Moving Forward

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When I last wrote, we had just begun to see a new therapist, and I was having the first glimmers of hope in the midst of my own depression. I can share that my depression is much better, and we are still in therapy with the new therapist. At the same time, frankly, this has been a couple of the toughest months I’ve faced as a mom.

First, there was the matter of what practically felt like pushing Blake to the finish line for high school graduation. Every single last assignment felt like a mountain that he wasn’t going to climb, but with tremendous support from all sides he did. He walked in his graduation ceremony, and he even won the founder’s award for his school – with a little bit of scholarship money.

And Then, There’s Therapy:

The toughest thing we have faced has been therapy. The therapist warned the hubby and I that what he would be asking us to do was going to be incredibly difficult. He warned us that the progress would likely be painstakingly slow. With Blake refusing treatment, forward movement would be up to us. We would have to change many of the things we do as parents. And he told us that we had to give Blake the toughest news of all – that we wouldn’t be sending him to college next year.

I looked at him in that session, asking him what he thought.

“As things are, he’s in no way prepared to leave home, go over a thousand miles away, manage in an apartment with three or four other guys, or take care of his own hygiene – not to mention get up out of bed each day and make it to class. What do we do?” I asked.

At that point in time, Blake wasn’t getting out of bed unless the hubby and I got him up. And he was only staying awake with much assistance. On the other end of the day, he was resisting going to sleep as much as possible.

“I don’t want the next day to come,” he would say to me.

“You’ve known for months what you need to tell him,” the therapist told the hubby and I. “You just haven’t wanted to tell him.”

And so, that next night, we delivered the news – and a firestorm ensued.

You’ve taken away the only thing that meant anything to me!” he screamed at us. Then, he proceeded to trash his room, slamming doors and shutters. He threatened that he would leave home and go to school in the fall anyway. He would live on the streets, he proclaimed. Anything was better than being here with us. He wasn’t going to be the ONLY kid who didn’t leave and go away to school (it didn’t matter that many of his peers were staying local or working or taking a gap year). He even told his psychiatrist at his medication check up that he was moving out.

Yet, when the deadline came, he filed for a deferment from school for one year, and he requested a refund on his housing deposit. I think on some level he knew that he wasn’t ready. His anger with the hubby and I remained, though, which, in some ways, I was happy to see. Blake has always had a difficult time being angry with us; he usually takes the anger out on himself and becomes more depressed.

In terms of therapy, that was only the beginning of what the therapist had in store for us. I will document that in future posts.

6 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. Patti

    My son (22) has a lot of similarities to your son. Was diagnosed OCD two years ago, and behaviors,tics went downhill during college. He attended a university an hour away and struggled considerably getting to the finish line. I was extremely glad he DIDN’T get accepted to his college of choice, which was five hours away. He refuses treatment and our family now suffers and communicates very poorly. Thank you for blogging, and I’d like it if we can share info further. I had the same reaction about your son moving a flight away, I just feel like it would have been disastrous for my son. There’s a lot more to say, but I won’t say it here and now. Hang in there Mom!

    1. You hang in there, too! I’m glad you found the blog and so glad you commented. I agree that sometimes it’s not a good idea to be too far away from your support system. Yet, it can be so difficult to tell your child “No,” even when it’s the right thing.

  2. Oh Angie, I’m so sorry to hear about everything you’ve all been going through…… much to handle. I think you’re amazing – what you are doing for Blake is the most loving thing a parent can do – even if it doesn’t feel that way now. Some day I truly believe he will thank you for your role in helping him get his life back. I’m thinking of you all!

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