Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Monster I Hate The Most

"...Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too.  They live inside us, and sometimes, they win."~Steven King

Hate is a strong word.  One that we hesitate to use but tend to throw around quite carelessly.  I can't think of one good synonym of the word or the emotion.  When I use it I realize the power that it carries so know that I don't use it lightly.

But I HATE this disease.  This disorder that the medical profession so easily diagnoses and tosses medication like a band-aid over an amputation.  You still bleed out.  You lose something in the process.  Life is never normal whether on the medication or not.  He's too calm when he is on it and off the charts when he isn't.  Too hyper or depressed - we never know from day to day.

I'm talking about ADHD.  No, I don't have it.  As you know, my precious son does.  I can't even imagine how he feels.  I get glimpses sometimes.  He tells me that he is glad I gave him the medicine so he can be good.  Geez - he's seven!  He shouldn't have to worry about trying to be good.  He should only have to be concerned about which Mario game to play.  The pressure he feels on a daily basis must be almost unbearable.

I do, however, know how I feel.  I feel angry.  Really angry.  I'm a mom.  I'm supposed to be able to fix things.  I should be able to kiss his forehead and make this just go away.  I can't fix it no matter how hard I try.  I'm an Engineer - there has to be a solution.  But the only solutions available are temporary and half-effective at best.

I'm sad.  I cry when he tells me he has had a bad day.  When he throws a fit because he just doesn't know what else to do.  I understand.  I want to be on the floor kicking and screaming too.

I'm frustrated.  Why can't the doctor give me the antidote?  Why can we cure cancer but can't conquer this miniscule disease?  What causes it?  Why do so many more children have this now than when I was a kid?

I'm defeated.  I want to be able to just let him go and be himself when he is in "that mood."  But I can't because there are just too many constraints that society puts on behavior.

I feel like a failure.  I never feel like I can be just the right mom he needs.  I don't have time to make him the perfect meals every time which might just help him.  I can't force him to eat when he completely loses his appetite until he is getting ready for bed and then he is starving.  I can't be a force field to shield him from the ones who would judge him too quickly and punish too harshly not realizing he just can't help himself.

And then there's the emotion I can't even put a name to.  I love this little man more than life itself.  I would lay my life down for this child.  But there are the times when I just can't do anything else.  I don't have the energy.  I don't have the heart.  There's just nothing left.  That's when I just hug him and wait for his batteries to wear down and then cry softly to myself.

So, we exist.  We take it one day at a time.  Trying to survive.  Trying to protect his little heart from the people that would rob him of what happiness he can scrounge up.  Making it through one more school day and one more bedtime where we can just collapse exhausted.  Waiting for the day I find Excalibur's Sword so I can vanquish this monster once and for all and get the happily ever after for both of us.