let the fun begin

It has been beyond surreal around here. We will soon be wearing neck braces as we blither in a corner. Youngest has been whiplash producing unstable. Yesterday morning we were a hairs breath from a 911 call. This was with my husband and my son’s PO present. At bedtime I nearly loaded him up and took him to the psych hospital. Both time control was regained. Both times evidenced our need for outside help.
Two more therapists turned us down last week.
My son has been pleasant and compliant,followed by very young (walking on tippy toes and lisping),followed by one hundred percent non-compliant,followed by bizarre (announcing he was going to kill and eat bugs,impaling a grasshopper with a pencil and presenting me with it is just a taste of his brand of bizarre),followed by demon possessed,followed by muttering obscenities, death threats and attacking others. Spin,repeat cycle.
When he went from 0-60 at bedtime I found him curled up in his closest weeping. He had made himself as small as he could and was shaking as he wept.
He lost time.
He “woke up” in the closet.
He wanted to be alone because Anger was going to hurt someone and he didn’t want to hurt anyone. He couldn’t stop Anger. He was in anguish. He was terrified.
I walked him through the whole jigsaw puzzle illustration again. I told him that while it seems anger is a separate person,it was still a part of him. I told him again he could heal,but it would be hard,the hardest thing he had ever done. I rubbed his back. He wouldn’t let me hold him. Finally he calmed down enough to get a shower. I read him his Hank the Hound Dog and he went to bed.
This morning he has lisped,and walked on tippy toes and has been compliant. Mostly.
The day before he had referred to himself as “Destructor” or it might have been “Destroyer” I was a bit preoccupied at the time.
I took advantage of his compliant mood and had him write down the three behaviors that were causing the most problems. Cussing at or around mom. Refusing to do what mom says. Threatening or attacking others.
He and I then worked out a list of consequences to be picked from when he does one of the above. The list included washing the floor on hands and knees,scrubbing the driveway,washing the house, washing walls. You get the idea of what I wanted. He wrote the above in his best handwriting and posted it on the fridge.
My rational is this:
I want him to begin owning want his body does. I want him to understand there are consequences for what his body does. I want a visual in his own handwriting that he can see. I want the consequence’s to be mindless,but needed work so he can see he has accomplished something good. I want him to have a physical release for his emotions. I want the consequences not to inconvenience anyone else if he refuses mid way through.
I don’t think this is actually going to be implemented past the post-it-on-the-fridge stage. It is a beginning though.

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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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2 Responses to let the fun begin

  1. Jeanne Holt says:

    Your reasoning makes sense. Does he know that he has every right to be angry, even when he is not Angry? Or does he refuse to feel it unless he is in that character? He has said he doesn’t know what “normal” feels like… maybe “normal” is knowing it’s okay to feel like breaking something or cursing or disobeying, without allowing that one feeling to completely consume you… and knowing that even when you act on a negative impulse, it is still okay to be “you” … people can still love you.

    I think you are doing an amazing job of trying to convince him of the latter… with the consequences in full view, he doesn’t have to worry that his bad behavior is the end of the world. Meanwhile you are showing him love and compassion beyond his ability to believe.

    The ironic thing is, although he said he couldn’t stop Anger, obviously he did in some measure. If he can “just” integrate, I suspect he already has enough self-control to be able to function when there’s more than just one emotion let out at a time. Sure, sometimes anger will win out, but when there’s more than just Anger in the mix, there’s a greater likelihood of making better choices.

    Praying for his weary, wounded and terrified heart. Praying for your strength and continued wisdom. Praying for outside help. Praying for safety.

  2. lenell says:

    Thanks for holding us up in prayer. We try very hard to teach our kids how to appropriately express their anger. That they are angry is a given. We teach them that while they can’t control what was done to them,they can control how they respond to it. They can use it to make them stronger (beating their abuser), or they can allow it to destroy them (then the abuser wins). We can’t allow them to use what happened as an excuse to hurt others. All of the kids until youngest have grasped the concept-even our FAS kiddos. The challenge with our alcohol effected kids was/is getting them to identify their emotions to begin with. Just like they didn’t feel pain for years,it took years for them to identify sad,mad,happy,scared. We did/do that for them until they can/could.
    Youngest knows he is mad. What he can’t allow himself to be is anything except mad. It is almost a vocation with him. If he feels bored,interested, or God forbid, happy,he works himself back into mad. All of his games are dark. All of his drawings are dark. If he reads a good vs evil book he identifies with the evil and disdains the good. For him anger and violence equate power. Of course various hims have varying degrees of this. All of his hims ,except a couple of the very young hims, want to destroy,cause pain,control others etc. At least one wants to kill others. We think it is his younger selves that want to be here. It is so hard because he switches from minute to minute. Trying to help him process thoughts and emotions tends to make him-you guessed it-angry. I am sure this is because who we are talking to may not have been in control for the fit,but still we have to try.

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