Sunday, February 8, 2015

And when one of us is gone, and one of us is left to carry on...

Another year has passed and it's Feb 8th again. The anniversary of my (birth) mothers death. It always hits me hard that each year goes by faster than the last. That with each year, her face, her eyes, her voice, and her smell get so much further away from me. And yet, each passing year, is also a reminder of how quickly my own life is passing and how much closer I am getting to being just a photo and a memory that my own son might one day pull out once a year.

I can already see the winced faces and hear the "Oh, don't say that!" from various people in my life. But the fact is, it's true. The cycle of life is a very real thing that none of us get a free pass on. I just turned 43. My mother died at 32. Time isn't a guarantee. This is hard to think about, let alone accept. If you have an anxiety disorder or know someone who does, you know this very topic is a huge source and trigger.  So much of my anxiety revolves around this fact and this particular unknown. 

Maybe that's why I don't want people to tell me not to say what is true, just because it's uncomfortable. Not saying it, thinking it, or feeling it doesn't make it any less true. To that, they might say, "well no, but you shouldn't DWELL on it." Dwell. It's a funny word. You shouldn't dwell on it. You shouldn't focus on it. You certainly shouldn't obsess about it. Maybe that's true. But what about, finally, once and for all accepting it? Would that be okay? And in order to accept it don't you have to think about it? At least a little?

Yes. You do. So here I am, thinking about it and writing about it and daring to say that my mothers death at such a young age has affected me, and still ,to this day, at the ripe old age of 43 I'm still that scared little girl, so sad that she is gone forever, and so scared that it's going to happen to me. 

I don't want it to happen to me. Who does, right? But given my condition I think it's time I find a way to be okay with it. And the only way I can think of to do that is to acknowledge it. To stop pretending that we're all going to live forever and that's it's not okay to talk about the fact that we're not. And then I can acknowledge that despite my fate, despite the fate of everyone, I am still here now. I'm still here with some issues and problems, but I'm also still here with dreams and ideas and a whole long list of things I still want to do. I can try to accept the fact that all of this will be over one day so long as I also try to make sure I'm having the most authentic and enjoyable journey that I can possibly have for me. My journey won't look like yours or his or hers and it really is time that I realize that and start to believe that it's okay. That, of course, requires a lot of letting go. Letting go of ideals, and old ideas, and thought patterns that were never even mine in the first place. It requires forgetting who I thought I was supposed to be and who I thought other people wanted me to be and remembering who I really am. What I really like and don't like. What makes me comfortable and what doesn't. Accepting anything is work and it doesn't have to be done all at once, but it does have to start somewhere.

Right now, today, it starts here.
I love you, mommy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Okay, so maybe that's a little drastic, but you get the point.  This one line could pretty much sum up my entire life and the way I've felt since I can remember being able to feel. To be more accurate and little less violent, it started out more like.....I hate everyone or nobody loves me. This was, of course, when I was four or five, and I challenge anyone to find a child an alcoholic who didn't cry themselves to sleep to the tune of nobody loves me.

The sentiment still rings true, however It's still very black and white. Polar opposites.  My two main emotions/feelings/beliefs when dealing with conflict of any kind.  When being let down, or hurt, or lied to. When being ignored, overlooked, or dismissed. I will either believe you don't love me or I will believe that I fucking hate you. I will believe it with my whole heart. Or, I would, if a heart had the ability to believe anything. I will believe it with my whole brain. Why do you think that is? I'm only asking because I don't know for sure. Is it because of my brain and the black and white thinking being part of my biological make up? Or is it simply because when I was a little girl people fucked me up and I never learned how to think any other way? I don't know those answers. I just know that this is beyond a shadow of a doubt, the way it is.

I've often joked that "I hate people."  And when I say joke, what I really mean is, I've often said it jokingly so it would appear to be a joke, when in reality, I think I fucking hate people. Not all people of course. And not all the time, although there are some people I do hate all the time.  Is that awful? It is, isn't it?  I sounds awful.  Hate sounds awful. Maybe it's not really HATE.  Maybe it's more like dislike, or can't deal with, or don't understand. That sounds better, I think.  There are most definitely people who LOVE people.  They just adore everyone and they'll say it as often as they can for anyone who will listen. "I just LOVE people. I'm a people person."  I am not one of them. I'm not made from the gene pool. I think it's great that someone could love everyone, but I can't.  I've only truly loved a handful of people so far.

