This is part two of a guest post written by Lisa Kallas, over at Sugar Loaf Dreams. Click here to view her blog.
Oh hi! Where did I leave you? Oh yes bullying……I won’t go into that too much as it could be a whole
post just on itself. Needless to say it was ongoing, physically, verbally and emotionally and it was relentless. The children, their parents and in their own way the teachers. No of course they weren’t bullying as such but back then they weren’t taught how to teach these children. So many of his teachers just put him in the too hard basket as they didn’t know what else to do.
So this takes us to when he was around 7 and our first encounter with a child psychiatrist. You see this was
when he first mentioned suicide to me. Yes you heard me correctly. My little boy, my tortured little soul, now what?
According to the psychiatrist it was a combination of the bullying, the feeling of being let down by his
teachers and the inability to understand and cope with what was happening inside his own head.
He suggested at that time that he also thought there was more going on than just the ADHD and sent us to a
specialist that dealt in multiple diagnosis. As I said….I always knew there was more going on in there than just the ADHD.
So off to the new specialist we went. I liked him immediately, he was great with Michael and certainly didn’t
pull any punches with me. We endured a barrage of testing……with medication, without medication, scans, written, reading and verbal testing. You have to remember he was 7, it’s hard to get all the results required in one or two tests.
A new diagnosis…….no doubts about the ADHD and he classed that as severe but my beautiful boy also had
rapid cycling Bi Polar. Are you sure? 99.9% based on all the relevant tests and results. OK so now we start an additional medication for that as well as his ADHD meds and regular council ling.
So life goes along…. I wish I could say with this new found information and treatment things made a vast
improvement, but they didn’t. He was still being bullied at school, still misbehaving constantly at home, still violent towards his big sister, destructive of anything that was in his way at home. Oh and even though he was now sleeping through the night, that started just before his 5th
birthday, finally, he would be awake til around 11 or 12 even at 7 and 8.
When I say behaviour at home I think I need to clarify.
From around the age of 3 I would wake every morning to food all over the floor. When I say food you have no idea. I wish I had photos of it but I don’t, this was way before the Iphone made it’s appearance. He would break eggs, pour milk, sugar, juice whatever he could get his hands on ALL over the kitchen floor. It got so bad that I ended up with chains and locks around the fridge and the pantry all the time. This was not only inconvenient it just wasn’t fair, especially for his sister that had to ask me to unlock them every time she wanted a drink or snack.
All knives and sharp objects were also locked away, not only to protect him but us too, as he was starting to become violent. And yet again frightening me with his behaviour.
Back to this multi dimensional specialist…….more testing, more medication changes, more questions and not that many answers. As I had been told before the more severe the ADHD the more chance of a co morbid condition…….after several consults with extra colleagues it was mentioned and suggested that he may also have Oppositional Disorder running alongside his ADHD in conjunction with his Bi Polar……… oh wow….life was really starting to get interestingly scary now!!!!! You need to remember he wasn’t even 10 years old. How did this happen, why as his mum can’t I make it go away? That’s our job to guide, raise and help our children. I was doing everything I possibly could but it just wasn’t good enough, I felt like such a failure as a parent…..but I would get up every day and start again.
Actually that was one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given by a Doctor…..in time I have realised it wasn’t only right at the time but is right for any parent of any child, no matter how “perfect”……..No matter what the day brings, what disasters or indiscretions had occurred or how much damage was done that day……ALWAYS go to bed and wipe the slate clean. Get up the next day with no residual resentment or anger hungover from the day before. In a world of hell that builds and builds learning to let go was THE best things I was taught.
So here I am, a daughter with virtually no problems…..except for the stress having a little brother like she did, it naturally affected her, their relationship with each other and unfortunately at 26 and 24 it still does. As a mum, you can imagine how that still upsets me. My son was almost 10, I have been given all these diagnosis which was overwhelming to say the least but you know, I still thought there was something they were missing, but I wasn’t and am still not a Doctor, what would I know? Call it mothers
intuition if you like……it just kept niggling.
I’ve told you what school was like and friendships were very few and far between. Most “friends” were only so because of what they could get out of him. He would do whatever it took to gain friends, so he was a gullible scapegoat for
being set up and caught out in the end. For the so called friends this was very funny, for my boy it was heart wrenching. Not only did he get caught and punished, he also so his new “friends” disappear…..he was devastated and couldn’t quite understand what
had happened and no matter how hard you tried to make him understand they were only using him he was convinced in his own mind that they were real friends. Therefore he would try to move back into the peer group and be shunned and bullied. This pattern went on for many years through out school. As his mum who could unfortunately see the big picture, I did everything I could to help him understand gently……..it took many, many years and a lot more insight than what we had then.
Again, hindsight is a handy tool or it would be if it was only foresight.