When my bride and I got married, that was a part of our vows. As I am sure it was for most of our readers.
It seems to me that when we have children there is an implied vow “in sickness and in health”.
I don’t know of any parent who wouldn’t gladly switch places with their child who has a life threatening illness.
In the last weeks before we placed David, I heard a lot about how he was affecting my health. And it is true, he was having a major impact on my health. You see, I have a couple of different illnesses; illnesses that react in a negative fashion when confronted with Stress.
If I could somehow fix David by giving every ounce of good health that I had, I would do so. In a heartbeat. No question about it.
However. When he started to drain the health of the other children in the household, I couldn’t just let it go. Does that make sense?
David deserves this opportunity to learn ways to control his behavior. His disability is no excuse for him to behave the way he does. I won’t let him use that as an excuse for him to do whatever he wants to do. He can control it.
You see, David is missing the connections to that part of his brain that make him human. That core area that controls emotion, impulsiveness, everything that differentiates humans from most other creatures. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not calling my son an animal. Far from it. If he could learn to control his behavior, he can function in society without those connections.
Not having these connections doesn’t make him less human. It doesn’t make him an animal. It makes him different. It is just as disabling as any other mental illness. Couple this with his obsessive compulsive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or any of the other handful of diagnoses that he has been given in the past 4 years, and he is just as disabled as I am. His disability is hidden.
I have been told that my illnesses are all in my head, in David’s case that is very true. No magic pill exists that can cure it. In my case, we can control my illnesses to an extent with medication.
It has been a month since we started this latest journey toward placement, first he had two weeks in safe bed, followed by a period at home, followed by most of a week in psychiatric care at the hospital. I am gradually getting my sleep pattern back to what I would consider the usual. I am very slowly getting my health back, though I appear to be developing a flare-up of my Lupus.
The other kids in the house are recovering as well. Yet, we miss David.
I don’t know any parent who wouldn’t give everything of themselves to make life better for their child. Sure we read about it in the news, mom kills kids, or dad kills kids… and it saddens me to my very core to read those stories. If they want to be rid of the joy that is a child, then they should bring their child to me, or another parent who would gladly raise them as their own.
In Sickness and in Health, I love my children.
- Mental Illness: An Excuse for Bad Behaviour? (summersolsticemusings.wordpress.com)