I don't know where I'm going with this to be honest. I guess maybe I'm just being honest. I'm still dealing with some shit that has almost put me in a permanent state of  "I don't give a fuck".  I do think that is a real state of being.  It exists and some people are lucky enough to get to live there.  I'm also angry.  One way to be sure that I'm angry is to count how many time I use the word FUCK. If it's more than twice, I'm most likely angry. Maybe this is good. Maybe it means I'm coming out the well finally, and this is how I do it.

I have a lot of decisions to make, or at least I feel like I do,  Smart decisions that enhance my well being instead of kicking my well being in the balls. (My well being is obviously male)  I feel like I have been in a state of limbo and I don't ever fair well in that state. The black and white thinking, remember. I'm fairly certain I'm still not in a decision making frame of mind. If you're not sure why, just refer to this entire post.

Anyway. I feel a little less angry after getting to type Fuck so much.  It really is nice release.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Prozac Nation

It's been a while since I've had the energy to visit this place.  I always find myself back here though. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

A lot has happened since the Thanksgiving incident. The mystery behind said incident wasn't much of a mystery at all. Just a classic case of being forgotten. There was no apology, of course. No, "oh shit!  I don't know how we could have forgotten to invite you!  I'm sorry. " I find that when people screw up they prefer to just forget it and wish that you would too. I pretty much have, but the next incident that occurred, which caused me to forget it, was much worse. Roughly a month later, we lost a family member, David.  David, technically was not "family" by blood or even marriage, but he was my aunts boyfriend for about 15 years, and held as much, if not more, weight as any family member I've ever had.  It was completely unexpected.  I hadn't even known he had been sick or in the hospital until I finally spoke with my aunt a week before Christmas.  I called her on Saturday that weekend and she said she was back at the hospital and he wasn't doing well. The next day I had two missed calls one right after the other, and I knew.  That night was spent at his house with all of the people we spent summer camping trips and cookouts with year after year. It was a difficult night. It was a difficult Christmas and a difficult couple of weeks after that.

Dealing with death isn't something I know how to do. Maybe no one does. I tend to stuff it down as deep as possible, but even then I know that it has happened.  This was the second loss of someone close in the same year and both shook me to my core. Not just the loss, but both deaths caused me to question everything in my life, and question my own mortality. I'm told this is normal. What probably isn't normal is that it also made me want to pack my bags and run.  Run away from everything and everyone that I know. As far as I could get. I didn't. Mostly because, right now, I can't.

In anticipation of the New Year, I tried to really figure out what I could do to make things better. To make myself better. To make my life better.  I tried to really figure out what it was that I needed.  I thought I had. I thought I knew.  The first couple of weeks were even okay. Sort of.

These second two are going to be a struggle.  It's already started.  I'm not sure if it's PMDD or if it's the aftermath of a shitty Holiday Season or if it's AS, or Bi-polar disorder, or just your normal run of the mill bout of Depression.  I can't name it.  All I can do is feel it.  I tried hard to turn tragedy into something positive.  I've even tried to be social and connect with people. Either the timing is off or I just don't get a response. The people that haven't responded to me are slowly being crossed off my list, and my world just keeps shrinking. I don't even know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  It just is.

I'm not feeling a whole lot of anxiety right now, which leads me to believe that this is probably some sort of depression. Depression is almost the opposite of Anxiety.  It brings a sense of relief.  You stop being afraid of things like dying because living becomes so hard. Also unlike Anxiety, which tends to bring agitation, Depression brings anger. ANGER. The dark, mean kind. The, I fucking hate you kind.

This will probably pass. It always has in the past. But right now, it truly feels like hell. It feels like being at the bottom of a well. There is nothing around you but darkness. There is no way out. It's cold and lonely. You keep thinking someone will come and you'll hear them yell down to you that they are there and they're going to help you out. But they don't come. They don't even know you are down there and there's no way for you to tell them. Even if they did come, you'd probably just yell at them. Tell them to go away because you don't want them or need them. In fact, right now, you fucking hate them. Or if you didn't yell, you would just stay perfectly quiet until they gave up and walked away. It doesn't make any sense, but I don't think it's supposed to.  Nothing makes a whole lot of sense when you're in the well.

