Sunday, July 02, 2006

David's Story Part 47: Staying Out and Cutting School

2/14/05 David’s Birthday
Ruby & Lisa,

David spent the entire weekend in The City again. He has recently been asking me if it is okay for him to go. I have been telling him that I would prefer for him to stay in Our Small Town at least part of the time but that I am going to let him make the decision.

A curious thing seems to be happening since I have stopped fighting with him. He is spending more time with us when he is home, he has been calling me on the weekends just to say "hi", and he has been having trouble sleeping. All of this I think is good. I think he is having trouble sleeping because he is actually worrying about his future and the decisions he has to make. He has no dramatic distraction to keep him from thinking about it.

At least I hope that is what is going on.

Yesterday, as per usual for Wednesdays we took David to The City after school for his counseling session. Recently we have been leaving him there to hang with his friends and then he gets a ride home late in the evening.

David did not come last night.

This morning Hubby called him on his cell phone and he said that he was on his way to school. Hubby told him that he was worried that we were not clear – he was expected to spend the night at our house. David said "yeah" and then told Hubby that he was on his way to school.

I called the school. He is not there.

Interpretation One: David is stressed out from learning that his options are more limited than he expected. He is overwhelmed by the decisions he has to make and he figures that since he is 18 now he can cut school and excuse himself.

Interpretation Two: David wants to leave and knows that it is a bad idea. He is breaking every rule we have in an effort to get us to kick him out. That way he becomes the helpless victim; not a young man who has made a bad decision.

I am waiting for one of the social workers to contact me. They have "peer review" on Thursday mornings. They will have no doubt discussed David only to return to their desks and learn that the situation has changed, again.

Lisa emailed me saying something to the effect that it was not all that surprising that he cut school. Most kids did that right after they turned 18. I emailed her back to explain that I had not seen him since the previous afternoon.

David came home on the school bus with Andrew Thursday. He said that he fell asleep again after talking to Hubby. Apparently "I'm on my way to school now” was a claim made while still comfortably curled up under a blanket. Our conversation about what happened was very friendly. He responded well when I said, calmly, that this was why we did not like for him to sleep any where else on school nights. He smiled when I told him that I was going to tell Robert that if he could not get David home by curfew I would not let him go over to play any more.

Ruby thinks that David would partly like for us to kick him out because he could use that for leverage to make his friends take him in. My plan is still to not take any bait -- stay calm. At least until the school year is over.

David's Story Part 1: The Beginning
David's Story Part 48: A Disturbing Conversation

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