GROWL

Well another snow day set in today…yuck! Really over it at this point.
Hubs worked last night so me and the three all day as I had a snow day as well. My intentions were to get things accomplished around the house. NOT!
HB woke up in rare form and infected the house with it. Over ancy and looking for a fight…well he made sure he got em!
First he was playing with SG then she accident stepped on his finger…well all hell broke lose. The oversized 12 yr old tackled the 6 yr old and ripped the marker out of her hand. She screamed for me and in I ran as he was ready to pummel her. I called mobile response and instead of them coming out and doing their job they argued insurance with me for 20 mins until I told them to “fuck yourself, your worthless”. All over the fact that while she is hysterical and he is trying to destroy his room and everything in his path I couldn’t find the insurance card…WTF! Come out do your job make things calm and I can find it THEN!
Anyway, once I finally controlled the situation myself with hubs help…hubs went to bed HB was itching to fight again. Banging on everything, being a smart mouth and being cocky. I then made the mistake of asking him to take care of unloading the dishwasher…I was then lunged for and as I jumped out of the way HB hit the door jam with his arm and proceeded to go ballistic that I “planned him getting hurt”. really???? Are you kidding me??? This kid is double my size…I’m trying not to get hurt…
Finally, as he threw his fit and weight around his father got up and got HB into his bedroom(kids were playing in basement and though they heard the noises they didn’t see his antics).
As he continued to carry on his case manager called. It was like the skies opened and I found a slice of odd peace. I explained the events of today and she is coming out next week to reassess and put in for a complete new evaluation of his diagnoses. She could hear him freaking out while I was two rooms away trying to converse with her. We discussed how much the system has been failing him since for 6 yrs NOONE will keep him for inpatient observation, even after practically living in the crisis unit. He has done literally EVERY program she could rattle off the top of her head. I told her about the manipulations and stealing/lying ect.
She told me she would help but I’m still skeptical. Is there help? I want to feel human again and not like an autopilot zombie. I haven’t been sleeping with the crazy OT Hubs has been on because the kids have been sleeping in my room to avoid HB and I understand. Just makes sleepless nights longer and less bearable.
It’s like an addict…they can only truly receive help when they are ready to admit they have a problem and WANT to fix it…HB, doesn’t want to recognize nor fix his problem…how can anyone help that?
Sometimes I resent Hubs for this life but ultimately, I love him and I love HB. Just not sure how long I can continue to live this way and allow our children to be exposed to his sons ways. More and more the feeling of our kids vs his son keeps creeping in and never once did I ever imagine not considering HB my own until recently…
The kids have grown up around the “ways” of HB and bounce back ok thanks to resiliency…but it still not fair.

Back to the Grind

So back to the “norms” today…Whatever they are.  Delayed openings for the kids and real work for me.  All in all ok.  SG is sick and was home with Hubs, PB went to school when I went to work. HB went to school.  HB also proceeded to eat every bit of my hidden PMS stash.  Yes, I have a secret candy stash just for that time.  How did I discover this?  He watched me grab M&M this AM from my stash for my work bag.  When hubbs went to move my stash(we move everything often because of HB eating addiction) after HB had gone to school EVERYTHING was gone but wrappers.  All in the time Hubbs was in the restroom… Are you kidding me?  So when questioned about it do you think he came clean??? NOPE

Tried blaming me, then his sister, who, even standing on a countertop, wouldnt be tall enough to reach the “spot”.

Once caught he proceeds to tantrum for well over an hour.  Hubbs headed to work, lil ones at play and me, well I kept doing what needed doing as I work both of my jobs tomorrow.(Yes, I work PT at a gym to cover SG tuition for gymnastics)  Once my chores were complete, I called the 24/7 line of the place that is supossed to help get us additional services, HA!  That was a freaking joke.  After holding for 15 mins, they still have yet to review the needs assessment from almost 2, yes 2 weeks ago.

This is the tip of the iceberg…This is one of the only services we can do anything through because we make too much $ for assistance, he has a solid foundation, we are married but, we can not get him qualified for more intensive treatment until he fails at home therapy as well.  How do you get in home therapy??? This service is supossed to provide it.  They are also supossed to do alot of other things as well but I am not seeing it.

I explained to the woman on the phone how disappointed I am seeing as though when the DR came out to do the assessment, they had never updated the info in the comp from the old address/phone numbers, even though when I set up the assessment appointment they asked for the info about 7 times.  Why ask if your too lazy to follow up?  I’ll never understand.

Her response to my disappontment…SILENCE, not a how can I help, what can I do to make this eaiser NOTHING.  I explained my past experience…again…SILENCE.  My response at that point was, “Is this a common practice because you surly do not seem shocked or willing to help?, Is this all I am to expect while my son hangs in the grey area?” To that I finally got a, “Let’s try to 3 way the service that did the assessment and see where the hang up is”

I responded with, “I thought you said it hadn’t been reviewed yet? Now you are stating it isn’t even recieved…What is it”

SILENCE

Me “You have until FRIDAY to sort this mess out and I will be in touch with the needs assessor tomorrow AM, get it together”

Service: “I am so sorry this seems to keeps happening to your case, we have a lot of referrals and everything takes time”

ME: “Well my time is running out, my kid is in constant chaos and I can no longer sit him on a gurrney in some stupid hospital hallway to speak with morons who just send him home after he is done charming them after police removal, to turn around and go right back to the same shit.  FIGURE IT OUT BY FRIDAY”

I hung up.  My blood was boiling.  Could that have gone more professionally, SURE.  Do I really care…Not at this point.

My lil ones seem weepier then normal lately and my anxiety is through the roof.  I never know what is next or what obstacle will stand in our way next…What shoe will drop???

