Friday, May 21, 2004


Phew. How relieved do I feel today!

The boy has come back from the land of big bad things and is in fine form - almost angelic (well, he is a boy and let's not go too far...)

I was almost scared to go home yesterday in trepidation as to what sort of mood he would be in. But a fascinating thing happened.

During yesterday's episode we laid down the usual 'threats', if you like, regarding what would be taken away if things didn't stop spiralling down that dangerous path. He was putting in jeopardy a planned outing that evening; next to go was the PS2, then computer, then TV... It's a matter of sticking to your game plan and not wavering, even in the heat of battle. And remaining as neutral as possible "It's your choice. You are deciding that you don't want the outing, don't want PS2 etc."

Tough love to use the vernacular.

In this instance, nothing would make a difference. He was simply lost in the pit.

Now, we had used 'black hole' as an analogy for him to comprehend that we understood his difficulties in stopping himself from slipping away when he was angry, and that anger came out of deep-seated fear, insecurity, longing for acceptance and love. "Reach out when you start to fall", we said, "we're here to help you. Let us help you get out."

Yesterday, he fell too fast and couldn't do it.

Last night, even though he was aware of the consequences (how he hates that word) of his actions, he bucked about not being able to watch TV - the other stuff he could deal with. He stomped off to his room and gave us the evil eye and I drooped with weariness - "not again..."

But back he came, wavering on the edge - I could see - but he teetered to the right side and accepted his lot, more or less happily looking for other things to while away the evening.

Later, I said "Can I ask you a question? When you were angry and upset earlier, what made you stop?"

He looked up and answered, "I could see the exit sign. I saw the way out"

noticed: Design for the Usability Guy

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