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Friday, August 31, 2012


So here I am sitting. Thinking. Worrying. Probably obsessing. My heart is just sick.

Sick that Sean is in the Child/Adolescent Psych Ward. Sick that he is there for the second time. Yeah, I know there are kids that a far worse off than Sean. Kids whose parents/caregivers are doing their best to understand and help their kid and sometimes that isn't enough, it seems. Flip side is that some parents/caregivers maybe could give a flying flip what got their child to that point and how to move on with better understanding and tools/techniques.

Sick that I think we are at a point where most all of us understand what is going on and what to do. Even understand that if we do not continue to stay on top of it all that it could get very ugly. Of course, no guarantees that even if the medicine is right and that we do the right things that another explosion could happen. Probably will. Nature of the beast of bipolar, or so I think I understand.

Sick that this is tearing everyone in this house up in a different manner. I know that I am a hairs breadth from crying at any given moment. But I am also determined to focus on solutions and the future. Looking back, not good. The past is the past. Learn from it. Move on. I see Hubs torn and trying to be strong and not show that he is.

At our visit with Sean today we realized, again, that we must be unified. A solid team of adults on the same page. That agree to disagree policy Nana has is no longer good enough. Maybe it's fine if she disagrees BUT she must not let Sean know she feels that way. Sean must see that we are one team and not divided. A talk with Nana is coming. Hubs was going to talk to Pop tonight about this. Then Pop or both of them would talk to Nana about it. How vitally important it is she gets it. That this is not about blame. Not about who said or did what and when. Not how I probably made him this way some how. Not about getting defensive because she thinks we think she's at fault. We all have a bit of the blame of not doing the right things or saying the right things and mishandling situations. I don't know of any parent or grandparent or caregiver that has always done the perfectly perfect thing.

Tomorrow we all go to visit Sean. Before the visit comes a family pow wow of sorts. With a counselor or some other qualified professional to sit with and talk about how serious this is with Sean. How serious it is that he seems to only be explosive with females. That he's less likely to take on males. But when mostly females in charge are around he will and does act up and test the limits. That it's probably not if he attacks me again but when. And it might not even be me. It could be any female. That we need a game plan for if/when it happens. One that he knows is deadly serious. Like, if he attacks again we call the police. Even if it's just a minor barely feel it punch. So he knows we can and will call.

I am obsessively thinking and worrying over this. I know this eats at Nana. Know it. I know she knows there is a problem. In the past she has thought it was just me/bad parenting. I think she is coming down off that stance. I think that living here in their has shown them what we were talking about all those years ago. Actually, maybe it wasn't so many years ago. Three years since his last hospital visit. We were getting treatment and help before that.

Anyway, we've, me and Hubs, have always been proactive in getting treatment and such. It's tough way to live. Some days it's really like waiting for that other shoe to fall. Now it's less about that and more about recognizing severe signs of trouble when we see them. So maybe we can avoid another hospital trip. Or worse.

Todays visit was tough. So tough in fact that we decided not to go tonight. I called Sean to talk to him and he immediately asked if I was on the way. I said no. He wanted to know if I was coming and when. Again, no. Immediate tears and whining from his end. Hello possible manipulation. Yeah, he could be upset that I wasn't coming but usually when he cries it's him trying to get you to do what he wants. Then is was all about how unfair our earlier visit was and focusing on stuff we had already along with staff told him was not acceptable. He was whining and crying then, too. I signaled Hubs it was time to go. A nurse had politely told us that it was perfectly acceptable to leave when he acts like this and send the sign that sort of behavior is wrong and will not get you what you want.

Alternatively, he seems to think this visit is a vacation. Keeps asking us to bring him things. Things that he does not have at home. Like he really wants the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. First time he mentioned it I said we'd see. After talking it over with Hubs we agreed that we were not against buying him books but we were not going to reward the behavior that led to the hospital. I feel strongly that is a good stance. I've only taken clothes, hygiene products, his Boys Life Magazine, and a thinking of you type card. He also has a book he took with him when we went to the hospital for evaluation/assessment.

