I’m stubborn. I know I am. But I am also open to advice…that is how I grow and learn. What I am not open to however, is someone attacking me because the path I chose to take is different than theirs. My mom called me last night to chastise me about my parental abilities. I didn’t want to be rude so I became my 16 year old self again and hung up the phone. Yes…hanging up the phone on someone is incredibly disrespectful but it was either that or start cursing like a sailor. Before I move on…let’s rewind.
My oldest is/was having some difficulties in school. The issues at home calmed down as a result of the school situation. I’ve been busting my ass for months to make sure he’s well and safe so I will send a big fuck you into the universe to any who dares critique the measures I set in place for him to succeed. My son is one of the most loving children you will ever meet. On the flip side..he will drive you crazy. He’s defiant and he will take advantage of anyone without a backbone. Consistency is key with every child but with him it is extremely important to set realistic boundaries/expectations and provide a consequence each time for breaking the rule. There is no bending, no pitying, no letting him getting away with it “this one time.” He will try his hardest to break you but of course after you’re done licking your wounds…he apologizes and kisses you a million times. After I gave birth to my daughter things became a wee bit creepy. My son essentially had a mental breakdown. He has always despised change but some times I can prepare him for things to come. I thought I did a pretty good job of preparing him for another little human around the house but I guess not. He went to New York last summer while I made my final preparations for the baby. He came back a week after I gave birth and I thought he would be excited to see his sister but the weeks that followed was hell. He barely slept…like barely. He woke up as many times as the baby if not more so he was unable to function in school. He started saying he hates us and wants a new family, he wants to rip the baby’s head off, he wants to die…just some pretty serious stuff for a child to say. The school sent him to the psych ward because he said he tried to cut himself with a knife and I ended up in the emergency room for high blood pressure. He was there for 72 hours and I wept like a baby. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, oppositional defiance disorder and ADHD by the psychiatrist. She gave me some meds and sent me on my merry way. I fought myself about medicating him. Cried for days while I looked at the drugs. But my son was still “sick” so one day I gave it to him. He slept. Things still took a few weeks to calm down. He was still throwing chairs, getting suspended every other week, being removed from classes and so forth. I still had to fight the school district. You really are your child’s biggest advocate. There was so much I did not know…so much that the administration did not tell me. IEPs are not cheap and if you don’t back them in a corner…they won’t do it. But my child was falling behind so something had to be done. I requested the IEP meeting and it took 60 days for them to come up with a plan. I sat in the room with a group of people that decided the fate of my little boy. The school psychologist gave the diagnosis of autism. She explained that autism doesn’t really have a look because every child responds differently. She said his IQ is at 129 and she feels he would’ve tested higher but he didn’t want to sit through the test. So he’s gifted. He got pulled out of his class and got a one to one teacher. So it’s just him and his teacher. When he goes to a class that has more children he gets an aide. He doesn’t have to eat in the lunchroom because it’s too loud and that’s one of his triggers…noises. I’m still learning. So with that being said, fuck you to ANYONE who dares judge a parent for attempting to do what’s best for their children.
Fast forward…my mom called to say that her clients are having side effects from the drugs that they received for ADHD and so forth and I need to stop administering him the meds ASAP. She doesn’t like my response and proceeds to call me a lazy parent for choosing the easy way out…the easy way out is apparently medication. I was under the impression that the easy way out is giving up. Here I am fighting and attempting to find new ways to help him and someone that is 3000 miles away that never once had to deal with anything is calling me lazy. I’m the one that has to figure out what to do when he runs off in the grocery store because I told him he can have one item and not two. I have to constantly watch for triggers and stay five steps ahead of him. I have to give him as much love and attention as before. I have to stay on top of him without being over bearing because he’s 6 and he needs the space to grow. Finding a balance is hard and it demands so much from me. Even if I wanted to be lazy I think I deserve it. I’m a parent. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I cry. I worry. I love hard. I fight. I fail. I keep going. Mocking someone else’s choice because it defers from what you believe you would do if you were in the situation does not make you a better person. I do not intend on giving him the meds for all eternity. My intent is to get him stabilized and continue therapy so that he can learn how to function. I hung up because I am tired of fighting. I’ve been fighting everything and everyone for months now. Sometimes you have to mentally and physically disconnect…in that sense, I took the easy way out.