Back To The Same Old Stuff From difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    husband is a CPA and he had to work on Saturday so that the company he works for could get their year end numbers done. It's the one weekend a year that he must work, and I dread it every year. I dred being home alone with difficult child, especially on a weekend.

    He had a good day, except for about one hour where he was just RAGING because easy child didn't want to play with him. easy child was sitting at my laptop playing on Club Penguin and difficult child asked him he wanted to play on his Xbox with him. easy child said not now, he was playing Club Penguin and could they play together in a little while? difficult child went completely off the deep end! Screaming that easy child hates him because he won't play with him, that I hate him because I won't make easy child play with him, that he goes to bed every night miserable and depressed because no one loves him in this whole house. I told him that this was the first time he's admitted that he's depressed to me and it's something to bring up to the therapist and the psychiatrist. No, he screams! This is not something to bring up to them. It's a family matter because he's depressed because no one loves him and I am the one who has to fix it. If it gets brought up the the psychiatrist and therapist he will beat the $hit out of me (I already send the therapist a text about it last night). He then goes on screaming about how all of his friends know that he's depressed because he has a terrible home life and no one loves him and the fact that I didn't know he was depressed just proves it. On and on and on this went. He was trying to get easy child upset, calling him a retard, screaming that he's stupid and that the only reason that he gets good grades is because he has a tutor and that I should take the tutor away and see how well he does then. Oh, and the tutor is just another way of showing that easy child is loved and he isn't because he never had a tutor. I gently reminded him that he never needed one, but apparently in difficult child world that is besides the point.

    Keep in mind the entire time he's raging I am standing between difficult child (who is standing right in my face) and easy child (who is sitting in front of my laptop, trying to play) because difficult child is saying he will beat easy child until he agrees to play with him. This raging goes on for about 40 minutes, and the whole time I'm thinking to myself, "Now how the heck and I going to get out of this one?"

    Finally I asked him what he needs to know that he is loved. You know what is answer was? Microsoft points. I should let him buy Microsoft point on my credit card whenever he wants them. Right now the rule is that if he wants them he can only buy them once a month and he has to pay us for them, including the tax, before he purchases them. He feels that the fact that we set limits like that goes to show that he is not loved. I told him that this is what parent do: set limits. It does not show that he is unloved, but quite the opposite. He didn't buy that at all! Limits are for wimp parents, like us.

    Finally, he took the pillows off the couch and threw then across the room, screamed that talking to me was a waste of his time, ran up to his room and slammed the door. After about 20 minutes he cam back down, quietly. Said he was sorry for screaming at me and could I please play a game with him. I stopped what I was doing, asked what he wanted to play and we played for a little while. Then he reminded me that I said we would bake brownies, which I had forgotten about, so I said that if he wanted to make brownies we could make them. By now it's almost 4:00 pm.

    We get the brownies in the oven and he asks is he could talk to me and asks if I will help him with not feeling loved. I gently told him that if he does not feel loved that is something that HE has to figure out why, and that he has to understand that expressions of love are not always these great big things. It can be the little things, like making his favorite dinner, which I had done on Friday because he's been doing really well since we increased his medications, or buying him a box of Tic Tacs when he did not ask for anything, which I had done earlier that day. And that if he is going to count love as being things that are done to you and for you, then I must be the most unloved mother on the planet because he screams at me, curses at me, has punched me, thrown things as me, locked me out of the house, etc. Of course, that's totally different and has no bearing on the current conversation.

    Then he switch flipped again, and he was fine for the rest of the night. Played with easy child, played on the computer, went to bed, all as if nothing had ever happened.

    By the time husband got home difficult child was already in bed and not pleased to hear that difficult child expects to be able to buy point whenever he wants them. I had told difficult child that I would talk to his father about it, but not to expect anything. It was dad who set the once a month rule and he most probably not going to budge from it. Of course, that means that I love him a little because I said I would speak to his father about it, and his dad doesn't love him at all if he won't budge (which he already told me last night that he won't).

    I hate the weekends.
  2. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Hi Bunny. Even that one hour can take the whole weekend out of me, I feel your pain. (hugs!) Do you think that he really feels unloved, or is it more of an attention getting thing? I ask because sometimes my difficult child goes on a tirade like that and I am never really sure, it always feels like a manipulation tactic. I think you did very well and I applaude your patience!
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I completely understand! I agree with-HopeRemains, that the one hr of raging can suck the entire weekend out of you.

    My husband used to go to work on weekends with-the instruction, "Be sure to keep difficult child busy. Have a list of activities for him to do." Like that was as easy as pie. He did not have a clue. Like you, I dreaded weekends.
    It was helpful for my son to have friends to run around the neighborhood with. That gave me a bit of time. But age 13 was definitely his time of being a "No Lifer," where videogames were his life.
    He has even stolen from us to get money for points. It is so addictive for these kids, and they truly don't understand what love is.
    I have often taken away my son's gaming equip and made him earn it back.
    (You've never seen a kid do chores so fast!!!)
    It's time for you to do that. Expect a huge rage. But really, you may only have to actually do it once. My son caught on pretty quickly.
    I recommend earplugs and a xanax to help you through it.

