Even his little brother is happy having his big brother back. These are the moments I cherish.
I almost hate to blog about this for fear of jinxing things. Life has been going extremely well.
Shortly after we started my son on Depakote, things completely broke down with him. We had another emergency meeting at a behavioral health clinic and he was immediately admitted as an inpatient.
I was devasted. My 13 year old. A husband with bipolar disease and I am checking my son into a psych ward. That was one of the longest two weeks of my life.
He had an amazing psychiatrist while he was there. I could only see my son 2 times a week for an hour each time, so I relied on the calls from his doctor to make sure my son was safe. One of the first conversations we had was his doctor telling me that he is a minimalist and tries to avoid medicating them to the gills. This made me feel so much better.
He had extensive group therapy and individual sessions. During our family meeting, his therapist told me that he was a minority. I guess as younger adults enter into a facility many go through a honeymoon phase. They see it as a getaway from parents and obligations. The therapist told me that my son didn’t go through this phase and the majority of kids she sees that don’t tend to have far better outcomes and less of a return rate.
Since he’s been home, which is almost two months, things have been so different. He has been diagnosed as a moderate to severe mood disorder NOS(not otherwise specified). The NOS I was told is because of his age. They won’t come out and say at this age because many symptoms tend to blur with several different diagnoses(bipolar vs depression).
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop or the bottom to fall out. Last week his therapist stopped his sessions until my son asked to see him as the progress he’s made is remarkable.
I got a phone call from a teacher two days ago and my first thought was, “oh shit, here it comes”. This teacher and him butted heads all last semester, he spent more time in ISS than in her class, and at last report was failing her class.
The phone rings and I answer. “Hi. This is Ms. Kruger.”
“I wanted to talk to you about Brady.”
“First off, let me tell you that has brought his F up to an A.”
“Wow, that’s great!” Still waiting for the bad news.
“Secondly, I am so happy to have Brady back. This new leaf he’s turned over has been amazing and he’s a pleasure to have in my class again.”
“Uh, um, argh, thank you so much.”
I sat and cried. I felt like the worst mother in the world for “locking” my son up and maybe it truly was the right thing to do.
My husband was a huge catalyst for making my son compliant with meds and after I got him on a daily regimine, I sat and had a talk with Paul. He’s been non compliant with his meds. Three weeks ago, I laid down the gauntlet. I was getting my son help and making him take his meds and if Paul couldn’t do the same he had to go.
He’s been a bit of a zombie as he hasn’t had his full range of meds in about 6 years. But I see the irritability is going away, the laughter is back in this house, the minor things aren’t triggers for either of them.
As I sit here and type this one is sitting at the end of the couch and the other on the loveseat and they are arguing over the best wrestlers in the hall of fame. Both laughing, both smiling, both having fun again. A very happy mom. And a very literal Good Friday!
Many have asked about what I do for myself. This is my me time. Carefully tabbing my notes is so therapeutic. Getting lost in a pathology book that’s drier than a nun’s nasty is a retreat. Knowing I’m bettering myself and digging out of the corner I’ve built myself into brings me hope.
I often wonder why? So many questions with no answers.
Things have been going rather well with my husband. We had a huge blow up, I lost my temper and he lost his. And the dam opened and words came pouring out, from both of us. An actual conversation about his diagnosis and feelings without malice, anger, or confusion. Talking on both that led to an actual conversation about our needs and wants.
I confronted his mother with a lot of the things that have been said about me. I told her she wasn’t always getting the full story and needed to back off and stop playing into his need for attention. She assured me it wouldn’t happen anymore, but I won’t hold my breath.
Things were looking up and then the walls came crashing down. My 13 year old has been in counseling before and he had made huge strides in overcoming a lot of what his father has done to him. The anger had been dialed back and he was able to calm himself before most panic attacks came on full strength.
Recently, his father turned his back again. He got his girlfriend pregnant and moved away with her and her two children. My son is once again back on the rollercoaster, but this time with puberty and all it’s hormones in the mix.
