The Son is now 12. He has been diagnosed with a condition called selective mutism. I have fought and fought with this child about going to school. He shuts down in situations that are unfamiliar or stressful. His way of dealing with stress is to physically and verbally shut down. Because of this he became truant at school. Some days I couldn't get him in the building, other days with the responsibilities that I have, I just didn't try. Something had to give.
Last year he was on a program called homebound. An instructor came to the house or the library to meet with him a couple of times a week and he did his assignments. This year, when I asked for him to go back on that program, the response was "Well, why don't YOU just homeschool him." Yep they washed their hands of the problem and now it is ONLY my problem. So, I am homeschooling my son with an online program called Acellus.
The Son does go to counseling every couple of weeks, they talk about nothing. Counselor says he is doing better.
I try to get him to talk to me, I try to give him responsibilities, I try to engage him. The only things he cares about are video gaming and basketball. His coach calls him a beast, and he is talented at anything digital.
To work on me, I have to get him at a point where he is functioning in situations that are social. I have to get him to stop relying on The Mama so much. He is very attached to me. I think that is partially due to the fact that his Dad is no longer alive. I know that is a lot my fault, I am very doting after the tragedy that befell our family. The child witnessed everything and I do overcompensate for that.
December 21,2015: The evening before J's death. Son and I were sitting on the couch playing with the Roku, adding channels. The den is outside of my bedroom and adjacent to back porch. J is on back porch and acting strange. I tell J -- you just need to go to bed and tomorrow will be a new day. He complies-- and lies down. I go back to couch with the Son. We stay up for a while, and I can hear J snoring (I now wonder if they were sounds of a death rattle.) Son and I fall asleep on the couch.
December 22, 2015: I wake up, go outside with the dogs, come back in -- unload the dryer, fold, and start a new load of laundry. I go upstairs, start coffee, feed the guinea pigs, just little morning chores. The coffee is ready and I go into the bedroom to ask J if he would like a cup. J is cold and unresponsive, I yell trying to wake him, then the Son wakes. I call 911, then my Daddy, the EMT's, Fire, Police all come. The Son sees it all, the attempts to revive. His sister arrives, the ambulance takes Daddy away, we follow to hospital -- I go berserk on staff and try to break down door to ER. He is confirmed dead. The Son sees and feels it all - to himself, observing, not making a sound. Yes, I tried to shield him, I kept taking him out of the rooms, he wouldn't leave me.
I will be researching this condition and keeping this blog going with the progress being made with his situation. He is funny, bright, and I've been told quite handsome. Standing at 5'4" at 12, he's a big boy, and we need to learn to control our emotions before he becomes too big to handle. He's a gentle soul, but he's also a troubled soul. I love him.