Friday, December 21, 2012

Accepting your child

I have hinted at, skirted around and vaguely referred to some troubles in our household over the last few months. The truth of the matter is that one of our sons is struggling and it's effecting all of us greatly. The majority of the time I either can't find the funny in my day or if I have I worry you won't get my humor and find me crass. Plus, it requires soooooo much explanation.

I'll attempt the short version. Our oldest son Larry, age 8, has a temper and can be emotional. Since the beginning of this school year these behaviors seem to have escalated. I won't share details, I'll leave it at that.

Needless to say, the escalation had my husband and I concerned so we took him to the pediatrician to see if we could get help figuring out what was up. This led to a myriad of doctors, specialists, testing etc.... and it sort of worked. A month ago I was going to post about how we had conquered childhood depression and wax poetic about the value of seeking help and advocating for your child.

Except it turns out that we're not quite ready to hit the talk show circuit with our parenting wisdom just yet. Thanksgiving provided us with a 100% setback. Add to that the fact that society does not talk about depression and you might see the reasons for my near silence on this blog.

I had never even heard that kids could get depressed and I am still not sure how I feel about a diagnosis of "major depression" but I am baring my soul to you on the subject
1. So you know why I've been weird, silent, absent etc...
2. So you'll say an extra prayer for Larry for whatever it is he's dealing with
3. So you can fully grasp how big the things that I am learning are to me

Larry and I now go to "talk therapy" every 2 weeks. The counselor has mostly been getting to know us over the past few months and has only actually seen my son in one of his moods during the most recent visits. This means that most of our sessions have a lot of discussion on more things I should be doing to support my son. I always leave a little frustrated and think that she doesn't understand just how much time and attention I am already giving my kids. How dare she judge me! Why can't she just fix him? I am not the problem! Then I calm down and see at least glimmers of wisdom in her suggestions.

I'm slowly learning that my sons views and perceptions have changed and are skewed. I focus so much on how he used to be that I forget to accept who he is right now in this moment. In the last few weeks she has been reiterating how we need to find the positive. Larry and I started a journal where we write at least one good thing that happened in our day. He often struggles to find one thing, even if I can point out several. We have now added a smile chart to the journal too and our goal is a smile a day. We're not there yet but we are getting at least a few smiles a week which is an improvement :)

Again, I'm saying all of this because I am finally finding some value in it. It's fascinating to force yourself to find a positive in everything. It's amazing the power that words, tones and inflections have on others emotions.

Through his journey I am slowly learning to embrace the smallest of joys and to celebrate every triumph joyously. I think I may be finally learning to not sweat the small stuff. This is one of the hardest things I have been through but I can honestly say that it is improving our family.

Larry's joy for today was having a day so full that he was exhausted when it was time for bed. His actual words were, "I like that we did a lot and so im tired and glad for bed." My joys for today were many. I saw Larry control his emotions on at least 3 occasions where we would have normally had outbursts. He agreed and was excited to go on a date with me tonite. We saw a movie and walked around a store and talked and talked. He let me hug him and held my hand and he smiled more than once.

My heart is filled to overflowing right now and it has me in a safe place where I can now share a glimpse of what we're going through. We'll continue to have good and bad days but I'm going to stop letting it hold me back and I am going to strive harder to live by example for him. I am publicly declaring it so that I can come back and read this when my strength waivers and my resolve fails. I am forever grateful to the select few that I have shared this with that have supported me and withheld judgement.

Now that I've gotten this off my chest we can resume our regularly scheduled programming of the laughter and insanity that occurs every time I try to take a little "Time for B"

P.s. I am not posting this as a way to fish for compliments and I am certainly not looking for judgement. I am mostly writing this because everyone is so freakin silent on the topic and it is an overwhelming topic. It's heavy stuff and very confusing and I want others to know they're not alone.


  1. BG,

    I love you so much and this just proves, as always, what an amazing mom you are!

    Tony and I both take depression meds. He has since we was a little boy. I started to take mine about 9 years ago.

    I am not going to pretend to know what you and your family are going through. But we know depression and what it can do to a family. You are not alone in that piece at all.

    Thank you for being brave and writing this post. It makes us feel more "normal" that we live with it too. That our struggles are shared and that we are not alone.

    You rock!

  2. In relation to Meds for this... have a serious look at this website before doing something like that: click on the first link to see where prescription meds lead some people. Not to mention what just went down in Connecticut. Meds are not the answer ever.