no steps forward,ten steps back

It was family therapy day yesterday. It has been two weeks since our last session due to my husband’s ever changing work schedule. Youngest has been showing his backside a bit more during regular weekly visits and this past Saturday’s visit did not leave me with warm fuzzies. Yesterday’s visit left both my husband and myself with cold shivers.
He wants to come home. As long as no one talks a whole lot about what that entails he is fairly calm. Once the conversation turns to our expectations or questions about his expectations, he becomes agitated. He was doing a lot of “personality shifting” for lack of a better term. We have been telling every “expert” that has dealt with out son about our concerns in this area. All have blown us off. I asked my husband if he saw what I saw yesterday and he did.
Youngest did ask some good questions initially. He asked about how long the other kids took to settle in. We told him honestly. About six months to settle in and feel comfortable with the rules,about two years to begin to trust us. He looked thoughtful.
He talked about his birth father per prompting from Mr therapist (Not a subject we would have brought up at the time). Now he no longer looked thoughtful. Now he was defending his birth father. Now the conflicted loyalty was back in the front of his brain. We watched him change.His posture changed.His voice changed. His eyes changed. It was the change in his eyes that was the hardest to see. Gone was the thoughtful son. The change was almost instantaneous. Dr Jeckel taken over by Mr Hyde.
I have said all along we are looking at this son sideways. We have always assumed his issues stem from deep seated self hatred common to kids who have been abused and neglected. We have also highly suspected our son was groomed from infancy to follow in his dad’s (birth, biological, natural) footsteps.
Listening to my son speak with pride about his birth dad was eye opening. His dad treated him the way he did to make him tough. His dad never told him he was stupid or worthless. His dad told him he was just like him. His dad loved him.He spoke with real pride about the man who beat and raped him and his younger siblings. He wants to emulate him. He does emulate him. We heard the tired song and dance about how he was forced to be adopted. Once again he was walked through each time he signed his name to documents after adoption was explained to him. We replayed each monthly visit when he had ample opportunity to tell the worker he had changed his mind. We walked him right up to the courthouse and him smiling as the judge asked him for the final time if he wanted to be a permanent part of our family,and he replied “yes”.
Well, you see, he only wanted to be adopted because we were rich (I think our definition of wealthy differ),he was safe,his bed was comfortable and he was going to steal our money and take everything of value he could and run away.
Out of the blue he mentioned a new career goal. Since he was no longer going to join the gang,he was going to go around killing anyone in a gang.He thought about killing another group of people but I couldn’t quite make out exactly who. He was reminded that society tend to consider murder a rather big no-no. We also discussed the fact that premeditated murder gets the death penalty in our state. Suggestions were made that perhaps he become something with a bit more of a future. A cop perhaps. No, cops are still the enemy. In the end he decided maybe he would work with animals.
My son told us that if we let him do things his way then he won’t get angry.
It wasn’t so much the words my son said that left us feeling despair (and a little fear). It was the return of hate. It was seeing just a glimpse of the child underneath and watching that child get buried in his own hate.
He was like a shape shifter.A shape shifter obsessed with violence. For two hours we watched our son morph into the various hims we have come to know.We had the son who likes to instigate others. We had the son who idolizes his birth father and wants to hurt others just to make him proud. We had the son who is about four. We saw the son he was born to be look out of his eyes with pleading. ‘Help me” those eyes asked. Replaced with the eyes that told me I was a dead woman. His words were about killing gang members. his eyes were for me.
He is so fragmented.
As we left my son stood up and gave me this long,melt his body into mine, hug. He managed to pass gas the entire hug, looking me in the eyes and smiling.
It was the smile we all hate. The smile was replaced with anger and a bit of hatred when I commented on how fragrant he was. I complimented his rare talent on passing gas at will. I told him I loved him. I hugged him back,flatulence and all.
God help us,how are we going to do this with the meager help we have?
He is a year older,taller,heavier and stronger. He has learned a few more tricks,that’s all. He isn’t any healthier. We cannot get anyone to listen about our near certainty his personality is fragmented.
He still has homicidal ideations; at least part of him does. Still,buried deep inside is the boy he was created to be.I saw him as yesterday.My husband saw him. Just a glimmer,a few seconds at most. It was quickly replaced with calculation, disdain and hatred.
He will be home in twenty seven days.


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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2 Responses to no steps forward,ten steps back

  1. Tammy says:

    Oh good heavens!!! They are crazy to even think about sending him home.

    We are in the process of having our 14 y/o son return home too, after nearly four years in residential and foster care.

    I know your fear.

  2. dorothy says:

    I’m here – I hear…day in and day out..loving the children through their pain and ours…because that is love.

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