Friday, July 29, 2011

Kicking it into gear 7/28

Each time something to do is added to my life there is a time of adjustment.  Sometimes a well thought out plan of action is needed.  So a while back in hopes of starting order in our house, I sat down and requested Doug's assistance in making a few lists. The lists we made were: Dylan Chores, Dylan general rules, my household tasks and the "Did you remember the..." list.  Dylan chores hangs in his bedroom so he can make sure he is on top of things his room, brushing his teeth, homework...etc some things are not his responsibility alone such as homework, however in the past Dylan has needed "warning" of things to come...if you drop a bomb on him he has had a meltdown.  General rules reminds him and his brother when he is here, that we keep our hands to ourselves, we don't scream/yell etc. My household tasks keeps my mind fresh on what needs to be done so the laundry or meals do not suffer.  "Did you remember the"  reminds me as I am leaving for church, a day with friends or family , to have my house keys, cell phone, cash, fully stocked diaper bag, etc.  This way we are not turning around or doing without.  

I know the first couple days I forgot I had the lists and as I was running out the door my sister stops and reads the list " WAIT, do you have the ___ ? the ____ how about the ____? okay let's go."  I felt like a phoney organizer...I ran right past my list and my sister who did not create the list remembered to check it.  But then I knew in my heart I would get it right...unfortunately I needed to make a few more mistakes to learn.

We also simplified our lives as far as bills go as well.  We have life, car and renters insurance all on one bill, one credit card with a balance around 120$ just to build credit ,we have prepaid phones since we never use them except to prevent unnecessary trips to visit family who are not home and emergencies...which there are none Thank God!  We have a lower speed internet bill, and then the basics lights water gas etc.  No car payment, no contract cell phones that charge us more than we use our phone, no extra credit cards..etc.  Simple is simply less stressful!

So on with my simple life...right?

I get up at  6:54am after a few night time feedings with Maddie and as it has been in prior days, my oldest son, his step mom and her daughter(my sons half-sister) are standing at the door waiting.  I keep saying I am going to get back on track and be there before they knock at the door...but today and prior to today that has not been happening.  I get to out Maddie down for a short nap and my sons sister is sleeping too....  I straightened the front room and then read prayer requests emails, posts from Pastors etc and get Dylan dressed.  7:56 I begin getting ready to take the boys to VBS, Doug wakes up. 8:20 boys are at VBS (which for this week VBS is replacing the Bible Study we do with the boys everyday at home) and I am back home to feed Maddie and do the Bible study with Doug.  We do three study units and I do dishes and start laundry gather trash to it's central location and dump it then pass to Doug.  I feed my son's sister and then it's time for lunch no time for getting groceries like we needed so it is buy one get one pizzas....I HATE spending money on food I can make and just don't have the time to.  Today I am not going to sweat it though.  Knock at the door, it's maintenance they are replacing our broken stove..." Please move your furniture."  Mmmmk, path clear check check.  Doug goes for pizza and the stove arrives, I sweep up behind the stove, wash the wall...and here is the apartment's new stove.   Warm the stove stick the pizza in it that Doug just brought back, get the girls ready to go to VBS to watch Ty and Dylan sing praises and watch the final teaching of the day.  Unloaded at VBS watching the boys have a blast.  My mom and sister show up from their busy day to give us a ride back home.  Get home serve pizza change my sons sister and sit down to eat. 

The chores continue and then my mom and sister arrive back at the apartment to pick us up so we can have some fresh air.  See our apartment was rented to us unfit to live in , there was urine on the floors, and mold in and on the walls.  The urine smell showed up right after they had the carpets "cleaned" and when we moved a few boxes in we told them about the smell.  They assured us they would take care of it and since we had rented from them in another unit for some time we were sure they would fix the issues....they removed the carpets but the smell stayed.  The mold they call mildew (still dangerous to our health ) it gets to stay...we should be happy!!! The list goes on not enough space to tell all the terrible details just this...we have been more out of order in our house due to this mess, we had been spending just enough time here to make a mess and then leave again.  The next day I go around putting out fires and then I make more and put them out the next day. 

Today our attorney is sending us a draft letter to approve to get us out of this excuse the term...Hell Hole.  Essentially that is what it is.  Satan has tried so many times to cause an uproar in our family and we refuse to let it happen.  All is well with us, we serve the Lord and Abraham's blessings are ours! 

