Friday, September 16, 2011

Pussycat, Pussycat, where have you been?

And I'm not talkin' about that fairytale pussycat either, because as far as I'm concerned, that's just hearsay...
I'm talkin' about me - and since I haven't exactly been a pussycat lately, ( if ever) it kind of gives me pause for thought, and worries about my sanity.

So, thanks to all of you (well, the one of you anyway) who have emailed or even called me, asking about my trip home, here goes....

I have been *HOME* to see my family and cute little house... and we just got back last week. I loved seeing everyone, and I enjoyed being on home turf again, but in all fairness, I have to tell you a few other places I've been.

I've been around the twist.
I've been going crazy.
I've been at my wits end, and at the end of my rope.
And I've been in the doldrums as well, because as good as the trip was, the worse part was even "worser" than I imagined it could be.

And unfortunately, the 'bad' overshadowed the *good* parts... which means that besides being around the twist and half crazy and hangin' by various things such as wits and ropes, I've been as mad as a wet hen besides.
I've been so frustrated and dad-gummed MAD, that I haven't had much in me for sharin' or even talking about it all.

And why, do you ask?
Well... in a nutshell, because of "The Lad".

Yes... he went with us. Why? Well hell, I'm asking myself that question right now - just like I have been doing for the last 5 weeks.
And I still don't have a plausible answer.

To be fair, The Lad did do a hell of a lot of work to be allowed to go in the first place, ( or so I thought, anyway) but it wasn't until we actually stepped foot in California that I realized just how conned I had been.
In order to even go, The Lad had to prove to me that he could save the entire amount that he had budgeted for... Plane fare, food, souvenirs, gifts, and money to treat Josh Becky and the boys to a meal out once a week, etc.

He was made to understand that since we were imposing on Josh and Bec, that for the duration of our trip they were NOT to lift a finger, or spend one thin dime - it was all up to the 3 of us. Groceries for the entire family were to be split 3 ways, gas for outting's was to be paid for by the 3 of us, and when dishes or housework needed doing, we were to do it.

Unfortunately, sometime around April when The Lad was having an access visit with his mum, she told him that he was entitled to a $1,000 dole loan. A loan that didn't need to be repaid. (which was totally untrue, because for one thing, he's underage... and for another, the govt takes the repayments straight out of the account before you get paid.)
Well, woo hoo! That was it... He figured that he would be getting that 'free' money, so all his savings went right out the window... and I've never seen so much money disappear out of a bank account so fast in all my life.
Literally... $900+ dollars disappeared in a little over 3 weeks - and when I asked for it to be accounted for, I found that the Lad had been eating damn good at McDonald's, 3 and 4 times a day.

Anyway, to make a long story short, the trip home was delayed, to give him a chance to re-save what he had spent. And it was impressed upon him that no more mess-ups or screw-ups would be tolerated. None...whatsoever.
And that included getting his bowels under control. (can't remember if I mentioned before, but he has a stretched bowel and he soils himself, because he's too lazy to sit on the pot - and he thinks that's okay.)

And he was good prior to the trip... He never had an "accident" in the 4 months leading up to the trip, his behavior and attitude were up to scratch, and even though taking him on the trip wasn't on my list of *druthers*, I had hopes that things would go well.

Unfortunately, DHS (department of human services) told him that they would 'fund' him $100. a day for food, lodging and gas - which was to be paid directly to my son... but he assured me that he understood that the money was to be given directly to Josh and it wasn't "his".

Only, I was conned.

He never deemed it necessary, or even morally 'right' to pay for groceries, accommodation or anything else... other than spending it all on himself. If we grocery shopped, he would throw in 20 bucks towards HIS chips or drinks or whatever - but nothing towards the actual food that we bought for ALL of us.
And no gifts for his teacher, girlfriend, mother or anyone else either. It all went on trendy clothes and hats for himself, to impress his mates back home.

And attitude?
I gotta be honest here and admit that if he had been my own child, I would have been tempted to knock his block off, and he certainly wouldn't have been gutsing himself on McDonald's and Burger King, until his teeth grew back.
And so, because I was unable to do any screaming or yelling or even any grounding or discipline of any kind, he thought that he had me wrapped around his finger, and that HE was in charge.

