Being an external brain wasn’t the career I envisioned?

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Being an external brain wasn't the career I envisioned?, Raising Hearts


me hair


Today is one of those days of frustration in the  capacity of my unpaid, usually unappreciated, JOB TITLE, EXTERIOR BRAIN!

Now I know that God has this plan for my life, and I know that there are huge blessings in my life, so I really don’t have the right to complain to God about my life. Do I?

Oh gosh, sometimes I just feel the need to vent out my pain and then I am able to let it go. It is healing. So here I am sitting here with my vent!

Our adult kids with FASD have to have interdependence to make their lives successful. How much interdependence is something that many of us are still sorting out.

Here is what I find so far, though. My 18 year old daughter is absolutely incapable of organizing her life on her own.  Now honestly, I do this daily, prompt her all day long, and most of the time it is rather like normal. I mean if you have a job to do, it might feel boring, but you just do the job and do it with your mind in some other peaceful place, so you don’t get all stressed about it.

I mean how many of you are thinking about fun times while cleaning your house? Or on your job daily etc.?  Your mind can take you to another place and your job just gets done.  Maybe this is a type of multitasking. Either way, it works. I get through every day with the mundane task of prompting my daughter through her day.

Sometimes we have fun. Sometimes we are joking with each other and it is fun.

I an naturally so organized, so I have to help Desi stay as organized and clean as possible, while she lives here.  She likely will be living with us until she is married one day.  I don’t see that happening for a long time, as relationships are hard for her. 

Well today I got just a little frustrated with my job task. I got Desi up at 12:30. That should be  enough sleep for most of us, right?

I informed her that she didn’t do the dishes yesterday, which is her only main chore in this family, other then her own messes, and her room. I casually stated that she needed to get up and get the dishes done.

Ok this was 12:30.  I have prompted her many times since 12:30 and it is now after 6 PM, and the job is just NOW done!!

I mean at 12:30 she got up, spent an hour or two eating and watching TV. Ok, I know she needs her blood sugar, so that is ok.

 2;30 Still no dishes. I see that and prompt again.  Some time in the afternoon she starts the dishes. Then she thinks she is done.

I come down and pans are piled to the cupboards on the counter. The counters are not cleaned off. Food in the strainer, more dirty dishes from her lunch are on the table, food is out all over etc.

Desi, you need to finish the job! I go into her room and my young lady is back in bed ASLEEP and it is after 3 now.

Didn’t I get her up at 12:30 to do this?

I wake her up again, and instruct her on what she didn’t finish.  I leave and come back hours  later, and she is in her room. I am now a bit flustered. DESI THE DISHES!

She says she is cleaning her room. RIGHT! I go check the room and it still has two feet of clothes everywhere and food trash mixed in.

So this time I stay down stairs until I “eyeball” her at the dish counter to put the pans away.

Then I wring out a dish cloth and hand it to her to wipe off the counters.

Then I point out the food and watch that she gets that put away too.

By now  it is about 6 in the evening, and this started many hours earlier. Also the entire time I am standing there watching her finish the process, she stops repeatedly to text her friends! PATIENCE TERRY!

The only way this girl can have success is if I stand there and watch her.  If I do that, I feel like I could do the process faster and better myself, so it wears me out to watch her. So I prompt her, go away and forget what is going on and come back and have to drag her back to the process and prompt her again.

I am still in this job that doesn’t pay me one cent per hour and I can’t quit. The boss can’t change the employees, as I am the only one qualified for the job.  I can’t get myself fired because if no one does this job, it is not just my daughter who suffers, but I will too.

I have to manage all of her doctors appointments, counseling, psychiatrists, medications, financials, emotional needs, chores, and much much more in her life.  This is only something that I can do “ONE DAY AT A TIME”!

I am guessing someone reading this is thinking, OH girl, you have it easy. I have  etc. etc. etc.!!

Yes I do, but I raised kids for 33 years and I didn’t realize I wasn’t going to have an ending.  Now I do of course.

It is something that I need to get over and get used to. Being an external brain could potentially be for life with my children.

I am very much involved with Jon too, but he is not living at my house. I manage his money and help him with appointments, groceries, and lots of little things,  etc.

I don’t live with him though and I don’t have to look at how he lives daily. PRAISE GOD FOR THAT! One is enough for me.

Now after raising nine kids, raising one has it’s perks for real. There is no competition and Desi gets all of my daily love and attention. That part is rather awesome!

One day at a time, I am still a parent and one day at a time we will get through.

Prompting Desi in life is my job, as her external brain.

Lord give me grace and strength to keep up this job and do a darn good job at it!! Thank you LORD!

Terry Quinn

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  1. Candy Lynch says:

    I so understand exactly what you are talking about! With my two, ages 20 and 18 years, , I am constantly reminding them of appointments that they WANTED me to make for them. And always reminding them that when they eat something, THEY need to be the ones who clean up the messes that they make. It scares me to think of their kitchens if and when they ever live on their own. Replacing toothpaste lids, lids to make-up, closing contact lens lids so the liquid doesn’t evaporate, buying sanitary supplies at the last minute because my daughter failed to tell me that she was out, four weeks ago, etc. It is unending what we are required to do as their exterior brains. And now, they don’t want my “help” because they think they don’t need it any more. Most people wouldn’t understand unless they live with people like our young people. I really do understand!

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