Friday, May 29, 2009

Quinn built this all by himself!

Quinn re-enacts a scene from "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing"

In case you're not familiar with the book, in it, the main character, a 9-year-old, thinks she is being unkind to her annoying 2-year-old brother when she gives him a box of tissues for his birthday rather than a real present. But the little boy is delighted and declares the tissues the best present he received!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This is not a post about the economy.

Being depressed doesn't mean I can't feel pleasure. I seem to be able to feel pleasure and enjoy the things I've always enjoyed. It's just that pleasure has no afterglow: once the positive experience is over, the funk slams down like anvil. ("Funk slams down" sounds like a groovy '70's tune. Trust me: it's not. The only 70's music I'm grooving on right now is Pink Floyd's "The Wall", which cannot be a positive indicator of mental health. Not entirely true: Keith Jarret's solo concerts are also a great comfort and solace.)

Anyway, remedies pharmacological (SSRIs) and logistical (get a nanny so I don't have to deal with him as much) are under consideration.

[end iPhone composed portion of post.]

I didn't realize that being told by my therapist that I was showing signs of depression would have such a big impact on me. It certainly didn't come a surprise: anyone who's read this blog or followed my Facebook updates may be wondering why it's taken me so long to put the obvious label on it. And any of the stressors I've been going through (unemployment, child permanently mentally retarded, purchasing and renovating a home) are on their own enough to drive someone into mental illness. It's not like things suddenly got worse last Thursday when I talked to my therapist. But I certainly feel worse. I feel not like myself. I don't know if its the impact of being told I'm showing signs (albeit mild ones) of a bonna-fide DSM mental illness that is making me feel like crap, or that being told I'm showing symptoms of depression has given me permission to feel as shitty as I've wanted to feel all along.

The thought of spending time with my son makes my chest tighten.

So, what exactly have I been experiencing?
  • Pleasureable experiences don't leave any lasting impression on my mood
  • I'm easily panicked and overwhelmed by seemingly small tasks that trigger anxiety or insecurity (this has been a problem for me for a long time, but has gotten worse recently).
  • I find I need my pleasures in a very visceral way, the way I imagine a drug user might need them. I need them to ward off other things.
  • I'm very moody and irritable. I'm not used to feelings of rage and helplessness on such a frequent basis.
  • Difficulty understanding what my wife says: I'm saying "what?" and "huh?" a lot. It might be an actual hearing problem. But more likely it's just because I'm escaping to alternate imaginary worlds as much as possible in an effort to get some peace, control, and solace. Or maybe it's because I don't particularly want to hear what she's saying, for fear it will be some request involving Quinn or otherwise disturbing me.
Of course, a lot of this may simply be sleep deprivation: Quinn has woken up at 3:30 am every night for the past 3 nights or so.

My therapist tells me that anecdotally, about 75% of couples raising a special needs child have one of the parents go into depression some time in the first three years. She also said that it's usually the woman. But I think Sarah is dispositionally unsuited for the role of depressive. Which is not to say that all this isn't incredibly hard for her.

Let's see if I can get some sleep...


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mommy & Quinn at the beach

Ahh, a much needed vacation. A change of context does wonders for the
harried mind.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Status updates

My posting to this blog has suffered recently, as I've been using Facebook as my primary venting/griping forum. For those of you not there, I'll transcribe some of my recent Quinn-related material. In chronological order:
Zachary Drake is with sick baby. :( How can I treat Sarah like a princess? Happy Mother's Day all (including those who are trying/hoping/attempting to convince hesitant partners!).
May 10 at 8:03am · Comment · Like

Happy Mother's Day Sarah! Quinn & I love you very much. You are so good to both of us :) :)
May 10 at 9:41pm · Comment · LikeUnlike · Share

Zachary Drake has read "Big Red Barn" far too many times today. Fortunately, I think Quinn will be able to go to school tomorrow. I was not optimized for extended bouts of special needs childcare. (Is anyone?)
May 11 at 6:17pm · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake needs D&D night like this planet needs to control greenhouse gas emissions.
May 12 at 4:57pm · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake another 4am wakeup. Resenting your own child makes you feel like crap. He's awfully cute though.
May 13 at 5:54am · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake Quinn built this tower with some guidance from his physical therapist. His skills are improving!

Zachary Drake So looking forward to watching episodes of "In Treatment" with my Yummy tonight.

Zachary Drake Quinn watches the garbage truck drive away

Zachary Drake Quinn's not napping because of gardener noise. I really needed that couple hours. But onward I trudge!!
May 15 at 2:29pm · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake got to see "A Streetcar Named Desire" last night. A play! How grown up!
May 16 at 7:04am · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake God, it feels so good to do real work. The show is largely intact in my mind and just comes pouring out if I'm properly focused. I just need to clean up a few spots and make sure I'm in proper mental and physical shape for the performance.
May 16 at 1:26pm · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake is buzzed from a very strong mojito. Yay parents' night out!
May 16 at 7:18pm · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake Quinn started making noises around 3am, and then really woke up around 5am. I've been walking and driving around with him for an hour now. Somehow I'm ok.
Sun 6:06am · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake Strolling through the mall at 6:21 am with Quinn, sleep deprived
Sun 6:27am · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake Quinn has a cold and a cough, so we're keeping him home. Another much needed day snatched away from us. God this parenthood thing can suck sometimes. Now I gotta change his shitty diaper. Oh, did I mention he's permanently mentally retarded? Sigh. (I apologize for the whiny nature of my recent status updates. I will return to political commentary and narcissistic self-expression as soon as possible.)
Mon 7:14am · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake Quinn took no nap today, but by stuffing my face with BBQ spare-ribs and fresh lychee nuts I've managed to stay sane.
Mon 4:41pm · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake Is ready for his show tomorrow morning!!!
Mon 10:32pm · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake got a partial standing ovation today. Happens with Dust Storm a lot: some people thing it's great and stand right away, some feel compelled to follow along, but it doesn't quite reach the tipping point where everyone feels they have to stand.
Yesterday at 4:46pm · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake Quinn's nose is still running like a river. Another day home from school. Another few hours I thought were mine snatched away. Another entry in the ledger of resentment. God this is hard.
8:42am · Comment · Like

Zachary Drake both of Quinn's nap attempts were ruined by bodily functions. What must I do to propitiate the gods?
2:32pm · Comment · Like
Reading these over, I'd say it's a decent sampling of the ups and downs.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Where's Mommy? I want to wish her a happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Sarah. Daddy and I love you so much.

One of the many reasons I love being a mother

is because of the sweet and funny things I overhear.

Right now, my husband and son are in the bathroom adjacent to our office. Quinn is taking his bath. Zac says "Quack, quack, quack!" Then Quinn says very merrily, "AAH! AAH! AAH!". This happens again and again.  Quinn only started imitating sounds in this way very recently. 

Quinn got a fever today (which he's since recovered from), and I still have a yucky cough from last week. Yesterday, my friend's child, who is just a few months older than Quinn, answered the phone when I called my friend's house. I was shocked that a child that age could answer a phone. I had assumed (really) that some other child was visiting her house for the day.

I am so grateful for the Quack Quack Quack moments that remind me to enjoy this time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We're getting a house (99% sure)

The seller agreed to lower the price. Not by as much as we were hoping
for. But enough to make it make sense and be a good value and be
competitive with comparable houses. Lots of work to do. ZOMG WE'RE