2010-02-25 - 9:45 p.m.
Fascinating article which I find encouraging!
I have observed in some close to me that while they showed symptoms of bi-polar disorder in their early 20s, they definitely have stabilized and were well by the time they hit the mid thirties.
This article was encouraging to me as I do worry about those who tell me they are feeling so well that they decided to stop taking their medication! A co-worker who confides in me recently told me that. He is bi-polar, so that did concern me-- I mean here is a very talented, successful executive (whom I am SURE most would be surprised to discover has relied on Zoloft for years to manage OCD and depression), who is telling me he has tapered off his medication.
Likewise there are other people I have been close to who have done the same.
That really in encouraging.
Statistics show that those with bi-polar do EXCEEDINGLY MUCH BETTER in their early years of the disorder with treatment.
However it is encouraging to know that people CAN AGE OUT of this illness and grow to improve. That encourgages me as all those who are really adverse to medication and won't take it, perhaps will STILL EVENTUALLY have some relief from the ups and downs and trama they experience on a daily basis.
What I think IS NUTS is that the schools attack parents to the extent that they do. I have been attacked by some saying that they feel like I don't think it is IMPORTANT to get the kids to school on time simply because I have been AT PEACE with them being late. My being OK with my imperfection is seen as an affront somehow, so then there is an increased effort to try to change me to get my girls to school on time. Or make me accountable. I really just don't get it. I mean I get it when there is a problem that REALLY is disruptive to others. But in reality I think the whole court proceeding - spending the money to pull the principal out of school, the truant officer and witnesses seems ludicrous considering what is at issue. I plead Nolo Contendare. I couldn't in good conscience waste everyone's valuable time on a ridiculous trial. I really couldn't see the value in that. LAst night I went home and after I got the girls in bed I watched THE MESSENGER I wonder if Joan of Arc was Bipolar? The movie made me think she could have been. Of course that is what MANY think about people who are really just inspired and touched by God! So many hear that and think one must be crazy. It was kind of relaxing to watch that movie, even though it culminated with the burning of Joan at the stake for heresy- WHY? Technically, the final charge brought forth against her was because she dared to wear pants, which at that time were men's clothing. Like most litigation, in the end that was BS. The real issues were those that they had no way of addressing so at the time the law was used as a tool to control Joan in the only way they could. While in court I overheard a conversation between two truant officers which was very interesting. One said he got a call from CPS concerned about what was going on in a home. They had NO GROUNDS to be involved at all, so CPS called the truant officer to find out if there was any legal way to get the kid's parents into court with the help of the school. The officer said "She was only late a few times.. so no. NO significant tardiness....and it turned out when they found out what was going on she was working." Apparently the teenager was working at a family business, reportedly til 3AM on morn- but as she did show up for school on time it was Out of the DOMAIN of the state to do anything about. To me the conversation was fascinating, in part as it confirmed that the application of law is done in a way akin to "Cherry picking" however conversely... in that when the school has some concern about someone that they think is rotten in SOME manner, they then use the attendance law as the EXCUSE to probe into the lives of the family/children at issue. As I told that one officer. "Ironic isn;t it how the schools think they are helping kids, so they control only that which they have control over- the schools" and then I went on to say "Yet the real irony in my particular case is that while the school thinks they are helping my girls, they have no idea that should my EX use this action as leverage to win custody- it will be quicker than that school can blink that those kids are pulled out to be home-schooled by him on the family farm. But there is nothing wrong with child labour right? IT is in fact permissible in the case of a family farm" HE said something like "What's wrong with homeschooling?" To which I replied: "Nothing! I am sure it didn't hurt my oldest two to be raised on the farm. They learned alot from their stepfather- they certainly learned a good work ethic. If he home-schooled it would be terrific- He's got a background in education and is very structured and disciplined and I am sure he would do that fabulously- he'll run a tight ship, like a marine camp-- NO More like a dictator-- but the kids will be just fine there- EXCEPT, they won't have a very good relationship with their Mother, and in the end, I STILL think that is more valuable than even being on time for school ALL THE TIME." I did ask what happens next upon being late again after having had this finding of guilt (Nolo contendare is accepting of a guilty plea essentially, but without the waste of everyone's time and expenses of a trial. I have always pled that when speeding. YES I have sped, and YES I have been late. And no I am not particularly apologetic about either as when each