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Chris, maybe when you talk to the adoption agency, they can recommend a support group or counseling agency in your area. I am sure you are not the only person to ever feel this way. I realize some people will criticize you for making this decision, but I think you are being very brave. Or if your family really wants you to keep him, see if you can arrange an in-family adoption.

Momzie & jxlxkx, My son has Asperger's. He just turned 16. I've been there - heck I'm still there, just going through different trials (dating & Asperger's - ugh!)

When were 1st trying to figure out what was going on, even the Dr.s missed the dx. Although it had been around for awhile, still not many people, other than those specializing in autistic diseases seemed to know anything about it. At one point he was dx with ADHD, ODD (oppositional/defiant disorder), OCD (obsessive/compulsive) and depression - all at the same time! This was when he was 8 - I didn't understand how a little 8 yr old boy could be suffering from all of those. But it was because Asperger's seems to have a some traits of all of those disorders.

Classic earmarks: hyperfocusing - can be mistaken for attentio deficit, because it seems like the child is not paying attentio to anything, when really it is because they are so intently focused on whatever it is they are interested in, that they are inable to tear their attention away to anything else. Motor tics - humming, rocking, pacing, hair twirling, etc. especially when emotionally distraught about something (a major similarity with autism). Pedantic speech - the child tends to talk at you, almost like lecturing, rather than with you, has difficulty holding a 2-way converstaion, and has difficulty understanding that what they find fascination, not everyone else does (Michael is finding this a real hindrance in trying to ask girl's out). Often hypersensitive in hearing, touch, and sometimes smell. Have a hard time tuning out outside stimuli. Have a hard time reading facial expressions, and so will react inappropriately.

These were just some of the major things that I remembered (and still see somewhat). The good thing about Asperger's, is that typically the children are highly intelligent, and eventually can reason out how they should behave, even if it doesn;t come naturally to them.


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I just wanted to add my own experience. I adopted as a single mom at the age of 42, and there have been many times when I have thought that it was a huge mistake and even considered going back to the adoption agency and asking them to find my daughter a new family. The sleep deprivation really got to me in the first year, and the 2nd and now 3rd year I get overwhelmed by the toddler defiance, the slowness at getting out the door, the never ending demands for my attention. However, I love my daughter very much, and I believe that all the challenges I face are God's way of opening up my heart to love others--the self that I was when I was just me before I was a mom is undergoing a transformation, a maturation from my self-based life to a life of service to others. That doesn't make it any easier, but for all the freedom and disposable income I had before my daughter, I really lived a fairly sterile life--my heart was not challenged. And sometimes I just have to pray (after cussing out God for awhile) with the admittance that I am overwhelmed and in over my head, and I am giving what I need to get through the day.

I really like the suggestions that Paulamom (did I get that name right?) posted last month--they are very helpful! The times I do best as a mom are when:

1) I let go of my ideas about how the day should go and what I 'need' to do;

2) I change the environment when I am really starting to lose it--for example, take a walk or go out in the backyard when things are getting tense with my daughter and I after work. One night, the bedtime thing was really bad--she used to get out of bed for a few weeks--and one night she kept getting up and creeping down the hall, finally about 10:30 pm (I hate having my mommy time interrupted) I was getting angry about it, and I just said F** it.... I put on an Iggy Pop CD and we wound up dancing around the living room together to loud rock music--but having a ball...I think it let us both release stress, do it together and then I was able to get her back to bed. I've found other times when I just give up, she comes around--there have been a few times when she wouldn't put on her pjs, so I just went in my room, put on my pjs and went to bed--of course, my daughter just would not go for that, and had to put on her jammies too.

Oh, and the last thing that I wanted to add is that my friends whose kids are older reassure me that even by the time she's 4 years old things will get easier--she'll be able to do more for herself, and so on. I seem to have an inability to put things in perspective--I think that what's going on now is the way it will always be. But of course, that's just my thinking, which I often confuse with reality!!!


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It disappoints me that we rarely hear about the other side of parenting - it seems like a taboo subject to admit you're not coping or unhappy. Society puts so much pressure on people to procreate - I have always believed parenting is not for everyone - just as not everyone is a suitable candidate for the fire brigade or medicine.
The consequences of doing it and being unhappy are frightening - you can't give it back - I think its the biggest decision of your life.
That's why I didn't do it ... I watched my mother and aunts raise their children and knew at a very early age that I wanted to do something else with my life.
I really feel for people who are unhappy in the parenting role - I fear that may have been me if I had given into the sometimes overwhelming pressure.
I can't imagine how people manage with special needs children and multiple births. I was reading about a lady that has two small sons with autism - her life was a living nightmare - she was desperate for respite care.
Perhaps, you could have a day a week to yourself - ask family and friends to take your child so you can have some "me" time - also, maybe take a part time job - perhaps its just the shock of a totally changed lifestyle. Perhaps time apart will help - also, sleep deprivation can lead to depression or the blues - if you're not getting enough rest maybe you could sort out a timetable with your husband so you both get some sleep or get someone to mind your child for a few hours in the afternoon so you can get some rest. Get some support from the people who love you.
Good luck to you - I hope it all works out for you.

