Deep Down To My Core Archive

Learning to Fail

Posted February 18, 2021 By kmarrs

A few weeks ago, I asked Tumblr the following:

So I want to talk about parenting a gifted kid. Because I don’t honestly know if I’m doing it right. Please know I’m doing my best and in good faith seek advice.

For the past like 3 or 4 years, my 13yo Lucas, who is autistic and has ADHD which he’s medicated for, has been in the gifted program. I almost didn’t let them put him in it because I know the horrors of being gifted, but I was assured he’d never be pulled out of class, he’d just be doing slightly different assignments. When questioned he didn’t even realize he was doing gifted program work, that’s how integrated it was. I was assured he was doing different things, even if he didn’t realize it. Ok. That’s great. I let him stay in the program all through intermediate school (4-6).

He’s always brought home good grades. I’ve never cared about grades. I care about effort, whatever that means for the individual child.

Then the pandemic hit and the end of last year and all of this year became online. I’m sure I don’t have to tell y’all that online school and ADHD don’t mix.

With a complete lack of structure, he’s putting my disinterest in grades to the test. I think he is trying his best but the executive dysfunction is a bitch and he just can’t get anything done except under complete duress that’s exhausting and traumatizing for everyone involved. And even then he was suddenly failing everything. Everything.

At some point, I’m not exactly sure when, but I was probably a really tired single mother in that moment, I just radically accepted that this year is a wash and he’s probably going to be repeating 7th grade.

I’m not even mad. I’m just tired.

And I haven’t stopped encouraging him to do the work. We talk about what it means to repeat a grade. We discuss these kids he’s grown up with leaving him behind. We discuss that it’s not too late to catch up. But honestly fam, as the autistic kid, he doesn’t really have any friends he wants to keep up with. (That part hurts my heart more than anything.)

But I’ve just radically accepted that this year being online was doomed to fail and instead of being angry at him, I’ve made failing ok. I know if he were in an actual classroom he’d be fine. But he’s not so I have to accept the consequences.

Is that the right thing to do? What would you want your parents to do in this situation? I’m asking in earnest!

Every response I received was filled with encouragement that I was doing the right thing by him. Overwhelmingly people told me how they wish their parents had taught them failing was ok and how to fail. Because you know what? Sometimes you fail in life.

Which got me reflecting on teenage me in high school. I was undiagnosed with ADHD and Autism, severely depressed, and blossoming into having Borderline Personality Disorder. My grades, my senior year especially were a mess! And while my mom didn’t yell or punish me, it was very clear I had disappointed her, and that hurt. Instead of being taught how to fail, I was taught that I needed to achieve a certain level to be acceptable.

Fast forward more than 10 years to when I started college. I had it in my head that failure wasn’t an option, only somehow I got the message that anything less than an A was a failure. Sure I graduated 6 years later with top Latin honors, but I also almost died repeatedly because I had stopped making my own blood. If I had been taught to fail or at least accept less than an A, I might have spent less time writing final papers while getting blood transfusions. The two should never mix.

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Alone but not Lonely

Posted December 24, 2020 By kmarrs

Robin is settled into Seattle and has been for a few weeks, at this point. The kids miss her like crazy. They show it in various ways. Sammy is a little more outspoken with it. Thomas tries to hide his pain where he thinks we can’t see it. Lucas is a lot harder to read, but I know he does miss daddy. Even Iris misses her.

I’m a little more on the fence myself. I more miss having help than I do the company. When the kids started feeling better they were obnoxious for a couple of days and I was so sick I could barely move. I could have used a healthy adult. But the thing is, had Robin been here, Robin would have had Covid too, (I caught it the day after she left and passed it around the house from there) and not only would she have been unable to be helpful, but I would have been sharing my sick bed. I’m very selfishly grateful I didn’t have to share my bed while sick.

