On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

AB needs answers. I have none.

On Sunday night AB had his bible open on his desk.  AB's not much of a reader.  Classic asperger's, he's not much for reading fiction and nonfiction texts generally have to be filled with lots of pictures and be specific to one topic which he will devour until he can regurgitate the data.  Then he'll move on to the next topic.  Currently, he's interested in ghost stuff.

So when we saw his bible open on his desk, it caught our attention. I asked The Dad about it and he paused a moment, gathering his thoughts so he wouldn't get angry or teary-eyed.

"He told me he's reading it because he knows there will be something in there that will help him not be afraid of Sissy."

My turn to pause and gather my thoughts.

The Dad helped AB thumb through it, picking out some key scriptures that he thought would bring some comfort and we called it a day.

Yesterday AB got sent home thirty minutes after school started. He'd caught the stomach bug. He laid in his bed all day and I presumed he was sleeping because he said nothing, did nothing, didn't make any requests, didn't cry or moan, just stayed in bed. I figured if he was awake he was enjoying the quiet in the house, a rare chance to be home and not be listening to Sissy's caterwauling. (Really, she can be like a Banshee some times and AB is very sensitive to loud sounds).

When it was time to pick the girls up from school I called him to me and he told me he'd actually been awake for awhile. As we got in the van, he began talking and stimming and rocking and pacing and snapping and swinging his arms. All that stimming is his way of letting me know that he is agitated. He never actually says, "I'm mad as hell." or "I'm pissed off." or "I'm so mad I could punch something!" He just stims.

"Mom?" He started. "mom."

"yes?"

"how about if I just start saving. for an RV. i can do that, right?"

"yes."

"cause how much is it, if I buy an old one? i can fix it."

"Depends on how old and how much fixing you want to do."

"well, that's what I want to do."

"ok."

"can you live in an RV?"

"you could. It wouldn't be very comfortable living, but yes, lots of people do that."

"good."

By then we were at the school. I parked and we got out of the van in silence.

"son? what made you think of this?"

"i'm going to live in it. I'm going to park it somewhere and there's going to be a building. No. TWO buildings. one for the teenagers and one for the little kids."

"ok."

"and the bad kids are going to be there. I'm going to take care of all the bad kids. I'm going to feed them cereal and bread and water. and that's it."

"I see."

"And mom? I'm only going to make the moms and dads pay $5 or $10. that's it. Because moms and dads can't afford to pay a lot."

We were at the covered walkway at this point and I was holding in the tears and clenching my teeth. I tried smiling at him but it wasn't a very good attempt. When I could put myself together, I said, "That's a pretty specific plan. Did you think of this just now or have you been thinking about it for awhile."

"Awhile. today. When you thought I was sleeping."

*more trying to choke back tears* We walked to the cafeteria where I pick up the kids every day, a plan the school helped me create to minimize Sissy's crap and AB's stress level (car rider lanes are not good places for autistic kids). I sat down at on of the tables and AB continued his stimming and swing/snapping of his arms. He had stopped talking.

"Well son," I said after a minute. "what are you going to do with these bad kids?"

"I'm going to make them better."

"Oh. Everything you've said so far sounds like a good plan but you haven't told me your plan for how to make these bad kids get better."

"I don't know that yet."

"ah. yes. you and most of the mental health community."

"huh?"

"nevermind. Let's think of some ideas."

"nah. they won't get better."

"you could try."

"why isn't the bell ringing? it's 3:30."

"It'll ring. What if, while you fed the bad kids bread and water you sat in a giant king's throne and ate steak?" He smiled.

"that would be mean."

"probably. But you said they're 'bad kids'. do you think watching you eat steak will make them be good?"

"nah. It won't work. they'll always be bad no matter what."

"you could make them write in journals all day?" He laughed a little.

"why would they do that?"

"To say how they're feeling."

"They can say 'sorry.'"

"yeah. that would be a good start."

"she'll never say sorry, mom. she doesn't care."

"I know, son. she doesn't care, you're right."

"I hate it."

"me too."

"when is that bell gonna ring!!! It's late. It's 3:31."

"yep. it's late. do you want a hug?"

"no. how do they ring the bell anyway? they need to ring the bell. it's time. they don't know how to ring the bell. they're stupid heads. It's easy. i can ring the bell. They don't know anything."

"i think it's just a little button they push."

"oh. they need to push it."

I was getting dizzy watching him pace and rock and swing his arms and bump the table with his belly. The bell finally rang and as usual, Sissy took her sweet time getting to us even though her classroom is directly across the hall. AB hates waiting for her. He comes from the lower building, always has his bag packed and arrives long before Sissy who invariably has to be sent back to her room to get her work. That makes AB mad too. Yesterday was no different with Sissy's crap. But AB wasn't waiting. He was already down the hall and waiting at the exit for us by the time Sissy pulled her shit books together.

This morning he was a weepy, miserable mess. He refused to tell me what was bothering him so I just helped him pick out his clothes, hugged him and put on his AFO's for him. What else can I do? What more can I say? I'm just as angry as he is and I don't have answers either.

6 comments:

kisekileia said...

This might be useful information for the people who are deciding whether/when to put Sissy in RTC. They really should have some consideration for the safety of the other kids in the home.

Acceptance with Joy said...

The poor little guy. I am sorry for him, for you for the dad and for the other little one. I pray that God will give you all strength and peace.

This is so sad.

Prayers.

GB's Mom said...

{{{Hugs}}}

FosterAbba said...

Actually, I lived in an RV for almost four years, and it is quite comfortable. I expect I'll do it again, someday.

So, be sure to tell your son that he can buy an RV and live in it and he'll enjoy it very much.

I hope you make a point of sharing just how much of a negative influence Sissy is having on your other children with the professionals involved in your case. Maybe they won't listen when you complain about how tired you are getting of Sissy's antics, but maybe they will listen when they start to realize that Sissy is hurting your other children.

cinch said...

I think he has a good "idea". He just needs to add broccoli to his meals. That way everyone can have a veggie too and we all know kids LOVE broccoli...lol Other than that just love him all you can

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

This just breaks my heart for both you and AB. I wish somehow things could be different for y'all. We're praying for you! (((hugs)))