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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Child's Hurt

I am so frustrated today.  This is probably going to be kind of a long story, but I need to get it out.

I don't even know where to start.  Do I start with the fact that my stepson, who is nearly 14 years old, got kicked out of school AGAIN today?  Why this time?  Very similar to the last time.  He did something stupid and got called out by the teacher.  His reaction, instead of just taking his lumps and sitting through class, was to write a note about why doesn't the teacher just kill him...last time he drew a picture of himself dead on the ground after getting caught playing around in class.  However, this time no one saw him with the paper, so because he's sick of the class and is too embarrassed to stay in because he got in trouble, he brought it straight up to the teacher.  He knew it would get him sent to the counselor, which it did.  Then, he got upset when he found out he was in trouble with his mom and dad.  Well DUH kid, every other bleepin' time you've pulled this crap, you've gotten in trouble.  This is NOT NEW.

Yes, he has anxiety.  Yes, he has ADHD.  Yes, he is in therapy.  However, his mother only takes him once a month to therapy and the anxiety workbook that's supposed to help was completed last summer and still he reacts like this to anything that upsets him.

Just this past Sunday, he was wearing dirty clothes that had been laying on his floor.  I knew because every time I opened his door, I saw them laying there.  Look, he knows they go in the hamper.  He's 13 and smart.  He should know what to do.  So, I called him out on it and told him to find something else to wear.  He immediately turned the corner in the hallway and I hear a 'slap, slap, slap, slap'.  I told him to get back out here and told him that he knows better than to hit himself.  He knows that doesn't solve anything.  So he tries to lie and say that wasn't what that was.  I call him out again, because I know EXACTLY what that is and he admits that yes, he was hitting himself.

Child, GET A GRIP!  This kid is very close to ending up in a PRTF (Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility).  His mother knows it, his father knows it, and I know it.  They told him about the consequences, but he just can't redirect his anger/embarrassment/hurt to something other than self-flagellation.

His dad and I are getting to the ends of our ropes.  He has had behavior issues ever since he first entered school.  I understand that it was a very difficult transition to move here from California and then surprise, at 7 1/2 your mother finally decides to contact your dad and let him know she's back in Kansas.  His maternal grandparents severely dote on him, to his detriment, and then threaten his mother that they're going to take him away if she doesn't allow them more time with him.  He gets away with a lot over there and then has to come to our house, that's full of rules and chores and a half-sister who is here most weekends and has known us since she was born.  It's a tough hand to play, but kid, you are only doing yourself a disservice.

On top of it, his mother thinks that he needs to be exactly like her.  Pushes him into stuff he didn't express interest in, solely because she likes it and making sure he believes what she believes about everything.  Of course she's also an atheist and while everyone's opinions are their own, a 13-year old that claims he also doesn't believe in God has no clear basis for that belief, besides that his mom told him he shouldn't because she doesn't, even though neither of them have researched any of it.

Rick and I sit here and just shake our heads so often because, even though we know he's hurting and a mess, we don't know what to do.  How do you get a child to understand that he is only hurting himself and saying the same things over and over until it's just an echo chamber of shit nobody listens to?

My stepson is a smart kid.  He's funny and sweet and plays well with younger children.  He loves comic books and superheroes and Legos and I just don't get how this sweet kid can be so broken.  Why is it always a fight?  Why does he hate himself so much when we all show him love?  Why can't he know God's love in his heart?

I don't want him to be 35 and living in his mother's basement.  He deserves better than that.  He can do better than that.  I think a lot of this stems from his anxiety, but he has been given many things to help cope with it.  That aforementioned book, a worry ring, and lots of other distractions to help are all things he has to rely on.  I told him that he needs to ask God for help when he's sad or mad and that's when he said that he's not sure if he believes in Him.  Argh.

My heart hurts for what this child could have been like, had his antisocial mother not tried to make him antisocial in turn.  I still love him no matter what, but knowing that had she stayed here when he was born, he may be a more stable child who accepts love instead of pushing it away.

Pray for all of us.  Pray especially for my stepson, that he may receive calmness of spirit and solace from the anxiety today and always.  Thank you.

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