Losing touch with reality …

I know people have, quite rightly, observed that there’s nothing I can do to change the past, but I can’t help it.

I feel I am losing sense of reality whenever I mull over the way things have gone so far. I sit here, even now, at this very moment, with an inkling that this has all been one bad dream. Perhaps if I go back to sleep, I’ll wake up at an earlier time when things were still salvageable and persuade “professionals” to help us – a bit like a “restore point” on the computer. Or that, if I will it hard enough, then I will wake up and find that there really is no Conduct Disorder, or that there never was any violence in the household, or that I am not suffering a mental breakdown, or that I still have my job, my finances are fine, and life is just ordinarily comfortable.

It is incredibly difficult for me to accept the reality of not having my son around.

It’s impossible for me to move on without him.

Today is Mother’s Day.

I decided to give myself a treat anyway, and ventured out to the local cinema on my own to see a screening of the National Theatre’s production of War Horse. I  know I’m running the risk of sounding more than a little insane, but at times I found myself believing he was sitting there next to me. I had one of those big drinks that came with two straws and I only drank out of one because I convinced myself the other straw was “his.” We “shared” popcorn. And I bought mint-flavoured Matchmakers because he prefers them to the orange ones. I watched the show as if he was with me, imagining the questions he’d be asking or the comments he’d make at varying points in the show. I even went to McDonalds after I left the cinema, even though I dislike the place myself, because that’s what we would have done if he’d been with me.

SONY DSCAm I insane?  Possibly.

Do I miss my son?  Terribly.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

 

It’s official …

I had a court hearing today at which the “official” Psychiatric report was presented and my son’s “official” condition was announced. The information did not reach me easily, and it still hurts.

It is nothing that I didn’t know already … but it still hurts.

I formed this “sister blog” to try to make sense of it all. But try as I might, the words do not come easily either, and I am still procrastinating with introductory crap. Try as I do to write more, I become entangled in the words and they stick in my throat and paralyse my fingers and blur my eyes with tears. I typed at my laptop as I sat in the Court this morning, but I know I am trying too hard.

I want to be savvy, and profound, and quick-witted, and sharp-tongued, and clever.

But cleverness doesn’t feel appropriate when you are presented with “official” findings spouting clever phrases of their own, such as, “…shows behaviours consistent with a diagnosis of Socialised Conduct Disorder … high risk of progressing to adult Antisocial Personality Disorder … no known effective treatment …Boo and Alice have a dysfunctional relationship … most likely he blames his mother for the state he finds himself in … wouldn’t advise a return to Alice’s care.”

43 pages of cleverness that blurred into the words, “You failed your son, Alice. You were given one mission in life – just one – and you failed.

Massively.”

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]

Shhh…

 

shhh

It is generally accepted that even the most reasonably priced, lower-shelf novel follows the five stages of story writing : 1. exposition, 2. rising action, 3. climax, 4. falling action,5.  resolution. As I have said before, my approach to this blog will probably read like a supermarket story too, although at the time of writing, I cannot confidently predict the resolution part as it feels that we are still very much in limbo, but hopefully a suitable one will emerge in time. Certainly parts 2 and 3 have been visited and revisited many times over.

I realise that this venture is another attempt on my part to make sense of the world around me and the less-travelled road I have taken, and I want to give myself permission to have “moments” when I can speak my mind without overtly dragging anyone down. I want to tell our story without making it so personal that people feel worried they may be recognised, embarrassed, implicated, identified.

I want to be openly anonymous.

Or anonymously open?

Anyway …

There are already some people who read this that know me as “Alice” from my other blog, “Alice Through the Macro Lens.” I have always tried to maintain a level of anonymity – mainly because some of my blog posts are quite personal, occasionally deep, rarely profound, and a bit too raw for me to be comfortably placing myself in the public eye. I haven’t been entirely successful at the covert thing, as you’ll see by a recent post on ATTML (click here if you want to read it). Those people now know I know they know about me … and quite frankly, since bleeding me dry for every drop of information I could ever give them, there’s little I could add on here that would come as a surprise to them – and nothing that would make a lick of difference to any future outcomes.

But, for the most part, I would hope than even my not-so-fail-safe attempt at anonymity will protect the innocent.

So, chances are, my name isn’t really Alice … unless of course I’m double-bluffing. Similarly, for comfort’s sake, I realise I should give my son a pseudoname rather than saying “my son” all the time. When I thought about renaming him, a particular song kept rolling round in my head, probably because it was chosen as one of Ricky Wilson’s songs in Tracks of my Years on Radio 2 yesterday morning and it gave me a chuckle. So, apologies for any misrepresentations to Johnny Cash, but from now on my son will be known as “a boy named Boo.” (Even I wouldn’t be so cruel as to name him Sue!)

PS: Anyone/anyplace else that crops up in passing will also remain similarly camouflaged.

Where do I begin…?

I know there seems to be a little bit of tongue-in-cheekness about this new blog site of mine – you may have picked up the link of the song first-liners already – but it’s actually probably not going to be as comical and cliche as first impressions may suggest.

Last October, 2013, my 12-year-old son physically assaulted me for the first time. It wasn’t the worst assault that could have happened: he kicked me, hard, in the back, as I lay in my bed trying to ignore one of his increasingly frequent tantrums. It probably shocked him as much as it did me, and I received a very apologetic text (a sign of the communicative times) from him soon after.

Ordinarily, I may have been tempted to see this as a shocking event; and, at the time, it was. But looking back, 15 months later, with a deluge of water having smashed its way beneath the bridge since then, it is evident that that kick was not the beginning of an unforeseen problem. This storm had been brewing for several years, perhaps many, if I am to read the hindseen signals correctly. The physical assault in October was merely another road taken on a route already being travelled. It was the opening of another chapter in our story, rather than a unique event without warning.

I thought about how to approach this blog. I could, as many do, present a day-to-day observation of events as they happen, and my thoughts that accompany them. There is little wrong with this approach, and if I could turn the clock back, it may have been a cathartic and helpful experience. But my story is way beyond the opening narrative. And look as I might, there are few similar tales being told. Myfamilymyvillage is one struggling mother who uses her blog this way, but she is currently immersed in the helplessness of trying to understand and help her eight-year-old son, and her absolute desperation stings with every post because she is completely in the moment.

I, on the other hand, would, to onlookers at least, appear to be through the most difficult stages of my story, in that my son is currently not living with me. Those that needed to intervene have indeed intervened, although I would suggest that this intervention was not only too little too late, but in fact, they have caused more harm than good. My son’s absence has not been a relief in any way at all. I may not be subject to the pain of physical assaults, but the pain I feel in my heart, my head and my soul hurts as much as any kick or punch or solid object he could have thrown at me.

So, I will approach this blog in  more literary way, because this is a story that does follow the distinct stages of any halfway-decent novel. And I’m quite sure that, as with all the best-laid plans, I will stray from my intended path and throw in various reflections, events as they occur, 20-20 hindsights, and probably a bit of helpful research as I discover it.

Despite the absolute dearth of information about Conduct Disorder and/or related behavioural issues, I believe there are many more parents who suffer silently with abuse and violence at the hands of their own children.

This is my story.