From here I just push through when I have to, or sit still and wait when I can.  There is very little I can do, short of deciding to take anti-depressants again. I can't stop it. I can't even shorten it.  I can't snap out of it, or cheer up, or think positive. I can't just think of something else, or get out my own head. I know all of this, and while knowing it doesn't make it any less painful, it does help in a way. It helps because part of the desperation comes from trying to do all of those things that you can't do. You think you should be able to. People tell you you should be able to. And when you can't, you feel hopeless. Lost forever in the darkness with no end. Knowing and accepting the fact that you have to wait and that you don't have the power over this does help. A little.

Hope, who is still learning..

Friday, November 28, 2014


It sucks to be excluded. Everyone who has ever been excluded knows this.  People who have never been excluded know nothing about it. They are normally the ones doing the excluding.  I could be generalizing, but for the most part, generally, this is pretty much true.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I probably would have posted then, if the power hadn't have been out. Thanksgiving is all about being thankful and family and probably being thankful for family.  I did my best,  I swear I did. The first winter storm brought along a power outage that started at 2pm the day before,  and pretty much made the whole experience stressful.  No heat. No water. No cooking dinner. No lights. You get the idea. We had a brief period of the power coming back on.  Just enough time to get the turkey in the oven and cook for an hour. We finally gave up and went out to eat at a local restaurant, just the three of us. That part was nice but for the most part it was an experience I'd rather forget, and yet the loss of power wasn't the most disappointing.

The disappointing part was watching, via social media (because there was nothing else to do but browse my phone apps), everyone getting ready to spend the Holiday with their friends and family, while we had been waiting right up until the last minute and never got an invite from mine. I've spend many Thanksgivings with them since my divorce and had gotten to feel as though I was maybe a "part" of that. In fact, we had gotten an invite from my BF's uncle and turned it down. At the time I actually thought that I would like to spend it with my family this year. Just thinking that now makes me feel stupid and something else that I can't even fully describe.  Embarrassed maybe. Embarrassed for myself. For assuming. For letting myself think that I was a part of something. The feeling almost makes me want to throw up.

By afternoon when the power hadn't come on we were told "We could come over if we had no power."  That also made me want to throw up.  Thank you? I don't know what I'm supposed to say to that. How am I supposed to feel? Like a charity case.

Being excluded sucks. Plain an simple. It's happened too many times in my life to even count.  There are many reasons for being excluded, although I don't know why it was this time, and I can't stop myself from ruminating over it. It could be that we are not a "part" of the family. It could be because they don't like me/us.  It could be because they heard about the therapy or the AS.  It could be because the last time they were around my son, he talked their ears off. Maybe they don't like my BF. It could also be that they forgot. I've been overlooked more times than not and then blamed for it because I'm too quiet. It could be for any reason or any combination of reasons, none of which I will ever really know. All I do know is that it sucks. You try to reason with yourself or make excuses. You tell yourself you really didn't want to go anyway, because being around too many people is exhausting. You tell yourself it's for the best because, honestly, you really were just hoping for a quiet day for the three of you. You tell yourself you don't really care, or that you shouldn't really care. And then you ruminate some more, because it sucks, and because you do care. Because even though you know you don't fit, you still want to belong somewhere. Because even though your son may prefer to be alone more often than not, you still want him to grown up with some sort of "family" and memories. Because even though you have the option of saying no, and can, and should sometimes, you still want to be asked. Because being excluded and overlooked makes you feel irrelevant, even in your own life. It reinforces all of the horrible things you believe about yourself, that you know you're not supposed to think or believe.

And what do you do in a situation like this?  Do you just keep quiet?  Do you just write a blog post in an attempt to stop the racing thoughts and questions?  Do you say something?  Is it even acceptable to ask why we didn't get an invite this year, because honestly that is what my first instinct to do was, but I'm all too often asking or saying things that I shouldn't or that people don't want me to.  I really don't even know.

I know I shouldn't let this bother me. I've been independent, on my own, and alone for so many years now that I'm okay with it and I can do it well. I've also been excluded enough to realize that when it happens it's usually because it's not where you were meant to be.  My rational side knows this and will most likely take over after I'm done feeling hurt, angry, foolish and broken.

Someday, I'm sure,  I will be thankful for the lesson, even if I don't know exactly what it is today.

