It’s 4am, I can’t sleep. I keep thinking about a phone call I received yesterday. It was a call from a lady that oversees all the special needs services for the schools in our county. She was calling to discuss my son and where he would be going to school this year. She mentioned that he had done very well when he returned to school after being at an alternative school for six months and asked if I thought he would fine going to the school that his sister goes to, the school right around the corner from our house.
Holy crap! I couldn’t believe it. This is it, here is the chance for my son to be back in the same school as his sister. I told her that I had faith in my son and that I thought it was time for him to be given this chance. We agreed that this would be good for him. So what does that mean exactly?
If you’ve followed my story at all or if you know me personally, you know that it has been an uphill battle with my son and his behavior at school and at home. Our relationship has had some major obstacles, for many reasons. My son has been affected the most by my addiction. He’s been through hell and back right along side me as I struggled with alcohol, struggled to get sober, and with my relapse. He’s been in foster care twice. He’s seen me get arrested, he’s seen me put into the back of an ambulance, he was taken away from his home in the back of a cop car not to return home for a year. He’s been though a lot! He let everyone know he was suffering with his behavior. He was (and sometimes still is) always in fight or flight mode.
Fight-or-flight response: (Also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
Before I relapsed in May of 2015 my sons behavior was in my opinion the worst it has ever been. I was being called out of work multiple times a week. He attacked the babysitter pulling a knife out, he attacked his sister, he threatened to kill himself and me. At one point I told my then sponsor that if he was awake I wouldn’t go to sleep because I wasn’t 100% sure I’d wake up. I believed he’d stab me in my sleep. He would run from the teachers, he’d get up in the middle of class and just run through the school. They would have to block the doors so he wouldn’t run out into traffic. It was intense! I was struggling to balance all of it and my sobriety. I was drowning.
Luckily, before my relapse, I was able to get him into a different school that had a program and teachers that handle that type of behavior on a daily basis. That program turned out to be heaven sent. The teachers there have been amazing and will hopefully continue to be apart of my sons life.
My kids have now been home fourteen months almost fifteen after being gone for a year in a foster home. The past year has been full of its ups and downs no doubt. There have been inpatient stays, six months at an alternative school that is one step down from inpatient, and part time living arrangements with the previous foster parents. Some days he hates my guts, some days he wants to sit in my lap and love on me. There are days where he tells he wants to run away and live somewhere else, sometimes I’m able to put myself in and imaginary bubble and let it pass, somedays I tell him to pack his stuff and go. (I’m not perfect, what can I say?) Amends always follows.
A few months ago I asked my son if he trusts me now. He said yes, he finally does. That’s a big deal. I keep showing up. I keep telling him I love him. I keep showing him that I am here regardless of what he says to me. I let him know that he can’t guilt me into doing things for him. Bringing up the fact that he was taken away twice no longer works on me, I don’t parent out of guilt anymore. Took a while to get to that place, let me tell ya. But, it does him no good if I am still beating myself up for the past. Does me no good either.
My son is SO much like me its scary sometimes. He pushes boundaries like no other! Nobody can push my buttons like he can. I think he enjoys it sometimes. Pisses me off and makes me laugh all at the same time. I’m shocked at the his defiance and stubbornness, it’s like me in a little boy body. I have to go to my room and shut the door sometimes because I want to laugh at how ridiculously rebellious he is. I have my hands full with this one. I continuously remind him that rules do apply to him, that he’s not an exception to the rules. Surprisingly enough, I just learned that myself in the last few years. Rules do apply to me too! Who knew!?!?! Now I have to teach that lesson to my kid. Well played karma!
We’re both kinda spazzing out about this next chapter. Will there be ups and downs? Absolutely! Can we do this? Hell yeah we can! Is it scary as hell for both of us? Bet your ass it is! But we’ve made it through hell and high water these past few years, I think we can do this. There will still be support for him at his new school, he’s not being thrown to the wolves but he’s also not gonna be coddled anymore. He can do this, I have faith.
Fourth grade here we come!
To be continued…………