Because I have felt like I feel today so often in my Journey with Tiara, I am going to talk about what has happened this weekend as opposed to going back in history. As I have mentioned in the past August is always the worst month of the year, but I thought we were making it through ok, until yesterday. Yes, I know it is only August 5, who am I fooling, I have the whole month to go but I was feeling optimistic.
Right now, I feel anything but optimistic. Every muscle in my body hurts from lack of sleep and from physically restraining Tiara for the past 2 days as she tried to beat the crap out of me. Last night I hit a new low, or rather I have been there before but I try not to remember what it feels like. Whenever I feel this defeated it makes me think this is how a battered women or abused woman must feel. I have judged these women in the past, thinking they were either weak or pathetic to allow the abuse, but I am not sure how different I am from them? I think once you get so beaten down, you are just trying to survive and once the abuse stops you are so relieved and exhausted you do nothing to change the circumstances until it is too late and you are hurt again. This is our current cycle. It is 2:45pm on Sunday afternoon and Tiara just went down for a nap, which I should be doing too, but I need to get this written.
Back to the weekend, Lou came home from work at 12:30am on Friday night and was gone by 7:30am on Saturday. I could tell all the girls were really missing their Dad. I invited Tabitha to go for a walk with Tiara and I but she had an appointment at work so she couldn’t but wanted to do something after. Trinity was excited that Tabitha wanted to hang out with us, so they decided we should go shopping. Humm, I guess that is what you would do with 3 girls on a Saturday, but I knew it would be a disaster. It is practically impossible finding something we can all do together, so I agreed because we were all in the mood to spend time together.
Tabitha insisted we eat lunch at El Torito Grill but when we walked over we soon discovered the restaurant was gone. Oh, surprise, surprise. We then had to revise our plans and decided to eat lunch at the atrium and then walk around Fashion Island. Lunch was tolerable, probably not for the average person but for us it was the norm. Enough said.
After lunch we went to their favorite store “Forever 21″or rather my favorite store because everything is so cheap and they play the music really loud, which makes Tiara happy. We pushed Tiara around in her wheelchair while she enjoyed the music and then all of the sudden she found a dress she wanted. She pulled it off a rack and instantly started taking off her top in the middle of the store, so she could try on the dress. Tabitha quickly stopped her but then she started having a tantrum and trying to push the wheelchair over and slide out.
You are probably wondering why I always push her in a chair when she can walk? Well, if I let her walk on her own, she plops to the ground and lays down every few minutes wherever we are. The wheelchair has a belt so it is the only way I can try and keep her in one place.
I quickly threw money at Tabitha and said “buy Trinity and yourself something and I will meet you outside.” I got Tiara to the register so I could pay for her dress and she proceeded to throw her shoes across the store. A very common behavior for her and a great way to get even more people to stare at us.
Either way I finally got her out of there and found a nice spot to sit in the shade and wait for the girls while she listened to her Ipod. She was singing super loud,but I was so happy to be sitting, I could care less. Once the girls showed up we started back to the car and once again Tiara got out of her chair and sat on the ground. Tabitha thought it would be a great idea to ask the nice woman staring at us to take a picture of us outside of Yard House. Tabitha also stared yelling at Trinity to push her in the wheelchair while I put Tiara’s shoes back on. Trinity was super embarrassed and horrified. She is at the age, where she can’t ignore her sister’s horrible behavior, whereas Tabitha thinks it is funny. Then again Tabitha wears as black wig around town, despite the constant stares. Yes she is wearing it in this picture.
Tabitha finally left and got the car while I coerced Tiara over to the front of Bloomingdale’s to wait for Tabitha. As you can see from the picture I got Tiara’s shoes on again, to avoid her walking barefoot to the car, but right as Tabitha was pulling up Tiara sat down in the middle of the street to remove her shoes and throw them at the oncoming car. I finally got her in the back seat and we wrestled all the way home. Tabitha drove while Trinity screamed at Tiara the whole way home. “just stop, just stop, can’t you be normal !” This made Tiara even madder which resulted in me getting more hurt, so then I yelled at Trinity to ignore her and please stop screaming. We finally made it home and everyone stomped off to their respective rooms.
