Windows in time...sharing a moment

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Star*, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi Family,

    I don't "play" too much up here in the General Forum, I find myself relying on the non-difficult child issues to help me through the day, but I still try to get up here to lend a hand, advice and support.

    For those of you who are new and don't know me or my son "Dude" it's been a very, very hard, long, and disturbing life for us both. When I came to this board, I lurked for a long time before I ever posted because I was SURE if I posted what was really going on in our home? The ladies here would brush me off as just a "bad" Mom. Nothing could be farther from the truth on either thought. I'm not a bad Mom and I never got judged. Just loved.

    So I thought I would share a window with you in a day of my life now with my son who is 18 coming to my home for a 'planned' visit. Here's the difference your involvement, continued support and detachment can make.

    At age 10 - Dude was being kicked out of school on a daily basis - I lost a good job, and had left my severely abusive husband. Being a single Mom was hard. Trying to rise above all the anger, temper, language and constant rage while trying to keep myself together were near impossible.

    Dude was breaking things, kicking holes in walls, throwing things, making weapons, chasing kids with garden tools, stealing things from others at school, lying like no one I have EVER met, cursing, disrespecting teachers, police, me, neighbors - friends, not able to sit still for 5 minutes, disobeying minute to minute, smearing feeces on the walls and all over the place, leaving poop in the tub when I finally DID win a nightly battle for a bath...screaming, having meltdowns....and our list goes on and on.

    Yesterday - my son called to see if he could come to the house and if he could bring a 4-wheeler he "earned" to work on. Then wanted to talk to his Dad. "Hi Dad - not just "HEY I WANT." started the conversation.

    Then "Would you have time IF I bring my 4 wheeler there to help me?" and Df said "Of course" (believe me against his better judgement) he always gets screwed in these "can you" deals. But today - even started out different.

    So he showed up like he said - brought the 4 wheeler WITH RECEIPT like he said, and then ASKED (don't faint old board aunties) ASKED DF WHERE he could put it....where could he work on it....COULD he use some tools? COULD DF help him he didn't understand how this works.....and the list went on and on and on - to the point that I just grabbed a lawn chair, grabbed my camera, and sat in the sunshine and took pictures of them both, in the garage/shop working together -side by side; not arguing, but listening to each other....and laughing.......DID YOU HEAR ME??? LAUGHING = TOGETHER about putting this old hunk of junk together and making it nice...listening to the "Plans" about how it can be made nicer and talking "Shop".

    It may not seem like a lot to anyone else who has a child but this in 18 years has NEVER happened. I got a call asking, I actually had a child SHOW up, and he LISTENED and DID as he was instructed. OMG it was amazing.

    The most amazing part came when we needed to go to the grocery store. DF actually TOLD Dude that he would LEAVE him there - in HIS shop to work on some other things he wanted to work on AS LONG as he could TRUST him to close up properly. DF never went on and on about how things should be or HOW to do anything - he just said "I am going to trust you one more time to do things properly when you leave." and you know what?

    We went grocery shopping, and Dude called - someone he knew came by and offered to give him a ride home (He had them wait outside) and called us and said he was locking the shop, house up and leaving DF's phone on the table - he had to (ready for this?????) GET HOME EARLY so he could shower (OMG THANK YOU FOR WATER USE) and get to bed early (Could the pills be working?) and get up for COMMUNNITY SERVICE (BECAUSE>>>>>>>) he does NOT have school MTW and he can work 8-5 and get ALL his community service done in three days instead of sleeping in (BLINK BLINK) HE called (OMG ) and asked the man that runs the place where he is doing community service "CAN I COME 3 days this week and get it done?" ON HIS OWN.....

    I can't tell you how well I slept last night - It's much easier to sleep with a smile on your face....and to me this was HUGE.....I'm on a cloud today and so .....mmmmm Appreciative of the yesterday I got to witness.

    I never thought I'd live long enough to see Dude and Df working together on something - and laughing.....

    OH and FYI - when we got home - Dude was gone, the door was locked, the garage was NEAT as a pin - even swept.....locked....and DF nearly had an shock attack from beacon of light shining from my grin.....
    (but I gotta tell ya I was holding my breath until he flipped the light on) lol

    I even 2 hugs. BEFORE I left for groceries......

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, Congratualtions proud Mamma!! You have a lot to be thankful for this year and you deserve it! Maybe Dude is realizing that he has a lot to be thankful for, too! Your post made me both cry and smile....
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    klmno - thanks so much - (passes Kleenex) lol - you know for the good cry;)
  4. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I'm crying in gratitude for your miraculous day and hoping that, in the future, I will be able to experience such joy and relief.

    What do you think made him change? My difficult children were magical little beings until puberty. Then the aliens came and took them away.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    This gives me hope and inspires me on many levels. Thank you dear Star xo ML
  6. Wow Star! This is wonderful! I can tell you are very happy about this. Just from the time I have been coming here, I can tell this is huge progress for Dude! Great job mom!

  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I just almost finished typing a reply, must have hit a wrong key, and now it's floating somewhere out in cyberspace.... Anyway, thanks for posting this very special update. I think I'm going to need you to pass that box of tissues...

    You are a very, strong, caring, intelligent, and determined woman. Dude is very lucky to be your son. And, the best part is I think he inherited your strength and determination. It's a miracle he has come as far as he has!!!

    I'm glad you took pictures of Dude and DF. I hope you'll take the best of the bunch and frame it. Put it somewhere you'll see it often, to remind you of this very special moment.

