Since I can't seem to formulate a post topic, I decided to engage in one of the ever-popular "random thoughts" posts instead:
I have reached the end of my rope with my 7 year old yelling at me every ever-lovin minute of the day. I think much of her behavior is related to autism spectrum issues - her brain does not work and process interpersonal interactions like the rest of us, and then her frustration flares when we don't see eye to eye. Her ASD effects are entirely on the social side of things and, genetically, she comes by the traits of smarts and obstinance naturally. As a result of everything that she is, Brooke hates being told "no", she hates being redirected, she hates being interrupted, and she hates being told what to do. I doubt we go more than five minutes in each other's presence without her yelling at me and starting a tantrum. It is hard hard work to keep my tone soft, to keep my face neutral, and not to engage in the battle. All the while, trying to teach her what she might say instead (i.e. asking for help instead of throwing a tantrum when she can't find something). I'm exhausted.
I can tell that I'm at the end of my rope with my life as a mother and a wife when I dream about my Toyota - and I had that dream about a week ago. For some reason, in my dreams, that Toyota symbolizes freedom and indepedence to me. It was purchased new shortly after I married my first husband - he picked the red one over my objection. It was a five speed 1989 Celica and I always loved it (except for the color). A couple years later, I got that car, which was paid off, in our divorce - I pointed it west and drove to Seattle. It was such a "break for freedom" for me, and that car was part of it. So, throughout my Seattle years, the Toyota and I did what we wanted and went where we wanted. I loved that car. It brought me back to Minnesota, saw me through law school, and my fisrt house, and my white boxer puppy came home in the Toyota. It was still with me when I met my husband. It was still with me when I was pregnant with Jordan and I had my first thoughts that perhaps it was time to get a new vehicle (oh my hips hurt!) ... and then, when I was about six months pregnant, someone crushed the back corner in an icy parking lot and it was totalled. It was 13-14 years old by that time, after all. I cried when I left it parked on the street, as I headed off to work, knowing the insurance company would pick it up before I got home that night. And when my life now overwhelms me, I dream about that car.
Interestingly enough, the dreams go something like this - I get the car back and I am so happy! I leap in and start driving down the road just smiling and so so happy. But soon I have some struggles - the gear shift might be sticky, or I realize sitting so low I can't see as well as I do in my minivan, or the steering doesn't handle so well. So my happiness is tempered. After my dream recently I realized what my dream is telling me is that while I miss and remember fondly those days of freedom, those sunshine days had their issues too. Oddly enough, that dream did help me find the strength to live through another day with my daughter, and my life full of obligations. Thanks to my Toyota. I loved that car.