I thought Tiara was napping but of course I was wrong as she walked out of my bathroom covered in lotion. “Shower, mom, shampoo.” Her new favorite thing. To get in the shower with her clothes on and play with the shampoo and conditioner, yet today she got into my coveted products drawer. She used the rest of my toner and opened several different sunscreens and put them all over her legs and pants. I took a deep breathe and looked at the clock, 4:15 p.m.. Four and half more hours until she is asleep. At that moment I didn’t have one ounce of patience left and I just sat down on the ground next to her lotion covered body and prayed for more patience, so I could make it through the night.
To be honest with you, I can’t even remember what happened up until 8:00 pm except I BBQ’d a salmon, she cried off and on for her Dad and I did more laundry and followed her around cleaning up behind her. It was finally medicine time, but she would have nothing to do with it. She kept kicking me in the stomach every time I tried to put the spoon in her mouth. I finally had Trinity go get Tabitha to help me. I try not to have the girls help me unless I am completely without hope and I know I am going to lose at whatever task I am trying to accomplish at the moment. Tabitha came out and finished the medicine while I held her. I breathed a sigh of relief when it was finally done. She wondered off to her bed 30 minutes later and I finally sat down on the couch with Trinity. By 10pm Trinity and I were so tired we couldn’t stop yawning. I put her to bed, said goodnight to Tabitha and Jessica, who were just getting ready to go out for the night and called Lou. He said he wouldn’t be home for a while, someone was still in finance. Ugh.
I woke up at 11:30 pm and heard Lou coming in. I went in to say HI and begged him not to stay up too late. I woke up again at 1:30 and saw the light still shining from the living room. Out I went again and lectured Lou that he needed more than 5 hours sleep every night. He loves his down time watching TV and drinking wine, and has been refusing to give it up, thereby going to bed around 2am most nights and getting up at 6am for work. When he stays up late, it also puts more pressure on me because I can’t depend on him to take turns with me during the night if Tiara wakes up. So after Tabitha got home at 1:45am and I finally got Lou to bed at 2:00am, I feel asleep until 3am when Tiara woke me up.
To be honest with you, I thought I was going to literally go insane at the moment she woke me up asking for her Ipod. I just kept saying to her ” I can’t do this, I can’t. Please go back to bed, TT, please.” I begged and begged but she could care less and started to get out of the bed and head for the door. I beat her to the door and then bribed her to stay in the room with her Ipod. After 30 minutes of putting on a movie, changing the songs on the Ipod, getting her crayons and fighting her to stay in bed, I got my pillows and blanket and bombarded the door with my body. I was so tired, I figured I would just sleep on the ground in front of the door so she couldn’t escape.
I didn’t anticipate that she would kick me and tackle while I laid there. I was so worn out and defeated I just let her kick me for a while. I was also so angry with her, that I was afraid I would really hurt her if I tried to stop her. I needed to gather my wits about me before I touched her.
And there is the fine line I live with on a daily basis. How can I physically defend myself without abusing her in the process? What am I teaching my girls? Never to give up on your family? Let someone abuse you? Don’t ask for help? Take care of your children regardless of the cost to yourself? I am not sure of the answer.
I have no idea how this will affect them in the future, but I do know, they understand when Mom is at her breaking point, as does Lou. After I finally let Tiara out of the room and got up to make her breakfast at 5am I stayed up with her until 7am at which time I woke up Lou. “Lou, I’m sorry, but you have to get up now, or I am going to murder someone.! I put the medicine on the counter, give it to her at 8:30am, don’t walk the dog and wake up Tabitha to watch her when you leave for work.” He looked at me really scared as he knew I was so past the point functioning on any level.
And so I slept fitfully until 11am when I thought I better get up before Trin left for a play date. Tabitha had gotten Trinity all ready for her beach adventure and had already texted the Dad. They knew, I really needed a break.
I was praying today would be better, but as I am finishing this before I give her a shower, my prayers have not been answered. I am proofreading this with a crying Trinity sitting on my lap. “Sometimes, it’s just too much, Mom.”