It all came to a head last week when my husband had to restrain him after he went into what we used to call his “red rages”. What started as normal sibling bickering turned into a full on red rage. My 13 year old slammed his 11 year old brother against the wall by his throat. Paul had to put my son in headlock to get him off of his brother.
That might seem quite extreme, but I also must add my 13 year old is 6 foot and 260 lbs of pure muscle. He’s a high school football coach’s wet dream. And they are already grooming him for a varsity position when he starts high school next year. He lifts alongside the upperclassmen because no middle schooler can spot the weights he lifts.
Once Paul got him settled down, the screaming started and things were said by my son that caused me to have to remove all his hunting rifles. It escalated even further and I had to call the police. It was recommended that I contact a behavioral health center about 60 miles from home. An emergency assessment was scheduled and off we went.
I’ve done this walk before. My bright yellow visitor tag, cell phone and purse locked in the car. This was the hardest one yet. My baby. Not a grown man, my baby. My heart broke as we talked to the RN and I could see the look. Some of you might know the look, the one that says it all. It’s a different look than I saw in the ER during trips with my husband. Slightly more sad than the looks I saw at the adult facilities. But, much more guilt associated with this one. Did I see a bit of judgment in this new look? Am I to blame? How did I fuck this all up too?
We walked through the locked ward to reach an office for consult. A group of girls had lined up along the wall on their way to a group session or activity. Some so young it ripped my heart out. The doctor gave me two options. My son could be admitted for treatment and observation for a couple of weeks while they got him started on a plan/medication/counseling as needed or I could find an outpatient clinic and leave his intake forms ready in case the need arises.
As we all know, treatment for mental health is so fucking hard to get started in this country. The doctor warned me it could be weeks or months before I could get my child seen somewhere. This isn’t my first rodeo doc. I spent the next day doing nothing but research and making phone calls. Mid march- strike one, 4 weeks-strike two, 5 weeks- strike three, Monday-jack pot.
Now here it is, Monday, one week later. We came home after 5 hours of forms and questions and talking and crying and instructions. We came home with an appointment for weekly therapy sessions. We came home with an understanding that he is too young to be “labeled” other than to say he has a “mood disorder”. We came home with a bottle of Depakote.
He came home with a sag in his shoulders. I came home with a broken heart.
I’m usually a fairly laid back person. I tend to keep quiet and find myself saying sorry for things I have no control over. I try not to make waves and tend to keep the status quo, or try to. Until I can’t anymore. Most of the time, it all comes spewing out at someone who just happened to add the final straw. And then months of built up anger and frustration come flying out of my mouth.
Today, however, it was directed at the person that has been the cause of most of the heartache and frustration. To the outside world, people in Paul’s life think I am an evil, vile bitch that he married. They get texts and phone calls from him that paint me in this light. They never hear anything but his disdain for me.
When we first got together, his mom was the sweetest person towards me and often told me she was grateful he had someone who supported him. As of late, this is quite the opposite. I’ve been told I’m full of nothing but drama and do more harm to him than good. His need to always be the victim has completely changed how everyone perceives me.
It wasn’t until last night that I saw just how much he plays this card. He was texting his mom and accidentally sent me the text meant for her. He tried to talk his way out of it. He tried blaming Verizon and claimed it must have been a text sent months ago. But, I now know why she despises me so.
Not liking that I confronted him, he gave me two choices. I could end the conversation now and he would overlook that I am calling him a liar or we could continue the conversation and this marriage was over. So, yes, I pushed the little button. I poked the sleeping bear. I continued the conversation and told him he’s right , that it was over. I made it clear that to everyone else he could continue to paint me in an evil light and place all the blame on me. But, when I look in the mirror in the morning I know the truth and so does he.
He screamed and yelled that it was all my doing and in my head. I made it clear I had nothing to gain by lying, that he had everything to lose by doing so. I cannot continue to be the villain. I am a good person and am worth so much more. And I hope you remember that every time you look in the mirror because you are throwing away the best damn thing that has ever happened to you for a few lines of woe is me text and a few poor baby phone calls.