I hate this bipolar thing. Really hate it. Hate ODD, too. Don't really understand either of them. Hate that it seems to be winning and dividing this family. Hate that it's not an understood/accepted thing. Hate that I feel isolate sometimes. Like a pariah. Like, Oh that's so and so's Mom and he's bad news. WTF?! If he had any other sicknesses or learning disabilities people would trip over themselves to understand or help. This bipolar thing is scary and it is real. The most dangerous thing is to feel isolated.

It's also dangerous to be unsure of yourself as a parent. That is where I am. I keep second guessing myself. Keep wondering what in the hell I did to cause it. Yet, knowing I did nothing but be his Mom. I am worried about what the future holds and if he really will attack me again. I am worried and scared that in the meeting tomorrow Nana will get defensive and play the blame game and not hear a damn word any of is hearing.

Of course, a lot of that is out of my control. All I can do is soak up as much understanding and techniques as possible and use them. Help teach them to others who live here and are in charge. Maybe others who do not live here and are sometimes in charge of my kids. And pray. I can pray. Pray that God will help me and all of us to understand and accept this and give us the strength to move forward. Pray we all come together for the sake of this little boy.

Maybe even have a hand in educating people out their about these sorts of things. Yeah, maybe that kid  in the store throwing a tantrum is just going through a phase. Especially if he/she's at that right age to be doing. But if that kid is not at the right age. Just maybe me talking about it will open up people to other possibilities. Rather than saying to yourself that mother (or whoever) has no control over that kid or how can they allow that? Just maybe you'll think that kid may have an unseen issue like bipolar. Just maybe you smile at that mother and don't judge. Trust me, we feel like we are judged all the freaking time. We also struggle with self confidence and fear. Fear to go out into the world cause we don't know what might cause our kid to lose it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What?! This is Where We Are Right Now

I think the last time I posted anything here it was July. And it was just a post from my 30 Topics List thing. What can I say? Summer was a crazy mess and I had like no time what so ever.

This past Monday was the first day of school. YAY! 

Bridge (not smiling) ready for 2nd grade, Meg ready for Kindergarten, & Sean ready for 5th grade

What do you know, Bridge is sort of smiling in this one

I thought things would get better. They didn't. 

Monday evening, Sean and every other adult in this house had an altercation. Mostly a lot of Sean yelling and screaming and being extremely defiant and such. I really don't know what sparked it or anything as I was taking care of the girls. It ended with Sean asking to go to the hospital. He's been before and though he may have forgotten what it was like he knew they could help. I guess that's a good thing.

There was family pow wow and some of Nana trying to talk Sean or scare him out of his want to go. That was not really working and the more she tried the more adamant he was that something was wrong and he wanted to figure it out. Not too shabby for a 10 year old trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Maybe he can't say, "Hey my meds are off." BUT he is showing signs of knowing when all is not right. Good thing, yes?

Looking back, the signs were there weeks ago that he was way off. But none of the signs were close together til this last week. Really just since last Thurs. And what was showing up looked more like Tween stuff to us. I guess we really don't know what is normal Tween behavior and what is over the top. 

