It's been a dreary day today.
Fitting, I suppose, how the drops falling from the sky are mimicking the tears falling from my tired eyes, and the chilly gray of the out-of-doors is painting a picture of my heart for all to see.
I can no longer hide from the thoughts that until recently, my flit-from-this-to-that brain could turn loose...set free like little butterflies into the sky, never to be seen or dealt with again. Those same thoughts press down on me now like the cold gray world, and today I just cannot send them away.
I am weary. Weary in my very bones, physically sore and emotionally spent. Spiritually worn out from battles too numerous to mention, too daunting to even recall. Exhausted to the point of aimless one-word prayers.
Monday morning, our son was checked into a day hospitalization program at a mental health facility. After nothing short of a miracle breakthrough with him in the wee hours of the morning, we brought to the hospital that first day a nearly cooperative child that seemed ready and almost willing to be helped. We were hopeful.
Monday came and went. He was compliant and pleasant in the evening, although we kept him separate from the other children. It had only been a day, after all, since he had terrorized the entire family and inflicted harm on several of us both in word and action.
Tuesday came and went. His team - doctor, therapist, social worker - believed he was doing well and was responding to therapy, opening up a bit. He seemed to be trying. Tuesday evening, we gave the other kids a say in whether he would be invited to dinner with the family. Our four-year-old son didn't think it was a good idea "because he might hurt us." He felt safer when his chair was moved between Mama and Daddy, who could protect him.
The baby was not as easily won over. He stopped smiling the moment his biggest brother came to the table, and was clearly unsettled at his presence for the rest of the evening. The little boys' reactions and fear sparked the first glimmer of remorse we've seen this summer on the face of our oldest son. Again, we were hopeful.
Wednesday came...and Wednesday never seemed to end.
We picked him up, ran some errands as a family. He was awkwardly, shamelessly trying to rebuild his little brothers' trust, which had been a therapy topic for the day. When reminded that he wasn't yet trusted with the little ones, that rebuilding all the relationships he had crushed would take time, he became angry.
As the evening wore on, anger overtook him. Turned to rage. Turned to loss of any rational thought. Turned to hatred and evil spewing forth from the child we had thought was trying.
There comes a time when enough is enough.
Last night, at eleven thirty, we admitted our son as a patient to the mental hospital. He'll be there for about a week. Longer, if needed.
The stress my husband and I are under has been causing stomachaches, knots in our chests, fatigue, sleeplessness and anxiety. I can't begin to fathom the toll it's taken on our little ones, including the tiniest one that's supposed to be feeling nothing but safety and security within me. We can't keep on this way, waiting for the next insignificant thing that will set him off, dreading the rage and fearing for the well-being of our family.
Right now, our son needs more help than we can give him.
And so we did what we thought we never would.
The rain and gloom of the day was a perfect background for this solemn, emotional first day without our son. The entire day seemed dreary, and yet somehow the evening clouds knew to break rank in the west at the perfect moment to wreak pink and orange havoc across the sky. An unexpected, beautiful sunset.
It was a glorious end to a dreary day.
We hang on to hope.
We hang on to Jesus.
We absolutely know that God is at work in this situation.
And we hang on to the knowledge that the most beautiful of things are often found at the end of the dreariest of days.