Monday, November 17, 2014


So today I'm having trouble with everything.  Fucking winter is on it's way and that in itself is enough to make life more difficult to deal with.  My normal state of being is a state of stress. This is constant that never seems to let up, no matter how I try to get to an easier place.  More schedule changes have the next two months looking like hell. Not MY schedule changes, mind you.  Everyone else's.  I'm sick of the trickle down effect.  I know I'm supposed to just accept change, but that's never going to happen.  None of the major recent changes in my life, and work schedule have had anything to do with me, and it's really pissing me off.  How is everyone else's life more important than mine?  How is everyone else's work more important?  Why am I always having to remind people that "I have to work." ?  Jesus Christ.  If I don't, we don't survive.  The bills don't get paid and we don't get to eat. How is that not important?  I sometimes think, everyone thinks I just pull money out of my ass and I can magically do everything, without ever having any down time, or ever getting to enjoy my life. That is not the case. Not even close. I'm seriously about ready to explode from be saddled with the majority of the responsibility for so fucking long.  For some insane reason I have the urge to throw everything in the house outside.  In the cold and the rain.  Irrational thoughts. I'm aware of that, but that doesn't keep them from finding their way in.  I don't deal with my emotions well.  That's obvious. All I know is I'm pissed off and I want to DO something. Throwing everything outside seems like a better option than banging my head against a wall. Right?  I actually did this as a child, when I lived with my birth mother.  When something would piss me off, all the check-out aisle toys I owned went out the window of our second floor studio apartment.  As much sense as it doesn't make, it did seem to make me feel better. But I'm a grown up now.  I still don't know how to deal with these "feelings" so I'm writing everything down in a rambling fashion without a second thought to what the fuck I'm saying.  That, in a sense, is throwing all my shit out the window, isn't it?

I can't waste too  much time here dumping my shit, because I obviously am not going to have too much time to fill orders at the busiest time of the year.  I'm not sure what I can do to bring myself to a better place.  Normal people know what to do. I don't know how to make my heart stop racing, and to make my muscles loosen their grip.  This is what unexpected change does to me. Each and every fucking time.  I start to see no option but to separate myself from everyone.  To take complete and total control over my own life.  This will make my life small. People will say I'm a control freak.  I'm not.  I don't care what you do so long as it doesn't affect me. I'm rigid. I'm never going to NOT be rigid. 42 years on this earth has taught me that. I just need to find a way to not just exist in a world that's constantly changing, late, irresponsible, forgetful, messy, chaotic, and loud, but I need find a way to be happy here. To not live in a constant state of stress. Right now, in this moment, I can honestly say, I don't know how to do that.  That all of the baby steps I've been taking have been wiped clean and I'm back to square one.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Why I can't just...

It's been a while since I've posted anything here, in part because I've just been busy, and in part because I've started writing elsewhere.  I'm back today because I have more to say on a subject that originated here.

I've spend my whole life looking for answers and reasons, not only to things that happen in the world around me, but answers and reasons for why I am the way I am.  There were always people that thought that was a waste of time.  They were usually the first people to say, "there's nothing wrong with you." in one breath and then point out how I was flawed in the next. It's been confusing to have people tell me what my "problem" was and then insist there was no real problem. Only I know how I feel and I've known forever that something was different. That I didn't see, or feel, or experience life in exactly the same way. I've tried very hard over the years to do what I was "supposed to do". To act like I was "supposed to" act. But that's all it ever really was. An act. I've made some very important life choices that revolved around this acting. Things I can't ever change or take back. I do have regrets. And I know I'm not "supposed to", but I do.

On Friday morning, I got what is as close to an answer as I will probably ever come.  It didn't come as a complete surprise as it was what I have believed to be true for almost two years now, but at the same time it made it real. After a year and a half of therapy, that started and focused mostly on my anxiety, my doctor, in his words "is pretty sure I lie somewhere on the Spectrum". "All of the pieces fit."  I knew this, of course. At least that the pieces fit. I felt it so strongly, but when I tried to get honest feedback from people in my life, their response made me doubt myself. Perhaps it was a mistake to share my thoughts with anyone. To put too much weight in what other people think. Perhaps they thought that it may be true, but didn't give me a truthful answer, so as not to "worry" me further. Whatever the case may be, on Friday morning, there it was. Confirmation?  Validation? Ironically, at that very moment it was somewhat anti-climatic. There was a small part of me that felt like a child again saying..."see? I was telling you the truth and you didn't believe me!"  But for the most part it put me in a daze. I felt a little numb and couldn't fully process the information. On one hand I felt like this is important.  This is really fucking important. But what could I do?  In reality it is only important to me.