Example: 2 or 3 weeks ago we went to NRH2O (local water park) and Sean showed signs of what I now know is grandiose thinking. None of my kids really know how to swim and though the 2 oldest have taught themselves a little it is not enough for them to go to deep water. After a ride on The Viper with Bridge and Sean we made our way to the Wave Pool (I'm sure it has a neater name) where Hubs had taken Meg to hang out in the shallow end. Did I mention Hubs cannot swim? I am the only one of the 5 of us who can. But he's good for hanging out in the shallow end and keeping kiddos safe. Both Bridge and Meg had life vests on and were happily jumping waves and splashing in the shallow area that I said they needed to stay in. Sean decided that he did not have to stay in his area and took his inner tube and went to over 6ft water which when the waves are going is really deeper than that. While telling the girls to go to Daddy and stay I went to drag Sean back. One small problem. Out of the corner of my eye I see the girls following me. I guess they trusted that if they were with me they were safe. I stopped and told Sean to come back to me. He didn't. I go to get him again and see that Meg and Bridge are not going back to Daddy, though they did stay where they were, and Meg was losing against the waves. I go to her and haul her out of the water for all I am worth and tell Bridge to get to Daddy NOW! To get her going I grabbed her vest and propelled her towards him. Gave Meg to Hubs and got Sean and gave him what for. We really thought it was just arrogance and defiance to show us he could do just what he pleased and he could handle the deepest area of the wave pool. Lesson learned. 

Weeks before that incident was a day from Hell for a good friend of mine who watched the kids while I went to have 3 wisdom teeth extracted. But again, not over the top enough to get our attention. 

After a angry outburst and attack a couple weeks ago at a family function where I narrowly missed a kick to the throat we called the dr. Dr appt was soon and we just adjusted the times we gave meds. That seemed to be okay.

Enter Monday before last when Sean went to his Dr appt. We discussed the violent incidents and one of his meds was upped. A new one was added. One was moved to just as needed. All to be taken at night. To help with sleep and to help curb the aggressive behavior. For one reason after another with the pharmacy and the dr office being closed on Wednesdays, meds were not filled til last Thursday. Before his new doses and new med he had a meltdown at a local restaurant when I gave him an adult menu and a kids paper menu w/colors so he could draw and what not. His first reaction was to yell at me that he hated me and wanted me dead and he always ordered ribs with Dad. All because I dared to give him a kids menu. No asking if he could order off the adult menu or asking why he had a kids menu. Nope, he went ballistic. Didn't last long. Hubs got there (we were meeting at the restaurant) and calmed him down and asked Sean if I said he had to order off the kid menu. Rest of dinner was good. 

Last Friday and Saturday had no issues. Kids stayed the night at a friend of mine's apartment. She reported no real trouble.

Saturday evening we get home and low and behold all kids have left there toothbrushes. So, I say let's go to Target to get some new ones. Sean starts to throw a crying fit how he doesn't want to go and we just got home. I tell him there is no one home to stay with him and he has no choice but to go. He just cries and complains but gets in the truck. 

Get to Target and the toothbrush aisle and commence beginning of mega meltdown. He gets pissed that I will not buy a him a toothbrush like mine and won't buy a kids electric toothbrush. Yells at me that he hates me and will not brush his teeth and yanks the toothbrush he chose from the choices I gave him out of my hands. I shrug and say okay. Meg asks to get in cart and I put her in the cart where she curls up with her blankie. Retrieve toothbrush and off to the wine aisle. I wanted those little one serving bottles so I wouldn't have to open a whole bottle. Here is where I should have just changed the plan I made in my head when I headed to Target. Just before the wine aisle Sean yells he hates me some more and he wants me dead and oh by the way I hate God and I hate this medallion (Nana gave it to him and told him it represented the Holy Spirit and would protect him or something like that). He takes medallion off and attempts to toss it on the floor but I get it before that. I tell him to put it back on as it is important to Nana. Mistake. More hindsight, I should have just put it in my purse when I got it from him. As I turn to get the wine he punches my back from behind. I tell him he has no right to hit me and better not do so again. He yells for help and none comes. He attempts another punching attack. I avoid it and grab his arm. Probably shouldn't have but I pulled his pants down and busted his butt good. 

