Monsters Within -part two-
20 Jan 2009
I am sick, I am heartbroken, and I am afraid, for him, for me. The psychiatrist says, yes that is serious, planning it out means it has some meat to it, it isn't a passing thought, it wasn't a momentary thing, and I should be afraid.
But yet, fifteen minutes after those threats, my son is back and he is loving me and helping me and "mom, let's go for a walk", and how do I fear this child? Just look at him, he adores me, we are closer then most mothers and sons. We do everything together, even at this age still.
Does this feel as chaotic as it did when it was all happening? I feel like I skip months, sometimes years, they are here and gone, and back again. How does one hold all this horrible information and make sense of it?
Once he told me that it felt like a million rabbits running in his head, sometimes, I feel like that too now. I can't grasp all that happens, has happened, will happen, it just races around in my head looking for a place to get off this crazy ride.
He is in high school now and he does fairly good. He usually maintains during the day and then comes home and rages. They don't see what I'm talking about. They hear me, but they just don't know. No one does, not even family. They have never seen the rage. Most have never seen the paranoia or hallucinations either.
He rides a special bus to school, he has since he came back from the hospital that year when he was eight. He can't handle the ignorance and teasing on a regular bus, it was destroying him, causing him to be paranoid and hallucinate, so they put him on the bus for special needs kids. He loves it. He feels a connection to these kids that he doesn't with the 'normal' kids.
Friends are few and far between and the ones that stick around also have some sort of 'issue' .
He still misreads his friends, and one day he thinks they loathe him and he wants to kill them, and the next day he forgets that and they are off having fun again. It scares me.
So let's talk about the rages.
I wake him in the morning. He is hard to get up, but it's easier with the meds now. He seems fine, I think today might be ok.
Both boys sit down and eat breakfast and have the normal brotherly quarreling. Nothing to be concerned about, right?
I manage to settle their issues with no explosions, or at least very minor ones. But the mood is already being set.
It's time for him to shower and get ready for school. Forty minutes later he emerges from the bathroom, complaining that he fell asleep in there again, he shouldn't have to go to school, he's so tired.
I tell him he has to go to school, he's missed so much with his months of strep throat and antibiotics that I have no choice but to send him. I can see his mood darken, but life must move forward. I get his brother ready for school, brush his teeth for him, deodorant, all of it, he can't do it on his own, which reminds me, neither can his older brother. If I don't remind him constantly, it doesn't get done. He would go a month without showering if I let him. Maybe even longer.
So after little brother is ready I ask big brother if he brushed his teeth. The storm clouds burst, thunder and lightening fill the house. What is wrong with me?! Why can't I trust him?! He isn't stupid! He knows to brush his teeth and while he is thinking about it, remember that time back when he was five and I told him something else to do?! Why, why, why can't I stop harassing him and hurting him!?! What is wrong with me?! And while he's thinking about it, remember that time I took his little brother's side? It just proves I want him dead! I hate him and he knows it and all I want is to ruin his life!!!!!!!!!!!
Sometimes I sit in stunned silence, sometimes I try to reason, sometimes I boil over and I yell and cuss and scream at him to stop! Just stop! Please!
And then eventually he does, and no, he hasn't brushed his teeth, fine, he will brush them!
And then the bus is here
"I love you mom! Have a good day, see you when I get home!" .
But I won't have a good day, my nerves are shot and now little brother wants to know why his brother acted like that, what is wrong with him anyway?!
Now tell me how do I explain this to a younger brother who not only has aspergers but has other mental delays as well? And what do I do when he asks over and over and over and can't let it go?
I withdraw, I feel myself pulling in, hiding, I can't deal with anymore. Please just be quiet for two minutes. The bus comes and you would think I feel relief, but I don't. I will sit here all day, waiting, waiting, waiting. I know there will be a call for one child or the other. You can't have two special needs kids like mine and not expect, the call.
Sometimes it doesn't come, months and months pass, I finally think, yes, it is safe, today I am going out! And bam!!!!!!!!!!!! It comes while I am on my walk. Either the younger one is having a medical issue or the older one is having a mental issue. And so I stop going out, again.
Little by little I have lost all of my friends. I have no one in my real life, everyone I am close to, is online. I can't risk missing that call.
He is sixteen going on seventeen and the rages are like nothing you've ever seen.
His entire face changes, not just his eyes, his face. At first his teachers and caseworkers thought I was crazy saying this, but when they finally saw it, they were shocked. He doesn't look like the same boy anymore. He looks dark and scary and my son, my beloved son, is not in there.It's only the monsters and they are just waiting for you to make a mistake, say the wrong word, breathe wrong, glance at him the wrong way and they will come and eat you up and ruin your life.
But life must go on, we must move forward, we can't sit and wait to be devoured and we can't stop life hoping that somehow we can keep it caged.
Chores, dreaded chores, they set it off so often. And yet, maybe foolishly, I continue to make him do chores. I tell him that his disorder is not an excuse to stop living and stop doing what normal people have to do day in, day out, in order to survive and have a good life.
So one day, for example, I tell him to clean his room, it is like something out of a horror movie, as most teens rooms are at some point.
He starts to argue and I explain why he must do it, again, and again. I will not back down. I am his mother and he needs to be responsible for his own room.
I don't even know how it gets to this point but again we are regressing, remembering that time I said or did something that he knows means I hate him and want him dead, he knows I am trying to ruin his life, I am worthless, I am all of the nasty, mean thoughts he can come up with and he knows that because of me he has no life and everyone wants to kill him so I might as well just kill him and get it over with! He is posturing, with each word he begins to lunge forward a little, but he is still a good ten feet from me.
