. . . on a crazy train. (Are you singing Ozzy yet?)
The crazy train has not only pulled into the station, but it has left the tracks. School has been out two days at it has sent Dustin into a tailspin. I am hoping and praying that this is simply a reaction to the transition of school (which he ADORES) to being home for the summer.
Yesterday he slept until 4:00 in the afternoon and he was a little wacky when he woke up. I got home about 5:30 and he was not quite "normal". And trust me, we are rarely "normal" so if he is not even "Dustin normal" we are really concerned. I could see it in his eyes. It was not the typical vacant expression it was one of pure crazy. (probably offended several people with that, I don't mean it disrespectfully) It was deer in the headlights, confused, borderline teary, anxious, and just plain crazed.
He would NOT leave the little ones alone. I called him into the living room to talk to me and I had the laptop on my lap. He knew I could not easily chuck it and chase him so he took off. He left about 9:15 pm. We did not chase him out the door, I was hoping he would come right back. I started panicking becuase I did not even know the direction he went so I got into the car. We had not yet called the police, I usually try to wait about 20-30 minuted before I call. I drove a few blocks and I was rounding a corner back toward home and I saw him. He was on the sidewalk, near a tree, not too far from home with a stray black cat hanging from his arms. It was a little disconcerting. He was wearing an orange striped shirt and blue fleece pajama pants with giant polar bears on them with no shoes on. He saw me and you could see the anxiety in his eyes and he really wanted to dart across the street. He looked confused and burst into tears which was a new reaction. He got into the car without much trouble and we chatted. He was NOT in reality. He kept talking about the cat being the one we lost a long time ago. He was obsessed with the cat and kept saying he rescued it. The rest of the evening we made sure we were strategically placed between him and the front door.
Today I got home from work and Robert was out of breath. He had been chasing Dustin who had just ran out about 5 minutes before I got home. I got in the car and took off to look for him. I suspected he would go back to where the cat was so I headed that direction. He was not there, but he was across that street up on the River Greenway (a trail system in our city that winds around the rivers) which scares the living crap out of me, because from there it is one stumble away from drowning in the river. He saw me and initially started to dart and I told him to get in the car and we would go home to get ice cream. He sat in the car and wept. Real big tears. He was talking about wanting the police to come, almost being taken by two big men, not wanting to leave our family, being taken away, going to jail, having our dogs go to the pound, wanting to go to the hospital for 5 days etc. All of this was disjointed and crazed. Do you see a pattern? It seems like a lot of attachment and neglect stuff to me.
I have a plan to deal with the running. We are going to try it tomorrow. I am not even going to talk about it because I am afraid I will jinx it or it will end really badly. I will blog about it if we see some success then you'll think I am nuts AND a genius!
I know other things need changing if we are going to survive the summer. We need to find more ways to say yes since NO triggers the running more times than not. I think we are simply going to have to figure out a way to say yes even if it is not answer to his question. Does that make sense? Let's say he asks, "Mom can I have a buffalo for the backyard?" we are gonna answer something like, "You can have a popsicle, but the buffalo won't work!" I think it will be referred to as creative redirection from now on. We shall see if this works. Maybe more positivity, even if it is misdirection, may work. Hey, it works for magicians doesn't it? Maybe I will create a new behavior modification program called "slight of hand", hey, it could happen! LOL
Tonight when I left to find him I pulled around the corner and had to park for a few minutes. I was crying too hard to drive. I am just so tired of all this. I am tired of searching for him. I am tired of having the trauma for the littles. I am tired of feeling like we cannot keep him safe. It is NOT time for a group home, it is not time for residential, we HAVE to be able to find a way to make this work. I will not give up. (I mean no disrespect to those who had to make that decision, I don't live in your shoes, I just really don't want that right now for us)
Wish me luck with this hair brained idea tomorrow!
1 day ago