The school year is coming to an end and the kids are about burnt out on school work for the year. They're getting restless and ready to have a nice, long summer break. So it's only expected that some behavior issues will come up in these last couple weeks of school. They have every other year, and they get dealt with accordingly.
Andy is doing well and there has been no issue with his behavior besides the typical teenage attitude and wanting to pretend rules don't apply to him. But he keeps to himself for the most-part, isn't an overly-social kid, and is happy to read his books or watch YouTube.
Cory has been doing okay, pretty quiet and also keeps to himself. Very into a few select mobile games, and YouTube, as well. He doesn't really like to get up and do much of anything, so that is definitely something we need to work on. Even if it's just a walk around the block once a day!
Evan had been doing much better - though he has suffered from lifelong bouts of rage and uncontrolled anger. He was finally on some meds that were helping and seeing a therapist regularly. The therapist had been reporting to me that he had been engaging and doing well for the first time. His grades haven't been great, but his behavior has been acceptable at school, so that was definitely and improvement from last year. He's had a couple moderate tantrums in the last couple months, but Sunday night he went all-out rage...
Cory and Evan share a room. And about an hour after they went to bed, I was outside with Jarrod and we both heard them screaming at each other. I came running into the house to find that Evan was just tapping and annoying Cory. Nothing worth raging or screaming over for sure. But I explained twice to them both that since they share a room, they need to be able to have respect for one another, and not make noises that annoy each other, especially at bedtime. Evan continued tapping. I told him if he wanted to continue to be disrespectful, I would take away his electronics privileges for a week. He didn't stop, just continued while glaring at me. So I said ok, 1 week. He screamed obscenities at me (also VERY off limits to speak to anyone that way, but especially parents). I said ok, 2 weeks. He screamed worse obscenities. We went back and forth until I got up to 2 months, all the while I was staying calm (miraculously). He then, rather than screaming, kicked his pedestal fan into the TV he and Cory shared. I said really Evan, you're going to break another fan and the TV? So he got up out of bed and bashed the TV with the fan on purpose until there was a hole in the TV screen entirely. Then I called the police to come calm Evan, or possibly take him to the ER for psych treatment. Then.... he threw a piece of the broken fan at me.
**Let me take a moment here to say in all the years he's been having these extreme tantrums where he breaks things and throws things around, he's never intentionally hit me with anything but a pillow. Ever. He's jumped up and down on fans, his belongings, he's thrown things through walls, punched and kicked through walls, broken doors and door frames, torn up papers and cardboard, and much more. But he's never gotten physically violent with me.**
So, this time, he threw the heavy base part of this fan directly at my head. I deflected it. Then I grabbed ahold of him to restrain him because I could tell he wasn't done attempting to hurt me or break things. I wrapped my arms around from behind him so as to hold his arms down and keep him from breaking anything else or hurt me or Cory. He used his right hand to reach over his left shoulder and try to grab my throat. That didn't work. So he tried biting the arm that was around the right side of his chest. That didn't work. So he tried faking suffocation, which I didn't believe for a second because I'm not that heavy anymore. When I told him I didn't believe him he crawled away with me still wrapped around him, and tried head-butting me by throwing his head back violently. I tucked my head into the back of his left shoulder, so that didn't work either. But all this while, he was inching closer and closer to the fan pieces, and I knew there was a heavy metal pole in the middle of it all. It was all I had in me to keep him back from that, and when I thought I might lose grip, I screamed for Jarrod who was entirely unaware of what was going on. He had been outside putting out the bonfire we had been enjoying previous to this incident. He came running in just as Evan grabbed my phone and threw it against the wall, and it bounced. Jarrod told me the officer was there, and let him in. I was able to release my grip on Evan, and the police office talked him down.
I was shook. Never in my life have I been in a physical altercation with ANYONE, let alone my own 13-year old son. Never have I ever had someone try to physically harm me. I was emotionally hurt, confused, scared for his future now that he'd done that to me, and conflicted.
After a few minutes the police officer came around the corner into the room I had gone into and told me Evan was calm and that he was going to leave now. I corrected him by saying Evan was absolutely not allowed to stay in our home anymore. That this was not the first time he had an extreme meltdown, and with the added physical violence, I no longer trusted him. The police officer tried to pooh-pooh my story and reduced it quite a lot, telling me he only handled criminal concerns and he didn't consider this to be breaking the law!! After more pushing, the officer agreed to escort Evan to the local ER for psych placement.
