Sunday, 1 July 2012

Dear Alex, our son Monty Buster...






1st July 2012,

Dear Alex,

Bathtime for the kids. Monty has been angry and sad all day. Only a moment of happiness this morning when he asks ‘are we going into see Dad today?’ and I reply that Sundays are now reserved for ‘us’ time, a day of doing things around the house or seeing friends, going to church. He woops and smiles. I hide the pain of the dagger planted in my soul.

He is struggling. He cannot come to terms with this at the moment, lashing out occasionally, crying, clenching fists, and blaming everything but the actual reason for his feelings.

I wash their hair, start to massage his head, gently coaxing memories, I remind him of when he was a baby, Dad would bath him frequently, or us both together, he would scream, and the minute we plunged him in water, he’d lie still, open eyed, smiling, cooing, happy, calm. A water baby. It was often our technique to calm him down-plonk him in water! He starts to cry, and I carry on gently massaging his head, telling him I know how sad he is at the moment, that I am here for him, no matter what he feels, it doesn’t matter, it’s not his fault he feels as he does, no one is blaming him for it, and I cuddle and stroke his weeping head.

I can see he cannot talk about it, does not want to. So I probe gently at times, allowing him to let memories in about you and how you were before, silly anecdotes of things you did, you said, trying to keep the good memories alive.

I cuddle him often, today we chose a DVD to put on today, and we all snuggled up on the bed to watch it, he was cuddled so strongly into me, and made his Lego ships…he was calm, we all were, we spent 2 hours like this, cuddled, snug, warmed in love. Love is a powerful healer. It seeps in and mends brokenness, although it will take a great deal more for him to get through this I feel.

When he has his outbursts of anger I get down to his level, tell him it’s alright to feel angry, tell him why he feels angry, tell him how proud we both are of him for coping with this. But I also tell him that it’s not alright to act aggressively, we need to find ways of him channelling the anger in different, non destructive ways, and offer other solutions-punching a pillow is a favourite!

He does a lot of sport, has freedom to walk the dog on his own. I have put things in place for him, but this stage is a tough one…

I just want to cuddle him up, keep him for a while, and make it all better…but he has to go through this stage, and learn to deal with it, but not alone.

Hearing ‘I don’t want to go and see dad’ and angry shouts as we start the journey up to the hospital, I feel desperately sad, for him, that the dad he once knew, his invincible daddy is not around as he used to be, and as much as we all want it to be over, you to just be back with us, there’s so much further to go, so much longer will we have to tread this path…

I think it will do him good to not come in for a while, I do not want his childhood memories being ones of me forcing him to go to hospital when he just needs to escape it all and be a normal 8-year-old boy for a while…

How do we cross this bridge? Time, patience, finding outlets, talking and showing him how much he is loved and acknowledging how hard this is for him…

Starting the week with a still, very upset and angry Monty, I long to help him…

Me xxxxxxxxxxxx

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