It's been really hard dealing with Mr. I's behaviors the past two weeks, especially since Hubby left for Nicaragua. He's been disobeying, coming home late without checking in, been disrespectful, and has the stereotypical teenage attitude on steroids. He even wanted me to lie to his friends' mom last night so that they could spend the night at our house. It shocked me that he even asked. Lie himself, that's totally expected, though not condoned. But ask me to lie so he could get his way? Who does he think I am?
Yes, we are dealing with full fledged RAD behavior years after I thought he was pretty much healed. One of my daughters told me last night that he's acting sociopathic. That seemed a bit too harsh, but I can see what she means if you take his behavior out of context. I would be really worried if these were typical days and we were all together as a family. But these aren't typical days. Some of my kids have had mini vacations and are not around as usual. We started school. I've been busy taking care of the puppy and Ms. D's sleep issues. Mr. I's bike was stolen and I refuse to let him replace it right away and haven't given him a solid date when he can replace it. Hubby is out of the country for two weeks, which in itself would cause stress. Mr. I does not feel safe in a home without a man around. So it's totally logical that Mr. I would be regressing, especially given his history of neglect and abuse. Add to that some prenatal exposure to alcohol, and it gets even more understandable.
Deep down, I think he feels abandoned. He's trying to gain control over his life by challenging my authority. His birth mom let him down when he was young, and he's taking it out on me. I haven't been able to protect him from disappointment. Hubby left him in the care of a woman (me) and Mr. I deep down wonders if he will ever come back. It doesn't matter that he sleeps in the next room to a second degree black belt, or that he's seen me in mama bear mode before, he somehow worries about his own safety, his own survival. Pushing people away and being dominant helps him to feel in control. The problem is that those kind of behaviors push the very people that can help him away.
Last night I went to church over the Santa Cruz mountains in Aptos for our monthly larger gathering of house churches. We usually meet at five and have worship at six. The problem yesterday was that there was a van on fire on one of the only roads across the mountains and we got stuck in traffic. A trip that normally lasts a little under an hour even with traffic became a two hour ordeal. We came late, even after the worship started. I was so exhausted after staying up late the night before to pick up food and waking early to deliver it. I drove all morning on about four and a half hours of sleep and a short nap in the afternoon. The man who preached talked about not getting weary in well doing. It fit, since I was totally exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually. Afterwards one of the women told me that before the worship, the church prayed for Hubby and his trip but I missed it. On one hand I was grateful for the prayer, but on the other hand, I was so disappointed I couldn't be there because of the fire. I felt so bad. Another woman came up and asked me if I felt abandoned. At the time I denied it, and passed it off as something my kids were dealing with right now. But after I got home, I realized I really did feel abandoned by God, by Hubby, and by others. My thinking part of my brain knows that isn't true. God is here and has provided for me and taken care of me. Yes there have been odd circumstances and disappointments the past few weeks that shouldn't have happened, but that doesn't mean He abandoned me. Hubby is doing just what he is called to do and I even encouraged him to go to Nicaragua this year. He tried to pick a time to go to a graduation, but he couldn't control the time of the graduation. It wasn't his fault that the dates kept changing and the date he had to work with the second time landed on our anniversary. It ended up the date was changed again, so he won't even be able to attend. And I haven't been abandoned by my friends and family. My daughters have helped me so much. There is no way I could have kept my head above water the past few days without them. People have offered to help and two women will take over the food distribution next week. I am not alone.
But just like Mr. I, I feel abandonment deep down in a place that logic doesn't reach. In a way it's kind of sad to think that I need to help Mr. I heal in a place where I need healing also. Fortunately, I'm not the one who can do the healing. Perhaps I can better show Mr. I where to turn for his healing as I learn myself. Because when there's such deep hurts from abandonment, only God can fully heal. And with that healing, I trust that Mr. I's behaviors will change. Healing the roots of his behavior will bring more lasting changes, not just an external whitewashing. I want him to be cleansed from inside, so that he can really enjoy his life. I want him to know, deep down, that he will never be abandoned, because God is always with him.