Monday, September 03, 2007

Farewell to Summer, and this Blog

"Dad, when you're sleeping I'm going to stab you in the heart with a steak knife and kill you."

Was my son, glaring at me from with hate-filled eyes, serious? I didn't sleep in the same house with him that night, if that answers your question.

We're having a bad weekend at SCM's house. As bad as it gets without the police or the emergency room or pediatric psychiatric incarceration involved, although we almost got to all 3. I had big plans for the holiday weekend. Family time together. Fun times in good weather. And, of course, it all went straight to hell by Friday night.

Bottom line: when you hear a threat like that directed seriously at you from your own deeply disturbed child, you have a decision to make.

Rather, a decision to finalize. I was heading that way back in May when I announced a Semi-Hiatus for the Summer. I said then that family needed to be attended to. That distractions needed to be minimized while I tuned in. It started with a conversation with that same son that went like this:

Son: "Dad, would you play checkers with me?"

SCM (working on my laptop): "Not now. I need to get some work done." - Not true, I was blog surfing.

Son: "Dad, you never play games with me." Not entirely true, but true enough. I heard him and I got the point.

So, I minimized distractions some. I listened. I tuned in to my family. Or perhaps more accurately, I spent less time escaping on the internet from the deep disfunctionality of our little simple home.

Here's what I know:

My wife and I live in a war zone. We are casualties of that war. The War Zone that is our daily routine has damaged all opportunity to share an intimate life - and is ultimately the cause of me (us!) being Semi-Celibate. If that sounds melodramatic, too bad. It's true. Our best efforts, and the best efforts of countless doctors and medicines and social workers and friends and family, have not resulted in any semblance of a normal life.

Our two boys, both adopted from foster care - sweet and precious and smart and athletic and a blessing in the best of moments - are deeply troubled and disfunctional. They are capable in their worst moments of causing great damage and of hurting themselves, us, or others. I take the threat to my life - not the first time I've heard it - seriously. They are each, in their own way, both troubled and trouble.

(On a side note, or maybe not: Do you remember the day of the shootings by the student at Virgina Tech campus earlier this month? The stark tragedy of that day? Well, I was distraught that day and days following. Not just for the 32 or so students senselessly slain. But for the parents of the shooter. I feel for them. What do you do when you know that your child is capable of harming self and others and that despite your best efforts you might not be able to change that course? What do you do?)

Lastly, here's what I know most:

- I need to man-up like I've never manned up in my life.

- There is no bailing out. No escaping. This is what I signed up for. A committment to my wife for life - for better of for worse. A committment to two judges to raise these two boys, come what may. There is no help coming over the horizon. No one to hand them off to. We're it. We're their hope of a stable life.

- My family does not need a blogging husband/father, escaping selfishly. They need a present one, tuned it with no distractions. They need a praying one, praying for intercession and blessings in their lives.

I'm re-dedicating everything that I have to them, my family. Ruthlessly eliminating distractions. Faithfully giving them everything of me. Changing the course we're on, as best as I humanely can.

I have one more post in me, later this week, to summarize the blog and to say some thanks on my way out. Later....

Update: Obviously, I had a "dark night of the soul" kind of weekend. I just want to add this morning that I love my boys and have endless optimism for them and their lives. But, I am also gravely worried for them and serious about what it will take to keep them out of trouble and help them have a good life. That's what I'm focused on this morning. I appreciate everyone's comments, thoughts, and prayers.
posted by Semi-Celibate Man @ 1:18 PM | 0 comments


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