Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's Happening on This End

I really don't know where to start writing or what to say. It seems like if I let a few hours slip by, what I would have said in my post changes. Since Monday- when I was more than a little melancholy....which was a contrast from the good feelings I had about my moods have fluctuated more than I care to think about.

Yep, it was a good weekend. I think that's three in a row. I know the weather played a huge role in how I felt about the weekend. I spent some time Saturday with my friend, Sheila and later on in the morning with Holli. Both visits were great and I felt blessed to have spent some time...albeit brief but quality time with both. The rest of the day I spent working in the yard, doing laundry and hanging out with Jess and Jo.

All day Sunday I worked in the yard, then after Jess came home from church, she and I spent time grooming the animals. That was fun. The dogs and cats alike ate up the attention. I probably worked a total of 12 hours outside that day. And managed 4-5 loads of laundry in between. I felt accomplished-and bone weary-by the end of the day. Plus I got a little sun, which helps my energy levels. I was thankful that I didn't have any back pain at all despite the hard day's work.

Monday I was a bit down because of Josh's birthday. I can't helped viewing my current relationship with him as severely flawed if not borderline failed. We did have a good night Monday night, and his mood was positive. We had cake and ice cream, laughing and joking and being silly. I couldn't find any actual birthday candles for his cake, so I put sixteen tea light candles on his cake. We all cracked up laughing about it. We always give our older two kids money for their birthday, and they get to pick what we have for dinner. Robert made shrimp, Josh's favorite food, and we had a nice night.

Tuesday morning we started out the day with Josh snapping at me and generally being hateful. It was all over laundry and I finally decided to put my foot down. From now on, Josh does his own laundry. He's put me down, snapped at me, argued with me, complained and bickered about everything laundry related. It's alternated from me not doing his basketball uniforms soon enough to suit him or him not having his favorite kind of socks or him not being able to find where I put a certain shirt to me accidentally putting one of his t-shirts in with Jess' clothes. At this point I told him that since he is so obviously unsatisfied with my laundering of his clothing, that from now on I will no longer touch his clothes. He will wash his own or they won't get done. He immediately quit talking. I think that's one problem solved.

Tuesday afternoon was his first session with his counselor. I had to go in first and spend time filling her in on what I feel is going on with Josh, his medical history, and his ongoing issues. That took 45 minutes, conservatively. She then called Josh in, who was in the room with the counselor alone for all of 15 minutes, at most.

When Josh came out his face was beet red and he was visibly angry. He refused to discuss what was said in that brief period of time, but he kept saying, "I hate that woman, I can't stand her. She makes me so mad."

I tried to talk to Josh about it, ask him questions on the drive back to work, but he shot down all my attempts with, "I don't want to talk about it." Finally I said, "I guess you'd prefer that I don't talk to you at all after these sessions. Am I right?" He said, "That's what I'd prefer."

So, I said nothing else. We drove the ten minutes across town in silence. Right before we pulled in to the parking lot at work, where Robert had just got off work and was waiting to meet us, Josh said, "It's not you. It's her. I can't stand her. She asks me the same questions over and over. I answer a question, and she asks me again. It's stupid."

From there, I turned Josh over to Robert and went back to work. I talked a little bit with Bipsy about how it went, then kept working.

They want to see Josh every week for at least six months. They have set up an appointment with their psychologist (first available) to get him on some ADHD meds. The counselor thinks that he may be angrier and more frustrated as he gets older because his ADHD has been untreated. I took him off his meds for ADHD back when he was in sixth grade because he wouldn't eat, couldn't sleep and became a straight A zombie. I didn't want that for him. He lost so much weight he looked like skin stretched over bone. I couldn't justify the risks. The counselor says they now have a lot of newer medications, including non-stimulant meds that they could try with Josh. They have meds that stimulate appetite as well. So, we'll see how that goes.

The original assessor said Josh would "probably be seen once a month, probably would not need to see the doctor and probably would not be medicated." Pretty much everything she said has turned out to be the opposite.