For the past few days I've just sat with it. After all it was only a statement, right? There is a part of me that is still doubting myself. Doubting my doctor, even. What if he's wrong?  And I then I think, he's not wrong. I know this. With every fiber in my being I know, and I have known. So how can it be that I'm having difficulty wrapping my brain around something that I already know?  Acceptance. Just because I've felt this for so long doesn't mean that I have fully accepted it. There was always that little doubt, always that tiny bit of hope that I would still wake up one day and be something different. Somebody different. And I don't say that because I hate myself, I say it because a part of me just kept thinking it. I say it because so many things are a struggle and I just have always wished that they weren't. I say it because I've had a lifetime of hearing..."Why can't you just....", "Why don't you just...", "When will you just..."

I'm not entirely sure what I should be feeling right now. I do feel validation. I do. There is a certain freedom and relief in that feeling.  Asperger Syndrome. Autism.  Most people know of it, but not about it.  Most people will never care to learn. So nothing changes. It will only matter to me. Aside from validation, I guess I feel a little sad. Like I've missed something very important in life and I wish I had a do over. I can't really explain that feeling or why I have it. And then there's the anger, which is nothing new. I've been angry for a very, very long time. When no one understands you, it seems to be the go-to emotion.

I haven't shared this with very many people. Only a couple in my life, and a group I belong to, filled with like-minded strangers. Strangers are always more supportive.  They have nothing to gain or lose.

From here, the therapy will continue and testing will start. Answers and reason are important, but so is knowing what to do with them.

Hope, who came home Friday afternoon, to see that Jerry Seinfeld had shared some information of his own. This came as no surprise either. I hope that the world doesn't chew him to bits because he shared what he believes to be true on a public forum. You never know how these things will go. The media is already having a field day with it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Being Jack's Mom

Summer is here in New England, and it's hot and sticky. Given our recent move and no longer having a lake in my backyard it's not nearly as enjoyable as it has been. Change. Yuck. Another change this year is no summer childcare. None. Zip. Zilch. Every year until now I've had some sort of "paid help" whether it be school camp, a baby sitter or day camp at the lake. It was nice because it gave me a break and some time to work uninterupted and it also got Jack out of the house and with "other people", which everyone has always stressed the importance of.  This year it's the two of us, here, mostly in this house. It's going okay so far and I'm quickly realizing that the "nice" part of having childcare was for my benefit only. Don't get me wrong, I'd take someone up on the offer in a heartbeat. I still enjoy getting time to just be me, without mom duties 24/7, but he's over the moon with most of it.

Life is busy for us, even at the slower pace we like to move. I try to wear many hats in the summer, but between being a doll artist, a housekeeper, a cook, a house renovator, a girlfriend, a daughter, a friend, and a woman, the largest part of me is still mostly Jack's Mom. 

I've struggled with that, probably since the day he was born. Not because I didn't want him or love him, but mostly because I realized I wasn't made for this. I was completely out of my element, and that mothers instinct thing was lost on me, at least for a very long time. Some woman are definitely cut out for the job of motherhood and I have absolutely nothing in common with them. The struggle was made even harder by not having the same type of child rearing experiences as these "other" moms.  All of our "stuff" was different. Not necessarily bad. Just different. I had an amazingly polite 2 year old who said please and thank you, but for life of me I couldn't get him to wave, or play with other kids, or even acknowledge me half the time. "Our" struggles were different, and our time table and milestones were different too. I didn't fully know that then, so I kept reading the books and trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. It wasn't an easy road in the beginning, even though I was sure I had an amazing kid. I fought against what was, in order to try to get us to what we should be. I listened to a lot of the wrong people. 

I know, now, that wasn't what I should have been doing. Hindsight. 

Over the last year and half I have learned so much. About myself, about my son, and about accepting what is. Although no one has an official diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, living "as if" has changed things drastically for both of us. It's still a process of living and learning and making a few mistakes, but  everything that was so confusing way back in the beginning now makes perfect sense. That's not to say that we don't still have our struggles. We do. Almost daily. But we can manage them and solve problems and do whatever it is that we need to, regardless of how typical or normal it may seem to anyone else. 

