Wednesday, October 03, 2012


I'm sitting at home. I don't really feel like writing. I can't find any movies to watch on TV. They all look old, worn out, but I don't want anything new. I could clean, but there is no energy in my arms, my legs, my eyes hurt. My stomach hurts.

He got off the bus morning- he was quiet on the bus- saying he was going to slash people. This was blamed on a game, but I don' know any game he plays that includes slashing. I suppose it could have been worse- he kept the nasty words to himself. I know the bolting is avoidance and attention, but this threatening needs to stop. I got into the car, and drove to Staples, grabbed some cards and markers and binder rings; maybe having those old picture cards and schedules would help again. There is so much for him to worry about. I could make the cards while observing his class.

But I am stopped at the front desk, told I am not expected. But I am expected. But no, they think I'm not. I get it- I've been seen too much. I've been labeled a helicopter parent. I'm being stopped, railroaded, turned away. They have Mrs. H come do it. She's good at it, they know I trust her. He's gotten on a roll since she's arrived. Well, of course he has- she knows how to cut through his avoidance and get him to move. But she won't be here every day. She has other cases, at another school. She's hoping for Tuesday-Thursday. Hoping.

Oh, and by the way, he needs some work on his personal hygiene. Yay.

The principal happens to walk by, he tries to say hello. I can't respond right now. I escape to the car- bolting, just like my Joey.

My Joey, my sweet little guy, is ten. It is getting harder to balance out the growing-up with the odd emotional non-progress; how to deal with a child who is both ten and five at the same time. Puberty is upon us, he knows how to get attention, he explodes from anxiety then turns around and explodes to just not have to do work. It gets difficult to know if this spiral of self-deprecation is depression, or an attempt at control, or an avoidance, like so many other ten-year-olds. How much does the repetition of material he has already mastered annoy him (how many times can you answer a seemingly inane question- one that you know the asker already knows the answer to- without going bat-shit crazy? Some subjects definitely seem like that to Joey). How much energy can you expend before being exhausted? And if a strategy for communicating exhaustion or frustration result in calming, feels-good activities, why not try to use those strategies for other times of discomfort- like time to get work done, or try something new, or cope with minor frustrations?

How have I managed to totally fail him, to not get him to understand the importance of self-regulation, to love learning, to want to know about the world. How have I managed to sabotage all the work we thought had been done?

I sit home, and stare at the computer, the blank TV. I manage to get down to the Farmer's Market and pick up some sweet potatoes for dinner. They are sitting on the counter. I'm not sure why I bothered. Andy will look at them and pretend to retch. Joey is just as happy with hot dogs or McDonald's. JoeyAndyDad doesn't like sweet potatoes.

I talk to my mom. I think I managed to get her upset because I'm upset, but not much else. I know I joke a lot about drinking, but seriously, I don't really. I suppose this would be a good time for it, but I'm just as lethargic about getting something out of the fridge as everything else.

I go back to school at 2, so I can get more evidence of what a hovering, bad mom I am, spoiling my child until salt won't save him. And trying to figure out how to fix it.


Stimey said...

I'm going to put this in all caps because you really, really need to hear it:


You are an excellent mother. I know you know this even though sometimes that knowledge can be obscured by overwhelming difficulties.

I have felt that hopelessness too. Meds help (me) and time and a good day. I hope there are good days too. This year is so hard on Joey, but that is not because he is a bad kid or because he doesn't love learning or because you are a bad parent. It is because the school hasn't found a way to encourage and teach him. You are working so hard to work with them to help them find that way. I hope they see that and understand that because you are just trying to help them at the same time that you help your boy.

Love you.

farmwifetwo said...

STOP IT.....

Back up....

We bang against a disability we don't understand, yet understand much more than even so called "professionals" do.

We bang against a system that has rules and ways of doing things that sometimes aren't the least bit helpful and other times work very well.

I got complacent last year. Then my 12yr old self destructed - he'll be 13 in a week. It took me from Jan to the end of Aug to finally understand what was going on and get everything sorted. He's now on Adderall and Strattera and he can cope once more. The school is working hard at their end to rebuild the verbal and emotional filters... they could have taken the crap that was coming out of his mouth at face value but instead listened and went to work fixing it.

It hasn't always been this way even in that very same school. I'm lucky that they finally "get it". I'm lucky that the highschool he's going to next year "gets it".. which is why we chose that one not the other one.

I have a 10yr old that all of a sudden won't go out for recess (he'll be 11 in a couple of months). That has gone back to weather and clock watching. Ironically is emotionally normal but has more OCD than the elder - thankfully what we can deal with but I fear puberty and it getting worse. I also dread his next school placement and will if we have to homeschool him until highschool (Gr 7/8) where he'll go to the eldest's school where they have a great spec ed program.

Sometimes we get lucky... sometimes we don't. Sometimes things run well... sometimes they really go off the rails.

Start with what you can fix... does he need meds?? Strattera deals with the flight/fight/sensory/aggression/anxiety and I think it's the greatest thing we've tried. It's not cheap. Adderall does concentration and can make the other things worse - which is why we are are the minimum dose of it.

Then worry about the rest... you've told them and told them and told them... maybe it's time you left them to figure it out... although I HATE being out of the loop... sometimes we have to be to teach the school and make them understand what we're talking about.

Hope he settles into school soon.

kristi said...

I understand completely and I have felt the very same way at times. All we can do is love them and be there for them and try to protect them as much as possible. ((Hugs))