Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Sometimes it takes an external force to make an inward change.

For several years I have struggled with a child who was violent, aggressive, inattentive, dissociative and unable to process even simple, single step instructions.  A little boy who could explain to you Newton's Laws of Physics or Darwin's Theory of Evolution but could not write 'The cat sat on the mat' because he was removed from the classroom too often to gain adequate literacy skills.

A boy who could literally scream for hours with no sign of giving up. Scream for so long that neither he nor I could even remember what had tripped the proverbial  trip wire in the first place. A child so frustrated by himself and the world he lived in that literally banging his head against the wall was his preferred coping mechanism.

As a mother, this is terrifying. Confronting, infuriating, exhausting. After years of trying every disciplinary technique known to mankind, I was at the end of my tether. After years of tweaking and re-tweaking the First Mates diet, I was fatigued. After trying to action the advice of all those people who knew how to raise my son better than I did, I was ready to give up.

I was admitting defeat. Obviously it was just my lot in life to have a difficult child. A child I didn't want to be around. A child who tipped the scales far too heavily on the side of pain and anguish and far to little on the side of joy and pleasure. Besides, I probably brought it on myself anyway…… I am far from the perfect parent…..

And then one day…. His teacher said to me "Have you thought of having him tested for ADHD?".

Have you thought of having him tested for ADHD?

As I stood at the kitchen sink that night I cried. No, I sobbed. Big fat, wet tears bomb diving into the washing up water. Now, sobbing into a sink full of dirty dishes is hardly a rarity in my house. In fact, it's a typical Friday night. But this time it wasn't tears of despair. They weren't the tears of anger, resentment or good old fashioned self pity that normally stained my cheeks.

They were tears of relief.



Somebody believed me. There was a genuine problem here and somebody else had noticed. Maybe I wasn't crazy. Maybe I wasn't overreacting. Maybe he wasn't 'just acting like a normal boy'. Maybe he wasn't 'just a naughty kid'.  Maybe he didn't just 'need more discipline'. Maybe I wasn't 'too strict'.

Maybe it wasn't my fault.

And maybe it wasn't his fault either.

While a revelation is certainly not a resolution, and our true journey was only just beginning, this single comment was certainly an impetus for change in both my son and my lives. 

The Captain.
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  1. I just want to reach out, give you a big hug and say keep on going. Some days it may feel like it would be easier if the world would just open up and swallow you whole, but in those really dark moments, think about the good. They may seem fleeting or small at the time, but they will be a radiance of hope just when they are needed most xxx

  2. Thanks for dropping by Nicole and thanks for reaching out. Your support is gratefully accepted :-)


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