My story is not just about my son and about my family. It is about a lesson I have learned . It is about the success I found when coming to terms with what needs to be done, accepting it and transforming my limitations.
Finding determination, commitment and self discipline were needed to help Zackery. Also innovation, creativity and social fun became important.
My life with three children was never easy. I tried to be perfect, making sure that I was building good relations with everyone. I basically had three families; one with my son one-on-one, one with my two daughters, creating quality time with them, and a third one with all of them. Did it work? no, not really. My daughters and I are still working on creating more harmony. Time is on our side. I am not worried.
Zackery is a level 5 young man. This is CIBC’s classification for the most difficult.
His explosive meltdowns when experiencing pressure and anxiety, lashing out at whatever and whoever was standing in his ratio, hurting them, gave him his designation.
His anxiety is still an issue. But with knowing routine and routine outings and what he can expect on these outings, is making life for everybody much easier.
As a parent I walked for years on eggshells, proactively foreseeing difficulties for Zackery and trying to prevent them with distraction ahead of time. Calming his anxiety and making sure there is no pressure for him, were a constant stress in my life. I became high strung, always alert, and stressed out to the max.
PTSD followed for Zackery after the release from a 18 months home stay in a group home providing intervention and behavioral services to persons like my son.
After this stay I took Zackery home again. Everybody expected me to give him into government care. Doing this at that time, I felt was the wrong decision and a harmful decision to my son’s well being.
Zackery came home and the most intense part of my journey as a parent started. Almost every night after night he woke up screaming, hitting the wall and was “beside himself”. My nights were terror, days were constant exhaustion.
Many times I thought I now reached the end of my rope; already had the phone in my hand ready to dial 911. I didn’t do it.
I intuitively knew one thing. If I let go of Zackery now, he would not only be placed in a group home, he also would be on heavy medication. I also intuitively knew that it was I who was supposed to take the lead in helping and changing circumstances for Zackery, not professionals.
Giving responsibility away was not my lesson, accepting the difficult path to commitment in helping Zackery was for me to do.
And so I did. You will not believe that you “can move mountains” when you have to. Determination, self discipline, understanding , asking for prayer help and my confidence created a big change in Zackery’s life.