No End in Sight….

What was supposed to be an amazing ending to a pretty great day, turned into a whole new onset of emotional pain. This emotional pain is beyond anything I have ever gone through in my entire life, it feels like somebody is holding me under water and I can’t breathe but I can’t die either.

Izzy is still on and off with fevers, so we had to get a urine specimen via catheter and that was torture for me because I know how much of a torture it was for her. I am glad that Mike was with me because I don’t know how else I would have gotten through it and even though we don’t agree on everything that has to do with her medical stuff and her sickness at the moment, we love our daughter and just want what’s best for her at the end of the day.

She cried so much and we felt so bad, even ahead of time, that we planned to take her to “Build-A-Bear” because she’s never been and we thought that she’d enjoy making her own toy, especially because she’s older now and understands things she didn’t when she was younger. However, on the way home we got hungry and stopped at a breakfast place instead and by the time we finished eating, it was already way past Nate’s naptime and he was cranky and we were all tired. So, we went home and put Nate down for a much needed late nap.

A few hours later, we had all fallen asleep (even me), and I had to wake everybody up because I still wanted to give Izzy her surprise since she’s been through so much and I wanted to see her beautiful smile. So, reluctantly everybody got up and we headed to the mall.

Turns out, Izzy has associated the mall with ice-cream because we usually go there after her gymnastics class and tell her that if she behaves well in gymnastics and participates, she will get yummy ice-cream. Before the ice-cream, she didn’t want anything to do with “Build-A-Bear”. Afterwards, she seemed a little bit more interested. We showed her all the toys she can pick from and guess what she goes for without a moment of hesitation? Mickey Mouse. I think he’s her favorite, considering she watches “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, every morning almost.

At least she enjoyed herself and it was worth every penny. Nate got a Star Wars/ Army bear, courtesy of daddy. Not sure who enjoyed the place more truthfully, the kids or daddy. Then, we went home, fed the kids, cleaned up and put them to sleep. I was so excited to relax and watch a few episodes of Bones but I did something that I should not have done because it opened a whole new can of warms and turned my optimistic night into something resembling a nightmare.

When I started watching, I texted my mom and asked her if she will be home that night, so that I can make sure that the doors are open and the dogs don’t wake up the kids with their loud barking. Well, I don’t know why exactly but she went off on me, telling me that I don’t “own her” and that she doesn’t have to tell me if she will be home or not because it’s her home. In summary, she went off on a tangent and the whole texting conversation catapulted into something unfathomable, considering I didn’t start it off with any kind of bad feeling or anything negative.

I could just see her on the other end, in hysterics, drinking some wine and texting me back. She called me a “monster” and said that she doesn’t feel “safe” around me because I call her crazy to people and it was ridiculous. Yes, I have occasionally called her crazy to my fiancé when I am myself hurting and in pain but who else am I supposed to vent to? I know she vents to her friends about me, so I am not the only one at fault here. At first I was really upset, especially when she told me to “stay away from her” but after talking to Mike and having a cigarette, I realized that she is not in full control of what she is saying or doing at the moment and that I need not take it personally. This has happened in the past, it was just harder to decipher it at the moment because I was not expecting it and it seems she has crucified me more this time then ever before in my life.

And then, when I thought we were done and I calmed down, she started responding again. However, by this time I was totally calm and replied back with nothing but kindness and understanding. When she kept calling me a “monster” and going off on me I simply texted back, “No I am not and you know it” or “I don’t deserve to be called something like that and you know it”. I know that even if she told her friends about how ungrateful and horrible of a daughter I am, they wouldn’t agree that the right word to call me would be “monster”. And to be honest, I know she told all of our “family friends” all about this situation and for the first time I understand that they weren’t really “family” friends, they were only her friends. You know why? Because real family friends would have called me and asked me what was going on and if everything was okay and would have listened to my side of the story. But nope. I know they got an earful from her and that’s all they needed to make their opinion about me and decide which side they are on. Hey, you live and you learn, right?

I even turned my phone off last night, that’s how much pain I felt. I didn’t want her to be able to reach me anymore, the emotional pain was freshly opened and unbearable. Thankfully, this morning my fiancé let me sleep in because God knows I needed it after last night and the crazy wind that was keeping me up all night.