Dylan's meltdowns were very minimal today, one because of a brother conflict and one because his brother's sister would not say " Madalyn"...she is 10 months old...try explaining that to Dylan...thank you Grandma, who took that one.  The better structure, rules, stern...but not frantic tone of voice and appropriate punishments really help Dylan stay focused and in line.
The day was more productive than usual, however we still did not get to pick up our groceries. So that is for  7-29.  Each day I will get more and more in order...moving next month will really help us out in a major way.  Right now I have multiple boxes of garage sale items in my dining room and my pictures are not hung due to a move soon...Maddie doesn't have a bed set up yet since her room is the worst as far as urine scent...  Ahhh the day we get to say we are HOME (on earth that is) will be a great and exciting day.  Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A shortened recap of our past to present journey (present on begins tomorrow)

* Prenote- I spoke with Doug on creating this blog and he is in agreement our information can help others.  The times I speak of our troubles are meant to help others learn from our mistakes and to reassure some that it is not unusual.  In no way would I ever place sole blame on my husband, the majority of our challenges are due to the differences in men and women.*
"Then, the woman. No physician had been able to heal her though she had spent all her money in the effort. With one touch, she was completely cured." ~ taken from an online Bible study.  God's perfect timing as always.  I have read the verse this is based on, Matthew 9:20-22, many times and today it was in Doug's and my newest Bible study.  I thought it fitting.  I had been exasperated by all the failed attempts and false information on Aspergers...and parenting for that matter, I have read many books and tried many things suggested, only one said it was the cure all the rest said they were ways to make things "better".

Ahhh better, I remember when days were "better" for Dylan and between Dylan and I.  He was still a toddler happy and loving, so bright and so full of happiness, smiling all the time.  As he grew up he slowly lost his loving side and became a loner...who didn't want to be alone. He began pushing away hugs and kisses and meltdowns began to enter our lives.  The meltdowns began to peak at age 4 1/2 to 5 years old.  This is when he began to scream uncontrollably and kick, hit, etc. Of course from first onset of anything unusual in his behavior I analyzed our lives and my parenting...."What am I doing wrong? What changes have we made?" The Dr. assured me his behavior was normal and I was just over reacting...of course at the one year check ups Dylan had been an angel all through the appointment.  Outsiders hearing my story assured me he was just a boy being a boy and that all boys go through these fits.  Perhaps no one was truly listening to me explain the behavior, he bit himself,  leather and pillows as a release, he only ate chicken nuggets, hot dogs and cream cheese sandwiches, he screamed out for what seemed to be no reason, he was tired a lot and complained of his legs hurting, he hated loud noises that he himself was not making, he had the attention span of a fly unless we were doing what he wanted to do, he had a hard time staying asleep at night, he wanted to make friends but he wanted them to do everything he wanted them to, kids outcasted him at every social outing, you never knew what moment he would take off on you and possibly run into traffic or hide in a store and the list goes on.

A couple years ago I started eating healthier due to a job I had.  My boss was into healthy living and eating only what you need to eat and dessert was a treat not a given.  As I began to change my eating, at first not cheerfully, I began to think about Dylan's eating again and I kept trying to get him to eat new things.  Sometimes he would like the new things and the next time I gave them to him...he hated them again.  At this job I was also introduced to God all over again...or for the first time.  The music played was WBGL, a Christian radio station.  I was told I could turn it off if I wanted to, but I actually liked it.  In time my boss, who is now a friend, helped guide me to give my life to Jesus.  My friend also gave me a book about autism to help me with my son.  This one claimed to have healed the author's child...I had to give it a shot.  Well...epic fail.  I continued on my journey searching for Dylan.

I have many dreams and almost daily I have new personal revelations of ways God is showing me to change my life.  Learning to listen to God would be a whole new blog in itself, I pray for His words and not mine, I pray for Him to help me be the parent he wants me to be for my son.  Most of my prayers were focused solely on Dylan.  God showed me one day that although I was praying for my son often and my heart was on his flesh was not there nor was my house in order.

Order in my house??? Well one thing is for sure, when Doug and I decided to become engaged to be married we knew the road would be at times difficult, we knew there would be challenges, but up until I said yes to his proposal we had not really had to many extreme meltdowns from Dylan.  We also knew he and I were what we believed to be a perfect fit, where he lacked I did not, where I lacked he did not. There was no other man in my mind I could ever say I would " love honor and obey"  I trusted Doug not to lead me into rough waters and I trusted he would always put our needs above his...and I would do the same in return.  We had suffered a loss together and although we darn near split for good we hung on by a thread and wove ourselves back together again. There was a moment before we wed that brought me to my knees and I saw visions of Jesus on the cross and how we must forgive each other, I was reminded of the times I needed forgiveness from Doug and from God. Too often we want to play the victim and we forget times when we had wronged others.  After that I thought for sure if we could make it through loss and pain we would have it easy from there on out.