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You nailed it, Peartree2u. As I mature, I think that service-to-others thing is really a service to myself. As my boys become less demanding of my time, I see that it is them who have put my life back on track. (don't get me wrong, I'm often derailed) Showing me, shallow worldlyness is where I was dwelling as an adult. (though I considered myself above it) I believe it takes an exceptional person, (Mother Teresa type) to grow in selflessness, without first having kids.

I don't think we are all to become the "same mom." But, I think that where ever each of us is going, it involves growth. (which is often done with gnarling of teeth and self-pity)

I guess that makes it sad irony that we overindulge and materialize the the ones who could save us.

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Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to say, MomsPaula.

The other thing I wanted to say is that I think some of us go through a process that is very similar to grieving upon the huge, life altering changes involved in taking on the responsiblity of a baby or child that now relies on us 24/7. The emotional process I've been through seems very similar to what I went through after my best friend and companion died of cancer when we were 39 (hence me adopting solo). But the anger, the desire to escape (I've gained 20 lbs since my daughter came along--and I didn't even give birth!) through food and late night tv, the depression, the anger, the sorrow for what was lost--all what I went through with Jim's illness and after he died.

My daughter is now 2 1/2 years old, and though I still have trying times (every parent does), I'm now in an acceptace phase, and rather than dwelling in my self-pity and sorrow for what I've given up in my life, I'm trying to find solutions for the situations and behaviors that have been a struggle, and appreciate the amazing process of seeing that helpless little baby talk, learn potty, take care of her babydolls, try to read me a story, sing, dance and laugh.

And it's okay for parents to travel and take trips without their little kids--my parents are thrilled to get to come help and watch my daughter for a few days when I have to travel for work, and I am usually able to schedule in a day or 2 at the end to do some sightseeing or relaxing--it's not a hike down the grand canyon, but it's a break and get to see new places. I have had to adjust what might constitute a 'get away'--sometimes it's taking a hike (free except for gas) for the day, or going on an overnight trip locally. I had no idea how expense a child would be, and right now, I'm living paycheck to paycheck. But we have a roof over our heads, a working car, food in the cupboards and the bills are relatively caught up. I believe that this will change over time too--but for the first 2 years with my daughter I was in denial about my financial situation, and made it worse. Now I am facing it and accepting it is what it is, and the challenge of budgeting and menu planning is kind of fun.

I have had a hard time asking other people to watch my daughter except for meetings for work or something; my mental twist is that she's at daycare 5 days a week while I work--it's not fair for her to be at a babysitters or friends in the evenings or weekends for a few hours--but it's more unfair for her to be with a mom (me) who doesn't make some time to do other things and get refreshed.

One last thing and then I will shut up, but I agree that being a parent isn't for everyone. But, the thing I'm finding out is that even for some of us that think that we aren't up to it can find a way to give our children love, bond with them, and get through [censored] times and come to embrace the life we've been given. It feels strange to say that, after the difficulties I've been through, but I would not want my daughter out of my life--she's become a part of who I am, and what my life is about, and I think she'd be far more messed up with abandonment issues that she would be with a mom that is off-kilter sometimes.

Speaking as someone who was adopted as an infant, the sort of self-esteem issues that a kid who's parents gave them up because they just didn't feel like being parents is also scarring.

Sorry to go on so long--it's just so refreshing to be able to discuss this. I agree that it's been taboo for a mom to admit that sometimes she hates having her kids and wishes they weren't there, which is very isolating!

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I could never take time to myself, cause I was home all day. My life was all fun and freedom. (SAD)

My boys are 10, 12, and 14. Their ages, and moving to a new area a few months ago, are causing me to go through parenting changes. I feel like I am up against an invisible monster, who uses cookies to lure my kids away from safety.

For the first time in a while, I feel like I don't have all the bases covered. I am not even sure where some of the bases are. Everything is great at home. THe boys get along. People tell me how good they are. And I am living in anxiety.

