Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Who can scream louder?

My temper is an ugly, unpredictable thing.   Thank God for Bipolar medications which keep me fairly balanced and level headed.  My teenage boys, both of whom have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and have undergone severe trauma prior to their adoptions, are extremely challenging to raise. 

Currently, my eldest son is waiting to come home after four months in Juvenile Hall and residential care.  He snapped one afternoon (we're still trying to determine exactly what caused his rage), and took a wood axe to our three car garage.  Thank goodness the cars were parked outside at the time; however, the event became a two and half hour police stand off with the neighborhood blocked off and thousands of dollars worth of damage to the automatic doors and the contents inside. 

This morning, after asking my fourteen year old to prove to me that he brushed his teeth (he's been known to go a week without doing so), he screamed an obscenity at me.  This isn't new, not by any means for a school morning, but my temper - my patience - had taken all I possibly could of this nasty adolescent over the past month.  I'd had enough.  I finally screamed back.  This isn't good for an escalated, autistic teenager.  I should have walked away and given him a consequence; for instance, let him make his own lunch - which is what I was doing when he threw the TV remote control at me - but I didn't.  I screamed at him to knock it off, turned my back, and he threw the remote hard hitting my back and nearly missing my head.

Austynn is now taller than I am.  He's probably heavier than I am too.  His dad and I have warned him that if he touches or threatens in a violent way again (yes, this isn't the first time), we'll call 911.  After I was hit by the remote, my rage set in.  How DARE he?!  I went after him.  He has no business hurting me!  Then I knew..STOP!  This will get crazy.  Don't touch him.  Back off.  So I did.  I called.  I told the responder exactly what happened and what I did.  I told the officers the same thing.  They asked me what I wanted to do.  I said, "Take him".  I wanted to vomit.  The officer said, "Are you sure?"  I felt the bile rise in my throat.  No, I wasn't sure.  Austynn has the mentality of a baby.  Those kids in the detention facility will rip him apart.  "Yes, he has to learn not to throw things at me."

He's home now.  Did he learn his lesson?  No.  His big blue eyes, magnified behind his coke bottle lenses, and his childlike demeanor in the body of a huge fourteen year old touched the detention site workers.  They kept him separated from the scary kids, he played with building blocks, and they talked sweetly to him.  He's been asking repeatedly to go outside to play, to watch TV, and to have me read a book to him.  He's learned nothing.  Tomorrow will be another day of temper tantrums, screaming, and obscenities.  If he hits me, I won't call 911.  Today clarified that it's pointless.  I have to live and breathe and be bullied by this child I've adopted for the rest of my life.

To add to tomorrow's joy, my husband and I will pack up Austynn and travel through downtown Denver during rush hour traffic and sit with our seventeen year old for family therapy.  In three weeks he'll be coming home again.  We're still no closer to knowing what will keep him from not picking up an axe again.  He was angry.  He's still angry. 

...strange, I feel the same way too.