“There Is No Reality”


At last – there really is competence in the state system! Oh, there have been a few others along the way, but mostly it’s been like pulling teeth to find both information and clarity.

Gosh, can you tell I’m a little calmer today? And there is one reason for this: hope. Well, okay, that and I’m worn out from all the stress and drama yesterday. And last week. And…well, you get the idea.

As per my son’s release from detention last month, we were asked to attend family therapy sessions. Our first one was last evening, but only my husband and I were present. The therapist wanted some background information, and to outline future sessions, discuss our son, and so forth. Pretty standard.

I think the therapist really got to the point – our son acts up, and has been doing so for many years, and we react; of course, it doesn’t seem to matter HOW we react, if that reaction includes the word “no” there are problems. Casual, strict, explanation, short answer – we never know if something will set him off. But “no” almost guarantees it. And, of course, even when he appears to handle that “no”, it usually means he’ll come back later or the next day with the same question.

Sigh.

So what to do? Well, it turns out that there are OPTIONS. I did not know this. Well, of course I knew that the place he’s in right now had different programs, but I wasn’t sure if he qualified for those; I had heard of a couple others, but my brain has been whirling in circles for so long now that I wasn’t able to compute all the ramifications.

Then the therapist said: there is no reality. I blinked. My mind went blank. I thought, what did she just say? No reality? THERE is the explanation! I was pretty sure I was living in the Twilight Zone already – now I knew. No reality.

Then I started to laugh. I mean, seriously, this explained SO MUCH. This is the reason why my son can’t follow the rules the home, why he seems to hate me so much, why he lies and appears to believe those lies – that is his reality. My reality is confusion and bafflement and being unable to understand his reality – which, to me, is just not real. Hence the confusion, if you know what I mean.

See, my son doesn’t want to come home; so he says, and even though I have a hard time believing most of what he does say, this is something I probably have to accept. Even though the goal of all of this current mess is “family reunification”, I’m not sure how the goals change when the kid would rather be gone. Then again, maybe he would NOT rather be away from home – he certainly referred to military school as we having “shipped him off”, but he does like drama; this way, he can claim we “got rid” of him, or that we don’t want him.

Truthfully, we told the therapist that we were ambivalent about his returning home – we want him to behave, and he doesn’t want to. The stress and strain of him living at home is just absolutely killing us all – but we certainly don’t want to “get rid” of him. We just want him to follow the rules, grow up, be happy and healthy and a productive member of society. I think, if he is home and behaves himself, he can easily do these things. However, if he remains insistent on not behaving and on staying away from us, it will be much harder for him to accomplish this.

I’m his mother. I could have “gotten rid” of him at the very beginning; I did not. I’m not going to advocate doing that now, or ever. I haven’t given up, although before last night’s session I was very, very close. I was looking up how to go about, and the ramifications of, signing over my rights as a parent. This is how bad things are, how desperate they’ve become.

And in case you’re wondering, I did talk to the caseworker supervisor yesterday. While I did chew her out and I was certainly highly agitated, I did apologize and I did receive a bit more information; and now I’m on “the list” so the folks at the shelter can indeed answer my questions.

However, I still have not heard from the caseworker herself; I haven’t seen my son for a week although, as I did mention earlier, I don’t think that matters to him.

That’s his reality, not mine.

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