After I got over wanting to kill my difficult child the other day things eased up a bit. He did have a bit of a 'tude after the incident and was trying to be defiant but I ended up putting the "smack down" on that. (no actual smacking) I'm beginning to see this cyclothemia thing starting to evolve into possibly bi polar which is how the cookie usually crumbles. After difficult child's temper blister popped the pressure changed instantly. He was sweet, smiling and eager to please. It was like he was instantly on his best behavior and has stayed that way since then. I'm talking about scrubbing his bathroom until it sparkled without being told to. Then he was excited to show it off like he needed some positive feedback. The back and forth nature of his moods and disorder are a real challenge. He makes me crazy and then he gets to be just plain ole wonderful. The wonderful part really tugs at my heart. Then my empathy, motherly concern and worries kick in. Then I am all prepped for heartbreak the next time he slips back. *sigh* Mind you, I'm not complaining. I know some of you don't get the reward of the up cycle and the beast fading for a couple days. I know some of you never see the flip side. Don't be envious though...the flip flop, flip flop and then flip flop all over again is no picnic either. Anywhoo, when his harsh exterior softens it chokes me up. I start to see how needy he is, how hard life is for him and all the things that may not work out for him as an adult. Then I want so much to protect my baby, to help him because I know he will be a late late late bloomer if he ever can function as a complete adult. Then I feel bad because I know he needs stability and if I can't deal with his dark moods and outbursts he will be lost. I know he won't maintain his medications and care alone. I know he will always need a person to watch over him to make sure his fridge in his apartment has food between paydays. He will always need some guidance. I am his only chance to maybe succeed. If he gets cast off from our family I know nothing good can come of it for him. By letting him go I know I seal his fate. Then I envision him homeless or addicted or off medications and suicidal. I know those potential realities would cause me much more pain than this immediate drama in life. I just have to take every day knowing what my long term hopes are for him. In light of that we are going to save up for a travel trailer for him. It isn't much but a guest house is waaaay out of our price range. When he is maybe 17 1/2 I will let him move into it and "play house". He will be just out of our back yard but close enough for me to help him figure out how to shop for his own groceries on a budget (allowance). I will expect him to keep his own place clean, maybe he will get excited about his "freedom" and take pride in his place. It's amazing what things we have to teach our kids that most parents take for granted. Then after he does turn 18 he may not be in a rush to escape. He'll have privacy but still feel like he is safe at home. No matter how much he wants to grow up I think it will be a long time before he feels ready to actually go. Just thinking out loud...trying to have some light at the end of the tunnel. (not a train either) I'm going to enjoy his sunshine for a week or so. I just hope I can learn to see his shift and not let it hurt so much when it happens.