March 20, 2018

bad cop

My son started Wellbutrin a couple of months ago.  It's been doing wonders for him, and in spite of his ADHD, he's been phenomenally good about remembering to take it every morning.  Until yesterday.  Shit.  I texted back that if he took it as soon as he got home from school, that would suffice, no harm done.

He forgot about that, too.  And he has been whining since bedtime last night.  Tired, massive headache, sluggish, didn't  know why.  Went to bed early.


I can't abide whining.  It's profoundly irritating.

This morning, I'd barely arrived at work when the text conversation began.  Oh, toasted shit, I thought.  Here we go.  He's going to try to get out of going to school, or some other bullshit, and I'm going to have to be Bad Cop.  I'm always Bad Cop.  Why doesn't he ever text his dad?

Transcript:

Him:  Uhhhhhhhhhn.

Me:  I think symptoms from yesterday might have been from not remembering meds, may feel bad or weird this morning.  Please take one!  It will sort you out in a couple of hours.  Love you.

Him:  Ookk

Me:  Will be ok, promise

Him:  Uhh.  Still feel bad.  Righjtg now I fell souper tirde.

Me:  Take med, go.  It will get better.  And Tylenol.

Him: I aalready took meds.

Me:  It takes TIME ... Extended release, duh.  Wait for it.  Push through.

Him:  Ohko.  I think I got a quiz in Mathh though.

Me:  You will be OK.  Study in cafeteria.

Him:  Ikeepmzoning ouht.

Me:  That is how important it is to take it every day, hon.  Why I was willing to drive it over to your dad's house twice when you forgot to pack it.  Important ^ 10,000.

Him:  Supprr trred.

Me:  Can you please just trust me?

Him:  Do jbhave anyhthor choice

Me:  Push ahead, stop whining, be strong.  It will pass in a couple hours, less now.  Next time, remember to take it.  We need to set up a foolproof system for remembering.

Him:  Kok.

Me:  OK

Him:  I need to slepppp

Me:  No.

Him:  Why not?

Me:  Kid ... you did this to yourself.  Keep moving.  Sorry to be harsh.

Him:  Okijjh.  I bbcan brely type.

Me:  I know.

Him:  I think I'm fukckinbn hllhuccinat in.  I heard an animal in my room.

Me:  Go to school.  You know why this is all happening, just push through.  Please stop.

Him:  Mmnotb siccllk, jusdtt dleepy.

Me:  Have caffeine.  Solve the problem.

Him:  I don't have any.

Me:  Ask Jason's dad to stop at gas station?

Him:  I don't think I can do that.

Me:  See?  You can text now.  Already helping.

Him:  Autocorrect.

Me:  Isn't there a place next to the cafeteria where you can buy a drink?  Srsly.  Stop.  Solve the problem.  You are ready for school?

Him:  Thaye shut dowbbn the machine.

Me:  Dressed?  Then be patient.

Him:  Yeass.

Me:  Are you packed?

Him:  Yesss.

Me:  Ready for them?  OK, good.  Just explain to them.

Him:  But I have to present tWo thibgs today.

Me:  YOU WILL FEEL BETTER.  For fuck's sake, would you listen to me????

Him:  Mmmhmmmm

Me:  Then relax, go.  Wait, there's grape Crystal Light with caffeine in the kitchen cabinet, just remembered.  Get some.  Will help clear your head.

Him:  OK.

Me:  OK.

Him:  Caffein dlooesnt cllaer your head, it just makes it so you can't feel the tirheednwss.

Me:  Then why are you even texting me, if you just want to argue and not take my advice?

Him:  I can't remember.

Me:  Either drink some or don't.  Up to you.  Just go wait for Jason.

Him:  OK.

**********

Jesus gum-chewing Christ.

He did that at his doctor's office once, too.  Went in for a check-up and reported some vague ailment, and his doctor would propose something that might be causing it, and the little lawyer would say, "No, because ..." and explain why that particular thing couldn't be the case.  After about six rounds of this, his doctor calmly laid his stylus and laptop down, folded his hands in his lap, looked at the kid and said, "Well, I'm out of ideas," and just stared at him.  The kid didn't quite know what to make of this.  They regarded each other.  And then regarded each other some more.

I can't remember who broke first.  This would be a much better vignette if I remembered that.  Sorry.

The ironic thing is, I'm normally over-the-top compassionate toward the kid, but when he starts argue-whining, it triggers a hard-ass, tough-shit reaction in me.  I don't say, "Suck it up, Buttercup," because I know someone who uses that phrase and it totally rubs my fur the wrong way and I hate it rather a lot, probably because it's mean and it rhymes, yet my responses and demeanor are just so.

And please don't ask me for my advice, if you aren't going to at least consider it, and maybe even take it to heart once in a while, just for a change.  If you're up for an argument instead, there are any number of perfectly good walls in the house to talk to, and brick walls outside of the garage if you need something more substantial.  Wood fence in the back yard.  It's all dog-ears.  Just leave me out of it.

Months ago, Therapist Gumby pointed out that I was whining about a Thing.  I can totally cope with criticism.  After working through introspection, self-hatred, fantasies about punching him, fantasies about punching myself, and eventual acceptance that he had found legit fault and I deserved to have it pointed out and I should and could take responsibility for it, I did grudgingly agree that he was right.  He can't abide whining, either.  He harnessed my intolerance of it and helped me change my perception of the Thing.  He made me see that I was doing exactly what I can't stand when my kid does it.

It didn't make me less of a hard-ass.  It made me more of one.  Both the kid and I get the brunt of that now.  So does P.J.  These days, I am less and less a nice, kind person.  I am changing.  I feel like my compassion is dissolving on all fronts.  Maybe it's the hypomania.  Maybe I'm wrong, and blind right now.

So I just made myself break out of Bad Cop and do a compassionate thing.  I texted the kid again:

Me:  Feeling less croggled?

Him:  Still tired.

Me:  Sorry.

Him:  Almost fell asleep in cafeteria.

Me:  You're spelling better and not hearing random animals.  The fatigue will lessen.  Hang in there.

**********

See?  I can at least pretend.  I can do compassion.  If someone hums a few bars, I can fake it.

Maybe it's in there, somewhere.

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