Today I feel better, somewhat rested and mentally stronger. However, my mom is here, in her room and I feel a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach. I am pretty sure this is anxiety to the max and even though I’ve had it almost my whole entire life, it’s never gotten this bad because I’ve never felt so much fear and dread towards my own mother. I am thinking of trying CBD oil actually because I feel like I can’t go on with my life because the emotional pain is literally disabling and overshadowing everything else in my life at the moment.

Shift of Focus

In the past few days the focus has shifted off the whole mess with my mom and the car and onto Izzy’s recurrent fevers. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but my daughter has been getting recurrent fevers since last summer and these just keep coming back, nonstop. In all, she was sick with fevers that summer probably over seven times. It was the most stressful, terrible summer ever. The only reason we were able to stop the fevers for the time being was because they found that she has a minor case of Urinary Reflux and gave her medication to make sure she doesn’t get UTI’s, which could cause the fever to come back and make the Urinary Reflux even worse. The medicine seemed to have been working, up until a week or so ago and she is back to getting unpredictable, recurrent fevers.

In addition, we know that there’s something else going on here because they tested her urine and only once out of about four or five times they confirmed that it was indeed a UTI, even if the colony was small and it was kind of iffy. This is where most of our panic comes from, we knew that the antibiotics they gave us to treat her Urinary Reflux wasn’t going to make whatever else is going on better. We wanted to keep looking for the answer but the antibiotics were helping her and she was acting more like herself and loving school, that we couldn’t imagine taking her off the medicine or dragging her to all the other doctors again.

Well, now since she’s getting fevers again, even though she’s not crying too much or anything, just doesn’t want to do much but lay on the couch when they happen, I found myself in panic mode all over again. Last time my daughter was getting sick, I retreated into myself, stopped working out, working on my business or doing anything that could benefit me in any way at all. All I could think about was her and helping her get through this and finding out what was going on and why it kept happening. I remember being in a daze, just going through the motions. I would take care of the cranky, sick, demanding kids during the day and then drink alcohol and binge watch TV shows at night. It was not a good place to be where I was.

Now, on Monday, when I realized that it’s happening again and could not just be a cold that she picked up from her brother who had just gotten over a cold himself, I closed off again. I stopped caring about everything else and was racking my brain, trying to see if I could do anything or try to do anything that could potentially help us solve my daughter’s fever troubles. I even started smoking again, that’s how stressed and completely out of control I felt again. I don’t think there are many things that can make you feel as out of control as your kids can. The uncertainty of not knowing how we will navigate this and what is even going on, freaked me out. I didn’t work out, stopped taking care of myself, started smoking after the kids have gone to bed in order to calm myself down in some small way.

And then yesterday it feels like my prayers were answered, even if in an uncertain way at this point. I remember feeling like I need to do anything in my power in order to see if there are moms out there who are going through the same things with their kiddos or maybe have gone through it already in the past. So how did I decide to do that? By posting my problem into all the mommy groups I am part of on Facebook. I have never done this before but it seemed appropriate to utilize this channel considering Facebook can reach so many more people then is possible in any other way.

Almost right away, or maybe a few hours later, a woman commented that she was going through the same thing with her daughter and they finally diagnosed it as PFAPA after six years! I had no idea what that was but after reading about it, I got goosebumps because it sounded like exactly what Izzy was experiencing and going through. That’s when I started to feel like there was hope again and like God heard my prayers. What made this even better was that Izzy has an appointment with a Rheumatologist on the 28th and the timing couldn’t have been better. I have a good feeling about this and feel like we are on the right track, finally! We have scheduled this appointment like over half a year ago because it was difficult to get in but I am definitely grateful that we didn’t cancel it when we thought that Izzy was better already and wouldn’t need to see any more doctors.

It’s kind of amazing, when things like this happen, they make you realize that everything else doesn’t matter at all. As long as everyone is healthy, what more is there? Like for real, I am beyond done with this whole issue with my mom and Mike, I am now focused on making sure we figure out what is going on with my baby girl and how we can fix it for good so that she can go on with her life and won’t be hindered by being sick and feeling down all the time.

