An Open Letter to those who think everyone else should know how hard it is to be you.

Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow made headlines by telling everyone how easy an office job is compared to her high tempo acting job.  She isn’t the first to hear the Twitter reverberation that comes from the offended masses. Tom Cruise had fun when his quote was misquoted and he compared working on the set to fighting in Afghanistan. How dare he!!

Before you get twisted and refuse to read the rest of what I’m about to smack you with, take a breather and open your mind for just half a second. How dare you or I get offended by someone who clearly does not know what it is like to work an office job? How dare the majority of us act like we have a clue what it might be like to be famous? Do you read the endless headlines stamped all over the aisles in your local grocery store? Don’t tell me you don’t! We all do, it is like a train wreck that we cannot.avert.our.eyes.from.! Imagine having that hot shot of you in your bikini with your cottage cheese hanging out for the world to see? Or the bad day face that was probably one of a 1000 shots that stupid photographer took? Or even better, how about getting chased down by crazed fans while you are trying to take your kids home? Do you have a clue? No, you sure as hell do not. 

Ask yourself this, Is it hard to be a taxi cab driver? Or a doctor? Or how about the guy that picks up your trash at four in the morning? Or how about that rich CEO who works 80 hours a week? I’m going to say these are not easy jobs and I really have no idea what is involved except what my imagination (from various media sources) tells me. I’ve worked office jobs and every single office is different. I was in a play once and was terrified that the 100 people watching would judge me. Imagine millions. 

This is the thing people, you are not special. You don not have a clue about 99% of the knowledge that is afloat in the world. You only know your world and when someone offends your world, you act like they should have known better. Give me a break and please, get over yourself. Instead of a smart ass remark that goes viral, how about you forgive her for imagining that the life of an office worker is better than hers? How about we realize that the tried and true statement is actually true. The grass is always greener on the other side. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, which yes, is what you are doing. I work so hard, and I get up so early, and I only have a few minutes to drink my coffee. Boo hoo. 

I am a Mom, I go to school full time, I work and I’m a Reservist. Some days I get up at 9 am, some days I get up at 5 am. Today I got up at 4am, for no reason at all. Some weeks, nothing gets done and sometimes I actually accomplish a few things. Now, am I jealous that I did not take theater seriously or finish my degree 20 years ago when I had the chance? Sure am! Do I get jealous? Yes I do. Do I go off on a tangent and scream “Offended, Offended!!” every time someone dares to guess what my life is like? No I do not. Why do I care? Why do you care?

Everyone has it tough. Not one person in this world has it easy, no matter what you may “imagine” in your head. Money does not cause happiness, by you love nor is it the root of all evil. It is just a necessity to get through life. It truly should have no bearing on how you judge someone. What they do with it is a different story. 

Gwyneth Paltrow made a statement based on what she thinks is the life of an office worker. She did not specify what kind of office worker, she just was relating it to the typical 9-5 job which the majority of us have. Give her a break. Give yourself a break for God’s sake and let the Universe handle itself. Be proud of who you are and that you aren’t being chased down by paparazzi or getting hate mail for daring to wish for a simpler life. 

A Day in the life of Divorce

She is leaving. Her mind isn’t quite made up but something deep down is guiding her to this conclusion. He won’t change, and she knows this. She has told herself this over and over again. “People don’t change”. Everyone reminds her of this even though she takes pride in trying or accomplishing change. She feels like she is manipulating her own thoughts.

“You know you have to do this.”

“You know it’s the right thing to do.”

“You know this is what you want.”

Or is it? Does she know what she wants or is she flying by the seat of her pants? Is she willing to throw it all away for this gut feeling? With every question, another question comes up and she can’t shake the feeling that her uncertainty worries her.

She begins to analyze her life. She was vibrant and full of life and now she feels weak without direction. She was driven and grasped on to her career with vigor and enthusiasm. Now she isn’t working and has no desire to do so. She felt pretty and confident. Today she feels ugly and wonders where her glow went. She thinks he did this to her. This soulmate has sucked the energy from her.

She tells him, its over. She is afraid to see his reaction but hopes it will be easier then the road leading up to this momentous decision. He is mad, but he doesn’t cry this time. The coldness, which lies deep within, makes a quick appearance and vanishes quickly. She hasn’t seen his cold side in a very long time. The last time was now a refreshed memory of separation and pain. Last time he walked away with not so much as a look in her direction, leaving her alone, son in hand, at the airplane. Today she is walking away.

She begins to pack. Daydreams filled with age appropriate apartments, a career and a new lease on life dance through her head. The nagging feeling is gone, she feels confident in her decision. Oh the possibilities are endless.

A few days go by and she is counting the days until she can physically leave. She is moving away, to another state. She has a support system there and feels it is the best move for her. Her son will stay with him for awhile. That will be hard.

