Confessions of a overwhelmed and frustrated special needs father

Confessions of a overwhelmed and frustrated special needs father

It’s never easy to raise a child, especially in this world.  It’s even more challenging when the child themselves have challenges that make every day a struggle to get through. 

When I write about the things that Gavin does, it’s really easy to read my words and not only find them disturbing but also confuse the intent behind them.

All I can say is that I’m sharing my feelings on a very challenging and heartbreaking situation.  It’s easy to judge from the comfort of your computer scream but when you are living with a RAD kid, it’s an entirely different story.  The truth is, very few people understand.

To be completely honest, I don’t even understand myself.

You have to remember that I never profess to be perfect.  The whole point of what I’m trying to do is share the good with the bad.  Should I have told Gavin that everything he was saying was bullshit last night? Probably not. In the big picture, was it a life altering mistake, I don’t really think so.  I only brought it up because I was simply being honest about what had happened. 

As a human being, I can only take so much sometimes.

I frequently post positive things about Gavin and always have.  I try to celebrate the positives whenever possible.  In fact, since Gavin moved back home earlier this year, there have been tons of positive things about him that I have shared and we have celebrated.

Something that you have to understand is that when dealing with Gavin, you aren’t dealing with a child that’s simply Autistic.  Gavin is a child with an unbelievably complex mental health.

We are living each and every day with someone that we not only love, but who is deeply emotionally disturbed.  Is that his fault? Of course it isn’t.  Does that make life any easier, absolutely not. 

I’m frustrated because no matter what we do to help him, we can’t get anywhere. 

Now we’ve reached the point where he lies about everything, even things that don’t make any sense to lie about. 

The truth isn’t something that’s pretty and perfect.  In our case, particularly when it comes to Gavin, it can be quite unpleasant to read about.  Having said that, it’s even more unpleasant to live. 

Do you think that I enjoy even thinking that I can’t trust my son?

This is killing me.  I mean, it would be so much easier if I didn’t care but I do.  The truth is, I care too much because I can’t let this go.  I can’t accept that he’s lying to us about everything.  I’m constantly looking for a reason as to why this is happening, something that explains why he’s doing this. Something other than Reactive Attachment Disorder.  Something that we can help him through.

I spent so much time and energy, simply trying to reason with Gavin and help him to understand that what he’s doing is wrong but nothing sticks.  You can only teach so many things. 

If you think that I’m too hard on Gavin, what do you think is going to happen when he gets older and still does the things he does now? My fear is that he’s going to end up in the legal system on the wrong side of the law. 

I’m doing everything I can to try and somehow reach him before we get to that point. 

The truth is that I’m running out of steam, especially when it comes to his behaviors.  Every ounce of energy that I give to him, takes away from someone else. 

The homework issues that have recently come to light are very, very frustrating for me.  I feel like if I wash my hands of this homework stuff for example, even though it’s what everyone is telling me is best, that I’m somehow letting him down.

The reality is that we are never going to get a straight story from him. It’s so hard to accept that he’s lying to us about all of these things.  In fact, I’m the last one to accept that this is what’s going on.  I’m far more likely to believe that what Gavin is a saying is true because I want so badly to see the best in him.

Unfortunately, the reality we live in anymore is one that has Gavin being deceitful about everything.  I’m sure that there are things he’s being honest about but they are mixed in with so many untruths that there no way to tell the difference anymore.  Every time I get sucked into one of his stories and believe what he’s telling me, I end up finding out that nothing he said was true. 

I want to remind you that the purpose of this blog is to share what my life is like on a daily basis. 

It’s not always pretty and often times it can get quite depressing and dark.  You may read about things that I’ve said or done and think I’m a horrible parent.  I ask that you remember that I’m sharing the good with the bad, including my personal mistakes or missteps.  I’m the farthest thing in the world from a perfect parent.

Having said that, I get up each day, after very little sleep and dedicate my life to my family. 

I’m overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted and frustrated.  I’m heartbroken and worried sick about what the future holds for my kids, especially when it comes to Gavin. I make plenty of mistakes along the way and I openly admit that. 

I’m not asking you to be comfortable with my life or what I have to do with Gavin.  I do ask that unless you have walked a mile in my shoes, that you try and reserve judgement. 

This site is managed almost exclusively from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Please forgive any typos as auto-correct HATES me. 😉

