The ER, Bike Accidents, Relapse & Sleep Loss...
Monday night was eventful.
My son, who has only been home two weeks, and seems quite hellbent on doing whatever the hell he pleases with little to no regard for himself or anyone else, was in a biking accident. Ambulance, trauma center, the whole enchilada.
Jumping ahead, he is ok. His face took most of the impact but nothing is broken, by some miracle. A few other abrasions but he is ok. Thank you God!
It was a harrowing night filled with a great many ups and downs. It was also exhausting emotionally and physically.
I am not sure how parents with teens 17 1/2 actually do it. How do you manage a child (legally) who does exactly what he wants? I am foundering.
His return home has been disruptive and hard...for all of us. He is trying, I see the effort, to find his place but he is so in his own way that he just mostly spends his time spinning his wheels. The rest of us are just caught in his orbit. Which feels out of control and tiring.
He wasn’t wearing a helmet which makes his current condition miraculous really. It was somewhat horrifying to be told by the firemen, the paramedics, EMTs, nurses and the doctor (and the police officer which I will get to in a minute) that he should be wearing a helmet...
UM, I KNOW! I have told him that a million times. Like a fucking million. He won’t wear one. I can’t make him. He is bigger than me and I can’t even get him to put his dishes in the dishwasher most days or pick up his backpack...
I know he should wear a helmet. I have bought several. He doesn’t care.
So we spent hours in the ER in the trauma center and he had lots of expensive tests...all finally showing that he was ok. Thankfully.
While we were there, we got to see quite a few things. Mostly our view was of a man that I happened to know from recovery who had apparently relapsed and was now in custody after his fourth DUI. I recognized him immediately. He was too drunk to recognize me. It was so sad. I just saw him last week at a meeting. He was active and had commitments. And there he was in a gown, in police custody, drunk beyond all get out. I felt so helpless wedged between my son who won’t listen and this man that clearly has made a lifelong commitment to not listening.
Both my son and the man suffering from illnesses from which there can be recovery but only after the very real delusion that they “have” this, is released. I am not sure either one of them is going to make it.
I got a stellar view of relapse. It was literally in my face for hours Monday night. I will spare you the gory details...but let’s just say it was graphic. And unpleasant. And heartbreaking.
I thought that this might serve as a wake up call for my son. First reports were not good. But by the time they let me back to see him, he was already dismissing it all and getting online to post his “war” wounds and laugh about the whole ordeal. Nevermind the medical staff doing all they could to help him. He repaid that kindness and professionalism by getting belligerent and mad that they were not making it all happen faster. He nagged and browbeat me over how long it was all taking. He refusing any further medical treatment or to be kept overnight for observation.
I don’t know if you have ever been trapped in a ER room with an arrogant and defiant teenager but I will tell you that it sucks. Big time.
My son’s rants and rages and general disregard for me, the medical staff or anyone else rose to such epic proportions that the cop sitting with the drunk guy across the hall felt moved to come over and give my son a talking to...
It was beautiful. I wanted to cry and hug him. He apologized at the end if he overstepped...I told him how thankful I was. And for a few minutes anyway, my son stopped his self centered demands and also stopped trying to get me to pull out his IVs (he being too scared to actually do that himself).
I spent the rest of the evening in the hall because my son would not stop his incessant demands what were ridiculous and inane. Finally, after many long, hard hours, he was released by the doctor.
My son them complained for another hour and half because the nursing staff wasn’t making his discharge happen fast enough. Again, the hallway was my retreat.
I sat in the middle of my son’s present and perhaps his future. Maybe someday he will be the drunk guy under arrest in the bed across the hall from some desperate mother who is powerless to save her own child. Maybe he will hang in the balance of all that is while berating her for all the things that he thinks she should do or be or be capable of making happen. Maybe she too will spend her time in the hall praying for release.
I spent my time that way. Praying. For my son. For the drunk guy. For the cop. For the medical staff. For my own sanity. I spent my time wondering why my son seems only create such hard terms for those that love him and himself. I really don’t get it...like at all.
I left that ER grateful to not be the drunk guy completely gripped and now fucked from a relapse. I left grateful that I was healthy and unhurt. I was extremely grateful that my son was ok. I was grateful for the cop and his support and caring. He told me as I left that he wasn’t sure how I could take my son’s behavior...he said that he had only been privy to it for a short time...and he couldn’t handle it. He was unsure how I was managing. I told him I have to take it a minute at a time. That is all I can do. If I get too far ahead of myself, I will go mad.
I left grateful that the only thing I really lost was sleep. I kind of walked through my day yesterday in a zombie like state, happy to even be able to show up for my life and my appointments. I made it until 8 pm and then I just collapsed.
I am not sure why life with my son has to be so hard. I certainly am all for it not being. But this is just how he does everything and I will not lie, it is fucking exhausting.
But he is my child and I love him even though he confounds and astounds me on a daily basis. I continue to show up for him because that is what I believe I am supposed to do. My time for effectuating any kind of maternal course correction rapidly expiring. I am working hard to accept the fact that as his 18th birthday fast approaches, I see the future. And it is terrifying.
The only thing that brings me back from the edge is remembering that I do not handle life well on little sleep so I just suspended all judgment or decisions until I am better rested. I also know that me staying sober is paramount to anything so I worked on that. And I know that my son has his own higher power and it is definitely not ME! And so I prayed to that entity and requested, again, for my son to get the message before he does any more harm to himself or the rest of us. And then I just had to move on with my day.
I have to trust that things are happening as they are supposed to...even if I don’t like them or understand them. Life is just like that. Often hard, confusing and irritating. And sometimes it all works out with a few abrasions and bumps and loss of sleep, and sometimes you end up in jail facing some pretty dire consequences.
I left that hospital grateful. That I am not relapsed. I am not my son. I have a God that helps me, cares for me and leads me to better things, even when the road I have to walk is scary and hard. I am always being moved forward...onto what I never truly get to know until it is time for me to know.