Praying and trying. Hoping to be on track. Hoping to be awake, so as not to be caught unawares. Trying to be tuned into their emotions. And trying to ensure we have enough family fun, so no one slips out of the loop, looking for 'a life.'

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HI Jennyt,

I have some unique perspective to add to your story. First off I was adopted. I was lucky; my adoptive family was loving and supportive. I was a newborn though, not a 2 year old with a very strong idea of who mommy and daddy are. Adoption is traumatic. Even though I "lucked out" and ended up in a good place, I am very different from my adoptive sister and brother. I felt this my whole life growing up. I was not the same as everyone else.
I work with special needs kids, I see moms every day who would love to trade places with you. Moms who struggle to give their child language or even comfort. I am trained to look for abuse in families who have children that have extreme behaviours, and your remark about your husband not wanting to deal with "disobediance" really raised a red flag with me. A 2 year old child doesn't disobey, they are learning. They truly don't know better.
Everyone on this post has been extremely supportive of you. I feel you are very immature and selfish. My heart breaks for your daughter. You truly don't deserve her. I know people who have dogs that are more connected. Poor you; you have a healthy intelligent child.

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I am frankly staggered that Jenny has said she thinks about killing herself and her child AND has done nothing to make this situation better.

Is anyone in this childs life going to do something to make it better or is she going to grow up with a Mother who is self obsessed and totally disregarding of her child, someone who is MORE concerned about how her parents see her then the well being of her child. This poor little girl has done nothing wrong yet she would be better off raised by wolves then the Mother and Father who have her.

As for suggesting that the child would be better off staying with the Mother who wants to kill her then being put up for adoption because she would have abandonment issues, thats purely crazy talk. I am adopted, yes I have felt badly about that, but that is MORE about how my adopted family dealt with the issue then anything else. AND I can tell you for sure that after getting to know my birth Mother, I would have been better off raised by wolves then by her. She had a string of worthless men, druggies, alcoholics, I can't even imagine what would have happened to me if I had remained in her care. She seems to have a special desire to be with men who drink AND are unmedicated bipolars...Her own parents were unfit from what she tells me. My life would have been hell with them.

I will NEVER understand how there can be a segment of society SO completely unprepared to have children yet they keep popping out kids like litters of puppies. Then we have the CF people who know their own mind and have no children and what do we as a society do? We treat THEM like they are the problem. More people should be encourage NOT too breed, Jenny being at the top of the list.

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Hi JennyT and other moms reading,

I'm new here, 31 years old, with a 3-year-old daughter. I'm miserable. I have horrible mood swings and was just diagnosed with bipolar II disorder three months ago, after being diagnosed with depression for years. Most of my life I've struggled with things like eating disorders, OCD, alcoholism, etc. Life's been tough.

I got married at age 23, quit drinking, eventually earned my master's degree. I wrote a memoir that I was proud of. My husband and I worked as teachers together and lived very close to our family. Everything was WONDERFUL until we had a child five years after getting married.

I was very excited throughout my pregnancy, but went into postpartum depression immediately after giving birth. We had just moved an hour drive from family and friends to a new, not so nice neighborhood, to save money. My daughter had reflux which made me so anxious I could never sleep. I stayed at home with her and never wanted to go anywhere, and my husband did little to help. Then we started moving all over, from eastern USA to Sydney, back to US, then to the West Coast (California, where we live now).

I just wanted to say that I relate to the feelings of HATING motherhood. But it's hard to "see" clearly most of the time, I think because of my bipolar disorder. I feel like I should never have had a child and that she'd be so much better off without me. Some moments are beautiful and fun and I can be so calm and find respect from her. But the littlest thing sets me off (my triggers) and I flip out! Just today, I took her shopping for some new nightgowns. We had a great time shopping and she behaved so well. But when we got home, she went to the potty and then wiped her bottom with her hands, getting pee on her hands, and then tried to leave the bathroom. I told her forcefully to get back in there and wash her hands. She kept trying to escape and thought it was funny. She tugged on my sweater with her "pee hands" as I kept calling them. I continued to yell, even tried to push her back in the bathroom.

It was awful. I kept yelling, "JUST WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!!" I'm sure the neighbors heard. It was time for her nap (it was actually OVERDUE). Naturally this ended up in a crying fit for her. I locked myself in my bedroom and blasted Enya, trying to recover.

It takes me about two hours to recover from such an event. Then I am depressed and want to escape. I have fantasies of escaping. My husband and I have talked of divorce because he's sick and tired of me making him miserable. He thinks I'm ungrateful for all his hard work to earn money for our family. He sometimes threatens me that he'll get custody because of my illness.

