The GOOD NEWS for me is through all the tests and procedures, my heart was proven healthy. This is great news, since my Dad and all of my brothers have heart issues. And since I am older than my brothers, I feel it a particular blessing. I had a dangerous blood clot in my neck and a few in my right arm, but they are gone! (Yay!) I have some follow up stuff to do and some meds I still need to take for a while. I'll always need to be checked for PVD (peripheral vascular disease), but for now, I'm good to go. I'm almost healed from the access site, too. Still moving a little slowly, but getting around the house okay.
So, that's all great, good, normal stuff -- except for if you're raising traumatized kids with attachment issues and anxiety. To say my illness has thrown things off a bit around here is putting it mildly. Things haven't been TOO bad -- no reverting to criminal activity or full-blown rages (at least not as of this morning), but we've had some issues to deal with along the way. And yes, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Youngest Son has gone into full withdrawal mode the last several weeks. I wrote about this earlier. For the most part, we let him live there. If he gets too belligerent when spoken to, or if he seems he's sinking in depression, we pull him out of his room for some time in. We play a board game or put a movie on Netflix we know he'll enjoy. Most of the time, though, he stays in his room and draws the same sports car over and over again, making only minute changes to the color or angle so that he can say, "It's a totally different car."
|One of thousands of sports car drawings by Youngest Son. I've copyrighted this, so that means you can't use it without my permission. Just sayin'.|
For some kids with PTSD and attachment issues, repetitive movement or sound-making is soothing. For my Youngest Son, it's repetitive car drawing.
Still, I worry so much he will be stuck where he is. He's done some significant healing. He's been an exemplary community member and his grades aren't great but they're not horrible either. He just doesn't seem to have any initiative or drive. I believe he'd be content to live in our basement the rest of his life, whether he got a job or not -- and I wonder if he'll ever get a job.
Hubby took Youngest Son around to just about every fast food restaurant and store in walking distance over the holiday break. He picked up applications, filled them out at home, and hubby took him back to deliver them. Around here, applicants are expected to follow up on their own applications. If you wait for the phone to ring, you're going to be waiting a long time. So that's what we're doing. NOTHING.
Oh, I "made him" call one pizza place, but they were just hiring for drivers. Youngest Son has had no real motivation to work on getting his driver's license, though he's had the permit since spring 2012. See, we don't have any cool cars and we're not buying him one. Why bother? Right?
As for any overt reaction to my illness, it's been all about not listening. Even the day I went for my surgery, he was surprised. "What? Wait? Surgery? What's that?" Sigh. Yeah, really. These are the kinds of things I deal with all. the. time. with my 17 year old son. The cluelessness is huge. To the outside world, it looks like we don't include him in anything, or like we don't teach him, don't like him, don't pity him, don't - whatever. If they spent more than a week of having to actually DEAL WITH this kid 24/7, they might begin to get a clue. But I realize now, the only ones who understand are other parents living similar lives.
Two days after my surgery, in an accusatory tone, he asked, "Did you not make any BREAD for dinner?" Um. No, dear. I did not make bread for dinner. I did not make DINNER! There is plenty of food. You are a big boy. You are fine. And before you ask, I did not do your laundry. I did not clean the floor. I did not feed the dogs. And I did not wipe your butt when you got home from school. These are all things I am sure you are capable of handling for YOURSELF. Any more questions? (Sometimes, I am so not in the mood to be therapeutic, but then I wonder if maybe these kinds of questions back at him aren't just a different KIND of therapeutic parenting.)
As for The Princess, she's been mostly amazing through this whole thing. There have been a few times when she's stomped off to her room and hidden under her bed, but mostly she's been "too good." She's done far more than her share around the house and she's done everything for me from make me toast to help me up out of the Lazy Boy. Yes, there are times she's been too hyper, too immature and too disrespectful to Hubby, but most of the time she's been great.
Quite frankly, she makes a better cup of tea than anyone in the family.
Some really good, caring, and amazing ladies have made meals for us the last few nights and that's been a blessing, too. If you're one of those ladies, thank you!
I'm getting there. We're getting there.