Thursday, November 21, 2013

Today was Like Being in a Scary Movie

I didn’t plan to write tonight, but I think I need to in order to sleep.

Today my oldest son became violent towards me. He became explosive during homework time and threw a glue stick at my head. I ran up the stairs and told the other kids to run into their room and I followed them in. We slammed the door and I held it shut with my body. Moments later, my oldest son used a large metal box (a money box) and began slamming it into the door. It felt like a scene from a scary movie, the victims barricaded inside a room with danger trying to break the door down. I was angry and scared at the same time. I didn’t want him to break through another door, we still have a hole in his bedroom door from years ago and I was scared about how far he was going to take this.

As my anxiety increased, my other kids cried in fear as the metal box bashed into the door, my youngest cried out, “I’m scared Mommy!”

I tried to calm them and make them feel like I had it all under control. It was silly, because obviously I didn’t. But I wanted to minimize the trauma they were expereincing.

I called my husband on my cell phone from the room telling him to come home immediately, but he was 40 minutes away.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

I couldn’t take the slamming anymore and decided to open the door to take the box out of his hands, telling my other kids to lock themselves in to stay safe.

As I opened the door he started swinging the box at me. He still had some control because he could have hit me in the head if he wanted and he didn’t. But he did hit my hand pretty hard as I tried to grab it. At that moment, I broke apart and started sobbing, begging him to stop. He looked at me blankly and smiled and said it was fun to him. Through tears I told him I loved him and that I knew he loved me and begged him to stop since he was hurting me. I told him that he was a good person and didn’t want to do this, he said he that he wasn’t and continued on. He said he couldn’t take the stress of school anymore.

I yelled back to my younger kids to call my husband’s best friend over. I knew that I was in over my head and I didn’t feel safe.

From there I tackled him to the ground and took the metal box away, pinning him to the floor while he scratched skin off my hands and called me a b!tch. I held him until our friend arrived, there he found me sobbing as I sat holding my son to the ground.

Thankfully, my son withdrew all aggression as soon as he arrived and remained on the floor without a sound or movement for about 15 minutes before he started to sit up. Our friend talked calmly to him until my husband arrived home.

Later tonight my son made a sign and hung it on his bedroom door that said:

“God’s mistake’s room. I need more Lithium. Not me anymore”

Unfortunately, I got the call from his psychiatrist an hour prior telling us that his Lithium levels were therapeutic.

Damn.

So where do we go from here?

* * *

Things can be really good when they’re good. But they can be really bad, when they’re bad. Today was one of those days.

Tonight I’m feeling short on hope. I feel traumatized over the intensity of his rage. I can’t help but think about what it may be like when he’s 16 years old, especially after today.

I’m sad over this entire event. I’m sad my son hurt me and didn’t stop when he saw me crying and begging him to stop. I’m sad for my younger kids who will now live with this memory and the anxiety it produced. I’m sad for my husband who wasn’t able to be there quick enough to rescue his family the way he would’ve liked to and I feel sad for my oldest son because I know he doesn’t mean to do this. I know he’s suffering inside and I don’t know how to help him.

Tonight I’m in tears feeling completely helpless.






21 comments:

  1. Mama Bear. I feel your pain. I know your fear. I am with you. I wish we had definitive answers for permanent solutions to the emotional extremes our kids experience with this disorder. Tears.

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  2. I'm so so so sorry to hear this and am praying for you and your whole family.

    Heartbreaking about the lithium. (Does your son play a lot of sports? Sweat a lot? Drink a lot of water? My sister's lithium always needs to be increased in the spring/summer since she sweats it out).

    Hopefully your boy's doctor can help find a med combo that keeps him more stable.

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  3. Somehow, someway, you are going to make it through this. Somehow there will be water in the desert from a Source beyond yourself. My heart is breaking for you, and I am praying for you.

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    1. Thank you Colleen, it's good to be reminded of the Source.

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  4. UGH. That happens at least daily in our home. I could be an Olympic wrestler at this point. Thankfully my little guy is still 6, thus Im still bigger then him. I;m so sorry this happened to you today. Call his psych and see what he thinks. My son is on lithium, but we're trying to add something else, as his anxiety is at an eztreme high (he's afraid of what he'll do) and self worth is at an all time low. Please know youre not alone. Sending you positive thoughts. xo Jennifer

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. We too will be looking at the meds. We may need to tackle the depression.

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  5. oh mama bear, just when things had been going so well... but he's been starting to slip lately hasn't he? i'm sure the doctors will fix things :]

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    1. I know Raven, it was going so well, it's wild have fast it all can change. I hope the doctor helps us make the right decisions for him.

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  6. I am so sorry that your son is having such a hard time right now. Praying for your family always.

