, given her natural volatile personality, used to bite me and tantrum like a banshee. Though by the end of this life phase, she was strong enough to actually do some damage, I'm sure it's nothing like the damage a pubescent boy can do. She still goes a bit ballistic sometimes - but her rage is mostly expressed with violent language and disrespect. If there's one thing I might be able to relate to somewhat - and I am not trying to be comparative, of course, just supportive - it's that kiddie psycho willfulness. Kids who will not listen to reason, who act irrationally (for whatever reason) are eventually intolerable. I'm giving you so many positive, peaceful thoughts right now L. xo

Skye said...

Hammie, I wish I could do something fucking useful rather than just sitting here typing something on the other side of the world. It was emotionally draining just to read that account, how you got through it and keep going is nothing short of superhuman.

Nan P. said...

Oh! Hammie, Hammie… It is a good thing you have the outlet of this blog!

Please allow me to send you a Nan’s Big Humongous Squeezy Hug…

As for tailgaters at top speed, like you, I stay put until I have passed the truly slow vehicles, and only then pull over and allow them to go and kill themselves if they so wish…. And Feck them all anyway! And the stupid uniformed man! So there! ;-)

Sal said...

Hammie, my God. I don't know how you do it. I feel like I'm a survivor and have lived through a lot, but I would've checked myself in somewhere by now. Your love for those children is strong, and it's keeping you all alive. That must be such a burden, but there's no one stronger than you to bear it. Sending you all my good energy, and wishes for a more peaceful weekend.

Hammie said...

Thankyou everyone! I am feeling remarkably human now and so grateful for all your support.

Blogdog: I don't think so, I think they drove off so quickly they didn't see what effect it had on me. I think they just wanted to caution me for the hand signal and only had the right lane thing to use against me. Next legislation through the dail - no calling other drivers needle dick!

drwende: thankyou. And a hug from a non huggy type is a very big deal. Just don't start using LOL, or that's the end of it.

K- I love that you try to imagine what it is like and you know that I draw all this passionate oppositional defiance on myself - maybe I offended a gypsy fortune teller who said " May you be cursed with children like yourself"
I simply cannot believe that anyone as beautiful as M is in any way defiant, no wait; both my kids are beautiful too. okay.
As for Munster playing at home? - you know we are moon sisters? I was thinking it might be that too. Maybe I should put a red flag on my car to warn other motorists.

Skye: thinking about driving to the next Garda station and handing them the keys to the car, then checking myself into a cell for the night got me through it. But Boo said "no mummy crying" and then co-operated with his walk after it happened. So maybe it was some kind of peak of awfulness.

Nan: it was only the thought of writing it up on the blog that stopped me walking away from the car and leaving the Gardai with the keys and kids.
Thanks for the hug.

Sal: there is no one in Ireland that would take me! our social workers only work 9-5 weekdays so you have to arrange to have your breakdown between those times. I had the last quarter of 3 different tubs of Ben and Jerrys last night and with every spoonful the day melted away.


I actually think I was lucky folks. I could have annoyed a driver that really hurt me. Believe it or not I pulled up and wound down the window on Thursday to tell the driver of an 82 Mercedes S Class that the little stick on his steering wheel was an indicator and he should try using it before he pulled up suddenly in the middle of a roundabout. He could have been a russian gangster. So the Guard was right - I should be more careful.

PS. Seriously considering a much bigger car, maybe a Nissan Qashquai?

jazzygal said...

Oh, Hammie. Dunno what to say.

Like Blogdog I was hoping the Garda might have gone away and had a little think about things...especially after he'd seen some of Boo and Bratty's reactions. But you're prob right...unfortunately. I mean if the lane thing was really an issue you woulda got the points/fine there and then.

I know it's not much but.... the little bit of empathy from Boo was lovely. And then he co-operated with the walk.

I know it must be exhausting for you but the terrific way your handling the DVD thing seems to be working.

Keep strong....and lots of blogsphere hugs from me too. xoxoxoxo J

cybill said...

Hammie, like everyone else I wish I could actively DO something! If I were rich I would so hire you a nanny (and a cook, housekeeper and cabana boy).
I'm glad that the incident actually calmed Boo down, so some good came of it.

WendyB said...

Oh, lord. What a bad day.

Make Do Style said...

Oh darling I know - even mums without all your stresses do the road rage thing so you are not alone in this department - it is so overwhelming when you have children full stop.

I wish I could give you a hug and write some more - I do think any change takes a while for the results to come good. It will take a few weeks and suddenly it will all come together.

I'd write more but I've got to go ana be a bear!

Anonymous said...

Crikey Hammie, you had a very trying day to say the least. You are one of the most dedicated, passionate, loyal, strong and kind person that I have ever met. I could say many more great things about you but I don't want to annoy you! At least Boo showed empathy with you and co-operated with his walk. Sending you all my best.
Daizy

Top Bird @ Wee Birdy said...

Holey moley, you poor love.

(Though is it bad that I found the fact you gave the finger flipping more than mildly amusing?)

I don't blame your head-on-steering-wheel moment. What can I say, but hang in there, matey. xx

Anonymous said...

Oh Hammie you poor little chickie,
Arent the crap days really crap??!!
But there again, arent the great days really great? I dare someone to pull me over some day (hasnt happened yet, but it will I assure you!!).
I think that incident was a much needed minor meltdown, and as you said, you get up and start again. Im not sure how many times Ive told people that Im handing in my months notice of this whole "parenting of Special needs kiddies" job.
I know we're not getting paid enough, I know we dont get any holidays, or recognition, and sometimes I wish I could walk away from all the appointments and crap red tape. But like you, I wake up every morning and wrestle to dress and feed and get in the car and remember EVERYTHING and feel so stressed, but then I look through the rear view mirror and see the most gorgeous four smiley faces - and I made them!!
Chin up chickie

Hennie


PS Dont post much, but lurk lots.. keep up the good work.
xxx

Super Kawaii Mama said...

These are the days that you either cry or laugh in that crazed way that makes you consider hard drugs.
Last time I had one of those was when Miss Four (after being on hardcore laxatives for months)walked past the back window with what I though was a dead bird in her hand. When I went to the back door to console her, I opened the door and nearly fell over. She was holding a giant turd cupped in two hands and says, "It just fell out!"

Hope that gave you a giggle. <3
xxx SKM xxx

Sister Wolf said...

You should have called me, for godsake!!!!!!

Next time, please do.

Stay strong, remember that you area a samurai. xoxoxoxo

Hammie said...

Jazzy thankyou, and yes the empathy was amazing. I think we turned a corner that day.


Cybill: Just the cabana boy thankyou.

Wendyb: Thankyou.

Daizy: thankyou and it is lovely to hear from you. I don't know why I think I can write anything to help others when I am such a mess myself. xx

Hennie and Make-do: thanks and I get it that all mums feel this way.

Top Bird: If I flew outside my body I could see that it was very funny to give a cop the weiner finger. But I am not sure that Mr Hammie would have been amused to get my one phonecall from lock-up; had I laughed instead of cried.


SKM: Poo stories always welcome in our world. He he he!

Sister Wolf: Probably lucky I didn't have a sword. But in my newly contrite and well behaved state I am thinking a lot about guns. Maybe they should just let me road rage?
thankyou. xx

Jean said...

I'm really out of date with your blog thanks to being stuck on BogBand...but I'd love to give you a huge hug. Hope you had your waterproof mascara on.
What a horrible day. Hope things are looking up honey
XXX