Timothy has had rages since he was two years old. I remember the first time I realized he was raging out of frustration or anxiety – he was a tiny little thing, with a head full of brown curls. He didn’t have very much language yet; maybe a word here or there, and he was frustrated. His teeth were bared, and he was stomping around. He fled up to his room and slammed the door. When I went in, he pulled the twin size mattress off his bed and threw it at me. I was amazed at the sheer force he was able to get behind it. I think that’s why it sticks out in my mind.

For such a little thing at birth, he sure made up for it in growth spurts. He was 5 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 inches long at birth. At 15, he’s just shy of 6 feet, 250. As he grew, so did his rages, and our ability to keep him from hurting himself, us, or others lessened. We were trained in how to administer a therapeutic hold, something we had to do infrequently, but used at times when he was so violent he was in danger of knocking himself out or seriously injuring one of us. But it became impossible for us to do that by the time he was 12. Tim’s pattern has always been to rage and flee. First punch dad so hard that he hits the hardwood floor with his elbow, causing permanent damage, then run down the street in stocking feet, in three inches of snow, at night; or beat on his sister’s locked bedroom door until his bruised fist has gone through it, then run into the yard, swearing at the top of his lungs, taking the medication I was trying to get into him with him to fling around the garden.

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