Paula - posted on 07/09/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
I want to start by being brutally honest. I am writing it to keep from going bat shit crazy. If you have a child that has more initials after their name than most MIT graduates you will understand that statement better than anyone. My son Tony is fourteen years old and has become part of what I like to refer to as the “initial generation”. He has ADHD, ODD, an impulse control problem, ABC, and PCP. Okay I made the last two up but I can definitely say that as his mother, I have reached the point of OMG!
I should probably start at the beginning with Tony. I spent every waking moment of the nine months I carried him with my head in a toilet or, if I was driving, you could guarantee that I would have to stop and throw up at least once on the back tire of my car. It was the best diet I had ever been on. It was also, up to that point, the most miserable nine months of my life. After the standard prenatal care my doctor determined that because of my increasingly high blood pressure we should induce on my due date. So, I happily checked into the hospital the day before my induction date and waited. Several hours after arriving at the hospital a nurse came in to insert cervidill which was to help soften my cervix prior to starting my Pitocin in the morning. The very last thing she said to me as she walked out of the room was “Very rarely does Cervadill induce labor. Get some rest because tomorrow is going to be a long day for you.” That was at 9:00 p.m. At 11:30 when I was in labor they decided it would be best to remove the Cervadill and just wait and start my Pitocin around 6:00 a.m. the next morning. As the night progressed, I tossed and turned and slept very little. Hell I was nine months pregnant! I hadn’t slept through the night without someone kicking me for months.
At approximately 6:00 a.m. the next morning the nurse came into my room and told me that I was next on the anesthesiologist’s list so if I wanted to go ahead and get up and take I shower I should do that before he came in, which would be sometime in the next thirty minutes. The nurse, my husband, Kevin and I chatted for about fifteen minutes on what to expect for the rest of the day and we all felt good about our game plan. Little did we know that Tony didn’t give a damn about how we had this day planned. He was going to come into this world when he wanted to and when he wanted to was right then! It is now 6:20 a.m. and we are preparing to have a baby sometime late in the afternoon. The nurse hadn’t left the room long enough for the door to swing completely closed when my water violently broke. It was NOTHING like I had been told it would be. I expected to feel like I had peed on myself, like everyone said. I actually felt like an elephant had sneezed between my legs and I had snot all the way to my ankles. As Kevin dashed out of the room to grab the nurse, the overwhelming need to push consumed my entire body. When the nurse came back in she proceeded to get her little Ph strips out to make sure my water had broken. OF COURSE IT BROKE. WHAT THE HELL ELSE COULD THAT POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN? After confirming that I had in fact lost my water, and me screaming at this woman that I had to push she reluctantly decided to check me because in her words “There is no way you can have to push. I just checked you before I left and you were only at 4cm.” In less than five minutes I had gone from 4cm to 10cm and +2 whatever in the hell that meant. I couldn’t have cared less. All I knew was that I had to push and I had NOT had my epidural. A flurry of activity, three pushes and sixteen minutes later, Tony arrived into this world at 6:36 a.m. on February 23, 1998 weighing in at 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 19 inches long. Now for all of you women cussing me right now because I virtually no real labor, understand that the next nine weeks completely made up for my lack of misery.
After Tony was born they took him to the nursery to do whatever it is they do in the nursery and we were told he would be back with us in about an hour. Several, several hours later still without seeing Tony, a nurse comes into my room to give me some medicine. It was very Matrix like. The red pills were stool softeners and I definitely would want to take them. Yeah right! Absolutely NOTHING was EVER coming out of any part of my body again! I did what every new mother does; I flushed those suckers right down the toilet and laughed at the possibility that I was ever going to be able to poop again. The blue pill would make me forget the pain of child birth. Again, YEAH RIGHT! The blue pill made me forget I had a head but NOTHING was ever going to make me forget how bad childbirth hurt. It is fourteen years later and I can assure you I still remember what it feels like to have my tonsils pulled out through my huha. After waiting for about thirty minutes several doctors that I had never seen before came into my hospital room and proceeded to tell Kevin and I everything that was wrong with Tony. I would like to tell you that I remember everything that they told us, but I don’t. Thank you blue pill! The only thing I remember about the entire conversation was that the next 72 hours would tell the tale. After breaking this news, they finally allowed us to go see him in NICU. Now my memory of this initial visit and my husband’s memory of this visit vary a great deal. To me he was hooked up to every machine known to man and he was going to die at any given moment. To Kevin he was hooked up to oxygen and an i.v. and he was going to be fine.
