Tonight, I see. I experienced.
It lasted less than 10 minutes. It felt like an eternity.
Blue Eye’s eyes went grey.
It’s been just over three weeks, and I’ve been waiting for an explosion to know if I could handle one or not. I could handle this one. I pray they are not going to get increasingly worse, though I expect they might.
I don’t know how those who don’t have faith in God can do this. Can I be real? Like, for realz? I was scared. If I didn’t believe in God, I would have been frozen. Prayer got me through this. No joke.
Blue Eyes had an awesome, incredible, very good day at school. He came home and worked on a project for 2 hours straight, interrupted only for dinner, quite a feat for him. His concentration and patience were wearing thin, and he began to get frustrated when he realized he could not finish the project before bed. A raised voice, “But it’s MINE”. I explained he was frustrated and needed to set it down for a moment. “But it’s MINE!” Bummer. I need you to go to your room.
Yelling. Faux crying. What a show. 5-minute timer starts when it’s quiet.
Quiet. Timer beeps. He walks out. I turn, startled. There was The Look. It was all over him. His face, his body. Chin to chest, eyes glaring up, arms crossed, daring me to say something, daring me to speak. It stopped me cold. Only for a split second. I recover.
Cheerily, sing song-y, “Go brush your tee-eeth!” Glaring. Staring. I feel the blood rush through my body, feeling the fight or flight response coursing through my veins. Happily, “Honey, is there something else I can do for you?” Smiling, “What is it, would you like to talk to me? I will gladly listen.”
Stomping, a kick to a heavy bookcase. “That looked like it hurt. Bummer.”
Stomping to bedroom, door slamming, locked. The door has a lock?! How could I have lived here for 18 months and never noticed that?
I pick up the abandoned project at the kitchen table, putting it away in its box.
Stomping back out. Tearful, “Just give it away, give it to some other kid. Give it away, give it away, I don’t care, just do it, give it away.” I am watching my back, I feel I could be hit at any moment. I don’t respond to his ramblings. I watch carefully as I turn my body to pick up the pieces. “Lord,” I pray outloud calmly, reassuringly, ”I thank you that You are a good God, and you are in control. Father, I thank you for your love. Thank you Jesus, for your blood. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.”
“GIVE IT AWAY!!! I DON’T CARE! GIVE IT AWAY, TAKE IT AWAY, I. DON’T. CARE!!!”
Slowly, calmly, making no sudden moves, I walk to his bedroom. I reach blindly for random toys, whatever is close to my hands, because I can’t see straight, I can’t think straight. I grab his piggy bank along with whatever is nearby and put it in the puzzle box I have in my hand. “JUST GREAT! JUST FRIGGIN’ GREAT. GIVE IT ALL AWAY, I DON’T CARE!” I walk slowly toward the side door of the house, unsure what to do with the booty I just stole.
Blue Eyes has two big boxes that are his most treasured possessions. More so than even his DS, which he loves because of the status (big kid status, don’chaknow?) but doesn’t really understand how to use it. He knows how to use boxes, feels safe in them. He likes to hide in them and watch tv.
He runs back to his room, maniacally screaming, “YOU CAN’T TAKE MY BOXES AWAY!! THEY’RE MINE!! AAAAAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Door slammed again. Locked again.
Boxes inside. Dang.
Ten seconds. Door opens. Blue Eye’s yelling ensues. I continue to praise God quietly. It’s the only think I can do when my adrenaline starts to flow like this, when I sense danger, real or perceived.
He throws himself on his bed, crying. It’s over. Blue Eyes is back. Where did he go?
Sobbing, “Please don’t send me away.”
My heart breaks. “No, sweetheart, you have a lot of big feelings. We will talk more another time. Tonight, you are safe, you are loved, and you are not going anywhere.”
I rock him, this husky, heavy nine year old, on my lap, back and forth. I kiss his forehead. Tell him he is loved and safe. He hugs my arms and tells me he doesn’t want to leave, doesn’t even want to go to school tomorrow. Wants to be with me all day.
He is a toddler again. The breaking away, the coming back, the fits of rage, and the release of a cry. He is a giant, nine year old, toddler.
I tell him I will be here when he gets off the bus tomorrow. I will be here all night. He relaxes. For the first time since the night he arrived, he asks for his door to be open. All night long, he makes clear to me.
He eventually sleeps.
Husband, who was at work, thinks I am too easy on him. Thinks I need to stand my ground, make him obey. I think, I don’t want to get into a pissing match with an aggresive traumatized child. My number one goal is to get him back into a relaxed state of mind, not an anxious, hyper-aroused state of mind. If that means staying calm and delaying consequences for an angry outburst, so be it.
Where was Blue Eyes?
Now,I go read my Bible. And then I, too, shall sleep.