I don't know how I feel about all of this. Frankly, I don't even know how I feel about Josh anymore. Some days I don't even want to see him at all. Some days I wish it was 2 years from now and he was 18 and I could say, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out of here." Then there are days I want to reach out to him and hold him and cry and tell him everything is going to be okay. Some days I feel sick with guilt for being a bad mom....I feel like I must have been or he wouldn't be so angry with me. Then there are days I feel like he's an ungrateful jerk who has two good parents that he takes for granted, and doesn't deserve us. Sometimes I feel like a battered wife, in fear of a man's volatile emotions, but it's not my husband. It's my own son. I can't just walk away from him. I feel so confused about the whole thing. Any given day I can assume these feelings, depending on so many factors. I'm not sure I'll ever truly get over this.

Last night Robert, Josiah and I went to have Mexican food at El Dorado's (my favorite restaurant AND Holli's) after a bit of shopping. The food and service was great as usual. Prior to dinner I got a couple of lawn chairs, some organizational items for the kitchen and a new garden hose. It felt nice to get some outdoor household stuff...spring is all around and I felt like celebrating its arrival a bit.

I have been feeling really good about spring. Robert has decreed ;) that he wants to start going back to church on Easter Sunday. We've long talked about how the toy shop knocked us out of the habit of going to church. Since the move to the country, Robert hasn't joined me in going to church at all. I probably went with the kids five or six times and then just quit going. Jess started going to John's church every Sunday and she's gotten quite involved. So, I was happy to hear that he is eager to start back to church and we both agreed on where we want to go. So, that's been something I've looked forward to.

As I type this post, I've felt better and better. I know that a lot of good things are happening in my life, just as a lot of stressful things are happening. I look around me and I see such renewal in the cows and colts nestled up to their mommas in the fields surrounding my home. The tree in front of the office is starting to blossom. I always enjoy that sight. The tulips and marigolds are starting to peak through the earth at home. Every place I look there is life.

Right now Bipsy is going through an extremely difficult personal situation and I have been investing a lot of my energy to helping her through it. She is a caring, giving person who has helped me through more pain and sorrow than I could ever repay. I'd like to ask for prayers for her and her family as she endures some difficult times over the next few months. Right now her pain is my pain. We work that closely together, and my heart breaks for her as she is coping with some serious issues in her life.

Today it's raining and gray, but I trust that soon my mood will emerge as sunny and full of joy. Good things are on the horizon. Do you feel it? Can you see it? We're going to make it through and be stronger for it...all of us.


Holli said...

Your emotions as far as Josh is concerned are absolutely valid! I wouldn't know how or what to feel from 1 minute to the next either. I also don't know how I'd handle the situation. You are in unchartered territory and uneasiness is to be expected. Keep trusting God, keep praying, He'll give you the answers.
I am THRILLED that you all are starting back to church. It is SO important to be surrounded by a church family. I also think this will do WONDERS for Jo!
I'll pray for Bipsy and her family!
I love you sweetie. You are the most sincere, kind hearted, genuine person I think I've ever met - really! I look up to you!

pat said...

You know Kristi, you are doing all the things you are suppose to do. You have gotten help for your troubled son. The worse part about being a mother to a troubled child is the inability to change/fix the situation. As much as he hates counseling, he needs it and every week is a great start. He is at an age where you still have some sort of control over him and it is good that the counseling starts now because as he gets older you will not be able to force him into any sort of treatment. As mothers we beat ourselves up over the choices our children make. We are so good at blaming ourselves for the way they turn out. The thing is we do the best that we can with what we have and sometimes things go good and sometimes things go bad. Right now, you need to take care of yourself. Do the things that bring you joy. And remember, you are a good mom. You just have a difficult kid.

PJ said...

You are a GREAT mom! I see how beautiful your heart is. Ask God what He sees; I'm sure He'll agree with me! :)

neicybelle said...

please do not beat yourself up over a mother of a wayward teen, i know it's easy to blame yourself...but at some point in their lives, they choose their own thoughts, their own actions, and most of the time, it's against what we have taught's a painful growing process...but it's just a will get better...
and getting involved in church will's nice to go and worship and focus on someone other than your own pain for a little while...