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    1. Thank you Laura, it really helps to know that you are praying. I admit it can be hard for me to focus on prayer when I am overwhelmed by it all.

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  7. Hey Mama, It's Meg. I am so sorry to hear about this but can definitely relate. My son is 16 now and we have had a very rough year. In fact, my son is currently in the hospital. I think I would ask your son's dr about an add-on med to help when he gets really upset (like seroquel or zyprexa). I would also get into the school and make adjustments to his IEP/ school day asap to make it less stressful for him. You are right that as he gets older it will be a big deal when he acts out like this and preventative measures are key. I know school really stresses my son too.
    Take care.

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    1. Hi Meg, it's good to hear from you again! Sorry to hear about your son. I was hoping he was doing well. Our doctor wants to add an antidepressant, Wellbutrin, to address the underlining depression he seems to have. Our therapist also recommended his depression being addressed. I wish we didn't have to do it, but it may be what he needs. The other option is that the doctor wants to admit him to the hospital. Even if he isn't unstable he feels it will serve as a way to teach him a lesson for acting violent. We aren't liking that since we don't want the hospital to be used as a punishment. He seems to get depressed every year during this time. What kind of recommendations would you make for the school?

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  8. My son is now 18 (as of 10-22) and we have been through this many times. It doesn't matter if it's the 1st time or the thousandth time it's happened over the years, it never makes it any easier. It's like they have two different personalities. I have to remind myself (no matter how angry or upset it makes me) what I say or how I react during the incident will many times be remembered. I try to stay as calm, yet remain firm in my demands. Smaller worded sentences usually impact more than long drug out explanations when they are not in the right state of mind. (I will say his name and then no or that's enough.) Sometimes distractions are best if you can catch him in the slightly aggitated state. Now that he is 18. I worry that the police will get involved. I try everything to avoid that. In our city we have a crisis number to call for mental health. They have workers or counselors that can come out to the house to help de-escalate a situation. Just having another understanding person in the room can help that. Thankfully, over the years I have seen a lot more maturity and restraint. I know when he is upset and is working desperately to restrain it. Another thing that works great for us is when I get him to agree to get in the car with me. There are no outside distractions and he can yell and vent. We drive until all of his frustrations are out. When he's calm enough to comprehend again, we come up with ideas on how he can best deal with his frustrations. We have had broken doors and holes in the walls and even a broken window I've had to repair over the years. It's frustrating. Just remember, doors, walls and windows can be fixed. As long as everyone is safe, the next steps are to have him talk and continusly come up with his own coping skills. It's a rough road and I pray that everyone will eventually learn how to deal with their frustrations. First thing to do is model ourselves as role models through the tough times and then show them examples of people around them and how they deal with situations. When they really understand how there are so many people around them that deal with anger, they feel less alone. Sometimes my son feels like he's the only one that "was handed the bad life gene". Maybe one day (with the help of the correct medicine and therapy) they can learn to connect all the dots that lead to a better life. Keep your chin up. You are doing a great job! God only gives the hardest struggles to his strongest soldiers. Stay strong and contiue to do your best....Big hugs!...None of you are alone in this!

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    1. Thanks, I appreciate your feedback. Our therapist mentioned that our son may be addicted to acting this way, that his brain has learned to feel better by escalating in this way. Have you heard of this? She compared it to a drug addict not feeling feel and looking for the drug, for our son, the illness makes him feel bad and the actions he takes makes him feel better in the moment, even if it comes with consequences.

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  9. I can see that. It becomes like a behavioral habit. Of course, it's not that simple. You also have to weigh in medication, environmental factors, and outside influences throughout the day. If he can learn (over a period of time) new coping techniques, he may be able to overcome this. Kids are so different. It may take time, but somehow figuring how to break that pattern of escalation may be the key. Hang in there...Again, you are doing an amazing job. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise!

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  10. I just ran across your blog. I am in the same place with an out of control 14 year old. I have reached out everywhere I can imagine and can't seem to get any help. My son skips school every week at least 1-2 days, he rages, throws things, hits people, threatens to kill people and burn the house down.... He scares us.... and I feel like we have no way out. My life is HELL

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    1. Has he been evaluated by a psychiatrist?

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  11. I just came across your blog and I understand all too well. My son is 14 and we all walk on egg shells so that he won't "go off" . When he does he screams at us and the animals, throws stuff, threatens to murder people, wishes we would die, threatens to burn the house down, threatens to snap our pets necks, makes holes in the walls, trashes the house, rips doors off hinges and more. I live in fear and life is HELL right now. I have called soooo many places looking for help and haven't been able to find any relief!!!

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    1. So sorry Jennifer that you can't find help for this. If I find anything that works for us I’ll share it on the blog…
      (((hugs to you)))

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