I have written bits and pieces about my daughter. However, I have not said too much about my son. Partly because, up until the relatively recent past, it seemed that he was the child who was sailing along, doing well, while his sister struggled continuously. Recently, however, that has all changed – and I am dealing with my own emotions about what is happening with him, and my own feelings of guilt and failure.
Without going into too much history, suffice it to say that my daughter has had years of therapy, varying levels of psychiatric treatment, years of medications, and we have struggled together and finally we are emerging together as stronger, healthier people. During this time, however, my son was the silent one on the sidelines, having to cope with the chaos of our environment, virtually on his own. My daughter simply required too much to have much time/energy/etc left to attend to any hidden struggles my son was having.
Well, that has come to bite me and him in the ass the last few years. His anger has been building slowly and gradually over time. His feeling that my daughter got all of the attention, while she was being violent and out of control; his feeling that he wasn’t ever noticed. Not “good” enough. He started acting out, in small ways at first – that eventually became bigger ways. Especially after the suicide of J – as J was able to give my son that extra attention he needed, while I was attending to my daughter.
My son (B) had become increasingly angry and oppositional. Absolutely everything was a fight. He was lying, he was stealing, he was getting suspended from school for getting in fights. His counselor was concerned about depression, oppositional-defiant disorder, and conduct disorder. However, after several months of meeting with him, he finally told me he didn’t think he was getting anywhere and that B just wasn’t going to get much out of counseling.
Fast forward to last month… there was an incident that I won’t go into details about; but for which my son acted in a very aggressive and threatening way towards me which resulted in the police being called. What eventually happened is that he was admitted to the hospital, for which he stayed in the juvenile pysch ward for a week. Since then, he has been in a day treatment environment (where my daughter has been attending).
What I want to talk about, in future posts, is our experiences since this incident – and how both my son and I, and in fact my daughter as well, have been dealing with life and the new situation we find ourselves in.
More to come..