there’s a hole in the glass

E’s glass has a hole in the bottom.  As a result it will never be 1/2 full or 1/2 empty.  Despite the vast amounts of love, patience and acceptance that his dad and I have poured into the cup during the past seven years, it  will never be full. By now you have figured out that the glass is E.  He has an empty space inside resulting  from the severe abuse and neglect that he suffered at the hands of his birth mother and the multiple caregivers that succeeded her.

E has strived over the years to fill the hole with superficial things like clothing, hairdos and the latest and greatest toy or gadget.  From the time that he was young, E has been obsessed with his appearance.  He determines what look is appropriate by watching YouTube videos of jerking, BMX biking and skateboarding. The hip hop culture has also greatly influenced his taste.   He changes clothes multiple times per day.

E has adopted very rigid rules when it comes to dress.  I refuse to buy him new tennis shoes when he has two other pairs that are perfectly fine.  This becomes a problem for E because he will not wear hightop tennis hoes with skinny jean.  His royal blue tennis shoes can only be worn with a shirt of the same color, of which he has none.  E’s clothing that he purchases with his lawn mowing money never fits correctly because he refuses to take input from me.  As a result his clothing often tears.  I don’t know anything. (not an issue unique to adopted children)

Unfortunately for E, he was adopted by an extremely frugal mother (Tom? Not so much.  We would be in the poor house if I didn’t manage the money.)  When the kids, myself or Tom need new clothing we do not automatically run to Kohls or the MOA. Our first stop is Valu Thrift.  Valu Thrift carries clothing that is in great shape at great prices. We have told the kids that spending less on items like clothing allows us to be more generous in areas such as family vacations, sports and camp fees. Michael and Patrick are good with this, E says it’s “ghetto.”

E is very hard on all of his belongings which makes it more difficult to keep up with his demands.  Every bike that we have purchased for him has been broken within the first week or two.  We told him last year after he broke a brand new bike that we were done. We agreed to get him a used garage sale bike as an alternative.  E refused to take responsibility for his bike breaking and instead maintained that it broke because we bought it at Walmart.  He never passes up a chance to chastise us for being “so fuckin cheap.

Because E is currently obsessed with BMX, Tom purchased a used bike for him off of Craigslist earlier this spring.  E declared it not good enough and immediately set out to improve it by  replacing pieces of the bike with parts from  his old broken bike.  His efforts to make the bike good enough,  rendered the new bike trashed.  So now he has no bike.  Believe me when I say that if I thought that he would be satisfied with a new bike, I would purchase one in a heartbeat just to bring me some peace. But it isn’t about the bike.  It is much more difficult problem to solve.

So I will move forward by pouring out my angst through this medium.  For E’s sake, I will again schedule some regular visits for him with his therapist and me and his dad will suck it up and continue to give him the love, patience and acceptance that he was deprived of in his early years.

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3 thoughts on “there’s a hole in the glass

  1. Hi, sounds like he just needs love. Love of the Father God and love from you. He seems to be trying to find where he belongs because he didn’t have it when he was younger (no real home).

    Instead of giving him things. Make him stay home with you and have quality time together. He may not like it at first but it is what he needs. Play games and just love on him. make sure to touch him and express your love for him. He sounds far from his heart and with love and acceptance, he can be reeled back in. Then he will give himself permission to receive love and be accepted.

    Will pray for him. The Lord loves him.

  2. I have an overwhelming respect for you, as his parent, for adopting a child with needs that can cause such turbulence in your family. In addition, I know you well enough to have an understanding of the tremendous love and affection that you have for your child. Sadly, however, for children who are brain injured or mentally challenged, simply loving a child is sometimes just not enough to overcome the obstacles that they face on a daily basis and I am humbled by your ability to perserve in the face of such “chaos” in your family. I know that you love your child as much as any parent loves a child and have an enormous amount of respect for your love and commitment to him. Just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers…!!!!

  3. This summer is proving to be quite challenging and as a result the love for my son is buried under layers of anger, disgust and overwhelming fatigue. We are beginning the process of bringing a mental health case manager on board in an effort to get a bit more proactive. I am hoping for out of home respite care two weekends per month. The stress in the home has been off the charts since school let out. Thanks Connie for your ongoing words of support. I look forward to seeing you and the rest of the girls in July.

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