A Good Ol’ Ass-Whoopin’

Okay, first of all, I’m angry.

Evan isn’t doing so well these days. Remember the post about bullying and Evan being the receiver? Turns out that isn’t so true. It was all a huge manipulation, and it turns out that, while Evan can occassionally be on the receiving end, he is often the giver, too. There is no “poor Evan” in this. None whatsoever. I was so angry and shocked, and even hurt. How could he lie like that? I just do not undersand. We give him love and attention everyday.

The issues he has been having are getting worse, too. I have, so far this year, bought multiple coats and belts. A belt is required as a part of his uniform. He always loses his. And gets sent home wearing a lost-and-found belt that has to be returned. And I buy a new one. The coat…I have no idea there. He did the same thing last year. He wears one to school in the morning and doesn’t come home with it. Gym clothes, we cannot seem to remember those…EVER. And the homework. Gah, the homework. It is unbelievable haw bad the turmoil can be in this house. It goes on for hours and hours. He lies to us about what has to be done, only to have a note sent home the next day, yet he still has straight-A’s.

There is more. I was wondering, and fearing, and hoping it wasn’t true. Little Zachy flinches if you reach out to touch him quickly. It’s even worse if it is his face–as in to smooth his hair or brush a crumb off of his face. I wanted to know why. That is a learned reaction, after all. Who in the fuck has been hiting my baby? So I grilled John. No answers. And I tried to help Zachy know that he will not be hurt by being extra gentle with him. No swatting of hands when he gets into something, no pats on he diapered butt. NOTHING from ANYBODY.

And then my heart sank. A few days ago, during one of his rages, Evan reached up from his place on the floor and shoved Zach as hard as he could. I unleashed hell on him, I was so angry. Zach is just a baby. I was sure it would never happen again. My reaction actually seemed to scare Evan. And then he did it again the next day–not a shove, but an actual slap.

Earlier in the week, we had to call the after-hours psychiatry line. I had worked 3 in a row, which means that I was only here to sleep. After the weekend was over, John let me know that Evan had not slept. For days. On one particularly bad night, John said he had to get Evan out of the living room 10 times throughout the night. And no wonder he can’t sleep in his room. I wouldn’t be able to either. It looks like it belongs on an episode of Hoarders, even though it was just thoroughly cleaned by me a couple of days ago. He hoards trash, broken toys, outgrown clothes. As soon as it is all cleaned up, which takes a whole day, it is back like that before you know it.

There is something wrong with my son. I’m not even sure this is Asperger’s anymore. I am very scared for him. I want him to get better. The psychiatry people are questioning Bipolar Disorder now, and wondering if he is in some sort of mania. My heart is broken. We cannot stand the thought of admitting him to the hospital, and the psychiatry people think this may be more traumatic for him, as we would have to leave him on a locked unit for many days and nights, only seeing him during visiting hours. There is such an animal as partial hospitalization, where he goes to the hospital and stays there from 8AM to 5PM everyday and sleeps at home with us. They are talking about that as a feasible option that may help him. Which brings me to the whole point.

Tonight, John called his mother to let her know that we may not be able to visit for Thanksgiving afer all. He told her Evan wasn’t doing so well and they were talking about partial hospitalization. That we are having a hard time. Mind you, we have been stock-piling this stuff for John’s niece who just had a baby yesterday. She is breastfeeding, and I offered to let her use one of my pumps. I bought her all of the supplies for pumping, a high chair, and about $500 in brand-name baby clothes. Even then, she had the gall to ask me to stop everything and bring her the pump—4 hours away–a month ago. I told her the baby is full term and she really needs to be physically nursing right now, anyway. I was going to take her the stuff when we go down to visit for Thanksgiving. If it is that damned important that she have a pump now, she can rent one from Babies ‘R’Us for about $60 until I take mine down there. I shouldn’t do anything because, after all I have done, she asked me to buy her a very specific crib and mattress. So there is already a sort of soreness there. So tonight, John tells his mom that our son is possibly going to be receiving inpatient psych care—her grandson—and her response isn’t words of concern for Evan, but asking how we are going to get our niece–her granddaugher–the stuff we bought. I was so pissed. But that isn’t the best part.

Not long after, John’s dad calls. He wants to know why Evan is possibly going to need this care and why we are letting this happen. John told him the psychiatrist–from a world-reknowned children’s hospital, mind you–thinks it may be best for Evan right now, that he is having bad problems. So then John’s dad asked why we took Evan to psychiatrist in the first place. Ummmm, because we were referred by our doctor and because Evan has been having worsening problems for years? To which John’s dad responded that Evan just needs a GOOD OL’ ASS-WHOOPIN’.

Thanks. Because I never thought of that. What would I do without him?

Yeah, I’m ashamed to admit that we have thought of this a long time ago. We tried spanking. I don’t believe in it, but we were desperate and honestly just thought Evan was misbehaving. You know what happened? Evan laughed at us and continued with the behavior while I cried that I endorsed hitting my kid. And we vowed to never do it again. When Evan is in one of his rages, I would dare say he doesn’t feel physical pain. Spanking will not work. We would have to beat him to within an inch of his life to make him feel it. I cannot hurt my child, for one.

And since when does abuse cure illness? Mental illness is as much an illness as cancer or a heart condition. If you’re having a heart attack, I am not going to be able to beat it out of you. I am so tired of this shit.

Yes, I’ve thought about extracurriculars for Evan. They didn’t work. Not Cub Scouts, Basketball, Karate, Foresters.

Yeah, I’ve tried spanking before we realized there was something seriously wrong. Other things I’ve tried? Removal of privileges, taking his things he loves away, grounding, time-outs, positive discipline, rewards for desired behavior, points and demerits systems, money. None of that shit worked, either.

I have even opted to send him to small, expensive parochial school so he would receive more attention. Spending money I really could use for something else, by the way.

None of this has worked because Evan is sick. So sick. And I am done with my in-laws. Completely finished. You know what they say about a straw and the camel’s back. Well that shit is as broken as it gets.

6 thoughts on “A Good Ol’ Ass-Whoopin’

  1. Oh Andi. . .I am crying with you here.

    I am praying for you guys — for Evan & Zach, for John, for you. I am praying for youandjohn because this kind of stress can be hell on a marriage. ((((HUGS)))

    I have no problem with spanking but I have a BIG problem with Beating. And Luke used to laugh when we spanked him, so we stopped spanking him. The whole point of a spanking is to provide a negative association with a behavior. So we picked a different negative association.

    As far as Evan is concerned. . . .He’s still Evan. He’s struggling and he’s frustrating but he’s still sweet, silly, smart, kind, funny Evan. And Evan will win as long as you & John keep fighting for your family.


    • Thank you, Mary. I’m not even sure what else I can say about it. This one? This one is really hard. We’ll get through somehow. We always do.

  2. Oh — and your in-laws?

    Forget ’em. Until they can be supportive. Or at least until they can mind their own business. If I were you right now, I would make your holidays all about your family.

    • Funny I was just thinking that. I have to work both holidays, but we are still doing our own thing this year. For some reason, I have been craing that anyway. A nice cozy family Christmas. Hell, I may even bake cookies!

  3. Gosh. I feel just awful for what I said previously.

    I hope you all get the support and help that you need to get you all through this tough time.

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