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Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Beautiful Years

There were times, even long periods of time over the years, that I thought we were going to make it, ya know. No, there really were. My friend Mary, a fellow Trauma Mama, always refers to those periods as The Beautiful years. And she's right. They are! Those however many good and regulated days that you/the child string together, and sometimes you don't even notice how good they were until they END. And oh, how they end. Sometimes you do notice them, and you wait for it to fall apart, often knowing that it will. Other times, you're oblivious, or way too glass-half-full for your own good, and feel like the worst is over. In March of 2011, after my first ETAAM retreat to Orlando, I blogged, "I'm healing, He's healing...I'm committed.... blahhhhhhh." It makes me laugh cry to look back and read it now.
Dear John & Big Jim(Jackson's in house therapist at The Boys Home) both tell us we never had a chance. He's pining away for *her, and until he's ready to put some effort in and do some trauma work in therapy, he'll never heal or truly attach to anyone. So, there's that.
A very good friend of mine -who blogs beautifully over here - asked me yesterday, "It seems like he WAS attaching when he was younger. What do you think changed? What happened?" and it's SUCH a good question. Progress came to a screeching halt by age13. Puberty, as well as peers, especially the kids he saw every summer at the camp for HIV infected youth, were both  huge influences. He was suddenly so one dimensional, such a follower. Outside influences controlled his every move. He could not think for himself in any capacity. Clothing/fashion ,shoes, accessories and electronics ruled his life. His anxiety heightened dramatically. Academically, he was 4-5 years behind everyone else, (due to ability and effort combined)and had to find ways to validate himself and fit in. He became very interested in-downright fixated upon- American black culture. A gifted, well rounded dancer, he suddenly could only dance ONE way, to ONE genre of music, wearing ONE type of clothing, with ONE hairstyle. His interest in girls/sex/porn/ quadrupled, and his access to any media had to be drastically reduced. He couldn't handle a cell phone or I Pod due to stalker-ish tendencies, inability and unwillingness to have boundaries and porn fixation(you'll have to read back to see details on that). Then, by 15 it was worse. All of it, but especially the defiance, his very publicized hate for authority and his severe social anxiety. In 100*F weather he wore jeans, over boxers AND gym shorts. 2 shirts. hooded sweatshirt.... ANXIETY. Don't look at me. Don't see me. He claimed he was cold, but was actually just trying to blend in black culture & look like other black teen males he saw in the media and in dance videos on You Tube. He feels he has to look like those around him at times, but is also quite a trend setter at school, and the other kids begin to emulate HIM. It's odd. At The Boys Home he's in now, during the first 6 weeks kids and adults kept asking him why he was in 4 layers of clothes, but at our last meeting, the one we walked out of, he was suddenly in basketball shorts and a t shirt, which I hadn't seen him wear in 2+ years. He adapted. It's hot there and the other boys were dressed that way, so he relented.. but it took WEEKS. He is so hard to figure out and explain to others. I will stop there. ...But "why?" "how?" is all I think about, truthfully. It's overwhelming. All encompassing, and like I said yesterday, HEAVY. I look forward to lighter days ahead.
Sorry this was so boring to read, it put me to sleep. Tomorrow, I will try to be more riveting. For the sake of anticipation, let's pre-title tomorrow's post, "The Shit's About To Get Real, Up In Hee Uh."

*her -Jackson's second Haitian Mother, who took him in after watching him walk back and forth past her house for 3 days, when he was under 2 years old. She assumed his parents had died or left him.  She and her asshole husband finally took him in on the 4th day, named him Jackson, and kept him for about 3-4 years, at which time asshole the husband ripped Jackson away from her while she was screaming hysterically, Jackson was too, and he took him to social services office and dropped him off, stating that he'd lost his job and could no longer care for another man's child. Jackson states that the man hit and slapped his Mother during the removal, and he claims that she had told him through her tears, "I will come looking for you. Be brave. I will find you. I will see you again." 
He was brave.
he was sick.
He was scared.
She never came. 
20 months later, there I was. White & bright. "I'm your new Mommy!"
GAG. How could I have known? How could I NOT have known?
juuuuust beautiful.


Brenda Nelson said...

I'm so glad you are blogging. You've done everything you should.Everything you could. Everything that anyone could have done.

Sarah said...

Oh my gosh, Ali, this is heartbreaking! For you, and for him, and for everyone in between. Keep blogging, it does help, you are not alone. <3