One of a Kind

It’s Monday today and also President’s Day which means that my fiancé is at home today as well. This puts me in a very good mood because I had the most lovely weekend and it’s not even over yet. On Saturday we went to Izzy’s gymnastics and she loved every minute of it, even listened to the teachers one hundred percent of the time. That might not seem like a big deal but Izzy is the most stubborn and hard headed toddler I have ever come across, she would never do anything until she was ready to do it herself and it was more of her idea than anyone else’s. This is why she’s not potty trained yet but once she puts her mind to something, she will get it pretty quickly. She is definitely one of a kind.

Yesterday we went to the mall and enjoyed ourselves immensely even though Izzy was bossing us around and not allowing us to seperate and look in seperate sections of the store. That’s our girl. Also, Izzy’s temperature has been all over the place this weekend, at least it kind of seemed like it. It has been the weirdest thing, I would take her temperature and it was slightly elevated then I would take it again ten seconds later and it was totally fine. Made me scratch my head a few times and I don’t even know what to think anymore. On one hand I am freaking out that this has to do with her previous fevers and urinary reflux and yet at the same time I’m not even sure if she had a fever to begin with. Either way, I am going to look only on the positive side and I know that Izzy is fine and will kick this childhood fever issue in the butt.

My mom hasn’t been home all weekend and even though I have enjoyed not having someone hover over me and always tell me to “clean this” or “do that”, I miss my tv buddy. My mom and I watch all the same shows and we like to spend time together during the weekend, drinking wine and watching shows once the kids have gone to bed. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the new episode of True Detective because that’s a show that we watch together and I don’t want to go on watching it without her. I wish she knew how much I cherish that time together and how much I wish we could do it without any ill feelings towards each other or any misunderstandings that sometimes come up during it. It’s like a win-lose situation, I like being able to relax but at the same time I wish we could watch our stuff and hang out together. I must have checked the garage about twenty times since she’s been gone because I thought our garage was opened and she was home.

Also, I have done what I set out to do and I am extremely proud of myself for this. I have an issue with getting laundry folded and hung during the week because the kids make it impossible with me having to watch them and then multitask with the laundry at the same time. So, I washed all the laundry on Saturday and then went upstairs and folded it yesterday, so there’s no more clothes laying around in the laundry room. And I did this all without any prompting from my mother.

I know that she is going to be home soon because we have a joint session today and I am nervous to say the least. I just have no idea where her mind is at and I am just praying that this weekend away from us has been good for her and she has finally calmed down and has realized that our fight is ridiculous and that it’s insignificant at the end of the day. I actually just took Izzy’s temperature just now and it seems she has one so I am extremely concerned and could care less about this mess with my mom. I am so fed up with Izzy and her constant fevers, they just don’t go away for good. I mean they’ll go away and then come back, it’s inevitable.

She is on antibiotics for her Urinary Reflux but perhaps there’s something more here. We have an appointment tomorrow with a special kind of doctor for her, so hopefully we’ll get at least another clue as to what’s going on with her and why this keeps happening. Once you have kids, worry takes on a whole new meaning. I have never stressed about anything in my life as much as I’ve stressed about my children and particularly Izzy’s recurrent fevers. I’m just praying we can overcome this and can find out what’s up with these and why they keep happening.

We Hurt Those We Love the Most

Today is a better day, I can feel it. It doesn’t even matter that it’s Valentine’s Day, the day after a storm is always more positive and uplifting than the day of. My mother is still in her room and hasn’t left since but that’s okay. At this point, I am over the whole situation. I don’t even want her to talk to me until she is ready to move on from this and go foreward because if we’re not moving forward in life, we are dying. Literally.

Mike is going into work later then usual today which is great because he can help with the kids somewhat and I need all the help I can get because Nate still has a slight fever and the poor guy goes from crying out of nowhere to acting totally fine and playing around like nothing is wrong. It’s truly the worst when kids are sick, especially the younger they are because they can’t tell you how they’re feeling or anything.

So about a week ago, I had a pretty big epiphany. It’s interesting how as kids we internalize certain sayings that we see or hear our parents live by and these seemingly unimportant ideas govern the rest of our lives without us even realizing it. Well, lately I have noticed one of those very ideas and how messed up it really was.

