Posted by S. Denise Kullman, mom of a charming, negative, talented, defiant, charismatic, self-centered, athletic, disrespectful, and amazing young man
He looks taller and older than a typical 13-year-old. He has charm and charisma – just ask the girls! He’s attractive with a broad smile and caramel skin. From music, dancing, and saxophone to skateboarding, football, and drawing, his natural talent and athleticism is crazy.
But he’s also negative, moody, sarcastic, argumentative, defiant, depressed, self-centered, disrespectful, and dramatic. (When he was only six-years-old, my southern momma said, “Yes, he’s cute…but that boy’s going to jail!”)
In the last 18 months, our son has threatened to kill his parents (mostly me) and himself. He has cut his forearms and shins numerous times. He’s tried to choke himself. He has been removed from school in handcuffs. Our son has been admitted to a behavioral hospital twice, spent time at several hospital ERs, and has lived for two months at a residential treatment center. Oh, and he jumped from a moving truck in the night to run away from us (we’ll save that fun story for another time).
Today, he’s doing better. We’re all better—my husband and I and our daughters. We understand terms like “early trauma” and “disrupted relationship”. We also have found a community of support, finally. We felt as though no one understood us for a very long time.
Our son is scheduled for discharge from IACD soon. He finally says he wants to come home. And, we know it’s not IF he fails because he WILL fail many times. We’re prepared for those times. But, we are better equipped to help him through it. He understands himself now. His medication also keeps his mood more balanced and gives him the opportunity to think before he says or does something.
I believe with my whole heart that God planned for us to save him when he was 3 from the streets and again 10 years later from himself. We love our son and, like all parents, want him to be successful. But for us, success is measured a day a time.
As I write this, I realized that I’ve been saved too. Saved from taking this life for granted. Saved from living with the wrong priorities. Saved from wishing my kids would grow up too fast. A day at a time is okay with me.
Where are you in your journey?