My belief that Tony was going to die caused a very unique thing to happen. I completely shut down. I didn’t want to see him. I didn’t want to be around him. I didn’t want the hospital to tell me if he died. If anything happened they were to call Kevin to deal with it. I couldn’t function. Nothing in any part of my body had prepared me for this. Over the course of the next nine weeks, Kevin dealt with neonatologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, geneticists, pediatricians, pulmonologists, etc. I stayed home. I would call NICU every now and then and ask about Tony but I would not go see him. In fact, during the entire time he was in the hospital I think I only went to see him four times and that was because Kevin made me. Eventually, Tony was able to come home from the hospital but we had several surgeries in front of us. See Tony had a laundry list of small problems. He had non-congenital aplasia on his head, a couple of heart murmurs, a hypospadias, and dislocated hips. Not to mention that several weeks after he was born he developed Brown’s Syndrome which is a problem with the tendons in the eyes.
So we set out to have all of Tony’s minor problems corrected through surgery. All the while, I have still refused to develop any kind of real bond with him because I’m still not convinced that he wasn’t going to die and I didn’t want to be devastated if he did. Yes, I am aware that this is outrageously screwed up thinking but at the time it made perfect sense to me. So, after two years of random surgeries, Tony was healthy. Very, very small but healthy. At two years old he only weighed 15 pounds but he was walking, talking, and oddly enough completely potty trained, so we figured everything was fine, he just needed to gain weight. Kevin was a super tiny kid, so Tony was just going to be that way until puberty, like his dad. No big deal. Two weeks after his third birthday, he proves to us that he was going to be all boy. He climbed on top of his baby gate and precisely fell off and broke the growth plate in his elbow. Two surgeries later he was again a perfectly healthy, small kid. The next year, the day after Halloween he decided to scale his chest of drawers. Fourteen stitches later, we again had a perfectly healthy, small kid. Obviously, you can see the pattern here. Tony loves to climb; however, he falls better that he climbs.
Now I’m the first person to admit that I don’t like babies. I don’t like dealing with something that is completely dependent on me for their every need. Once Tony outgrew that and developed a personality I finally had the maternal instinct kick in and developed a super close bond with him. It was roughly the same time that I began to worry about every conceivable situation that he could ever encounter.
ABC’S FOR ADHD
Prior to Tony entering Kindergarten he was diagnosed with ADHD. Thus begins our experience with the “initial generation”. He was put on medication and it worked beautifully for him. He was not the robot child we saw when other kids took medication. He was focused. He had purpose to his day. He could concentrate long enough to form a complete sentence. All of this and he still had the most amazing personality. Everyone loved Tony! Including, finally, me. We breezed through the first couple of years of school without any real incident. We had a couple of medication changes and those always caused a hiccup but nothing really worth writing about. When Tony was in the first grade he turned his vocabulary test in with all the words written in Spanish. When his teacher ask him what it was and he told her, she informed him that she couldn’t read Spanish. Tony’s response was “It’s not my fault your mother didn’t teach you Spanish.” We got a telephone call. This would be the beginning of many, many, many years of telephone calls from the school.
Initially, none of those telephone calls would generate that much concern on our part because it was just Tony being Tony. He was a somewhat unique, super intelligent kid with a really bizarre sense of humor. Plus, in Tony’s defense, we did him a horrible disservice in that we taught him to not blindly accept things for what they are, to question authority. NEVER when we were imparting these life lessons to him did we ever think that in doing so he would question our authority or that of his teachers, principals, etc. Boy were we naïve. When Tony was in the third grade we moved 189 miles away from everything and everyone he had ever known. Part of the reason was because Memphis was becoming a horrible place to raise kids and part of the reason was that both Kevin and I were offered great jobs to move. Believing that everything happens for a reason, we took the leap of faith and moved just south of Nashville. Tony acclimated very well. We didn’t. It took several years for me to be okay with allowing him to play outside by himself, or walk to a friend’s house by himself. It took several years to realize that we essentially lived in Mayberry. We haven’t locked our front door in three years and that includes when we have gone on vacation. Our neighbors have keys to our house, not that they need them and everyone knows everyone in our neighborhood and if you don’t think so, park a strange car in it and see what happens.
