I titled the first post "Jump Start" for several reasons the first of which is to get it all out once and for all. Secondly, to answer some questions friends and family had resulting from my requests for prayer on Facebook. Also, to hopefully bring conversation to the topic of childhood bullies and the potential trauma that it causes.
I would like to engage the community, especially those who work in public schools; to participate in conversation that generate ideas of how to effectively move us forward to a resolution.
Jacob has been home since the events of October 5, 2010. His father and I are scared to death to put him back in the school district where all of this took place. The mentality of the district (supposedly the best in town) is not helpful or productive in the resolution I mentioned above. We tried an online public school format, however Jacob's admission request was denied due to his expulsion. That led us to try the homeschooling format. We have enrolled him and paid the first installment but now feel that staying home alone to try and do his studies is beyond his abilities and once again will be looking for other alternatives. Suggestions are most welcome and appreciated.
Over the summer, Jacob had developed a desire to stay in the house at all times. He no longer enjoyed trips out whether it be to the store or a drive. Nothing seemed to lure him to social activities anymore. Once school started however, he soon realized he liked the new school we had placed him in. His father insisted that we sign him up for football despite his adamant objections. Sure enough, he loved football and the positive attention it brought him. Jacob noticed how the exercise of football helped him shed some of those pounds that caused a lot of his torment from other children. That awareness of his body helped reinforce better eating habits and he began working out after practice pretty regularly. He developed friendships with boys his age that he really liked not to mention one girl who thought he was "dreamy". Those appeared on the surface to be what I refer to as the "Good Ole Days".
Unfortunately, since he has been home from the hospital...that old mentality has reared it's ugly head once again. He no longer wants to leave the house. The medicine causes his appetite to go through the roof. The meds are also making him sleep almost all day and stay awake through the night. This then causes him to eat, or sneak eat I should say at night when Chris and I are sleeping. I do not allow him to snack eat when I am awake despite his most outrageous pleas that he is REALLY hungry. I have tried to explain that it is just the medicine and to trick his brain by drinking a glass of water or eating an apple. You can imagine how well that has gone over.
There are times when I do not recognize my son. I am not completely aware of what is happening in his brain, but there are times when I don't see him even looking directly at him. This has been a devastating feeling as a mom. I worry that we do not have him in the right "program" or the right doctor. I worry that this event in his life has forever destroyed the possibility for him to have a productive and rewarding life as an adult.
He has taken extra pills in his sleep (those meds are no longer accessible to him by-the-way) which has caused me to fear finding him dead on the couch one day. When he has panic attacks, he often grabs his chest and falls to the ground (sometimes this is for dramatic effect, but I can tell when it's real). I worry that because of his weight and stress added to that, that he may develop heart issues. I often check his blood pressure since he has already had problems with that just to make sure that he is really ok.
I know I am jumping ahead and all over for that matter and I apologize for that. I try to write so my words and thoughts will flow, but keep in mind... I am processing.
I mentioned panic attacks earlier. One thing that started in an extreme way after his release from the hospital was panic attacks. Looking back, I realize that he has had them for a while but since he has been home from the hospital they have become more scary.
One in particular happened at 11pm on a Sunday night. My immediate thoughts were that this could not be happening. I mean couldn't he do this in the afternoon when I don't have to be in bed sleeping because I have to go to work the next morning? Hello? I mean really. I know that was selfish, but as an adult with responsibilities that it where I went first. I have to take care of him and after all, this can effect my job.
Thank God, I work at the best place in the world. A place where family comes first and I knew that in my heart, I just had to get the connection to my head. Once I did, I was able to focus on Jacob. I looked at him and acknowledged his fear, I explained that it was not possible for those thoughts to happen in reality and it was just his brain playing tricks on him. The sobs and panicked breathing kept coming and then I made the biggest mistake of the night. I being very scared and worried about possibly of having to load him up for a trip to the ER (both the reality of it and the financial impact, stupid me) voiced that and said "Do I need to take you to the hospital?" It was like I just released a bomb right there in his room full of human, boy-eating spiders. He was now even more uncontrollable. I said "hospital" he registered that as the place where he was just been discharged from which is really a detention center and not a hospital. ***May I just spew?***A hospital is where you go if you are sick and they help you get better, where he went made him worse. I don't consider that a hospital. **Ok spew moment over.**
When I think about it, it's like he goes through foggy patches as if driving across country. You are bound to hit bad weather along the way at some point. In his case some of those patches are longer and more severe than others.
Anyway I learned a lot that night about my communication with him. I learned that he is going to have times like these that I can not control (little miss control freak) and I am going to have to drop what it is that I have to do to help him. That is ultimately my job as a parent. No matter what, I love my son unconditionally and I will do what ever it takes, in spite of the circumstances; to provide the best for him.