I would ask him to do something repeatedly... and get no reaction.

Josh would ask something once, and The Lad would practically trip over himself to do what was asked. Impressing his new "mate", doncha know.

Josh thought he was a great kid... and he bent over backwards to show him a good time - never seeing the non-compliance and attitude that we had to deal with when Josh wasn't actually around. Which because we were staying in MY little house just down the driveway from the kids, was un-seen , and quite often.
We had:
Soiled underpants hidden in the suitcase.
Soiled underpants in the garbage.
Soiled underpants flushed down the toilet or tossed in the bushes.

Complete attitude and disregard, when it came to the Old Guy or I saying anything...
And the comments he made about Becky - as in "well she's the woman, and she should have been doing the grocery shopping anyway. After all, it's MY holiday, and I shouldn't have to do any of that "woman" stuff."

He thought he had a new "mate" in Josh, and the reality of the 2 older grandsons avoiding him like the plague, while only the youngest would hang around with him, was totally lost on him.
HE was having a good time, so damn everyone else.

So... I hear ya asking "so what did you do about it?"

Okay... He started back to school right after we got home, and he was totally and completely out of control after weeks of freedom. Physical and verbal abuse of the teachers, staff and other students, and I was copping the same thing here at home.
So... DHS and his service agency decided that he needed to learn one damn hard lesson.
He was put in respite on Wednesday, and he's not liking it one little bit. While he's there, they're gonna have a heap of psychological tests run to confirm what I've been telling them all along....
This kid is narcissistic, as well as antisocial... he's a danger to himself and others ... and he's warped in too many ways to count.
And maybe too many ways for me to continue to cope with.
The best option he's facing, is that he comes back here, (better for him, but maybe not for me) and ongoing and regular respite will be part of his/our future.
The worst option?
I throw my hands up, and simply say "I can't - and won't - do this any longer... which leaves him only eligible for a group home for wayward boys. "They" will never again place him in a private home, so his goose is well and truly cooked.

You know...I always thought that I would cut my right arm off, for the benefit of a child in need.
But when that sacrifice is sneered at, laughed at, dismissed and manipulated to his own self-serving advantage?

Maybe not...

I promise that I'll update you on the trip home asap, okay?
I just needed to get this crap off my chest first... you know what I mean?
It's made me feel dirty and disappointed, and I had to work up the courage to even talk about it.
So fingers crossed, that I can get back on track, and that I'm emotionally able share the "good" stuff with y'all...

Friday, September 9, 2011

We'll never get over it... Nor should we.

This is one of the best articles I've ever read.
May God Bless the fallen... the survivors... and those left behind...



The Wall Street Journal By PEGGY NOONAN

We'll Never Get Over It, Nor Should We
Ten years later, remembering a day of horror and heroism.

People are discussing the geopolitical implications of 9/11 and how the tragedy changed our country, and most of what's been said has been worthy and serious. But my thoughts, as we hit the 10th anniversary, are more local and particular. I'm in a New York state of mind.

There were two targets, Washington and New York. Washington saw a great military institution attacked, and quickly rebuilt. In Washington people ran barefoot from the White House and the Capitol.

But New York saw a world end. New York saw the buildings come down.

That was the thing. It's not that the towers were hit—we could have taken that. It's not the fire, we could have taken that too. They bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 and took out five floors, and the next day we were back in business.

It's that the buildings came down, in front of our eyes. They were there and proud and strong, they were massive, two pillars at the end of the island. And then they groaned to the ground and there was a cloud and when people could finally see they looked back and the buildings weren't there breaking through the clouds anymore. The buildings were a cloud. The buildings were gone and that was too much to bear because they couldn't be gone, they couldn't have fallen. Because no one could knock down those buildings.

And it changed everything. It marked a psychic shift in our town between "safe" and "not safe." It marked the end of impregnable America and began an age of vulnerability. It marked the end of "we are protected" and the beginning of something else.

