Stay Out of That Hole

Monday, September 29, 2014 2 Comments A + a -

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My therapist from my anxiety group read this poem to us one day.  It is one of those few things that after I heard, I keep remembering.  The poem is so simple, yet powerful. 

There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk
– by Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault… I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

Lesson learned

Stay out of the Hole

Each trial I face, I learn but sometimes I still make the same mistakes.  Each mistake hurt me even more.  Most of the time, I try something different to help myself.

On the other hand, my son falls in the same hole over and over again.  I kept extending my hands to save him but he ignored me.

Today, I applied for public defender for my son, and I got denied.  My income is “above the line.”  I don’t know how low that line is.  It does not matter anyhow.

Part of me feels that I should not spend a lot of money for something my son did.  Besides, lawyer fee is not something I can afford to budget for. He may be facing a minimum of twelve months out-of-home placement. Where that is is not clear. Is it in the same place in the Juvenile Hall?

Months before being arrested, I have warned him about breaking any more rules, and so did his probation officer, vice principal, and our relatives.  My son insisted on making the same mistakes behind our backs, breaking the same rules, and more. 

I dreaded the diagnosis conduct disorder.  I learned about this condition when he was diagnosed with it.  I did not really pay attention to it in nursing school and I never was employed in psychiatric unit as a nurse to learn about it.

What are the characteristics of teens with conduct disorder? National Institute of Health (NIH) has these descriptions.

  • Heavy drug abuse or heavy drinking
  • Running away
  • Vandalizing or destroying property
  • Breaking rules with no clear reason
  • Impulsive, hard to control, and not concerned about the feelings of other people
  • Aggressive behavior toward people or animals (for example: bullying, fighting, using dangerous weapons, and stealing)
  • Lying to get a favor or get away from responsibilities
  • Truant

My son fits these descriptions like a book.

I plan to copy this poem, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk, and mail it to him.  I hope he understands it.
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October 1, 2014 at 4:56:00 PM MDT delete

Sorry you are having to go through this. I know it is mother's instinct to care for her children first & yourself last...but it really is important to take care of yourself. Your son has made his choices & while you can be there to support him - you do not need to take on the burden of his choices. I have just started reading your blog, so I don't know what he did exactly. I have just read the last 2 posts & can see how his actions are weighing on you. Hang in there & remember...disorder or not, he made the choice...not you.


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