Once I met them at the ER, the doctors and nurses dealt with Evan on their own, not allowing me to go back and be with him, which I was very okay with. I really didn't want to be around him at that point, and was very close to pressing charges and sending him away. But I hesitated. I cried about hs life being ruined, and decided rather than see that he's thrown into a juvenile detention center, I wanted him to get help. He's usually such a loving, caring, intelligent, active and awesome kid. He's a totally different person when he's in a rage. So I firmly stated I wanted him to have a psych placement. He stayed in that ER from Sunday night at 10:30 pm until Wednesday afternoon at 4:00pm waiting for a bed to open up at a psychiatric facility for adolescents. He was in a tiny room with a gurney and a medical tray for an end-table. A window in the door, and nothing else. Over the days I took him a couple books, a blanket from home, and sat and watched a little Netflix with him. But he was mostly alone.
As of yesterday he was admitted to a psych unit nearly 3 hours drive away from home. I met him there once they said they would transfer him, and got all the admission paperwork filled out, only to find out their policy is to "evaluate and stabilize." Meaning he will be inpatient for 3-5 days and then sent right back home. I was very upset by that news. Not only is it a very long drive, and he's very far from home, but he won't be there long enough for them to even see any range of emotion or mood swings from him. It would likely take weeks or a couple months for him to have a full-on rage like that around new people. So they will never see what I see. And in turn, he will never be treated accordingly because for some reason the professionals don't like to believe me, though I am always very straight-forward with the facts.
|Evan in the ER waiting for psych placement. He was in pretty good spirits once his rage passed.|
This is his second admit to inpatient psych care, the first of which was last August. If this comes up again, I will be looking into long-term care. In fact I'm already working on lining it up for when we need it.
The chaos doesn't end with kid stuff.
Jarrod and I are also less than a week away from driving to Oklahoma for his vasectomy reversal. So we have that trip and his recovery to look forward to. He seems to think he will be able to work shortly after, and I'm begging him to take at least 3 days so he doesn't damage the work the surgeon will be doing. I'll be stepping up my hours if I can, so I can try to make up for the time he is taking off. I just want it to go smoothly so we can become pregnant naturally.
Like I said, there are things with his girls going on too that are quite emotionally taxing. But I won't go into that. It's just all mixed in with Evan's issues, our travels, and my health issues as well....
Back in September I had a breast reduction. It was a pretty drastic reduction and some of the risks included losing sensation, losing nipples, infections, and fat necrosis. All incisions healed well, and I've liked the lack of pain in my back and shoulders due to the reduction in weight on my chest. However a couple months ago I complained to my surgeon about a lump in the upper part of my right breast. Its a hard lump and it was a little painful. He examined it and said it was likely breast tissue that hadn't settled into place yet, and to give it some more time. I accepted that answer and moved on.
A couple weeks ago I was dealing with a second tonsil abscess/cellulitis (not sure which or maybe both?), and was on strong antibiotics for 20 days. (That's a whole story in itself too, we're looking at a possible tonsillectomy if it recurs again). During that time, the lump in my breast reduced quite a bit and was all but gone. I was happy about that side effect and didn't give it much more thought. But once my antibiotics were gone, a few days passed and the lump came back. But it didn't just stop with coming back, it came back times about 10. It is much larger now, deep, very painful, and causing redness on the skin where it hurts. I went back to my surgeon about it and he put me on stronger antibiotics and told me if it didn't get better, or if it got worse, to call him and we would do an ultrasound to see what's going on in there. This was on Monday... today is Thursday and it is certainly worse. I called and told him and he just said continue the antibiotics for now, take Ibuprofen which I was already doing, and use a heating pad a couple times per day. I really hope that helps, because this very strong antibiotic is kicking my ass! My whole body is sore and I'm so lethargic. This lump is scare and quite frankly I'm afraid it's fat necrosis - which would mean another surgery. I'm so tired of surgeries, and their recovery times. I just want to be healthy and live my life!!!
And the icing on the cake - next month my mom and I have planned a vacation. I will be gone with her for about a week. I'm concerned about my breast needing surgery or some other drastic treatment by then - will I be healed or able to enjoy the beach? Concerned about Evan's behavior and what sort of supervision I can find for him while Jarrod works, because he certainly shouldn't be left unattended at this point in time. Concerned about finances even though I think we're okay there, worried anyway about taking time off work... and just not sure if I can make it an actual vacation where I'm not worried about everything that's going on back at home when there's nothing I can do to help. Plus I don't like the idea of being away from my entire family that long.
*Deep breath* l don't know... Life is crazy right now. I'd love if things could just calm down, fall into place, I could get healthy, Jarrod recovers well, Evan can get the help he needs and function the way he needs to, the girls could also be in a place of happiness and serenity, and the vacation can just go off as planned.
Thankfully, I have some good support for help with "babysitting," good conversation, and advice with my best friend Amber, and with my mom. And even though everything is so upside down and chaotic, I couldn't imagine a better husband to stand beside through it all. We make a pretty damn good team, he and I. I don't know where I'd be without him.