Have you ever watched a tv show or movie where the lead character is in the middle of a situation with people all around them. The people and noises become blurry and sound is amplified. The lead character seems to move in slow motion absorbed in their own thoughts while life swirls around them.
That is exactly how I felt all day December 24th & 25th. I was there wrapping presents, setting up the family traditions, talking to people, reading books to the kids, cooking and serving. But I felt removed in tangible neglect of the present.
Hyper aware of sounds and movement but lost to emotion. I know I was there doing what is routine in a scaffolded rhythmic pattern.
On the 24th I answered the phone to speak with my son. His voice was cheerful as if he had not a care in the world. My mind froze with anger a white hot mind numbing rage. I handed the phone to Garrett.
I love him and am bound by that love. But I am frustrated and disappointed. Unrequited love just sucks.
Yesterday we had a “team” meeting with our son. The day before we had our 1st family therapy session in 3 weeks because of his refusal to attend. In the session he spoke 28 words in an hour. He did inform us he wrote a one and a half page essay to get back into the “gentlemens club” (a privilege club based on daily behavior).
In the team meeting we found out he told his therapist to “f off” and lied to his psychiatrist. They informed him that his gentlemens club letter was rejected and that it proved he “could” work when he wanted to. His behavior escalated that night and he had to be “medically restrained” (sedated).
This morning we received a call informing us that he would be on “full restriction” for the next week. No activities, no tv, no reindeer games.
My minute to minute mantra now is “make the connection, cross the bridge, cause & effect. Make the connection, cross the bridge, cause & effect.”
Our son will be continuing his stay at Coastal Harbor until January 4, 2018.
He got his wish and played the game. He did not win because he played against himself.
The $100 shoes he was allowed to pick from Coastal Harbor’s Christmas fund have been canceled. I called and called, wrote and wrote about how important it was that he be able to make the connection between his actions and consequences. I was livid that the professionals who constantly “teach” us to tie every action to a consequence would give him a present for manipulating.
When he had to go back to residential care and my hope was completely shattered, I didn’t think I would ever find it again.
Tonight I had an ugly guilt ridden sob festival. Complete with throwing things, bruised knuckles and a hole in the basement door.
When no more emotion was left I sat on the concrete basement floor. I sat there until I was cold and numb in body and soul.
And then I started to laugh the smile racing across my face. The laugh was deep and long punctuated by a few giddy nose snorts. It culminated with me curling up on the concrete and holding my diaphragm while tears of laughter streamed down my face.
When I can breath again, I say to no one …”there it is” and “where have you been?” “I have been searching and working for you”. “I get it now”.
I had found my hope. Why did I care so much about Coastal Harbor giving him a present that he used as a manipulation tool?
I get it now, I care because I still had hope that he could tie the action and consequence together. That he could “learn” from his actions. I had “hoped” that this consequence would help him build a cause and effect bridge in his mind. It didn’t and I don’t know if it ever will. This momma Grinch “hoped” that it would.
The result is disheartening and tragic that he won’t be home for Christmas, but hope was found. That will have to be the win.
I raced home today to catch the last half of our son’s telephone conference family therapy session.
I was hopeful we would solidify our December 20th discharge date. I need’nt have bothered, his therapist informed us that he had refused to come to therapy. He told his therapist “I know my rights you can’t make me go.” The next conversation was that Damian had chosen a $100 Christmas gift provided by Coastal Harbor.
Some background….Two weeks ago (in our supposedly last family therapy session) we found out that our son had refused to work at school for a whole day while he constructed a 3 page Christmas Gift List for us. When we shared that each child in our family was being given $50 to donate to a charity of their choice and not writing gift lists this year, our son became silent and refused to finish the therapy session. The next several days he told staff he “would be staying at Coastal Harbor for Christmas” and “when was he going to make his $100 gift purchase”. He began self harm statements intentionally so he would not be discharged. I told his therapist under no circumstances should Damian be allowed to “choose a gift from Coastal Harbor”.
They (The Coastal Harbor Administration) felt this was unfair and this past Sunday let him choose a gift.
He hasn’t called us since Sunday and today refused our family therapy session.
Remember when he came home from the Crisi Stabilization Unit with a cup full of Gummi bears? We are here again!
So now my son has turned in another ticket to ride his lonely carousel. But hey $100 sneakers are more important, right?
I have surely been nicknamed “The Grinch” by nameless, faceless people who think they know more about me son than me.
I am unreasonably furious and so deeply tired.