Friday, November 8, 2013


So far the last few days have been Rage-Free. My sister thought about posting a daily sign counting the Triggered-Attack Free Days like they do for accidents in factories. There have been only a few noticeable signs of noise-issues and they were met with minor reactions such as avoidance (leaving the room), asking to turn off the offending item (wipers or car  heater) or to please hurry (driving in the rain).


It was mentioned that Colin seems to have control over his triggers and that he might be using his rage to manipulate. While I agree that some of his reactions were due to anger at his parents, control is not easy. The new environment and the fact that Colin is not yet comfortable in showing his rage may account for some of the lack of attacks. He also is in a home that is much less full of the triggers that he faced in our home. I had to point out that we all have some "Control" over our actions.  I drew the analogy that my sister has control over her stress and anger and this is a choice. Not so easy is it? Control over emotions is hard.

One of the challenges my sister and her family face is to set reasonable boundaries as to how much control Colin is allowed to have. It is important that our son not run their house (this is the trap we fell into). There was a battle over wearing the same clothes (that he slept in) a third day in a row even though they were a bit dirty. (he wore them Sunday, Monday & Tuesday) Colin won that battle with some help from his Uncle. Another issue was Colin calling from school to inform Aunt P that he was staying after school for a Science club and that he needed to be picked up at 4:15. This was done in our house as we live less than a mile from school.Colin could walk home if he couldn't get a ride. His Aunt made it clear that he is to ask in advance next time and that she is not his chauffeur to boss around as she is not always free to do this.

There is also an issue of clear communications. Colin will answer most questions with " I am fine " even when this does not make sense, such as "Do you want Pot Roast for dinner?" They are pressing him to answer with a "yes" or a "no" and are finding out that "I am fine " usually means "No". Another common response from Colin is "OK. Thank You" which is believed to be the equivalent of "screw you"- quote from Aunt P:
 Me : "Colin it is 6:55 and you are not dressed you are going to miss the bus!" -- Colin "Oh I can get dressed fast. "  Me : "Ok well do it"-- Colin " Ok Thank you"
While Colin comes across as being polite, there is an underlying defiance that is being detected.

Trip to the Department Store

Shopping on Tuesday night was frustrating. My sister took Colin and her son to Kohl's. I can't help but wonder if my mother was looking down from the Heavens and smiling. This had to be some kind of Karmic payback from childhood when my sister was a nightmare to shop with. When Aunt P tried to help him in the dressing room, Colin used a defiant and irritated tone to ask "Is this my decision or yours?" When his cousin went to check  a little later, Colin was overheard muttering in the dressing room, "Stop asking me" with tears in his eyes. His poor cousin had to ask his mom if Colin was Schizophrenic.

Call from the Guidance Counselor

My sister called me yesterday to tell me about a call from Colin's new guidance counselor. She was reviewing the Ohio Achievement Test he took last year for 7th grade (8th grade math). She noticed on Math, he scored in the 94th percentile which is quite good. Upon further inspection, it appeared that he had left a section of simple multiplication problems unanswered. The rest of the test he scored 100%. The burning question is why he skipped the easiest section of the exam? Was this out of defiance or A.D.D.? Was he upset that he did not have a calculator or felt these questions were insulting to his intelligence? Was this an honest mistake due to an oversight or not enough time?

Today is the day that Colin will need to drop French. He may be allowed to take the test today which the teacher is sure he will fail. It is clear that while some classes at his old school put him ahead, French is not one of those. Colin had a solid "A" in his old class but in this new High School French Class, he appears to be hopelessly behind. The school wants to replace French with a STEM class.
I am hoping that issue is handled well by my son.


One of the hardest things for me to do is to let go of my son. We are no longer in control here. I hate that I have to burden my sister this way. Aunt P is realizing that she will have to learn to have Patience in spades. This is not her strong suite and realizes
"Maybe I have been given this burden as a way to expand my chronic lack of patience." 
I may not always sound grateful for this huge task we have dumped on my sister and her family but I will be forever in their debt. I also pray I will never have to return the favor. This has been a gut-wrenching journey for all.

We are a work-in-progress!

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