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Lost and Tired  rjones22 I seem to say “not meaning to sound disrespectful” and it usually occurs when I  giving my “2 cents” worth on posts regarding Gaven (don’t tell anyone but he is my favorite – and not in a bad way) I dont have any knowledge about rad which i said sounded bad enough i dont want to learn more and I am absolutely sure to the utmost that yall know what the deal is with him and his rad and I dont want you to think I am giving my “2 cents” when i dont live with Rad. I know what it means for my kid to be sick and then lets throw in things that are off the wall for any paitent to make it worse and oh by the ways my kids problem is an a cyle so we are never at the right dr at the right time ugh! (in yalls case, is he lying then not all the time and you and your wife are in the middle of i hope he doesnt die from his “crisis” (forgot the name but super super terrible because you feel you are unable to get him treated properly) and i cant stand that you and your family (especially Gavin) is having to go thru this. So long story short (best I can do) is I try to put in some particualar post “that I don’t mean to sound disrepectul” because this is not my kid. As you know (and I am throwing that in again) and this is the God’s Honest Truth – or the fact of the matter – that I can’t stand that homework hassle, I know you addressed it, but when they told me my kid might die for real (and this happened to you) one of the first things i said was f*** the homework. I would have told them to f*** off altogher as I didn’t know how long my kid had to live and I didn’t want them (which means anybody)- to stress him out about stupid homework when his is throwing up from cancer treatment in a basin and I am cryting. I will do the stressing out as I see fit as I am his MOTHER I told them I would take care of his education later as right now I am working on him to LIVE, dumb***. So when i write “not meaning to sound disrspectul” i really mean it because I wasnt good at taking advice. You are actually asking advice and since i did have the “homework” experiencei felt the need to respond and i did not want you to think i believed this is a regular kid that you are dealing with. my ptsd kicks in and i think back that I was really controlling about my kids health but these people who treated my son (who are the “best of the best” and who I am thankfull they got him medically to live, i really thank them) had to be watched because they almost accidently killed him 3 times for real. these really were accidents. He knows that and whatever terrible fatal things that was stopped in time. He was (another bad word) 12, 13, and 14. Can you believe he had to be subjected to that!!!! If I would not have stepped in with “my two cents” he would be dead and that is a “insert another bad word here” thing to happen and of course i have ptsd from the trauma. God knows what he has from the trauma but he says he is fine and i took him to see someone to talk about whatever (kid said ok so i would never bring it up again. i promised i wouldnt) and hes ok the dr said. I am thinking about the doctor “you are stupid” and there is nothing i can do cause i promised my son I wouldnt drag him there again if the drs ays he is ok “. He probably really ok. But is my kid lying saying he is ok so i will shut up? is he lying to the dr so the dr would say he is ok? my son is a real for real genious and could pull that off. he probably isnt lying. as he really isnt a liar thank “God”. i have lived in a sort of la la land about stuff, but i am staying there.  So then you say and i believe you that if Gavin is lying about say homework etc., as much as I know you need to teach him in the gentle thought out ways you do (glad he has privilages back though lol) and i taught my son and he is good but he has lied recently and i caught him and he didnt even need lie so my point is is that nt kids and other kids lie and i know he has rad so it piles an extra layer of lying and it is frustrating and I am like “let the sh*t go” even though Gavin isnt even my kid. i am just a nice person and sometimes when I have someting to say (which is your fault becaue you are the first and only blog i ever wrote on) it sounds harsh i think so i like to apologize for any feelings you may have had that i amy hurt my accident or hurt poor lillie’s feelings But I am really nice and nice to most all people so if i write that again, either ignore it or if i say anything that needs forgiven just go ahead. sounds like low self esteem but really it is not, it is generalized anxiety disorder, but it is not “just dont want to hurt your feelings” we are all here thanks to you, your blog and your family that gives a safe place to fall (or write). I am going with that. i know this is long, i may have jumped around, and if it doesnt make any sense just know I care about your family and yalls feelings (and money situation that it kills me that i cant help with yet”

Lost and Tired

rjones22 I really appreciate that.  Not quite sure why you are concerned about being disrespectful?  I appreciate your insight and advice both here and in the forums.  🙂


I am so proud of you and your family. Please never take anything I say regarding what you are doing with Gavin as disrespectul at all. I dont live with RAD but know enough about it that i am glad (sorry) that it is not on my list of terrible things to deal with. I am the one always harping on screw the homework. Great news is that it is your kid and you are in the best position to make a decision. Other great news is that when I put my “2 cents” worth in, that is all it is and I am on your side with what ever you do because you and lizzie are good parents to your kids and love them.

Lost and Tired

erinsgems sarahsparks79 BeckyRogersWiren Thank you everyone.  I really appreciate your words ….  🙂  I hope you all have a great weekend.  You deserve it.  🙂


do you have an education plan laid out by his therapist? I got one and it changed our world…everything from homework to the types of classes and what is expected from him being in the classes…it was very detailed…My son is almost 16 and despite all best efforts to get my son to have a reading and math level above Grade 2..well at some point we came to the realization that he has stopped progressing, he has been stuck in the same place for 9 years…time to change gears and take on real life…he has life skills programs(started when he was 14)…cooking and cleaning, money(that’s a tuffy) art, reading road signs, learning to ride the city bus, maps, computers, conversations, getting a know, life stuff…and then he has participation classes for working in a group, answering when called on in class…he may not be able to comprehend the work they are doing but they make sure he is trying…his homework? grocery lists, coupons, making breakfast for the family, laundry…I have a check list that gets marked when he completes the task, He also has a job in our home(feeding the animals) that he gets paid for and has a time card and at the end of the week he tells me if he wants to save or spend…Also If you have an IEP, the law states that that school has to meet those goals…if they don’t, then that school has to figure out what it is going to take to do so…the best word our Therapist gave us to use in the school meetings…Lawyer…there are advocates out there that pro-bono will fight to get what your kids needs done…but again, the best thing is a plan from his therapist/doctor…what they says needs to be done needs to happen…Our special ed department was excited when they got ours because they never had that before…and it opened the doors for the life skills program and made the district spend money that the teachers had been asking for,  for years…and it not only is benefiting my kid but all the others as well in the school…Thanks for being honest in your blog…you are a real person!


You are doing a great job. You work so hard to do everything you can for your kids. Don’t give up on the school. Communicate with the teachers and case manager to let them know what’s happening about homework, or anything else. The odds are that you aren’t the only one who is experiencing problems. Teachers spend tons of time with kids and maybe you can work together to focus on some short term goals.


Dealing with Gavin’s issues has got to be a giant challenge all by itself. You are doing the best you can. I don’t understand the people who have to judge you…you are trying, trying so hard. God bless you.

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