The honest truth is before getting help for my son I was feeling a lot of guilt for our struggle together. Most of our time felt like it was being spent telling him no and putting him in time out. How can you feel happiness when it just feels like a constant battle to get him to understand you and focus. Even when we would try to do fun things my sons emotional instability made it very difficult to enjoy because he could be set off and be sad, screaming, upset and trying to bring him back felt impossible like he fell into a black hole and we could not reach him. More importantly I lacked understanding and patience.There were good moments too because my son would have the lowest lows but the highest highs. His happiness was contagious but that was also over clouded by the fact that he would not listen to the things I needed him to do, like his homework, or simple tasks.
Communicating was so difficult. I could not break the wall between us and make him understand what I needed. Looking back I now see that he could not break the wall and show me what he needed. We could not understand each other and see the others side. I think we both wanted to so much. I wanted to help him and he wanted to help me. I remember one day seeing it suddenly in those eyes even if quickly the moment where I knew he wanted to do what I wanted. He wanted to succeed. Suddenly it was so clear to me that the way he was is not his choice but something so much bigger than him or I could help and control.
I loved him, I wanted to help him. Yet at the same time I was growing increasingly frustrated with the situation and feeling like all the good moments were being clouded over. Near the end it had me wondering if our family would be better if he was not in it because I could not give him the help he needed.
So how was his relationship with his mother? Not enough joy and happiness. Not where I wanted it to be and I am sure it is not where he wanted it to be. I think this is one of the reasons the doctor when prescribing my son medication said “We are giving him this medication because we feel the advantages will outweigh any side effects.” Maybe some people feel they do not need medicine but I think that is because the advantages don’t outweigh the side effects.
I could fill out that questionnaire again enthusiastically, writing all the improvement I have seen but the one question that would bring me the most joy is I could change that guilty, confusing, sad, and generous 4 into an honest and amazing 1! Not because he is a zombie (which he is not), not because he never gets in trouble (we have our moments), and not because he never makes a mess (have you seen my house?) but because we have fun together, we can talk now, we have more understanding, we have more patience, we have happiness.