This seems to be the diagnosis I have now 100% and completely come to terms with for our son. There is now no question in my mind. After meeting with a trauma counselor who specializes in PTSD, childhood trauma and bipolar disorder my thinking is much clearer. She was not in the least surprised that he has so many varying diagnoses or that his behaviors can be found in such a mix of DSM lists. Once I managed to get my head around trauma disorders, it seems that the rest of the world started cooperating with the notion. Why did it take so long, I wonder. All the specialists and doctor’s and therapists we have seen over the past 7 years and never has anyone really touched on trauma as a possible reason and behavior intervention as a solution. Finally as my thinking became clearer and my studying more focused on trauma diagnoses and treatments it became crystal clear that this is the path we should have sought all along. I cry to know how long we have been disconnected from our child’s true thoughts and feelings, totally missing all the cues and chances to help him heal. How much easier it is to heal 2 or 3 years of emotional angst than 7!
At this point I suppose we must not look back but continue our journey forwards, we should take comfort knowing that the curtain has been pulled back and that we at least in a place of real understanding now. Mostly that involves helping him grieve his losses and finding tools to help him calm his anxiety, stress and nervousness and hope that that helps him to move through the intense depression we know he feels.
Still the days are long and the nights longer. Every night we cry, sometimes lots, sometimes only a little. Tonight he only asked to die a dozen times, he only cried a little and he fell asleep with some sense of release I think. We talked about how he felt powerless, useless, thrown away, not needed. It is futile to promise him that isn’t true, it seems more important to validate and assure him that it’s ok right now to feel those feelings and own them. He will eventually move surely to a place where he starts to feel more powerful without the use of aggression, less thrown away with everyday hugs and attaboys, less not needed by including him in everything. One can only hope the battle cry of “…you hate me, just kill me, let me die, you know you hate me, everyone hates me, I love you, I know you love me, just throw me away, I am useless, put me in the garbage…” becomes less of a cry and more of a chant of “I am worth it, I am capable, I know you love me, I love me!”