On Tuesday I had my counselling session and we had a little bit of a summary, as she has only eight weeks left. Had I achieved what I wanted to? No I haven’t, but with everything that’s going on I don’t see how I could. She hasn’t challenged me as much as last year’s counsellor but I also think it’s been as much as I could do to just stay afloat.
Last week we had a family therapy session with 3son and 4son. I voiced my concerns that with 2son no longer being at home full time I had expected the burden to be diminished (or at least to feel so) and it hadn’t and I found that extremely frustrating and difficult. We talked about behaviour at home and our interaction, how the constant arguments wear me down and the fact that we don’t go out enough as a family. This is partly since 3son started secondary school and it no longer became practical to go out in the evening on a school night but mostly down to my total lack of energy and enthusiasm.
I also feel that since I’m splitting us up at home so we have fewer fights that also means that we’re spending less time at home together as a family as well, which may be practical in the short term but it’s not really good for family cohesion. I also said, which 4son agreed, that since he’d started secondary school he felt far superior to 3son, as if the age gap between them had widened which contributes to him belittling 4son and making the frequent snide remarks that cause him to burst into tears.
We discussed all this and agreed to go out more. The therapist also agreed to recommend 4son for a befriending scheme, something I’ve been asking for the two of them over the last few years. This means that someone will come round at weekends, take 4son out and be his friend which will enable 3son and 4son to do different things more so I can take 3son out on his own or let him have space at home without his little brother.
And then came half term and my lack of teeth, making me feel like a social pariah. We had a day out in Richmond going out to lunch and to the cinema. I suggested a museum on the Saturday before going back to school and they chose the South Bank instead. They watched a free parkour demonstration and then had a go at the workshop which they both enjoyed very much and we ended up having a lovely full day out helped undoubtedly by the sunshine. We need to do more of this.
I also went to a progress meeting about 2son (doing this without front teeth was horrible as I have to put greater effort into enunciating clearly and I can’t stop lisping) during the half term. We discussed his lack of progress during home visits and wondered what to do about it. One suggestion was that the council need to look at statementing him, something that was put on hold when he was initially sectioned, with a view to looking at boarding school of some description to give him a full structure to the day. The consultant thought I’d be reluctant to consider this but it seems to be a great idea. Other than that the only suggestion came from me which was to suggest trying him during the week which is what we are doing this week. I now have a copy of the report of the ASD assessment which is interesting. I’m not entirely convinced but feel I need to research more before I can fully understand the implications. They also talked about next month’s meeting being a discharge meeting which, given the circumstances and lack of progress, really pisses me off.
As I am writing this, 2son is upstairs sleeping away. This does not bode well for being at school in two hours. I went and picked him up yesterday morning, took him out for a quick lunch and delivered him to CATE. He was enthusiastic and spoke to his teacher about starting GCSEs in September and going back to proper school. Lovely, but as both us adults said, it starts with going to school every day and that starts with going to bed at a reasonable time and getting up the next day. Not a problem said he.
Last night 4son went to bed. 3son followed him after having had some time on his own with 4son. 4son stayed up. We had agreed he would go to bed at 11pm which is his normal routine. 11pm came and went. Half past vanished. At midnight he said that he just didn’t want to go to bed and that was it. I had been struggling to keep my eyes open and gave up shortly after midnight and went to sleep. As far as I can tell, he stayed up all night and went to be when the alarm went off at 6 o’clock this morning.
So I have no idea what we’re going to do next. He’s thrown a couple of hissy fits when staff have told him to wash, saying that he doesn’t like being told what to do and he really didn’t like the fact that some of the patients had complained about him being smelly. Other than the fact that he’s out of my hair there is very little real progress. He has finished a modular qualification (ASDAN) and is moving onto the next level. This has given him a strong sense of achievement.
As we have abandoned weekend visits, I’ve booked a 4 day holiday for the rest of us next weekend, with each of the boys taking a sneaky day off school along with their INSET day. We’re going to York and staying in an extravagant hotel. I don’t think I’ve been away from home since August so it will provide a much needed opportunity to run away from it all.
So I’m feeling fed up with the world and am wondering how I’m going to cope with all this over the next few years. I have a sense of impending doom or mounting alarm about how I am going to manage over the next five years when I will have three teenagers at once, with arguments and fights on the increase. I really am worried. I would also quite like to have a semblance of life for me and that chance just seems to be disappearing down the plughole. Fast.
In other news my father is back at home and mending very very slowly. We won’t know for a while how successful the operation was but at least he’s recovering.