Life has changed a little around here since we returned home from the beach. Things between Joe and Brady went well while we were away. The mental health professionals in our life right now recommended a break apart from each other to help Brady. I fought that idea, explaining that I have never seen that actually help. But, the choice was made without me. Life fell apart in a rather dramatic way when we returned.
Police were called to our house by my own kid, which put my other kids in danger and was traumatic for them. Brady’s therapy team made a choice that I disagree with on a fundamental level on the handling of that incident. For that reason, I am letting go of that team of practitioners. I am creating some boundaries for my other children. The therapy team doesn’t understand that and told Joe so. “You can’t just divorce your child.” That statement is proof of how little understanding they have of our family. When you’re here, you’re here forever. Family is forever. Therapists aren’t. I am divorcing that team of providers. I find their care lacking and not culturally responsive to the fabric of our family and our trauma history.
Brady has decided this is the best care team for him. So, he will need to continue to do the work he feels he needs to do. For now, any chance of family therapy is over. With legal adulthood looming in the next three months, I don’t see a path back to family therapy for us. I am absolutely gutted by that loss. Trust is broken, and my relationship with my child is changed in a way that I never imagined.
The process of letting go of that team of therapists and creating new boundaries within our home is something we are doing in order for there to be a relationship for Brady to return to when he decides to return. We are trying to preserve whatever is left of our relationship before things are said or done that can’t be unsaid or undone. Forgiveness comes easily to parents, it comes less easily for siblings.
Sibling relationships in our home have changed in painful ways. Now my goal is to protect the relationships from total catastrophic ruin. Our other children have helped create new boundaries about who can be in our home and when, what to do when behaviors escalate in a way they aren’t comfortable with, and how to communicate that discomfort.
We brought even more new therapists into our lives to help our other kids cope with what the police presence in their home did to us as a family. I am back in therapy now working on my anger and brokenness about the entire situation. Joe is struggling in ways I have never seen him struggle. I wish there were more I could do about that. I wish we had more time to really unpack the toll this has taken on our marriage, because there is a cost to loving someone this much who is struggling this deeply. Right now, our marriage is paying that price.
I am parenting six adolescents and a 20-year-old, along with six other kids thrown in there who are trying to survive. We are all living through a global pandemic. This is absolutely kicking my ass.
–FullPlateMom, who is headed off to meet her own new therapist.