So at this point we have moved into our perfect little neighborhood, in our perfect little house, with all our perfect little problems. Like everyone else, we have struggled with job loss, money issues, family issues and numerous other issues. The one consistent struggle we have had is, you guessed it, Tony. When Tony entered middle school, the school decided that because he had ADHD and an independent learning plan, or IEP, as they called it, they would shove Tony into every possible special education program on the planet. Now Tony didn’t need special education. He wasn’t below grade level in any subject. In fact, by the time he was in the sixth grade, Tony was reading at a college level. The school just didn’t want to deal with the problems he did have so their solution was to make everything as easy as possible for poor, sweet, innocent little Tony. He is left handed and has horrendous hand writing so instead of helping him with that, they decided to just let him type everything. When Tony didn’t complete an assignment, he had plenty of time to make it up. Now I am violently opposed to the no child left behind policy that we have adopted in this country. I don’t understand the concept of dumbing everything down so that everyone passes. I don’t understand the concept of lowering our standards so that everyone fits into the same box and has the same opportunities. I come from a time when you were lucky if you had a teacher that graded on a curve, if you didn’t turn in your homework you got an F and not everyone was smart enough to go to college.
When the hell did that go away? When the hell did it become acceptable to teach children that it doesn’t matter how well you do something if the kid sitting next to you doesn’t do as well then we will raise his grade so that it doesn’t matter if they were prepared or not? When did we become an entire society of “everyone is equal?” Let’s face it….everyone is NOT equal. Not everyone has the ability to be a doctor, or an engineer or a computer guru. Not everyone has the potential to be Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Mother Teresa or Albert Einstien. Just because you don’t have that potential doesn’t mean that you don’t make a valuable contribution to society. I am impressed with the person who can fix my car, because I can’t. I am impressed with the person that can cut or color someone’s hair and make them an entirely different person because I can’t. It doesn’t mean I value them any less than I do my doctor, and in the case of my stylist, I have been known to pay them more than I do a doctor. It just means that for whatever reason, the lack of desire or ability, that person did not do something else with their life. I can promise you though it was NOT because some school system raised their grades to get them through school so that they could be ill prepared for the rest of their lives.
We have fought this mentality every step of the way in Tony’s education. I don’t want them to change his grade to one he didn’t earn because he has an IEP. I don’t want them to give him special consideration because he has ADHD and allow him to do things that they don’t other children. My child is not special because of ADHD. He has had a difficult time retaining information and concentrating throughout the day but he is NOT special. Save the accommodations for children that honestly need them and stop trying to shove them down every parents’ throat so that you don’t actually have to do your job and teach. Now, I realize that this statement will make a lot of teachers angry and I am not saying that all teachers are lazy. I think we have put them in a horrible position. They are underpayed and we have tied their hands as to what they can and cannot do as far as passing or holding back our children. They have had that decision making ability stripped from them and for that I am profoundly sorry. That being said, if you are so miserable in your job that all you do is show up and babysit children all day, please find something else to do. We are entrusting you to do something that we can’t, educate and prepare our children for their academic future.
As I said, at this point we are in middle school with Tony, and that is when the telephone calls from the school really pick up. In fact it got to the point during his seventh grade year, every time I saw the school’s telephone number pop up on my cell phone, I would just answer the phone “What has he done now?” We never once had a telephone call or parent meeting about what Tony wasn’t doing as far as school work was concerned unless we insisted on one. All of our meetings were about Tony’s behavior, which was difficult at times. He was thrown off the bus more times than I can count and would become absolutely defiant in class. He refused to listen to his teachers, refused to do any work, refused to turn in homework, refused to get to class on time, refused to participate in class, refused to sit in class quietly and do his work and, in general, was just a pain in the ass. His teachers addressed this problem by continuing to give Tony numerous chances because “everyone loves Tony.” None of this enforced our zero tolerance policy at home. However, at this point we did add a new set of initials to his name, ODD - Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Now if you have a child with ODD, you probably thought the exact same thing we did when we were told about it, the symptoms, etc. “Oh my God they have now labeled puberty as a disease with initials!” To us, oppositional defiance disorder was just Tony being thirteen, starting puberty and being a boy. To us, it was another label the school put on him so that they didn’t have to be accountable for his education.