When you ask New Yorkers now what they remember, they start with something big—the first news report, the phone call in which someone said, "Turn on the TV." But then they go to the kind of small thing that when you first saw it you had no idea it would stay in your mind forever. The look on the face of a young Asian woman on Sixth Avenue in the 20s, as she looked upward. The votive candles on the street and the spontaneous shrines that popped up, the pictures of saints. The Xeroxed signs that covered every street pole downtown. A man or a woman in a family picture from a wedding or a birthday or bar mitzvah. "Have you seen Carla? Last seen Tuesday morning in Windows on the World."

The bus driver as I fumbled in my wallet to find my transit card. "Free rides today," he mumbled, in a voice on autopilot. The Pompeii-like ash that left a film on everything in town, all the way to the Bronx. The smell of burning plastic that lingered for weeks. A man who worked at Ground Zero told me: "It's the computers." They didn't melt or decompose, and they wouldn't stop burning. The doctors and nurses who lined up outside St. Vincent's Hospital with gurneys, thinking thousands would come, and the shock when they didn't. The spontaneous Dunkirk-like fleet of ferries that took survivors to New Jersey.

The old woman with her grandchild in a stroller. On the stroller she had written a sign in magic marker: "America You Are Not Alone, Mexico Is With You." She was all by herself in the darkness, on the side of the West Side Highway, as we stood to cheer the workers who were barreling downtown in trucks to begin the dig-out, and to see if they could find someone still alive.

The notes neighbors left under each other's doors. "Are you OK? Haven't seen you and just thought I'd make sure all is all right." The flags in every bodega, on every storefront, in the windows of apartments, up and down the proud facades of Park Avenue. My beautiful cynical town covered in flags, swept by love and protectiveness toward our country.

At first we didn't know what to call it, so we called it what happened. "Do you believe what happened?" "They think he died in what happened." It was weeks before we called it 9/11. Sometimes tragedy takes time to find a name.

We were half crazy those days. We were half nuts and didn't know it. The trauma on Tuesday was followed in the middle of Thursday night by a storm, a howling banshee that shook buildings—thunder like a cannonade, lightning tearing through the sky. And then there were the stories. We kept hearing about guys who dug themselves out of the rubble. We'd hear a guy came out of the rubble and said, "There's 20 firemen down there in an air pocket," and we'd all put on the news and it was never true. I will never forget this one: As the first tower went down some guy on the 50th floor grabbed a steel girder that was flying by, and he held on for dear life and it landed on a pile of rubble 30 floors below and he got up, brushed himself off, and walked away. That wasn't true either. The stories whipped through the town like the wind, and people grabbed onto them.

And there were the firemen. They were the heart of it all, the guys who went up the stairs with 50 to 75 pounds of gear and tools on their back. The other people who were there in the towers, they were innocent victims, they went to work that morning and wound up in the middle of a disaster. But the firemen saw the disaster before they went into it, they knew what they were getting into, they made a decision. And a lot of them were scared, you can see it on their faces on the pictures people took in the stairwells. The firemen would be going up one side of the stairs, and the fleeing workers would be going down on the other, right next to them, and they'd call out, "Good luck, son," and, "Thank you, boys."

They were tough men from Queens and Brooklyn and Staten Island, and they had families, wives and kids, and they went up those stairs. Captain Terry Hatton of Rescue 1 got as high as the 83rd floor. That's the last time he was seen.

Three hundred forty-three firemen gave their lives that day. Three hundred forty-three! It was impossible, like everything else.

Many heartbreaking things happened after 9/11 and maybe the worst is that there's no heroic statue to them, no big marking of what they were and what they gave, at the new World Trade Center memorial.

But New York will never get over what they did. They live in a lot of hearts.

They tell us to get over it, they say to move on, and they mean it well: We can't bring an air of tragedy into the future. But I will never get over it. To get over it is to get over the guy who stayed behind on a high floor with his friend who was in a wheelchair. To get over it is to get over the woman by herself with the sign in the darkness: "America You Are Not Alone." To get over it is to get over the guys who ran into the fire and not away from the fire.

You've got to be loyal to pain sometimes to be loyal to the glory that came out of it.


FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

Thanks for visiting!

Thank you Libby!

Honest Scrap Award

Honest Scrap Award
Powered By Blogger