I sat across from Justice’ doctor and heard her say, “Since it’s been over a year since his last meltdown and he’s been off all his meds but one, I’m going to remove the diagnosises of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Pyschotic Disorder, and Receptive/Expressive Disorder from his treatment plan and change the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to Anxiety. If that’s okay with you.”
I sat back to reflect our last year.
Never in my wildest dreams would I even allow myself to dream of Justice living like this. I told his previous doctor if we could just get his meltdowns to once a month, I’d be thrilled.
Here we sit, discussing my son, MY SON who has struggled with life since birth. Struggled with expressing his feelings appropriately.
Whether he was happy or sad, he was always disruptive. Most of the time he was neither, and yet both at the same time.
He was dark and gloomy. A dark cloud hovered over our house.
I walked on eggshells around him as a baby. He had terrorized his siblings ever since he was a toddler. Middle school is when I stopped letting him be alone with his younger brother after receiving a phone call that he was chasing his younger brother around the house with a knife.
No one knew what was going to set him off.
No one knew when it was going to happen.
No matter how many times it did, no one was ever prepared.
He would start by clinching his fists and breathing through his clenched teeth. His eyes would widen, his face would turn red and he shook as he would speak, before he would violently turn into an erupting volcano.
He would scare me. He would terrify his siblings.
He would throw things, break things, hit things. His voice would change to one I wouldn’t recognize and he’d say things like, “I don’t care! I wish I wasn’t apart of this family! I hate you! I’m going to kill you! Call the police, I’ll make them shoot me! I wish I was dead.”
And of course, I was always afraid to call the police, because I was afraid he would be shot. So I delt with this alone. It wasn’t quietly, as you could image, but I was alone.
Then there was the day he whispered to me through a closed door that he heard voices. That they tell him to do things he doesn’t want to do. This was after he had pushed me for the first and only time.
I remember at five, pleading with his doctor to help me. I was afraid if I couldn’t control him at five, how could I ever control him at fifteen?
I was brushed off. I was told he was going through a phase that he would outgrow. I knew better. I knew differently.
His father told me time and time again his behavior with me was due to bad parenting. “He doesn’t behave that way with me.” Although, they only saw each other four days a month, and he was threatened if he acted up he would be sent home to his mother.
At school he was suspended more times than I can count. Most of the time it was because he wouldn’t explain his behavior and they felt he was defying their authority. They would send him home. When I would ask him what happened, he would say he didn’t know. At one time I told him just to confess to whatever they thought he was doing but he told me, “That would be lying. I didn’t do what they say.”
He was always misunderstood. I was one of them.
Why do you have to make life so hard? He couldn’t tell me.
As he got older, his meltdown became more scary. He would be sobbing and tell me he had done something horrible to someone, when I knew there was no way he could have done anything, to anyone. Although he would never tell me exactly what he thought he had done, he would act with such grief and sorrow as if he had killed someone. No amount of comfort could console him.
As the exhaustion of his meltdown would overcome him, he would curl up into a fetal position and cry on the floor in his closet, or behind a sofa, “I’m sorry. Please don’t hurt me. I’m sorry.”
Sometimes I could stroke his arm in comfort and reassure him he was safe, but most of the time I couldn’t. He would jump and move away from me. “I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY! PLEASE DON’T HURT ME!”
Who the heck is hurting my little boy? I thought I was watching my son lose his mind. I felt so alone. I felt so helpless. I felt so hopeless.
When he wasn’t having a meltdown, he was so incredibly sweet. Oh my gosh, he cared if he hurt someone’s feelings. He was so funny. He goofed around. He loved with his whole self.
But something would snap. It always would snap. He would turn into the Hulk. The difference was like night and day. And it would break my heart because I knew how much he hated to be like this.
He would tell me, “Mom, just let me go. I can’t anymore. I don’t want to do this, anymore.”
But never, never would I give up. Never would I let him go. We were in this together, as much as that sucked.
And then one day, out off the blue really, his doctor thought about maybe testing him for Pyrrole Disorder.
It had a test. And not one of those pen and paper tests that change with interpretation. No! This was a urine test.
He tested positive. That was great, but the treatment seemed iffy. Supplements I could buy over the counter.
At this point, he’s on Seroquel, Depakote, and Prozac, and she’s feeding me this line that he might be able to come off all these meds, or at least reduce them greatly, after years of playing with other cocktails of meds until we came up with this one.
I was hopeful, but not holding my breath. Mother’s of children with mental illness know, diagnoses and medicines always change, but never go away.
Throughout this last year, I slowly started to watch him change. He would get angry, and I would be ready to put out the fire, but the fire never came.
He became more social. He joked around a lot. He would raise his voice and then laugh at us as everyone got ready to watch him blow. He thought our PTSD was funny.
He’s still got that weird sense of humor. He likes things that are dark. He’s completely inappropriate. He likes to tip his toe over that line of respect, and then laugh it off. He thinks grossing mom out or making her worry or upset is funny.
He thinks he can make everything alright when he comes up to me and gives me a big hug, “I love you, Mommy!”
And he’s usually right, cuz I hug him back, “I love you, Jus Jus.”
And then he’ll say something just as offensive or as obnoxious, just to get one more, “Justice!”out of me as I push him away, and he can laugh one last time.
Oh my gosh, he’s a complete pain in my butt, but for an entirely different reason.
He’s a normal teenage boy.
“His mood has been stable, that was the Mood Disorder. He hasn’t complained of any voices, the Pyschotic Disorder, and he seems to be able to express himself and is not getting confused anymore, the Expressive/Receptive disorder. You said yourself, it’s been over a year.”
“It’s been a miracle.”
“It really has. You should make a YouTube video of your journey.”
“Well, I write a blog. You can READ IT ALL, at KimSimister.com” 🙂
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your blessings. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your guidance. And thank you for our Justice. Amen.
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. – 1 Peter 5 :10