Monday, September 10, 2012

Primal Scream

You would think with the Spark of Hope and all that things would be on the upswing. And maybe they are, but I guess no path is without its bumps.

It was one of those mornings. You moms know what I mean. Arguments every second of it. Practically dressing the child to get him out the door. Running back inside for something. Arguing on the way to school.

It shouldn't have been.

I told warned Dylan that I had to be at a meeting at 8:00am and that he had studying to do in the morning. Of course, he didn't think about that at 6:00am when I first turned his light on, but he also didn't think much of it when I finally got him vertical and he started getting dressed.

He did "study" as in read the words on the page, but I doubt strongly he was prepared to read it in class from memory (which he was supposed to).

I warned him again that TV (which wasn't even supposed to be on until he was dressed and had fully studied) had to be off at 7:20am.  At that point, all that should've been left would've been to brush his teeth. In reality, there were shoes to get on, a belt to find, and the teeth to be brushed.

I said I wanted to be out the door by 7:25am at the latest. Of course it was after 7:30am when we finally got out. 

I did harp, I'll admit. Dylan's response was, "Well, you know I'm not the fastest boy on the planet!" which launched a discussion argument over whether that was an excuse or not. (NOT, when you've been warned every step of the way what is coming next and why.)

When he finally got out of the car, I lost it.  Alone, by myself, but I lost it.  Screamed.  And screamed.  And screamed.

When I was in college, "the primal scream" was very popular. They even had primal scream events when everyone went to the green and screamed to release stress.  I thought it was supposed to help, but it just made my throat sore, and may have primed me for more screaming later.

That additional screaming occurred hours later when I realized I had forgotten to give Dylan his meds. I really lost it that time.  Totally broke down. Cried, screamed, yelled, you name it. For at least 30-45 minutes. Fortunately, I had a surprise reprieve from work and could do so. 

The stress - so much stress - has obviously been building up. Dylan's ADHD. Lots of negative stress at work. A less-than-stellar relationship with RockStar. Worries over money, nutrition, weight, my mom, cub scouts, our dog, our roof, you name it.

Now, I'm not a worrier by trademark. But a lot has been going on. Too much and I cannot get a handle on any of it. Or rather I try to get a handle on all of it, and everything suffers.

I don't know what happens next.  I read Tsh's blog letter to her 15-year-old self and I know I am feeling just what she describes toward the end when she more-or-less breaks down in Greece. My only question is:  when do I get the plane ticket to Santorini?!

Seriously, something has to give, but I honestly have no idea what it will be. I'm, gulp, talking to my pastor tomorrow (something I've never done - talk to clergy about a problem and get pastoral care). And I made an appointment to talk to a social worker next week. And I'm "talking" here. I feel like burrowing under my covers for...forever. But I know that is not an option.  I'm just so tired of being responsible for what feel like everything.

If you've read this far, thank you for listing to my rant. When I was screaming and crying I kept yelling, "I have no one to talk to." It was like all this stuff was coming out. Stuff that apparently has been bothering me, under the surface, but has been hidden by all the stuff I do.

No one primal screams anymore.  When I looked it up, I had to hunt for it amid bands with that name. Considering how it turned out, I don't recommend it. When you feel like screaming, please, just stop and get a latté or something. Don't unleash the furies like I did.


  1. I'm sorry you are having such a tough time. It can be really difficult without a support network that gets it. Does CHADD ( have a group in your area? Or check out the Easy to Love, Hard to Raise facebook page? (I can't remember if I found your blog from there, but if not, its

    I hope things get easier soon.

    1. Hi, Lisa. I do interact at ETL and will be doing a review the their book soon. We don't, however, have a CHADD group here and I've honestly been so underwhelmed by CHADD that I didn't renew my membership.

      I question sometimes whether this blog is the appropriate place for this kind of vent/rant, but at the same time, I think other moms like me experience this and I want them to know that they are not alone. I guess that's what my connecting is largely about - awareness of what living with ADHD is *really* like for familieis.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I truly appreciate it!

  2. Sounds like a tough morning but I also think that it's still early in the school year and we are all getting into the swing of it; kids and parents alike. It feels like there should be a routine but everything is new.

    The only change I'd suggest is no TV in the morning. We tried it and it just never works. They never want to get off and no matter how early everyone wakes up, the TV ALWAYS makes us late. Same for screen time but not quite as bad as it has no "end of show."

    When I really need to get out the door fast, I tell my kids ahead of time about the urgency with an incentive if we all do it. It might be something very small like TV/screen time or some kind of small treat. You don't always have to do it, but it will show everyone that they are all capable of rallying AND moving quickly.

    My friend also has an ADHD boy around your son's age and goes through the same frustrations you have. She doesn't have a support group either and is in Newton, MA with me. Would you be open to a SKYPE support group or some other virtual way? Maybe to swap ideas and just support each other? She'd love that and she is super nice.

    Let me know if you are open to it and I'll suggest it to her. It helps to talk to someone in your same situation to get practical advice and empathy from someone who knows EXACTLY what you are going through, I think.

    1. Hi, Mia,
      It *is* early in the year and I do need to cut everyone some slack, including me, but I think it's just a sign of how much has been building up, even more than I realized.

      As far as TV goes, the lateness was less about TV than it was about his putting his shoes on and brushing his teeth. And since I don't allow TV in the evenings, morning is his opportunity for it during the week. I need to enforce the you must be dressed COMPLETELY rule, but it just wasn't an option yesterday. If I could go back in time, I would simply not buy another TV after Katrina, but that window has closed and I think we all rely on it at least somewhat, although I definitely watch less than anyone.

      I would love to connect w/ your friend virtually, although I'm not really set up for Skype. I have an account, but I don't have microphone. Most people I know get it for family reasons, but since I come from a family of luddites, we've never gone there! I think you have my email, but if not, let me know and I will email you.

      Thanks for "listening" and commenting and caring.

  3. Hi, that sounds like a rough day. I'm sorry. I have an ADHD son who is 10 and it is one of the most emotionally draining things I have ever encountered. I feel like I am a pretty good parent (I have two older kids besides my 10 year old) but sometimes I feel like I am sticking my finger in the dam while treading water.

    My son was on Vyvance for half of third grade and all of fourth. We take him off in the summer. We started fifth with him on it and I pulled him off after a week. I find him more difficult ON the medicine than off of it. We are going to watch and see how things go in school. I'm scared. I wish I had a crystal ball that could help me make decisions about what he needs and also help me decide which direction to go.

    I strongly believe in the "do no harm" method of parenting, but what do you do when you don't know which way causes less harm?

    1. "I strongly believe in the "do no harm" method of parenting, but what do you do when you don't know which way causes less harm?"

      Boy, have you said a mouthful! Indeed. There are no simple answers.

  4. So, me again. I just wanted to say that I've read your blog through from start to finish. Dylan is a darling boy and I can feel how hard you are trying through your words.

    I hope that you are able to continue to post about how things are going for you and Dylan, at least periodically. He's wormed his way into my heart!

    1. Thanks for reading through all of it, Leeann! I find the blog is part therapy for me, part advocacy, and part community. I have found your blog, too, and posted it to my yahoo reader and will get caught up on your journey - I love the title, btw. Thanks for finding me.

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