While Anthony’s grades were getting better, his social skills were depleting. And while we would have loved to blame it on the online school, we knew it was whatever was going on with him.
We were warned to be patient while the doctors experimented to determine which medications would be best for him. It took over a year to find what seemed to help, although they never truly did. My sociable little Anthony wasn’t so little anymore, nor was he sociable. He was becoming withdrawn and would rather spend his day playing World of Warcraft than talking to anyone in the flesh.
The trouble we were having is that he was doing so well educationally and as a parent, you have to do what’s best for your child. So I watched the little boy I knew and loved slip away more and more each day so that he could pass his classes and be treated for a disorder the doctors swore he had. In eighth grade he decided he wanted to work in the medical field and decided he wanted to be a coroner. “They can’t argue with you if they’re already dead,” he told me. Seemed logical for what he was going through. I was just thankful he had goals and wasn’t giving up on life.
That changed soon too.
His freshman year of online high school he met a girl. This girl was the older sister of a boy that my youngest played baseball with. We knew her parents and although she was kind of crazy, we liked her. She brought the fun side of Anthony back, the one that we all missed. He was smiling again and having fun. He wasn’t back to his old self but it was a refreshing break from the doom and gloom we’d been going through with him. He took her to homecoming, she spent New Years Eve with us and she traveled with us to Disneyland.
But when things got tough for her at home they started to fight, A LOT. Eventually, it got to be too much to handle and they split up. The smiling son I had back for a brief moment was gone again and this time, we got something else.
When Anthony and his girlfriend were no longer together, a bunch of girls seemed to come out of nowhere. He was young and good looking. They were noticing. But it wasn’t the attention from the girls that was bothersome, it was what he was doing with it. Every week there seemed to be a new one. Then when he got bored, he moved on to the next one. When he wasn’t out somewhere he was hiding in his room and would lie about everything. When there were people around, he was the center of attention.
Some people told me this was normal but it didn’t feel right to me. He was overly emotional about everything and there would be long periods of time where he didn’t want to see or talk to anyone. He’d come out of his room and swear I had called him. Then he’d get angry when I say I hadn’t and he’d storm back into his room.
Something was wrong.
Still attending online high school, he was starting to struggle. The beginning of his junior year was difficult. He wasn’t able to concentrate or understand the material. I was having to spend my entire day next to him on the computer to make sure he was getting his lessons done, and even so he was barely passing his classes. He no longer wanted to work in the medical field or even got to college. He just wanted to sleep.
And then, he came to me.
He had been suffering from hallucinations and had been hearing voices for quite some time. Even though is was scary, he didn’t understand what was happening and it took him a while to figure out what was going on. What was happening?
So back to the neurologist we went with more tests to determine that it wasn’t a brain tumor causing this hysteria or thyroid disease, since both his sister and I have that. And all the while I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll see something. You can remove a tumor, was the logic I had at that time. Maybe I’ll get my son back. I felt horrible for thinking that, and still do, but I needed something to hope for and it was all that I had.
Nope. Nothing found.
We were referred to yet another series of doctors, but this time they consisted of psychologists and psychiatrists. All of which did their own tests. All of which cam back saying the saying exact thing, And while its uncommon for a young man of his age to be diagnosed, it does happen.