Sunday, September 12, 2010

Connect the Dots

"I want to be ADMINISTRATOR!"

We have heard that tune over and over again like a broken record over the past several days.  That's the obsessive demand of the week from our teenage son.  He thinks he is "entitled" to have administrator privileges to his computer.  He wants to have control! Hellooo...what else is new? More specifically he wants to be able to download, add and delete programs without having to ask for anyone's permission or help.  

He has been ranting for days.  "It's my computer! Why are you guys treating me like a baby?!" 
"I want to be administrator! I want to be administrator! I want to be administrator!" Over and over again like a what? Baby!  It's like -do you really think you can bully us into giving you what you want?

Now just a week ago we had to make him configure and sign a contract for internet behavior.  "No cursing people out when you're angry.  No threats out of anger!  When angry -talk to mom and dad before posting anything on anyone's wall. Turn computer off in a timely manner on school nights...etc." This because he was consistently breaking these rules.  "Violation of these rules can lead to loss of computer, accounts being suspended or flagged,  parental time controls being set, etc." 

Now a week later...we're supposed to turn around and give you more control?! Well gee -that makes perfectly good sense!  His arguments are irrational.  They do not connect the dots.  They don't make any sense -at least not to us.   In his impulsive Asperger's mind -I'm sure they are completely reasonable. 

This morning we experienced a typical ridiculous, raging rant that had no merit, substance or illusions of common sense.  

"So son -let me paint you a picture.  You're on a job.  You yell and scream at your boss because you want a promotion. 'I want to be the Supervisor! Give me a raise!' and he's supposed to turn around and give you more responsibility?  Better yet -you're in school and the teacher is looking for someone to help her grade papers and hand things out to the other students.  Should she pick the student who is yelling at her and regularly curses in her class, teases and taunts the other students and calls them names? Why would someone give more responsibility to someone who behaves like this?"  

This very morning he started the day by bursting into my room and waking me up and then tried to wake up the dog.  When that didn't work, he went to start banging on his brother's door to wake him up.  Then he proceeded downstairs to start his rant about being administrator, disturbing his grandmother who was trying to watch her Sunday morning shows and have a peaceful cup of coffee.  When he didn't get the response he wanted -he went upstairs and carried on the same with his father.  

Sure -we have every reason to turn around and give you more responsibility!   Responsibility comes along with maturity.  Of course I realize that a lot of his behaviors have to do with having Aspergers -but some of it is just plain old acting like an ass! He knows I'm asleep but he stands over me talking.  He knows his brother is sleeping -but what the heck, why not wake him up to the sound of banging on the door.  I mean come on! You're 15 for God's sake!

I say to him, "When you can consistently show us mature decision making, not consistently impulsive behavior -then we will entertain giving you the responsibility of controlling your own computer. While you live in our house and you are a minor -we are responsible for what you do.  What reason do you give us to trust that you will make mature decisions?"

His response, "What does mature decisions and my behavior have to do with my computer?" Wow!

I go on and on explaining, painting pictures until I think he finally processed what I was trying to say.  We think he gets it.  He did finally settle down for the moment and gave us the gift an otherwise peaceful day.  He knows what he needs to do. 

Here's to hoping he will...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Adventures in Delirum

2:20 a.m.: Thunder rocks our house as if the cloud was right on top of our roof.  My heart is beating rapidly.  I am suddenly wide awake.  The wind is blowing the rain begins to pour.  There is a mad knock on my bedroom door, almost as loud as the thunder.  My heart rate again rises.  It's my son who knocked so loudly and then ran away screaming, "Mom! There's thunder!" No kidding?

He wants me to come into the bathroom with him.  I tell him, being in the bathroom isn't going to change anything.  There's nothing we can do.  We need to just lay down and try to relax until it's over.  He brings up the radar on his Ipod.  We turn on the television to see what we're dealing with.  We assess that the worst of it will be over in about 15 minutes.  When things settle down, I request that he lay down and try to go back to sleep.

6:45 a.m. Alarm clock goes off.  I try to rouse the troops.  I tell Blue that the storm has passed.  It's time to get dressed.  He starts to cry hysterically.

"I can't do it! I can't go to school.  I can't walk around all day going from class to class! I can't focus! I'll just be worrying all day. Please! Please leave me alone!"  He refuses to leave his safe place. He refuses to get ready for school.