We hurt those we love the most”, this is what my mom said to me more then once in my life and what I have always taken as plain fact. How messed up is that? This simple statement constitutes the idea that if we are not at turmoil with those we love or aren’t in some kind of conflict with them, that it’s not true or genuine love in some way.

Of course I am not going to hold this against my mother since I know that that’s probably the only way she’s ever lived her life and it’s all she’s ever really known. I don’t know much about her childhood but I know that that belief must have come from somewhere, early on in her young life.

Growing up, I realize just how much I was affected by this belief. I watched my mom’s relationship with my stepdad and all the pain that that relationship caused and brought into our lives and I thought that if love isn’t a rollercoaster, it’s just not real love. I used to compare my mom’s love story to the movie Titanic because it truly was a beautiful love story in the beginning. Something akin to “boy realizes that he can’t live without that one special girl and after messing up royally, is driven not to give up on winning back her love at all cost.” Although as long as it took him to win her back, once he had her, he ended up hurting her again.

I remember looking at my mom’s relationship and being in awe, thinking how special their relationship really was when in reality it was just not healthy at all. I thought that people who have been together forever and don’t fight much and just get along all the time are not in love, they are just in a companionship. And for the longest time that is not the love I wanted for myself.

Now, at 27 years old I can finally say with one hundred percent certainty that my view of love was skewed based on what I saw around me. And it didn’t only go into romantic love, it also reached those close family and friends’ relationships. I thought because my mom and I also had a relationship where it was the best ever and then would plummet unexpectedly that that was just a display of how strong and real our mother-daughter bond really was.

All in all, I can finally see things clearly now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen things so clearly in my life. Sure it’s going to take me a lifetime to heal these broken perceptions of significant things such as love and different types of relationships but the fact that I see them for what they really are now is a huge step in the right direction.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

How is it that you can have the closest relationship with someone and also have the most fucked up relationship with the same person, at the same time? It’s like two sides of the same coin.

I am talking about my relationship with my mother here. I can recall having the best emotions in my whole entire life associated with her and can also remember vividly those emotions that were the lowest of the low. And she was the common denominator, she’s ALWAYS the common denominator. Our relationship has a factor of codependency to it and that takes things to a whole new level of crazy.

Let me give you some background info. We are originally from Russia and came to America, just the two of us, when I was only 7 years old. The reason was because the love of my mom’s life was in America and he realized that he couldn’t live without her so she packed us up and we moved across the ocean, away from every single family member. Things didn’t work out on that end but I was grateful to have established ourselves in this land of opportunity. It was worth the stress and tears, at least for me.

So as you can tell, being as we only ever had each other, we relied on each other completely and depended on each other for everything. However, the move to America and my mom’s strenuous relationship took its toll on her and she was diagnosed with bipolar very early on. For those who don’t know, it means she gets a high where she has tons of energy to do everything and starts all these projects and then all of a sudden she will hit a low, and this low is worse then any kind of low that people with good mental health experience. Emotions attached to these two extremes are heightened and much more intense then is usual.

Today something happened that made me really upset and made me reevaluate my relationship with my mother for the millionth time in my whole entire life. About a week ago my mom took my car to pick up some furniture and in the process broke it, to the extent that it was completely destroyed and needed thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

What ensued was a drown out game of finger pointing and what I would call “the blame game”. It was argued that the car was already not in tip-top shape to begin with, that she was driving it in reverse when it was set on 4-wheel front drive…..etc. Both parties were at odds and disagreeing with each other, complete with a whole pile of hurt feelings as well.

If that isn’t bad enough, the day that it was found out that the car was not working and needed major repairs, my mom stopped talking to me for about four days. Now, if you know me, you know that I am the type of person who hates any kind of prolonged fighting or tense atmosphere surrounding the people involved. For me, I can’t really be at peace until the conflict is resolved and everything has been discussed and laid out on the table. My mom is quite the opposite, she internalizes everything until she can finally look at you again and even then, she won’t make it clear why she was mad at you in the first place.

I only found out later that the reason she was angry with me was because I just assumed that I was going to use her car from now on, in order to drive my daughter Izzy to Pre-K. It’s a habit of hers to “assume” what someone is thinking or what exactly someone means, even if that’s not what was said or even mentioned whatsoever. For four days I racked my brain, trying to understand why my mother was mad at me for something I had nothing to do with.