The first two times we separated missing her company was a big part of why I took her back. Granted, we worked on our shit and were healthier when we got back together. But I think things would have been different if I hadn’t been so lonely. This time I have a couple of dozen friends at my disposal, and yeah, none of them are local, but I’m ok with that. I’m not alone unless I put my phone down to read. And it’s a huge help.

I’ll be a lot more hesitant to take Robin back this time. And while that is something I fully intend to do in maybe about 5 years, that is fully conditional on where we stand as individuals. We are both in need of some therapy to be better people. And I won’t settle for anything less than what I deserve in a partner.

Anyway. I do in some ways miss Robin. But not as much as I feared I would. And I’m relieved by this, but I also feel guilt. I’m going to have to work on that guilt in therapy because me not missing Robin as much as I arbitrarily think I should is fine but the guilt it brings isn’t healthy.

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Friendship

Posted June 15, 2020 By kmarrs

My memory is poor, so I don’t really have many fond memories of my ex best friend from high school. I remember when Luke was like 2yo, taking the boys to the zoo and pulling them around in the wagon I bought for that exact purpose. Only, that trip I guess Thomas mostly walked since he would have been around 6. And Lucas spread himself out in the wagon and passed the fuck out. He napped for a solid 2 hours or so in that wagon while we pulled him around the zoo.

I remember this because I just took the littles to the zoo. It finally opened back up this weekend for members only. You have to make reservations in advance since they are only letting so many people in at a time, but I made them well in advance. So I’ve been reflecting on the many happy zoo memories.

Another clear memory of her is her blatant ableism. Like how she refused to be seen with me in public in February with me wearing flip flops. Even though at that moment I literally could not wear any other shoes. I did not hang out with her that day and have actually not spoken to her since.

I guess that made her mad?

Because a few years later she tried to steal my then husband (now wife) and my kids from me. She always did covet the family I had. So the minute my relationship went south, she swooped in. I don’t blame Robin from sleeping with her. We were separated and she’s always had a crush on her. But she had no interest in being casual. She was in it for the family. And when Robin and I got back together she was furious. Which says a lot about her since she’s Catholic and doesn’t believe in divorce. Usually.

I’ve had an attempt at a best friend between now and then in Clyde. But he was toxic and I got out when that became apparent. We’ve been in and out of casual contact since. But nothing lasting. What can I say, we met in a joint class. We were teammates on a group project. The first that degree ever gave me. We then, a few years later, ran into each other in a different class. I think if I ran into him again, we could be civil. Stand and chat. Or email for a few days. But it wouldn’t be anything deep or lasting. That friendship was too toxic.

I’ve had a few toxic friendships. Hell, at times my relationship with Robin is toxic. This isn’t some huge revelation. It’s common knowledge we’ve been separated twice.

BPD makes it hard to maintain relationships.

Being neurodivergent makes starting relationships hard.

Also, I don’t see myself as worth much, so I don’t immediately bulk at being treated poorly.

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My Identity

Posted February 17, 2020 By kmarrs

It’s been a while since I discussed my identity on here. And there have been some updates as I’ve grown into one label, and out of another.

I am very much nonbinary and working towards transitioning. I will be legally changing my name to Max, if not Maximum. We’re getting new scrubs at work and my new scrubs will have Max on them in place of my dead name. (Remind me to post why that’s possible next.) I am working towards getting a massive breast reduction, though probably not complete top surgery. Hopefully, with my history of neck, shoulder, and back pain, my insurance will cover the reduction. I’m not sure how much I care to transition beyond that. I already have short hair and don’t wear makeup. I live in scrubs, which are gender-neutral. I’m not really interested in hrt. So I think I’ll be done after the name change and the surgery.

The one thing that has changed is my sexuality. While I still identify as ace, but that’s more based on sex repulsion due to an OCD hangup with body fluids than whether I’m actually sexually attracted to people. When I opened my mind to that, I realized that I’m just not really into men. But strong women with swords? Make me weak. I also like femme women. Really just any women. So I guess what I’m saying is, I’m a whole ass lesbian. Which, now that I know, I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize this.

