I have mentioned that we are following the suggestion of one of Corey's doctors to help moderate his behavior. It's working very well compared to not doing it. We also have some other tricks and tools at our disposal that we use with some success. One of them is to have my mom let Corey stay with her for part of the weekends. This is great because it gives us a break, and because Corey's not being sent away for "being bad." He gets a break, too, and spends time with some of his friends.
The tools and methods we use, however, only take us so far. Some of the biggest problems we are having truly seem to stem from a breakdown in logic. Occasionally this causes smallish problems.
A couple of months ago, Corey had left home in the middle of the night and either got caught up with some gang members, imagined it, made it up... or some combination of those three (no, that's not the smallish part). When he went, panicked, to someone's house to ask for help, they (naturally) called the police and wouldn't let him in. Eventually he left their property, but the police did find him.
In the stress of the moment, Corey couldn't think of our house phone number or his address. He could remember my cell phone number, but didn't give it to the police because he's not supposed to give it out. So Corey told them the name of our apartment complex and they contacted the property manager, who had the pleasure of getting up and knocking on our door to let us know we needed to call to find out where to pick him up.
Yes, in our world, that is a smallish problem.
Last night Corey went to my mom's house. They had a great time, so she wanted to keep him a little longer than just after church today. We agreed that she'd bring him home this afternoon before the sun went down because I have been trying to get a particular shot of all of us for our Christmas card, and once it's dark, Mad's done for.
We put Mad down for her nap just after 1:00 this afternoon, and I went in to get some sleep, too. At some point, Tom joined us (the crib is in our room). A couple of hours later, Madelyn woke up and I brought her to bed to nurse a little bit. We must have fallen back asleep, because it was an hour later when she started playing around.
It was around the time Corey should have been home. I woke Tom up and he went to see. Sure enough, Corey was home. He hadn't been there for long, maybe a few minutes, but I could tell that he was agitated. Tom was too. He went into the kitchen and started doing dishes.
The next thing I know, Tom's asking Corey if he has any knives in his room. This is a recurring problem, but seemed like it was coming out of nowhere to me. Alas, no. When Tom had opened our bedroom door into the living room, there was Corey, pacing; he'd been carrying a knife. Tom wasn't randomly doing dishes, he was trying to account for all of the knives. We were napping with all of the doors in the home open.
We keep our knives locked in our office. Steak knives, butcher knife, paring knife. It's a little odd when we have people over for dinner if meat's being served.
Sometimes Corey will go into the office and get a knife while we're home, if the office is left unattended. He used to frequently "break in" to get them... or various other things we keep in there. I put not one, but two locks on the window, but it only meant he had to work harder to get in. I have placed a dowel in the window, which makes it impossible (so far). He's always one step ahead of us, though, so I have to be vigilant about checking that the dowel is still in place. For example, tonight while getting a knife, he also removed the dowel for later.
You're probably wondering why. Well, so are we. The best we can come up with ("we" being us, Corey and his team of doctors), is that he is arming himself out of a need for protection. The boy is hyper-vigilant about intruders and threats to his or our personal safety. Corey's explanation for tonight is that he was freaked out that our house was open, the cars were there, but there was no sign of us. Our bedroom door was shut, but he feared we might have been killed. Maybe the intruder was still there.
Have we ever had an intruder? No. Break-in? Nope. Well, one time our window was shattered... but that was an accident by a work crew at the apartment Corey and I shared back in the day. We were there when it happened, so there was no mystery. And our next door neighbor here had been burglarized, but it was from some creep who frequented his car stereo shop, not a random crime. That was solved in about six minutes (perhaps I exaggerate, but it was quick).
What caused this? I don't know. It seems to be clearly a mental health issue, but how did it start? As the mom, I figure I have to be to blame somehow. When it comes to this hyper-vigilance, the place my mind keeps going back to is that old apartment from back in the day. We moved there when Corey was about three and a half. When he was a little older (four? four and a half?), we played hide and seek. We only did it twice because he would get frustrated when I found him and so freaked out whenever he couldn't find me. Could that be the root of his problems? Or when he was in the fear-of-monsters-or-bad-guys-hiding age and I would take him from room to room and go through all of the closets and cupboards with him. Did that somehow start this ball rolling? It was something I would have liked for my parents to do for me when I was afraid (not that I'd thought of it then... oh, no... those doors had better stay shut!).
On the other hand, it's exceedingly difficult not to view this weapon obsession (knives aren't the only thing, just the focus of this evening) as some sort of a threat. With his occasionally explosive temper, the fact that he is taller than I and some of the comments he's made, it's hard not to worry. Nobody wants to be "that family" on the news, mainly because of what they have to go through to get there.