This is the third blog entry I’ve started today. Each time I’ve started writing I become disillusioned with the content or the language isn’t flowing the way I like or my mind goes blank, an unfortunate side effect of DID and parenthood. So what do I write about? Do I really have anything to say today?
I’ve been going through a small personal crisis this week which, amazingly enough, did not involve my children (see, miracles do come true!) and it has completely consumed my energy. Unfortunately for me, the day-to-day circumstances in my home haven’t changed and still need to be taken care of. Chores and homework are the bane of my existence, we won’t even discuss grocery shopping or gardening.
Any person who deals with kids with mental health issues will tell you getting them to do chores is like pulling hen’s teeth. There’s always going to be the exception to the rule, but I think that’s a pretty accurate description and my kids are no exception. In fact, they may be the basis for the rule. I haven’t seen the carpet in my son’s room in a month and my daughter complains about having no clean clothes but refuses to put away the ones in the laundry basket at the foot of her bed.
Now, what’s interesting at our house is how my diagnoses play into the clutter and chaos. I suffer from amnesia and memory loss, common symptoms with DID, I call it Etch-a-Sketch brain. Do you remember the Etch-a-Sketch? The screen in the bright red frame with the two little white knobs that dragged a drawing tool through fine aluminum dust leaving a design on the glass screen? (for more detailed description of the working mechanism visit How Stuff Works). You could create masterpieces using vertical and horizontal lines, but if you knocked the Etch-a-Sketch – it was gone! That’s what my brain is like. One moment there’s this amazing thought processing of interconnecting lines and data and the next minute – SHAKE! – it’s gone. There’s nothing but a blank screen.
It was frustrating enough with the Etch-a-Sketch, but when it happens to your entire thought process, it’s very discouraging. I’m learning to cope with it and just move through those moments but it does prove challenging to keep up with the kids because I can’t always remember what I’ve told them. I often forget the instructions I’ve given them about chores and school work. Now, do you think my beautiful, amazing, wonderful children would take advantage of that memory loss? You bet your sweet bibbi they do! They love it when I forget that they’re grounded!
Our fabulous Wraparound Facilitator, Wendy, is attempting to create an organizational system that the children can tolerate and that I can make use of without burdening my already over-taxed brain cells. I’d like to say it’s working like a well-oiled machine but in order to work, one actually has to implement it. So it goes without saying my house is still a mess, the grass still needs to be mowed and I have some beautiful flora, I’m not saying they’re flowers, growing in what passes for a garden at the front of my house.
I keep telling myself that in the big scheme of things, 100 years from now, no one will care if I had a garden that consisted 90% of weeds, it won’t matter that there’s enough dog fur on my floor to make a small poodle or, wait, SHAKE – was I saying something?