Tuesday 28 December 2021

28 December 2021

 Hey guys

So it's been a while, a few months now and all I can say is that it has been a year guys, a crazy year.

In my lost post I mentioned that I was struggling with this space, whether I would continue posting and where I felt this space fit in as far as my kids being of an older age etc.

Its not just that though, I have been doing a lot of introspective reflection this year and I have come to a few personal conclusions.

Looking back at myself, my parenting, my relationships and my life in general over the past few years, I have changed a lot, the person I used to be, I don't recognize that person anymore.

 A few years back; I was more than struggling, I was a really depressed and angry person, as a parent I was struggling with Loghan's special needs and the sexual assault that he experienced and how this greatly affected both him and our family. I was struggling as a person, as a child and growing up I always wanted that white picket fence dream, a prefect family, my dream job and all of that and I think I went through a period were I really struggled with how my life had turned out, not that I didn't want my children, my husband, my job etc, it just wasn't what I had envisioned and I think with everything compounding and my mental health struggles it just got to be too much and I just wasn't a very happy person, I needed to find myself again, I  needed to let go of so much personal trauma and I needed to actually deal with this trauma.

I got to a point where I actively recognized this, I made the decision that this was not who I wanted to be and I  actively tried to change, to become more present, more focused, more optimistic, I fored myself to deal with my past trauma an my mental health but dam guys I am being really honest here when I say it isn't easy.

Our family has been through alot, and this year there has been just as much good as there have been challenges, at times it just honestly feels like it is never going to get easier despite the good, as the years go on the challenges become increasingly difficult and it often feels like we like 2 steps forward and 10 steps back .

Loghan has been seeing a psychologist at a private center in conjunction with his government appointed psychiatrist who changed this year because his previous doctor there retired, I have to be honest it isn't often I don't see eye to eye with a professional or that we have seen one that I dislike, but I wasn't happy with the change, the doctor was incredibly cold and showed no care or personal interest and now the current doctor is leaving so we will be changing again, his psychologist at government level has also retired and the private psychologist he has been seeing has transferred our case over to a male psychologist which was something she had suggested would probably work better when we first started seeing her but she has been seeing him for the last year in the interim. 

We managed to finally get somewhere with the department whereby Loghan was finally registered with a local government special needs school as an online student and we finally got it right to get the department to contribute towards a facilitator for Loghan. It took a lot of searching but we managed to find a local tutor/ facilitator who only tutors high school students and only a handful of them.  Loghan has been with her for 2 terms now and so far it has worked out well and his marks although not at the level I would prefer them to be are at the top of his grade in the school he is attending and he has successfully passed into grade 9 next year. It hasn't been without its challenges and managing all of this has not been an easy feat but in this respect we have moved mountains and i can only hope that this continues to work as it it really is our last schooling option and one where Loghan at least has interaction with other children his age and above in a very controlled environment for a few short hours every day.

On the home front he is living with us full time again, his tutor is located in our area and my ex isn't willing to make the accommodations we need to make in order to get him to and from school everyday etc. Its been really difficult, I have to fetch him on my lunch break every day and drop him at home and then return to work, which takes a full hour, he then has to stay home alone every afternoon, which is probably the most anxiety causing situation I have ever had to deal with as we never know what we are going to go home to and we literally have no other option.

We have to ensure that our bedroom door is locked, anything dangerous is either shut off, locked away etc, we even have to lock away certain foods which sounds extreme but we have come home more than once to find the entire months lunches and snacks eaten within the span of 1 afternoon, with packets stashed and hidden all over the house. We have come home to items being burned the one time I left a lighter at home, one day I even came home to find he had broken the garage lock and gone around the neighborhood on his own, coming home after offering to work in some random persons garden so incredibly proud of himself and completely oblivious to the dangers of the situation he put himself in, which was terrifying to say the least.  We have had physical altercations which are few and far between but still scary where we we have implemented a consequence due to his actions and he has gotten physical, because of his PDA he literally goes into a fight response for any sort of confrontational situation and considering that he is over a head taller than both my husband and I and is larger than both my husband and I, it is terrifying. 

He is a 14 year old in the body of an 18 year old with an IQ that an incredibly small percentage of the population has, he has the hormones, strength and general appearance of an 18 year old but the social and emotional development of a young child when he goes into this state it is unlike anything I would want any parent to go through. He can be the sweetest, most well mannered and kind child you will ever meet but at the same time, the intense manipulation, aggression, gaslighting and lies that come with his disorders are something I cannot even begin to describe.

We have involved police, we have gone down the road of requesting the help of social workers and the court, we have literally been through the best of the best as far as therapy and doctors are concerned, it can get very disheartening especially as Loghan gets older and the realization that he may never live a life on his own becomes more and more of a likely reality.

I have also struggled with the courts this year, maintenance wise we do not receive anything extra towards Loghans full time care which has made things really difficult at home, I went to court and am still waiting for anything to happen which again has been really disheartening, and we also lost our mediator this year, he had been with our family for many years and I cannot explain how angry I was to lose him because of the selfishness of certain persons who have no respect for anyone. 

