I wish I had words of wizdom for you. Only a thank you. I feel like you are a kindered spirit out there and it helps to read your story because it could have been written by me. We also have no time for ourselves and are shut in living a day to day hell that it seems nobody else on this planet could ever understand. Maybe you are the only one. So thank you for helping some stranger on the internet by sharing your story. I understand your pain, if I wasn't responsible for someone else's life, I would have given up already and ended mine.
But I plug away. I had told my son (who is now 11) early on that I would never give up on him. I've tried every therapy out there, hired home behavoral experts, participated in studies at NIH, did Kazden Skype sessions, and most medications that exist have been tried. I came across your post today because I am broken and not quite giving up but realized there is nothing left to try. I have considered quitting my job (which also is my respite) to homeschool, seriously thought of moving to Alaska wilderness and being off the grid with no TV or internet just lots of fresh air, to just sending him away to a therapeudic boarding school. I worry if I send him away he'll come back worse. Since he is so young, he doesn't have the sexual predatory issues, the alcohol or drug abuse issues, etc yet. But with other kids around, I am sure those are coming. I too want to keep my son safe and out of jail. I think I might have found a good fit for him but the tuition is well over $100,000 a year. Now on top of everything, we are trying to get our house ready to sell plus our cars and I don't know what else just so we can send him there. And all he will think is that I gave up on him for the rest of his life.
I know your post was about you and not me, so whatever I can say to help I will try, but obviously I don't have many answers. If you are at all like me you might be struggling with some things that I did looking back to age 5, here are some things I'd have done earlier if I got a redo: I know TV and video games help give you a break for a shower or quick meal, but in hindsight I'd cut them all out. Your kiddo is as smart as mine, and mine learned how to search for "XXX" in second grade. Then he quickly learned all the racial slurs and epithets to offend people and likes to use them for reactions. So, as hard as it is, cut them out forever, even surpervised usage doesn't work with these kids. By locks for everything. We have automatic locking keypads on all our bedroom doors so we can run into our rooms and get away quickly, or just make sure our stuff is safe if we go in the kitchen, etc. Hide knives, hide alcohol, hide medicine. Hire an educational consultant to help with IEPs and school choices early on, they are worth the investment. Don't waste money on sports if he doesn't like them, you will only waste your money that you will need later to pay bills on therapists. Everybody in the world says point systems work, we have never found anything but stress by experts telling us we need to be more consistent. Yeah, after your kid just punched you, you are supposed to still treat him for ice cream because he tied his shoes without a meltdown earlier? Smart kids tend not to be as motivated by points anyway, in my humble opinion. CBT didn't work, play therapy didn't work, Kazdin didn't work... we are going to try DBT but I know your kid is too young for that. My son is good with pets, so having a dog sleep with him seems to be calming, but don't do it if you are concerned with pet safety. Shop around for good psychiatrists, they are hard to find but really worth the effort (for your kid). Seeing a therapist yourself? For me, just another appointment and stressor when I already had hundreds to go to, so not worth it for me but if you ever have more time give it a try. My therapy is yoga and serious weight lifting when I can run out and take turns with my husband. Intermittent fasting also makes me feel like I am doing something for my health and it simplifies life because you don't have to think of cooking, only one meal a day twice a week. Gretchen Rubin's Happiness podcast helps sometimes with tips on little things to make yourself happier, and I listen on way to work. Tim Ferriss is a good one as well.
Anyway, my kid has 6 years on yours. In our time, we've found a few good times in those years and I hope someday we will find some set of medications and support that work better but it isn't an easy path. But you are not alone.