It’s All Fun and Games at the Madhouse

Admittedly, not a bad movie. It has an interesting lesson to it and impressive special effects. Plus, I love Tommy Lee Jones’ voice.

School has been in for exactly one week and already my son is trying to stay home “sick”. He stayed home yesterday due to some bowel issues (his sister had come home early on Friday with the same issue). He was feeling well enough by yesterday afternoon to wreak havoc in the living room, play on the computer, watch Small Soldiers (for the fourth time is as many days) and generally drive everyone around him nuts (it’s a really short trip for the occupants of the Madhouse, however, he was making us, mostly me, break record speeds for time of arrival).

This morning he’s adamant that he’s not going to school because of the “school rule” – if a child has been ill with vomiting, diarrhea or fever parents are requested to keep said child home an additional 24 hours. Guess what? I’m breaking the rule because I can’t take much more of him today (he hasn’t even been up for an hour yet).

You want to play games? Get an Xbox.

He’s supposed to leave in 10 mins to catch the bus. He’s in his room; trying to finagle a way into staying home for the morning through his locked door. Poor boy, he has no idea who he’s up against. This is no longer the mom who is tired and placated by multiple medications. This is now the mom who is tired and getting royally peeved off with every passing minute (more on that later). I do not like head games of any kind (my friend tells me that’s why I have so much trouble on the dating scene – because I won’t “play the game”; I told her “this is my life, not a game. If some guy wants to play a game he can get an Xbox not a girlfriend.”).

I just called Alexi to remind him that he needed to get a move on. He came out of his room, put on his hoodie and is in the bathroom finishing getting ready for school. All that arguing for what? What was the purpose of this morning’s antics?

Alexi is now out the door. I don’t know if he’ll catch the bus on time. I don’t care (it’s only about a 15 minute walk to the school, they get bused because they have to cross a very busy street where the speed limit is 50km/hr or 30m/hr but most people do 80km/hr or 50m/hr). He’s gone and the house is quiet again. *siiiiiiiiiggghhhh*

I promised you more on the peeved-off mom so here it is – I deceased my meds again on Friday. Before I began weaning off the Effexor a few weeks ago I was taking 225mg of Effexor daily. I am now taking 75mg of Effexor daily. I stopped taking quetiapine (aka Seroquel) cold turkey – had a few rough nights as a result, but I survived (fortunately, so did everyone else). I was taking 50mg of amitriptyline every night, but am now only taking 25mg.  In order to help me fall asleep I added 9mg of Melatonin to my nightly regime (the kids have been taking Melatonin, as directed by the doctor, for years to help them fall asleep).

The most recent side effects of the “medication purge” include:

  • difficulty falling asleep (hence the Melatonin)
  • difficulty staying asleep (I usually wake up after only a few hours of sleep; I have taken another smaller dose of Melatonin when that happens, but it’s happening nightly now)
  • vivid and intense nightmares (you know the kind, where the feelings of fear stay with you long after you’ve forgotten what the nightmare was about? Gotta love those.)
  • grinding my teeth with such force that my jaw snaps in and out of place mid-chew (on the upside maybe I’ll have to have my jaw wired shut and then I’d lose weight – gotta find that silver lining!!)
  • irritability and decreased tolerance (the decreased tolerance may be a good thing because I find I am no longer able to tolerate bull pucky, like Alexi’s shenanigans this morning, I have no patience for absurd nonsense – from anyone)

This morning was a positive example of my new found (or regained) intolerance of bull pucky. The other day was not. I’m going to share this incident with you because I’ve been complimented on how open and honest I am about the realities of mental health and I want to continue sharing the good and the bad with you.

The other day Alexi was giving me a hard time about doing chores. He was whining, arguing, pouting and generally behaving like a turd (there are levels of turdiness I can handle, like excessive silliness, but lazy turdiness will no longer be tolerated – it’s a whole leadership at the Madhouse and not everyone likes it). I asked him to pick up a mess in the living room and he refused. He stormed to his room and slammed his door. I believe he muttered something about me being mean and unfair and blah, blah, woof, woof, noonie, noonie (my journalism teacher used this expression frequently so I know it’s an official industry term).

