Thursday, October 25, 2007
The "Wounds from the War" still sneaking up on us
I have spent a great deal of last evening and today contemplating how to approach this particular post. I am taken aback by how I didn't realize how 'much" our lives are changed forever not just because of my husband's scars or medical issues-the repercussion's reach so much deeper than that.
I had posted in a earlier post about my son, Connor and his struggles. I wanted to update on what has been occurring, what we have found our so far and how he is doing.
I need to say that I do not by any means believe my son is a "bad boy'-he is not by any stretch of the imagination. I love this kid who has been such a blessing to me-he has taught me more than I can ever say. He is an awesome soccer goalie, he loves his sisters so much and he is so strong... he has endured so much especially with all that occurred in his short life. He was only a few short weeks past his 9th birthday when his daddy was deployed. He was so sad that day as we all were, but now looking back I realize just how sad he did act. He was sad to the core of his soul as well as most likely so confused. I remember the moment his dad's bus, headed for training in Mississippi, turned the corner and was then out of sight after the send off ceremony. I looked at him and asked if he would like to go and get breakfast-he said "No Mom, I just want to go home"-he looked so defeated.
He wasn't like this most of time during the deployment or even after his dad was wounded-most of the time he was a 9 year old boy who played, tried to annoy his sisters, talked to his dad on the phone and seemed to be doing well for a kid whose dad was deployed, but yet we had no idea what was normal or abnormal. As a family we were just trying to do the best we could in an abnormal situation. I didn't deal well a lot of the time with Rodney being gone or with the idea of him going to war, but I know I tried for my family. I do wish I had had more of a support system in place with others in my same situation close by. I tried to put my kids first always and look for signs or issues. Connor had an amazing 4th grade teacher that made all the difference in the world to him as well as me-I knew she was watching out for him. I put together videos and slideshows for Rodney and included what the kids were doing and even taped them talking to him. After Rodney was wounded life got really messy and complicated-there was nothing close to normal except we did have to live our lives day in and day out like everyone else: we had holiday celebrations, the kids had their activities,my oldest was preparing to graduate and go to college and Rodney was healing. But ... I missed seeing Connor's pain-I looked and he had behavior issues at home but nothing really new-just Connor (he has always had a high need for attention :)- So now I realize when we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and not every waking moment is spent thinking about some aspect of our situation-BOOM... My Son's feelings, worries, fear and pain come out full force-and I didn't see it coming.
He is now under the care of a dr. whom is doing tests. He saw a counselor whom I have been seeing myself and he finally opened up and said this is what is going on:
He was so scared for so long and he is mad at all that happened. He had no control-so his "PTSD" is just now manifesting itself in inappropriate behavior, anger and difficulties in school. I cannot imagine what has been going on in his head-he had to feel so alone and confused. Now he is heading into pre-teenhood and he has so many feelings and emotions he cannot cope. So now we know-and another part of the journey has begun. We as his parents know we have to be so much more diligent than we have been in being there for him even when he pushes us away and to keep him talking to counselors,etc.. We will do whatever it takes to help him..and he does know that. Last night he said to me with a SMILE on his face..."Mom, I feel so much better after talking to (Micheal) the counselor-I feel happier." that all I want for him to be happy-for him to know he is loved and he is special and people do care, God cares and he will be ok!
I know we will always have things come up and we will wonder is this related to the 'war" experience-but all families have their own "chaos" to deal with right? We will survive this and so will Connor with the help we have set up as well as from us being more aware and focused.
That is a step in the right direction.... Put prayers for good things to happen for Connor and for him to feel it is ok to be a kid and enjoy life would be a good thing. He has had to do without because of financial issues and other priorities, sometimes I am sure he felt forgotten-I truly wish I could say yes we can go to Toys-R-Us and buy you that toy-but for now I can't. He is to young to worry about so many adult issues. He is a child wounded by war and he doesn't even live near a war zone. He is one of the little "heros". (don't tell him I said he was little :).
I wish I could fix it all for him as well as my husband,and our daughters but I am doing all I can do. Please pray financially things turn around for us-we need that so much to move forward and go on with our plan for our life. I appreciate all that have shown their love and support thru this last week or so on this site as well as others-It has made a difference. As I have said before I love to hear from you....
Thanks for listening
Love to all
Mother of Connor a brave and amazing young man.