My eldest son is always in a pickle. This is how he got his nickname. Except this story isn’t nearly as cute as say, the time he put a slide on top of our picnic table so he could “fly like Superman” and flew right into the top of a chain link fence, requiring stitches.
No, this story unhinged me for a couple days.
The first incident involved him and his friend conspiring to steal a box of cookies bought for the group home where he lives during their return trip from the grocery store. I explained that his side of the story made no sense at all and he was the only one who had anything to gain from lying which is how lying works. He remains insistent that he was set up by staff. They are making it up and he’s done talking about it.
He has a very warped perception of reality which does nothing but feed his preoccupation and paranoia regarding injustice.
The second incident occurred the night of the Super Bowl. The staff could not find another young man and Pickle’s friend. When they searched Pickle room, lo and behold, the kid was hiding in Pickle’s closet and Pickle gave what seemed to be a very rehearsed line of “Oh look, there’s someone hiding in my closet”. Unfortunately, he’s not the best performer. That fact is completely lost on him though. It is very easy to tell when he is attempting to be deceitful due to his cognitive disability.
This incident was what left me unhinged. It stirred the stank, shit pot of emotion that I keep in a very deep and protected part of my soul. A place where I keep the darkness of Pickle’s horrific, child sexual abuse. The fears of him becoming perpetrator.
I know it was this fear that caused my psyche to instinctively set off anger. Anger that the staff of the group home can’t keep their shit together. After all, THIS is exactly why Pickle doesn’t live with us. He is a danger to my other two children. They are too “stimulating” for him and his cognitive disability doesn’t allow him to comprehend, much less recognize, triggers. Him not living with us is the huge factor of my own guilt and shame as a mother. Try as I may to reconcile it and knowing it’s the best thing for all of my children, it’s still hard to not feel like I have failed him. People try to comfort me, but who really understands what that is besides myself? The only person I have crossed paths with who can somewhat relate to the situation is only at the beginning of her journey.
It’s a very convoluted, hard thing … the likes of which I cannot elaborate.