The One That Gives Me Flowers

Eleven days. We were able to keep him home for eleven days. But things are getting worse instead of better. Javan’s emotions are in such turmoil. You just never know what arbitrary thing is going to set him off and lead to him hurting someone, destroying something, and just being generally miserable and out of control.

It makes it both easier and harder that he’s not like that all day long. Easier because, you know, things don’t suck all the time. Harder because when he has such good moments, happy moments, moments where his gigantic heart shines through, it’s really, really hard to feel right about hospitalizing him. Well, perhaps “feeling right” about it isn’t using the right words. The first time we put him in the hospital, just weeks ago, my mom told me, “It’s never going to feel right to leave your child. It’s always going to feel like you’re abandoning him. But that doesn’t make it wrong. You know you’re doing what he needs. That makes it right.” I’m really thankful she said that because I know I’ll play those words over and over in my head every time I have to do this.

During the eleven days he was home, he had one day where he was on green ALL day. I like to think of it as “the day I didn’t get hit.” I know he can’t help it. I know he loves me. He shows and tells me that during the good moments. I had to go to the doctor one day this week and my mother in law kept Javan for me. When I got back, he was waiting for me with a beautiful flower that he’d cut especially for me. He was holding it behind his back and then presented it to me with such a sweet, loving smile and a kiss. Minutes later, he was angry that we had to leave and go home, so he threw a hard rubber dog bone the size of my forearm at me full force from across the living room. It struck my thigh with a painful thunk and I angrily marched him to “his” room there and left him alone for a while so I could regain my composure. My mother in law looked at me and said, “That’s not Javan. The real Javan is the one who gives you flowers.”

I was already pretty sure by that point that we would be hospitalizing him shortly,  but we’ve had several confirmations of that decision in the days since. My mom told me that during his stay with her last week he’d found a knife and slashed up a cupboard door in her kitchen pretty nicely as well as kicked out two bars of her porch railing. Destruction of property at that level is highly disturbing to me, especially given his age. Another defining moment that confirmed we needed help from the hospital was when my husband was out one evening and about ten minutes before bedtime, Javan started getting very irritable and angry. I couldn’t get him to take his medicines or go to bed and he got more and more violent with me. I called my father in law for backup and he made the half hour drive to help. I was forced to restrain him while I waited for help to arrive. The only way that’s possible for me is to sit on his upper thighs so he can’t bend his legs and buck me off, and hold his hands and wrists down with my hands. He can do nothing. Except this time, he did. He realized he was unable to hurt me physically,  so he thought of another way to get at me. I remember his words with a mingled sense of dread, hilarity, and admiration for his creative mind…”You leave me no choice but to make my pants wet.” My face must have been quite a sight as I realized the position I was in and then felt the telltale warmth flood my pants knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do but sit there and let it happen. He laughed hysterically,  then I began to laugh with him because what else was I going to do? He was thoroughly confused when my laughter turned suddenly to tears. Pops arrived and was probably equally confused when my greeting to him was, “He needs to take his medicine and go to bed, and I need to change my pants,” but in true Pops fashion he didn’t ask questions but set right to work helping us.

We waited for the weekend to bring him in. Just in case things were going to get better. But they didn’t. Instead his moods got more intense and seemingly randomly triggered. His regular psychiatrist recommends that the hospital wean him off all medications and start over. He says this could take around a month. The hospital says they can do that IF the insurance company agrees to pay for him staying for that long. Ugh. Just. Ugh. So we wait and see.

We started preparing him for going to the hospital yesterday. We tried to make it the least traumatic as possible. We took him to his favorite restaurant last night, where we met his grandparents for a going away meal. We also took him to a local rock shop, since he’s develped a sudden, intense interest in archaeology, rocks, and gems. Our “local” is somewhat small, and the rock shop advertised on Google Maps turned out to be some really sweet couple’s home. The shop is ONLINE ONLY! I felt so sheepish. But the owner invited us into his garage where he kept his wares well organized and displayed, and Javan had a blast looking at and touching everything. He picked up a small crystal and asked the man what it was. His reply was, “That’s quartz. And that one’s yours by the way.” How sweet is that!? Fifteen minutes and a free shark tooth necklace later (I didn’t have cash, as I was expecting to visit a shop with a card machine) and we were on our way. Those people  had no idea that their generosity and kindness would be a part of our family’s last night together for some time.  You can visit the shop at if you’re interested in viewing his wares. I’d love to hear if you buy from them!

Javan with his crystal and shark tooth necklace, sporting a cowboy hat that belonged to his great grandpa, who loves him very much

So, continuing our special time together, this morning we took him for donuts and then headed to a larger rock shop in Dallas. It was much larger with aisles and aisles of products to look at and we had a really great time there, but of course it didn’t capture our hearts the way that tiny garage shop did. We then had lunch together knowing that it was the last thing we would do together before parting. Javan had a smiley face pancake at IHOP. Then the time had come.

The hospital admission process took five hours. Five. Hours. It’s really hard for me to keep it together emotionally when we’re admitting him. He was intermittently crying, begging us to stay with him, begging to come home, being violent, and being just fine. I doubt myself the most during this time in the process. The part riiiiight before it’s final. So I’ve got this doubt and anxiety and sadness and other unidentified flying emotions tearing around inside me, and I’ve got to play it cool. For five hours. No crying, no outward panic. I need to make Javan believe that I’m not worried, that everything really will be ok. And I do it. And then it’s finally over and he’s gone. I fall apart in the parking lot but don’t faint or throw up, which both feel like viable options at the moment. The emotions pass more quickly than the previous times, so maybe it’s getting easier. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, but I can hope it’s getting easier for my sweet boy, too.

Above all, my hope is that when this trial is over, my son will be able to be himself. Because who he is is truly amazing and wonderful. He is the sweetest, most creative, joyful, giving, loving little boy I’ve ever met. His laugh lights up my world. His hugs and kisses are my greatest treasures. His mental illnesses don’t always allow him to be himself and my hope is that that changes and that the doctors will find medications that will allow him to just be my sweet boy. The one who gives me flowers.

I’d like to dedicate this post to each and every one of Javan’s grandparents and great grandparents. Where would we be without you? Your love and support mean the world to us. We love you. 


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