The teen years are so dang hard, for all involved! Add in the emotions of post traumatic stress disorder, reactive attachment disorder and feeling different due to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome…add in inherited mental health issues and well you have one angry teen. The blessing lately has been him saying how mad he gets that he just feels different. It has been incredible that the more we work on his sensory issues and learning ways to feel calmer these emotions are coming out in a positive way. I love seeing him try to work through how frustrated he is and how sad sometimes. He told me today that he just wishes he could be angry at me as I am here. He wants to take it out on me but knows it isn’t me he is mad at. He finally said he gets mad as I might die. What if I do? He loves me now and he worries I will be gone. I know in his round about way he is trying to tell me that I am very important to him.
I remember in the beginning of RAD therapy hearing from the therapist the more behaviors the more attached and I thought yeah whatever. But it is true that the more he cares the more nervous he gets. I do know that after years now he is less volcanic but he still struggles to get his emotions to stay stable. He wants to not struggle with this but he still does. When he is happy, he is very happy. When he is sad, he is very sad. When he is mad, well… He does work hard at not blowing up. He has found ways to do this but he does share how worried he is that when he is in school or out in public he will melt down. He fears then people will know he is “different”. This is one of his biggest fears ever. What if someone knows he is FAS? He knows people know but doesn’t want kids to make fun of him. He hates that his school work is “easier” than others.
I hate that he worries all the time. I hate that I cannot fix this. No matter what I do I cannot make it easier. I work so hard at trying to build him up. He says “yeah but mom you lie as you just love me so you don’t always say how dumb I am.” Then I have to go to my room and cry to know he feels he is “dumb”. He is so talented in so many ways but they are not ways that our world celebrates. They don’t see the little boy who survived so much and continues to try every day no matter how hard it is. I want him to know somehow and someday that I may love him but I don’t lie. I don’t lie when I tell him how he amazes me. I don’t lie when I remind him that he may struggle but he can do it. He may be older when it happens but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. He is my son. I love him and so yes I want to protect him but I am not lying.
I watch as he carefully snuggles his little cousin. How he murmurs quietly to her as she is feeling sad. He looks at her with absolute love. He sees her beauty and not her issues. He feels as though his siblings are amazing on some days and well others of course they bicker but when push comes to shove he loves them. I am so blessed to watch all of my children and their love for each other.