Gabriel has also really struggled this year, the boys lost their Aunt this year which affected them both really badly, but his anxiety levels since covid have also been really high and he has also been greatly affected by things at home with Loghan as well, so he started with his own psychologist at the beginning of this year which has helped a lot, but we still have a long way to go.

Jesse has also struggled with so much anxiety since the start of covid as well as with things at home with Loghan, Gabriel isn't always home as he stays with his father as well as here but Jesse is always home which means he is most exposed when Loghan does have a meltdown or reacts physically with either my husband or myself.

To answer the question, no there aren't any places that a child of his age with his issues can go to get help long term or in-patient care; we have gone to court and the only place available was at a government center which was not equipped for children with mental health struggles and the lack of care and mistreatment at that center only caused further trauma for our family.

Our entire family has PTSD from the many years of trauma, we all have anxiety and some form of mental health disorder or struggle, anxiety, depression, ocd, asd, pda, a laundry list, our family is so incredibly broken in so many ways and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish that I could just find a solution, some magic antidote to make it all go away and make life easier for our entire family, but there just isn't one.

I am being brutally honest when I say, the thought of death is not something that I fear for reasons one would ordinarily fear it, I fear death because the thought of what would happen to Loghan if I weren't around terrifies me to the very core of my being as there just isn't anywhere else for him to go or anyone else who would be able to care for him.

The truth is that so many special needs families and families with mental health struggles live this life and this struggle and I have learned that as much as I have many wonderful people in my life who want to help and try to help, this is an incredibly isolating and lonely road and that at some point most people shut off and don't want to hear about it. 

Which I understand, I really do; everyone has their own struggles and it can be so incredibly draining but it does mean that most families and people going through these struggles myself included get to the point where you are either to scared to share your struggles or you just don't want to because you don't want to burden other people with these issues.

Being positive, it can help in some respects,  people find it a lot easier to deal with an optimist and someone that hides their problems, which is sad but again I do understand.

I don't know what 2022 holds, but we are hanging on to the hope that things will get better.

Sunday 13 June 2021

Stuck in quarantine....again

 So I finally have a minute to sit down and write a post, its been a while I just don't have much time to sit down and put pen to paper so to speak these days, I've wondered for some time now whether I should hang up the towel with regards to this space but this space has seen me through so many ups and downs and looking back on past posts reminds me of just how far we have come and how much things have changed.

I think I that aside from finding the time I have just struggled with  how to use this space effectively, with the boys getting older I no longer see myself as a mommy blogger but I still want to document and share our journey as a special needs family, if something I share helps even one mom or family out there then this space has served its purpose and so here we are.

A lot has happened as I sit here now I am once again confined to our home along with my hubby and two of our llama monkeys due to covid, thankfully we are all well and covid free but Gabriel attended a family event with his father and unfortunately as careful as the were and that respect I can guarantee my ex is quite hectic, someone who attended tested positive and thus we are locked down for 10 days at home, I have to say its actually been great in the respect of spending time with my the boys and my hubby, its been peaceful for the most part and I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with so much going on.

I've changed job positions at work which was a big deal after sitting on reception for 9 years, not that there is anything wrong with that at all I had just reached a point where I needed a change and was thankfully afforded the opportunity to incite that change. I am also in the process of studying- which as a whole as an adult I can say is a whole different ball game; finding the time to study when you are working full time and have 3 kids and a household to raise isn't easy and the direction I have gone in now with my studies is so incredibly different from the direction I ever thought I would go in- quite honestly at the time I saw it more as a necessity than a field I wanted to fall into but now I am really enjoying it, crossing fingers, toes and eyes for my exam at month end  =)

The boys are doing well therapies with both Gabriel and Loghan are going well and Gabriel's psychologist has confirmed that Gabriel does indeed have ASD behaviors and traits that if he were more extensively evaluated will more than likely lead to an ASD diagnosis, for now we are not pursuing a more extensive assessment but it is a big help as far as helping us to parent and guide Gabriel in a more effective and supportive manner, at the end of the day I feel that a 4 grand assessment for a label is not going to do anything more for us or Gabriel at this point, we knew that this was most likely going to be the outcome and it helps us and his teachers help him we don't need a paper confirmation for that, at least not at this stage.  

Loghan is making big strides and we rarely have an issue at home as far as extreme meltdowns and behaviors are concerned, he is doing well in (controlled/supervised) social settings and we have had success with the education department, its taken 3 years but I finally found someone at the department who has put in so much time and support to help us that we are in the process of enrolling Loghan in a school (online) with a facilitator and his overall therapy is doing really well.

So as a whole things are going well, it really is great to be at a point where our steps forward amount to more than our steps backward, that is not to say that there won't be anymore bumps in the road but I feel that we are at a better place than we have been in years and that we have finally reached a point where people are actually listening and helping instead of ignoring and waving us off like we don't know what we are doing or talking about, it makes a huge difference for all of us and our overall mental and emotional states and although trying to fit in up to 4 therapy sessions in a week has been exhausting I know it will be worth it in the long run.

I guess that is it for now but I will pop in and update when we have more news to share- good or bad.