11:00 p.m., Saturday night.
Once again, my son began the argument that he should be allowed to stay up late in the office playing Starcraft.
The answer was no, of course. We weren’t about to start relaxing the rules for him. But, no matter how many times he asked why, and no matter how many times we gave him an answer, as long as he wasn’t getting the answer that he wanted, he continued to badger us. As far as he was concerned, he wasn’t going to quit until he got what he wanted.
Some people might wonder why we just didn’t give in and avoid another conflict like the one we had the week before. In hindsight, I often think about what might have happened if we had. I just know that it is his pattern to push and push and push until we get so tired of the argument that we let him have his way. But, that doesn’t happen very often and when it does, it is on a small thing like buying an energy drink at the gas station, not having a privilege returned that he hadn’t even expended any energy to earn back. We weren't going to let him push us to do something that we didn't feel good about.
Once again, my answer was: “No, you cannot stay up after we go to bed. Just a few weeks ago, you smoked pot in the basement when you were supposedly in the office playing Starcraft. You aren't allowed to be downstairs after we have gone to bed anymore. I gave you this exact same answer last week and nothing has changed since then.”
He ardently argued that he had been “good” all week and that he should be rewarded for that. It was true that we hadn’t had any real problems with him, but the reason for that was mostly because he wasn’t speaking to us and we had been walking in circles around him just trying to avoid having to talk to him.
The hospital case worker and DCFS therapist each told him to work on the list of expectations in order to start earning trust back. But, when we pointed out that not one single attempt was made to clean his room, help around the house, or apologize for the awful things that he had said and done, he said that he didn’t have to do any of that stuff and that none of it was his idea.
We asked him to tell us what his ideas were. He wouldn't do it. Instead, he insisted that WE make a completely different list and then he would let us know if he approved of anything on it.
To get him to be quiet for a few minutes, we actually left him in his room and went downstairs to brainstorm some new ideas. We hoped that things would settle down and that maybe this would put an end to this episode. But, it was hard to come up with anything that we knew he would do. I think he wanted a list of easy things like: take a shower, comb your hair, eat food, and breathe.
And so, when we read him our newest rendition--which included all previous items and more new ones, he said all of it was B.S. and told us to get out of his room and f*** off. He announced that he was going to get out of our house as soon as he could and we could plan on him being an a** hole until he did.
We took him up on the getting out of his room and thought maybe we had gotten off easy this time. We were more than happy to leave him alone, even if we didn’t like the way he had requested it. One of the reasons he was in the position he was in was for telling me to F*** off and here he was, doing it again. It wasn't like his acting like an a** hole was going to be such a new and different experience for us, since he had been acting like that most of the time lately, anyway.
We enjoyed some quiet time for about 10 minutes. Then, all of a sudden, our son came out of his room and told us that he was going to go live somewhere else and insisted that we were NOT to call the police when he left. He said, "You told me to leave, if I didn’t like it here, so you can't call the police if I do what you told me to do." My husband reminded him that we also said we would have to know where he was going and that we would have to talk to the parents to verify that he had permission to stay there. If he just left and if we had no idea where he was, then we would have to report him as a runaway. Our son freaked out about that and said that we were liars who said he could leave one minute and in the next we were telling him that he couldn't.
Now he was so angry that the escalation of this blow-up was imminent.
This time it was worse than it was the last week.
He was screaming, calling us names, and losing control. It was a little frightening and my husband and I decided that we should go into our room so that we could lock the door and get away from him before things got too heated. But, our son kept stepping in front of my husband to block his way. Finally, my husband went to push him out of the way and our son used one of the moves he had learned in Tae Kwon Do and got my husband in a headlock. Well, even though the TKD maneuver worked, my husband was a lot bigger and stronger than my son at that time and he just twisted out of it, shoved our son into his room, came into ours, and locked the door.
The next thing we knew, our son was punching his way into our room, THROUGH the door! He had put a shirt over his hand and was in the process of beating a hole in my bedroom door!
