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I Can't Go on This Way

"I can't go on this way. Nothing I do is right. It's nothing but fight, fight, fight and I am getting weary of it." It was another row where my son had completely missed the point and continued to argue and argue with me. How much more energy did I have for bringing up this teenage boy? Surely, by now, he should have become more mature. This is what I wrote in my diary one week before a policeman knocked on our door to tell me my son had been stopped driving erratically on one of the town's main roads. It was a wonder he wasn't killed, yet he had no real apology and the whole affair seemed to brush off him like water off a duck's back.

My husband was very soft spoken and quiet with him, while I was screaming at the top of my voice "Are you crazy to go out in the car? You haven't had one lesson — you've never driven." I went on and on. Again it was a release for my pent up feelings of complete frustration. Through it all, my daughter didn't say a word and disappeared to her bedroom in the thick of the argument.

There had been too much release. It seemed every day there was something to get angry or shed tears about. If my son had responded to me in some way other than arguing, maybe I wouldn't have become such a volatile individual but he didn't and I had no notion of "anger management" for myself at that time.

Today, they are talking about "early recognition" and "early intervention", but how to do that? It was months before my son actually showed symptoms that we could really say: "That is really odd behaviour". So no one could have done anything about it in the way of medication at that time. We would still have had to go on enduring the utter turmoil that was our household.