All week the plan was to tell you a humorous story today about the boys’ not-so-special language. Humor is scarce right now.
As I write this the pain and tears are fresh from having been verbally and physically attacked by my thirteen year old son. Followed by his complete emotional collapse in my arms while he sobbed and heaved words of remorse…
"Mom, I am so sorry. Mom, I love you so much. I am so stupid. I am so bad. Mom, I am so sorry. Please still love me."
I hold him and wish desperately to make it all go away. I kiss his head. I tell him "I love you. Nothing will ever make me stop loving you. You are precious to me. I love you always."
My heart hurts because I know how much his heart hurts. I know how tormented he is. I know this is his life…forever. I know this is our life until we are parted by the highly probable act of his running away or the death of one of us. Fetal alcohol syndrome sucks, and it does not go away. You teach and re-teach and go to therapy and give medication and pray and hope and teach some more. But mostly you pray.
You spend the life of your child trying to encourage his brain to re-wire itself to function with a smidgen of impulse control. Nothing changes. It only escalates. You keep praying. You keep loving him.
There was no big issue involved, no punishment, no loss of privileges. He simply wanted to go to a friend’s house and the answer was no.
For a person living with fetal alcohol syndrome life is always now, this moment; there is no time past this moment. There is no impulse control. So being told no is literally the end of the world for him because his alcohol-damaged brain cannot see past one moment to the next…to him his life ends now with the word no.
My son is no monster. He is a little boy growing into a young man, and the hormonal changes of the teen years alone would be enough of a challenge. Yet because the woman who carried him in her womb consumed alcohol during the pregnancy, he has an additional burden. I remind him that this problem is not his fault. However in virtually the same breath, I have to remind him how hard he must keep trying to control himself and that it will never be easy.
My tears are falling and the laptop screen is a blur…
As a crash test dummy family, once again we gather our luggage, repack the car, strap the family in tightly and head back out on the road…knowing the next crash is around the corner. Never knowing at which turn it will happen.
It’s what families do, and I know you understand.