Life isn’t easy when you’re raising a child on the spectrum, they don’t do things how you would expect them to. Even when I had to call the police, he acted completely the opposite to how even I would have expected!
So let’s double back a bit, before half term, when my son was poorly, he spent most of the week at home, didn’t really want to socialise, and was basically being sick every time he coughed. Because of this, as I said previously, he didn’t go to his dads, and I didn’t get my couple of days rest bite from caring for him. It was a nightmare for all at home. He wasn’t eating, because when he did he was sick. When he wasn’t coughing he was trying to sleep. And when he wasn’t complaining of being hot, he was frozen. All of this upset is difficult for anyone, but for a child on the spectrum, it’s even more difficult to cope with.
Money was extremely tight with having an extra mouth to feed, but not getting income for it. So I was having to budget even more than normal.
Mid-week, my son decided that he wanted something, anything, food, chocolate, bus travel, whatever was in his mind at the time. But unfortunately due to money restrictions, I had to refuse, his mood, already bad, didn’t cope with this well. He then asked to go and live with his grandparents, his favourite threat when he’s feeling unstable, and one we’d all heard quite frequently.
This asking for money, then asking to be taken to his grandparents, carried on for over two hours, and with each no, he was getting angrier. He went outside and started smashing things outside, and then returned to the house to ask again. I had tried to remove myself from the situation and was sitting upstairs in my room. I tried to not engage with him, but then he would say I was ignoring him and this would also make him angry. But when I did engage and still said no, he would also get angrier, so I was in a lose-lose situation.
He then started destroying items inside the house, and that is when I called the police.
I decided that I would not be held to ransom or put up with his aggressive nature just because I was unable to comply with his demands. The police came within fifteen minutes, handcuffed him and took him away. His reaction was a complete surprise, he had walked out of the house, but returned to ask for yet more money. So when the police did arrive he was there, and calm. He held his hands out compliantly while they cuffed him, then asked for them to be removed again so he could take his bag off his shoulder. Which the police did, I heard him say, “If I’m going to be arrested then I am at least going to be comfortable.”
For me, it did not end there. I was left feeling annoyed with myself because I had let him destroy part of the house before I’d called them. Sadness because the situation had escalated to me having to call the police on him. Remorseful that I had not been able to deal with it myself. And then as the evening wore on, I had the apprehension of what he was going to be like when he came home. After being stuck in a cell for four or five hours, I had visions of him being even more angry and blaming me for calling them, rather than himself for letting himself behave that way.
On top of all my feelings, I also had my daughter (who lives in Norfolk, with her father) messaging me. She was also worried, and because she wasn’t able to be here, or talk to anyone about what was going on, she was taking her annoyance out on me. She blamed me for calling the police, and said I should have found another way of sorting him. And she also reiterated my feelings of the situation making him worse. I could understand why she was saying the things she said, and so did not argue back with her. The following morning she apologised for her outburst.
Thankfully when my son came back, he was a lot calmer, he had not liked being locked up and being isolated. He also apologised and promised to make good the damage.
He has now been passed from Youth Offenders to Early Help Triage support. Hopefully he will now get some support and help with his anger issues, something which I have been requesting for a few years.
Hoping that something positive can come from it, is all I’ve got left.