In his eighth grade year we FINALLY got a teacher that actually listened to what we were saying when we told her that Tony would always take the path of least resistance with regard to school work and that we needed him to be held accountable for his actions regardless of the consequences. This was the year Tony spent a lot of time in detention and in school suspension. His grades were average but he didn’t have the special accommodations for the most part anymore and our entire goal for the year was to get him away from all accommodations by the end of the year so that he entered high school just like everyone else. After years of beating our head on the wall with his educators, we finally felt as if we were on the same page with him. As the school year drew to an end, I would like to say that we accomplished almost everything we set out to do at the beginning of the year.
THE INTERNET, PUBERTY AND PORN
Now while we do have a zero bullshit policy at our house, our rules are fairly straight forward. Get good grades, do your chores, do what we ask you to do (which is never unreasonable) and don’t lie to us. ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE, DON’T LIE TO US. We are such reasonable parents. Tony could have the freedom, and did for a very long time, to do whatever he wanted within reason as long as he was honest with us, kept his grades up and did his chores and most of the time we didn’t make him do chores. This to some extent this is probably partly the reason we are where we are today but we didn’t know that then.
Tony has been allowed to go to his friends’ houses, run the neighborhood unsupervised for hours at a time, and participate in every nail-biting, cause me to have a stroke, adrenaline junky activity known to man. He has been indoor skydiving, he was water tubing at 9, was a roller coaster addict at 8, rock wall climber at 7 and has been parasailing. He is all about how far, how fast and how high (again, remember he falls better than he climbs). He has had long hair, short hair, blue hair and a mohawk. He has been given free rein over his choices in an effort to make him understand that those choices also have consequences. Some of his choices were bad but by and large until the past eighteen months, all of his choices have been fairly decent.
I wish I could pinpoint when Tony’s interests changed as drastically as they did. He had always been a videogamer and we had never thought that much about it. Suddenly, we began to notice porn on everything. Nothing deviant, just your run of the mill, average straight sex or girl on girl action. While it completely freaked me out, I eventually gave in and accepted that I had never been a 14 year old boy going through puberty so I couldn’t possibly understand what was going on with him and that in reality looking at it on the internet wasn’t that much different that stealing your dad’s Playboy in the 80s. In fact the one night I caught him and all of his buddies watching skinamax on the big screen in the family room I just chalked it up to a rite of passage thing. All teenagers do it eventually so this wasn’t a battle that was worth fighting. Little did we know that by taking this “it’s normal teenage boy activity” attitude we were going to spend months asking ourselves “What the hell happened? When did this get so bad?”
At some point right after Christmas the year Tony was in the eighth grade he started sneaking around a lot looking at porn on the internet all the time. When we would take his laptop away or his phone or his internet access through his PS3 he would sneak around and find them and take them back and hide them somewhere so that he could still have access to it. So, we decided that we were smarter than the average bear … we would lock them all in the safe. Problem solved. Well, that worked for 2.2 seconds. Actually, we did okay until school ended and we began the summer from hell. When Tony realized that he no longer had access to the internet and he could not find his computer/phone equipment he started sneaking in our bedroom after we went to bed and stealing our phones and/or laptops. We busted him every single time the next morning and world war three would ensue. We would ground him to his room for weeks on end, which clearly didn’t bother him because he didn’t stop doing what he was doing. He was still sneaking around stealing our stuff to get his internet fix.
Because grounding him hadn’t worked and taking away everything but his ability to breath hadn’t worked, we decided that we would take him to the juvenile detention center in Williamson County for a tour. Steve was great. He gave him a tour of the facility, locked him in a cell for a few minutes, showed him the courtroom and, in general, scared the shit out of him. Exactly what we wanted. Exactly what we thought would make him realize the consequences to his actions. Boy were we wrong.
Tony was great for exactly two days after the jail visit, or at least we think he was great. He didn’t get caught doing anything he shouldn’t have been doing. However, on Thursday morning after the visit on Monday, we woke up to find that Kevin’s phone was missing the SIM card. Great now he’s not stealing the entire phone, he’s figured out we will bust him doing that, now he’s just stealing the SIM card out of the phone so that he can put it in another phone that he has hidden somewhere so that he can get online. What he didn’t realize is that when he snuck back into our room to put his dad’s phone back on the charger was that he had installed the SIM card upside down so it was reading that it wasn’t installed at all. BUSTED!!!! This sets in motion a series of events at 4:30 a.m. that by the end of the day would have Tony in the hospital, me at the doctor and a family relationship forever, irreparably broken.