November 15th 2008 we said I do and we were a family.  Dylan's biological father had already been out of the picture for a year and a month at this time.  Doug was essentially Dylan's father and in fact many people thought Dylan was Doug's son.  Almost instantly there were problems between Dylan and Doug.  Now Dylan had known Doug since he was three and he could no longer remember any other man in his life, but knew Doug was not his biological dad.  Dylan began to act out as I had mentioned above and Doug was put straight into the father role with no time to prepare, we were done diapers and play pins and on everything else.  Dylan dearly loves Doug and calls him Daddy because he wants to, yet that did not stop his abusiveness toward Doug.  It seemed as though Dylan needed more from Doug, he needed reassurance, a pat on the back now and then, some discipline and a ton of Daddy time.  Problem being...when mommy brought the hammer down Dylan was able to run to Daddy and Doug did not want to lose that.  A fear of Doug's was making Dylan hate him.  Right away the first time Doug had to really punish Dylan on his own, Dylan told Doug he was a mean Dad and eventually he screamed the words I had always received " I HATE YOU".   The thing he had feared the most had happened.  Job 3:25(NLT) What I always feared has happened to me.  What I dreaded has come true. In the mean time my worst fears for Doug and Dylan were happening as well. They had become more like brothers in competition than Father and son.  Each wanted my attention and each thought the other was taking too much of my time.

Dylan since the age of 18 months had been my life, he almost died from a high grade fever, I was then told he could have a brain damage then a brain tumor...that scare lasted less than a day but it was enough to change me forever.  I began to protect Dylan, protect him from the people in his life that did not understand him and treated him differently. I began to protect Dylan from Doug as well.  Doug was not abusive, but I could feel the tension when between he and Dylan anytime Dylan spoke out of turn or had a meltdown.  Sometimes I would lash out at Dylan because I was tired of defending him and sometimes I lashed out at Doug because I was tired of being the only one who researched ways to help Dylan with his actions.  I was angered often and would yell at Doug to read a book, read one on autism or read the Bible and learn to love Dylan through his trials.  I had gotten many Christian books to help Doug with being a new father, I offered him my books as well.  Slowly my happy picture seemed to be fading.  To make things harder Doug and I had been suffering more losses.

Doug and I had been praying together at night and I have to tell you as I told him...there had been many nights where I felt I REALLY had to humble myself to get down and pray across from him, to be silent as he led...silent on the outside, but on the inside I was boiling over.  Before recent days I was working full time and taking care of all things in the home, if the trash was taken out by Doug it was done so because I asked him.  Doug would do anything I asked him to...but like most women, I don't want to have to ask him.  When we left the house to go anywhere I would forget to take 50+ % of the things we needed to take with us, Doug would have to turn around many times to go and fetch what I forgot.  We became the late family.  Car rides consisted of Dylan screaming and me nit picking Doug's driving. to which he would ask if I wanted to drive and I would say "yes" or " no but I would like you to".  For me it was non stop going going going, breaks???  What were those?  I would be up late with Dylan and then having about 2-4 hours sleep I would have to go and watch a pc screen at work and try to stay awake and catch mistakes.

In Doug's eyes it was Dylan and me against him.  Why should he help me parent Dylan or do anything around the house?  It would all be wrong anyway.  And  many men don't like to's not that they can't, it is just not interesting to them...most are visual.  Doug's wife was really a man in disguise and he could not get her to put the "dress" back on.  His son was defiant and he had not raised him from a baby and did not watch the changes take place so to him...this was something that could be helped not a behavior that only God could change.  With most of the world with the same view as Doug who should he believe, his wife who babies her son? Or the majority that agree the child is babied?

As I read in the Bible, in books and as I heard our Pastor preach, I began to think maybe just maybe...

Proverbs 14: 1(NLT) A wise woman builds her home,      but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.

Maybe I was the foolish woman.  Too proud to completely admit it yet...I bought more books instead and I read and I borrowed and read...and I was the foolish woman.  To Doug we had become  Solomon's contentious wife and the foolish son.

Proverbs 19:13
A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.

So how do I fix it?  How do I stop "defending" myself and my son?  How can I let God take control?  How do I let Him?  What do I do to stop arguments and not be taken advantage of?  How can I get and give respect?

