Looking back, I feel guilty for not believing him. So many times over the years Bud would tell us that he hadn’t slept at all the night before. “Of course you did,” we would reply. “You just don’t remember. You probably woke up a lot and that’s why you think you weren’t asleep at all.”
He was such an easy baby. No fuss and always such a sweet smile on his face that I called him my angel baby. But it seemed like the terrible twos lasted three years. After that, things got easier, but Bud was always a little crabby and anxious.
Then in 2009 his attitude took a turn for the worse. Our business was failing, and Art and I were gone from the house for 10 or more hours a day. Bud was in his first year of high school and struggling to keep up in some of his classes. In addition, he and his girlfriend were not getting along. All I knew was that it was nearly impossible to get him up for school in the morning. He had a headache, or he didn’t feel good. Could he just miss a class or two and go in late? I remember adding it up and he had missed over 15 days of school his freshman year!
Finally, in June of 2009, right after we closed the business, I tried to get Bud up one morning. He refused. It was the week before finals and I was worried he wouldn’t pass his classes and end up having to repeat his freshman year. I told him there were no more excuses and gave him 5 minutes to get out of bed. Then I personally drove him to school (the boys usually walked, but I wasn’t taking any chances on that day). On my way back home I got a text. Pulling to a stop in our driveway I read the message from Bud which read, “well if you’re not even going to listen to me then I might as well just kill myself. You don’t even know what’s going on.”
Needless to say, I freaked out. I woke up Art and read him the message. He agreed we had to take the threat seriously and called the school. By the time we got there, they had already pulled Bud out of class and he was in the vice principal’s office waiting for us. It turned out that Bud and his girlfriend had broken up the night before and he just couldn’t deal with going to school. It was obvious he was done for the day, so we brought him home. He wouldn’t talk to us and we were scared. We finally got him to agree to go to therapy through the local Community Mental Health.
It took a month for us to get an appointment for Bud. In the meantime, he did manage to attend class every day for the next two weeks, and to pass all his classes. His first day with the therapist she managed to get out of him that he had not had a full night’s sleep in years (we think probably since the age of 5 – maybe even earlier). She also suggested that Bud was suffering from generalized anxiety disorder and depression. We wrangled a doctor’s appointment the very next day and after two weeks on heavy duty sleep meds, we could already see the difference in Bud.
The past 2 1/2 years have been a two steps forward one step back world of medication changes and adjustments, psychiatric appointments and family discussions. Bud is still not the best sleeper and one of the main reasons he is homeschooling is so that he can “do school” when he is most awake – usually around 10 p.m.! He is fun to have a conversation with and, if he’s really well rested, even volunteers to do some chores!!
I’m happy to say – I got my angel baby back!!