The first thing we did after we picked him up was take him to get a haircut! It was great to see him looking so handsome! After that we went out for dinner at Applebee's to celebrate Jacob turning 5.
For the most part, our evening with Matthew was pretty good. He was definitely doing a lot of people watching and observing everyone who came into the restaurant. He was concerned that it was dark outside and had a lot of questions to ask, which to me were signs of anxiety.
At one point Matthew was telling me that he was pretty angry with one of the kids he is with at 4 Winds. This has been something he has been talking about over the past few days. He typically starts off telling me that he is mad at one of the girls because they are mean, and then after I ask him questions, he will finally tell me that he is bothering the kids. Today's story, after lots of prodding, was that he was telling the kids he was going out on pass, but unfortunately, matthew never says anything once.....so I am sure that the kids had heard all day he was going out on pass, and eventually it became bothersome and hurtful to some of the kids. Apparently one of the girls got angry and stuck her tongue out at Matthew and he in turn stuck his tongue out at her. What concerned me was that matthew commented multiple times that he wanted to punch the girl, and hit the girl because he was mad. I reminded him that he needs to be nice to the kids and that he needs to be careful that he is not teasing or bothering the other children.
As I was driving Matthew back to 4 Winds he began to complain that the staff is mean to him. This has become his other main complaint. Unfortunately, he then began to tell me that he was goingt to punch the staff and hurt the staff because they make him mad. He says this as easily as he tells me he is going to get a drink of chocolate milk. No more emotion, no less.
As I brought him inside and checked him back into the unit, Matthew greeted his friends and introduced me. He saw a new staff member and quickly went over and told the person that his name was Matthew. I don't know if it is easier for me when Matthew tantrums and is upset as our visit ends, or if,as tonight, he just rejoins the program at 4 Winds. As I was saying goodnight he asked one of the staff members if he would tuck him into bed......then he gave me a hug and a kiss, told me he loved me and I left.
It took all of my efforts to drive home with the other 2 boys. I don't know how to do this. There is no book to tell me how to be a mom of a child in a psychiatric hospital. There is no support group, or person I can call who truly knows what this feels like. I am not good at talking about how I feel, but as I write it down I can at least get my thoughts on paper and the emotions that are so deep inside me become emotions I can cope with. It is not good to feel like your heart is breaking daily. To be consistently confused, I truly don't know if I am more upset that he is in the hospital or more upset that he might come home soon. When Matthew comes home, life will again become harder. That said, I miss him and his spirit in my house. However, I don't miss the stress and anxiety that comes with never knowing when the next outburst or tantrum will come.
I am hoping to speak to Matthew's therapist tomorrow and to learn more about the plan for Matthew so that I can begin to emotionally plan for the next step in our lives.