Those are the hardest and the easiest questions to answer.  I need to let God be my driver.  I need to totally trust HIS plan and Him.  So what does HIS plan look like?  What would He have me do?

Proverbs 3 is an excellent place to start, that and 1 Cor 13.  I have been down this road before and can't say I have failed, because I have learned something each time.  I can say this journey to being quiet when you want to speak out, totally leaves you broken and humble.  At times your flesh feels defeated...that is a good thing, stay in the spirit and don't focus on the way the flesh feels.  There is no way to get past what I am going through...not all of it fits in this way to get past it but by Christ who strengthens me.  I believe the times I tried before and fell shorter than a victory are due to my focusing to much on how painful it was in the flesh.  I can hear Debbie right now saying " Keep your eyes on the prize, and press toward the mark."

So all eyes on the prize, a house in order and Dylan back in my arms in the literal and metaphorical sense. The next post will be much shorter as it will finally begin following our days beginning to end in the present.

Philippians 3:14
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

And God has called me to be a wife and a mother and I am so grateful for both callings.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Begining the journey to finding Dylan starts with finding order in this house/ "house"

Dylan was diagnosed with Aspergers this year...but I am not accepting that.

This video of Dylan Give Me Words to Speak  gives such a small small small  glimpse into what our journey has been like.  Daily I really have no idea what we will have to face.  Something as simple as a picture on facebook can send him into a massive meltdown, wanting to know why it is there and if I tell him I do not know....that is when the meltdown begins.  I am then called a liar and told he hates me, then he may throw something , tell me he wants to kill himself, hit my husband, kick something throw himself down and scream etc..  Seriously just like that. 

In this world we feel alone there are not many parents that can relate...although sadly there are more and more each day who start a similar journey.  The parents that can relate are too busy, just like we are, to be able to offer a shoulder or have a play date etc.  Those who can't relate become great detectives.  They believe they have the answers to solve our problems.  " You  don't spank enough."  funny because I don't remember you living with us...hmmm" You spank too much."  refer to last comment " It's too much sugar."  That's it! Why didn't I think of that??? Drrrr.... "You must not be consistent in your punishment" Wow you know your right again, another genius I should have thought about being consistent " It's just a boy being a boy" What boys are you seeing??? "My son is just like that"  Really your son just threw a fit because you told him he could not take a large shipping box into his room to use as a house for his stuffed guinea pig and is now literally bouncing on his back a foot off of the bed flailing around and screaming?  Or perhaps he is at the store throwing a fit because you said no to more toys and now he is laying on the floor using his feet to spin his body in circles and screaming OUHHH OUUUUHHHH OOOOUUUH YOU HURT ME!!!  Okay then I guess not huh?  and my all time fave "You just give him his way too much!"  Oh Okay silly me...cause I thought his fits came when I said no and things did not go his way...guess it was because I was giving into him and that is why he threw the fit...Got it now... *eye roll*

 Through all of this I have been a saint and I have been anything but a saint and the one thing that never changes is my will for him to "get better".  You show me one child that was diagnosed with Aspergers who was healed by spankings, no spankings, consistent punishment, no sugar or even a perfect diet, never getting his way etc.  Show me...please show me and I will buy into this.  No?  Didn't think so.

There is only One that I know who heals and that is where I am place all my chips, my eggs, hopes whatever you want to call it.  I am all in...not like I was the last million times I was all in.  I pulled out all that I was holding back and it's all in too.  

So here begins my journey to healing Dylan begins with healing us as a family unit.  There is very little godly order in this house.  I am running all day long at least one step behind.  I hear so many well people in life blaming others for their own short comings.  Dylan, innocent as can be but still a great example for today, wants to see his brother battle someone on a game, but he was told by me to sit and face the homework he was working on.  So he asked me if he could watch and I said he could watch just one but he must stay where he is and turn around.  He was so busy being upset with me and having a fit because he was not getting what he wanted that he missed seeing ANY of the battle and guess what?  Yep, it was all MY fault, me the one who allowed him to see it cause him to miss it???  Well I am not one for blaming others for my short comings and I am often told I am "too hard" on myself.

Too hard on myself....what that really means is this " I would never hold myself accountable the way  you do, and if you feel you are wrong for doing the same thing I am doing, then you must believe I am wrong and ....I can't be wrong, so why don't you slack off back down to my level of living and we can be losers together. :D "  ANNNT   WRONG! 

In my next posts I will discuss how this house is getting back in godly order.