The truth is, I KNOW he would be a better parent even if she's in childcare all day instead of with me. I say TERRIBLE THINGS that a mother should not say to her child, like saying I will leave if she doesn't behave. I know how WRONG it is to scare a child like that, that she will be abandoned. Yet I keep saying things like that. And when I leave the room and I THINK and HOPE she can't hear me, I can't stop myself from saying "[censored] you [censored] you shut the [censored] up" and other bad words. I get so angry SO EASILY. And she'll even tell me, "I want my daddy. Daddy is better. You're not good." And I know this is true.

Eventually we "make up" and she says, "Are you happy, Mommy?" I am afraid, mostly, that I'm messing up her brain forever, that she'll need therapy forever to get over the fact of having a bipolar mother (I am on medication but can't seem to get on the right type or dosage for it to keep me from having these manic rages, then dark depressions!). My father was bipolar. My daughter has a 50% chance of being bipolar, too.

I know I'm really rambling here, but just needed to get these thoughts out. I have contemplated suicide, too, but can't stand the thought of her thinking it was her fault. I don't understand how I can be so loving and affectionate one minute, then wanting to push her away from me the next. She's actually a VERY GOOD CHILD most of the time! So when something little goes wrong I lose my temper and lose all control and become MEAN and wish I'd never had her. Then the guilt follows.

What is the point of all this? I keep asking God what I'm supposed to learn from this, what I'm supposed to do. I threaten her that I'll leave and go to work all day and put her in school all day! AGain, a horrible thing to say to a child! My mouth is like the devil sometimes and I have little self-control. I get so desperate for a quick fix because I've always been a control-freak.

So last night I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. My husband suggested I go back to school to get an MFA or PhD in writing or English. And so I'm trying to research it, and I was so uplifted, and thought I could choose a school with childcare and with enough loans and working on our budget we MIGHT be able to make it work, if I get a part-time job. So then I thought I'd be a better mom if I'm not with her most of the time. IS that bad to just escape like that? And I'm afraid she won't adjust, afraid I've already ruined our relationship as mother and daughter, afraid the school thing won't lead to better things for me and I'll fail (even though I earned all A's while getting my master's degree).

I just feel lost. If I was so happy and hopeful, after feeling so miserable and hopeless for so long, WHY DID I FREAK OUT ON MY CHILD TODAY? I feel like I'm never going to find happiness again. Some days, exercise makes me a better person by giving my brain enough serotonin to stimulate happiness. Other days I'm just a loose cannon, waiting to go off.

Any connection with anyone here would be extremely appreciated. I pray for all of you who cannot find happiness as a mother, and am thankful for this forum where we can be honest. Thank you for letting me share my story. And feel free to email me personally at morafinnerty@hotmail.com.

moralee

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Moralee, reading your post is like looking at myself 3 years ago.

I suffer from Depression and borderline Bi-Polar (or type 4 bi-polar). The main difference is that I don't go into the manic highs; instead swing back and forth between ok days and "bile-black" days. That's how I've always termed my lows - the days that I can barely get out of bed, can't face people, and break down into hysterics if asked to make a decision - even one as simple as "what's for dinner?"

Add to that a teenager with Asperger's, and it can be interesting in this house.

I will also note, that I had gastric bypass for weight loss - because one of my major coping mechanisms was binging.

Anyway, I wrote a guest article for the Depression site here:
Experiencing In-House Treatment for Depression

The whole story is there, but I basically had a breakdown, and was contemplating suicide at one point.

After my hospitalization, my church helped me with funds for putting my 2 yr old into daycare. I felt horribly guilty for not caring for him myself, but another part of me was extremely relieved; because I knew he was getting good care, and I could take the time to get myself back together.

We also did family counseling with my two oldest children, so they could understand a little of what was going on. (The 2 yr old was just not old enough to understand).

But if your daughter gets a happier and more "there" mommy from going to daycare (where she will have lots of little friends to play with) - then that is a good thing.

You can get through this, and so can your husband and daughter. It just takes time, understanding, and a willingness to work on it - whether that be with a counselor, psychiatrist, or in-house or out-patient (day-only) hospital treatment.

I would also like to highly recommend your checking into the group Emotions Anonymous. It is based on the same 12 step program as AA and NA, but it focuses on those people dealing with emotional issues such as Depression and Bi-polar. It is amazing how being with a group of people who completely understand what you are going through, helps.

Here is the link to find if there is a meeting near you:
Emotions Anonymous

I hope some of this helps.


Michelle Taylor
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