When We Were Younger

My husband and I are in our 50’s (ugh it sounds so old!). And I can’t help but think of how much things have changed in our lives over the past 27 years that we’ve been married. We were married in November, 1995 and Thomas was born July, 1996. We didn’t have that “just married” time to ourselves to just be together. And that is fine; most of me is glad we had our children when we were young because we are able to enjoy them now when they are young adults. I’m extremely proud of all my kids. They’ve each excelled or are excelling and doing their best to live their lives authentically and on their own terms. Especially my older girls Alyssa and Lelly. Alyssa was married at age 22 and Lelly graduated college and moved out at age 21. They’re both young adults, working and doing great at their respective jobs.

Tommy and I spent most of our 20’s and all of our 30’s and 40’s raising children, me staying home most of the time; working part time here and there. My full time gig was being a stay at home mom. I can’t say I totally enjoyed staying home, it was hard work. To make up for me not working Tommy worked a ton of overtime and also a second job. So on top of being a stay at home mom I was also on my own a lot with the kids. I’m not complaining it’s just how things were.

Now that everyone; including us are older life is so different. We are different. We don’t disagree with each other as much as we used to. When we renovated our house it went so smooth, we were on the same page regarding just about everything from cabinet finish, type of tile, wall color, to crown molding. It made the renovation go so smooth. These days I listen more and speak less when my husband is talking to me. When I was younger I was insecure and trying so hard to keep my shit together being with my kids all the time. Especially trying to get help and treatment for Thomas.

When we were younger I think I cared more about what people thought. Did so and so think we weren’t “good” parents? Why do this one and and that one seem to have a problem because we chose residential school for Thomas? These days…I don’t care much what other people think. I know I’m a good mom and Tommy is a great dad. I know our decisions regarding Thomas were the most difficult any parent would have to make and I know we did the best for our family.

When I was younger I was very anxious and wouldn’t talk to Tommy about what was bothering me. Many times I didn’t even know what the main anxiety causing issue was. Right now it’s that our health insurance company isn’t recognizing out of network claims I submitted last week. But we all have health insurance issues don’t we. My anxiety used to be so bad. I couldn’t control the thoughts in my head and my mind took off like a freight train running through all these horrible things that were going to happen because I did this or didn’t do that. I hated it. But I thought that was “normal”. Today I know it is not. After a lot of therapy and some meds things are much better and I no longer live with the runaway freight train in my mind. If I do get terribly anxious I know something is really wrong.

I have some regrets about the past, but don’t we all, please. There are somethings I would have done differently but who’s to say if things were done differently the end result would have been the same? I’m so happy to be married to my husband. Tommy really is my best friend. It’s funny because we started out as just friends when we were teens and so many years later we married and we are still friends. He’s seen me through the good and the not so good, the ups and the downs and also the very lows. He gets me.

I think it’s good to see how you’re not exactly the same person you were when you were younger. And reflect on positive changes.

Darn Dogs!

Saturday evening as I let our 12 year old dog Riley out for the last time of the night I looked down at her and saw this large lump coming out her left side. I was like holy crap! And yelled for Tommy to come. It was late and Riley wasn’t in any distress so we decided to take her to the vet the next morning. We secured an 11:20am appointment at an animal hospital we hadn’t used before but came recommended by my friend Jenn.

We get there and I’m noticing Riley panting excessively, and thought to myself that our other dog was not panting like this and it was cool out so why was she doing this? The vet tech came and weighed our girl who came in at 106 lbs, wow. I knew she was big but oh my. The doctor comes in and recommends x rays and asked if she could put a needle in the swollen area to see what was inside. Of course we said yes. She comes back that there was blood inside the lump but the x rays and regular bloodwork were fine. She offered to send the blood from that area to a hematologist so they could see if they were cancer cells. Again we said yes.

No cancer cells. Turns out Riley has a hematoma from what, we don’t know. All we could think of was that Lola, our anxiety riddled other dog who is very excitable (understatement) often pushes Riley out of the way to get down the back stairs to get to the backyard. Maybe Lola pushed Riley off the stairs? Riley is so so sweet she never fights back or pushes Lola back. Meanwhile Lola who is so attached to Riley, freaked the eff out when we left to bring Riley to the vet. And I learned that when dogs are in pain they pant a lot.

So the vet put Riley on an anti inflammatory for arthritis, pain meds, thyroid meds and something else that I don’t remember what for. I really thought this was some kind of tumor and we would have to say good bye. It was a terrible thought as those of you with pets can imagine or have lived through. So meds and you can imagine how much money later, we were on our way!

What’s In The Past

Have you noticed that events that happened in the past never stay in the past? Some significant occurrences change your future. Others are so very important in shaping who we are today. I know if I didn’t have the experience I did in raising Thomas I would not be the person I am today. I used to be judge-mental, not very open minded and would be very quick to be loud mouthed with my opinion. I am very far from perfect; however, having a special needs child humbled me fast and made me stop and think a little more before speaking my mind.

I was speaking with my therapist yesterday and we were taking about Thomas. Thomas has always targeted me, hitting me before he even was a toddler. No one knew what to do to get him to stop. We tried everything and I mean *ev-erything* to stop this behavior. I think the worst part about it was that my pediatrician didn’t believe me. My family witnessed the behavior so they understood, but for whatever reason this doctor wouldn’t believe me. When Thomas became a little older, closer to 6 years old, I asked her for a referral to a child psychiatrist to help us. She flat out said she didn’t know any, effing liar. So I sought out my own psychiatrist/specialist who did not take insurance, and was located in Manhattan. My first experience driving in Manhattan; go me. This psychiatrist was and still is wonderful. He listened to me. I used to take notes on Thomas’ behavior, the hitting, the excessive tantrums and presented it all the the psychiatrist. Finally a professional someone that was taking me seriously. When I told the pediatrician I found a psychiatrist she suddenly came up with her own referral. Wow, how amazing. I told her I wasn’t interested in her doctor we already had one and I believed in and trusted him. Bitch actually became offended. I left the practice shortly after.

My point is that I hadn’t talked about that time in my life in quite some time. I had forgotten how terrible I was treated by this pediatrician and how awful it felt to have someone you trust flat out not believe you. I didn’t like that memory. And it made me think of events in your life that shape you. This is one such event. Once I grew a pair and realized how unprofessional and stupid this doctor was, I changed pediatricians to one of the best ever and didn’t look back. I also never let a doctor treat me that way again.