Today my son had another rage because he refused to go into a time-out after hitting his brother. This seems to happen whenever our son is not stable. He just explodes as soon as he hears the word “time-out”. It’s not like he’s being sent to an evil place, he has a nice room with plenty to do, but the thought of being placed in there just escalates his behavior to the highest intensity. He becomes violent, screaming and throwing things, taking a mild situation to a threatening one.
We had discussed this challenge with our therapist at our last appointment, but he insisted that we continue to do time-outs with my son locked in his room, he said that there was no alternative to calm him down and keep us safe. He even had us practice going into time-outs when he’s calm, giving him rewards for doing this. We would have him go into his room with a pretend time-out and have him think of ways to calm himself down, telling himself that this wasn’t a bad thing, only a step to make him better. Well the therapy sessions went great, my son practiced this everyday, but just as I told our therapist, once his trigger is pulled, all common sense gets thrown out the window and the situation turns into something very ugly.
Today a battle took place at his bedroom door when I was trying to put him in his time-out. Since he’s broken the locks on his door, I have to hold the door shut to keep him in his room. The problem is that he’s a lot stronger and even more so in a rage, so he’s pulling on the door from the other side, jabbing a long stick at me through the door. If I open the door, he’s ready to run out and cause harm to others, so it becomes a tug of war of trying to keep him in his room. In the end, I couldn’t keep the door closed so I had to hold him on the ground for over 30 minutes while he struggles to get away, scratching and trying to bite me from the front and kicking me from the back. After an hour, we’re both sweating, I feel beat up and he’s now crying as he returns to a calm state.
Sitting on the floor, I held him in my arms after it was all over. He began to sob. I did too. I told him that if I could take this away from him I would, but I couldn’t. But what I could do was be by his side and love him. I reminded him that I would always love him no matter what.
Tonight I’m feeling so broken, I feel like a little piece of me dies after each of these major episodes. I can’t imagine what it must feel like for my son.
I’m feeling angry at his therapist (but can’t afford to change), I’m feeling sadness for my son and I’m feeling discouraged that this is what his life will be, always looking for stability knowing that it slips away so quickly. If only I could rescue my son and make him all better, but knowing my limitations, I continue to pray over him every night that God would heal him completely.