He was yelling that he wasn’t finished talking to us and we needed to stop being pussies and come out and face him. He said that if we weren’t going to let him move out, then he would rather be dead because that would be better than living here, bored out of his mind for one more day of his life.
Since we didn’t want him to do any more damage to our house than he was already doing and we didn’t feel good about that last comment at all, my husband opened the door to stop our son from hurting himself or the rest of the house, and grabbed him and took him down to the floor and held him there.
Our son was so entrenched in the battle that it seemed more about the battle than anything else at this point. He swore and yelled and threatened and fought. He wouldn't settle down. We felt that we had no choice but to call for reinforcements. Once again, the police were summoned to our house.
It seemed like an eternity until they arrived. They ended the struggle between my son and my husband. One officer took my husband into our bedroom and the other one took my son into his bedroom where they each answered questions about the night’s events.
As they talked with us about whether we wanted him taken to Youth Services or the hospital again, he yelled down the stairs that he just wanted ME to drive him to Youth Services. I said that I was not willing to drive him anywhere by myself. My son just kept yelling and begging me to do it and finally the officer told him to shut up and go sit on his bed.
My son told him NO and said that he was going to just stand in the hall. Then, the officer grabbed him, swore at him, handcuffed him, and put him on his bed. I could not believe that he had the nerve to defy a police officer.
The officer apologized to me for swearing and I said, “No problem. You just got to see what we go through every single day.” He said he was sorry for us.
It was finally decided that one of the officers would drive him to the hospital for us since we probably wouldn’t get the help that we needed from Youth Services. We hoped that the E.R. would take him as a follow-up patient from the time we were there a week ago.
While we waited for the doctor, the case worker, the blood tests, and everything else that you wait and wait for in the E.R., my son’s emotions and actions were all over the place. He went from not talking at all, to crying and being apologetic, to being so mad that he kicked us out of his room, to saying how he loved me and didn’t hate his Dad, to saying that he was never coming home again and he never wanted to see us again, to wanting us to tell his nephew not to forget about him.
His blood test showed a positive result for Benzodiazapenes. He claimed to not know how he could have them in his system and was sure that the blood test was wrong. I thought he might have gotten something from someone that night while we were gone. It certainly made sense that he was on something, given the way he became as agitated as he was when he was punching a hole through a door.
Fortunately, the same case worker was on call this week in the E.R. I think it helped that he was already familiar with our situation. With the positive drug test results and the diagnosis of Explosive Personality Disorder along with Major Depression, and the fact that he had said he would rather be dead than have to live with us in our house, it seemed obvious that there was no choice this time, but to have him admitted to a short term psychiatric unit.
During the long hours that it took to make the arrangements, our son finally settled down and became resigned to the fact that he was going back to the same facility that he had been at for rehab. He summoned me into his room and tried to make a deal with me. He seriously wanted me to agree that when he got released, if, for one week, he did the list of things that we had made, would I guarantee that he would be able to get the X-Box privileges back?
Holy Cow. NOW, he wanted to do the things on the list? Good timing. He couldn’t have decided that this was a good idea before he said that he would rather be dead, got into an altercation with his Dad, and ruined my bedroom door? I told him that I wasn’t going to guarantee anything and when I wouldn’t tell him what he wanted to hear, he just got more and more frustrated with me and wasn't as broken-hearted as we was a few minutes before. I was the b****y mom again.
I was so tired of the drama that it was a relief to have the ambulance crew arrive to take him to the facility. It had been a long night.
Now, we could only hope that the professionals at the psych unit would be able to figure out what to do with him and how to help him because we just couldn’t keep going through this week after week.
I am so tired of this trial. I know I am supposed to understand that addiction and all of the behaviors that go along with it are a life-long battle. I know I am supposed to understand that my son’s issues with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD, no motivation, attachment disorder, trauma from the womb, etc. contribute to his behavior and that I am supposed to love him through it.
But, right now, all that I know is that I am very exhausted.
And very sad.
I cried all the way home.