We had one of those intense southern storms yesterday. You know the kind. They roll on in like a ferocious tiger in the middle of a hunt. The sky goes from sunny to grey in an instant. The wind howled as it slammed against anything and everything in its path.
I was at work when it went down. I considered myself lucky that by the time I got out the storm was reduced to a drizzle. I took my usual route back home. When I pulled into the ramp off the highway I immediately notice a change in how the jeep was driving. I felt like I had a flat but my tire pressure sensor never went off on the dash. Turns out I drove over a screw with a washer attached and it got stuck in my tire.
I can only assume that the storm must have knocked some trash around and I had been the fortunate soul to drive over it. Oh well. Today I got to spend my day off getting two new tires on the Jeep. It was my back tire that caught the screw, but I replaced the front tires with new ones and put the old front tires on the back.
Other than that I spent my day cleaning the house. I bought a new swiffer type tool to help me shampoo the carpets. Yes Rascal stopped having accidents, but he goes inside and out (as do the kids) and now I’m feeling grossed out by the carpets 24 / 7. I have a new set of gel nails that I meant to apply, but I never got around to.
Snooch impressed me today. She started an online forum for tweens and teens with mental illness. It’s a place where they can talk about how they feel, share coping tips, whatever. I’ve never been a big fan of the “safe space” philosophy, but in this case I’m all for it. She started local and e-vited all the kids in her middle school to check it out. I sort of held my breath. Was this / Is this an invitation to be bullied? Can she handle negative feedback? So far though it seems like she started a really good dialogue with her classmates. I’m not sure how many kids that she interacts with on a daily basis know exactly what’s up with her. I am not sure how they feel knowing how badly her moods fluctuate. I don’t know if they realize their words can push her to cut herself. I know there were a lot of rumors about the day where she had her first psychotic break. Some kids thought she was acting out for attention. Some kids thought she was faking it. Other kids actually thought she was possessed by demons. Only the kids who thought that outgoing, bubbly Snooch had gone insane were right. At her most vulnerable moment in front of an entire class of peers 11 year old Snooch had gone temporarily insane.
When it comes to Snooch, I am grateful for the outcome. She is sane enough to know what’s going on. She knows what she has to do to help herself. She relies on her medication and her therapist. She is brutally honest every session. She uses valuable coping mechanisms. She draws on her arms instead of cutting them. She takes her medication to help her through the depression. She’s accepted the fact that any voices she hears are not real. They are her brain misfiring and sending her extra stimuli.
I never dreamed when I held my smiling, curly red haired baby almost 12 years ago that this would be her fate. I don’t have the heart to tell her that despite how smart she is this diagnosis has closed many doors in the future shut for her already. She will never be a pilot. She will never be a doctor. She will never work for the C.I.A. There are many things that Snooch will never be able to do.
She still has a life though. She still has a future. She can be chef. She can be a writer. She can be an artist. Heck, Van Gogh cut his ear off. That’s not exactly a rational act. My point is her potential can still be put to good use. The situation is less than ideal, but when you have a kid you love them unconditionally and you do everything you can to keep them happy and healthy. If you ditch your kid because there is something wrong with them, than you are a failure as a parent. You don’t get to pick their flaws.
Besides normal is boring and life with Snooch certainly isn’t boring. You may say that she’s a dreamer, but she’s not the only one.