Inadvertent Abuse

I bet you’re wondering what inadvertent abuse is. It is something we as a family experience on a daily basis, some days better or worse, but it is still abuse nonetheless. Abuse is not always physical, although we’ve experienced physical abuse from Jack, we most often are on the receiving end of mental abuse from Jack. I never thought of myself as being abused mentally or physically. I was raised by a fierce red-headed Mama & a humble Daddy. I always said I would be able to turn the other cheek or clock the other person depending on which was needed. I was blessed with both of those wonderful genetic pairings from each of my parents-usually knowing which one is best to do when a situation arises lol. Unless one starts talking about my family or hometown or I see some wrong doing or get poor service, then it goes down! I once (back in my junior high days) karate chopped a gal for talking about my hometown of Ellerbe. She was from Rockingham (the neighboring town) & thought she was better than us Ellerbe folks. That didn’t bode well with me. I embarrassed Mama a little, but she knew that girl had it coming & that was my only fight ever. 🤣 Mama, Ava, & I were recently dining out & during the prayer, Mama asked that we receive good service & not have to show out. We will fight for our food!

Back in the day, I was able to stand up for myself & others & all was okay. Now, I can’t say that. Every single day, we are bullied by Jack. The abuse is constant. You can’t reason with a mentally disabled person. If Jack’s illness has taught us anything, it’s that abuse comes in various forms. It’s not just on myself, it affects the family as a whole. I call Jack’s abuse inadvertent because he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he doesn’t have the intelligence to know. You’ve all read about the mischievous things Jack gets into & his hard to deal with behavior. What made me think of the title of this blog, was something that happened tonight. Lee asked me earlier in the day if we (meaning Lee, Ava & myself) wanted to go eat Mexican tonight. I told him no, we would have to pay someone to watch him which his caregiver was already at the house at that time, so no. Later that evening, I had the bright idea of asking Jack if he wanted to go eat knowing the answer would be no. He said exactly that. Then, once I started preparing supper, he jumps up & says he’s ready to go eat. He had a strange look in his eye, I knew there was an ulterior motive. During the 20 minute drive there, our time was monopolized by Jack. He played the same songs over & over (loud), wanted us to look at everything he did, no family conversations to be had. Once at the restaurant, Lee, Ava, & I are a bundle of nerves. Will he have a seizure from the excitement of being somewhere for the first time in forever or from the crowd? After eating on pins & needles, Jack tells me in the car he needs to get an Amazon gift card for a friend of his online that has a birthday today (ulterior motive). This is just another person that Jack is being catfished by. The begging & pleading that this “Sharon” person does to persuade Jack to get one for “her” is sickening. We are afraid to not get these cards for him in fear of our safety or him doing something crazy to try to get to the store to buy one. Our hard-earned dollars are thrown out the window to these louses all the time. These sick people keep preying on Jack & do not care about the harm they are causing. Money spent on his care, take out food, & all these Amazon cards is getting to be too much. I wish Jack could see the harm he was causing to his family. I also wish Jack would stop asking for food from Chiba. The same guy always works the drive-thru, I know he thinks I have a crush on him & I go several times a week just so I can see him! If Jack eats, it is usually Chiba (Japanese fast food), so we try to accommodate him since that is really all he ingests.

People message me all the time & say pull the plug on the internet or limit his time. Can’t be done, Jack would literally kill us if that took place. I went through that in the summer of 2017 & learned my lesson. I installed a special router & an app on all of his devices to block certain content. I was scared to death because of his anger. We are in a hands-tied situation. As I’ve said in past blogs, we’ve been trying to get Jack mental health help since December of 2017. Not one thing has been done to get any help except signing my name on a bunch of papers & meeting with a bunch of people. It’s no wonder so many people have mental breakdowns in the form of violence or harmful activity because help is not easily obtained. There are waitlists a mile long. Mental health is summed up in my book like this: meetings, paperwork, we’ll be in touch, I’m meeting with the team, & I’m over here like, still sitting here two years later waiting on something to be done. I’ll be a dried up old skeleton before Jack is able to get any help.

