Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Down, down, down, down, down...

On Sunday, F (our 15 year old with intellectual disability) went with his next-youngest brother to do some work at his grandparents' house.  They paid the boys really well.  When the boys came home, we reminded F that we had discussed several times that the previous week he had gone and spent all his money immediately, when he owed several people and the synagogue money (he had borrowed, he had destroyed siblings' things he had no right to be touching, he made pledges at the synagogue that he absolutely couldn't be talked out of, and so on) and so we had told him this time he had to use some of his money to pay back his debts.  He was furious and couldn't get over it, screaming, yelling, fighting, denying, arguing. Then he learns that we're waiting to open Chanukah gifts until Tuesday.  You know, Chanukah.  He actually gets to open his grandparents' gifts because it seems appropriate that this happen while his grandparents are at our house to be thanked, but that's not enough.  Even the 4 year old is fine about waiting, but he won't stop yelling about it.

Forward to Monday, when he's still angry and argumentative over it, as well as other things he's arguing about.  Like being ready for the bus because he insists every morning that he doesn't need to use the bathroom before his bus arrives (they pick him up at the door) only to realize as the bus is driving up that yes, he really does need to use the bathroom at this hour every day.  So he argues and yells at us for requesting that he go take care of this in a timely fashion.  He hasn't forgotten that we're making him pay back money and won't let him open his Chanukah gifts yet, either.

Tuesday.  He has a wrestling meet.  We arrange to wait until after the meet to light Chanukah candles and so on.  He calls as school is ending to tell us that he won't come home after school and then go back for the meet; he insists on staying.  He argues with J that he does indeed have food for the afternoon to keep him tided over, and that he won't be hungry.  So at 6 pm I arrive for his meet (we knew he probably wouldn't be wrestling, the visiting team isn't bringing too many JV players) and he's already bored, won't watch the other matches, and is angry that I won't buy him food (the only kosher food available is junk that his coach doesn't want the boys eating anyhow, and I wasn't planning on buying anything) since he didn't have enough food to tide him over until after the meet.  
When we get home, we light candles (him refusing to listen to us about the religious laws involved and doing it "his" way).   Then we open presents.  He decides he hates his big present, it's terrible, he is furious that he waited all this time for a bad present.  Then he goes to get scissors to open the bad present.  I show him that attached to the present is the gift receipt to a very convenient local store, so that we can exchange it for absolutely anything (within reason) he wants there, and there are many things he's said recently he wants that they sell.  Suddenly, he starts arguing that no, it's a wonderful gift, how dare I consider not keeping the gift, he must open the gift NOW, he won't consider returning it.

And that's it.  I can't deal with it any more.  If I say the sky is blue, he'll insist it's green.  He'll yell, he'll argue, he'll scream, and I can't take it any more.  I can't talk to this child, I can't parent him, I can barely bring myself to be in the same room with him.  There's absolutely no help for us with a teenager with an intellectual disability and I don't know what to do.  I can't think straight today I'm so torn up about this, and I don't even know if this is coherent, but I'm in a bad place with this as the center of the problem right now.


Victoria Rothenberg said...

I am here, and I am listening. Yes it was coherent.

Knitorious Drivel said...

What Victoria said. And {{{{hugs}}}}.