occurred I was either not aware of the time or the speed in the moment, or WAS aware but was doing the best I could in those moments. That's all I can do. Continue to do my best and keep striving for improvement. But if one more person acts like there is somethign wrong with me for not being repentent, well then they have no clue at all about ADHD. It is not by a miracle that I am one of the few with severe ADHD who has never had ANY ISSUES with alcohol, drugs or sex addictions. It is because of the GREAT SELF ESTEEM that my parents instilled in me, and the ability to FORGIVE MYSELF of my failings and not beat myself up over them at every one. For when you are as severe on the ADHD spectrum as I am, were I to be one of those who was to feel bad at every mistake I would just be a basket case all the time! I tell you this trial crap has done a toll on me. In the past few weeks I have had issues with sleeping, issues with obsessively cleaning, issues with paranoia at work and obsessively working and having to fight this compulsion to NOT STOP MY WORK on whatever it is I feel a compulsion to finish. I have run LATE WORSE THIS WEEK THAN I HAVE IN YEARS! Seriously- we have been late 2 or 3 times a month. This week we were late twice so far. I have not been late to work much at ALL. But this week I was late a few days! I was having trouble NOT WORKING On projects at home: Taxes, housecleaning-- to STOP and get ready to go to work on time. Even after watching the movie and relaxing- as soon as it was done last night I packed lunches and then bleached the bathrooms clean. I know it wasn't a priority to CLEAN MY GARAGE BEFORE WORK , yet yesterday after staying up til 2AM, I compulsively cleaned the garage. I know I didn't HAVE TO GET MY BEDROOM CLEANED the other night so I could vacuum with the kickin new Dyson ( WHOOO HOOO On SALE $80 off this week at Target!). I had tax paperwork organized in piles everywhere, so had to organize and move all the bills and papers into the kickin new file folder (also found at Target), so that my floor was bare and could be vacuumed. I mean, I joke about this being obsessive.. and its true that it is motivated by absolute terror at losing my kids, paranoia at being attacked as incapable, and absolute unhealthy fear. That is what happens when FEAR is the basis of motivating people: Whether they are KIDS or ADULTS. And my priorities are not straight? I did it the world's way this week: I made it so important to get the kids to school on time that I worried about it and worked late to get things ready for the next day. And I was reminded why I chose NOT to worry-- I feel like a MESS this week. Sure the house looks great. Its just so amazing to me how you can't tell a book by its cover, and you can't tell the quality of a parent by the look of their kids when they come to school. The ones who look best might just be deathly afraid of their parents, and the kids who come in with tangles in their hair- might in fact be the ones who were so proud they made their own peanut butter sandwich that Morn , and be beaming with joy and pride knowing they are loved, despite the peanut butter in the now messy hair. I was going to send Soren a poem I read by Alice Walker which was very therapeutic after the court date for tardiness yesterday. Too tired to go find it.. . Alice Walker's words yesterday did give me some joy and hopefulness. My paraphrase of a couple of lines that struck me: "What will save us ...Women regaining their will Men regaining their tenderness" That is where I am at. I am re-gaining my will. After one tried to break my spirit and tarnish my will, I have continued to rise each day more aware, smarter and stronger than ever. Despite what the school thinks. I think I have MUCH to be proud of! And I am , in fact, unapologetic. I think my priorities ARE STRAIGHT! Proper sleep and hygiene and proper healthy meals and HEALTH in fact DO take GREATER Precedence over being on time for school! We STILL have issues of the girls working out their emotions. It has gotten SO MUCH BETTER! I am so proud of their accomplishments and know in time they will be doing even better! HOwever until the time that I achieve TOTAL EXTINCTION of some of the maladaptive behaviors they emulate toward ONLY ME (like spitting , hitting, kicking and cursing at me and being defiant),there WILL BE occassions where the only possibility of being on time for school is to bring a child to school UPSET. SO BE IT. I can only do the best I can. The school wants to help- they have had to help more this year with my girls than before as this year we were on time MORE THAN EVER in the past as I have brought them in despite being in the midst of a full blown behavioral incident. The thing is, the school ASSUMES that there must be something wrong with my parenting for my kids to act so atrocious toward me and for them to act like angels when with their father. Ce la vie... My girls tell me "Daddy spanks us because he loves us" They have said things like "You don't love us" and " I WANT you to go to jail so I can live with Daddy" OUCH! To WANT to be late to school so you can go live with your Father? And to WANT you mother to go to jail?? That sentiment was shared with my by my eight year old. The one I am SURE shows signs of being bi-polar who now I can worry less about- because in the end, if I lose custody because of lateness to school, at least I know that she might outgrow the illness and be OK- That is as long as she and her Dad don't kill each other with their similar unbridled passions of anger.