Something has changed. She senses it but cannot put her finger on it. Like an energy shift, the air was unrecognized. He seems fine. He has come to the conclusion that this is best. He seems weird. He is acting weird. Over a decade of living with this man and she doesn’t recognize him. He’s going to dinner at a friends house. He has been leaving a lot. It feels strange watching him go out and enjoy life when he mostly sat around when they were together.  “What time are you going?” she asks. “You are leaving at 6?……pause…..are you taking our son?”. He is not, why would he? She just asked that because she had nothing else to say but felt weird not saying more. Only a few more days and she will be on her way. “You aren’t going till 8 now?” she asks, perplexed. Why would you invite someone to dinner and not know when your wife was coming home to cook it? She continues packing, thinking about what she will make for dinner. ” Now you aren’t going to dinner? ….what kind of problems? ohhhh….marriage issues?”. This is the strangest situation she’s ever heard! Invited to dinner, pushed out for a couple of hours, now dinner is off because wife and hubby are having issues.

She’s in the kitchen, getting the pan out.

“Why are you going over there?”

His friend needs someone to lean on. “You might stay the night?”

He met someone. She hides this thought from her face. She tends to give away feelings with her face. She watches him walk out of the house. Something shifts within her. She doesn’t realize it, only senses it slightly. But, other thoughts are consuming her mind now. Maybe she is letting her imagination get the best of her.

Her and son eat dinner. She makes his lunch for the next day. She wonders if he will come back, after all he did tell her he might stay over. The boy goes to bed, giving her a big kiss as he runs through the house to his room, leaving giggles in his wake. Maybe she should send him a text and ask if he is going to stay so she can set the alarm if she has to? That sounds good…………

…….

…….

…….

“ok”.

He is coming back. She questions her first reaction. Crawling in bed, she tells herself, no big deal after all.

Time for coffee. He’s gone and son is on his bike, heading to school. Driving always evokes a little meditation on her part. She allows her mind to take over for a bit while her conscience takes care of the driving. She allows it to happen, allows it to come in, take a seat and get comfy on the mush of her brain. She couldn’t help it, what happened last night was weird and she cannot let it go. Why can’t she? She is troubled once again with this feeling that keeps coming back to her. What is she doing? Is she making the right decision? Was he with her last night?

She should be jumping for joy, after all, she asked God to make this easy on him. What is easier then meeting someone new? But I’m still here.

I have to know.

He has a lock on his phone. When did that happen? I’ve never looked at his phone before. He has it plugged in near his feet. There is no room to walk between the couch and table, what if I kick him on accident? I’d be caught and that would really suck. You’ve been married to him for 11 years! Walk over to the phone, unplug it and walk away, NOW! Deep breath, go!

####, *enter

It worked. Find the texts, find her name, scroll scroll scroll…..keywords:

miss

baby

can’t wait

hate

see you soon

lunch

I never loved her.

She is shaking. Stop shaking. Stop shaking. Deep breaths. Close it. Put it back. Go lay down. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t cry.

You wanted this.

I know I did.

Then why are you crying?

Because I love him.

Then why are you leaving?

I don’t know.

 

Living in a Sensory World, Without all your Senses.

What is Autism? Many know, many think they know but most have no idea. I’m no expert and most of what I know is basic except for what my son deals with. He is considered High Functioning Autistic and has been labeled as such since he was 3 years old. Elias is 5 now, about to turn 6 in April and I’m questioning his diagnosis as I did the first time I heard them say the word. 

My son was born in April of 2004. But he didn’t come easy. I had high blood pressure and my doctor recommended I be induced a week early. I wasn’t happy about this because it didn’t prepare me the way I wanted to be prepared. I was terrified of giving birth and thought when those contractions came…I would have no choice but to be ready. Nevertheless, the High Blood Pressure scared me into agreeing. This was my first mistake. 

I was a big momma. I hadn’t gained the normal 25-35 lbs. I gained 75 lbs. They thought my son was huge and before they began the inducement, the ultra sound tech figured my son to be at least 10 lbs. That morning, my contractions began and I told my doctor I didn’t think I needed the Pitocin they were about to give me. He didn’t seem to care so I went along with it. This was my second mistake. The Pitocin started around 10am and I began Hard Labor pushing at around 8pm. I pushed and I pushed. In fact, I pushed harder then the strength of my contractions. The pain was unbearable and the Nurse was a joke. My doctor was no where to be found. By 10pm, I was worn out but pushing I was and little Elias wasn’t budging. Then 1130pm came around. By now I wanted to kill myself. I believe I was screaming, “Please just kill me”. The pain, the pain, the pain! My doctor showed her cute little face and I believe I fantasized of punching her lights out. She said that if by Midnight he wasn’t down, I was going to have a C-section. I was watching that clock like an eagle! I couldn’t lay still, I remember tossing from side to side and I even dislocated my husband’s thumb thru the process. FINALLY, sometime after midnight, the doctor came in to tell me I was being prepped for the surgery. My anesthesiologist came in and had a look of shock when he saw me screaming and crying. I remember him saying something like, “Don’t worry honey, I’ll make the pain go away”. I don’t remember much after that. My son was born and I remember my husband saying how beautiful he was. Then I began screaming in pain because I could feel them sewing me up and it was like a movie. The anesthesiologist came above me with a mask and light’s out baby! Elias was born at 1:22AM on the 22nd of April. He wasn’t 10 lbs! He was 8 lbs 7 oz and only 19 1/2 inches long. But strong he was. In recovery I held him and he lifted his head on his own to reach for milk. The nurse was amazed, I was too drugged to realize. 

