Of course there was payback from that wonderful birthday celebration for Tortuga. In fact, I can honestly say this was the worst month we have had in almost a year. Each and every day there were issues--little ones and big ones. The little ones pale by comparison to the big ones. We had three distinct days where C. and I seriously considered calling the police. On one of those we did talk to the police and made contact with a "mental health" police officer. Things had gotten so bad that C. had actually packed some of his clothes in a bag and had it ready by the door. We were THAT close to hospitalization for that kid. In all honesty the only thing that kept us from following through is our lack of familiarity with those systems here in TX AND the fact that we always have concerns about how our family configuration will be dealt with.
On one of those day he not only issued his usual threats of hating us and wanting to k*ll us. He also articulated a pretty detailed plan of what he would do, when and how. One thing that threw C. off was that he called attention to waiting until she was on one of her business trips so he could get the rest of us while she was gone. He generally "fears" her physical strength although he has never had much of a physical altercation with her. Usually the physical attacks are reserved for me. At this point he is almost my height but I am still physically stronger than him but he seems to now have a "plan" for doing us in at night. Of course he is also terrified of the dark and the night and won't even leave his room if it is dark in the hallway which was somewhat reassuring. He also threatened to tell the police about how "horrible" we were so that they would "take the rest of the kids in(to) foster care."
Much of this incident happened while I was out running an errand and apparently what set him off was that I told him he couldn't play with his transformers until after guitar practice. Poor C. had to handle it by herself until I got home and by the time I got back he was a puddle of tears and fears because she had told him she was calling the police and sending him to a hospital. He is TERRIFIED of both of those things so no matter how off he is it usually settles him down if we even suggest he might need to go see a doctor. Nonetheless, it really took it's toll on C. and she ended up having to reschedule a business trip and the next time she went out of town she didn't want the kids to know she would be gone overnight. This whole incident made me wonder about how desensitized I may be getting to these threats. In our time with him I have almost always been the one who has to deal with these physical and verbal assaults and I have a way of "interpreting" what he says and what I think he means so sometimes I think I don't take them at face value or as seriously as she does. I suppose sometimes that provides balance but other times it makes me wonder if I will miss the real warning signs.
This past week I was in the upstairs bathroom dealing with one of his meltdowns(very close to a rage) and C. was keeping the other kids busy. Our oldest cat, Meridian, sneaked in and I didn't see her and accidentally stepped on her in such a way that I lost my balance and fell onto the floor. My screams, the cat's screams and Tortuga's cries of concern (even though he was in the middle of a meltdown) brought C. running up the stairs so fast. I could tell by the look on her face that she thought he had hurt me and I even had the presence of mind to make him step far away from me because my first thought was that if she saw him standing over me she would think he had done it. He was crying real tears of concern and the meltdown/rage dissipated really quickly. I assured her I was fine (twisted ankle, bruised knee, and what I think is a serious bone bruise) and that she should check out our cat who was still lying down licking her wounds. This incident really brought to light some of the fears we all have and even the two little kids thought Tortuga had hurt me. I was more focused on how quickly his meltdown ended when he thought I was hurt and I must have gotten no less than a dozen inquiries from him about my well-being over the course of the next few days.
I think this is where our current issue lies. I have banked on the fact that he is attaching and he does care about us and that most of the "trash talk" is just that--talk. I think I still believe that to be true. C. has asked that I consider what happens when he "sees red" and acts on impulse and out of anger. While he is always remorseful and embarrassed by his behaviors once it passes there is no doubt that when he is in the middle of it he isn't thinking at all and all he wants to do is hurt us/me. It is clear that despite the tremendous progress he has made we still have this lingering fear that we have to work with/through. How do we do that?