About Me

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!

Friday, December 6, 2013

my ears are roaring


I can't take it....from the very minute I get out of bed he is talking......talking about the insane....talking about things I can't think about before my eyes are opened and I have had caffeine......I wake up each day to:
"what's for dinner", 
"what are we doing tonight",
 "why are we having that for dinner?"
 "how come we aren't doing anything fun"
"we never do anything fun"

All of this repeated over and over and over for the 10 minutes until his bus comes.....all I have to do in the morning, before he gets on the bus, is make his breakfast and get him out the door, but it is the longest 10 minutes of my day.  

The longest 10 minutes until I get home and it starts all over again.  As soon as I walk in the house, even if the sitter has prompted him to let me come in and put my stuff down, it starts again....
"what's for dinner?"  My answer is almost always, "I don't know."  I don't honestly know...sure, I know if I am defrosting chicken or beef, but what exactly I am making I don't know.  Every single night, he responds by telling me what is for dinner......
IF YOU KNOW.....HOW ABOUT YOU DON'T ASK THE QUESTION....this is what I want to yell!

Instead, I explain that I am not ready to talk about dinner yet and I will talk about it in a few minutes, as soon as my stuff is down and I have greeted everyone.  As soon as I have breathed and transitioned from work world to home world.  As soon as I have touched base with the sitter about how the afternoon was.....as soon as I am ready!

Regardless, as soon as I tell him what is for dinner, his response is "ugh...can't we go out for dinner? why can't we go out for dinner?  I hate X (whatever I have said is for dinner!)" And every night we go through why we are not going out for dinner.  Why he will eat whatever is for dinner.  And, at dinner time he always eats it and wants seconds.......

Tonight we are at the end of Hanukah, and I get that it is exciting for him.  Really, I do understand.  That said, the more he is excited, the more I am drained.  

It was only a few years ago, that during hanukah he lit paper towels on fire many mornings in a row.  Now every time we light the candles, he reminds me that he "won't light paper towels on fire anymore". 

Honestly, it is a time in my life that was horrible.  It was the beginning of the descent into realizing I would be dealing with a child with mental health issues for the rest of my life and his life.  I don't want to be reminded of it every time we light the Hanukah candles.  I don't want to remember the emotions I felt as I found paper towels on fire in my kitchen.  I don't want to remember those dark days when I felt like I couldn't sleep for fear we would wake up to the house burning down.

On top of all of this, whenever Jacob and Matthew are together right now Jacob is screaming....an ear piercing nerve wracking scream...."he is looking at me", " he is talking to me", "he touched me", "he touched my stuff"!!!  My assumption is that Jacob is done as well....and I get that...but honestly, screaming    DOESN'T HELP!  It is like a hot  poker to my eyeballs!  It is insult to injury.  

I took Jacob to see a new psychologist the other day, and I am beginning to realize that Jacob may be dealing with a version of PTSD.  Jacob is amazing when we are in crisis.  He responds calmly and seems to just take each crisis in stride.  However right now,  when we are not in crisis, Jacob is truly living with no reserves.  On the way to temple tonight Matthew wanted jacob to close the car window, Jacob said no, and Matthew kicked Jacob.....pretty much a story like all brothers, except for Jacob's response.  He broke down in hysterical sobs and just kept saying he wanted to go home.   Truly sobbing, an extreme response.....sure it was not ok for Matthew to kick Jacob, but my much bigger concern is the response from Jacob.

The problem I have is that I am trying to figure out and balance what is causing Jacob's extreme response.

 Is it all due to the life he has dealt with over the past few years?
Is this a stress response?
Is it due to stress from school?
Jacob's learning challenges are becoming more and more obvious, and one of the things he told the psychologist is "I am dumb because I can't read".  (That was one of the saddest things I have heard one of my boys say in my 12 years of parenthood) The psychologist was great and we both told Jacob about Albert Einstein and other smart people who had a hard time reading.  Life wasn't fixed in 1 hour with a psychologist but I do think that this psychologist may be able to help Jacob over time.

For now, I am trying my best to destress life for Jacob, and to help him understand that his feelings are ok to have, but that his response to those feelings he is responsible for.  He is able to be sad, scared, upset, or to feel any other feeling he may have.  And I am absolutely here for him, however, I expect that he will use his talking words rather than his yelling, or screaming, if he needs me to help him.  He did a pretty good job meeting this expectation tonight.

I am planning to use the weekend to really focus and make some tough parenting decisions. Jacob's teachers suggested a tutor once a week to help him with learning issues.  I love his tutor, but I just don't know if after a full day of school a 7 year old needs an hour of tutoring.   Does Jacob see this time as "punishment"? Is it just playtime with a fun grown up who is working on learning skills?   Is it possible for Jacob and I to work on the same skills and decrease his stress level?  Would he be willing to learn as much from me?
So far he has only had 2 sessions of tutoring, one was great, one he came out with a soaking wet shirt form chewing on it the whole time.  Do we try it a few more times?  Again, just wish that there was a crystal ball so that I would know where Jacob would be a few months from now.

My only goal for all 3 of my boys is to ensure that they come through their childhood feeling self confident.  I want them to know that no matter how much they have struggled that they are smart, funny, loving,caring boys.  To me, this is what is important.  As long as their identity and self confidence is in tact, everything else can be compensated for.

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