Thursday, January 22, 2009

Brief History

I'm going to start this blog with a brief history of what has happened so far.
Our son was born a happy child with no problems. He was the promise of a bright and cheerful future. Until one day the life of a happy child changed. Gone was the constant smiles, the upbeat happy little boy we once new.

The boy before us changed. He became irritable, agitated at the world, and at times hard to control. Our first thoughts were he's just going through a phase. Then came the question as to what we had done wrong. We became frustrated ourselves as teachers were complaining about his behavior, his disconnection to school, his lacking in participation. But they all had one thing to say, "He's a bright young man with great potential, he just won't apply himself."

Unfortunately at the time, we were stationed in Germany. No one had any ideas for us. He was labled a bad child at school. We were labled as bad parents who didn't know how to control and discipline our child. The longer this went on, the more frustrated we became. The more frustrated we were, the worse the sitution became.

Finally we headed back to the states. He seemed to have improved some, but not enough. This continued on up until 7th grade. He started getting into trouble at school. 9th grade he ended up having to do community service when he was caught smoking. He dropped out of school in the middle of 10th grade. We finally talked him into going back. The school prinicpal was awesome and willing to work with him. But this did not last long. He had two strikes against him. The third dropout he would not be allowed to try again.

He then tried the alternative school. This started out really good, but did't last long. At one point between the 1st dropout and going to the alternative school, he came to me and said he needed help and no longer wanted to live. I had a feeling it was a mental disorder a while before this came about, but his dad was in denial and said no way would he put him through that.

I took him to see our family physician who was wonderful, contacted Intermountain Hospital and asked to have him seen there. Our son was committed to there for a week while they checked him and diagnosed him as being in the middle stages of bipolar. He seemed so much better by then. The down fall was he was always groggy from the medication. When his dad saw the change in him he was so happy that we had gotten him help. He seemed to be normal again!

Let me tell you, if you aren't watchful and real careful, chances are, they are going to end up right where they were. He did not stay on his meds. His friends talked him into not taking them. He would lie to us by saying he was taking them, but I knew better. We ended up back at square one. Eventually he became suicidal again, and back to Intermountain we went. By this time he had become Bipolor with schizo effective tendencies. Oh, and before this trip to Intermountain, he tried H.S. one last time. This did not last long at all. Before we knew it, he had dropped out again.

By this time he decided he wanted to move out. He had a job with a car dealership, detailing vehicles. Eventually he quit going to work, hooked up with a gal who was pregnant. He was drinking and doing other illegal things at this point. We didn't know what to do, as he was now an adult. Our hands were tied. We tried talking to him, but to no avail. He would act like he was listening and cared and then do just the opposite.

One night the tough love came into play. He had been partying with friends at an apartment our daughter & I had gotten--my husband and I were separating--and ended up out of control. Apparently something was slipped into his beer. Of course with a bi-polar combo, this can create a volatile situation. He started busting up the place. I was called and rushed out there. I tried to calm him down, but to no avail. The police showed up and I had to have him taken into custody. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

This was his wake up call. He started getting his life under control. Joined a group therapy through Intermountain that was to help him find some self respect and stop all the garbage he had been doing. Wow! What a change, there was hope for the future after all!

Soon our bubble was busted, he became suicidal again. This time I took him to St. Al's hospital emergency room. They were fantastic. They had him committed to one of their mentally ill facilities. What a difference in him. He was placed on different meds. He seemed so much better. It's been uphill with some back sliding here and there, but nothing really serious.

He has since been put on SSI, as he is unable to hold a job no matter how hard he tries. He has a hard time being around people. So he is living with us. He has a hard time sometimes remembering to take his pills which causes some problems. This is why we decided to keep him with us. He's been grateful to have the support, but on the same token would like to have his freedom. He has a lot to learn and deal with first. He is working on becoming a private computer programmer. We sure hope he can pull it off. It would be good for his self esteem.

Since his dad & I have been back together, life has been looking up. We all recently--a little over two years ago--quit drinking and smoking. Every once in a while our son will give into pressure and start smoking again. Thankfully that phase does not last long. We have become church goers as well which has been a tremendous help to us all. We have become dedicated Christians. Our son is doing much better. He has moments where we worry, but he comes through it. He still has a very hard time being around people. Even at church. Hopefully someday he will be able to get past all that.

I too am mildly bi-polar which I found out a few years after our sons diagnosis. Thankfully mine has stayed controlable. At one point I had hoped to go off the medication, but ended up very depressed and no longer wanted to go on living. Once getting back on medication, I improved greatly. Thank the Lord!

So that is the jest of things in our lives. We have been through a lot. I'm hoping to reach out to those parents who are living with children of mental illness and are experiencing a hard time comprehending, understanding their child, and wondering how they are ever going to get through it. I'd be happy to discuss situations and perhaps be able to help in some sort of way. Also for kids if they feel they need to ask questions and/or just need someone to talk to. I'd be more than happy to listen and perhaps be able to help in some sort of way. Good luck and God Bless!


Chris Bowers said...

Thanks for this post. I will place it in the "Must See" over at Worth a Thousand Words.

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Thank you so much Chris. I want to inform as many people as possible. Sorry I missed your comment. Usually I get an e-mail notification. I will be sure and keep an eye out for comments from now on.

God Bless You my friend.