Yep, I said it. Adoption isn't for sissies. It isn't for wimps. We continue to have issues.
It was explained to me that the ups and downs of adoption are cyclical. Eventually the time between downs becomes less and less, however by that point, parents are so exhausted that the downs seem like they are deeper and deeper. It eventually is difficult to find your way to climb back out of the downs. I feel like I need a freaking rescue team sent out to look for me...
So my question becomes:
When does a personality quirk become a personality disorder? When does a fear become something that needs to be addressed by a professional? Is Josh anti-social? I know that this post will probably end up sounding negative, and there will always be those people who say, "but he seems like he's doing so well..." and "it's got to be difficult for him..." We know this. We know that he is grieving. We know that this is not easy, but we are living this. This is my life everyday... wondering if Josh is going to be a part of it or not. And I must say it's different when it's 24/7.
As I have mentioned before Josh often times ends up by himself... living in a sea of people but preferring to be utterly alone. When we do things together, he most often ends up by himself. Yesterday we went to the kids school for their opening ceremonies. It was Justine's first day of Kindergarten... a monumental time I didn't want to miss. And you know what I was doing? Dragging Josh into the church sanctuary to watch the ceremonies.
He has such issues with people. He flat out refused to go in. We have been there before. He has been there before. There weren't that many people there. I literally had to drag him in. He wanted to stand outside the door. How can we make him NOT feel like an outsider when he refuses to stop acting like one? When he refused to walk in, a part of me just thought I'll be damned if I'm going to allow that any longer. Enough is enough. We took him out of school this year to homeschool him in an attempt to get him ready to go to that school next year... wouldn't you want to see what's going on? Wouldn't you want to know what you will be doing before you are expected to do it? We make such a big deal about other kids not treating him differently, yet he's the one who insists on it. When we got to the car, I asked him what his problem was. He replied, "I don't like people."
Well isn't that just a sad, sad statement? I asked him if he was afraid of his soccer team... there were just as many people there and he walked right in. No, because that was something he wanted to do. Well there you go. When it's something you want to do, you do it, but not if it's something WE want you to do. For heaven's sake, we even quit going to church for awhile because Josh was uncomfortable. Well I have had enough.
During our conversation, Josh basically told me that he would rather be alone thinking about "nothing" than to be with us. I told him that all people do things in life that they would probably rather not do, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. There is nothing in life that you are going to be able to do without interacting with people. There will be no college, no life, no wife, kids, family, friends, job... he was alright with that.
We had a great time in St Louis and enjoyed seeing everyone (which I will blog about later), but it definitely seems like his behavior has been sub-par ever since. Did it make him homesick? Did it make him sad? Who knows? He now has the language skills to tell us things like that, but during our conversation, he wouldn't even make eye contact with me (he was completely turned sideways to avoid it) and would not tell me what the hell he is thinking. He won't ever share anything with us. So how do you even begin to start? Well for one thing, he isn't going to be allowed to opt out of family activities any longer. The expectations we have for all the rest of them are going to apply to him as well.
Adoption isn't for sissies. Where's my rescue team? Maybe I need a GPS to find myself.