Jack had a seizure on Wednesday night, first one in quite sometime. Was it because it was time for one or due to me weaning him off a medication? Only time will tell. This is another way we are abused by Jack. After a seizure, Jack generally sleeps for an hour. After that hour passes, he wakes up in a crazy, foul mood. I can’t say that I blame him, but it is truly tortuous for all of us including him. He wallows around all over me. Rolling constantly, unable to get comfortable, the top half of his body hangs off the bed, he pretend sleeps (which is another behavior issue), won’t talk. It’s such a nightmare during seizure recovery.

My bills are often pushed aside from paying because I have to deal with “Jack issues” or because he has requested my presence in watching the same movie over & over. Since I worry about everyone else, Lee comes in from work & showers & turns in early since he has early mornings & long days. This is the life of a farmer, never a day off. My showers are sometimes missed. I’ve cooked, straightened the kitchen, then it’s time for Jack. Once Lee is asleep, I won’t take shower in fear of what Jack might do while not under the supervision of an adult. When Coleman lived at home, he would listen out for Jack. Just the other day, Jack had a fit because I put a shower rack in his & Lee’s bathroom shower for better organization. He didn’t like it. Now most teens wouldn’t give a hill-of-beans about a shower rack, most probably wouldn’t even notice it was there. Jack had a pure-tee fit that the rack was in there. Demanded I take it out, so I did. I had to bite my lip as I removed the rack. It’s stuff like this that gets next to you. We are constantly screaming in our heads, “why, why, why”!

It makes us sick to our stomach knowing we gifted an absolute piece of trash $25 tonight. The thread of abuse is stitched & woven so tightly in this house, you can follow the seam, it leads straight to Jack’s room. My own sanity is questioned all the time. It’s hard to pretend everything is okay when there is so much to deal with right under our very noses. I ask myself all the time how can a 17 year old near invalid wreak so much havoc? I have a trip planned out of town tomorrow to take Mama & a family friend to a baby shower, I am terrified of what may happen when I leave. With Jack, the possibilities are endless.

Author: dravetsyndromeblog

44 year old Mama of three kids, wife of a farmer, & business owner.

2 thoughts on “Inadvertent Abuse”

  1. A well written piece, but I can’t bring myself to “like” it. Once again I find myself peering through the blinds to a living that makes little sense to me. Why it takes so long to get suitable help in your situation frustrates me and I can only imagine your frustration.

    The love that abides in your writings is so evident. But love will only carry one so far. It has been my prayer that Jack will receive the help that he needs and that you and your family will be given some respite. I stand in awe of your devotion and care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find myself wondering if you made it to the baby shower without incident?

    Having navigated the mental health system most of my life, I’m never surprised at someone’s frustration with said system. What I do, however, find alarming is that more isn’t being done to affect change in mental health and most especially here in RCo. After two separate cases where multiple murders and a broken system were irrevocably intertwined, it’s almost beyond comprehension that we as a community have not done more to force change.

    My heart goes out to you. I remember when you installed the electronic restraints and the violence that ensued as a direct result. I pray you never go through that again.

    I wonder if there’s ever going to be a day when the vulnerable are not hunted and exploited by predators? I’m pretty sure we both know the answer to that but I really wish that day would come. The hunt has only become easier for the hunter with the advent of technology and in your unique situation, the digital age has put a huge target on Jack’s back and therefore, yours.

    As you said, in so many ways, Jack is almost an invalid. That doesn’t negate his physical strength or the fierceness of his personality and his desires. He’s relentless when he wants something and much like a 2-year-old in his single-minded pursuit of whatever it may be. Couple that with a teenage boy’s super human strength and it’s horrifying. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you and your family day in and day out.

    I remain grateful for this blog because it gives the rest of us a glimpse into your reality and a better appreciation for you. I love you, child. When Jack’s ready, I’m ready.


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