When There Are No Answers Push Them in the Direction of Love

On June 10th, Cody was admitted for a five-day stay at an acute psychiatric hospital for aggressive behavior and psychosis. Though he’s always been able to see and hear things that I don’t, they have typically been harmless beings. However, they have now turned into monsters with red, green, or yellow eyes that scream at him and terrify him.

A couple of days before he was hospitalized, he calmly told me that he was going to kill me. When I asked him how he was going to do it, he told me he was going to get a knife and kill me with it. He didn’t just say it once, but several times over a span of 30 minutes. He has tried to stab me before with various sharp objects and when all the sharp objects had been locked away, he began to twist paper until it was at a sharp point and then tried to stab me with it.

It is difficult to reconcile the two sides of my son. On one side is the tender-hearted loving child who will cry when someone is eating a chicken breast because a chicken had to die. On the other side is the vicious child who threatens to kill me and physically assaults me almost daily, sometimes for hours at a time.

There are nights I jolt awake wondering if I left a knife in the sink with the dishes I forgot to wash. Then the questions start: Should I go check if there is a knife in the sink? Is my son really capable of killing me? Am I just being paranoid? How many other parents have to make sure their knives are locked up every night? Am I the only one going through this? If not, why isn’t anyone talking about it? Has everyone else figured it out and I’m just the horrible mother who doesn’t know what I’m doing?

The truth is I’m afraid of my son. There, I’ve said it. I’m terrified of him. It started the moment he told his therapist that he sat all day at school thinking about ways he could hurt me when he got home. The terror intensifies every time he laughs as he kicks me so hard he leaves bruises. It intensifies in the knowing that if I don’t figure something out now, he will seriously hurt himself, me, or someone else in the future. But then there are the times when this terror isn’t present at all. These are the times that I come downstairs and see him rocking the cat and singing to her. These are the times when he makes me cards or draws beautiful art that expresses how much he loves me. These are the times when he tells me HE is scared and needs ME to protect him.

I don’t know much and most things I think I know I find out later I really didn’t know. What I am sure of is my son, at this moment, is on the edge between two different worlds. One is horrible, scary, and makes him think and do violent things. The other is a world filled with love, compassion, and hope. I am doing everything I can to push him off the edge into the world of love.

*If you would like to help us on our journey you can learn more here: http://www.giveforward.com/keepcodyathome. I would be so grateful if you would share this link with others.

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2 Responses to When There Are No Answers Push Them in the Direction of Love

  1. Simon Baron Cohen wrote a book that might be relevant to your situation. When you get to the point where you are scared of a child that age, there must be something seriously amiss, and I wonder if an absence of empathy and logic plays a role.


    • Sarah Joyce Bryant says:

      Thank you for the book suggestion. I will definitely take a look at it. I have been told that he lacks empathy and remorse, but I’m seeing a different side of him now that I’ve taken him off all of his medications with the exception of Risperdal. He was on three other psychiatric medications besides the Risperdal. He has had problems with aggression since 18 months, but it has gotten much worse since the hospitalizations and the addition of medications. There is a much different, tender side of him that comes through in his art and with his interactions with animals. The majority of his issues arise in his interactions with other people.

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