What about Pat? Well, for starters, they don’t go by Pat anymore. We’re sorting out what to call them when. But also, I knew 15 years ago that I was marrying a woman. It just… hadn’t really been acknowledged more than just on the surface level. However, part of my spouse’s midlife crisis involved a huge gender crisis. I won’t toss out labels because they are still evolving sometimes on a daily basis even, as new ones are tried on to see what fits, but wherever this lands, I assure you I can be attracted to my spouse and be a huge lesbian.

So I guess that’s where things stand for now. I’m pretty comfortable with my new labels and I don’t see them changing again. But, that’s what I said last time.

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I’m 35, Almost 36 Years Old

Posted October 14, 2019 By kmarrs

I feel like for the first time in a real real long time (if not ever) I know who I am.

I have well-defined interests that I understand. For the first time maybe ever, I’ve figured out what exactly my taste in music is. I have a favorite artist even. Who I’m going to see in concert (my first concert) later this fall. I still read everything in sight, but I have favorite authors. I even know how I prefer to present myself appearance-wise.

I’m comfortable and confident in my queerness. I’m still evolving and working to define my sexuality, but I’m comfortable in that process. I understand my gender, which is that I don’t have one.

I know what I want in a friendship. I’m seeking out individuals that I want to know better. I’m taking an online acquaintance who is sort of local to the concert this fall even, in a bid to get to know them better.

In general, I have a life full of friendship. People who love me as I am. People I love back with all my heart. I’m opening my home to one of them, who is more like a child of my heart to me, and not just a friend. My eldest child comes home to me this winter.

I’ve defined and become comfortable in my spirituality. I have found comfort in the old gods. They help me to define my place in this world and give me strength in my hours of need.

I have found comfort in witchcraft. I have taken my fate into my own hands and project my desires into the world helping them to manifest.

I have taken my fate into my own hands and accomplished one of three degrees I will need to pursue my dreams. I will accomplish the other two degrees then I will go into practice as a psychologist diagnosing, especially those who are afab, with autism and ADHD. I will research and strive to correct the problem of this subset of the population being severely under-diagnosed. I will be the change I want to see in the world.

I finally understand my own neuro divergence. I have ADHD. That is officially diagnosed. I am autistic. That is unofficially diagnosed with therapist support. Suddenly life makes sense. All of it.

Gods. There is so much more. So much I’m forgetting. I could go on for paragraphs more. But I think my point is made.

But let me say this. If you are reading this and young and lost and floundering in your identity, please no that there is no deadline in figuring out who you are. Life is trial and error. It’s an imperfect process. I’m 35 years old and only just now finding my identity. And I’d be foolish to assume I’ve learned all there is to know about who I am.

So many of you are delayed in self-discovery due to things like abuse and mental health issues and general neuro divergence. And that’s ok. I understand the frustrations. I understand feeling lost. But please know it will come. When? I can’t answer that for you. But it will come.

Continue to grow at your own pace. Continue to explore who you are and your interests and gender and sexuality and just your identity in general.

And it will come.

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Self Worth

Posted June 17, 2019 By kmarrs

For so long now, my self worth has directly tied into my grades. I have an amazing GPA, I’m graduating Summa Cum Laude, this is what my value as a person is based on, in my eyes.

My therapist is working to convince me that this is not the best thing to measure my worth on.

She also went as far as to suggest that in grad school, I won’t continue to be a straight-A student; which I immediately took as a challenge. I will defy that or die trying.

Then when I shared that sentiment with my friends and family on Facebook, someone else pointed out that it’s not worth the die trying sentiment because literally, no one is going to care about my grades after I graduate.

So really, aside from being useful towards getting into grad school, grades don’t matter.

So then maybe this is why I shouldn’t base my self worth on them.

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