Attachement According to Dustin
We are having a rough go of it right now. Dustin typically has a difficult . . . DIFFICULT . . . D I F F I C U L T time with transitions. This summer will apparently be no exception. The biggest issue we have been dealing with is a very smart mouth and a difficult attitude. The way he has been lipping off at home has reached a new height. His attitude is very "teenagery" yet he is still acting like a 6 year old much of the time.
The thing that I cannot stand the most is that when he hears the word no he melts into craziness. If he does not get his way, the crying, the whining and the jumping commences. It is almost always followed by some attachment junk that spews out of his mouth . . .
"You hate me."
"I don't want to live here any longer."
"I wish I would've never let you adopt me."
"I want you to call the police to take me away."
"Just kick me out."
It bothers me that after 9 years and countless stuff we have dealt with, he still thinks that leaving the family is an option. It breaks me heart that this is even a viable option in his mind. It hurts that he is that "broken" that he even thinks that it is possible.
I respond is mostly the same way . . .
"We love you."
"You have no choice, this is your family and your home."
"You needed a family and we love you."
"The police have no place to take you."
"Where will you live? This is your family. You are my child."
Agh! It makes me nutty. It kills me that we do this nearly every day. He truly thinks that you can simply throw someone out. He feels disposable. It also makes me crazy that he would rather live in a box on the street or ask to go to the psych hospital than live in my house. I know that neurotypical teens want to leave etc, but the difference for me is that he truly believes that it is possible for a mother or father to just be done and toss him out like trash.
Sometimes I believe it is for reassurance. Sometimes I think he just needs to hear that we will not do that to him. I think it is a dance that he feels is necessary to feel attached to us and know that we care. Other times, like tonight, he really thinks he would be better off without us.
If I wanted to be all selfish about it, I would be truly frustrated that he feels this way even after we have sacrificed so much of ourselves to give him the home he has. I would feel like it is a slap in the face that he had no one else who wanted him and we were willing to take on all these issues because we loved him and now he doesn't even want to be here. Of course, I know that he is not doing this to torture me, he is in more internal turmoil than I can ever imagine.
But sometimes, not feeling that way is hard.
The thing I try to remember most is this: Why the heck wouldn't he feel that way? He was not privledged enough the be in a forever-together family the first time around why would he think this time is any different? While it is easy for me to sit and bemoan the fact that he thinks this way, it is much harder to put myself in his shoes and realize he doesn't get it! He has no idea what a permanent family is like. That family was abusive and he was huirt so someone came and took him away. He is unhappy here with some perceived injustice and his first thought is "Hey, I hate this. I wish I could have someone come take me and start over." If I was honest with myself, I could find the joy in that scenario as well sometimes! It was be easier in the short term, expecially while the emotions are running high. It makes complete sense.
The difficulty is finding a space in his brain that has been riddled with dissappointment, instability and attachment resistance to tuck away the truth that we are forever. Family means forever is a foreign concept and one that he will likely fight for many years to come.
- Sheri (who blog at Ain't That Sherific)