Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another Night Ending in Tears...

It was a rough night tonight.

Tonight my oldest was triggered by stress from an earlier play date and his youngest brother having multiple meltdowns (his worst ever).

It all started when my oldest son bit his brother, from there things escalated to the point where I had to lock him outside of our home. But once he was outside he picked up our heavy patio furniture and began slamming it into the sliding glass door over and over. With each slam, I grew more terrified it was going to smash through and injury him, yet I knew he wasn’t safe to let inside. As I tried to warn him about the glass, he flipped me off with his middle finger, before once again slamming the glass. As the situation continued, he moved around the house, pounding doors and ringing our door bell non-stop. I found my youngest son hiding in the closet sobbing and terrified of his brother, who at the time, wasn’t acting like his brother.

I felt my body triggered back to a state that’s all too familiar. My heart was pounding and I was scared, scared of my own son. Once he was back inside, I could tell he still wasn’t himself. He was pacing, looking for something to destroy. At one point he was carrying the Playstation over his head, taunting me with threats to destroy it. When I asked him what he was doing, he would say in a sarcastic tone, “I don’t know.” He seemed to be enjoying the power he had over me, he could tell I was afraid.

And I was. I was scared because I didn’t know what he was going to do next. I felt responsible for keeping everyone safe, yet I didn’t know how to stop this spell over him.

I felt helpless.

After pulling a guitar sting off of a broken guitar, he walked around whipping it until I grabbed him and brought him to the ground. From there I held him in place. Thankfully not much longer my husband called and was able to coach him to the shower. He gave him the choice. “Get in the shower to calm down, or we’re going to call the police and have you brought to the hospital.”

He got in the shower.

From there I was able to give him his melatonin which slowly wound him down. He even wrote a note to his brother apologizing and expressing his love—all on his own. Thirty minutes later, I was tucking him into bed with his prayers like every other night.

Then I cried my eyes out.

Lord help me get through the summer...



23 comments:

  1. Sounds like a rotten night, Mama Bear. :( Glad everyone is okay and hopefully today will be a little bit better. I know it's a struggle but you are not alone. As someone in a similar "boat" I really appreciate your blog.

    Thanks!

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    1. Thank you, your words encourage me.

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  2. Sounds like an awful night, Mama Bear. Glad everyone is safe and hopefully today will be better. You are not alone ... thanks for the blog & the post.

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    1. Thank you, it's feels good to not be alone right now.

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  3. Huge hugs from me, Mama Bear
    I discovered your blog 2 nights ago after a horrific day when my 9 year old son with a mood disorder tried to hit me with a large plank of wood, with nails sticking out of it. My 11 year old son ran to his bedroom and locked the door, and I locked myself into the bathroom and called the police. Although my son has been to the E.R. twice in the past, this was the first time police were involved. Two really nice cops showed up and stayed calm and upbeat as my son threw heavy toys at them and attempted to kick and hit them. In the ambulance, he had to be strapped down and he tried to bit anyone who came too close. By the time we got to the hospital, he had calmed down, was as sweet and cute as can be, and held my hand against his cheek. He told me how much he loves me. Of course the hospital discharged him, as none of his earlier symptoms were present.
    My son has been like this since he was a toddler, but now he is older and much stronger and has picked up some foul language.
    Most of the time he is so sweet and so cute, he snuggles with me, plays little league, laughs out loud at his favorite cartoons, loves arcades, jumps with his friends on the trampoline, and has great manners in any store or restaurant.
    But. When he is being his "other self" he acts like an animal. He says to me often, Why did god make me this way? During and after very bad episodes he says that he wishes he would die. He's 9 years old. It breaks my heart.
    He has been on so many different medications, and different behavior plans, and different schools that I completely lost track of what meds he has been on/doctors he has seen/therapies he has had. I guess I probably should have kept a log to track it all, but by the time he goes to sleep at night all I want to do is crawl into bed.
    There are triggers to his behaviors but unfortunately they cannot be avoided: school, homework, turning off the TV, coming inside, being told he can't have something, having to rush to make an appointment...
    I keep hoping that he will grow out of this. We had a great stretch of around 2 months that he didn't physical attack me at all and I thought to myself that the worst is over with. I am scared that when he will be older and bigger (he is already close to 100 pounds) he will be able to do some serious damage to me, my husband and my son, and he will not be able to live with us.
    I wish there was a cure for this. I wish I could have an end date for this.

    Your blog has brought me comfort and a sense of sisterhood.
    Thank you for being so honest and sharing your life.

    Shamama

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    1. Shamama,
      You'll find a lot of support here. For my son (who's 12) ages 9 and 10 were the worst. (so far...) And we had a time when we called the police, and he had to go by ambulance to the ER. But due to a bad call early on (the firemen didn't take what was going on seriously enough and called off the 1st ambulance that was dispatched.) But the police officer insisted that he go to the ER by ambulance for an eval and wouldn't let us take him. By the time the ambulance actually came, my son was calm and telling the firemen silly stories. The paramedic in the ambulance chewed me out for "wasting resources" by calling 911. (even though the call to use the ambulance wasn't mine, I was devastated by this.)
      I'm glad that you had some understanding police officers--so many aren't trained in how to handle this.

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    2. Thank you so much Shamama for your comment, I cried through your words. It sounds like you are going through some very challenging stuff, I’m glad you found us here, we can all relate to your story.

