I’ve been struggling lately about what to blog. There have been quite a few things going on at home that are personal and I’ve been wondering what’s really appropriate to plaster all over the internet. Then I began to think hard about it.
I am a Basket Case for a reason and so far, I haven’t really divulged why that is. Sure, I’ve posted a rant, a whine and bragged a little. My Facebook posts are usually quips about Jacob and usually giggle worthy (at least to me). I’ve hinted that it’s stressful having two autistic boys at home that are basically adults but one is nowhere near ready to leave the nest and the other never will. However, I feel that I could probably go a little above and beyond and reveal a little more about my life and why I really am a Basket Case.
I don’t talk too much about Andrew and Cayden. I’m not sure why that is, to be honest. If I had to guess, it would be because they are both struggling with issues right now and it’s been a difficult road, especially with Andrew. I’ll get into that later but suffice it to say, it’s not giggle worthy.
Then there’s Cayden. My ‘neurotypical’ child. He is 19 and itching to leave the nest. I expected that and it’s all well and good but his attitude stinks. I’ll admit that having a normal child after two not-so-typical children is a challenge. My husband and I relied a lot on family and professionals to tell us that Cayden’s behaviors were normal while he was growing up.
Having Cayden last was a blessing and a curse. A blessing because professionals, friends and teachers would meet Cayden and it would dawn on them that maybe we weren’t bad parents after all. Cayden was well behaved, polite, smart, happy and charming so it made things a little easier on us socially.
I say curse only because we really didn’t know what a typical child acted like by the time Cayden came around. He was the happiest baby on the planet, rarely cried and slept perfectly. Around the age of 5, he began using his charms to get away with murder. I seriously thought he would become a lawyer or a criminal mastermind, he was so cunning. Cayden knew how consumed we were with his brothers and since he was the baby of the family, he got just about everything his heart desired. He was a spoiled brat and still is but I suppose that’s what we deserve. Unfortunately, he is about to learn a hard lesson that the Mom in me would rather he didn’t.
In 2009, my husband lost his high paying job. He found another job right away but we lost over half of the income so I went to work part time. Charles eventually found his current job and has been working his way back up the ladder but we still needed to supplement the income so in 2011, I found a full time position. Cayden stepped up to the plate to take care of Jacob when neither I nor his father could be home. We paid him what we could and we were grateful. The only thing I wanted him to do was study for his GED because he basically quit his last semester of school to take care of his brother. To make things clear, Cayden volunteered for this. We did not ask him.
Last year, I couldn’t take working 40 hours a week and trying to keep a house clean, hubby happy and children taken care of. It wore me down so I quit my job and haven’t looked back. Since then, Andrew got a part time job and Cayden was promoted to a full time position. They both work at the same place which is located very close to home. It’s convenient and they are all so very nice and understanding with Andrew.
Cayden decided to go full time when a position opened up at work, to help supplement the household income. He wanted to make sure we had some cash to fall back on should anything go wrong. I have to admit that he has been great with that. He’s helped out with groceries, car repairs and gave us money towards a new microwave. We are grateful for that but we didn’t think it would come at a different cost to us. Am I sounding ominous enough yet? It’s not that terrifying, trust me lol
“I AM THE CONDUCTOR OF THE POOP TRAIN!!!” See what I have to live with? Jacob just finished watching a Borderlands 2 trailer. Yup…He’s been repeating that for. ever. and laughing hysterically. It’s taken me at least an hour to write this far on my blog because I totally lost my train of thought…Ha Ha get it? Train…Ya…I need a drink.
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Now where was I? Anyway, from the time the boys were teenagers, we pounded into their brains that if they weren’t in school, they better have a job because they weren’t living here for free. So far, Cayden has helped us out so we’ve let that go. What he’s paid in groceries has pretty much been the equivalent of what we’d have asked him for rent. This is where it gets sticky.
Andrew is working part time. He is 22 but he also has Aspergers. He has multiple sensory issues that prevent him from doing a lot of things like going to college and holding down a full time job. Kids like Andrew deal with depression, anxiety and when that takes hold, they go downhill fast. In Andrew’s case, it is absolutely devastating physically. He loses his appetite and becomes suicidal. He’s been hospitalized twice and has been on a feeding tube and regularly needs medication to boost his appetite. Andrew’s slowly recovering from his recent bout and doing much better since changing his medication. He’s picked up another shift at work and for the first time in a long time, he feels he can do the entire shift without complaint. This is huge!
Cayden used to be okay with this but the past couple of months, he’s been vocalizing his disappointment in Andrew, calling him lazy, stupid and going so far as to tell his brother that they only keep him around at work because they haven’t found a way to legally fire him yet. Completely unacceptable behavior and his father and I told him so. Well, that didn’t go over very well.
Charles and I are trying to save the house we live in. When we moved in, the builder pulled a fast one and we took him to court. Long story short, we won but so did a dozen other people. The builder filed bankruptcy and we will never see the money to fix our home. It’s worth less than we owe so selling is not an option. My husband losing his job did not help matters financially as you can imagine. A measure of pride keeps us here, finding ways to economically repair the house. Cayden disapproves of our decision and called his father a “selfish jackass”.
He started bringing up all of the money he gave us and pointed out exactly how much and that he wanted it back. He even wanted the money back that he gave us towards Jacob’s birthday gift. We wrote him a cheque for that money but told him to basically sue us for the rest.
To heighten the blow, he brought up the fact that he doesn’t know how to drive yet and it’s all my fault. Yeah, because I’ve never bothered to bug him on his day off to head down to the DMV to get his permit so that he could learn to drive and be more independent, only to be shot down with, “Oh can we go next week? I just want to relax today.” He’s done this a few times now and I’ve had it with him.
Since that confrontation, Cayden has made it clear that he is moving out in 3 months. Jacob is upset so we have to handle him with kid gloves. Thankfully, Cayden is treating him with some respect and spending some time with him.
Today, Cayden and I talked about expenses and what it would take to move out. It’ll basically take up 3/4 of his paycheque and he’d have to find transportation. He was okay with all of that until I brought up insurance. I told him that he must tell us when he qualifies for insurance through work because once he moves out, he’s no longer a dependent and will not be covered under our plan. We need to think ahead. In return, I get yelled at.
“Why do you have to be so condescending?!” “You make it sound like such a big deal!”
Uh yeah, kid. Because it IS a big deal but I know nothing because I’m just a Mom. Duhhhhhhh. He expected us to continue paying for doctor’s appointments, lab work, prescriptions, transportation to and from the doctor’s office since it’s 30 minutes away by car….He didn’t think that far, obviously.
The clingy mom in me doesn’t want him to leave. She wants to do everything in her power to make him stay. She wants to walks on eggshells around him and to be careful of what she says to him.
The practical mom in me knows that when a child thinks that one or both of his parents are “selfish” jackasses, it’s time to move out. He has a lesson to learn and he will learn it the hard way. Cayden has always gotten what he wants and he’s in for a wake up call in the real world. He needs this and the practical mom reminds me of this.
This kid is capable all on his own of making me a nervous wreck of a Basket Case. I love him dearly and it’s time he flew the coop.