Proceed to walk away to check out while pulling out my phone and sobbingly telling Hubs I think he needs to come home from where he's at (out of town at a coin show). He asks to talk to Sean. I mention he's attacked me and I am seriously considering taking him to the hospital. He asks me to just go home. By now we have made the checkout and I have found the shortest line. Sean looks at me and yells "YOU'RE A F***ING A**HOLE!!" and he punches me for all he's worth in the shoulder. I take the phone and tell Hubs conversation over. By now the clerk has totaled my items and with tears and embarrassment in my eyes I pay for my items. Clerk says it's okay and hands me my things wine and all. What a cliche I must have looked like. 

As we are headed for the truck I call a friend who lives not far away and ask her to please come over and sit with the girls as I may have to take Sean to the hospital. She says she will. Between her and me we convince Hubs he needs to come home. In the truck on the way home I am praying that we get home safely and God will get Sean to calm the heck down. At this point, Sean is kicking and punching and pulling on the seats in the truck. 

Get in the house and he goes to attack me again. I push him away from me and tell him to back down. I am furious and know I can no longer handle him. I tell the girls to get their baths then go to their room and put on a movie. I tell Sean to sit down in the living room, office, or Nana's room. I take the dog out and walk her up and down our street with silent tears still streaming. Of course that's how a neighbor would see me and ask if I was okay. I lie and say I am fine and she knows I am lying but says she hopes I feel better soon. 

Enter the house and Sean says sorry. I say I do not want to discuss it and that he needs to go get a shower. But first I give him his meds. Then he goes to shower. And he's entered sulk mood. 

I think it's over and that all will be okay and all we need to do is call the dr. After my friend got here I took out a bottle of wine and gave her one, too. We talk while I sob and she tells me she's called her boyfriend to come over, too. We talk and wait.

Sean is settled in the office where I tell him he needs to stay. I think I let him watch TV, I'm not sure. When he's finally getting sleeping, like over an hour later, he demands to go to his room. I tell him he has choice of office or Nana's room. He says, "NO!" I tell him then the choice is now mine and we are going to the office. I will bring his blanket and pillow but he will go to the office and stay. This is where he makes to attack me again. This is where friend's boyfriend steps in and calmly sits and talks with Sean. Meanwhile, my friend is reading a story to the girls and getting them tucked in. 

Hubs gets home and they leave. Sean gets tucked in and we go to bed. We all know we should have gone to the hospital then but we didn't. 

Sunday was uneventful. Just me bone tired and trying my best to fake happy. No such look since I look like hell. 

Monday was uneventful. I mean with the exception of the 1st day of school. Where apparently Sean had yelled at a teacher cause of a change in where they sat kids w/sibs for parent pick up. We discuss it and all is calm.

Monday evening he yells at Pop and Rob about being told to walk Daisy while I am giving the girls a bath.

By late Monday night after our family pow wow we leave for the hospital. We are all in agreement and Nana is wavering but has given in. Yes, it is our decision not theirs but we told them we needed to be unified and whether or not you agreed you had to make Sean believe you are a team player. My point was that if Sean was asking to go and given all that had happened in recent days he should go to the hospital. I saw it playing out that Sean would continue to push and do whatever action it took to get him to the hospital and it was better for us to go now. Let the hospital decide if he needs to be admitted and then it is not us saying yes or no. 

By 2 am we knew he was going to be admitted. At 3am on the way home I am emailing the school to let them know he will not be in school for several days. (so I don't forget to do) By 4am we are home and in bed. By 6:30am we are up and getting the girls ready for school. By 8am, I am home and back in bed. 

This is where we are. Sean in the hospital and playing the med adjustment and observation game. I am filling out more paperwork and getting more info on what we are doing. 

I am numb and just trying to cope and stay strong. Knowing we made the right call, even if it was late in coming. 

Apparently another sign was that Sean was talking all the time and not stopping and jumping subjects like crazy is a sign of manic state.

I am out of words. This is not where this story ends. I just have to let all this out. Bipolar in kids/pre-teens, tweens if you like, is something I am not sure I'll ever understand. It presents differently in kids. Same symptoms but cycles faster and is harder to catch.