Often times it seems, that for me atleast, the past repeats itself. What happened once will happen, eventually, again. For the most part, I am not that far off base, and while I don’t mean it to sound morbid, a lot of my thoughts are centered around wondering when “This” or “That” is going to happen again. In my mind, my dark and twisted mind, its only a matter of time.
Years ago, there were multiple options being tossed around for Josh. Many were tossed to the side, and some stuck. And some were too painful to think about at the time, and so I buried them deep, deep, deep down hoping to never have to think about them again. Options such as medication, and therapy, or combined options like medication WITH therapy. Or institutionalizing him. Were a few that I buried.
It wasn’t shortly after that I read something written by a father who had just signed the papers to have his son “taken away.” He was open and raw with what he wrote – how his son begged to stay, how he promised to “be better” and how he wished he could just stop and take his son back. His son. Not the son that was being taken. I never read anything else. The words were too hard to read at the time – especially with the very option being on the table.
Its not that I am against any of these options. Its not that I don’t agree that these sometimes are the only options, its not that I don’t support medications. Its that I wanted to try EVERYTHING else first. And while many people disagreed with me, telling me that I was denying him peace of mind – I couldn’t justify medicating a scared little boy. I didn’t want to suppress these things, but instead wanted them to come out – no matter how painful, because atleast then we would have the answers instead of never knowing. And maybe, it was wrong.
To me it seemed that they wanted an easy answer – they saw him as a scared child, and instead of getting to the bottom of the real issue – they wanted to medicate and be done with. Josh has come so, so far in the past few years. He has done things that we never thought were actually possible. Simple things, that most would roll their eyes at. Things like potty training, and helping dress himself. Because even at almost 9 years old, he STILL struggles with simple things. But we choose to celebrate the accomplishments, and choose to see that he CAN do things.
But it still isn’t off the table yet.
Almost a year ago – Josh had a really bad…episode. He was sick, overly tired, and had enough of everything and everyone – and just let loose. It’s the only way I can explain it, and don’t want to relive the moment long enough to describe it any different. It ended with a hospital visit, and many words of advice. Medication was talked about heavily for a few weeks, and friends criticized my decision to hold off – by saying that I didn’t understand what he was going through. That anxiety and stress is hard, and I couldn’t begin to understand.
Maybe, once again. It was the wrong choice. But I wanted to believe that Josh was making progress, and I still wasn’t ready to suppress his feelings – the only thing he had. The only way he can express himself, through his actions and feelings – would be taken away, leaving me with a robot of a child that would be “Perfect” in every way. Until what?
I researched medication, I asked questions, and filed it all away. Somewhere deep – with the rest of my thoughts. Every cold, every cough, every fidget and every moment where he seems off sends my mind off the deep end with worry.
The night in the hospital, institutionalization was brought up again. And for a few weeks after, his therapist all brought it up. It was discussed, it was picked apart, and it was decided that once again – he would go home. With me.
In a few weeks he will be turning 9.
Last night, much like the night almost a year ago – Josh panicked. And never before have I felt so trapped. Unable to help him, unable to give him the help he needs. Unable to even know WHAT he needs. Unable to call on a friend. Unable to move. Eventually he fell asleep – fitful and feverish.
I held him close, his long legs spilling over the edge of the couch, he seemed more like a great dane than a child. I wished for once that I could just peek inside his mind, and gain a small bit of understanding. I wished for once that I could pick up a phone and call for help. For understanding. I couldn’t turn to the doctors – for fear of loosing him, once again. I couldn’t turn to his therapist. I cant turn anywhere – until I have all my ducks in a row. And quite frankly, my ducks are miles away, zig zagging down the river in opposite directions.
I don’t know what is right, and I don’t know that I ever will know. I don’t know what he needs, and again, I don’t know that I ever will. All I know is that life is hard. And sometimes, I just wish I had “Normal” problems to deal with. I wish I could be yelling at him for slamming doors, and not doing his homework. I wish I could be preparing him for bullies, and girls. I wish I could be talking with him about his future, and I wish for once that he could tell me off.
But I cant. And I don’t. And so I accept it for what it is. Another decision. Another day. Another piece of this puzzle. And I hold him close as long as he allows – knowing that those days could be numbered.