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.