7:30 a.m. -I call to cancel the bus.  I leave a message for the LSSP (Licensed Therapist in School Psychology) to let her know that my son is refusing to come to school because of the storm. 

8:00 a.m. I drive my teenager to the high school. I am so exhausted.  I'm working really hard to keep my eyes open and stay focused on the road.

8:30 a.m. -I lay down to rest until I hear from the middle school.

9:30 a.m. -LSSP calls....she talks to my son on the phone.  By this time, he is a little more rested and is calm.  She tells them that it's only sprinkling up there.  There is a game plan for him to work in the social skills room, his work will be brought in.  He agrees.

10 a.m. -I drop him at the middle school. I am assured that he's in good hands an will be fine.

10:15 a.m. - I arrive at the high school for a meeting with yet another LSSP and special education teacher.  We discuss the game plan for my high school son who has been refusing to ride the school bus.   I happen to run into the campus officer.  I introduce myself.  We have a lovely conversation.  He tells me he will be glad to come and get my son and escort him to school should I have problems in the future.  He gives me his cell phone number.  Lovely!

11:30 a.m. -I leave the high school.  I an starving! I realize OMG I had coffee but forgot to eat! I to Panera Bread for soup, sandwich and a cold expresso frozen caramel drink.  The sugar and caffiene is still not enough to wake me up and make me feel sane.

12:30 p.m.:  I come home and hit the to do list.  I don't make it very far before I lay down.

3:00 p.m. I head off to the high school to pick up my son for a therapy appointment.

3:15 p.m. From the car I call my behavioral health plan to get referrals for a Pediatric Psychiatrist.  There are a whopping three choices in the entire Austin area. 

3:30 p.m.: I stop by Pediatric Psychiatrist office (they are next door to the therapist).  I beg for an appointment for an evaluation for my youngest son.  His anxiety and explosive levels are through the roof and are definitely interfering with our everyday life and routine.  They write down my information and say they'll get back to me. There is a 70 person waiting list.  They may give me priority since my older son is already a patient.

4:00 p.m.: I sit through a therapy session with the teenager. It is shear torture for the most part. He does have at least one epiphany.  He doesn't want his typical friends to see how angry he can get.  He walked away from a potentially explosive situation when someone told him he couldn't sit at a particular table during lunch. This is good stuff!

5:00 p.m.: Session is over -I call my husband to see if he is going to make it to take the middle schooler to his private art lesson. He says, "I think I can make it." I can't rely on think.  I hightail it across town to pick him up myself.

I send husband a text message which says, "Dude -don't ever tell me I don't have full-time job!" He replies, "O.K." 

6:00 p.m. -Pick up and drop off to art lessons.  I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, pissed off, stressed out, feeling a little explosive my damn self!  I call hubby and ask him can he at least honor the commitment of picking up our son from art lessons.  I just want to disappear for a while.  He agrees.

6:15 p.m.-I arrive at happy my favorite place -alone. I pull up to the bar with the rest of the alcoholics and order a Chambord Rita and grilled shrimp tostada bites.  I make small talk conversation with the friendly drunks sitting next to me.  It's fun.  I'm not the least bit embarrassed that I'm a married woman alone in a bar.

I send a text to hubby that says, "I'm at a bar picking up strange men. :-D"  He replies, "Not Funny!"  It's funny to me. 

6:45 p.m. -While sitting at the bar, a call comes in on my cell from some old friends that I have reconnected with via facebook.  They are in Dallas for a fotball game.  This is three school friends from my middle school years.  They are of the male species.  All are handsome and as sweet as ever.  All very much married and have children.  They remember me as "k-dub" the fun girl with no worries.  It's great to be taken back to happier days for a moment.  This is by far the highlight of my day.

7:30 p.m.  -I leave happy hour and head to the mall.  I just don't want to go home and face my family. Spending money usually makes everything least temporarily.  Somehow today, it doesn't have much effect.  I only buy facial products and makeup.  I need it to hide the misery and age on my face.

9:30 p.m. -I return home and am glad that hubby took the middle school son to a football game.  I hide away in my room getting ready for bed.  

11:00 p.m. -I drift off and sleep like a newborn baby.