I feel as though before I continue with Tony’s story I should give you the reader’s digest condensed version of mine and Kevin’s background. I come from an extremely long line of addicts. My maternal grandmother was an alcoholic, my mother was bat shit crazy and addicted to every prescription pill known to man, my older brother is a drug addict and pathological liar that I have not seen or spoken to in ten years, my younger brother is a pothead and drunk and my father is a recovering alcoholic. I have three addictions …. McDonald’s sweet tea, food and cigarettes. I don’t need the cigarette lecture. I know they are bad for me and I know that every cigarette I smoke takes six minutes off my life. I am also positive that my cigarettes and the occasional Xanax are what have kept me from being a 6 o’clock news story during this entire ordeal.
Kevin comes from a single parent home where his mother worked two or three jobs just to pay the bills. They were poor. I mean poor, poor, lucky Kevin’s grandparents had a farm because that was the only way they ate sometimes poor. His father was a fireman that left them and married another women the day after their divorce was final. They didn’t exactly have a close relationship. Well they didn’t have any real relationship until Kevin was much older. Kevin had one older sister, that according to his mother, walked on water and that he should have spent his entire life striving to be exactly like. Clearly, neither of us came from Leave it to Beaver homes.
We met when I was fifteen and he was sixteen. We dated in high school. He was my first love, my first real dating boyfriend and the first person I ever slept with. As with all high school relationships, we both moved on to different people after dating for about a year. Many years later, after I had married and divorce, and Kevin had partied as much as he wanted, we reconnected and have been together ever since. We dated three years, moved in together, buried my mother when she died in 1995 and got married on her birthday three months later. I developed a bond with his mother, since mine was gone, as close as I could given I wasn’t her biological child. I talked to her everyday and told her everything.
Kevin tolerated many, many years of my family moving in and out of our house. The alcoholism, my father’s numerous heart attacks, my brothers’ drug addiction, my inability to cut them loose from my life and more than anything else, my making him do time for all of their mistakes. He became a paramedic when Tony was two and never once waivered in his conviction that Tony was going to be fine. When you ask him how he knew he just says that he did. He has been my rock and the fact that he has stayed through all of my personal bullshit and my family bullshit amazes me to this day. I honestly didn’t know that anyone could love someone that much.
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2012
Okay, back to Tony. As I said, the morning of Thursday, June 14, 2012 started badly. We had just caught Tony sneaking around and stealing the SIM card out of Kevin’s phone AGAIN and were debating on whether or not we were going to take him back to juvenile detention and let him spend the night to see if that worked. Kevin was getting ready to leave for work, Tony was in his room and I was sitting on our bed bouncing back and forth between enraged to tragically disappointed when I heard it, the very distinct sound of Tony picking up his air soft rifle and cocking it. Now I know that the only thing he has in his room is an air soft gun but that sound is unmistakable and will terrify you to the bone regardless of what you know. I go flying off the bed and into his room where he makes the “I should just kill myself and get it over with” comment. I knew at this point we had reached the point of no return. We were at a place that regardless of what we did we couldn’t help him anymore at home. This situation was much bigger than any we were equipped to handle. Kevin agreed and off to the adolescent treatment facility we went.
During his intake he admitted that it was his intention was to hurt himself, after which he sat and read a book for the rest of the two hour process. Once he was admitted, we were informed that we could only see him on Sunday’s for 45 minutes and he was allowed to make one telephone call to us a day for five minutes. I was devastated. I had no idea we weren’t going to be able to see him every day. I assumed that we would have family counseling sessions together, etc. When we left, I spent the rest of the morning crying. I felt like we had failed him, like we had thrown him away. I rapidly realized that I was well on my way to spiraling completely out of control so I call our family physician and made an appointment to see him that day. Then I braced for the dreaded telephone call to Kevin’s mother.
