Internet issues and Comfort Zones

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. The end of the school year had me going in circles getting A to different events. Let me just go ahead and brag right here about what an awesome year she had in school. I am so proud of her! Last year was painful at best, but this year was so much better.  She even made the A/B honor roll the last quarter! This is huge for her! Not because of lack of intellect, but for all the issues she faces and the extent of her anxiety and ADHD, this is just not something she has been able to accomplish in the past. She was thrilled. Okay, I won’t continue bragging on my kid. 

The biggest issue to being able to keep up with my blogging, or well, with the world in general has also been that I’ve been without internet for a week. Ugh. I live in the boonies, so I have to use one of those wifi hotspots for internet. Normally I kind of like it. It works fine (Mostly. Not so great if you want to watch something on Netflix…then it’s aggravating.) I have gotten used to being able to slip the thing in my pocket and take it with me wherever I go, too. That’s kind of nice. Last week I had it with me at work, plugged in minding its own business, and someone took it. Seriously? Why would someone do such a thing? Well, they didn’t get much use out of it, as I had it turned off later that evening, but still. I had to order another one from Ebay, and unfortunately instead of the item shipping in two days as the listing said, apparently, the seller went on a business trip and thought his wife sent it while he was gone. :-/ Now I have to wait until Tuesday before it will even ship. Ten days after ordering it. Part of me understands that yes, things happen, but part of me is really, really annoyed. I either have to go to my sisters and use internet at her house, OR I have to sit in McDonald’s and use theirs.

That brings me to where I am right now. I had a couple errands to run, so here I am sitting in McDonald’s. I like the fact that they offer free Wifi, but I hate sitting here, by myself. I see people do it all the time, and it’s no big deal, right? Wrong. I feel so…exposed. I HATE sitting alone in most public places. I despise it. I feel like people are staring at me. Yes, I know that not one person in the place cares one way or another about me sitting here. I know they do not even notice me, but that’s not how it FEELS. I’ve never been able to go to a restaurant alone. I work in a restaurant. I see people do it every single day. I don’t judge those people. Why do I think people are looking at me funny if I’m sitting somewhere alone?? Not rational, I know. So today I forced myself out of my comfort zone and into a nearby McDonald’s. At least I was able to grab an inconspicuous spot in a corner. A couple days ago I stopped by the one in the same town where I work and there are NO inconspicuous corners. And most of the tables were full. And I knew most of the people sitting there with their laptops and coffee, and they ALL wanted to talk to me. When I’m working I can talk to people. When I’m not at work it isn’t so easy.  So here I sit and type, hoping no one notices me.

Funny, because I do like listening to OTHER people talk. For instance, there was just a gentleman here that is biking cross country. He was talking to the people sitting next to him about some of the things he has seen on the road. Interesting stuff. Part of me wanted to strike up a conversation with the man, but that is not me. I don’t strike up conversations with strangers. Not ever. Not in person anyway. So here I sit.

It’s the first week of summer and A is at her father’s. I won’t see her til Sunday. A week. I don’t like it. It is so hard when she’s gone for many reasons. Sure, I’m used to having her around. I’m used to her constant chatter, her singing, and her joking. Still, I’m not so pathetic that I can’t value a few days to myself or anything, and if I knew she was safe and happy and doing well, I wouldn’t worry. But I don’t know those things. Her relationship with her father is complicated. Her panic attacks rise exponentially when it is time for her to visit him, especially if it’s for longer than a weekend. They refuse to admit that they even know she HAS panic attacks, much less that being with them CAUSES them. I’m not certain when she is there, that they give her her anxiety medication. I hope they do, but I can’t be sure. It’s not like I can ask her if she’s taking it.  She is not allowed to bring her phone so that she can call or text me when she is there. She is not allowed to use their phone to call me.  It’s amazing to me that a parent can deny a child contact with their other parent. I know it’s because he’s jealous of our relationship. What other reason could there be? I have never and would never deny her access to her father. It is not my place to deny her that. It is also not my place, however, to force her to contact him. She knows that she can pick up the phone and call him any time she pleases. She chooses not to. She doesn’t want to talk to him. It makes me sad, but his relationship with her is his own. It isn’t mine. If that relationship is flawed and not working, then it is up to him as an adult, as the parent, to take the necessary measures to fix it. When she was younger oh, I tried making her excited to be going to see him when she would start to cry because it was the weekend. I would peel her out of the car with the “your dad loves you and wants to see you” bit. I tried to have an answer for every disappointment that he handed out.  I tried to tell her that he didn’t MEAN to hurt her with the way he treated her, that he just didn’t think like she did, that he didn’t understand how she felt, or how he was hurting her.  As she got older though, she didn’t buy it. Finally one day she just said, “Seriously mom? Just stop. You know as well as I do that he doesn’t care about anyone but himself.” I can’t fix it. I wish I could. So — even though I’ve never denied her being able to talk to him, he doesn’t allow her to talk to me while she is there. Summers are so very hard. Actually in the past, she was able to bring her phone, and she would text me several times a day, and that helped. A year ago though, he got angry because I found out that he and his wife were using her phone and I asked him not to. She has a cheap Tracfone, and I pay for each minute, and I told him I didn’t buy minutes for him and his wife to use. His response was that if the phone was such an issue, she was no longer allowed to bring it. He said he could tell that if something happened to the phone I would hold him responsible and expect him to replace it, and if she ever brought the phone back to his house it would be confiscated. Um, what? She carries a $5 phone. Even if she didn’t, what part of “please don’t use her phone for your personal use” means I will hold you responsible if my daughter loses her phone and expect you to purchase another? As usual, I played into his hands. He’d been looking for a reason to get rid of the phone ever since her counselor told him she needed to have a means of getting in touch with me when she wanted. It would ease her anxiety and make her visits easier. Even though he only bothered to go to her counselor ONCE, he couldn’t very well say no. Still, they were always getting on to her for how much she texted me. He wanted a reason to get rid of the phone, and my saying I didn’t appreciate him using it gave him the opening he’d been looking for. Stupid me. Opened my mouth and now I’m being punished for it by not knowing how my daughter is or how she’s coping. I probably shouldn’t vent about them here.  It’s probably not a good idea, but I can’t help the truth.  He certainly can’t deny the fact that he told me she can no longer bring her phone to his house.

I just wanted to check in. Wanted everyone to know I hadn’t fallen off the face of the earth. Didn’t mean to ramble on so long either. Hopefully next week I will be back to normal and will be once again posting more regularly on all things ADHD. A is working on her first guest post for me, which, I read the first couple paragraphs and it’s pretty awesome! I hope to have that to share soon.

I hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day. Remember to thank your service men/women.

One thought on “Internet issues and Comfort Zones

  1. I empathize with net problems completely. And I’m self conscious about sitting alone, until I overhear someone else’s conversation. I’m good unless I forget myself and answer a question that wasn’t directed at me. Yeah…then I have to slink out with a red face lol

    My turn. Haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I did thank my McDonald’s cashier this morning, until I tasted what was in my coffee. eh…if that’s the worst that happens, having no cream in coffee?
    I’m calling it a good day. 😉

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