Sunday, January 12, 2014

Still here...

Sorry I've been so quiet lately.  Let's just say there haven't been many moments I've wanted to immortalize recently.  I'm not taking much joy in parenthood right now, and as such writing about it hasn't been particularly fun.  Usually it's a good way to vent and sort through my issues, but the problems we have right now aren't going to be fixed by any amount of typing.  Jacob's issues are so much bigger than that now, and the weight of all that we're going through makes it pretty hard to function at all a lot of the time. 

This weekend was challenging enough with both kids that Monday almost sounds appealing.  I'm tired of hearing myself yell, and I'm starting to believe that Jacob's firmly held belief that I am a "bad mommy" isn't too far from the truth.  I've had a lot of moments I'm not proud of, usually caused by desperation and the inability to constantly tolerate his ridiculousness.  Between him wanting to physically pester us a good portion of the time, and him constantly running his mouth--talking back, potty talk, yelling at Carter for no reason--it is like Chinese water torture, a constant barrage of seemingly minor but still annoying issues that all bubble up into a giant problem.  You never know which "drop" is going to put you over the edge.  Carter wasn't helping matters this weekend, as I'm guessing he might be working on a few more teeth (one year molars, maybe?).  He's constantly trying to gnaw on me, and probably bit me a good half dozen times this weekend alone.  He also didn't want to be put down for long, and was making a constant break for Jacob's toys.  Originally it looked like I would get his new play yard before the weekend, but thanks to UPS being so far behind due to "adverse weather" (what weather, I have no idea...our weather was never that bad this week so I'm not sure how they got that far behind), it is caught in some weird limbo at the facility here in town.  I really could have used the extra backup this weekend, because if it's in Carter's sights and is something he shouldn't be touching, he will stop at nothing to get it.  So, between constantly policing him, and dealing with crying fits and Jacob's constant complaining about something (food, Carter, his clothes, his toys, etc.), there were plenty of moments this weekend where the constant barrage was just too much.  There were some ugly guttural screams and a lot of tears (from various sources), and even after getting out of the house a bit tonight, I feel no better.  It gets to a point where, yes, it's nice to not be dealing with the constant barrage for a bit, but the heavy reality of what you're dealing with never really leaves you. 

I get a lot of "It'll be fine" and "It will all work out", and while for a bit I really believed that, my hope is wavering.  We thought the diet would do it, we thought the therapy might help, we thought Jacob would adjust to Carter when he got to be more fun...but here we are months later, and nothing is better.  It's probably worse, in fact.  And, you know, some people's situations just don't get better.  Who's to say we're not one of those?  Last week there was a big story around here about a kid from our town who walked out of his family's house on New Year's Day and went missing.  He's a 20 year old guy from a nice neighborhood.  It came out later that he had a discussion with his parents about his future, though no details about the intensity of the conversation have really come out.  Long story short, four days after he left, an AP photographer took a picture of a homeless guy in Washington, D.C., warming himself by a steam grate.  They printed it in the USA Today, and someone here saw it and realized it was the kid.  In four days he went from a kid in the 'burbs to a homeless guy in D.C.  I'm not saying this kid has any mental issues or anything like that, but to allow yourself to go down a path like that involves some pretty heavy stuff.  I won't lie, I worry that something like that could be our future with Jacob.  He's impulsive and won't listen to reason.  There's no guarantee that medication will level him out, given that he's not currently matching any specific diagnosis, and he doesn't understand that his behavior is problematic, no matter how much we explain to him that it is.  Who's to say that he won't understand someday when we're trying to give him advice or point him in the right direction, and he'll leave and get caught up with the wrong people?  I know that this is a big leap, but like I said, not everyone gets the happy ending. 

I keep hoping that we've overlooked some weird biological issue and some level is off and impacting his personality so greatly.  But every kid with mental issues or ADHD or whatever else surely had a moment where they went from fine enough to not fine, and perhaps Jacob hit his over the summer, with no true cause other than it being programmed into his genes.  I have no doubt that Carter's arrival was stressful for him, and while that may have been a trigger, I don't think that's the overriding issue here anymore.  There are a lot of odd behaviors and a few weird regressions, and the whole thing has left us both stumped.  It's a giant puzzle that no one has been able to solve yet.  We're in the process of getting in with a new doctor, a behavioral specialist, who can hopefully up the ante a bit and explore some new avenues for treatment.  While I'm at least hoping for some more intense behavioral therapy (though I question how Jacob will ever learn to apply behavior modification when he refuses to believe his behavior needs modifying), I wouldn't be against some sort of in-home evaluation or heck, even a brain scan, to figure out what on earth is causing him to be such a challenge. 

I will say that I liked it better when he was just ignoring Carter.  He's now moved on to loathing every aspect of Carter's existence.  He can't stand his noises, is bothered by the smells of his food, hates that Carter is happy all the time, and is completely frustrated by the fact that he can scream in Carter's face and Carter just laughs and smiles at him.  For the record, it concerns me a bit, given Jacob's apparent disregard for social cues, that Carter is completely unphased and even amused by Jacob's angry tirades directed at him.  For now I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he's just so obsessed with his big brother (as most babies are with big kids) that he's just excited to get any acknowledgement out of him.  But Jacob is infuriated every time Carter giggles at his antics, even though we've explained that he's not laughing at him like he's making fun of him, but rather he just thinks that everything Jacob does is a hilarious performance.  Jacob does not like that at all.  He's been saying lately that he wants to hit him, and the fact that he's getting close enough to yell or shove a pillow to block him from his toys makes me worry that he's getting that much closer to acting on his urges.  Then what?

This post is already long enough and I know there was probably more I wanted to say.  I just don't have words for the sadness I'm feeling right now.  I just don't have any answers and the possible solutions just aren't looking promising to me right now.  I just feel so stuck.  I'm sure I'll have more to relate tomorrow, but right now I just need to get some sleep.

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