down the rabbit hole and a question or two

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“What would your son need to do so you would feel comfortable bringing him home.” asked his therapist during this weeks installment of family therapy.”What would help you trust him?”
Trust. Trust is a tricky thing. It is easily broken. It is never easily regained. Wise parents know their children will lie. They do there best not to put their child in a position to lie in the first place. Because I know my kids have times when they lie for no reason, I discern. I never take what they say at face value. If what they say does not reconcile with the facts,I don’t believe them. I try and give them a chance to “try again” and perhaps tell me the truth. It isn’t something I dwell on (too much). With three of my children it is a symptom. If my grown children were to lie to me It would hurt my feelings.With my teens,I know it isn’t personal. I do value the truth. One of my tag lines is that the truth can be dealt with-no matter how hard that truth may be.
Whether or not my youngest son is truthful is not what we worry about. We know he isn’t truthful on any kind of a consistent basis. His lies,however, are way down on our list of concerns. It is like cussing,or not brushing teeth. We will acknowledge the words are not appropriate. We will mention that teeth that have been brushed usually are not that color. It would be reflexive, though. It wouldn’t be something to keep us sleepless in our beds at night.
Our issue of trust with our youngest son are all saftey related.
It bothers me that he wants to kill people. It bothers me quite a bit. It seems to be bothering me more than his current therapist (projected drawings anyone?). My son can tell good memories about our home,or one of his foster homes and then restate his desire for revenge. He can talk about how he chose us to be his family. He has some good memories of our home. He likes the food, in any event. In the next breath he is justifying killing “mom” (that is me and his previous foster moms,in case you haven’t caught on) because of things he openly states I (we) never had a part in. He states matter-of-fact he has no intention of giving up his anger.
He tells his therapist this. She tells us this. She then asks us what he would need to do for us to trust him.
Perhaps,no longer wanting to hurt people?
Perhaps,no longer having a revenge list?
Perhaps,wanting to change;just a little?
Are we the only ones who feel more than a little concerned with his obsession of revenge and death? Why do his therapists (this is the second one,now) refuse to believe those words? Is it considered normal to want to kill someone you just said nice things about? Does anyone else get just a little freaked out that he is saying these this to more than one person calmly? that his writings are full of deliberate death.
His therapist asked why we didn’t just give him up.
She asked how we would know we could trust him.
She then defended his sincerely wanting to come home. He says he isn’t sabotaging his promotions,therefore he wants to come home. She then goes into detail about his disconnect between good memories and wanting to kill every one who has “done him wrong” by caring for him. But, we should give him chance.
I feel like I am falling down the rabbit hole when I deal with these people. I feel that way with my son as well.

I have two questions that I would really,truely beg an answer to. I am very serious. If you have raised a child who behaved in the manner in which youngest behaves,thought similar thoughts etc,could you please give us some feedback.
1. Is there anything different my husband and I should be doing. Are we in fact making our son worse by taking these and past threats seriously? Does it matter that they are not just said while throwing a fit,but are also stated in a matter-of-fact manner?
2. If your child did have this level of hatred and total disconnect with cause and effect,good and evil,did he or she heal? If so, what helped? What didn’t.

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About lenell

Wife to a very patient man and mom to 8 interesting kids via birth,marriage and adoption. Grandma to nearly 5,nearly perfect grandchildren.
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3 Responses to down the rabbit hole and a question or two

  1. Magnolia says:

    Gosh I wish I had the frame of reference to help you. I just don’t. I almost feel crappy for even answering you because I don’t want to waste your time.

    I couldn’t help but think of how horrible it feels when you can’t see around the corner. You don’t know the future. You just know what it is front of you and you hang onto your hopes and beliefs.

    The God in Christ in you wants to love, to heal, to forgive, to give and to keep trying.

    I feel a certain desperation with my 18 year old right now. he’s not anywhere near that, but he’s breaking my heart nonetheless with his complete lack of clarity or connection of how his actions, attitudes and beliefs are hurting him and others.

    I don’t know how my son will turn out. I know how much I give and give and give and give. I know how much I pray. I know how much I desperately want him to “get it”

    But, I don’t have that guarantee and it breaks my heart into a million pieces.

    All of this to say, that you can only work with what you have. Make the best decision you can. I know that is trite. Forgive me. But, in all honesty, what else can you really do?

    And if this helps at all…………my gosh, what you have done for this child. I hope you won’t feel like failures.

  2. Kate says:

    My peace came only after my husband promised me that my adopted child would never live in my house again. Period. She has been in placement since she was 11…she is now 17. We see her often on visits and have not “un-adopted” her. She always does well in placement. They love her. She NEVER does well in a family setting. She would hurt someone. Her therapists for years thought she could come back home. Try after try left our family broken and them wrong. It was hard to say we were done….we always helped the hard kids. Some are too broken. Sometimes you have to say….We can’t do this child.

  3. lenell says:

    The only way our son will have out of home placement is through the judicial system. That means, he comes home until he is arrested again. Our post-adopt services are a joke. 3 months of RTC,that’s it.

    Magnolia,all parents feel like failures to some extent when their kids are having serious issues. The head can know everything that could be done,was done. The heart still feels like something was missed. BTW,I am praying for you and your son. Hang in there,yourself.

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