I don't even know where to begin.
Sometime around 7 PM last night I hit rock bottom with regard to my boy. Something about a gambling debt paid off but that's where the money went and probably, no definitely he's not doing so well at school this semester even though he got a B and a C last term which was all he did. And he's staying up all night and sleeping all day and eating badly and not taking care of himself and hiding, so much hiding and his eyes are glazed over and his face broken out and he's the most unhealthy shade of yellow he's been since pneumonia six years ago when he was still small.
It's a terrible thing to watch a 20 year old young man fall apart.
My brother said something to me when my boy was in the eighth grade and I was already beside myself. He said, 'how would you like to have been treated at that age?' I didn't have a good answer but I did spend the next six years trying to work that one out and I always felt like the very definition of insanity, which would be banging your head on the same wall and calling it different just because you painted the wall and wondering why on earth you ended up with the same bumps and maybe a concussion and maybe not.
Six years ago I decided there was no way anyone was going to make Mike do anything and settled back on my haunches to wait it out until he grew up.
Eleven years ago I and our pediatrician agreed not to diagnose the boy as ADD (this was before we added the H I think) despite the fact that he was failing in school and the private school my mother shelled out 9 grand for in the second time around for first grade said he had to medicate or he had to go. So he went, right back to public school.
Fifteen years ago I almost kept him back for another year at daycare but I moved him and he didn't adjust and I changed my mind and sent him to school at four years and change and his whole world blew to pieces.
Sixteen years ago, despite his need to bite other children periodically, he was the happiest kid you'd ever hope to meet.
Twenty years and change ago he was born and I swore to the universe and this baby boy that I would do whatever it took to protect him.
And I failed.
I should probably explain that I am a rabid disbeliever in medicating children. I am stunned beyond belief at the number of children on one thing or another; the sheer percentages are staggering. My profound belief is that many of these children are missing parts of themselves and will never learn to handle themselves in the world.
Around last Valentine's day my husband's brother died alone in his bathroom and sat for two weeks before we got to the body. A little Adderall might have saved his life. Instead he self medicated until he died.
Around seven PM last night between the final ultimatum and the last, something broke in me as it broke in my boy I don't know how many years ago and I heard a whole new set of words...
... friends say I'm an asshole, impulsive, can't sleep, eat too much, struggling in school, can't focus, can't answer a single question, can't follow a short list, don't know what to do anymore I just can't do it anymore...
These aren't the words of a self-medicator but they will be. These are the words of a boy who is severely depressed at best and at worst has probably been ADHD his entire life and been forced to live in abject shame and failure.
What is it like to honestly believe that you are a piece of worthless shit? What is it like to have a parent turn 180 degrees after sixteen years of struggle, look you in the eye and say, 'it's not your fault and we're going to fix this'? What does that feel like?
It feels like numb eating away at the edges of a bottled tsunami. That's what it feels like.
He sat on the couch with us wrapped in a blanket until well after 11 when we should all have gone to bed. We woke him this morning and told him to stand by for a doctor's appointment. He looked like a deer in the headlights.
I banged my head on the wall until 10:20 when I finally got through to the doc I wanted and got a miracle same day appointment for 11:15 which is ten minutes after the boy's first class of the week and I don't care. We met him there, his step-father and I, and in we went, he and I for his first visit to a grown up doctor with his mother in a suit sitting next to him. The same doctor who has cared for three of his family members for the last eight years. The same doctor who helped his step-father through a rough patch, his mother through many and got both adults to quit smoking (which is an amazing feat in itself). The same doctor, that come hell or high water, in network or not, will care for us all until we or he fall over first. Dr. Bryan Dorf, the amazing super doc in a time of patient mills, bad HMOs and invisible patients.
As of today he has something to bring his serotonin up in the next couple of weeks. As of next week he has an appointment with a Psychiatrist for a full work up and follow up visits. As of today he is on an entirely other precipice than he's ever been on before.
He says he doesn't think of killing himself all that much anymore. He says. Nobody in that room believed him. Not even him.
What is it like to pull a single thread that winds all the way back to your early childhood and give it such a yank your entire idea of yourself and your world comes crashing down around you?
What is it like?
Never in my life. Never in my life until this very moment. Never in my life, no matter how bad, messed up or just plain wrong. Never in my life have I wished I could go back and choose again.
Never in my life.