Sometimes I do not want to admit it but there are days when Randall is the last person on earth I want to spend time with. There are days when I force myself to tell him that I love him. There are days when I put a smile on my face and say fake it till you make it lady, you can do this. There are days when I would like give up and stop trying to help him heal.
Being his Mom has been really hard for the last year.
Before that it was easy because Kevin took up all the space with his behaviours. Kevin was raging and yelling and hurting us and Randall was the complaint well behaved child. Then Kevin stopped raging and started attaching andRandall did not know what to do. It was his experience that Kevin's behaviours would cause them to move and so if Kevin was not raging and making life miserable for everyone then he better step in and fill that space.
He has done a stellar job at being a first class shit disturber for the last 10 months.
The difference between Randall and Kevin though is that Randall is not a rager, he is passive and he is smart and he works hard to push you right the the very edge and then he stops. He works hard to create chaos and make people angry, I mean that, he really does work at it. His teachers comment on how he seems to be trying to push kids away at school and at home he is often sweet and caring towards his father and horrible to me. He is doing on purpose, he is trying to make himself unlovable because he believes that he not worthy of being loved.
We are working on changing that for him, we are working on getting him to heal but oh my goodness it is HARD.
When he is in trouble we always talk about the hows and whys of what we have done. His newest behaviour is to wait me out, he thinks that if he refuses to answer me for long enough eventually I will give in a yell at him. I have resolved within myself to not let him win this one and so I will not yell or do any of the other things that he would like me to do in order to feed into his negative self image. I just wait.
We had one of those waiting days yesterday, It literally took 4 hours before he would answer a simple question and out of respect for his privacy I am not going to get into what that conversation was about but needless to say after 4 hours I was pretty tired of waiting. I finally let him know as we got towards 9:30 that I was done for the day and that we could resume this conversation in the morning. I pushed a little and held out a carrot (or a threat depending on your point of view) about our plans for this afternoon that he did not know about and let him know that if we needed to continue this conversation tomorrow they would not be happening. He started to cry, real tears, not the crocodile ones he does so well. I pushed a little harder and finally he answered.
"I (insert behaviour) because I like the way it makes me feel" he said. It was the truth, you could see the shame he felt about admitting to the fact that he was doing this on purpose in his eyes. He clearly had never been that honest about this before and he was taking a huge risk by saying it aloud
I just about jumped for joy, but I was tired and he did not need to see me jumping up and down because that would of confused the poor tired boy. The point is he was honest, it took four hours but he was honest about a choice that he made and honest about the reason that he was doing it.
That my friends is huge, a huge monumental step for a boy who is so very afraid of being loved. Randall trusted me enough to admit that he is doing something on purpose, doing it because he enjoys it regardless of it's impact to others. He trusted me enough to share something that he had probably never said aloud before even though he was terrified of what might happen when he spoke those words, he did, he said it.
I hugged him. That's what I did. Then we talked about the behaviour and how it needs to change. We talked about how sometimes even though we like something that does not make it ok. We went to bed and as I tucked him I said to him, you know it would of been a whole lot easier if we did not spend 4 hours getting here, he agreed.
Today he is in a good mood and is doing as he is asked, well except at breakfast but that was not a big deal, just some poking to see what Mom is going to do when Dad is sitting right there. So I am going to keep on faking it on the days it is really hard and enjoy him on the good days and trust that he is going to attach, even if it does take a really long time.