Tuesday, October 05, 2004


A year ago, when Tai got custody, Perrin (the now six-year-old) was suicidal. He talked about wanting to sleep in the dirt forever. He tried to find knives to hurt himself with. He went into rages, huge, loud, angry rages, and the trigger was never obvious. His mood would swing between euphoric and overly-angry and utterly depressed.

Slowly but surely, with lots of love and consistency, he made progress. A LOT of progress. Several months ago, he came to a plateau. This plateau wasn't an entirely happy place, but it was a hell of a lot better than where he was last October. Most of his reactions were age-appropriate, and he learned to control his anger, for the most part.

Until recently. In the last month, his LD teacher (a lovely woman) has sent home several behavior slips letting us know about his mood swings and inappropriate behavior. His regular classroom teacher has called to let me know about poor lunchroom behavior. And today, his LD teacher called me to tell me about yet another mood swing.

He was having a productive morning, and he was in a good mood. At snack time, however, his mood shifted, and he suddenly became quite cross. With everyone and everything. He hated school. He hated the weather. He hated recess. He fired his mom. He hated snacks. He hated story time. He hated his friends. He hated his teacher. He refused to do his work. He refused to sit with the other students during story time. He refused to sit quietly. He refused to behave or listen to his teacher, period.

And this has been the basic recurring theme in her class, though just when it happens in their schedule changes. I would say this has been occurring two to three times a week since school began.

Things were going so well with him that I was becoming almost certain that his mood swings and rages were learned behaviors. Learned from his biological mother who is bipolar. But now? I'm afraid that maybe the bipolar bug DID bite him after all.

Tai is going to try to get him in to see his therapist soon. And hopefully the psychiatrist soon after that, though what good that will do I don't know. I also tried to get in touch with the school counselor. I don't know if she will be able to help, but I figure it's certainly worth asking!

I'm just scared that my son, at six years old, is going to backslide so far that he will be suicidal again. There is no reason ANY six-year-old should be suicidal. And he's NOT going to slide that far, not if I can do anything at all to prevent it!