Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Something Has to Give

Yesterday was a rough day.  I had to go into work late, then I met with my University Liaison, and then after school is was off to meet with Grover's counselor.

I was very nervous about having to talk to my UL yesterday.  I wanted to let her know what I'm dealing with - explain why I didn't have the work I was supposed to have - but I didn't want it to be an excuse session.  In all honesty, I needed someone to talk to.  I laid it all out for her.  I told her what's been going on, my inner combats on whether or not I should continue, and my feelings about being so behind and busy and never having enough time for my kids.  It was a very therapeutic meeting.  She looked me dead in the eyes and told me that she was sorry with what I was dealing with, but I couldn't give up.  She understood about my feelings on not having enough time with the kids.  She told me that the next few weeks would be rough - the end of a semester always is - but then I would have Christmas break.  Two full weeks to make up to my kids for not being around much.  Then, after Christmas, I would have four months of working hard...but then that would be it, I'd be done.

Hearing her tell me how dedicated I am, how strong I have always been, and how she has faith in me to finish what I've started really helped.  No, it didn't magically erase all of the doubt, worry, and guilt - but it helped.  I know, at the end of the day, I'm not going to quit.  I can't.  It would be like me running 20 miles of a marathon and then giving up.  Going all that way, and then deciding I don't want to finish the last tiny leg of the race - even though I know that those last couple of miles are the hardest.  That's just not going to happen.  Not only have I invested 3 years of my life into becoming a teacher, I've invested thousands of dollars - money that I can't let go to waste.  So, I left my meeting with her feeling a little better - making the decision that I'm in this until the end, and will have to think of another way to deal with my personal issues.

After work, I rushed off to meet with Grover's counselor.  We had a good conversation. For 30 minutes, he became my counselor.  I let out my frustrations, my sadness, my concern that I'm not being a good mother - and didn't know how to do what I needed to do to help with Grover's issues.  He said something to me that, at first, I thought was a way to make me feel better...then I quickly realized that was not what he meant - and the worry set it.  He looked at me and said "there really isn't anything that you are going to be able to do to help".  After the reality hit in that what he was saying wasn't a good thing - I asked him what he meant.  Well, he explained that he thinks that Grover's issues are not caused by me - not directly, anyway.  Grover is dealing with "attention" issues, but not what I was thinking.  He has his own battles going on inside of him - battles that I didn't start, nor will I be able to win for him.  He's depressed - but not because of a chemical imbalance.  He has a mood disorder, that is causing him to act the way he is, do the things he's doing.  There are medicines he can try - but the counselor doesn't think they will help.  The counselor believes that Grover may need residential care. 

Now, hearing those words didn't have the shock impact I thought they would.  Maybe, because in my mind - I've kind of expected to hear that.  I really hate to admit it - but I knew that I didn't know how to control him.  I've tried every trick in the book to try and help: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, discipline, consequences, rewards...all cause him to self sabotage himself....each time increasing in magnitude.  It's gotten to the point now where I have no idea what else to do, and the counselor is at the same point. 

No parent wants to hear that their child may have to receive residential treatment.  I don't want Grover to be somewhere else - despite everything that's going on.  The reality is, though, if it might help - then I need to do what ever needs to be done.  I don't have full details on what "residential treatment" would be involved, the length of time he would have to be there, etc.  The counselor is going to meet with the doctors today to discuss it - I should hear something later this afternoon.  The point the counselor gave me, though, is that if I continue doing what I'm doing - it may get to a point where another option (such as residential treatment) will be too late.  Grover may get to the point where he gets so stuck in his ways - and with continuing magnitude of anger, aggression, and self-sabotage - that he will end up in serious trouble, and there will be nothing I can do to fix it.

Please, keep my family in your thoughts today.  This is going to be a tough few days, as the decisions are made and options are given.  Nothing is set in stone, yet...I don't know what other alternatives they may give.  Whatever they are, I just want the best for Grover.  I want to help him - he is my son.  I love him with all of my heart.  It's very hard to admit defeat, admit that I don't know what else to do, admit that I can't be the "fix-all" parent.  I just hope that whatever I decide - it helps him get better.


  1. Oh Joanna, I just wish I could do something to help you! It's been a rough go for you. I'll be thinking about you and your family today. It's hard sometimes to admit we can't fix things (especially with our children). But I applaud you for realizing that for this instance you have to put your own pride and feelings aside for the sake of Grover's development and well-being. Most parents don't do that.

    Best wishes to you.

  2. You know, Joanne, when I read your post yesterday, I was thinking about what you had written about things that had happened in your past, and I was thinking that those things are also part of your son's past. I decided not to comment about that, because 1) I didn't want to add to your feelings of guilt, and 2) I didn't want to come across as a know-it-all. But I have to say I am so glad that your son's counselor has talked to you about what he really needs. And I am VERY impressed with your reaction; the most common reaction from a parent is denial, and that just delays the time it takes for the child to get the help he needs.

    I will indeed be thinking about you and your family and praying for all of you!

  3. Thanks, Colleen.

    Cathy - it's funny you should mention my past. I have had many discussions with Grover's counselor about Grover's bio-dad. I'm convinced that there is some genetic factors at play. Grover is doing things that his bio-dad did when he was younger. I will NOT allow Grover to follow in those same footsteps.

    Thanks to you both for the encouragement and support.


Tell me what's on your mind - I love to hear from you!