Apparently, I’m the only one that writes about teen bipolar disorder. I’m sure I’m not, but I’m the only blogs that come up with that tag. I wonder where the others are. Where are the teens that are battling this? Where are the mothers? Where are the families struggling to understand?
I have my own therapy session today. I kind of dread going because my therapist gives me advice and then I don’t do it. Today, I’ll have to admit that I didn’t do it again.
Given the past with DS and how violent he was previously, my therapist wants me to reach out to local agencies to find out what kind of protections are available to me in case it happens again. I just can’t bring myself to do it. Mostly, I forget about it, but I really don’t want to, either. Things are going well and I want to believe that they will continue that way. If I start calling, it’s like admitting that I don’t believe in my son. Also, I couldn’t get help before all of this started, so I find it hard to believe that I would be able to get any help now. Deep down, I feel like I really should call, just to know, but then there’s figuring out how to call without DS hearing the conversations. I can’t make the calls at work and we live in a small home. Maybe I should email.
That aside, I need to pay bills and taxes. I wish I could ignore those, too.
Last night was the first night that he didn’t want to take his meds. I was trying so hard not to cry. The meds have made a huge difference. We don’t have the explosive fights anymore. I’m not afraid of him anymore. He tells me he loves me and I believe him.
He finally took them, but I was so afraid that he wouldn’t. Later, I pointed out how well we’ve been getting along. We’ve had disagreements, but it’s been two weeks since we’ve had an actual fight. Before he left, the fights were daily, often multiple times a day. I was afraid of him and I hated to be home, and yet I worried about him constantly. I finally feel like I have my son back.
Please keep taking the meds!
A lot has happened during the past three weeks, the three weeks that I have been in hiatus. I didn’t mean to disappear, but then I did.
In summary, he’s home now.
Of course, that’s not really the end. Instead, it’s another part of our journey. It happened oh so quickly. On March 1, I was planning a weekend visit for the following weekend. On March, 4th, I found out that there was a possibility that he would be released the following week. On March 5th, we had the “review” meeting with the on site therapist and pscyh. On March 6th, I found out that the insurance had officially decided that his release date would be on the 13th, pending that the weekend visit went well.
Being that his release date was only four days after I would leave town, as long as the weekend visit went as I had anticipated, I couldn’t see having to plan another trip to pick him up. So I had decided that I would bring him home that weekend, again, only if all went well.
Since it was a fun weekend with no expectations, I figured that we would have an enjoyable time and I was right. Saturday night was hard when I tried to drop him off at the home. He was pretty upset. I’ll spend more time on that in another post, but not tonight. In summary, he felt betrayed by me and was upset that I had put him in a “nut house.”
Early Sunday morning, I called the supervisor of the house and let her know that there was a strong possibility that I would be checking him out that day. However, I needed to talk with him first and we needed to decide on some ground rules. He had no idea that my checking him out was even a possibility.
He’s been home now for two weeks. The first week was tough. He was still explosive and volatile, but not quite to the previous extent. The medicine seemed to be helping, but not quite enough. The following week, he began an extended release version of the same medicine. So far, there have been no outbursts. He gets angry, still. He still calls me names and flips me off, but it’s different. He hugs me more, he says “I love you” more, he talks to me more. He does what I say most of the time, even if it’s somewhat of a battle to get it done, he still does it. He’s compassionate and, so far, I’m not afraid of him anymore.
I began reading Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents: What to do When Your Teen Has BPD: A Complete Guide for Families by Blaise Aguirre, M.D. Although my son was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and his already existing diagnosis of Aspergers, this book is definitely shedding some light on everything and making me wonder if the Bipolar diagnosis is accurate. I am getting a clearer understanding as to how he thinks and how I should respond.
It’s interesting listening to him talk about things. He shared that he had a dream in which we had gone out to eat. He needed to use the restroom, but a lady kept stopping him and telling him that he needed to express how he feels about it. There was more to the dream and we laughed pretty hard about it. He seems to be doing a better job of expressing himself. I don’t seem to be setting him off as much, nor is he setting me off as much. I know we feed off of each other in a negative way and I’m glad to see that easing up. It’s nice to just be together.
It’s been a perfectly normal weekend. What a relief to finally have one. Given that I was sick yesterday and the exciting phone call from DS, I guess it wasn’t completely normal, but I’ll certainly take it. It was the first weekend that I have actually felt like me.
This was my fourth weekend without DS. The first weekend, I was wrapping up a little mini vacation. After the intake, I ran away for a few days and hid from all. I definitely wasn’t myself. I was a total and complete emotional wreck. The following weekend, I slept. A lot. I was ok with that. Given all that had transpired during the last few months along with the final emotional toll of DS being admitted to residential care, I knew I needed time to recover. I dragged along on Saturday and Sunday, but it was a three day weekend, so I made myself get busy on Monday. Then, last weekend hit. And depression hit. I was a wreck in a completely different way. I sledged along and was relieved when Monday came.
