Matthew came home from the hospital on Wednesday, January 16.
On Saturday, January 19, he had a huge tantrum that ended with Jacob, David and I leaving him with his respite worker while he raged and screamed.
On Monday, January January 21, he had a huge tantrum that resulted in our friend taking the other 2 boys with her in a hurry, and me calling the police for help.
On Friday, January 25 he had a tantrum at school that resulted in him going to the quiet room to calm down.
On Friday, January 25 he had a huge tantrum at home that resulted in me calling the police. In a week's time this is 4 huge tantrums. Tantrums where there was risk for the others involved. Tantrums that his brothers witnessed 3 times. Tantrums that are causing me stress. Tantrums that I know are scaring him and that makes me so sad.
Yesterday we were going out for David's birthday dinner with my parents. After I picked up Jacob, Matthew was touching Jacob's head, making Jacob whine- it is one of the things that Matthew does simply to bother Jacob. When I asked Matthew to stop, he denied that he was doing anything. I again asked him to stop, he again rubbed his head. I again asked him to stop rubbing his head, and he again denied doing it. At my wits end, I told him to get in the car, and told him he had lost the ability to have chocolate milk for dinner.
Why I took away chocolate milk I don't know! It is not a logical consequence, or a natural consequence, but I was tired of being lied to. I was tired of the whining and screaming the minute that Matthew and Jacob get together. I was tired and just wanted to have a nice family dinner and evening. I didn't realize that taking away chocolate milk would lead to such issues. In my mind we would still go to dinner, he would have lemonade or something else, and things would be ok.
However, for Matthew it was different. He started to threaten aggression immediately, and alternately scream that if I gave it back he would stop. I pulled over and hoped to rationalize.....you can't rationalize with someone who is being irrational. I also couldn't give back the chocolate milk. He has to know that I am serious and tantrumming will never, ever get him what he wants. I reminded him he could have lemonade. I reminded him we were still going out for dinner. He couldn't pull it together.
I called my parents to ask them to head towards us rather than meeting them at a restaurant. I then started driving towards home thinking a break would help. We didnt get more than a half mile, before Jacob was scared to be in the car, and I knew we were unsafe with me driving so I pulled into a church. At that point I asked Matthew to get out of the car. He got out, but started punching at Jacob's window and kicking the car. I hate above all else that he is so threatening towards Jacob. To punch at Jacob's window is such an unnecessary position of aggression.
Finally, because I wasn't sure if and when he might break the car window, and he wasn't calming down, I called 911 for help. He was raging and I was scared. The other 2 boys were panic stricken and nothing I could do would help them. I cannot promise them it will stop. I cannot make the screaming stop. I can promise to do my very best to keep them safe, but I don't truly know how long that will all last for. All it would have taken last night was him to hit the window just right and it would have broken. It wouldn't take much.
I was alternating between being panicked that he would hurt his brother, break the car window, or run into the road. There was no way for me to know what to do to keep all of us safe. No parent should feel this struggle and this fear. Especially, because had I known that taking away chocolate milk would have led to this, I never would have taken it away. Often that gets no response, a little disappointment, but no tantrum. All I wanted him to learn was that he has to treat Jacob better and be truthful, I thought a little disappointment would help him learn that. I was a mom who made maybe not the best parenting decision, but certainly all of us have made worse ones!
That is the hardest part, you can never ever known what his response will be or how extreme in any given situation. We were set up for a great night. A night to celebrate David turning 9. A night of fun, presents and hanging with my folks. That was destroyed for me as the tantrum started.
As 3 police cars arrived, Matthew panicked. This time he hadn't known I had called and I think he was afraid and surprised by them. He sat down as they asked, and then they asked that he sit in my car. I asked them to have him sit elsewhere, as Jacob and David really didn't need more stress, but because he is a minor he could not sit in their car to talk, so he sat in my car. Again, I hate that Jacob and David have to dig deep to deal with situations that they should not have to cope with. I hate that they have to see all that they are seeing.
Matthew settled quickly for the police, he assured them that he would be calm and they sent us on our way. The policeman who was here the other day asked about the new school and the medications and I said that the medications were a work in progress and he was struggling at school like at home, but seemed to be adjusting.
Upon coming home, the tantrum continued. Thankfully my parents came to be with the other 2 boys and take them out to dinner. I stayed home with Matthew while he raged. Eventually he had some dinner and settled down and went to bed. He woke up this morning again like life was normal. I am not there.
This cannot be normal, there has to be better. I cannot accept that his is our life. I am going to call Healy house on Monday to see if there is a bed for Matthew. He can go there for 3 weeks and maybe that will buy us all a little more time for the medications to kick in. The new psychiatrist seems to be good and has some new ideas, so that might help.
I know, above all else, that at his heart and soul Matthew is an amazing child who is being challenged by demons. I know that if he had any other illness i would never turn my back on him, and that his brothers would be affected by any illness he had. I know that this morning the 3 boys woke up and they were more ready to be together and have a fresh start than I was and that says something about the fact that they are ok.
I know that I love Matthew with my heart, soul and all of my being and if love is enough we will get through this.
- 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!