Yesterday was an incredibly long day in so many ways. Trevor had another meltdown when he got in from school and that led to him punching me in the jaw twice, as well as kicking me, biting me, etc...let's not forget the screaming and yelling everything from "I hate you - you're the worst mother" to numerous expletives - to say it was colorful is to put it mild.
After he had calmed down he went into the kitchen to get a drink while I tidied up - we were supposed to be having a meeting with some support folks and I didn't want the house a wreck - though anyone who has an inkling of understanding of what goes on here on a daily basis should understand when my house isn't sparkling. I hear Trevor bouncing around in the kitchen and immediately I knew he was doing the "I gotta pee"dance - so I called to him and asked him - he swore three times that he didn't have to pee. Fine! Next thing I know he's at the kitchen gate with nothing on from the waist down and said he peed his pants. To say I was irked would be correct...especially after having just asked him 3 times if he had to pee. He starts to head for the basement steps and I ask him what he's going down there for, and he screams at me that he needs clean clothes... I am trying to explain all the clean clothes are upstairs, that the only thing down there are the dirty ones to be washed....but he doesn't listen and he races down the basement steps...he returns a moment later ....and what do I see....he is naked but there is poop on his thigh...how does one get poop on their thigh? Grrr!!! So I question him, only to have him tell me he pooped in the cat liter box and on the basement floor. Now to say I was beyond livid would be putting it mildly.
Let me explain myself here - yes, the very act of defecating in the cat liter box and basement floor was enough to make me angry, but when you combine that with his prior outburst and the fact he had punched me, etc, I was already pretty damn fed up, the poop incident just pushed me over the edge. I know kids have accidents...I know that kids can be "curious" and try to do this stuff, but at just about 6 years old, I do not expect this... a two or three year old? sure! a 6 yr old? no way in hell!
Later on in the afternoon he had another meltdown when he was told he couldn't leave the house, which resulted in him punching me and kicking me once again...I realize to those outside the situation, it may seem like not a big deal, but trust me it is. We are talking a child who is almost 6, 4ft tall and 75lbs - he is *extremely* strong and trying to physically restrain him is very hard. When he starts hitting, it hurts...this isn't like a 2 yr old hitting you - this is like being hit by a brick.
After this outburst, he took off once again - running out of the house without a hat, mittens or jacket. I had no idea where he was at fist - when I finally saw him and called him, he refused to come in. Now let me explain for those who don't know or realize it, but I also have the 2 yr old, who I can't leave alone while I run around the neighborhood trying to catch Trevor.
So it was at this point, that Karl and I decided we were going to make the call to the Children's Crisis Unit to see about hospitalizing him. He is a danger to himself and us as a family. He can not grasp the concept of safety - he laughs - says he wants a car to hit him - he wants to die - he wants a stranger to take him, etc.
I made the call. To say it was hard is the understatement of the year....I did all I could to hold back the tears for as long as I could and then the sobbing started. Parenting is such a hard job, but parenting a special needs child, is extremely difficult. I can almost guarantee that most parents of the "typical" child will never have to consider admitting their child to a mental health hospital at the age of 5. My heart was broken into a million little pieces. The woman I spoke with took the information and said she'd call back after discussing it with a clinician and some others - frankly at this point I can't remember all who she said she would talk with. At that very moment, it seemed my whole world was crumbling around me. After what seemed like an eternity, she called back and said that I had two options. 1. take him in for an emergency eval right then but their concern with hospitalizing him was they had another child who is 11 and is aggressive to younger children, though they are all trained and kids are always watched or 2. I could wait till this morning and take him in for an emergency crisis evaluation. Knowing it was getting late and trying to get someone to watch Vicky, esp at dinnertime can be difficult - family can be flaky to put it nicely - I choose to wait till this morning.
I went to bed last night sobbing my eyes out...different scenarios playing in my head...like us having to admit him and him freaking out when we went to leave him....wondering would he hate us forever for making that choice? would he ever be able to comprehend some day that we did what we thought was best? Despite all we go through, all the incredible ups and downs, I love Trevor with all my heart and then some. I may not always like him, but I love him so much. The idea of leaving him someplace with strangers was gut wrenching.
This morning we went to the meeting and Trevor was charming and smart and wonderful, as he always is. Just once I'd like him to freak out in front of others like he does here at home. Anyways, she recommended that we start with 3 or 4 other services available - one will be therapy to teach him how to cope with his anger and emotions, one is to work with him and the family, another is a group for parents to learn coping mechanisms for kids that have this kind of behavior and one other, but honestly, right now it alludes me.
I was shocked at how many other services are available and why no one up to this point had ever suggested them. Why does it take a full blown crisis for people to finally get more help?
I walked out of there feeling a tad bit better that at least we were getting the ball rolling on some more services. However, that optimism quickly left as things once again spiraled downward this afternoon after we got home.
Trevor once again went into the kitchen today and proceeded to pee and poop on the kitchen floor. Why he is suddenly doing this is beyond me, but I am not impressed. I made him clean up his own mess, just as I did yesterday. He took off out of the house once again - he just doesn't get it when he's told he can not leave the house. He has a schoolmate a couple doors down and he thinks he can go over and see this boy and play with him whenever he wants. He doesn't get the idea that he's not going to be wanted over there all.the.time!!! He doesn't get the idea that he needs to be invited before he can go over. He doesn't get the idea that this boy may not want to play with him all the time and that he has other friends. I so wish I could take this damned Aspergers Syndrome away, so that he could understand these social issues. As it was this boys grandmother came to our house to find out if Trevor got in ok, and when I said no he wasn't home, she too was worried. We both headed out to the back and he wasn't out there either. Knowing I have the little one in the house, she offered to go look for him - she found him at the end of our unit hiding from me. I won't lie, it was bit embarrassing to have this child's grandmother go to find my child and bring him home to me.
He tried to leave several more times this afternoon, and when stopped, he kicked, punched, bit, yelled, screamed, slapped, cursed...you name it, he did it. My arms have numerous bites and my legs are hurting from the kicks he gave with his winter boots on.
At this point, we are thinking that perhaps we should have went through with the hospitalizing him because this increasing violence on his part and sheer lack of safety comprehension isn't getting better. We as a family can not live like this - it's not healthy for Trevor, but it's not healthy for the rest of us either. Poor lil Vicky at 2 yrs old is repeating everything he says. I can't begin to tell you how heartbreaking it is to hear your 2 yr old say she hates you, simply because she heard him say it. Trevor may be the one with Aspergers, but it affects each family member.
For a while now I've been trying to get family and friends to understand about Aspergers Syndrome and Trevor, banging my head into a wall every time another ignorant comment is made and so the other day I posted about it on an Aspie forum I go to and someone gave me this reply,
"First of all, quit trying to "prove" yourself to friends and family! They aren't in your shoes and it's not your job to explain anything to them. Your job is doing exactly what you are doing...finding the help your son needs"
I admit, I was taken back at first, thinking she must have misunderstood me - I am not trying to prove anything. But the more we talked, the more I realized what she meant and it made huge sense to me. If they can't or won't be supportive, why waste my time trying to get them to see the so-called "light"?
She went on further to say,
"don't spend all your time trying to justify your parenting and how you deal with your son."
Brilliance I say, pure brilliance!!!
So often I feel like I am left defending and justifying every parenting move, every little thing we do or Trevor does, explaining till I am blue in the face, and for what? My job is to do what I am doing - getting him the help he needs!!!
At this point, I can't honestly say we are any further ahead then we were 24 hours ago. And right now the idea of hospitalizing him still looms heavy in the air. Only time will tell.....