Sunday, January 16, 2011

I never knew

how challenging it would be to be a parent.

I never guessed there would be this much heartache involved. This much soul wrenching pain. Really, I never guessed.

My older kid has been going through some stuff these past few days, and I...well, I don't know what to do anymore.

He's severely ADHD, with a side order of sensory processing disorder. To most people ADHD means that the kid is a hyper pain in the ass. But that is SO not all of it. Yes, my kid is hyper, but what lots of people don't understand is that there are sooo many other things involved. Impulsivity to the point of truly not being able to control yourself at times, poor planning, lack of inhibition, lack of forethought...and my beautiful child exhibits most of these things on a daily basis. And it hurts him. And I hurt for him.

We're also learning (again) that his sensory processing disorder really does have an impact on his behavior and ability to be in control of himself. At the suggestion of our new therapist, I made an appointment to have him re-evaluated by an Occupational Therapist. And the things I thought had gone have simply morphed. Loud noises still bother him, he still seeks sensory input in ways that most kids don't, and some other stuff that I can't think of right now. But all of these things, on top of the ADHD, are really impacting him - academically and right now, maybe more importantly, socially.

This is not a kid who seeks solitary activities. Oh no - this is a child who want, no NEEDS social interaction with other kids. But what he's finding out is that because of things he's done recently and in the past around the neighborhood, kids either aren't comfortable with him being in their house or playing with them, OR they simply won't play with him anymore.

He's 9, but he's making the mistakes a 6 or 7 year old would make. And it's not because he's a horrible, malicious child. When he's "on", this child is a ray of sunshine. He's helpful, wants to please everyone, playful, etc. But most people can't see past the things he is having trouble controlling...taking things that aren't his, playing a little too roughly, lying, etc. Hubs and I are at a total loss as to why he continues to do this. Intellectually he KNOWS these things are not ok, but I honestly think he simply can't stop himself from doing them. And it really fucking sucks.

Last night I had a dream about leaving...just leaving and starting fresh somewhere new. Today, I guess hubs was in a pissy mood because I'd been working all day, so he'd been taking care of the kids, they weren't listening and he yelled at the kids. They both cried and ran upstairs. Little one comes down and tells me big one just wrote a note saying he was going to run away. My sweet baby was feeling so low about himself and his situation that he wanted to RUN AWAY. I know that's probably normal kids behavior at some point. Hell, I remember doing it...but as a parent, it's frightening. So I gathered him up in my arms and told him that my heart would break into a million tiny pieces if he ever ran away, but I also told him that I totally understood his want to remove himself from this difficult situation he's gotten himself into.

I can't tell you the number of times I've told him to stop lying, taking stuff, etc, punished him, given him consequences, etc...he knows all this, yet keeps doing it. A book I'm reading says to let him suffer the consequences of his own mistakes, especially when he's young. The cost will be lower now that it would be learning these lessons at 25. But what if he doesn't learn these lessons? What's his life going to be like? Yes, I borrowing trouble by trying to look ahead. And honestly, I usually don't because my outlook on what his life will be like seems to change minute by minute. But tonight, my kid said he wanted to run away.

I'm feeling pretty sad tonight. Troubled.

But tomorrow I'm going to show my kid that staying positive is possible, even when things get rough. That people WILL forgive him his trespasses if he tries to show them that he's sorry. I am going to try very hard to change my parenting and see if I can help him become as good on the outside as he is on the inside by modeling the behaviors better that I want him to mimic. And mostly, to help him figure out that he is a good and worthy person, no matter what he's done in the past.