I am getting angry, I yell at him, just stop it and do the chore! Why do we have to do this every single time?! It takes three hours of fighting for a twenty minute chore and then he ends up grounded so he can't go do what it was that I was somehow preventing him from doing because I said wait twenty minutes until your chore is done.
He is fuming at this point, fists balled up at his side. Dad is sitting in the other room, ignoring it all.Little brother is blasting me with why questions, what is happening, what's wrong with him now? why won't he stop?!
Older brother is now near rage, tell him to shut up and mind his own business! I tell him that little brother is scare and concerned, but that only enrages him more. It is all moms fault!!!!!!!!!!! If she could shut her big fat mouth and leave me alone nothing would happen like this! I feel like punching her right in the face! I should just kill her!
I call for dad, please come help me! Make him stop! Make him do his chore! He can't get away with this!
Dad steps in and starts out calmly, but son gets worse, lunging and stopping short, threatening my life. On and on.. and I am now furious too. I cuss and scream and cry why does this have to happen every time?! I try to reason with son, why not just spend twenty minutes and get the chore done rather then spend hours this way and then be grounded?! Oh he wants to kill me so badly. He's gonna come right over and punch me in the face.
And I am small, and afraid, even with dad there, I know that someday it will happen, and so I dare him. I yell at him if you think you can do it then do it! Get it over with because I can't live like this anymore! Just waiting for the moment when I least expect it!
Dad is just standing there sort of between us but off to the side.I sit down, I'm so exhausted and weary, but the battle rages on.
Now dad is getting angry too, his voice is raising but not too much. This enrages son even more.
"You always take her side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I am so weary.
You kind of get lost in it all, it spins and spins and you can't keep up with what is happening.The next thing I know, dad took a step towards son, and then wham!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are down on the floor, dad has son pinned.He straddles son's waist, arms pinned over his head to the floor and son is screaming I will kill her, I will cut her up and burn her in the fireplace and the cusses start, effing this and that and you want to eff my ahole, I know you do that's why you're on me and son is trying to buck dad off of him. They move through three rooms like this. Son slamming up into dad, dad's knees slamming down onto the ground. Screaming and cursing and raging. I grab little brother, who weighs one hundred pounds and carry him up the stairs and put him in his room with the door shut.
Don't come out I yell! I will let you know when it's over!
I run back down and dad looks like he will have a heart attack. He keeps asking son, if I let you up will you promise not to hurt anyone. " No! I'll kill her!". He somehow gets the fireplace screen between his legs and mangles it, yelling about burning me in there.I'm yelling and crying please let me call the cops, we need help here!
Dad says no.
And he stops, dad says "I'm getting up now, don't do anything stupid.".
Son rolls over face pressed between floor and chair, arm over his head. It's quiet, very quiet.
Dad sits down in another room. I sit in another room watching him from a distance.
Twenty minutes pass and he hasn't moved. Not even when the dogs lick him. I walk over and kneel down, I call his name softly, but there is no response. He doesn't even look like he's breathing. I rub his back, nothing. I tickle him, c'mon, you wanna laugh, I know it. Nothing, not even a flinch.
I'm getting scared. I call dad, something is very wrong. Nothing gets a response. I smack him on the butt, nothing, the dogs now are stepping over him, nothing. Oh my god, what's wrong?!
Dad rolls him over, he is stiff as a board, arm still over his head. Tickle, tickle, c'mon, laugh, everything is ok now. Nothing. I beg and plead, please, let us know you can hear us!
I tell dad that I think maybe I should smack his face and snap him out of it, I see that on tv sometimes. I call to son, telling him please blink or something or I will have to smack his face. I think that if I say I will do it, he will move. He doesn't. I am near panic, crying softly, calling his name, no response and then suddenly he is wailing, heart breaking, gut wrenching wails. Wails like I've never heard before and I start sobbing, something is really wrong!
I ask over and over, "what's wrong, what's wrong??" He sobs that he can't move his arm.
Dad rushes to get the neighbor, she's a nurse. I get his shoes on him, he wails and wails and wails.
We get him in a chair, arm straight over his head. The neighbor soothes him with her voice as she massages and lowers the arm and he sobs once or twice and all is quiet.
She leaves and dad takes him to the emergency room. I break down and just sob and sob. Younger son comes down asking if it's over, he was scared and mad at his brother. I pull it together and tell him it's ok, his brother will be fine, we are fine, nothing is wrong and inside I die a little more.
Dad and son return from the emergency room. Nothing was wrong with the arm and son is in a bubbly, happy, hyper mood. He can't remember most of what happened and doesn't get why everyone seems so down.
And so the night ends, and I go to sleep knowing that tomorrow will probably be just like today.
And I know that again I will not leave the house unless he is with me because I know that if I do, something bad will happen and I won't be here.
And I know that it isn't a matter of if he will kill me anymore, it is a matter of time.
And each day that passes, part of me dies, I am no longer me, I haven't been for years.
This is killing me, slowly, but as surely as if I had un-treatable cancer. It eats away me.
One moment I have a beautiful, loving, wise, wonderful, compassionate child and the next moment I have a demon lashing out at me, just waiting for the right moment to finally destroy me.
I don't fear the dying part, I fear for my son and what will happen to him when that monster finally wins. I fear for what he will do to himself knowing he hurt me and I die inside knowing that I probably won't be here to soothe him and carry him back to his safe place again.And that is destroying me.