This weekend was different. I made plans with friends. I went out with a friend on Friday and had plans for Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I got sick during the night Friday and had to cancel Saturday’s plans, but that was ok. When my stomach allowed me, I got up and did some stuff around the house. When it was hurting, I laid down or graded papers. I had the phone call with DS practically begging me to come and visit. This morning, I spent almost the first three hours of the day finding the best deals for car and hotel rentals and figuring out arrangements for the dogs. I don’t know why it has to be so time consuming. I cleaned the house, I did laundry, I cooked.
It was a perfectly normal weekend and it felt good.
Depression. It hit from nowhere and it hit so hard. I wrote a tiny bit last weekend about the sadness, but I didn’t fully admit the burden of it. I got home from work on Friday night and I went to bed. And I stayed in bed. I stayed in bed all day Saturday and I stayed in bed all day Sunday. I got up here and there to use the bathroom, eat something, do an occasional load of laundry, I probably randomly picked up stuff as well, but mostly, I stayed in bed. I slept a lot and I watched too much television, and I got very little done that needed to be done. And I cried. And I felt so very heavy with the sadness of it all. Both nights, I dreamed that I had a nervous breakdown and I took a leave of absence from work.
Finally, Monday came and I walked into work and it was a relief. I knew I needed to be there. I needed to be with my awesome colleagues that support me and I needed to be doing my job. Confession, I am a teacher. I love my students as only teachers can understand. We don’t just educate, we love our kids fully and deeply as if they are our own. I needed my students. I needed to be with them. I needed their laughs, their giggles, their silly little jokes and their hugs. When I walked into my classroom at 7 a.m. Monday morning, I took a big sigh of relief.
Work remained a refocus for me and I was fine throughout the week, as long as no one asked me how I was doing. Of course, by no one, I mean those that knew. With those, I cried, each and every time they asked…and I was always surprised by my tears.
I had called DS (probably before the weekend or Saturday night, I can’t remember) and he didn’t seem to care one way or the other if he ever came home. Family therapy was Tuesday night and he continued to state that he doesn’t want to come home to our town, but if I move, he’s ready to come home. He stated that home is a prison. He called me lazy and insisted that he does everything. He says I never take him anywhere. He went on and on with ridiculous, ludicrous claims that I couldn’t wrap my brain around. He kept bringing up how he asks to go to Walmart often and I never take him. He HATES to go to Walmart and never wants to go unless he needs new ear buds or wants a particular movie. It just didn’t make any sense. To bring up the “prison” or that I am lazy, I get that, as much as I hate it, I get that teens feel that way. However, when Walmart was his focus, I knew something was way off. I still don’t understand what all of that was about. Additionally, JD, the therapist, brought up doing an overnight visit if we can get approval from the insurance, but DS didn’t seem to care one way or another about that, either.
Since DS didn’t care about a visit, I didn’t care, either. I knew that being with him would be painful. He wouldn’t talk and we’d just be there. It would cost me a lot financially to have to go and get him, and all of that was just stressing me out. However, he is my son, and I do love him, and even if it’s stressful, I do want him to know that I care and I’m here for him so I was trying to figure it out. But then, JD called and said an overnight isn’t an option, insurance won’t allow it. (Why does insurance get to make that decision?) So I began to think ahead about me staying in a hotel and trying to figure that all out, but again, I didn’t really want to.
And then he called me. Last night, he actually called me and he was bubbly and kind and he actually talked to me. He asked when he gets to come home for the weekend and was bummed when I told him that it wasn’t an option. However, when I told him that I am trying to figure out how to come and visit him, he was excited. He told me several times that he wants to see me and he keeps insisting that I come next weekend. I’ll do my damndest to make it work. My nephew will take care of the dogs for me, so now I have to get the car rental in place. I can figure out the hotel once I’m there.
I’m in shock that he wants to see me and in shock that he has completely turned around. I hope it’s not a temporary thing, but even if it is, I’ll take it. I woke up yesterday morning feeling good and having shrugged off the depression. I was able to have a normal day so to have it end the way that it did, I couldn’t be happier.
Wow, DS actually called me tonight. I’m kind of in shock. Not only did he call, he kept me on the phone for 40 minutes until staff told him that his time was up. Additionally, he really wants me to come and visit. So now, I’m trying to figure out what to do about the dogs, find a car to rent (I have a crappy car), and a place to stay. I wish I could afford it, because I really can’t, but I need to make it happen. Knowing that he wants to see me makes all of the difference in the world. I was really feeling like he couldn’t care less. I’m glad to know otherwise.
Also, I asked him if he is going to stay on his meds when he’s home and he was reluctant to answer. I told him that he can be honest if he’s not going to, but I want him to consider two things:
1. The medicine can do a number to his body if he stops cold turkey so he needs to ween off of it.
2. I’d really like him to give it at least a month because it should take that edge off when he has to deal with me so that he doesn’t feel like he wants to kill me. His response? “For the record, I’ve never felt like I wanted to kill you.”
Wow, you have no idea what progress that is! I was just using a hyperbole, but it was awesome to hear him state that and that he wanted to make sure that I knew it. Simply wow.