30 Jul I Gotta Go Deeper
As Williams’s mother it’s emotionally hard for me to go back to when I finally realized that I needed to seek help outside of myself. I have to go deeper, I have to answer the questions that every parent wants to know. When did you realize that something was not right with William? Answering this question causes me to go deeper within myself, my emotions, and what life looked like for me during those years I chose to parent William without help.
My personal thoughts: he’ll grow out of it, he’s just being a kid, I’ll just spank him or take something away in hopes for good behavior, time-out and a long time out to give him more time to think…
In the beginning that’s how I treated his behaviors. At the time seeking any kind of medical care was far from my thought, I felt like I could take care of the behavioral and emotional challenges I was having with William. It wasn’t until his 5th birthday that I had pretty much felt like I’ve done all I could. I needed relief, I needed answers, and I wanted just a regular child; one that didn’t take so much out of me mentally and physically. I know that may sound harsh but stay with me.
On Williams’s fifth birthday I received a call from the school stating he had been suspended. The staff member said she couldn’t explain the details over the phone, I needed to come in and review some paperwork in regards to his suspension. I’m sure you’re thinking, what? Suspending a five year old…my thoughts as well. Once I arrived at the school I had been told that William had an extreme emotional breakdown that resulted in them having to evacuate the classroom and the staff having to chase after him due to him trying to leave the school campus (mind you this was not my first school call or awareness of William trying to wonder off).
I looked over the documents and asked was there any way he could return sooner because his suspension was for five days ( I had just recently started a full time job and did not have enough paid time off). They responded with no, and that they needed to establish a behavioral plan meeting prior to his return and he’d have to abide by the plan or this would happen again. Sadly and disappointed, I took William home. He had no true understanding of what happened or what was to come next. During the days of suspension he had more aggressive episodes that resulted in physical abuse against me and my other children. He started to be very destructive and I feared he would harm himself or his brothers. I called around to several hospitals; I was told he was entirely too young to be assessed or they weren’t accepting new patients. I called the base hospital and asked was there any way I could bring him in, and they informed me that they do not see dependents for mental health care. Finally, my last call was to a local inpatient facility who urged me to bring him in to be assessed.
He was assessed and admitted for his first inpatient treatment. This was hard. I cried during his ten day stay, I felt guilty for having to go to this extent. I felt as though I abandoned him and left him with strangers, even though this was a hospital. During the days of his stay, I too would have mental breakdowns. I felt ashamed that here I am, Williams’s mother, and I had to take him into the hospital to be cared for. Aside from the emotional breakdowns I felt a sense of relief. Please understand that I’ve only shared a glimpse of what was going on at home, so when I say relief, I don’t mean relief from parenting, I mean relief from the mental and physical strain in trying to keep all my children safe.
I decided to keep his inpatient treatment between just my spouse and some close friends. I didn’t want to be shaded for my choice of hospitalizing my son. This was the start of a long challenging road…more to come in the upcoming blogs.