SEVEN 7 VII
When Zack was about 4 1/2 he had one of his rages because I brought the wrong kind of yogurt home from the grocery store. Zack started yelling,crying, distraught and a full blown rage was about to erupt.
Zack has no impulse control, absolutely none. He just reacts.
He began to throw things, hit, and kick, spit….the usual. However, this time had one new factor; my mom was a witness to this episode that lasted almost 3 hours. I tried holding him, she tried holding him to calm him, we talked as soothing as we could, and we did everything we could to calm him but to no avail.
When Zack rages his appearance changes, his lips swell, his eyes get huge, his face turns red, if anyone would see him like this there would be no question he was not himself. To many people he just sounds like a spoiled, undisciplined kid, but I would love for them to live one week, sometimes one day is all it would take to see that this child has a legitimate problem. A problem he can not control, a problem that spankings and time outs do not cure. Finally, after the hurricane, my mom said “he’s sick, you need help”. I then replied “mom, I’ve been telling you and everyone this for years now.”
So there you have it, finally, someone else to see and confirm what I have known. I immediately got on the phone to the pediatrician and said “I need another consult with a child psychiatrist”.
And here begins the rest of the story……
I was first told to come into the Pediatricians office for yet another consultation before going onto a psychiatrist, at this request I replied “I will not come in for another consult; the doctor has told me nothing is wrong with my child and I know there is. Something is wrong, really wrong. I want to see a psychiatrist, preferably one that specializes in childhood disorders as soon as possible.” The voice on the other end politely said “can you hold please?”, then finally I was told to make an appointment with a local psychiatrist and my pediatrician would call in the referral. Now I felt like maybe we may get some answers, however once again Zack went into one of his “calm periods”, and I began to doubt my decision, to think I had overreacted again. When Zack rages it lasts what seems like eternity, but once it is over, it is over, he returns to this loving sweet child, like nothing ever happened. He is always so remorseful, always draws me a card or writes a letter, “Mom, I’m so sorry for how I acted. I really am a good boy. I love you Zack.”, or gets one of his prized possessions from his room, a favorite toy, statue, collectible, or racing trophy and gives it to me as his way to say how sorry he is.
It is all so bizarre; I don’t know if I will ever understand how he can be so different. For a child to be so loving, so thoughtful, kind and caring, and in a breath be angry, hateful, and out of control. After his rages or bad behavior we talk about what has happened, he is able to verbalize an appropriate response, a better way to deal with his anger and expresses the desire to “be good” and not get out of control. However, during these episodes he can not stop, he is not capable of “putting the brakes on”, he isn’t able to recall a better solution, and he just reacts. A very telling letter to Santa he wrote in school was heartbreaking “Dear Santa, I have not been very good this year, but I tried. Love Zack” he was in the first grade.
one of my Favorite pictures when he is feeling good