I crave it. I dream about it. I envy it when I see it. I will go to most any measure to find it, including taking my boys on vacation, alone. My husband joked that they would eat me alive. My friends have checked on me this week. Our people know this is kind of extreme.
Oh, this gives me comfort. God showing off, and I so need Him to do that in my family.
The sunsets are breathtaking. I haven't seen a sunrise. Seriously, this past-exhausted momma just can't. But sitting here, on this deck has been my sanity for this week.
In the midst of his meltdowns, rants and spewing venom...finding a few minutes here listening to the breeze flow through the tall grass has allowed me to catch my breath.
I'm not over dramatizing, he sucks the breath out of me.
And the amazing sunsets, the rolling waves and sea breeze that I have been drawn to since childhood, can't stop the trauma being lived out mere feet away. The rant that has gone on for hours- that started over I can't even tell you. And really, it doesn't matter what starts it. I said we would go to the beach early, and it's nine instead of seven so I'm a liar.
I don't think y'all even know my powers. Did you know, that I can control the ocean? Seriously, if you ask my son, he will tell you (okay, probably only he tells me) that I caused the riptides in the ocean this week, ruining two days of boogie boarding.
I am embarrassed to admit that I understand now, how parents hit their breaking point and snap. I DO NOT agree with it, and it is not right. But I understand that hour after hour, day after day of verbal assault and insult weighs on a person and there is only so much one can take.
Last night was a first, he actually woke me up after being asleep for more than an hour, to restart the rant that I walked away from. Two hours he spewed venom- I couldn't calm him because I couldn't get a word in. He was aggressive and destructive and if asked in those moments if I felt safe, the true answer would be no. But I didn't feel he was safe from himself, either. And that, is heart-breaking for me.
I do not know how people parent Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) children without Jesus. I cling to Him for my survival, and still I feel like I'm drowning. Who do people without Jesus, cling to and find strength from?
We are trying to take control back of our home. We are trying to help our son heal but the chaos that comes from parenting a child with trauma keeps us guessing if we are even sane. And, the parent guilt is relentless.
Should we have taken him to the hospital? Was residential helpful at all? Is he capable of change? Are we expecting to much? Is this my problem or his? How can he say such terrible things to me, and not know why I'm crying? Will he ever accept responsibility for his choices or will it always be someone else's fault? How can such a sweet, handsome social kid be kind to others, and not me? Why so much anger?
Why does his hug make me cringe? What kind of mother says that out loud?
And as he grows, so does his intensity, strength and determination. He is master at figuring out the weaknesses of his family, and waits for the right moment to strike, like a viper. The venom is near deadly. But sometimes fear, that liar, tells me that would be better than the continued struggle. He does not embarrass but seems to gain strength from embarrassing us. And is quick to announce, "I don't care" if we call attention to it.
And his sorrow when the rage is over, is also more intense and heartbreaking. But I don't trust it. Maybe that's the problem, I can't let go of my own fear to help him process his.
We have glimpses...quick moments of happy. What I would have considered "normal" family stuff before 2009.
But these moments feel like lies we tell ourselves to survive. Parenting two kids with unique and different special needs, gives him ammunition against us; because it can't be the same and it is most definitely different that parenting our biological, neuro-typical son. Nothing feels normal anymore and the sand, literally, under my feet is shifting and I am not able to stand strong.
I even hate the vocabulary that fill our days.
Non-neuro-typical, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), depression, self-harm, unsafe, oppositional defiant, frustration, control, issues, door alarms, therapists, psychiatrists, confusion, safety plan, crisis, medication management, door locks, impulsivity, rage, melt-downs, indifference.
In her book, An Unlit Path, Deborah L. Hannah states, "the opposite of love is indifference."
My truth, that I am working through, is that I am becoming indifferent to my son, and to my God. I am afraid to be angry, because of what my unleash within myself. I keep looking for God's grace to fix our family, but I am facing the reality that maybe grace isn't what He is going to do for us. Maybe there isn't protection. Maybe we are truly suffering , like Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4, and until his glory is revealed. And it may look very different that what we pray for.
This is not about pity, but to share what our reality is, because I know now, without a doubt, there are other mommas out there who feel the same way. Just know you are not alone.
I don't know what the rest of our story looks like. We are no longer taking it days at a time, but hour by hour.
We do continue to covet your prayers- maybe for strength in our journey, and that we won't grow weary quiet so fast. But under no circumstance, pray for our patience!
And peace, oh how we crave peace. I'm looking for it desperately.
Happy Thursday y'all!
Note- it's been nearly two weeks since I wrote this at the beach. Shortly after, we had what seemed like a good talk and I thought maybe it would get better, so I didn't publish it, thinking again it was me and maybe I was over-reacting; always trying to protect my son from the ugly of our reality- but the truth is, our family is in chaos and crisis. If you ask my adult son, he will tell you that we've been here since day one; he remembers vividly when our world changed. We are broken and seeking God's direction for our future, and how to best meet the challenging and difficult needs of our son while preserving our family.