Just Jerah in his natural habitat

Just Jerah on a typical Saturday

One sock, obviously. Tablet with learning games is on the charger next to him. He is playing Animal Crossing New Horizons on his Nintendo Switch Lite. In the game he likes to walk around the museum and look at his fish. He likes to catch fish and he likes to swim. Oh, and shake fruit off of trees and leave it laying there on the ground. Some nights after he goes to bed, I get on his game and collect all the fruit and sell it for him so that more fruit will grow for him.

In the photo, by his feet are 1) his document box, with assorted logo things he has collected or been gifted by friends and 2) “Jerah’s Book of Logos!” Which is a three ring binder of his favorite logos printed from websites and placed into plastic sheet protectors. There are blank sheet protectors too, because he finds new logos to love pretty frequently. Just recently his Auntie M introduced him to the Subaru logo. He has studied it intently the past few days.

And then at the very end of the sofa are his head phone ear protector things. He doesn’t like loud noises. They double as bug protection outdoors because he also does not like “Ear Bugs.” His term for bugs that want to fly in your ear. He hates those with a fierce and unending passion.

We had a good day today. We have been having mostly good days since he returned from Hawthorn Center. We have had a couple upsets here and there, but nothing like what lead to his inpatient admission. The first two months of 2020 were really difficult on both of us. I am still not completely ready to write about how all that went down.

We are not having a good evening tonight though… Jerah hates showers. I am refusing to back down from taking a shower every night. It would be so much easier on me if I just let him out of it. He hates teeth brushing. He hates washing his hair. He hates combing his hair and cutting his hair. He hates washing his face. He really hates washing his chest, where his teen age acne is running rampant. His cheeks and his chest are two areas that are super touchy and he hates to have them washed at all.

In the parent trainings, I was instructed by Hawthorn Center that I “should not completely remove the demand” if he refuses something. I am supposed lessen the demand. Hawthorn Center sent him home with all this acne wash and leave on acne medication, which he hates and he let me know that by throwing it all in the garbage. We don’t use that anymore, but I do try to get a little soap and water on his chest if I can because we are an oily people. Today I asked him to put a little soap on his hand and touch his chest. He pushed me. Which wouldn’t be too awful of a thing, but I stand on a stool so I can reach him better to wash his hair and I almost fell, which scared me and made me yelp… which gave him the reaction he was looking for, so he continued to try to shove me.

It is really quite scary when he gets this way. He and I are the same height now. He is stronger than me. I don’t want to live in fear and I do want him at home… but being alone here with him when he is upset can be really frightening. So, I got him right out of the shower and had him get into his pajamas and into bed. I left the room. I have a camera in his room so that I can make sure that he is not hurting himself. He still has bedtime meds to take, but if I bring them while he is upset he will throw them at me. And he may get more aggressive. It is difficult to find out of home placements for a teenager, so of course, Hawthorn sent him home, and because of insurance idiocy and coronavirus issues, we have no in home support yet. It’s just me. Just Jerah and Just Momma. Doing the best we can.

I am currently writing and watching the camera, listening to him crying. My heart wants to rush in and hug him and kiss him and tell him it is all going to be okay, but that would make it worse. I asked him if he wanted Momma in the room or out and he said quite frankly, “Momma out, please.” I have to wait him out. Eventually he will get over himself and start laughing about Geico or Pop Tarts or some other thing that tickles him for only reasons he knows. Than I can try to approach him with bedtime meds…

I will end up lying awake tonight wondering what the future will hold. Wondering if I am making the right decisions for him. Praying for safety. Talking myself out of the fear. Wondering what is going to happen when I have to return to work soon. Talking myself out of more fear. Being grateful that we have so many people who love us and care for us. Being grateful that we live in this time of technological connectedness. I cannot imagine how alone I would feel without Facebook and texting, virtual support groups and virtual 12 step meetings if I need them… and this blog. Writing it makes me feel less alone too, somehow.

Published by justjerah

I am Mom to Jerah (a super cool 14 year old diagnosed with autism), a social worker on the side, a recovered drug addict established 4/15/2014, and a highly creative person who needed another artistic outlet, so welcome to our blog.

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