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
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?