This is the part of the story where Jonah falls overboard and is swallowed by the whale.
There isn’t much to say except that it has gotten worse, and worse again, and worse some more – today sucked blah blah blah and I’m so sad blah blah blah. I don’t know how anyone can stand to read this blog anymore at all.
Jonah’s almost guaranteed to attempt to seriously hurt his father, me, anyone around him – not once, but several times a day, wreaking a path of destruction behind him – lampshades crumbled, Andy’s now duct-taped fan knocked over, eyeglasses scratched, coffeemaker smashed & broken, dinner swept off the table to spray-bomb the kitchen in one swipe:
On the pictured occasion Andy had called me for help. “I can’t leave him for two seconds,” he told me.
So I came over and cleaned the kitchen (after taking this picture). I picked up the obviously just-delivered rice, chicken, sauces, and dumplings, wet-swiffered the floor, and vacuumed the landing rug/steps… my heart pounding, my mind processing the scene, adding all these details to the new normal, a new ramped-up constancy of Jonah’s violent aggressing.
After I had cleaned, we sat together on Jonah’s floor for a few minutes while Jonah sat on his bed, having been banished there after the kitchen scene. I asked Andy if he wanted me to go get him more food. “No,” he replied flatly. “I ate.” (which I knew was likely a lie).
“They’ll help him at whatever place he goes to,” I told Andy quietly. “He’s going to get better.”
“You think so?” he asked wearily. “I think he’s just broken,” he mumbled, lowering his head into his scratched-up hands, running his scratched-up hands through his rumpled hair. Andy sits with his head in his hands a lot. I’m usually in tears.
During some car rides the three of us have taken since then, Jonah’s managed to escape his harness in seconds, throwing himself up into the front seat to grab a handful of hair, scratching, hitting, and kicking whatever body part of ours he can reach. Luckily we are usually already pulled over waiting for train, or I have been able to pull over quickly so Andy (or M, when he and I are the ones driving him) can climb in the back and hold down a fiercely struggling Jonah who is head-butting hard, kicking hard, hitting hard. Scratching to wound, to make you bleed. No holds barred. No empathy.
It is more frightening than anything I’ve ever encountered because I have no idea how to fix it, how to help him, how to pull us all up and out of this. No wonder I watch Match Game and bead necklaces when I am not watching Jonah. I need mindless 70s television, ritualistic bead-stringing, care-package construction, and Guster-blasting. Andy is writing, which is good. At least there is a fantastical creative outlet for him too, though I’m sure he squeezes it in in two-minute intervals if Jonah is home.
At school there are days when Jonah aggresses and then, as encore, smears his poop on the safe room wall – and he often aggresses 9-10 a day (each of which consists of an episode of a dozen or so of clustered individual attacks, they tell us).
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating that we are really, really grateful for Wildwood, whose teachers, social workers, and other staff have continued without fail to support our family and somehow manage Jonah day after day, week after month. I am grateful for Andy, who is somehow handling this thing. The title of my blog may be normal is a dryer setting, but our dryer’s in serious fucking disrepair.
We want Jonah to get the help he needs, and as soon as possible. Later this month we’re taking him to Child’s Hospital in Boston (somehow), and we’re going to once again ask his psychiatrist for a new med to try. The psychiatrist is retiring this month, so maybe we’ll get a new one who’s fresh out of school and fired up to help us. If not, I’m going doctor-shopping.
I’m refocusing my thoughts and actions in an unusual but positive way, because it’s all I can do to keep it together. But most of time I’m tired and bitchy. I haven’t felt much like writing, or talking to anyone, or going anywhere, or doing anything at all.
I guess these are our days inside the whale.“Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight, yet I will look again toward thy holy table.” ~ Jonah 2:4
That sounds to me like I know I’m completely in the dark, but I’m going to hope anyway.
“Love and blessings
Fell like rain on thirsty land
Fields and gardens
Came to life in dust and sand”
~Paul Simon, Love & Blessings from So Beautiful or So What
Okay, then. Hope anyway.