Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Drawn Out Meltdown

I will hopefully be getting back to more blogging soon. I'm definitely pressing towards switching off the Seroquel, realizing that I have been in meltdown mode since starting on it. I see the doctor again tomorrow after my therapy appointment and hopefully things will level off some.

It is really frustrating, because there are a lot of things that I want to write about. But I turn around and get flustered because I can't figure out what to write about Right Now. This is very frustrating for obvious reasons - so I just don't write. This is frustrating for a number of reasons, not the least being that writing is very important to me.

The other issue I am having with the medication, is that it is making it very hard for me to compartmentalize - which is why I have been having quite a few breakdowns. I suppose this is as good a time as any to explain the shit my life has been for the last few months. The possibilities for legal resolutions are now gone and that was the big thing keeping me from writing much about it. I was planning on letting myself get to this point with my posts about me and why I am the way I am. While I will get there, who knows when I will work my way through that far.

Back in November, my family and I lost our home in Portland. There were some serious psychological issues going on with both my partner and I, coupled with serious work issues that left us pretty well broke after a while. I had spent weeks trying to get both of us, especially her, psychological help - but every fucking call I made was another apologetic voice telling me that there were simply no funds available to help either of us. I will probably talk about the last ditch effort we made to keep it together, but I am not sure I am comfortable talking about that - we'll see. Bottom line, we were losing our home and had no possibility for the help we both desperately needed there. So after we lost the apartment, we stayed with a friend for a couple weeks while I got things lined up for us to come back to MI, where we could get the boys stable and get the help. Mid-November we took a train and moved in with my parents temporarily.

By this point Amy was doing really badly. She hates the midwest and really didn't want to come here - but it was the only option we had and ultimately a place where, in spite of having very little funding - we could actually get psychological help. I was basically in charge of making everything happen. I got our eldest enrolled in school. I job hunted. I applied for assistance. I got enrolled in school. I found the place for counseling for the eldest and his folks. I found the sliding scale medical clinic so we could see a doctor.

I did all of this, while trying desperately to keep my head together enough to manage it.

The eldest was having a lot of trouble adjusting. We had done a lot of work with his school in Portland, his therapist and best we could at home, to set him up for success. It was working towards coming together here, but it was a very rocky start. He was finally settling in here with my folks, knowing that we would be moving into our own place fairly soon. And more importantly, things were finally settling a bit with school.

Then came the day when I had to go for my placement assessment for school. I went in to take it, my dad gave me a ride - Amy and the baby were left alone at home. Less than twenty minutes after I walked out the door to do the assessment, Amy, her sister and brother in law were at the eldest's school picking him up to run off to TN. I didn't even hear from them for almost three weeks. I had a pretty good idea where they had gone, but didn't have any way to contact them - the landline to her sister's was down since they switched to cell phones.

The legal situation was and is a fucking nightmare. The jurisdiction for the custody case was in OR courts. I went through them and did what I was supposed to do, but couldn't afford a fucking attorney to actually go into court with me. I got help through legal aid, but that was minimal. Because of the volunteer attorney who helped me, I was able to get all the paperwork ready and go into court. The judge I saw decided not to even look at the filing for emergency custody, because none of us planned on living in OR. But she refused to clarify that in her denial of the motion, so I could possibly take it to either the MI or TN courts. Her clerk was appalled, the volunteer attorney was completely unsurprised.

Two problems. One, I had the audacity to walk into her courtroom without an attorney. Apparently she is a believer in the notion that justice is for those who can afford an attorney. Two, I have a penis instead of a uterus. The attorney was clear that had I been the one to run off with the boys and Amy had come to court in my position, there would have been no questions asked - but I'm dad. Never mind that as their mom was losing it more and more, I was the primary emotional support and dealing with the logistics. Never mind that I was the one who was involved in the mental health issues of the eldest. Never mind that the boys were living in a house full of fucking cigarette smoke. Never mind that their mother was still out of whack and not on meds yet. Never mind that her sister is also very unstable.

I have a penis, therefore should have less rights when fighting for my children than momma does.

Momma's on meds now, but has a history of quitting them. She has a job for the first time in quite some time and my kids are at a babysitters for the first time in their lives. Still living in the fucking smoke house. The eldest is in therapy at a day school for kids with Severe Emotional Disturbance and other issues, having gotten a diagnosis of SED. But they don't want to stop there, with a diagnosis that won't necessarily follow him for the rest of his fucking life. Oh no, they want to also diagnose my seven year old son with bipolar disorder - at seven fucking years old. And that fucking bullshit will follow him for fucking life.

His therapist. who also wanted to talk to me about our genetic history of neurological issues won't return my fucking calls. I want to discuss some of my concerns and figure out exactly what the fuck is going on with my child. I know the paperwork went through, wherein Amy gave the therapist fucking permission to talk to me about my own child - I've talked to a couple folks in his school about it.

I have not been dealing that great with any of this. But I have managed to compartmentalize it enough to fucking function. Since I've been on the Seroquel, this has not worked out so well. I have had to pull over more than once because I was crying. I have missed class because I just couldn't handle it. I am not doing a lot of things that I need to be, because I am fucking paralyzed with anger and depression and utter fucking hopelessness far too often lately.

I really fucking hope that tomorrow will bring some definitive change.


Juniper Shoemaker said...

Tomorrow, I hope you persistently communicate to your doctor that you need rapidly effective assistance, before this gets any worse. You need all the support in real life that you can get.

Ambivalent Academic said...

Man. That sucks so bad that there aren't words to describe it. I wish so much that I could offer more than kind words and good thoughts. But that's all I've got to send you. Hang in there. All other things aside you are an eloquent and persistent [del]bastard[/del] person. Like Juniper, I hope that you'll be able to use those qualities to your advantage and get your doc and therapist to maximize straightening-shit-outedeness pronto!

Juniper Shoemaker said...

I wish so much that I could offer more than kind words and good thoughts.

Funny. This is how I feel, too.

I came back here to add that I'm sure you'll soon be more able to focus on and produce a series of posts. And that, upon rereading this one, I realize that a couple of things have actually improved for your family over the last few months. . . namely your oldest getting some kind of help. . .

It doesn't make it right, no. But hang in there.

DuWayne Brayton said...

Thanks for the support. I do have some support out here in the offline world, but I appreciate it here too.