At the moment, our household is not the nicest place to be. I am not talking about the physical mess as I try to do the decorating, I am talking about the relationships between people in our family unit.
Hubby has been like a bear with a sore head recently. It got to the stage when M asked me why does Daddy keep coming home angry! There is a simple answer to that and it’s that his work load has almost doubled in the past couple of years, as local government cut backs hit. People move on to other jobs and are not replaced so the department he works within has the same amount to do, just with a lot less bodies to carry it out. It means Hubby and his counterparts are working longer hours, and do they get any thanks? Of course not, the general populace lives under the view that council employees are over paid and lazy. That is just not true!
My Mum is as lazy as ever. She does the ironing (sitting down using a steam press so little physical effort) for the house, but nothing else. Well, you’d think she ran this household the moaning and groaning we get from her. It is plain to see her physical health has deteriorated, but whose wouldnt if you’re not moving around or going out. It’s not that she can’t do it ( with her stick or walker), she just chooses not to. However, it is her mental health that worries me. It can’t be good for anyone not to use their brain. Watching copious hours or QVC and Escape to the Country is no good for anyone. She has one hobby, and that is child baiting. By that I mean she will wind the boys up to the point and sit back as they let rip. What she gets out of it I have no idea, as it is mean and the only word really suitable is bullying. Hubbys Mum has given up trying to get her to meet up for coffee, as she always makes an excuse. How somebody who does nothing can not have time to pop into town for a coffee I don’t know but there you!
The boys though are the biggest worry as usual. Both of them are out of sorts just now. I don’t mean they are poorly, they are just niggly and well, horrible!
M is becoming a vile version of his former self. He is both physically and verbally abusive to those around him, but particularly to D. Yesterday coming out of school, D got to the gate first so M punched him full force in the stomach so he could get through. This is just one recent example of what he’s becoming. Of course, he got to go straight home and not play in the park with D and his friend on the way. The verbal abuse isn’t just directed at D though. I think 90% of the things I have talked to him about recently have had back chat and nastiness returned to me. His brain and his mouth are just not working at the same speed. I wasnt expecting the stroppy nasty teenager for a few more years, so am not ready to handle it. Having said that, when it is just him and me, he can be cuddly and giggly just like he used to be.
D is confused! Well, isn’t he always. His behaviour is becoming very negative toward M which is totally understandable – why would you be positive to someone who is bullying you constantly? He has however crossed the line as he plays the game of getting his brother into trouble. Every time they are near each other and I am not around he will come running and tell me something M has done or said, not always truthfully. It is therefore really difficult to know how to handle it. D is vulnerable from bullying because of his physical appearance, let alone his Aspergers, most of the time, so I can’t just dismiss when he says his brother is doing it to him, but on the other hand he lies so well knowing who to believe can be difficult. It is a very fine line. We have talked about crying wolf, but he doesn’t see he is doing anything wrong, just giving payback.
We have got to the stage where we can’t leave the boys alone together. Even something as simple as cleaning their teeth has to either be supervised or to be done at separate times. I no longer buy them mouthwash as the last bottle was thrown around the bathroom, and as yet I have not got to the truth as to which one of them wasted it.
It is a sad realisation that my boys can’t be left unsupervised because I fear for their safety. the home should be a place they can let go because it a safe environment, but the nastiness between the boys has meant we have to change our routines to ensure someone is with them at all times, and by someone I mean either me or Hubby as I no longer like them left with Biddy.
I do wonder if the weather has something to do with the change in behaviour. We have had so little sunshine in the past 6+ months, it is probably effecting us all. But, whatever the reason we have to find a way to deal with it, as it cannot be allowed to continue. We have to help the boys to understand their behaviour is not acceptable, before it is seen towards someone else rather than just each other.
After this mornings fisticuffs while getting dressed, I decided drastic action was required. I have therefore banned all electronics until the weekend. They have been told we will do things together after school. I know there is no easy fix, but if I can get them to at least be in the same room with each other with out the need to hurt then that’s a step in the right direction. People with ASD have a problem with understanding delayed reprimands, but before school its very difficult to instigate an appropriate punishment. I know M will come home at lunchtime and ask for the TV and then I will get a torrent of abuse when I say no, but if it eventually helps him to understand which behaviours are not acceptable we’re heading in the right direction. I’m not asking the two of them to be best buddys – although that might be nice, but I am asking them to tolerate each other as individuals.
As for me and my part in all this, I’m trying really hard to keep it together, but it’s really hard when those you love are hurting and don’t necessarily see it that way. Being on the end of verbal abuse can be painful, but my skin is thickening! I feel the need to shout once in a while, even though I know at that point I’ve lost the moral high ground. I just turn the radio up and hope there is a song I at least recognise so I can pretend to know a few of the words – at the top of my voice of course!