      I have seen the same reaction in my son through the years, the violence followed by the sweet boy who later feels unworthy to live. It is heartbreaking to experience. We too find that triggers are impossible to avoid. And I couldn't agree with you more about being afraid for when your child gets older. We are starting to experience this as he is now 12 and as tall as me, it's much different from the days when he was a 7 year old kid raging. I am so glad you shared with us, and I hope to hear from you again in the future as we go through this journey together.

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  4. I am so sorry. My 16 yo dd is having bad episodes, too. They are also triggered by exposure to other kids/situations.

    Summer is hell.

    I hope things improve for you. I was just on the phone with our psychiatrist. Hoping for improvement...for us all.

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  5. Hugs to you and family. So scary when this happens, my daughters rages have left me scared. We did call the police once, it seemed to impact her enough where the rages have never escalated to that point again. Now when she starts to escalate to the point of no return, we only have to say, 'If you are threatening us and you cant find a place to calm down, we will call the police." It has helped. Just know that you are not alone.

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    1. Thank you Kristen, I hope that if we call the police it has this kind of positive reaction, that would be great!

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  6. So sorry Mama - I hate that scared feeling as well. I have started taking my younger son into my bathroom with me and locking the door when we feel unsafe because of my 11 year old with mood disorder. I also called a police officer that we know to stop by the house when I could tell we were headed for a bad situation, he was off duty at the time so it wasn't too dramatic but it still felt really awful to do it. It really, really stinks. I don't have any great words of wisdom for you except stay strong in the Lord and you are not alone. {hugs}

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    1. Thank you, I needed these words today.

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  7. Did anything happen the previous night that might of triggered this drastic episode? I know when my niece has witnessed her parents arguing or something has rocked her foundation she feels unsafe and lashes out at the person most likely to forgive her .... me. Has he been staying hydrated because an electrolyte imbalance due to summer heat and dehydration can cause an episode. My brother who is bipolar has had to be institutionalized because of similar reasons. And never be afraid to call the police EVER! He needs to know what he did is totally not okay even if he is mentally ill. (I say this out of love not anger.) Also he is 12 now and should be gaining some control but at the same time he is also going through hormone changes. So when I look at your son's behavior I see a young man going through puberty who also has a mental illness in the mix of all the chaos. My cousin who is not mentally ill once threw a circular saw blade at my friend as if it were a frisbee because she was on his trampoline. Hormones are definitely in the mix here. I would have crumpled and cried in front of him to let him see the pain and distress he was causing me. Then when he calmed down in the shower I would have cried in private too. I think you did the best you could but maybe if you cried in front of him he could relate to your pain and that may resonate within him. But I am just a big crier. I am so sorry you had such an awful day and I wish your family all the best as always. Have you considered writing your son a letter similar to this blog entry since he understands the importance of getting things out on paper? Or even letting him read this entry with the feedback of others' comments? He needs so desperately to see how wrong his behaviour was and that it is unacceptable. I know, easier said than done.

    But as others have said you are not alone and your son's melt down is something many others have seen and can relate to so i am happy you got it out in the open. I hope you get some good rest as well as your husband and kiddos. Stay strong Mama Bear and don't be afraid to show him just how strong you can be.

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    1. We think it was the events of the day that lead to it, the play date that didn't go well, the younger brother at his worst, the fact that Dad was out of town, all these things were stressors. I will keep an eye on the hydration, that is a good idea! You might be right that the hormones are starting to affect things, I know we are on the edges of puberty, we may have to call the police. We also want to try bringing other adults to the house, just the change in the situation can cause my son to change his reactions. As always, thanks for your support In the Pink.

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  8. ((Hugs)) Mama Bear!
    You do know what to do, even it doesn't seem like it at the time. Your instincts are good, you know all your children well. You know when to call in backup. And it is all heartbreaking.

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    1. Thanks for the reminder, I appreciate your support Heather.

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  9. You have my good thoughts and prayers for you and your family. I understand the fear and the confusion, at least from my own experiences. All of us have a unique set of battles, yet they are also similar enough that I can empathize and feel a small measure of your pain from far away.

    Things will get better. At least, I have to believe they will.

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    1. Thank you Halbert for the encouragement! I needed these words today.

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  10. Mama Bear - I too am so sorry this happened to you and your family. Summer is hell for our kids with mood disorders. Just last week my son had a rage over his phone being taken away. As I described in my message to you last night we left him at home (almost 13) and drove up the street to separate ourselves from him. We notice hunger is a huge trigger and once we get some protein into him he seems to stabilize. He eats a Weight Watchers meal as soon as he gets home from school (not great... But high in protein and a quick fix)... He is picky and moody about what he eats. Hang in there and thanks for the direction on posting. I read your blog all the time and appreciate all you do for this community.
    Hugs!!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, I do think protein may be an issue too, I am having trouble with getting him to eat it, where we were able to get him to eat eggs everyday in the morning before school, he will no longer do this, but isn't wanting other protein. Trying to push the peanut butter...

      Thanks for reading and sharing with us!

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  11. This is so hard when these rages/flip outs happen. I wish I could say it is going to get better but with the hormones starting I think you are just beginning. The early teen years are rough. Good for you, though, for saying calm down or to the hospital it is. That is what we do as well. Reality is that one can only act so crazy and destructive before they have to go elsewhere.
    Hang in there, Meg

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    1. Ahhh, the hormones, yikes, I guess we are approaching this time. Thanks for your support Meg, it's always good to hear from you, I miss reading your blog. I hope you and your family are doing well.

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