I am still batting this #$%^ sinus infection, so I don’t know if I am “back” yet, but I can’t stop crying and need some advice. I have posted the full story of what happened on my professional blog. The short version is that my 11-year-old son, who has a bunch of special needs, scrubbed the toilet with my toothbrush AGAIN in retaliation for making him go to school on Monday, when he was tired after staying up to the watch the Super Bowl (and the two friends who watched it with him got to sleep in), and then again yesterday when he woke up feeling congested. He had no fever and has a history of “crying wolf,” so I told him to go to school for two hours so he could at least go to his core classes. I **think** he was feeling guilty, but he told me what he had done as I was already brushing my teeth with it. And, no, it wasn’t a bluff because I was wondering why my bristles felt softer before I found this out.
Please don’t start with the “you never say no” or “you don’t enforce boundaries” parenting advice. It’s not true and not what I need right now. What I need from you is support for working through triggers of the sickening awareness that I, once again, am living under the same roof with someone I cannot trust. I have locked up my toothbrush, my laptop, and other items he might damage or place in the toilet in my safe along with my son’s Ipod, his most beloved possession. I have told him he can have the Ipod back when I can trust him again, which might be a very long time.
I was hoping to feel better after sleeping (I took enough Xanax to make sure I slept), but I still feel nauseous and just plain sick (on top of the sinus infection) this morning. I feel like this is just another person I opened my heart up to that betrayed me. He did this toothbrush thing once before (that I know of) last year, confessing months later because he felt so guilty. We calmly talked through why it is so wrong to do and how hurtful that was. No amount of reward/punish or reason works with this child (I am sure his special needs have a lot to do with this), which leaves me feeling vulnerable and unsafe in my own home. I don’t think I can live like this, but I also don’t think boarding school is an option at age 11. Advice?
Photo credit: Hekatekris