Monday, December 12, 2011

The Boy, Part 2 -- I'm Just Going to be Honest, Here

I am going to say some things here that I have never said in a public forum before.

But before I say any of it, please know that I love my son. I love my children more than anything... The day my son was born was, up until that moment, the very happiest day of my life. I have loved him every day since and my love is fierce. He is a treasure and being chosen to be his Mommy and Daddy was a incredible gift. What I am about to reveal is not to complain or look for pity in any way, shape or form. I am just telling a story. This is what happened to us, to him, to our family, and I wish I had had the knowledge then that I have now to help my little boy sooner. So if anyone can benefit from this, then I hope this helps.

There was a time, amazingly not that long ago, when I cried on a daily basis. After I had shut the doors of my business and decided to stay at home full time (with a second child on the way, and the economy not doing my business any favors) I really got to spend a lot of 'quality' time with Handsome. No more program. Just him, and me. Mister was gone at least 13 hours a day thanks to his awful commute and demanding job at a start-up company. I was all alone with a toddler, who, frankly, was out of control. And, me, myself, my hormones--also out of control (during 3rd trimester of pregnancy and, for a while post-pardum).

It was bleak.

This time, that was supposed to be so wonderful: the last month of my pregnancy, the anticipation of the birth, and then the newborn phase--bringing our baby home, Handsome becoming a big brother....

But it was not that way at all.

Things only got worse after Grace was born. I know some sibling jealousy is to be expected. I know extra acting-out is normal. What transpired was beyond anything I considered 'normal'.

At one point, his rages were so severe, we (I) was so unable to control him--I really feared for his sister's safety. We had to put a latch on the outside of his sister's door, so that we could lock it from the outside to prevent him from getting in there when she was sleeping. Or from just getting in there and messing up her stuff. But mostly I was afraid of him doing something to hurt her.

It also was a fact that when he misbehaved, we were unable to put him in 'normal' time outs. During his rages, holding him was not an option. Not if you didn't want a broken nose. I have had a tooth cracked and I've got the veneer to prove it. He would not stay in his room or in any given spot for a time out. There was no way to help him gain control, or learn the lesson of bad behavior=consequence. He would just scream, throw, hit, flail, launch his body at you with amazing force. We got to the point where we had to take everything--every toy, every book, everything out of his room, until all that was left was his bed, his blankets and his stuffed animals. That way he was left with nothing he could throw, or anything he could hurt anyone (or himself,...or the house) with. We put a lock on his door, too. It was the only way. Please don't write me hateful letters. We were beside ourselves. We didn't know what else to do. At least this way he had somewhere to go where he was safe, and I was safe, Grace was safe, and he could cool down (eventually). There was one evening, when my husband and I held each other, me sobbing, and sat frozen in horror and disbelief as he raged away in his room. What was happening to our little boy, our baby? Were we the worst parents in the world? Was there something really terribly wrong; would we have to hospitalize him? Institutionalize him? What could be done? Surely a family could not survive this.

Finally, a friend of mine, who had seen these things first hand, who had known Handsome since I brought him home, a friend who knew me, and loved me, gave me the encouragement I clearly needed--to call my insurance and find a psychologist, NOW who could evaluate him. She even offered to come and watch him and the baby just so I could sit on the phone and make the necessary calls and endure whatever hoops they made me jump through until I got an answer and a name. Which I did. Against everyone else's advice (he's too young to be evaluated. It will pass. It's just a phase. He's just 'all boy'. He's 'spirited'.) I made the appointment, and I started the long process of righting this ship that was clearly capsizing.


  1. That was an important call to make. I'm glad you did it and I'm sorry for what you've been through.

    I can empathize...

  2. Lavender-Thank you. That was a hard post to write.

  3. Sounds to me that you did the absolute right and pretty much only option open to you. No judgement from here. It had to be incredibly difficult!