Tuesday, June 27, 2006

David's Story Part 23: An Emotional Time


David's special education teacher called to today to say that David felt he could not cope with the day and really wanted to come home. I went to get him and he was actually crying. David doesn't cry. He told me that the last time he cried was when he was 8 and his mother told him that her new boyfriend didn't want him around and he needed to leave. (It is not clear to me whether she meant for the afternoon or forever, as he understood. In any case he "ran away" to a friend's house and she did not retrieve him for several days.)

So I brought him home and sat in the big comfy chair and comforted him. It turned out that the problems are pretty typical teenage stuff. Robert, the cute boy, has wanted to date him for weeks. David has been uncertain. He told Robert that he would have to know him a lot better first. Robert, who has not be molested or abandoned, does not understand David's extreme caution. Robert cornered and kissed him this weekend and David kissed back, which he thinks he shouldn't have. He tried to back off again and Robert pouted.

Meanwhile, another boy, who has a crush on Robert, called David a b*tch for not staying away from Robert.

K* got mad at David and called him a b*tch because David told her that he had to have a ride home on Sunday at the last minute since Robert was not going to give him a ride home after all. (In fact he could have called us.)

Andrew, not my Andrew but another friend of David's, recently came out to his mother (who is freaking out) and keeps calling David for support. Andrew called last night and kept David on the phone until 1:00am.

Once David got off the phone with Andrew he called Jeff, where Robert was supposed to be, to talk. Jeff told him that Robert was with some other kid. I forget this other kid's name but David says he is “a wh-re and ugly too.” Jeff also told David that he should not get involved with Robert because Robert did this sort of thing and he would just get hurt.

David was so upset he did not get to sleep until 4:00am.

So today at school David fell apart, and once he started feeling bad he could not stop. He said that he felt like throwing up; that he was thinking about cutting himself -- he would not really do it because it was stupid, but partly he thought it would help.

Anyway, we called his social worker who dropped everything and came to the house. Ruby and I agreed that David's feelings were normal, that he was not likely to hurt himself, but that he had not allowed himself to feel pain for so long that he did not realize that this is what it felt like. We also agreed that there was an up side...it was good that he was letting himself cry and feel, it meant that he felt safe.

However, David got it into his head that he should check into the hospital. It had occured to him to cut himself and he knows that if you think you might do that then you should go to a hospital.

In the end that is what we did. Ruby took him to the psychiatric hospital in The City.

I cannot visit him until tomorrow.

I don't think that David needed to be in the hospital, but he needed to know that we would take him seriously if he thinks he does. I do hope though that he dislikes it there -- I want him to be more motivated to take care of himself.

When I said that David had never dealt with this stuff I did not mean that these sorts of things had never happened. I meant that he had never dealt with it; he had never let himself feel.

David's friend Andrew called twice last night. He is falling apart. His mother is crying because she wants to be in heaven with him and now he is going to go to hell. His cousin knows that he is dating a boy and has threatened to tell his mom. I was happy to chat with him, but I was glad that David was not in home. Andrew could not see past his own crisis to recognize that other people might not have the resources to help him. We need to get him mother into PFLAG -- or get her a visit with one of the supportive pastors in the area. I will put together a packet of information to give to her.


Well, I finally have the energy to write back.

David was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. Everyone agreed that he did not need to be there. He complained about all the silly rules, but in a humorous way. We hope that he has decided not to use running to the hospital as a coping mechanism.

I still think taking him was the right thing to do though. He did not need to be there, but he needed to know that we would believe him if he thought he did.

Remember David's friend Andrew? His mother received a note in the mail early last week. It claimed to be from the neighborhood watch association but there was no signature or return address. The letter said that though she might be unaware of it, Andrew had been seen kissing another young man in the front yard and, as they did not want predators in the neighborhood, they expected her to do something about it. If she did not they would call the police.

Hubby talked to his school's resource officer about it. He said that what happened to Andrew was harassment and that any officer in the Our Small Town Police Department could be counted on to help. What they needed to ask for was for the officer to meet with the neighborhood watch association president and to meet with Andrew and his mom on the front lawn. The officer would be very friendly and be certain to shake Andrew's hand where everyone could see.

K is the girl whose mother died in January. David went with me to the memorial.

David's Story Part 1: The Beginning
David's Story Part 24: Reflecting on David's Decision

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