His Normal

Why can’t my kid be normal?

My heart is heavy. A few weeks ago I celebrated my son’s two year anniversary of his Pyrrole Disorder diagnosis. Life has never been so easy for him.

So I thought.

He’s been more social, making a conscious effort to hang out with his friends to play basketball. He had been hanging out with a couple of girls. He talked about getting a job once he turned 16. He’s been easier to live with. Less meltdowns. More smiles.

But something started to happen two weeks ago. His depression and anxiety started to rear their ugly heads.

He confided in me, life wasn’t going as smoothly as I had assumed.

Why? Why can’t my kid be normal?

He’s not been sleeping, something I thought finally was no longer a problem.

This kid has never slept. As an infant, we were always up every couple of hours. As a toddler, I would wake up to him on the floor next to my bed, on the sofa that was right outside my bedroom door or I trip over him sleeping on the floor on the other side of my bedroom door. He’s shared with me, in middle school, after I’ve gone to my room for the night, he would sit in the hallway, out of sight, and watch TV with me until I turned it off, or I feel asleep.

Now, behind his closed door, with lights off, he lays there staring at the ceiling, alone with his negative thoughts. From time to time I would hear faint music or voices coming from his room, but I figured if he could still get himself up in time for school, I wouldn’t enforce a bedtime.

Yes, I am very aware of the expert advice of not allowing electrical devices in the bedroom at bedtime. But if the electrical devices are what’s keeping him up, why has he NEVER been able to sleep? And if the electrical devices drown out his negative thoughts, why would I take them away?

He’s not alone here. His dad has trouble sleeping at night. His grandparents were always up all night and slept during the day. My mother has always used sleep aids. Even his older and younger brother struggle with getting and staying asleep.

It sucks for all of them.

But, they’re not staying up for days at a time. They’re not have audio and visual hallucinations if they’re up for more than three days. They’re not falling asleep during class. They’re not getting stuck in their negative thought process. They’re not living without hope.

And if they are, I’m so sorry they are going through this alone.

This son of mine, is not shy about spreading the misery he feels. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I start to feel sorry for myself, I think about how much more difficult it is on him. This isn’t something he can quit and walk away from.

But why can’t my son be normal?

I really thought the new diagnosis was our miracle. His mood has been lighter. The dark cloud that lingers over our house, has been lifted. I stopped waiting for the microburst, that is my son, to hit without warning. And maybe his treatment had made life easier but obviously it has its flaws.

This is my son. This is his struggle…for all of his life.

Why can’t my son be normal?

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