    I hope this holiday season continues to bring you much joy and peace... WFEN
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I am so proud of my nephew. How wonderful that he is starting on the right path to a life that is good and decent and full of wonderful things. He can be what you know we all know he can be. Some of our kids just take a little longer to grasp on to the thought that hard work and good manners and good choices lead to a much better place. Yeah
    Dude----Bigger YEAH Dude's Momma. And you made me cry, darn it!!!
  9. jal

    jal Member

    Awesome Star...Incredible. Give those of us at the beginning of our journey and those of us in the middle of it some deeply needed hope.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Wow, Star!
    I'm having trouble seeing my keyboard through the happy tears.

    What a BLESSING! What a wonderful, wonderful BLESSING.

    Star, I am so proud of Dude. And so proud of you for laying such a strong foundation that Dude can stand on as he becomes the man he was meant to be.

    Star you've brightened up my day, which is what a shining Star is meant to do.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I don't know that I attribute this moment to any particular thing - but if I were to sit and tell you our story - since a lot of you do not know us or the background/history and horrible past - and trying EVERYTHING under the sun, moon and stars to make people aware, listen, see...? Wow -

    I will say that learning HOW to talk to him was enormously helpful. A lot -TONS of mistakes are made in HOW we say things. We know what we mean but a lot of times people hear something else. It was amazing to learn that a lot of the things I was saying in hopes of boosting morale, confidence and to give praise were actually being taken as little jabs. Once I learned to "teen speak" it helped our relationship and I saw INSTANT changes, and if nothing else really ODD looks like he was thinking to himself "OMG SHE GETS ME." Making SURE I spoke to him or anyone else effectively was hard....and I still mess up, but I'm a work in progress.

    Secondly - Therapy. Lots and lots of it. For him and for US (parents). Once a week, every week, without fail for YEARs. Our therapist encouraged us to bring Dude kicking and screaming - EVEN if he would NOT say a word. Even if he sat in the office and ignored the doctor or slept. It wasn't so much the "listen" part that we needed to drive home as much as the "consistancy" part and eventually once you establish that a. YOU ARE THE PARENT b. YOU ARE GOING WHETHER YOU THINK IT"S HELPING OR NOT...c.) comes along eventually and says OH, I see....I can participate if I want to but it's not manditory - but when I don't go - my parents use the time to "plot" against I should USE my time - and some days it was no more than playing cards or checkers to Dude but the psychiatrist was wise enough to use that time to just talk about other clients and tell "stories" that stuck. He really was a genius...I'm sorry that Dude doesn't still go to him - but he did seek out someone (not as good in my humble opinion) but he did that ON HIS OWN - because he missed that "consistancy" in his life.

    c.) Maturity - or what little there is (LOL) because he's an 18 year old boy I'm not holding my breath. But considering the psychiatrist and the therapist said he's about 5 years behind in maturation it's like NOW seeing him get older by 1 year mentally for every 6 months physically - in August we said he was about 12 or we see a "mature" 13-14 year old.

    d.) TOUGH LOVE and NATURAL consequences. Some of which I regret - BUT they are history and we don't bring up our yesterdays when we're tyring to reach for our tomorrows.....other than what we learned from them.

    e.) Educating myself and DF = and the bloody entire school district, some caseworkers, and agencies - because if you dont' know what you are talking about? They throw you to the wolves.....KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and your kids' rights.

    f.) last but CERTAINLY counts first.......KNEEMAIL. If any part of me goes first? It's going to be my knees.....from praying.

    g.) HUMOR - needed in EVERY situation - daily.
  12. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Man, I hate to cry. I mean really hate it but the tears are in my eyes. We can hope and pray this is the start of many days like this, that maturity is truly setting in but if it's not, it is a day to treasure regardless. I'm so happy for you. I was wondering what that glow was that I was seeing from the Northeast yesterday. Now I know -- your grin.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    BRIGHT LIGHT!!!!! LOL - it was the Northern Star.....OMG that is too funny Bunny britches....


    I remember the days when I almost hated to post ANY incling of good news because I knew - it wouldn't last and that was so heartbreaking.

    Can you imagine THIS story among your "everyday" friends not in the know? I'm so glad I have you all here to praise this kid and me and keep me going....THANKS SO MUCh.
  14. Woofens

    Woofens New Member


    I didn't now much about your story since I'm a relative newbie, but this makes me see there is hope for the future with difficult child J:)

    Glad things are going so well!
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm afraid to reply anything positive for the same reason.

    But never lose hope. Thanks for handing me a little today.
  16. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Star, your post is truly inspiring. You have been through such a dreadful time, and suddenly here you are telling us all this good news. I am just so happy for you, and of course like all the other board aunties, will be using that kleenex to dab up the happy tears.

    It truly sounds as if he is "getting it" in the best possible way. Also, boyfriend sounds like an amazing guy.

    And since I am British born (and lived there until I was 28), well, your Majesty, I am so pleased with your news about your Prince! God Save the Queen!!

    Love, Esther
  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Tears of joy here. Auntie Toto is smiling so big right now.
    I am just a happy wreck reading your post!

    Humor says so much and something we lose sight of so easily
  18. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Wow! What a super gift!! There really is hope for difficult children isn't there?
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, Star, what an inspiration!
    I love that you sat there and took pictures. :)
    It's been a long, rough road. BRAVO.
    And that you realize he's still age 14-ish but that the changes are still coming ... you are realistic as well as loving.
    I love the list you made. Great insight.

    I know a mom of a once-troubled daughter who said something similar in regard to consistency and being The Mom. She said she told her daughter that she may not like what she says, may not want her around, but she was going to be there, no matter what. Just be there.
    And it worked.
    I think that's one of the hardest parts--having the stamina just to be there through it all. So many times I have wanted to bolt.
    Again, Bravo. :)
  20. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Beautiful post...beautiful thoughts...and thank you for the ray of hope.