Really???

Well low and behold…I didn’t quite get my answer from the service yet but the assessor did call. The report was received an I was emailed the receipt as proof. During our discussion about how royally I believe the service screwed up she mentioned something I have questioned for years…
She put it gently but it was still a sucker punch, as I had been blow off by the previous school district when I broached the subject. She questioned if HB was ever evaluated for autism in conjunction with the bipolar…I used to question this due to the lack of social ques and the inability to build and maintain any type of relationship. His aides and teachers have always integrated a TON of sensory aversion techniques into what he does as he overloads quickly. HB has marked hyperextension in his lower body and some decreased muscle tone, usually blown off by his size. After spending a mere 3 hours in conversation during assessment and watching interactions she too, picked up on this.
I am now composing another letter to the district asking for a new CST evaluation and calling out not only the bipolar but, autism spectrum disorder. Is he high functioning, YES but it explains the incessant redirection and not being able to progress past certain
“Norms”.
I feel so lost in the sea of uncertainty. All anyone ever wants is the best for their child and as hard as I’ve fought for as long as I have, I feel as though a disservice has been done. I pushed that issue for a while but dropped it when “professionals” told me no. What I did NOT know was that if they truly wrote that in his IEP it would have cost them more $. They took away his OT early on for his gross motor and claimed budget cuts and non progression, now I think it was just so it didn’t go into the IEP and cost more. That school district was so rich but so much has come to light in the few years since we have left.
My stomach is in constant knots. Not sure how to react. I am of course going to follow through with the letter for reevaluation and wait for my case manager to do her thing. This time I will even finally have someone on my side in these meetings as my case manager will go with me.
Can I ever make up for a failure when I feel it’s too late? Can I somehow make up for lost time/services? Will HB ever understand that it wasn’t because we didn’t care but simply because we just truly didn’t know what else to do? How can I explain to PB and SG that a part of their life that they can never get back may have been ruined but lack of management of their own sibling?

Snow day, Throw day

So after crazy weekend we had TODAY. Yet another snow day. Getting a bit obnoxious at this point, seeing as the children will be in school until July at this rate…Ugggh.
Anyway, We all slept in a bit as my work was closed as well and Hubs was late getting home due to the weather. I woke up losing my voice, achy sick ect., but…I’m a mom so, no days off.
HB started his garbage right away. He completely flipped when told to take a shower(this is a constant battle, and some days one I dont even care to entertain but today, he STUNK). Apparently his ODD goes into overdrive when a multitude of subjects are brought up, one being hygeine, oh goody! There is some connection between depression and showering in kids. I will have to link the article when I re-find it.
As I walked out of his bedroom after speaking to him about the shower, I heard the first THUD of the day…(Really!!!! We weren’t even up 2 hours yet…WTH). After several consecutive THUDS I knew I had to go see what th deal was. I did. I was greeted by a 12 yr old “beast” (5’7” 200lb) throwing himself around the floor because,
” All you ever fu&*ing make me do is shower, and you hate me, you bi*#h”.
“No, HB I do not, I love you but you MUST shower as it will cause problems if you don’t. Not just in school by smelling and such but your health overall”
This was greeted with a flying filp flop and a “I hate my life” tantrum that ensued for 45 mins.
Meanwhile, little ones played on and at times mocked HB. I of course, stepped in to correct them as even though HB couldnt hear them I could and I know that is sometimes how they cope but, it isnt tolerated.
After a bit HB took his shower, and came out like nothing(as usual). I gave him lunch at lunctime and sent him back to his room for his outburst. That got a typical pre-teen stomp, rolled eyes and nasty grunts. Oh well.
Super girl found out gymnastics was cancelled at that point and started to have a meltdown. When she isn’t at school she is there…Its her coping mechanisim, I encourage it. Once I resolved those tears and set up “circut” in the basement for her to train she was a bit better, not happy but better. Well until PB decided to skateboard through it. Yes, he’s an extreme sports nut, yes I encourage that as well.
My husband and I both agree that they all need outlets, we just wish HB would find one. We’ve done hockey(ice,street, roller), soccer,basketball, football, instruments, intellect challenges, scouts, drama, cooking, technology, you name it. He likes them all for a breif period then, NEVER AGAIN.
Anyway, I digress. HB resurfaces and askes to spend time with us in the living room. I oblige. He asks aout the PS3, I say no remind him tha privilege is still gone after running away. He again tantrums. SO this time I take kidsback to basement as Hubs is asleep in bedroom and I couldn’t g HB to his room as he was in Hulksmash mode. Tossing pillows and blankets about, punching the floor, WHATEVER!!! Mind Numbing is the only way to explain and I was too sick to really push back.
Once he was calm I sent him outside to shovel for large muscle release and for scenery change. He did well and came in okayish. Well untill PB said out loud to Hubbs when he got up to get ready for work “HB was being a big baby again and I think he needs a crib.”
And so it began AGAIN, only this time HB threw a throw pillow and it hit the dog who proceeded to let out a massive burp, that made Hubs throw another pillow at PB for fun and this time we kinda avoided the tantrum and had a good laugh.
After the giggles came business talk about behavior and whats next…it didn’t work, HB did not want to talk, just scream. Hubs went to work, I continued to do the daily tasks, get kids in bed and now trying thealtho find strength to get up and walk to my bed. To hopefully, feel better and look for a better day.
Side note…What kinda timing was that to get hit with a pillow and BURP? It was such a good laugh for the 5 of us for a change of pace.

Take a look at this page if you have questions about kids mental health

http://www.speakingofkidsmentalhealth.ca/mental-health-issues

Ready Set…Reality??

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.