Then around the age of 7, we started to see our son in such an unfamiliar light. His smile disappeared, his personality twisted into one that was very mean, hurtful, destructive and violent. This was our Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde would become enraged with the word “no”, he couldn’t handle any opposition or change of plans. A simple “No you can’t have a granola bar, you just had a snack” has led to violent attacks on me and his brother, to the point where he was choking his own brother. This situation is in no way like the in-fighting between brothers, it was clearly a moment of our son losing all control, becoming like a wild animal and attacking anything close by. During these rages, our son screams out words of hate and tells us that he “wished we were dead” and that “I’m going to kill you”. Even typing these words seems so disturbing, but once you’ve lived it, you quickly realize that it comes with the territory.
Along with the rage, comes the depression. Our son would become upset with everything, nothing made him happy. It’s common during these times to hear things like “this is the worst day ever”, “I have no friends” or “I should just cut my head off”. Following an explosive rage, he’s often filled with regret and remorse, which he took out on himself. I clearly remember a moment after a rage, when he sat calmly, looking out the window and telling me that he wished he was dead and that he was God’s mistake. It was one of those defining moments we had early on, when I knew that something was wrong with my son and that we needed professional help.
Now this type of behavior would come and go, we never knew which boy we would have and how long he would stay, his behavior would cycle without any kind of reason. I remember one day not long ago, my son saved up all his good behavior tickets in school and instead of spending it on himself, he spent the entire amount on his brother, bringing home a toy for him. It was so sweet and kind, but his behavior changed quickly when during homework he became overwhelmed and destroyed the very toy.
Living with Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde is so hard. When my son is sweet and kind, you start to think, maybe this phase is over, maybe the meds have completely healed him, then you see the scary side return and feel crushed knowing that your son is truly ill and his life will be filled with ups and downs.