Monday, June 17, 2013

An Evening With Red

I have to admit, I am **loving** all of the questions I've been getting lately - so many people want to understand more about this journey.  Yesterday, a friend asked what a "typical" day looks like with Red.  The short answer I always give is, "Do you watch Big Bang Theory?  Because, I live with a non-germaphobic sarcastic version of Sheldon."  But the longer answer is ... I couldn't think of a better example than what just happened this past Saturday evening.  

This week, we have VBS at my church, and I'm very excited.  I've always helped out with VBS, and I truly enjoy it.  I knew that I was going to be volunteering again this year, but as of Saturday evening, I still didn't know what I was doing.  Red and I went to the grocery store, and while we were there, I got a phone call from the gal in charge.  I had ~assumed~ I would be teaching, but we all know what happens when we assume.  This assumption was based on a few conversations that have taken place over the past few weeks.  But, as it turns out, there was some miscommunication.  I'm not going to play a blame game, either I misunderstood or missed something (which, let's face it, happens a lot), or maybe somebody else didn't explain it well enough ... who knows?  But, it came down to me, standing in the middle of the cereal aisle, finding out that I'm not going to be doing something I love ... and it all comes back to this situation with Red.  


Time for me to admit something:  Logically, I understand his issues, and I understand the thought process (or lack thereof) of spreading the rumors that got us here.  I can forgive him, because, at the end of the day, he is a 13-year-old boy that struggles with emotional issues on top of puberty on top of Asperger's.  Let's face it, the kid has the deck stacked against him.  But, when I'm caught off guard with something like this?  I still get so mad at him!  I resent him.  I resent his behavior.  I resent Asperger's.  I resent it ALL.  I get angry and bitter, and stomp around.  And, then, after about five minutes, I remember that this is MY CHILD, and I can't act that way.  So, I get my head on straight, and deal with the situation.  

When I stopped teaching, we made the decision to not tell Red that it was because of his actions.  We didn't want to make him feel like he had power over this situation.  Because that is how he would have perceived it.  He possesses a real arrogance, and no matter how everything actually went down, he would have always seen it as HE had me "fired" as a teacher.  When I use the term "we" here, it was me and Hubs, obviously, but also our pastor, and the children's ministry director - both of whom have been trying to help us with counseling options and guidance, encouragement and support with Red.  I have started taking on more of an administrative role anyway, assisting the director and helping plan lessons and prep crafts and such.  Which, honestly, can be a huge undertaking, and it is difficult to teach all the time when you're doing that, as well.  If Red asked, we would tell him the truth - I'm not teaching anymore, but I'm doing all of this other stuff.  Working full-time and homeschooling, there really is only so much I can add to my plate anyway.  

After this phone call in the grocery store, I was sad.  Frustrated, annoyed.  I felt like the scab had been ripped off.  AGAIN.  Red couldn't figure out why, and I decided it was time to tell him *something*.  I told him that, at this point, the details of the situation aren't important, we needed to look at the bigger picture:  Once again, Red, you have done something that has hurt someone.  You can't make up for it, you can't fix it.  Do you feel bad?  (I guess)  Do you wish you could take it back?  (I don't know what I did, but I guess so)  ... That's called remorse, Son.  And that is what I need you to learn.  That when you do something that hurts someone, if it is intentional or an accident, you still need to find some way to fix the situation.  His response?  "Ok, fine.  Pizza ready yet?"


Sidebar:  I've been asked to take pictures for VBS.  If I can't teach, then photographing the entire event is really the next best thing.  I've been truly enjoying starting the photo business with Hubby, so I have no hard feelings about VBS, just the situation leading up to it.

We went home, and he was bringing the groceries in from the car.  It took him awhile to come back in from the last trip, and I went out to find him leaning against the van, all the doors open, and him blasting the radio.  We have asked him countless times to not play with the radio.  Just don't do it.  I calmly told him to come inside, and on the way in, I reminded him that this was disobedience, that we have asked him to not mess with our vehicle, that he has his own radio inside and he needs to use that.  

And then he started yelling at me and cussing at me.  The rest of the night was filled with him being as hurtful and disrespectful as he could manage.  I told him to go to his room, that he could have dinner later after he calmed down, and he threatened to call the DCF investigator on me for not feeding him.  


I know a lot of this is just normal teenager crap, and a lot of my friends experience the same with their kids.  I get lost though ... because Red is the oldest, it is difficult for us to sort out the normal teenager defiance from the aspergic (is that a word? it is now) crud.  If anyone has experience with that, please let me know, I could use the help.  Like, a giant sifter.


In other news around here ... we had a wonderful Father's Day dinner last night for Hubby and Dad, and then birthday cake for me.  Red velvet - my favorite!!  Today, Hubby and I are going to Disney after VBS ... and I'm soooo looking forward to an afternoon/evening away to celebrate my birthday and our 8th wedding anniversary.  

Thank you all again, for your encouragement and love!  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for continually sharing your story and struggles so bravely.