Shelter in Place

It’s 2:30am and there have been helicopters flying around our neighborhood for hours with no signs of stopping. Nextdoor app says it’s related to a high speed chase on the freeway earlier this evening. The state trooper twitter says to shelter in place and that the main cross streets for our neighborhood are shut down for some kind of manhunt. Both boys are still up and SK13 keeps asking me what’s going on including why we heard “fireworks” a while ago.

My stomach has been doing flip-flops of anxiety for several hours and I know this sounds crazy, but it only just now occurred to me that it’s because of the helicopters. No idea why it took two hours to formulate that theory. There’s a lot of other stuff going on right now, so I was blaming the anxiety on that. 

We’ve known for a few months now that Sparky will be changing jobs in June, but we have no information about benefits or anything at the new company. Except that he will likely be working from home, which makes me feel like my introverted self will never be alone in our house again. And I don’t do well with such utter lack of control or knowledge of what’s coming. And Sparky told me last night that it looks like he may not be moving to the new company after all.

SK11 is going back to public school for middle school next year and I’ve been trying to get the school district to answer my emails requesting info on re-evaluation to get his IEP set up again, but they haven’t answered any of the emails I’ve sent over the last month. It looks like I’m going to have to involve our lawyer to get them to even answer a basic question.

SK13 went through such a traumatic bullying situation a few years ago that he began lashing out at all of us, but particularly SK11. It’s been a tough road repairing their relationship. SK11 FINALLY agreed to have SK13 in his talk therapy session today to discuss their relationship. When I gave SK13 the 10-minute heads up before time to leave, he said he wasn’t going. He yelled and stomped around, which set SK11 on edge. I pleaded with SK13 and he agreed to go, but was sullen and grumpy all the way there and demanded that I tell him he never has to do this again. I told him we could talk about that after. 

The two of them laughed all the way through the session. They freely talked about what’s going well in their relationship and things they can do for each other to make it better. SK11 set roughhousing boundaries and SK13 asked his brother to tone down the competition. We drilled the competition request down to SK11 getting upset when things don’t go his way and blaming it on his brother, so he’s going to try to use humor to calm himself in those situations. I’m so proud of both of them.

SK13 was even enthusiastic when the therapist asked if he would come again next week. 

It was an enormous win in so many ways and I’m thrilled about it, but it was also emotionally draining. It’s that thing where I have to drag everyone kicking and screaming to the table and hold everything together with a toothpick and chewing gum and suddenly everything is great and they all walk away leaving me with a sticky wad of gum and soggy splinters in my fingers. I’ve absorbed their emotions and held that space for them, but there’s nowhere for my emotions to go.

Thinking about this is giving new meaning to the shelter in place order for me. 

Sparky went to dinner with an old friend who is in town and got home around 11. He had kidney stone pain, so he went to bed right away. I didn’t get to talk to him about any of this. I know he can’t help being in pain, but I also can’t help feeling so incredibly alone.

It’s funny to me that I crave alone time and can’t get it, yet I feel so alone in the midst of all these people.

It’s now after 3am. The helicopters are still flying around and my stomach continues to flop away. SK11 is finally asleep, but I don’t know if SK13 or I will even be able to shut our eyes tonight.

*We both got to sleep by 4am and the ruckus apparently ended shortly thereafter with the fugitive apprehended and no injuries. Big thanks to all the law enforcement officers who kept us all safe during a dangerous situation.  

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