Saturday, January 14, 2012

Trust: my new curse word.

When I was young, my parent's bedroom and closet doors had locks on them.  I found it to be so demoralizing.  We had never given them any reason to place locks on the their doors, or so I thought.  Now that I'm an adult and understand some of the issues my parents had with my older brother, I can see where this may have been necessary; however, I remember then making a solemn promise that when I had a family of my own there would be no locks on my doors.

Thirty years later, it's official - the Potts' family is on lock down. I can't believe we've come to this, but we have. When Eric and I are upstairs or out of the house, the refrigerator has a lock on it. The pantry door has been changed to one with a key lock. My bedroom and closet door now have locks on them. How devastating.

When Eric placed the dreaded keys on the kitchen counter last night, I wanted to cry.  So this is what we've come to?  Our little inner circle in the middle of Colorado?  The four of us, who need to trust one another completely, went out and purchased over $100 dollars worth of security for ourselves last night.

I'm sure some of you are wondering why the refrigerator and pantry?  Why can't our kids help themselves to food and drinks when they're hungry or thirsty?  Nothing - within reason.  But when entire blocks of cheese or items needed for meals go missing or the pantry is raided at 2:00am and the food is hoarded between mattresses and in closet corners, extreme measures must be taken.  Our kiddos, in particular our oldest, are not allowed to wander from our sides in markets.  Before leaving stores, we do thorough pocket checks.  He gets angry but he doesn't consider our indignation.  There's obviously a reason it must be done.

Our room has a lock on it to keep the boys from rifling through our dressers and taking things.  We know this has happened from finding missing items throughout the house.  And, personally - I do appreciate having some sort of privacy.  Our closet has been locked to keep batteries away from Austynn.  In fact, the few electronic things he did get at Christmas will be donated to a little boy at church who didn't receive any gifts at all.

I feel the restrictions; the locks, the alarms, the consequences...stifling and out of control.

This week also culminated in some horrific fights between the boys and, of course, us.  When the crisis team interviewed Austynn, he explained that he's frightened of his older brother.  Eric and I have now been asked never to leave the boys alone together.  The lock box that is our home has become just a little bit tighter.

Last weekend, Austynn's respite worker determined that my son is too much of a responsibility for her.  Yes, I would trust any autistic kiddo would be when his medicine was not administered and she took him along with three other special needs children to a convention center for a fish and game expo. 

Lovely.  No time off and trapped in a lock box  with two fighting, angry, autistic, behaviorally challenged teenagers.  I'm wondering if Eric should have bought a dead bolt for our bedroom door?  Overkill?  Perhaps.  But I don't put a lot of trust in these cheap, flimsy locks now a days either.  Trust: my new curse word.

 











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