We were supposed to have a talk about the car when it first happened but she was seemingly so upset about the whole thing and it being even partially her fault that she couldn’t even be around us or see us or have anything to do with us whatsoever. Well, finally on Monday, after Mike texted her that we should talk about it because he wanted to use some of the money she gets from claiming me as a dependent on her taxes towards fixing my broken down car, we had the talk.

It began with both parties claiming that neither one of them was at fault because of various reasons and nobody wanted to back down. I sat in the middle, as I usually am in these situations, hiding my face with a pillow because the whole talk was disturbing and very upsetting to me. Then, my fiancé got a bit angry and started to raise his voice towards my mom because she has a tendency to play the “victim” and make everything extremely emotional and not about just mere facts. They had hit a wall and were not moving anywhere because my mother could not admit that she was partially at fault in this situation.

It started negatively and he was accusing her of not having to pay much whatsoever in terms of bills or the majority of the mortgage but he quickly apologized for saying those things and the conversation moved towards how he gets really upset because of the way my mother treats me. How she shuts me out because of her tendency of jumping into conclusions and exaggerating everything and makes mean comments towards me like, “You are a horrible mother and your children live in filth.”

Mike was saying that he wants us to talk to each other and to figure out our issues because he hates to see us like that and he apologized more then once to my mom for his previous outburst of anger. I was laying on the couch in tears, joy in my soul that Mike was finally telling her what I couldn’t tell her all these years, mostly because she never listens to me or takes much value in what I say.

After the conversation was done, I was praying we would be able to sit down and have a heart to heart but instead, she got up and walked away, shutting the door to her room behind her. I was flabbergasted but thought that maybe tomorrow would be better and she just needed some time to think about everything that was said.

Well, let me just tell you now that it DIDN’T get better. Oh no, on the contrary it got much worse. After I broke down because she couldn’t say “hi” back to me in the morning and instead just walked away, shit hit the fan. The pain that I have been dealing with so well and trying to keep at bay for a change, quickly bubbled to the surface and penetrated my whole entire body and soul. I couldn’t even workout like I usually do during my midday break because I was in so much emotional pain and decided to start a blog instead and maybe have a talk with a friend.

Things got even worse when my mom ended up taking Izzy upstairs with her into her room because Izzy knows how to manipulate us all and knows that grandma will give her what mommy doesn’t, like her phone. I was pissed off because you won’t talk or acknowledge me but you’re going to spoil my daughter and go against what I’m trying to discipline her with? I was so pissed. I know I shouldn’t have done what I did but at that point I was just beyond hurt and confused. So, I walked into my mom’s room and demanded she tell me what the hell I did because at that point I just couldn’t take it anymore.

There’s only so much one person can take before they snap. I was proud of myself for controlling my emotions before that but today just completely pushed me over the edge. My mom, full of hate and hurt in her eyes, told me that I was enjoying the conversation while Mike “tortured” her for all that time and that she is scared that he will kill her next time! Like, for real? He got mad, yes, but there was nothing beyond a raised voice. This is another instance of my mother taking nothing and turning it into something completely different and out of wack totally. When I told her that she was being ridiculous and not right, she told me that I am a liar and that if we want to talk to her she will need a mediator present or a recorder.

This all ended with her shaking and freaking out on me, screaming for me to get out while I was holding Nate in my arms and Izzy was laying on the bed next to her. As sad as this whole situation is though, I have been through these kinds of situations my whole entire life.

At first I was mad, so freaking angry, I wanted to tell her, “You know what, if you don’t move on from this and just let this ridiculousness go, I don’t need to let you see the kids anymore and we are done for good.” Of course, I didn’t do that because I am not that kind of person and once I calmed down, I texted her saying that I am letting all the negativity go and I hope that she can do the same. She is obviously not forgiving or forgetting yet, so we’ll just see what ends up happening. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome but you never know with my mom.

What baffles me the most is that she is willing to damage our relationship because of a five minute part of a conversation that lasted an hour or more. There are much more horrible things going on in this world and being bitter or holding grudges is just silly when you look at the big scheme of things. I hope she comes to her senses and sees that life is too short for these stupid fights and misunderstandings. Perhaps she just needs more time. Here’s hoping.