Today was a pretty "typical" day with Jack, and inside each "typical" day with Jack are amazing little gifts...

We started off by sleeping in, which is a new novelty for both of us. The latest he's ever up is 5:30am, with 4am being the earliest. Sleeping until 8am is a gift in itself and I thank and bow down to those budding hormones. Our plan for part of the day (because we like to have a plan) was to organize his room to better display his Legos (because sorting and organizing and creating order is fun.)  He was excited to do it so we headed to the store to pick up a new Lego bin. We've gotten into the routine of him heading straight to the Lego aisle, while I do a quick shop and then meet him there. 

This is what I found when I arrived I the toy section. 

I asked him what he was doing as I watched him move box after box. "I'm putting everything where it goes."  And there you have it. Sorting, organizing and creating order. Even in Walmart. Some people might be seeing a red OCD flag. It's possible. But what I saw is a kid doing what he likes to do. He was having fun. 

Once he was done we headed out with a small new lego set in tow, simply because he didn't even ask to get it. That in itself is worth $7 to me. 

On our way home I stopped for coffee and he wanted to stay in the car, which I normally allow so long as where not in the ghetto. When I came out the set he had gotten was opened and already built. A time waster he is not. On the ride home he talked about the Lego set and how he was going to put the stickers on and how he would play with it when we got back. I asked him if he was getting bored with vacation yet.

Jack: "No. I love summer." 
Me: "But we're not really doing anything or going anywhere. "
Jack: "That's what I like. Staying home." 
Me: "So you wouldn't want to go to a camp and play with your friends? You don't get bored not playing with anyone?" 
Jack: "No. I like being independent and doing my own thing."
Me: "What about when the kids are around? Would you still rather play alone?"
Jack: "yeah. Sometimes. When I'm playing Legos I like to play alone. And if I'm playing Basketball I'd rather play with Tori because when I play with Ryan there are so many rules and it's confusing and I just like to keep it simple."
Me: "Well, you're definitely a kid who knows what he likes. I used to like to play alone in my room too, but Grandma would usually make me go outside to play with the other kids."
Jack: (shocked) "Why would she DO that?"
Me: "I don't know I guess they just thought it was better for me."
Jack: "How is it better if you don't want to do it??"
Jack: "You know, you probably would have gotten grounded, but you COULD have said...No, I don't have to! I know my rights!"

Wish he had been around all those years ago to advocate for me....

A little while later he said, "When summer is over I won't be that happy to go to school, but you will because you'll get to be alone for six hours a day!"

Yeah. He gets it. And what is amazing is he gets it a way that he knows it has nothing to do with him, just like his desire to play with his Legos alone has nothing to do with anyone else.

Once we got home I started lunch and within minutes he was in the kitchen fighting back the tears. Apparently the stickers to the Legos were proving, once again, to be a major pain on the ass. The lack of fingernails and poor fine motor skills has made this task a difficult one for him. I tell him to ask for help but he rarely does. 

For a perfectionist, this sticker is just plain shit now. It will never do. In his frustration, he asked if he could write a letter to Lego. I told him, sure, that would probably be a good idea and he could take his anger out on the paper.  This one is him taking his anger out on the paper...

This one is the letter. In messy/mad handwriting. 

It says: Dear Lego, Make all the stickers print ons NOW!! I don't want any more stickers. In fact lots of people all over the world may not want stickers. Please make that happen! Loads of people have trouble putting them on, getting them in a good position, and it's FRUSTRATING!

Not a very polite letter and he refused to sign his name. Later tonight I have to find out where we can send it because he's had enough. :)

It didn't take too long for all to be well again, and we went on to spend two hours organizing his room.
I don't think we can fit another lego book or set in there. That doesn't matter though, because we will. Somehow, we will. 

And this is how it usually goes with us. This is a pretty typical day minus all the other stuff I didn't include. It's days like these that make me realize that, even though I'm still sure I wasn't cut out for motherhood, I was supposed to be Jack's Mom, whether I was ready or not. And for that I'm grateful. 

Hope, who is mostly grateful, because, seriously, mothering those " normal" kids would have sent me over the edge.