Anyone who has visited here with any regularity knows that our middle child, Ben, suffers from Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depression). You also know that we started home (un) schooling with Andrew and had every intention of unschooling through High School with all the kids. Well, Andy, on his own, decided at 14 that he wanted to try High School and entered 9th grade and the rest is history. He will be graduation from our local public school this Friday. Ben was home through the end of 1st grade, at which point either he was going to go to school or I would be incarcerated for what I did to him if he didn't go to school. So, Ben went to a special needs public school all of 2nd grade. Then he went to 3rd grade, in a regular classroom (BIG MISTAKE!) and after Christmas was pulled out to be homeschooled the rest of the year. Then for 4th grade he was homeschooled until after Christmas. At that point he was completely destabilizing and was headed for the psych hospital if we didn't do something quick. So, our fabulous and very understanding of Attachment Style Parenting psychiatrist finally put Ben on Lithium. Then, so that mommy and daddy didn't end up in the psych hospital Ben went back to school for the last half of 4th grade. This time he went back to the special needs public school. Finally, this year, Ben went to all of 5th grade at aforementioned school and will be out this FRIDAY! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! Somebody pleeeeeeeeeeezzzzze Heeeeeelllllppppp!
Just because Ben takes a very low dose of 3 meds to help stabilize his moods it doesn't mean, that while those meds are active, he shows no signs of Bipolar. OH NO! It's that instead of being a big, self-centered, hostile, seething, ungrateful A-Hole, he is just a smaller self-centered, annoying, petulant kind of A-Hole. Now, before you go getting all mad at me, live with a Bipolar kid first, then judge me. Ben absolutely has his wonderful moments...but in this adorable son's case...familiarity can breed contempt REALLY FAST! And absence REALLY does make the heart grow fonder (which is why school, in Ben's case, is a really good thing!)
Therefore, I am truly grateful to the passing of Senate Bill 10 here in Georgia. This will allow us to receive the funds from the school system, that Ben gets from the state for having an IEP, and have them put toward a private school which takes the voucher. And that is a VERY GOOD thing because we found the perfect school for Ben and I will finally be truly happy with where he is during the school day come this Fall. But, and this is a very big BUT, I am still left with an entire Summer with Ben and it freaks me out. Let me say, Ben is not violent. Prior to his diagnosis, when he was almost 8, he was violent...only toward me, though. But since the meds, he's just really demanding and basically everything is "all about Ben". He doesn't get that other people have lives to lead. I think it comes from feeling uncomfortable in his own skin, but Ben operates on a "what is in this for me" mode at all times.
What this all boils down to is: PRAY FOR ME!!! Summer is really tough for Ben and, as a result, it's tough for all of us, especially me. The last 4 Summers I have, literally, lost it and had complete breakdowns. They occur often in July. The pressure to keep Ben (along with Autumn) busy, happy and STABLE can make me come unglued. There is no "just letting things role off your back" with Ben. As well, there really is no "just hanging out" . The kid can't stand to be bored. I, on the other hand, could happily lie on the couch plugged into a Nano for hours. I could also read a book for hours. Not gonna happen with Ben.
So, if I slip into your mind for a second, just say,"God, help Rachel help Ben."
And if you are interested, here's a little bit of what it's like to live with a kid like Ben (based on the show 24)