Dear This Blog,
I’ve been having a hard time with you, of late.
The only things I want to say to you aren’t heartfelt treatises on the beauties found in the struggles of life.
Turns out, the things I’ve got to say are raw, difficult things—things so real they make me feel guilty for sharing.
But, my blog, you are mine. And this is what’s inside me.
So I will tell you about behavior problems.
Blog, I had dinner recently with two friends who have children sort of like Jack, at least in the unpredictable violence/aggression/destruction arena. We ate carbs and cried a little as we talked about what it means when your child has behavior problems.
When your child has a disability which inhibits a) impulse control, b) communication, c) the ability to wait, d) social and emotional maturity, or e) coping with disappointment, strange things happen, and they happen so regularly that they become part of the daily landscape. “Normal,” if you will. But not, actually.
- broken windows
- holes in walls
- dents in floors and refrigerator doors
- broken appliances (kid stepped on open dishwasher door, etc)
- paint on carpet
- shredded rooms (scientific term for a room that has been dismantled by a special needs minor in less than five minutes)
- glassware thrown across kitchens
- toys lobbed at people and walls
- manic pacing/running as if on speed
- waking up at four or five am
- staying up until midnight
It’s not an exhaustive list, dearest blog, but you get the picture.
These behaviors do not happen all the time, but for a family like mine, some of them happen daily.
My friends and I discussed, as we carb-loaded, the difficulty with severe behavior issues. We decided that one of the biggest concerns we have is that people are horrified by violence in children. It is not something people understand. It’s foreign. It’s disturbing.
It’s borderline shameful.
One should not openly discuss the fact that one’s mentally disabled preteen throws things at one’s head.
It makes people uncomfortable.
It makes me uncomfortable.
Little blog, while I do not like the daily house destruction or sometimes having to guard myself and my children from the disabled son’s outbursts, it is most painful when other people see the nature of our behavior problems.
Others do not live with Jack and know his goofy sweetness.
If you only see his behaviors, can you recognize his goodness and purity?
Will people see Jack’s bravery for living life in an unwieldy body with a mixed up brain?
I love Jack. I hate the behaviors.
Thanks for listening, blog. You remain a lifeline.