We have had a pretty smooth start to the school year. All of the boys are doing relatively well. Matthew started in a new school and Jacob has started Kindergarten, so given the major life changes going on, I am happy to say that the past few months have been relatively calm.
Unfortunately, when life is calm I forget all that can go into running our lives when the roller coaster of our lives gathers steam. I don't know exactly what is going on with Matthew but the last 3 days have been intense. He is so hyper focused on food right now, it is all he is thinking about, it is keeping him up at night, and overtaking his entire days. His obsession over food will always be more powerful than my ability to think one step ahead of him and prevent him from wreaking havoc in the house.
As he is getting older he is getting just that much more clever. He knows the complete and total inventory of every food item in our house and it seems like he waits with baited breath for me to walk away or leave something out or open. Twice this weekend he has asked for a drink which I have of course allowed, only to find him elbow deep in a container of chocolate or shoving candy in his mouth that I had mistakenly left out.
We made pumpkin bread and he told me that he was going to leave it alone. He wanted some for school the next day so he would leave it, and no sooner did he say this then I left the kitchen and he devoured and destroyed all that was left.
I try to keep as much of the food like cereal, bread, bagels etc... locked up so that he has limited access to snack type foods. I never thought we would live like this, but if locking food up ends the fights, it makes sense to lock it up. However, he checks the locks hundreds of times a day. If I unlock it to get the bread to make lunch, this weekend he has snuck behind me to find something in the lock box. It is exhausting. It has been a while since we have lived like this. I had actually been debating starting to leave the lock box unlocked because things had gotten so much better, so to go back to life like this is emotionally and physically exhausting. I have to be one step ahead, but it is one step ahead of someone's mental illness and obsessions.....that is hard to be.
In addition, he is talking about food non stop. He is talking about food so much that I am constantly feeling full. Not because I have eaten, but simply because if you talk about food enough, I am realizing that one becomes consistently not hungry.
I hate seeing my son like this. I hate seeing him struggle and I hate being so overwhelmed by his struggles.
There are no books that tell me how to wind my way through all of this and to find a path that will guide us all through this successfully. I constantly think how crazy it is to lock up food, but then again how crazy it is to not lock it up and to instead have constant turmoil. I have thought and debated about what would happen if we simply had no food that Matthew would crave, but if it isnt one thing it's another. Sure, he has a pecking order, carbs are at the top, but if we had no carbs he would drink a gallon of milk. If there was no milk, he would eat dried fruit by the truckload. If there was no dried fruit, he would eat cheese sticks. Whatever there is, the obsession is deep.
Hopefully soon the weather will change and the obsession will stop, or he will again find peace. Hopefully this is a little tiny blip on the radar and we are not entering a dark place. We have done so well for so long, I am not ready for major struggles again.
- I am a single mom of three amazing boys! All three of my sons entered my family through adoption. All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!