2 Weeks old

So, what the hell does this have to do with my son’s condition? I think it has a lot to do with it. My son was wide-eyed from the moment he was born. Always looking at everything but me. He couldn’t sleep alone, it seems he needed that touch. The moment we put him down, no matter how soft and gentle we were, he would begin to scream. After 3 months of sleeping between us, we began to move him to the crib. It took months. We would have to rub his back and try to sneak out when we were sure he was asleep. Sometimes it worked, most the time we were running back in to start the process all over again. This lasted until he was almost 4. At his two-year wellness appointment, his Pediatrician was concerned. He wasn’t saying more then 5-10 words. He wasn’t even saying “Mommy”. We had therapists come to the house and work with him. They concentrated on sensory and gross motor skills. After a year, they didn’t know what was wrong and suggested we get him evaluated. We did, and that doctor thought he had Autism. I was in severe denial and 6 months later had him reevaluated by a Child Psychologist. She agreed and the label stuck. 

I moved back to the states 1 year earlier then my husband because there were no services for Special Needs in Germany after 3 years old. When I got to Colorado, I enrolled him in Speech and Occupational Therapy. It did wonders for him.  When his dad got back, his speech improved 10-fold. It was amazing. But there was also fights brewing with the pre-schools. They weren’t listening to me and in short, didn’t believe me. Usually 2-3 months later, I’d get a phone call that they didn’t know how to handle him. It was a nightmare. 

Then we moved to Albuquerque. Things were ok here until he started Kindergarten. I was fighting with the Peds Clinic to get him back into therapy and finally..after 6 months got him in. Liz is his therapist and she is a wonder. She runs Indigo Therapy  (site is under construction) and I love her! Liz believes that Elias may have Sensory Processing Disorder  and not Autism. The more I read about it, the more I’m convinced this is true. 

Elias is very social, very loving and has a thing for the ladies 🙂 He tends to take the younger children under his wing and loves adults. 

The problem is, Sensory Processing Disorder is not a recognized diagnosis…yet. Autism is. There are many facets under the umbrella of SPD. My son would be considered a “Seeker”. His Nervous System doesn’t process things as easily and therefore, he tends to be more rough, does not understand personal space and fidgets constantly. Because of this, it effects other things. He doesn’t know how to calm down, his focus is two words deep, he chews on his shirt sleeve or collar, he has to smell everything and he doesn’t understand the pain he feels is what others feel. On the plus side, he eats almost anything. It’s shocking really. He loves olives, every kind! Pretty much every vegetable, lamb, spicy foods, sauerkraut! Sometimes I watch in awe when he eats. 

Autism is a spectrum. It goes from sever cases to the opposite side. There was talk of sensory issues being included in the criteria of Autism but I don’t believe that has happened yet. Most people, including our lovely educators out there have no clue what Autism entails and most, when seeing my son, deny that he is Autistic. But if you look at High Functioning, many of Elias’ issues fall under that label. 

Before Elias, I thought most of these issues that children deal with were bullshit. ADD, ADHD, Autism…all of them. Well I’m here to tell you, they are not. ADD, ADHD and SPD are very similar and make complete sense when you think about it. How many of you can’t sit still during a meeting? Have to tap your toes or click the pen constantly or tap that pencil? How many shift in their seat? I challenge you, at your next meeting to watch other people and see what mannerisms they have. You may be surprised. But what does that mean? It means that their Nervous system is getting too much or not enough of something. These little ticks we have subconsciously help us deal with it. A child who has ADD, ADHD or SPD has the same problem but it’s more severe. You may think we have 5 senses, but we have 7. Smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight, vestibular and proprioception. Children are either Hypersensitive(Avoider) to any of these or Hyposensitive(Seeker). 

Micheal Odent  believes that C-sections, especially emergency c-sections may be having a long-term effect on our kids, more then we realize. Its a fascinating read and also talks of allergies and Anorexia (A disease he believes to be the female version of Autism). Though I can’t write a book on here, after all the research I have done, I have to agree that what he has compiled makes sense. 

I plan to continue this discussion on here and hopefully enlighten the unenlightened. I’m here to tell parents of Special Needs children that it is ok to panic but there is help out there, progress can be made but don’t fight it. There is no use for that and it only ends up being counterproductive. 

There are many theories, some I don’t believe. I don’t think that vaccines are the issue and feel that some parents are forcing it so they have a point to finger at. I think this is more complicated but still, we may have someone to blame. Doctors mostly. I feel that C-sections and inducing has become a way of life. Yes, there are times it is needed, but these days, it’s like the “easy” way out. 

I feel like this post is a little discombobulated but the information out there is strenuous! Which is why I will touch on this subject again and be a little more concentrated on certain aspects. It’s easy not to believe when it isn’t your child. But Elias is mine and everyday I pray he gets better, that he doesn’t hurt someone at school and that he learns what he needs to make it outside mommies protection. 

March 2009