Every once in a while I like to do a post on who I am besides Tami Vroma, Grand Rapids Real Estate Specialist.
Today I was driving back from doing a walk through on house that is due to close next week (thank you God!). A song came on the radio that put a lump in my throat and I felt the tears start to well up. It wasn't the usual song that would bring a women to tears but it reminded me that I have been through worse than this real estate market. Only God knows what the next year will bring but nothing will compare to that period in my life 5 years ago when I begged my husband to put me in our local mental institution.
My son was completely out of control. I did not understand what was going on because the same rules were in place for him as they were for my daughter. My son would rage. He was destructive. He was ten years old and our family was going under.
At the same time my husband was not working regularly, I was starting a new real estate career, our tenant had done $6000 damage to one side of our duplex and the other side was not rented. To say I was a little stressed would be an understatement.
I was feeling extreme despair. Though my son was out of control most of the time, he had a golden retriever that was always by his side, no matter how cruel my son was to him. He would get put in the corner and the dog would go and lay by him. Honestly, it seemed the dog was the only one that could stand him when he was raging. The dog was extremely emotional also- when we left we would have to tie him up in the basement or he would potty on the floor.
My breaking point came on a super-bowl Sunday. We had went after church to work on putting the duplex back together and then we were going to head to a super bowl party. This day would be the worst day of my life--everything went into slow motion as my son came up the stairs saying Tanner was dead. He had run himself in a million circles and had hung himself and my ten year old son had found his dog.
I remember sliding to the floor begging my husband to put me in Pine Rest. I couldn't take anymore- I was at my breaking point. My husband picked me up off the floor with tears streaming down his face. "You can not go to Pine Rest and leave me with him because I don't know what I would do to him." Him being our son-our life was so far out of control.
Shortly after the dog died, my son got in trouble at school yet again. He was raging and I had to get him up a flight of stairs to his room. On the way up he was kicking me, biting me, pulling my hair, scratching me and punching me. We fell several times as foul words, that we don't use in our home, streamed from his mouth. Our regular routine was to get him up to his room and sit on him where we would wait until the rage would come to an end.
This time was different. I had small children here and did not want them hearing the F-bomb so I put my hand over his mouth. He bit me and would not let go. I had to slap his face in order to get him to let go. This was our life. It sucked.
The next day he went to school and told them I beat him because he had a bruise on his face. I was horrified that I had done that until I realized that the bruise was on the wrong side of his face for me to have done it but the machine was set in motion and I was investigated by protective services. It was a scary experience but protective services knew that something was off. As I stood there terrified they were going to take my daughter away, the case worker hugged me and offered to help.
I learned that day that God has a plan for everything. Had my son not turned me in to protective services, we never would have been offered help by protective services and we never would have found out he was bi-polar. So we started our journey of finding the right meds. Once we found the right meds, life got much better. Still more than most can handle but way, way better than the past few years had been.
But life was about to offer us another punch in the gut. We noticed a large hump on my sons back so we took him to the doctor. You can always tell when something is serious by the look on your doctors face and by the fact that he won't tell you anything and you get into a specialist within days.
We took him to the specialist and I was in shock as they described how my son's spine was curved to the point that it could compromise his life. I was stunned as they described how he would need to have a titanium rod put in his back and how they would fuse his spine. As if this kid didn't have enough going on we were put on yet another roller coaster. To make matters worse, everything he loved would be gone. No more motor cycle, no more snow boarding, no more skate boarding. The spine will have no flex. Great one more thing to make a very angry kid even more angry.
So we went down that road and my son had the surgery. At one point we almost lost him because the morphine had suppressed his system. I am pretty sure that night took 10 years off my life span. It was at that time the song by Rodney Atkins came out. I would just sing it and keep moving in the hospital and on the days after where my son had to use a walker to walk. It was my montra. I would sing it with tears running down my face . . .but I kept moving. . . .and tried not to show I was scared and kept hiding from the devil by repeating Romans 5:3-5 over and over again. I was building some major character here!
We made it through those times and today my son is one of the lights of my life. He was the number 1 JV runner on his cross country team last year and he is an incredible kid to be around. He is still a teenager but where I used to wish for just 5% of happy times with him, now I have 100% times of happiness. Even when he is angry he is joy because I am so darn proud of how well he handles his anger now. He is a different kid with an incredible smile and we have a new life.
One more thing--I have the most incredible friends one could ever have. It was my freinds who came and helped my husband bury the dog and it was my friends that kept my husband and I going. Friends are the most incredible thing in the world and I have THE MOST incredilble!
So while I don't know what the next year may bring and things are really tight here . . . .it isn't anything compared to where we have been!!
Enjoy the video and sing it to yourself when you aren't sure if you can put one foot in front of the other--God is there.