I wish God would give me just a glimpse of the future. Of what my son's future will be. I wish I could see for just a second that someday, everything will be okay.
I just want something to hang on to.
These past few weeks - months, really - have been some of the most uncertain of our lives. Our home has turned into a sort of twisted war zone, with unprovoked hostility hedging in on every side. Every word has become an argument, every request has become a fight, every demand has become a full-blown rage.
Each "I love you" has been met with hatred and fury.
Thus has begun our life with a traumatized and Attachment Disordered child on the brink of adolescence.
We've seen it all before...kind of. We've seen the anger and the disrespect and the hatred, we've heard the screams, felt the kicks and the bites and the scratches and the pulling of hair, dealt with the heartache and muscle-ache of restraining a child-turned-animal as he unleashes every ounce of venom from within....unleashes it on those who love him the most.
Yes, we've seen it all before, but not quite like this.
He's never thrown furniture before. Toys, yes. Small objects, yes. But never a lamp. Or a chair. And never in the direction of his pregnant mother.
We've never had to call the police on him before.
He's never refused to go anywhere with us before, much less to church; never jumped from his loft bed to escape, needing to be chased through the house and forcibly put into the van.
He's never jumped from a moving vehicle before, never run in stocking feet through a cornfield and had to be chased down by his father.
He's never kicked his sisters and thrown pop bottles in the direction of the baby, insisting that he doesn't care if he hurts him.
He's never treated his grandparents with the same hatred and disrespect that he usually reserves for us.
He's never had the Elders of our church pray over him. He's never needed to be moved into an empty room with nothing more than a mattress and bedding, for his own protection, and never needed an alarm on his door for the protection of everyone else.
I've never felt the need to hide my knives before.
And he's never been checked into a mental health facility.
I haven't written for many weeks now. Just like the groanings of my soul that have replaced my words uttered in prayer, there is no language to express the feeling of hopelessness that lingers in our home, the evil that seemingly permeates our walls.
My son is tormented. I see it in his eyes.
We are tormented, too...and sometimes, when the knots in my chest...and in my husband's chest...threaten to choke out all hope, when we feel nearly sick to our stomachs with anxiety and can barely cope...some of these times, we are tempted to believe Satan's lies that our son will never be healed, that our family will never be happy, and that we will never be good enough parents.
But God's voice can drown out all others.
We hang on to Him.
His peace envelops our home when there is no peace to be found.
His love surrounds us when we cannot give love on our own.
His strength endures long after our own strength is spent.
He is our protector, our shield, our stronghold, and our very hope.
While not free from the world's pain, we are free from despair and hopelessness.
Our son can be, too, if he chooses to believe it.
His future is not devoid of hope, even now.
And that gives me something else to hang on to.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4: 7-8a
Our children's struggle (consequently our struggle) with Attachment Disorder and trauma is physical, mental, and spiritual. We have seen this evidenced over and over throughout the past six years. We are seeking help from our church community as well as from the medical community, as we strongly believe that RAD (as well as other mental health issues) cannot be solely "fixed" by the ways of the world. Our children, who endured so much pain and trauma in their early years, need to be equipped to fight off the spiritual attacks they encounter and the memories, dreams, and fears that haunt them. Our kids need to learn to hang on to Jesus.