Confessions of a special needs father

Every once in awhile I like to do a confessions post.  This is where I kick the honesty up a notch and purge some of the things that have been weighing heavy on my heart.

Life has been more challenging than usual lately. Gavin’s having major health issues as well as behavioral problems. The health issues are exhausting and difficult to know what to do with. The behavioral problems are honestly weighing very heavy on me because of the nature of the behaviors.

Gavin is very hypersexualand so we are having problems with inappropriate touching. We have to keep Gavin under constant supervision, especially when he’s around his brothers. This is no easy task. It means that we have to have the boys downstairs if they want go play together. They can never be allowed to be play upstairs alone.

Of course, the boys don’t like this and resist at every turn. I don’t like it either because when Gavin is upstairs, the boys are forced to stay downstairs because they will gravitate to Gavin’s room if we don’t.

It wasn’t so bad before but now that Gavin can no longer attend school he’s home all the time. This means that we have to be on our toes, all day everyday. Honestly, that makes me angry and even resentful. I mean, we already have enough on our plate. Now we have to protect Elliott and Emmett from their oldest brother. I’m angry that Gavin is doing this and resentful of the additional strain this puts on the Lost and Tired family.

I feel betrayed because Gavin is telling his brothers to keep the physical contact, regardless of what it was, a secret from us so that he doesn’t get in trouble. This means that he is aware of what he is doing and is trying to conceal his actions.

At times like this, I feel differently about him. For those that don’t know, I adopted Gavin after spending the better part of 10 years and $100,000 fighting to protect him from his abusive father and grandmother. Lizze and I lost everything along the way, including her health and my career. We did it because of how much we love Gavin and I would do it all again.

I know it isn’t rational or even fair but I feel betrayed by his behavioral choices. Something that needs to be very clear is that these sre behavioral choices. Gavin is not your typical aspie. He is plagued with other, serious mental health issues as well. Much of his behavior, including meltdowns are willful acts.

I know some of you compare him to your own child and immediately disagree with me but I assure you that this has been proven over and over again by highly trained professionals that have had extended contact with Gavin. I know it’s difficult to digest but it’s the truth. Imagine having to live this and not just read about it.

With all of this stuffgoing on, I’m physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. I’m making mistakes left and right and dropping the ball all over the place. I’m trying to do everything I can to keep us moving forward or at least treading water. However, I’m failing miserably.

To make things even worse, my back is out and the pain has returned. When your in constant pain, it affects everything.

My goal is to make it through tomorrow when we see Dr. Pattie. We will discuss how to address these problem behaviors and formulate a plan that not only ensures the safety of everyone in the house but also helps Gavin to control these behaviors.

I love all my kids and I have and will continue to do anything for them. This absolutely includes Gavin. Right now I’m frustrated, angry and resentful of his behaviors and wanted to put those feelings out in the open. It’s important for me to own my feelings and not let my feelings own me.

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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Posted from WordPress for Android so please forgive any typos as auto correct and I don’t get along very well sometimes.

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carl

I am with you Rob. our Marc is adopted, and has behaviors, meltdowns, the gamut. His behaviors occur because he wants them to. He tried to blame his behavior on his adhd, and when I wouldn't let him, he tried using the aspergers…. no go. I will not allow him to hide his behaviors behind a diagnosis. We try and I stress the word try, to maintain him on one floor of our house. but it is becoming a strain. I will be calling his doctors tomorrow, meds only go so far.
My recent post writing prompt: Her Name Was Matilda – Matilda Macswain

Sila

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/writte

This sounds all too familiar for you guys really. Figured i'd share.

autiesmama

"When you've met one autistic child, you've met ONE autistic child"–Greenspan. More than most, perhaps, I guess special needs parents understand the rare gift of true empathy and acknowledgement, but Dear God, each child is a universe unto him/herself, and we (read: I) forget to balance that with our (read: my) desire to understand.

That said, I will still try to nod my head in a sort of understanding–you see, my mother had an extremely rare form of early onset dementia, and as her executive function fell away, we were caught trying to distinguish what was willful and knowingly done (shoplifting, lying, hoarding, name-calling), and what was not. One of the distinguishing components of her illness was hypersexuality–so difficult and uncomfortable to comprehend sexuality out of our social/moral context, uncertain whether the behavior is willful or not. We are never, ever prepared for such things. My mother's FTD disease is not the same as Gavin's health issues, of course, but yes, I did have to address hypersexuality in many conversations with doctors and my father, and it is a very surreal and absurd thing. To love someone and *still* have to handle his/her hurtful and destructive sexual behaviors, all the time, wondering what the heck to do about consequences…that bit, I understand, even if only a little.
I can't imagine your struggle, I really can't. I remember friends saying, "well, it can't get any worse…" as if they knew where it would stop. And I would tell them that there is no bottom, no statute of limitations on worse-ness. Yes, Mary Sunshine, that's me. But I hear that in your writing, that understanding that while there is no bottom, per se, there's no choice but to keep going because there is no stopping either. That's a mighty hard kind of tired, Rob. I doubt that many people ever come to that kind of tired, and I suppose it's best that way, no? I am sorry you are there, but I want you to know that your candor is humbling and eye-opening. I wish I could appreciate something more pleasant about your experience, but it is what it is, and I thank you for making me think, –Leslie.
My recent post Another Not

David W

Hang in there brothers. Forgive yourself first for you are doing the best you can with the tools, spirit and fortitude that you have on hand at the moment. Keep writing, we are listening.

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