I lost it. I don’t just mean I raised my voice and threatened to take away his screen privileges for life, I mean I lost it. I stomped down the hall to his room, threw the door open and yelled, “You want to know something? You’re behaving exactly like your father! Lazy, selfish and expecting to be served. Not doing anything, but expecting everything to get done for him! You know something else? It ain’t gonna happen!” (It’s a bad sign when I start using improper grammar – if I start speaking like high English, run) I left him crying in his room and yelled from the hallway, “You’re father is an a$$hole!!” Then I went to my room and closed the door.

There are few important things to note about this story. One is that I have tried very hard not to rundown my ex-husband in front of the kids. The man has many faults, but the kids love him and I respect that, so for me to say all those horrible things was not only a very big deal, it was also out of character. Also, I don’t swear very often. Actually I didn’t use curse words at all until a few years and then only if I was singing along to a song or repeating something someone had said. Recently, as I find myself experiencing more and more of the anger I have repressed over a lifetime, I am swearing with greater frequency – I don’t really like it. I’ve said, “There are thousands of words in the English language; pick another one.” However, I no longer seem to be in charge of my vocabulary selection as often as I used to be. I hope it’s only temporary.

After I cooled off in my room I called both kids in to see me (Rian may not have been the target of my rage, but she was certainly affected by it). I apologized to both of them. I explained that I was wrong to say those things about their dad. I explained that I am having a difficult time controlling my anger, and thus my words, since I’ve been decreasing my meds. I asked them for their patience as I will continue to struggle with this issue while I’m still weaning off the meds.

The med purge explains my behaviour, but it does not excuse it. I won’t allow the children to use their mental health as an excuse for poor behaviour (although apparently my daughter has without my knowledge) and there’s no way I will allow myself to do it either. I know the kids have forgiven me my humanness, I hope you can too.

* I think I need a nap now. Mornings like this one do that to me.


About Holly

I hope you're able to glean something from this blog, a nugget of wisdom, a new perspective, a smile or even a laugh. I enjoy getting feedback so please comment, share your story with me too. After all, we're here to help each other.
This entry was posted in ADHD, anxiety, children's mental health, coping strategies, GAD, OCD, parenting, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, single parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to It’s All Fun and Games at the Madhouse

  1. Miss Holly, first of all, you apologized to your kids, and that is soooo important. To admit, as parents, when we do something that isn’t the best in the world is a necessary step that I think a lot of parents forget because “they’re the adult”. I’ve lost it verbally, too, and I certainly had minimal excuses except stress and lack of sleep. I too, had to sit Maycee down and calmly apologize and explain my behavior and let her know it’s not HER that is the problem, really, it’s Mom. I also used these times remind myself to take the best care of myself as I could, perhaps getting to bed earlier, eating better, exercising to get the stress out, etc. However, we are indeed human. We are also indeed single moms. Add to this the MHI’s you face and are addressing and trying to handle, and situations like this will happen. I hope you got some rest after writing this, and I also hope you know that it’s all okay. Your kids love you and know how much you love them, and me, well, I completely understand and support you. There is nothing on our end to forgive. ♥ So, after you rest, I suggest taking a deep breath and eating something chocolate. 🙂 Much love! XOXO-SWM

    • Holly says:

      Aww, Kasey, I love you!! Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words and understanding heart. I did rest afterward. It’s amazing how tiring admitting an error can be!! Big, big hugs!!

  2. lilcountrymouse says:

    You’re human, and apologized. I applaud you for your will with downsizing gour meds! It’s amazing difficult AND good for kids to understand how things like that affect people. It sounds like your really doing just fine 🙂
    Schools just started, hopefully once that routine is in full swing – projects, tests and friends – a good distraction for them and some space for you? 🙂 hang in there girl! ❤

    • Holly says:

      Thanks so much! It’s amazing how horrible we feel for allowing ourselves to be human, isn’t it? I’m grateful that school is going well for both the kids so far. I’m also grateful that I’ll be going through the worst of the “withdrawal” while they are in school 6 hours a day. At least they’ll only have to put up with me for a few hours a day!
      Thanks for the encouragement though, it really is a great comfort!

  3. Pingback: Book Review – Pills Are Not Fro Preschoolers | survivingthemadhouse

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