Monday, October 27, 2014

Relatively Good Weekend / Making Progress

Friday afternoon the sun was shining and I was able to get home from work at a decent hour. I had not been to the dog park during the week due to rainy weather and being busy. I quickly unloaded the car, grabbed a quick snack and announced that Sumter and I would be going to the park.

Colin initially greeted me by telling Sumter to "Kill her" and a short time afterwards asked nicely if I could be home by 7:00 p.m. to give him a ride to his school's football game. I said "Sure!....if you can go the rest of the night without telling the dog to kill me".

My son responded with a soft-spoken "No. Go kill yourself."

"O.K...suit yourself." I replied on my way out the door.

Due to all the rain during the week, there was a large mud pit at the park. Needless to say, Sumter had a great time and ended up caked in mud. Upon our return home, I immediately got to work giving the pup a sponge-bath in the 1st floor bathroom.

Colin knocked on the door and asked if I needed help. I took him up on his offer. When it came time to leave for the game, Dad decided to drive. We both felt that Colin was being conciliatory and may have been trying to make up for his earlier bad behavior. We also are glad that our son seems to be at ease going by himself and has classmates he sits and socializes with at the football games.

Saturday Errands

Saturday afternoon I decided to run errands. I mentioned that I was going to Sam's Club and thinking of taking Sumter along for a ride. It was a cool day and it was o.k. to leave the pup alone for short periods of time. Colin decided to come with me and seemed a bit more agreeable than usual.

I was still subjected to a couple of "Kill her"s and "Go kill yourself" which almost seem to roll off my son's tongue without much thought or malice. We made two more stops after Sam's Club. We went to the music store as Colin told me he needed slide grease for his trombone. We then went to the pet store to buy some treats for Sumter. After our pet store excursion, I could see Colin's patience wearing thin so we headed back home.

Saturday Night Out with Family

My brother and sister-in-law were in town to visit with their daughter for parent's weekend. My niece is a freshman at the local state college.  We made a plan to meet up for dinner. Colin asked if Sumter could come along. We told him that this would not be possible. I was delighted that our son decided to come anyway. Eldest son got home from work just in time to come with us but our middle-son had plans with friends and we dropped him off on the way to our destination.

The only tense part of the evening was when we were in route to the restaurant. We drove past the Children's Hospital where Colin spent the first couple of nights after his "visit" to the psychiatrist. I felt my chest tighten and held my breath for the section of road that the institution was visible. My memories of our time there are not happy and filled me with stress. I silently wondered if Colin had noticed and if he had any reaction. If so, he kept it under wraps.

We arrived at the eatery the same time as my brother, sister-in-law and niece. Dinner turned out to be a nice excursion and another fairly normal family outing for which I am very grateful.

Sunday House Hunt

Going down our check list, we came to another huge task. We need to make a decision on whether or not to build a new home. We have a lovely plot of land that we have owned for roughly 16 years. We held off building due to some financial uncertainties.

We are feeling more secure but time is not our friend. Our eldest will be starting college next year and Colin will only have three more years of high school. Our middle son is enthusiastic about building a new home and is anxious to get moving. I think he wants to have a nice home for his senior year of school and is looking ahead to his graduation party. We would like a place that is comfortable for Colin and Sumter.

I decided to test the waters and told Colin that we were going out to Aunt "P"'s to visit and look at some nearby model homes. He was up for a visit but a bit on the fence about looking at houses. I explained that we need the boys (Colin and his 16 year old brother) to have some input as we want them to be happy and need their opinions.

At first Colin said that he didn't care, all he needed was his own space and if he was able to live in a basement room with bugs he'd be o.k. in a new home. When we got to my sister's house, we were able to convince him to come along as we brought the dog and Aunt "P" with us. We were able to walk through four model homes before the boys were ready to call it quits.

We are getting a better idea of what our boys like and it is interesting to see Colin's wheels turning. He seems concerned about costs and budgets. There was one home the boys really like but a bit over-budget and bigger than what we needed. Colin thought about it and said he's be willing to give up the loft space if we needed to make cuts. I asked if he would want an upstairs bedroom and he gave me a squinty-eyed look of consternation.

"I'll be in the basement!" he huffed.

Later at home, Colin talked more about the new house. He asked several questions and is concerned that the process will take a year or two. I am encouraged that our son seems engaged in the process. This weekend we've had the most dialog with Colin since he's been back.

Optimistic Observations

Before our difficult journey with Misophonia started last summer, Colin would tell me non-stop that he loved me. This got to be a bit excessive and was annoying to my husband and other boys. I was a bit concerned at the repetitive nature, almost like a tic. As we started to go downhill with triggers and reactions, I often wondered if he was trying to convince himself of his love.

Now we are experiencing a similar phenomenon with the messages of hate. "Go kill yourself" or "Kill her now." have replaced " I love you" or "How are you doing?". Could this be a coping mechanism? Is he trying to maintain his angry, unforgiving stance toward the past year? While these hateful statements are quite prolific, we are starting to see our son open up more and have more civil conversations with us.

We are trying to tread lightly and not push too hard.

As always, we are a work-in-progress.

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