I am damn sick of you playing the bipolar card anytime you want and with no regard to how you make anyone else feel. I am tired of you threatening to leave anytime you are confronted with consequences to your actions. If it’s that damn disposable, then please just go. I have nothing left to fight for anymore. I’m tired, so damn tired.
I don’t know where to even begin. Time has moved fast and slow. The days have seemed to be endless, yet the weeks and months have flown by. College courses and kids have kept me busy. I try to stay positive even as we reach a low that we have never before reached.
Things are finally at a crossroads for me. I can no longer stay on this journey and remain intact myself. I’ve been dragged into the pit of self loathing and depression and I have to save me. I have tried, God, have I tried. I fight for attention, acknowledgment, conversation, anything and in return I get a back turned at me, a pillow thrown over a head, or the volume turned higher on his cell phone.
It finally hit me just how low I’d sunk when I received a text from my ex-husband. He and his long time girlfriend are expecting a baby in a few months. During a late night craving run he texted me and told me he’d forever be grateful for all I’d done for our two sons and I held a special place in his heart.
It made me cry. It’s the nicest thing a man in my life has said to me in months. And it came from my ex-husband, who is in love with another, and in the form of a text. Not by someone who claims to love me, but by someone who is in my life because of obligations.
The bad days are more than the good days. The time I spend watching you sleep outnumbers the time you spend with our family, the silence is all consuming, and the loneliness is more than I can bare.
It’s been a long time. I’ve been so busy. I started my program and have been stuck in books for the last month. Kinesiology is kicking my ass. I keep telling myself it will all be worth it. I need this. My kids need this. I have to be able to stand on my own and physical therapy is going to do that for me. The damned is high, the pay is good, and I love the field.
Things on the home front have been as equally challenging. Probably more so after tonight. It’s been up and down for months. I’ve just been riding the rollercoaster and cherishing the good days. They haven’t been completely awful. It’s been more of living with a dark cloud in the other room. Depression has been the mood of the past few months.
I spend my days alone as he sleeps through most of life. When we are together there is a silence so heavy it sits on your chest making you uncomfortable. There’s been no laughs, no smiles, no conversations. Through times like these, I could at least count on texts throughout the day to know there is still a glimmer. The texts have stopped. All communication has stopped.
I worked today and he worked tonight. The kids were gone so I got in a nap after work and decided to wait up on him as we haven’t seen each other in a few days. About an hour after he was supposed to be home I sent a “hey, let me know you’re ok text.”. No reply. I sent tried calling to make sure he was alright and it went rang and he silenced it. Here’s where I went wrong, I located his phone.
Yes. I know, shit head thing to do. I saw where it was and actually didn’t think much about it until he called an hour later. He said he’d forgot to call, him and the guys from work stopped at a bar for a bit, he was sorry. Ok, cool, I’m a little pissed you didn’t text just to stop my worrying. So I grab my homework to study a bit and then it hit me. That wasn’t where his phone was. That was miles away. So, I texted and gave him an out. Hey, is there anything you want to say? Nope, sorry it’s noisy in this bar can’t talk.
So, I now have to check again. Yes, accurate to 29 yards. I send another text. Yes, I know at this point I’m being the jealous, nagging wife. But, fuck, I’ve just been lied to three times. And what reason does he have to lie. Hey, the kids are at grandma’s and you work in the morning, I’m going to hang out with my friends and get drunk and stoned. My answer would have been something along the line of, “don’t chance it, stay there for the night. Stay safe.”. Seriously, I have to be up at 4a.m.for work and won’t be home until 2 in the afternoon, one of us should have fun. Just let me have a nap when I get home.
So, that brings me back to why would he lie? It’s 5 hours later and still no denial of where he really is, so again why would he lie? Maybe I should ask who she is instead? I hope she’s worth it. I’ve tried and I’d tried. I’m exhausted and I deserve better. I deserve the truth. One day, I hope I can get this relationship thing right. I’m 0 for 2 and tired of playing games.