Holden gets the crap beat out of him a couple of times in Catcher. Stradlater, his dorm mate at Pencey Prep, does the honors in the above passage. Holden is once again shooting off his mouth, and Stradlater punches him in the face. I'm not saying Holden deserved the violence inflicted upon him, but he really doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.
My son punched some kid in the nose today at school. That was after he pulled some girl's hair on the playground and threw wood chips at the playground aide. My wife received a phone call from the principal this afternoon. After two really good days, my son had his worst day yet.
When I spoke to my son tonight, he couldn't or wouldn't tell me what happened on the playground. Honestly, I'm not too sure he remembered the whole incident, especially what prompted it. I think he pretty much lashes out in the heat of the moment. It's like he has no impulse control. The principal said he doesn't think my son understands that he's hurting people. This evening, my wife asked me if I thought we were raising a sociopath. I didn't know how to answer her.
My mind always goes to mental illness because of my experience with my wife's bipolar disease. I know there are cases where small children develop bipolar. I've read magazine articles about it. Frankly, those stories about six-year-old boys and girls jumping out of windows frighten me a great deal. And right now, my son's behavior frightens me. I've had friends tell me, "He's just going through a phase." I don't know where this violent streak is coming from. Neither my wife nor myself are physical people. I come from a family of hunters, and I hate guns. I only got into a fist fight once in my entire school career. I won the fight, but I felt guilty about it for weeks.
I know I said yesterday that I was giving all this up to God, putting my faith in Him. Well, yesterday my son hadn't sent a classmate to the nurse's office. Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe my son is going through a phase. Or maybe my son has bipolar disorder. I don't know.
But Saint Marty isn't going to sleep too well tonight.
|My funny, beautiful boy|