A Mind Lost, Part 1
My oldest one. He’s 20. I think he may have gone mad.
Just a little back ground. We adopted our oldest when he was 16 yrs old, and he came to live with us just shy of his 15th birthday. Everyone thought he was the most amazing kid, growing up as he did…
Okay, quick aside, he just literally left for work. Almost late. Again. He had his socks in his hands and his shoes on his feet.
Me: Why are you putting dirty socks in your pocket?
Him: They’re not dirty, they’re my socks
Me: Why aren’t they on your feet?
Him: I can put them on when I get to work.
Me: Why don’t you put them on NOW?
Him: Because I have to get going!
You got to understand, he’s the opening manager for the store, a quick service restaurant. The manager. Who won’t even have his socks on when he get’s to work. Yesterday when he left for work he used the toilet, didn’t flush, didn’t wash his hands, didn’t brush his teeth. And he’s a restaurant manager. *shakes head*
Back to my story…amazing child who grew up with one crappy childhood. Constant truancy, mom always trying to be under the radar, homeless, living with various creepy people, being shipped off with creepy people, oh and did I mention a victim of incest? Yeah, bio-daddy is still serving in the state pen, the sick freak. You couldn’t help be totally in love with this kid. He was good with the other children, (although Vale did not like him when he first arrived at the house. Oldest Son was the same age as Vale’s perp though, it’s no wonder) helpful around the house, and most of all he wanted to overcome his past and have a new life. How could you not want to be part of that.
Oldest Son has always had his problems, what foster kid doesn’t. What sexually abused child doesn’t? We didn’t have him in therapy because he had been in and out of therapy for the past 6 years and was sick to death of it. He was also very over medicated when he came, so we helped him down off all those pharmaceuticals, with the aid of our doctor of course, and tried to let him live as close to a normal childhood as possible with the few years he had left. Some of Oldest Son’s issues were unrealistic self-reliance (thought he knew everything), hoarding and lying. He lied a lot. He also had huge educational deficits from the 8 ears of academic free wheeling his mother did. So like any other good adoptive parent, we threw ourselves into this kid and gave him our all. We home educated him via virtual charter school to ensure he got the remediation he needed, I learned all about the special education laws in our state and hand crafted an IEP for him, spent 16 hours a day on school his freshman year because he didn’t know how to write a paper to save his life, provided structure, discipline, balance and a ton of love.
We gave him two very solid years of support and focused a large amount of our attention and effort solely on him. Then Payne broke her back and a series of events outside our control rained down on us. I simply couldn’t devote the time I previously had on Oldest Son, but hey, that’s how things roll in a family. Oldest Son started to slip, not taking responsibility for himself, holding himself accountable, grades were sliding (maybe incrementally shutting down?). By the time he graduated from high school we were questioning if that was a reality for him because he was failing one of his courses. He spent the majority of his school day just playing games. All that lust for life and drive for the better seemed to be gone. We saw a 19-year-old who had no drive, no ambition and no desire to grow up. He had some nebulous plans, but nothing solid and no real game plan to achieve them. Oldest Son is like water, seeking the path of least resistance, going with the flow, no substance. This was probably an excellent survival skill when in foster care, but it’s no way to live. And if you ask him why he makes these types of choices the answer is the same, “I don’t know” and you know what, I really think he doesn’t. I don’t think he has one single thought about himself or his future, besides basic survival skills.
Fast forward a little bit. It’s January, and Oldest Son still hasn’t made an effort to join the world of productive adults. Oh, he works, but just enough to say he works. It’s not like he’s striving for achievement or bettering himself. No college applications, no effort to move ahead.. or even along. Oldest Son starts seeing this girl. Now this girl is lovely and we like her very much and we were happy for him. He seemed like his old self, wanting to learn and grow and be guided by us. Aha we think…maybe this is the key. Maybe Oldest Son won’t motivate himself for improvement for himself, but surely he will do so for this girl! He’ll want to be a better man for her! And it appeared that our assumption was correct.
And then Vale disclosed.
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