What I’m about to share with you is a deeply personal confession. The reason I’m sharing this is because I want anyone else out there, that may be going through something similar to know they aren’t alone.
Believe me, I know this won’t paint me in a good light but truthfully, I don’t really care anymore. I’m too tired and overwhelmed to worry about what others think.
Rather than drag this out or beat around the bush, I’m just gonna come out with it.
I’m finding it nearly impossible to live with Gavin anymore.
For the record, this has nothing to do with him being Autistic. Autism is something I can deal with. While it’s not easy, I’ve found it to be manageable, at least in our lives.
What I’m struggling to deal with is the other mental health issues.
The most challenging is by far the Reactive Attachment Disorder. That impacts every single person in our family and slowly erodes away my sanity and my health.
Gavin’s long time psychiatrist has told us that if Gavin were 18 years of age, he would be a sociopath (or someone with antisocial personality disorder). Reactive Attachment Disorder is sorta the step before becoming a sociopath. In Gavin’s case, the only reason he’s not officially diagnosed as a sociopath is the fact that he’s not 18.
The reality however, is that he’s every bit of a sociopath already.
In my opinion, that in and of itself doesn’t make him evil or a monster.
Does he hurt people? He absolutely does…
Does he thrive on hurting people? That’s a much more difficult question to answer. I would like to think that he doesn’t enjoy hurting others but I don’t know that to be true. He certainly seems to thrive on the chaos that he creates.
His favorite thing to do is spit people or create tension and pit two people or groups against each other. If this were considered a talent, he would be considered very gifted.
The problem is the fact that he simply has no regard for how his behaviors or choices impact those around him. He simply doesn’t care.
His brain is just not wired to have a conscience or natural sense of morality. While this is certainly not his fault, he is no less responsible for his actions than anyone else would be.
There is no way that I can accurately convey how living with a sociopath impacts the lives of each and every person in our home.
One of the biggest things I struggle with is the compulsive lying. Gavin lies about everything. He lies about big things and he lies about little things. He even lies about things that are so obvious, there’s no question he’s lying.
How do you live with someone you can’t trust? Let’s take it a step further. How do you live with a child you can’t trust?
This is where I find myself.
I can’t take the lying and the head games anymore. We have all the right doctors and therapists but there isn’t anything we can do.
Gavin never and I mean never learns from his mistakes. There’s never a lesson learned, despite our exhaustive efforts. There is nothing we can do to truly hold him accountable because he simply doesn’t give a shit.
We can take things away but because of Schizoaffective Disorder, he will simply live inside his imaginary world. We could send to his room for a week and he wouldn’t care. He would just play with his visibly challenged friends.
What’s the point anymore? Nothing we do makes a difference. Nothing we say makes any sorta impact…
Gavin can do some really amazing things. Unfortunately, anymore it seems like any positive is drowned out by the all the negative.
I used to hold out hope that we would be able to work through this with him but I realize that’s not likely to happen. In fact, all of our efforts have come at a very high cost. Elliott, Emmett and Lizze are very much affected by Gavin’s behaviors.
As for myself, I try to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. I try and keep the household as stable as possible. Mostly I try to simply keep the peace because everyone is so stressed out it doesn’t take much to send someone into a downward spiral.
Unfortunately, we have reached a point where we are absolutely out of options. We simply have two choices. One, we can hunker down and try and endure until he’s 18 and we can try to get him into a group home. Two, we get him into residential treatment and hope that this gives him a chance to have a slightly brighter future.
Neither of these options are easy and none of them are without overwhelming and possibly insurmountable obstacles.
I can’t imagine trying to live this way for another 4 years. That’s really not even close to being realistic.
Residential treatment is our absolute best bet. Unfortunately, there is an enormous amount of red tape to cut through before funding is possible. We’ve tried this several times over the years and have never been able to secure funding.
Before you ask, it’s really, really expensive. We’re talking about $800/day. That’s just what insurance doesn’t cover. That’s out of pocket… Funding is essential and yet in our county, nearly impossible to obtain.
It’s really important to understand that this isn’t about love. It’s about reaching a threshold of human limitation. There’s only so much that a person can take.
Hope is gone and we are in survival mode.
I’ll share more on these options in another post because this one is long enough for now and I’m ready to call it a night…
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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