Thursday, May 22, 2008

scary reading

I'm a Newsweek nut, I admit it. I keep that subscription renewed faithfully, even when so many other magazines I may have gotten over the years have been allowed to lapse. My ritual is to read it at night, while soaking in a really hot bath after the house has gone to sleep.

I found something striking and scary, though, in the most recent edition. The cover features a picture of a young boy, and the headline "Growing Up Bipolar". In particular, a few sentences stood out and grabbed my attention:

At day care, he terrorized his teachers and playmates. He wasn't the biggest kid in the class, but he attacked without provocation or warning, biting hard enough to leave teeth marks. Every day, he hit and kicked and spat. Worries became guilt. Amy had been overweight and dehydrated in pregnancy. Was Max so explosive because she had done something wrong?

Sound familiar? Other than my name's not Amy, and my son's name is not Max, this could almost be us that they're writing about. Shudder.......

In my gut, I truly don't believe that bipolar is what we're dealing with in little E's case. I really don't. But the ironic thing is that it has crossed my mind, and earlier yesterday I was describing his "possessed state" to someone who said "hmm, sounds like bipolar". Then, I read this article. Just the thing a Mom needs to hear, huh?

So much of the rest of that article very clearly does NOT describe E. Even when the behavior that Max exhibited when he was E's age doesn't all match, and Max was/is much more severely hampered by whatever he's dealing with, but still.....this is just so scary. The thought of heading to Kindergarten in just one year fills me with dread. Oh, and not to mention that I just might be teaching at that school when he arrives. Great, here comes her child, you know, the wild one who doesn't listen and has no remorse for what he does wrong. Yes, that was the comment written for me by his preschool teacher today: no remorse when he does something wrong. No surprise for me, I see it that way almost all of the time. He'll say he's sorry when told to, sometimes without being told to, but that doesn't mean he really feels it or even knows what it means.

I just hate this feeling, the dread in the pit of my stomach when I go in to pick him up in the afternoons. And knowing somehow that nothing much will change after next week's appointment with the developmental ped. She'll just say "he's young, he's immature, he needs structure." Structure. Ooh wow, never thought of that.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hugs Jen! I have a bipolar cousin. The good news is that it is very treatable. Many people are very successful human beings after treatment, but like you said, Mr. E is probably not bipoloar.

And uh, remorse is a very adult concept. It takes some kids longer to possess the ability to emphathize with others. Children are inherently narcisistic, and my advice is to just give it time. Ethan is a very normal little boy, who happens to have survived a very early beginning. Unfortunately, we former preemie mamas have to deal with those "invisible" side effects throughout childhood. I've always said that prematurity lasts a lifetime even though so many people say "He'll catch up by the time he is 2 or 3." Well, I've got a 6 year old with major sensory issues. After the lump issue is cleared up, I'm then going to take her to a neuropschologist for an assessment. Ah, I'm digressing.

Hang in there girl. You are much stronger than you feel, and I'm so glad you are using this blog to let it out.

HUGS! :) Jen, your kindred spirit