Assessments, Dirty Bowls & Butterless Sandwiches

Hello! I bet you’re all wondering what’s been going on with my life! Or not … I’m gonna tell you anyway.

Assessments, Dirty Bowls & Butterless Sandwiches 1

I should probably update you with what’s been going on with Bear’s health stuff to start with!

We had that at-home assessment, which added more questions rather than providing answers. I’m not really sure what I expected, but we were referred on from there, taking things to an even more scary level. They proceeded with further tests – some heart tests, brain tests, blood tests, and some others that I wasn’t sure of. I actually thought the assessment itself went quite well, and the two people that were here – a guy and a girl – were really positive. After the weekend, however, things took a different turn. Those people that saw us at home then went to see their person-in-charge, and we definitely needed to look further into the fact that my poor Bear could have something dementia-y. A whole bunch of tests were scheduled and I’m having a hard time remembering everything. (LOL!) I’m honestly not sure where I’d be without my phone. I guess this is life now? I’d best get used to it. I have absolutely no intention of walking away.

The good news: He DOES NOT have dementia.

The bad news: We need a brand new mental health assessment. It’s starting to look more and more like schizophrenia wasn’t the right diagnosis. On top of this, Bear had been prescribed a certain cholesterol drug by his doctor that he apparently should not have been prescribed.

Things have actually gotten better between Bear and I. We’re still fighting from time to time, but we’re holding it together pretty well. We’re having much more sex than we had before too, although Bear seems to be struggling a tad. We had a few deflated moments, and then he couldn’t finish. Despite all that, we’re closer than ever. We’re spending more “quality time” together. Rather than him being on the couch and me being at my desk, working away, I’ve learned to take my phone / iPad / Mac over to the couch instead. They’re portable for a reason, right?

He’s finding his love of art again, with a little help from me, of course. I’ve turned into a right nag. We seem to be in sync again though, and it’s lovely. We’ve got a few events coming up that we’re super excited for, and Bear’s Son is going away with family for a few days. Don’t get me wrong … I love the kid, but he’s a real pain in the ass sometimes.

He does NOTHING. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He wakes up. He sometimes makes himself cereal, unless he needs to wash a bowl up first or put any more thought into it. If he does, he just walks away and waits for one of us to bring up the conversation of breakfast instead, and then end up making it for him.

Lunchtime is just as bad. Between breakfast and lunch, we barely see him. That’s if he even gets up before 12/1 pm at all. Lunchtimes though … they’re starting to get to me. He’ll make a sandwich, but only if there’s Nutella or jam. If he’s gotta start gettin’ complicated with slices of ham and stuff, he can’t do it. And then he doesn’t put butter on (regardless of sandwich filler) because he just can’t be bothered. He says he likes it that way, but I honestly think it’s down to sheer laziness.

Assessments, Dirty Bowls & Butterless Sandwiches 2

Yesterday was hilarious. He got out of bed, somewhere around noon, and decided to have a bowl of cereal. I’d done all the dishes from the night before by the time he’d finished with his bowl, so I asked him to wash his stuff up. It was the last thing that needed doing and the water and suds were still in the bowl.

What does he do? He turns the tap on, sloshes some water around in the bowl, flicks the spoon about, and then puts it all on the draining board. There was a bit of cornflake still stuck to the inside of the bowl.

Sorry, what?

We then had to go through the rigamarole of me trying to teach him how to wash dishes like a normal human being.

He’s not thick. He’s not thick by ANY stretch of the imagination. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. He’s quite calculated. He’ll pretend he doesn’t know how to do something in the hope that we’ll just take over and he doesn’t need to do it. And the infuriating thing is, Bear just does it for him every time. I know why. It’s because BS makes EVERY action so painfully slow and difficult that Bear just can’t watch him. Seriously, trying to watch this boy make a sandwich is the most stressful thing I’ve ever had to sit through.

I do love him. I do. I need to remind myself of that sometimes. I also need to remember what I was like at his age – 15. But I was nothing like what he’s like. I was so independent. He’s only a couple of months away from 16. Within 3 weeks of being 16, I’d gotten myself a job in McDonald’s. Within 6 months of being 16, I’d moved out and was paying rent. I was at school full-time, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. I left school, got two buses to work – 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Then I went home, did any homework or coursework I had to do, before getting up at 5:30 am to get ready for school again because I had to get three buses to school. It took about an hour.

I did that for a year and a half. If you were to put Bear’s Son at 16 next to me at 16, the two would be WORLDS apart. This kid can’t even work a toaster. That’s not a joke.

I find him so utterly impossible sometimes. He’s very awkward. I’m trying really hard to engage with him, bring him out of his shell, but every time we seem to get somewhere we have this period of stupid teenagerness, where he goes right back to being a little dick again. He argues back with Bear constantly. He refuses to do anything to help us. He won’t tidy his room. He won’t bring his laundry out. He won’t wash up a bowl after himself. He won’t go to the shop for us. He won’t do anything. When we don’t do ONE little thing for him though, it’s like we’ve been neglecting him for years. We get the silent treatment. Slamming doors. Huffing around the house. You know, making damn sure we know that he’s pissed off.

“Oh, you wonder why I never want to spend any time with you. It’s because you treat me like this.”

Like this? Like what? Like you’re 15 years old, thinking you’re an adult, but with absolutely no fucking clue about real life?

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I had to say it though. I can’t say it to Bear. That’s his son. I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed to slag his son off to his face. If I said it all to BS he’d just look at me with a dumb, uninterested look. Seriously, sometimes he looks at me like I’m a fucking moron.

Playing step-mommy is actually tough as balls. Things were going so well between us too. At least it’s not just me that BS is being difficult with, it’s Bear too. If it were me alone, I don’t know how I’d deal with that. Probably not very well. You know what I’m like.

Anyway, just an update. I’m still the wicked stepmother, although we did manage to pull through the last period, and I’m starting to realise just how much hard work a teenager is to live with. What makes it worse is that he’s not even that difficult at all. He never comes out the bedroom. Ever. He’s glued to the Xbox from morning to night, communicating with friends through a headset, pretending he’s in the military even though he just doesn’t have the get-up-and-go for that kind of thing.

I feel better now. Cheers for listening. I’d ask for advice, but I imagine this is a “teenager thing”.

Any clues on how long this teenagerness will last?

Assessments, Dirty Bowls & Butterless Sandwiches

One thought on “Assessments, Dirty Bowls & Butterless Sandwiches

  1. karen

    Oh dear! The saddest thing about this is that you were a teen who had been ‘adulting’ for a long time – a sign of a child who didn’t have a childhood – who took on an adult role at an early age. It’s something that is applauded in western society, but is a sign of neglect at the least, and possibly abuse.

    You just described a normal teen. They are a weird mix of ‘I’m independent’ and ‘coddle me’. My son is the same as you describe – but I don’t ask him to do housework except keep his room clean and tidy – and OMG, I’m obviously the most unreasonable mother on earth!. It’s what they do. I’d recommend doing some family stuff – we watch a DVD or streaming episode of something we like each day. We go to the cinema or on outings during school holidays, or in evenings for the cinema. Order in pizza and do ‘question time’ where we ask eachother awkward questions. Just stupid stuff.

    I also don’t let him do computer or gaming stuff in his room – it’s just happened that way cos it was the rule from teenyhood. If he wants to isolate he has to do it alone in the traditional way :-O 😀

    But you are doing so great! This isn’t your kid!


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