Reality Characters: Myself, Hubs, Hulkboy, Supergirl, Peanutboy
Location: Our home and varying places in our life
This intro will likely be the longest piece seeing as it contains history and not day to day.
This blog is to hopefully shed some light on the world of mental illness. The dark gaps and holes in life and dreams that exist in the families that live with these people, the grey areas of “auto pilot living” and how deeply it actually affects their lives. While accomplishing this goal, I also hope to show how even when we lose hope there is still love and when we believe innocence is lost, a sliver shines through, and while hells fury crashes through a house that appears so “awesome” via exterior, the battles contained within are a war only some soldiers can fight. Do they (the families) ever conquer? I’m not sure. For each battle we succeed several more have shown complete disregard for life and form.
My story beings many moons ago when I met my husband and his son (Hulkboy). HB was adorable and young. His mother had left the picture as she was young and had her own issues. My husband did the best a single dad to a toddler boy could do. Later we lived together. When HB was 4 I started to realize something was “different.” His behaviors and responses to things began to change. He was diagnosed with Partial Complex Epilepsy after having multiple witnessed seizures and trips to neuro and an EEG. I let some of the behavioral changes slide as he was growing rapidly and had the seizure disorder which can affect some cognitive functions depending on severity of seizure activity. Things seemed pretty normal once we got meds regulated. Things were ok…I loved this little guy with everything I had. I married Hubs, bought a house and on we went. Right after marriage we discovered we were expecting (honeymoon baby). My pregnancy was awful and things got very UGLY with HB. HB started with lying, cheating, stealing (things, money ect.) Issues started to arise in school. He was becoming verbally aggressive and physically putting himself in danger. Just as it all seemed ready to pop, school ended, I had a preemie and as crazy as life got…HB was…well Okayish.
He loved summer and being at his grandparents since they had a pool and I spent most days at NICU. Hubs worked and still does overnight shifts so he had to sleep most days. School started in September, Supergirl came home and we were a family. Once things were underway and I thought we were cruising, it all started to fall apart again. Lies (that never stopped), manipulation, like I’ve never even seen from an adult let alone a 7.5 yr old, outburst and hour long tantrums.
I called his Neuro and in for follow up early,(yes we were also seeing psych and a counselor at this point) they increased his med to help “stabilize” his moods a bit but said once psych is in touch we could try other options as he had been seizure free for so long. Well Psych had another thought, ADD. I disagreed but was willing to try anything at this point so we tried a med and let’s just say MANIA doesn’t begin to cover it. He had an incident at school, was asked not to return until cleared by psych. Ped helped me get him off the med, got in touch with Neuro and started HB on an antidepressant until we could meet with the “team.”
We d/c the seizure med and used a different double duty drug that took forever to regulate, all while still dealing with the lies, the tantrums and stealing, but now…HB was stealing money and Hubs debit cards. He was 8.5 maybe 9 and we had yet another baby, peanut. He was so sweet and the small ones love each other so much with such a small gap between them.
Eventually since mental health insurance sucks across the board, I am sure you guessed that treatment started coming directly out of our pockets. As you can guess this was a huge financial burden but needed to be done. Ultimately, in time it had an even larger cost, our HOME.
While raising two babies, working FT, trying to piece HB together and keep our marriage afloat I lost myself. I tried fighting for help with the school. I got nowhere as he had decent grades. He’s smart, they usually are and that is how they can manipulate like they do.
After a multitude of crisis visits and police involved removals, I got HB in a PIP program. YAY! I was so happy! Nope! It did nothing and after 3 weeks they d/c him for no improvement. We continued seeing everyone we needed to he continued to grow and learn. He also learned to be violent and verbally abusive, mostly towards me back then. He was a little boy who knew even though, I’ve always been in the mothers role and he liked to call me Mommy, biologically, I wasn’t his, so I needed to be a target. I took it for a long time. I get it, he saw me with the small ones and even as little as he was when I came in, it was a reason to harbor resentment.
Some more crisis visits, more police removal from the home, in home evaluation (which resulted in nothing seeing as his dad and I are married so he can’t have a big brother companion). I started to press the bipolar buttons on all my “team.” I was raised by one and with one; I knew what I was dealing with.
HB was getting ready to enter middle school and my Super girl Kindergarten and we finally could no longer negotiate with the mortgage company. We moved to a new district and he was approved for some services. Once they saw him in action and his manipulations they helped me push some buttons as well and finally we called a spade a spade. Did that make it better? Not really but at least now we got closer to the right meds when we had periods of no sleep ect.
The year carried on and as his grew so did his temper and anger. HB becomes HulkSmash in the blink of an eye. More crisis visits, more police removal, more stolen money (and we were already poor). Now his aggression and anger started to become outward violence to Hubs and I.
After he laid a vicious attack on Hubs and Hubs finally had him pinned and calm as he stood up, he punched himself in the face. Off to school the next day as yes he had a mark where he hit HIMSELF but…he did it right? Wrong he went to guidance and said my Hubs beats him…Guess who showed up? Child Protective Services.
So after that whole mess, I have learned to videotape every conversation, restraint and anytime we do “household extraction moves.”(HB is 5’7’’ and weighs 200lbs). When he tantrums in our micro kitchen or our living room with the other kids home…we have no choice but to move him room to room. CPS dropped the case and on we went. Peanut and Supergirl have grown increasingly nervous around their brother. HB will be a teen in a few months and I think they know the worst is yet to come.
Peanutboy will casually sit on the couch when the shit hits the fan and calmly say at 5 “call the cops again” all while never looking up or getting upset. The small ones have even brought me my phone to videotape things while I was being assaulted so I had my camera for “poof” as PB says.
After several attacks and more crisis visits HB was approved this year for IOP (intensive outpatient). Ummm…my thoughts on that are not great either. His dad and I weren’t unhappy but not pleased. He was the oldest in the group so at first he came off as wonderful and awesome, such a helper (typical manipulator, as he wouldn’t dare lift a hair anywhere else) and counseling was geared towards the younger ones. Insurance (even though it isn’t great) wouldn’t contribute a penny to an older group as that would be “not age appropriate”. How about we let Docs make that call but whatever. After a few weeks they said he was being d/c for no improvement after several more crisis visits.
And again, just a few weeks ago in one of his daily rages, HB punching his floor and walls, bruised himself ran away,(we had to have police find him) and he went to school and told them my Hubs hit him…That night we both wanted to hit him but didn’t and wouldn’t. Personally, I’m afraid of him most of the time. I’m afraid for my kids most nights. He’s never hurt them, but who’s to say he wouldn’t? On that note who do you think showed up about two days later? You got it CPS…This time it’s all on tape. They did their thing and still are, I’m sure, forms to doctors and daycare providers, ect and so forth. They made us do another in home assessment as they truly do not want him and can’t help, but don’t know what to do and the in home crap…Yeah two weeks ago, I’ve called twice I’m still waiting on what he is approved for service wise…
This is some of the history behind Life in the Off Lane. If you feel the need to judge it, don’t read it. If as things get more detailed and language more colorful and you aren’t happy, go away and be glad your battles look different.