Thanksgiving and stuff(ing)?

Wow.  Life’s been too much of a roller coaster for my tastes, lately.  I thought I had left this kind of emotional up and down (and upside down) behind me in adolescence.

Olivia was actually improving on several things, like her severe separation anxiety, and then Kaden.  You know, I don’t feel the same about him and what he did as I would have thought.  Maybe I’m still in shock because my thoughts of him become darker as time goes on.

I don’t know how to relate to my children any more.  For a brief shining time Charlie was easy.  Then he matured just enough.  He’s the most stable one in the house right now though.  And I suspect that’s a front that he puts up for us.  I’ve been trying to give him a wide berth and not crowd him.  I am hoping it helps to keep him from going over whatever edge me may be standing on at any given moment.  He and Annie ride the bus with Kaden and I don’t know how that may be affecting either of them because they don’t open up about anything any more.

I hate that Charlie keeps so much of his personal life this big secret, but I am afraid to push too hard and push him away.  I do that too much with Annie as it is.  Lisa is conditioned to tease, it’s just the way she is.  She doesn’t mean anything by it, but when she teased Charlie about his first "official" girlfriend, he closed that door so tightly that I can’t even peek through the cracks without going behind his back.  I really wish that he would just be willing to talk about that stuff, but he is determined that I will never know anyone that he is involved with.  I’m expecting to meet his bride on the day of their wedding, and then never see her again unless they have children and need "grandma and grandpa" to babysit.

It really is that bad.

At least he hasn’t removed me from his friend list on MySpace.  I would understand if he did (I mean, who wants to have their dad on their friend list?), but at least I can read his bulletins and blogs (as few and far between as they are) and feel a little bit connected.  Lisa can’t even do that because MySpace is blocked at her office, and I know it kills her that her children treat her as badly as they do.  I love Charlie and Annie to death, but they really do treat her like shit on an emotional level and I don’t know what to do about it.

Thanksgiving was the most emotinally relaxing two days we’ve had in such a long time.  The kids didn’t complain too much, but I know that they both wished they could be with their friends, and I can’t blame them for that.  The time they spend with their friends is great, and Lisa and I don’t begrudge them a single minute of it.  But when they are with us, they put too much effort into distancing themselves emotionally and it hurts more than I try to show.  I don’t want them burdened with my problems like that, but I wish they would let me help with their problems once in a while, ya know?

Yeah, I was the same at that age, sort of.  I just worry about them, and I hate the act of worrying.  Until I had teenagers, I didn’t believe in worrying about anything.  Now I’m too damn impotent regarding their lives to not worry about it.  I know that Charlie has girlfriends at school, and I know that he probably spends time with them at birthday parties and such, but he is just too secretive about it.  His soccer team’s assistant coach, who works in the lunch room at his school, knows more about his love-life than I do.  I’m not worried that he is acting inappropriately (I have faith in his personal judgement), but it would be nice to know something.

And I worry about Annie and some of the stuff that her friends are going through.  She swears that her backslide into last year’s behavior patterns was just a coincidence with Anna’s going away, but I think there may be something in her psyche that was hurt, at least a little bit.  Lisa and I want her to see the counselor at school.  She is not happy about that.  I feel that, even if she doesn’t need a counselor to deal with Anna or Olivia, she probably needs one to deal with her parents and the expectations of her teachers.  In our little chat with her core teacher, Mrs. Miller, last Tuesday, I felt that her teachers were probably coming on a bit too strong for her.  She’s not a hard case, she’s just not falling in line.  They didn’t say anything I disagreed with, they just put it in a much harsher light than she needs.  They’re trained to see and anticipate such extreme resistance from kids that are failing as much as she is, with as many things happening in their lives as she has, but I think they’re over-reacting to her and she will surely over-react right back at them if they’re not careful.  To be honest, her backsliding started in her math class right around the time of her SEOP conference, which was before Anna went away — it just didn’t show itself in her other classes until then.

Lisa is beside herself.  Both kids get A’s and B’s when they do the bare minimum, but they aren’t even doing that and it frustrates her so much because they act like she’s some crazy lady that doesn’t understand the laws of reality.  Her work-life is shit now, her home-life has been shit ever since Olivia was born (mostly because of me), and now the shitty relationship the older two allow her is slipping further out of her realm of influence.  I’m being as strong and helpful as I can, when I can, but I know it’s not enough and I don’t know how to change that.

Back when Olivia was still a toddler and had not been diagnosed with Asperger’s yet, I came to the realization that nothing in the world can bring me happiness but me.  As much as I love my family and what they mean to my emotional stability, the only true happiness I have comes from my own soul.  Music is important to me because it allows me to express that happiness in some outward fashion, but even it is not the source of the happiness.

That being said though, without Lisa I would not have much of that happiness left.  I love my kids dearly, and I would probably shrivel up and die a little if I lost any of them – but the fact remains that I found Lisa and I chose to be with her for a reason.  I’ve tried to help her understand that her happiness needs to come from within, and not from her job or her kids or her husband or things that she can or does have.  The material goods part of that she gets, but I think that she is not finding the happiness that is within her.  I don’t know how to tell her without sounding like an infomercial, which will probably turn her off to anything I say, so I say nothing.  And every day I wonder how much longer she will be able to hold on to her sanity without that…

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