If we didn’t love Gavin, our hearts wouldn’t be broken

I realize that this post is unnecessary because I don’t really have anything to prove to anyone.  Having said that, in the event that Gavin does read this Blogger at some point, I want to make a few things very clear. 

Lizze and I love Gavin very, very much.  For the first 10 years of his life, we did everything we possibly could for him and still do to this day. 

Things however, have changed because Gavin’s behaviors present unique problems within our household. Having said that, we view Gavin and his behaviors as two separate things. 

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It’s not Gavin’s fault that any of these things are a part of his life. 

I’ve prayed countless times to take his burden away and carry it myself.  Unfortunately, I can’t do that.  To make matters even more complicated, the behaviors associated with his conditions have worsened and treated the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the house.

While we don’t blame Gavin for being the way he is, we can’t ignore the impact his behaviors have on everyone in our house.

The unfortunate reality is that while we see Gavin separate from his conditions, we can’t separate him from his behaviors and the devastating impact they have.

At present here is the current list of health and mental health issues Gavin struggles with on a daily basis:

Mental Health Challenges:

ADHD
Aspergers
Bipolar disorder
Schizoaffective disorder
Oppositional defiance
Reactive attachment disorder
OCD
PICA

Physical Health Challenges:

Asthma
Epilepsy
Reflux
Common variable primary immunodeficiency
Autonomic disfunction/crisis
Neurological and muscular regression
Cognitive regression

Does that mean we don’t love him? Absolutely not. If we didn’t love him, we wouldn’t be struggling with everything surrounding this situation.  If we didn’t love him, we wouldn’t be trying to find him whatever help we can find, even if that help is in the form of residential care.  If we didn’t love him, we wouldn’t be pursuing every possible avenue, in order to help him have the brightest future possible. 

Gavin is more than just his behavioral problems. He’s a brilliant writer and a gifted artist, both skills we are trying our best to encourage and foster.

Gavin is very creative and can build just about anything out of Legos. He’s very intelligent and an “A”  student. 

He’s capable of doing very nice things for people and he never, ever complains about the hand, life has dealt him. 

I’m very proud of him and all he’s accomplished.

For anyone to claim anything otherwise, simply doesn’t have a grasp on the unique and challenging situation my family is trying to survive.

As much as we love Gavin, his behaviors are such that he simply can’t coexist with the rest of us anymore.  Despite our every effort to manage the situation, Gavin had to be removed from the home and placed into his Grandparents care.

This was not a decision we took on lightly.  In fact, we sought advice from every doctor and specialist that has been working with our family and had intimate, first hand knowledge of our situation. We spoke with our family and debated every other possibility before deciding to move him out. 

While removing Gavin from our home hasn’t fixed anything for him or us, it has helped us to get our footing and him to be happier. 

Gavin does much better in am environment with as little  emotional expectations as possible. He doesn’t bond with anyone and so he is never really attached to any particular person or place. 

However, he’s very happy at his grandparents house and does much better in the 1 on 1 environment. That is the nature of reactive attachment disorder.

I know that I shouldn’t let what thoughtless say bother me and I usually don’t.  However, sometime a person’s thoughtlessness can cross a line and I feel compelled to defend my position and our decisions.  I know that I do think have to don’t his but to be really honest with you, I doubt myself at times and I need to remind myself where I stand and why. 

When I started this blog over 2 years ago, I wasn’t writing these things for anyone to read.  I was writing as a means of self-preservation.  I need to unload my feelings in a constructive manner.  I never intended for anyone to actually read this stuff. 

I now have an amazing group of readers from all over the world.  This blog has brought me in contact with so many amazing people.  I’ve met countless parents and families, as well as many people on the Autism spectrum themselves.

I value everyone’s opinions and welcome your input.

I’m bound to come across a few people along the way that just have nothing positive to contribute and so they try to bring me down. Sometimes they’re even successful, to an extent.

All of can really say is that I try to roll with the punches.  However, sometimes those punches hit below the belt, like the comment that inspired the post in particular.

Look, the truth of the matter is this.  My family has found ourselves in a situation, with no good options.  We have to pick the best worst option and try to move forward. It’s not easy and I would wish this on anyone because this is truly torture. 

I’ll leave you with this final statement and you can do with it what you will.

If we didn’t love Gavin, our hearts wouldn’t be broken right now.


This site is managed via WordPress for Android, courtesy of the @SamsungMobileUS Galaxy Note 2 by @Tmobile. Please forgive any typos as autocorrect HATES me. 😉

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MeaghanGood

I’ve got a friend who claims that a RAD diagnosis and an autism diagnosis are mutually exclusive, and either Gavin has Aspergers or he has RAD, but not both. Have you heard this? *knows very little about RAD*

dotdash

I would say that Gavin’s move to his grandparents, where the stress level is lower and the environment more suited to his challenges, is a gift that you have given him.  You have given him something you could not give him at home, what with the other children and the behavioral expectations.  So you should be proud of having made this decision, I believe.  Sadly, you bear a burden for it (grief, guilt, missing him, etc.), but that is being a parent and making hard choices.

lostandtired

dotdash thanks. That was very insightful and we’ll said. I appreciate your perspective and support. 🙂

CassandraS

Rob, I get it.  My husband and I have had to make very difficult decisions regarding our daughter.  She currently is in a residential treatment center as she was unsafe to herself and our boys and everyone needed to be protected.

lostandtired

CassandraS thanks. It seems as though people find it easier to believe we have some nefarious purpose than we were doing what was best. This was a very, very difficult decision that haunts me each and every day. Thank you for your support and compassion. My best to you and yours.

TrishMorrin

Rob, You and Lizzie are doing the best you can , and I know I had to let me daughter leave and go to live with her dad because of her younger brother, and his health issues, my heart breaks every day. But we have to do whats best for everyone involved and we have to think of everyone. I think you are truly unique in the sense that Gavin is not your biological son and from what Ive read you have tried so very very hard to look after him and manage him. Im sure he is safe and loved at his grand parents and I am sure if things were different you would have Gavin home with you, people just dont understand , they dont know what you have to go through on a day to day basis. So from one of your readers, I know and I think you are doing your very best. Trish.

lostandtired

TrishMorrin thank you. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

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