Aunt P agreed to take the responsibility for making sure our boys were returned home. We were hoping to have a drama-free holiday.
No News Is Good News
We had warned our boys ahead of time that their brother would most-likely avoid them. Colin had told the "observer" (CBT Intern) that he would not eat at the table with his brothers. It made sense that he might not want to interact with them. We maintained "radio silence" and enjoyed a quiet day to ourselves. I made a turkey feast for two and we lounged around the house being mostly unproductive and resisted the urge to call Aunt P to check in.
Around 9:00 p.m. my brother and sister-in-law came by with our two boys. They had just seen the new Hunger Games movie "Catching Fire". We had a chance to finally get our report.
As Good As It GetsAs expected, Colin avoided his brothers over the 24 hour period and stuck mostly to his room. The only incident was when he released the birds (my sister's two Macaws). Although the birds are allowed to be taken out of their cages, Colin is supposed to ask first, especially when company is over. He tried to play innocent but he was reprimanded as it was obvious he did this to get back at his brother. My middle-son is afraid of the birds and had agitated Colin by his persistence to make contact when it was clear his baby brother did not want to speak with him.
The rest of the time was incident-free as Colin was allowed to stay in his room. He also stayed home by himself while everyone else went to the movies. For now, this is as good as it gets. There have been no rages. Colin has been polite when speaking with his visiting Aunt & Uncle. It took a bit for him to warm up. As long as the conversation steers clear of his issues, Colin was happy to show off his photography and converse with my brother and his wife.
My middle-son, weakened by a cold, is still a bit sensitive to being shunned by his brother. I noticed a post on his FaceBook page that I have asked him to delete:
I don't know why I keep trying with him. I always have faith that he will change but he never will I guess. I just want to thank him for ruining thanksgiving, as well as my weekend.I explained that he shouldn't be airing family problems to hundreds of friends on FaceBook and that his remarks could be misinterpreted. Only a few of our family friends are aware of our issues and would understand who "he" is. I have also suggested that my husband try to take our 15 year old to an appointment with our Psychologist. Even though these appointments are mostly used for updates, I think it would be helpful to have our middle-son involved in some of the sessions.
My sister-in-law feels a bit sad that she and my brother have not been able to make any progress with Colin so far. I think that being able to have positive interactions with family members is a gift and IS progress. We all just need to lower our expectations. She will try to take him swimming today if they can find a swimsuit he will wear.
Colin has become a sensitive topic for discussion and we have to be careful not to let this ruin our holidays. My eldest seems to have the best attitude, he came into the visit with realistic expectations and made sure to enjoy his meal and time with family. It has been mentioned that his detachment may not be healthy and there could be below-the-surface issues that need to be addressed.
Rest-assured, my husband and I will strive to get the needed counseling for the whole family.
All in good time......
We are a work-in-progess!