Now what you need to know about Kevin’s mother is that Tony has always been perfect in her eyes. Nothing he has ever done has been wrong so at some point we just stopped telling her any problems that we were having with him. Tony had just spent the weekend previous to this incident with her and as far as she knew everything was wonderful. I knew this telephone call was not going to go well. What I didn’t know what how horribly bad it was really going to be.
With Kevin sitting next to me, I make the call. Phew, she wasn’t home. According to her brother, I should call back in about an hour. So, we waited the hour and called back. My conversation with her started by her telling me what a horrible morning she had had because she had to put the cat to sleep. Again, this was not going to go well. So, I take a deep breath, and start the story of what has happened. In the middle of this story, she stops me and asks if I’m going to get help too “because it is quite obvious that I don’t care about Tony and that she had been waiting for three months for a telephone call saying he had either killed himself or killed me.” Needless to say my reaction to this statement was to hang up her, throw my telephone across the room and commence to crying so hysterically that I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could say that to me, how anyone could doubt how I felt about my child. I might not be mother of the year material but I certainly loved him more than my own life and made it a point to make sure he knew it too.
After Kevin managed to get me calmed down enough that he was comfortable leaving me alone for a few minutes he stepped outside and called his mother. Now, I don’t know exactly what was said during this conversation but I do know that I was upstairs in the back of the house and he went out the front door and I could still hear him screaming into the telephone. He tells me that he told her essentially that any future relationship we would have with her would be my call because as far as he was concerned she crossed the line. I was completely inconsolable. I will never understand how someone that professes to love you could say something to you so unbelievably hurtful. I have told Kevin that any relationship he chooses to have with her is his business. I wouldn’t ever make him chose between his mother and me. I, however, will not ever have a relationship with her again nor will I ever participate in a family function again. A couple of days later, I get the inevitable text message from his sister telling me that she hopes that once everything settles down she hopes we can sit down and talk this out. Yeah, no. I fairly sure that when you say something like that to someone your opinion of them is pretty much known and no further discussion is necessary. I’m forever done. Even if by some miracle of God I could ever get past what she said to me, I would never trust her again especially around Tony. I would always wonder if she spent the entire time telling him what a horrible person I am.
EVERYTHING SHOULD BE BETTER …. NOT
As the next several days progressed, Tony was seen by numerous psychologists and psychiatrists to determine if he was in fact suicidal. Come to find out he isn’t and probably never has been. What is wrong is that he has yet another set of initial ICD – impulse control disorder. Apparently, our child lacks the ability to think far enough ahead to know what the consequences for his actions will be. If he has a need, want, desire or thought it goes immediately from his head into action. The doctor recommended that we put him on a low dose antidepressant and see if that help with the impulse issue. So, here we are, Tony now takes a pill for ADHD, a pill for ICD and a pill to help him gain weight. Tony was discharged a week later after a psychiatric evaluation, group and individual therapy sessions, and a home discharge plan that included weekly follow up with a psychologist. After calling every single psychologist in our insurance book only to find that 99.5% of them do not treat adolescents, we manage to find one that does and schedule an appointment.
Tony has now been home three weeks and in that time he has still been grounded more often than not. He has rented movies on the t.v. that were inappropriate, been caught sneaking into bedrooms, given the dog a horrible haircut for some unexplained reason and as recently as last night, stolen my phone AGAIN. After fighting with him for hours last night, we ended with him going to bed and me lying in bed not sleeping because my mother in law’s words played like a bad 8-track through my head about what a horrible mother I am and even though the doctor says he’s not suicidal, in the back of my mind it’s always an ever present thought. What if he hurts himself while we are asleep? I wonder if he will ever know that I lay in bed at night and wonder what horrible things will happen if we leave him alone for one second. I don’t know where we go from here. I know I feel like I’m slowly going insane. I know that it kills me that I can’t trust my own child, that I have to have a lock on my bedroom door, that we have to have parental controls on the televisions, that we have to have locks on our phones and computers and that we can’t leave him alone for longer than five minutes because we wonder what he is going to do while we are gone.
I know that we can’t be the only parents out there with an Initial Kid and surely someone, somewhere has to be able to relate to this and tell me that as he gets older it will get better. I don’t need a therapist to sugar coat shit for me nor do I want that. What I want is to know that we aren’t out here in ADHD, ODD, ICD hell alone. There has to be someone out there with a story that has a positive outcome.