I have a question for you guys - something I could use some suggestions on. Over the last year or two, I have had to really become a meanie in terms of the "system." I have realized that in alot of ways, the only way I can get anything done for difficult child 2 is to get ugly with people. I've probably become the most demanding, the most insistant, the most "difficult" Mom to deal with when it comes to the "system." When I see the stupid stuff that goes on, the passing the buck syndrome, I can't help but get angry & it shows when I get to the next moron who tries to pass us off. (The kids joke that when the system fails, I become the "Hulk." difficult child 3 has even told people "Don't make my Mom angry. You wouldn't like her when she's angry.") Now don't get me wrong, I don't get ugly for no good reason. I always start out calm & polite. It's only when the system gets really stupid (like sitting in the police station with EMTs checking my brusied and bloodied son, only to have the folks at juvenile justice refuse to approve arresting difficult child 2 for beating his brother to the point of needing EMTs and a visit to the ER for CAT scans) that I start to get angry and nasty with people. I swear there are some days that I think these people really need a hard bonk on the head to catch a clue. What I'm having trouble with is the bitterness all of this battling and fighting leaves behind. My house is a constant war zone with difficult child 2 teetering on the brink of a meltdown more often than not (although he has made some improvements over the last couple of weeks since he started public school, but I don't know how long the honeymoon will last.) Then I have to battle with the system all the time to get him help with this or that, or to get us help with protecting us from difficult child 2 when he does rage. I feel like I'm in constant battle mode & I don't like the person I'm becoming as a result. Granted, it doesn't spill out on anything or anyone else yet, but the feeling is always there. I have no patience left with anyone or anything. Everything seems to irritate the crapola out of me. No one else sees it, as I do my darnedest to keep it all in check and not take my frustrations out on anything or anyone that's not warranted. However, I can feel it always eating at my gut. I have to continually remind myself not to get snipey with people, or to go sit in my room and read if I'm too grumpy to be around people. I look back at the person I used to be - easy going, nothing really bothered me much, I enjoyed being around other people, and I took whatever hand I got dealt & worked with it to the best of my ability. Now I see this woman in the mirror who I hardly know & don't really like much. She's bitter and angry most of the time - even if only on the inside. She's not a very nice person to be around half the time...at least not if everyone else knew what was going on inside & the constant internal battle just to be a civilized person to others. We've been in family counseling for ages, but it hasn't helped me much. I get alot of "well, that's understandable given your situation." Yeah, okay...I already knew that part, thanks for sharing. therapist then makes the suggestion for me to find a hobby. Yeah, that's gonna work out real well, just as soon as I can get our house to a point where I can safely go to the bathroom without worrying about difficult child 2 nutting up & choking someone while I go pee. How 'bout something for right now & we'll work on a hobby later - when I have the ability pee independently, much less focus on a hobby. The therapist kind of shrugged her shoulders at me in response to that one. I'm not against trying medications for anxiety & such, except for the fact that until I have a little more assurance that my house is safe enough, I can't even entertain the idea of anything that might even come close to zoning me out or messing up my system. I have to be at 110% as it is right now to make sure I can deal with difficult child 2 should he go off. I have to have all my wits about me at all times. I can't take a chance that something I might try might make me zombie-ish. Heck, even if it just makes me sick to my stomach (which alot of medications do, thanks to previous non-difficult child-related injuries) that would be enough to keep me from being at my peak to deal with difficult child 2. And I don't really think that medications would solve the issues I have at the moment. I don't think it's a medication kind of problem. This is more like life handing me lemons and my face permanently puckering from all the lemonade. These feel more like permanent changes to my personality than depression or anxiety. Like I'm permanently become a bitter, mean person from fighting everything and everyone all the time. I don't want to be that person. So, anyone have suggestions on how to keep from becoming this not-so-nice, bitter individual I seem to be becoming? I really don't like her at all. (Although, everyone who knows me keeps saying how much they admire the fact that I'm still such a "nice" or "sweet" person with everything I have going on in my life. If they only knew how not nice, and not sweet I feel most of the time!!) I've been dealing with difficult child issues for years without having this bitter, mean feeling all the time. This is a new thing for me & I really don't like it. I realize that it's probably BECAUSE I've been dealing with difficult child issues for so long that I'm getting like this, but that doesn't help me figure out how to undo it. If that even makes sense. I don't want difficult child issues to ruin the person I have always been before. I don't want to be this hateful, bitter, antisocial person I seem to be becoming - even if it is just on the inside - even if it is something no one else sees. I see it. I feel it. And I don't like it. I'd love to hear any suggestions you guys have for un-meanie-ing me. I could sure use the help to change my attitude. I know it's a mind set thing. I just need help getting my mind set back to where it was before everything irritated me to death like it does now...before I become a permanent meanie.