Friday, February 26, 2010

Love that Hurts

This is going to be one depressing post, I can already tell...

This has been a very, very rough week with Ben. His obsessions are overwhelming and all consuming. Last night was yet another battle with him that ended up with him throwing a temper tantrum like a 2 yr old and me being completely overwrought and rung-out. Paul and I spent quite a bit of time talking. Do we just give up and let him engage in socially inappropriate behaviors - for our own sanity? Do we drug him up more so that he only sleeps and eat, but no longer has the energy or desire to engage in his self-stimming behavior? I am feeling pretty close to the breaking point right now with him...had another incident this morning, only this time it was with Ben and Will. Will is now up in his room, in tears, grappling with the sudden realization that Ben can't love or esteem him the way that he (Will) thought he did. Ben's desires (in this case, game shows) are always going to come before familial relationships. Nothing else matters to him. And that's a hard blow to take - especially when you're 15 and have spent your entire life helping care for this kid. It's hard for me, as Mom, to take, too. No matter how much I pour into this kid, how much I love him - he will never love me back to the same degree that he loves his obsessions. Of course then, it makes me think - what is love, really? Do we love expecting to be loved back because of our sheer lovableness? Or do we love as Christ did - knowing that our love will probably never be returned and our sacrifices will seem foolish.

Totally unrelated: almost 2 weeks ago I had a horrifying dream. I woke up on Valentine's morning with it running through my head and I haven't been able to shake it since. I'm hoping writing about it (and depressing my readers) will help excise it from my mind. I dreamed that I was in Dubuque, Iowa with just Sam. Why Dubuque, I have no idea. That is a town in very NE Iowa that I have driven through a few times, but never spent any time in. I had a group of friends there, in my dream and I left Sam in their care for some reason. It seems like I would pop in every so often to check on him and then I was leaving again with my friends. Well, then there was a mob of people on the streets of Dubuque and I suddenly realized I couldn't find Sam. So, I'm trying to push through the people and the whole time I'm yelling for Sam. We were on a big bridge and he was nowhere. The next thing I knew was that Paul was with me. Somehow, we had been told that Sam had been found in the water and we needed to get to the hospital. So the two of us are pushing through this throng of people, trying to get to the hospital. My grief in the dream was so great at this point, that several times I would fall to my knees, gasping for breath, and just crying out to Paul, "It's all my fault! I'm so sorry!" and then I wouldn't be able to talk anymore because the grief would literally take my breath away. This happened over and over again. At one point he and I had to run through some shallow water that was up to our knees - probably a creek or something. Then, finally, we were at the hospital. We walked in and we could see Sam. He was laying in one of those isolettes that they put babies in the NICU in. Ben spent his first 2 1/2 weeks of life in one, so that's how I was familiar with it. They had Sam stripped down to just his diaper and the only thing that he was connected to was a ventilator. And actually, all he he had was the mouthpiece - it wasn't connected to a machine. And I knew in that moment that he was already dead. They were just waiting for us to get there so they could remove that mouthpiece. At that point, part of me tried to come out of the dream, but I got sucked right back down into it. The next thing I was trying to do was to call our pastor. I kept scrolling through my contacts in my cell phone, but I couldn't find his name. And part of me kept thinking that I should call my parents too. That's kind of where the dream ended. I just remember this crushing weight that fell on me once I realized that Sam had probably drowned. When I finally did wake up it wasn't with this sense of light relief like I normally have after bad dreams. This dull heaviness stayed with me all day long, even though it was just a dream.

I haven't puzzled it all out yet. I suppose the obvious thing is that it points to my fear that I could lose one of my children. But I can honestly say I don't obsess about that in real life. I really do try to hold onto all 4 of them with an open hand. I know that while, statistically, they will outlive me, there's always a very real chance that I could lose one at any time. I don't waste my time worrying about potential accidents and could-be scenarios. If anything, I'm probably a little too laid-back when it comes to their safety. So I guess it baffles me that this showed up in my dream world.

Well, hopefully, I can shake that now. Maybe I can focus on real-life - like that pain that's in Will's heart now as he wrestles with this new knowledge of his brother. And as I try to deal with Ben. I feel like every day he's pushing me closer and closer to the edge of the proverbial cliff. I told Paul the other night is like being the target of a battering ram. He just doesn't quit. He comes at me over and over and over again. I just want to curl up and hope that he'll go away.

But I can't help but think he needs me more than ever right now. I'm supposed to be the strong one - he needs me to be strong. But I feel so utterly weak and used up.

Told ya you'd end up depressed after this one! I'll be lighter in my next post, I promise...

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