: Hey, Ken and all willing to offer input for my predicament...
: I am worried about my two youngest boys. Actually, the second to youngest, Zac... he is 13, but acts like he is still 11, the age he was when his 8 year old brother was killed. He told me shortly after Quentin's death that it was his fault. His reasoning was that he was the older of the three who were riding bikes and if he had gone the other way around the girls who were walking then Quentin would have gone that way too instead of near the school bus. He also told me he ran back and tried to pull Quentin's arms and begged him to "be okay!"
: He and I (also two counselors) have discussed this several times and he says he doesn't think that anymore and knows nothing he did would have changed things. I would like to believe this, but I know I am troubled by my own guilt issues, as well, even though I know better.
: I also think he may have some kind of resentment toward his younger brother, Quentin's twin, Jacob. Perhaps because Jake is alive and reminds Zac of the incident or perhaps something else. They will be playing or doing chores just fine then he will just lash out at Jake... at times Zac has even bitten him! I do realize some of their bickering is typical of their age and the fact that they are brothers... I just feel these episodes are... "different."
: During those periods Zac has the nastiest tone in his voice, as if he is intent on being as hurtful as possible. He's had the same attitude several times when telling me about "almost" getting in a fight at school. He is... was typically so quiet and calm until Quentin's death.
: He has not slept well since August 2004. He says his mind keeps seeing things when he closes his eyes or he keeps thinking of things he could have done differently and perhaps have saved Quentin. He has stayed up until he is exhausted or gets in bed with us to snuggle. The doctor gave him some medicine to help stop his mind and relax him at night. It does help a bit, but he still ends up in our bed many nights for at least a few hours.
: Jacob has done pretty much the same regarding the bed.. he says it's too lonely in his room by himself. I have a big picture of Quentin in there that he says good night to after his prayers. He also asks Quentin to watch over him. He has been doing better since moving to a smaller bedroom, but still ends up in our room unless so exhausted he sleeps through the night. I think he has spent the entire night in his own bed less than 8 times in the past 2 years.
: I think Zac is frustrated about not knowing "who he is" anymore. It used to be the two oldest were the "big kids" then the next two (Zac) were "the boys" and then the "twins" I think Zac is torn as to if he is still one of "the boys" because his older brother (although only 2 years older) is so much bigger OR if he and Jake are now bonded because of being together and seeing Quentin's violent death so closely. They have more in common... legos, skateboards, etc. Although, he has mentioned girls a few times like his brother.
: I know this is horribly long, but there is so much to explain. I just want to "help" them before they grow up and have difficulties in their adult hood. sigh
I grew up with a set of twins, and when they became seperated it would be like they were a bit confused. They had always been part of the other rather it was in the physical sense or the spiritual sense. With time these two started to live their own lives after they graduated from high school. But when they were younger the seperation anxiety was in full force. Your twin has also been a twin, and that might be how he related to his existence. In time your youngest son will most likely learn to adjust to seperation anxiety.
As for the older son picking on the twin, as you stated alot of this has to do with his age. If it continues to bother you and your family, I would most certainly seek more counseling for the older son. You might have your older son start journaling down his feelings on a daily basis. In fact you might have the whole family start journaling down their feelings, and then at the end of the week everybody sits down to quietly share their journaling. Its very important to keep the entire family embraced in this type of communication.
Take care, and heres hoping you have a beautiful day.
Reaching For Joy