  4. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Expressing that the points for computer are what makes him feel loved sounds Asperger's to me. My son also equates these types of things to "love", I think because he equates his feelings of satisfaction and happiness as love. He also really does not understand hugs for empathy and to show love- he only likes them for the sensory input.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree, whatamess.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    This is sooo familiar - difficult child never understood the concept of showing love in little ways, either.

    There was an exercise we did as a family for a while to help difficult child understand "love". At the end of the day (around the dinner table, or whatever) we went around the table and asked each family member list something they had done that day to show love and list something that other family members had done to show love. husband might say, for example, I went and worked really hard at my job today to bring home some money for my family because I LOVE YOU. And then DS might chime in "And you helped me with my homework!"....etc. You get the idea...

    difficult child had the hardest time at this task. It was several days before she could even come up with any example - either of something she did, or something another might have done for her. She just didn't recognize any actions or gestures as a sign of love.

    Finally, after many days of repeating this exercise - she was able to come up with a few examples....and when she finally came up with something that SHE had done to show love - she was really, really proud of herself.

    You may want to try something like that in your family....
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Man does that ever sound like things that spew from difficult child 1's mouth when he used to rage. His thinking is so twisted compared to NT's that I'm even more convinced he has to be on the spectrum somewhere.

    You did a great job of not feeding into the rage. You allowed him to process the situation and "rewarded" hiim when he calmed down by playing a game with him and baking brownies. It sounds like you handled it beautifully.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Oh yes, I am the meanest, most unloving Mommy in the world because I refuse to let Kiddo go play outside in the dark in the cold all alone when everyone else has gone in for the night. Yep, that means that not only do I not love her, but I must hate her to NOT let her go do that. I admire your patience dearie!


    Hi Bunny -

    I am so sorry that you had to go through this but I have to tell you that your post helped me TREMENDOUSLY. About an hour ago I was beside myself. I just feel so frustrated and helpless against difficult child and his ODD. It's just totally wearing me down again and today to top it all off I got the feeling that one of my best friends feels like difficult child is just being able to "run the house". That hurt. And when I logged on and saw your post it reminded me that other people do go through this and that I'm not alone. Thank you so much.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ummm... you said... "and then it was 4:00".
    Hmmm... in our house? I'd have met the rage with food. Literally. If he hasn't eaten in 2 hours and goes "off"? Food. Real food. Anything from PBJ sandwich to hot cereal to leftovers to fruit and cheese to... anything healthy and on-hand that appeals at the moment.
    Note... I dont' arrive with food every 2 hours. But... if difficult child shows up and says "I'm hungry" he gets fed. Even if it's 30 mins before supper (at which point he either gets something being prepped for supper, or a small snack to tide him over...). OR, if difficult child starts into the "you don't love me" or a melt-down or any other "behavior" issue, the FIRST step is food.

    I wish I had figured that out 10 years sooner.
  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I used to hate the weekends too. I can't remember even one weekend while my difficult children were growing up when there wasn't at least one"meltdown" per difficult child. I agree with those who said that even an hour of dealing with a raging difficult child can drain the life out out of you, just make you wish weekends didn't exist.

    in my humble opinion, you handled the situation really well. I give you lots of credit for this. There were many times while I knew how I should handle a particular situation, I was just worn down, too wrung out to bother. I used to tell my difficult children that I needed a time out and would lock myself inside my bedroom. I guess it was better then screaming all kinds of nasty things at them, acting like a difficult child myself, but at the same time, I just couldn't be the loving mom they needed to help them get their feelings back under control.

    Hope you get a bit of peace and time to yourself this week... Thinking of you... SFR
  12. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Sorry that I'm just getting back here now. We had company yesterday afternoon and I never got back on the computer.

    Do I think that this is how he really feels? I was talking to husband about this yesterday and I honestly don't think that he really feels that way on a normal day at a calm moment. What I think it going on is that he gets angry about something (in this case, easy child not wanting to play with him) and he uses "no one loves me" as a reason for throwing the fit because I think in that moment he can't really tell me WHY he's angry, so he says the easiest thing that there is for him to say. Does that make any sense?

    After he calmed down I told him that I understand that he was angry because easy child didn't want to play with him at that moment and that he is entitled to whatever feeling he is feeling at the moment, but he also has to listen to what the other people are saying to him. easy child didn't say he didn't want to play with him, period, which could be something that is hurtful to hear and I can understand why he might feel that easy child doesn't love him. He said he didn't want to play with him right now, which is a totally different statement.

    He was actually great the rest of the weekend. I had husband talk to him about the Microsoft points, and what he told his dad was different than what he told me. He told me that he thinks we should let him get point whenever he wants them. Period. What he told his dad, probably because he was in a much calmer state of mind at that moment, was he doesn't like how we've set up the "once a month" rule. When he buys point, let's just say on the 15th of December, that he has to wait to until the 15th of January to get points again. He thinks that it would be fairer if the "once a month" was set up differently. If he gets point on January 1, he has to wait until February 1. If he waits to buy points until later in January, like the 20th, he feels that he should be able to get points on February 1, but then get no more until March since it's still once a month. husband agreed with him that that does work since it is still the "once a month" rule that we put into place, but it just seems to work better in difficult child's mind. So, that situation was solved quite easily.

    I called a friend of mine to get the name and number of her brother. He works with kids like this and I told her that I was seeking a second opinion.
  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Here's my take: He really doesn't "feel" loved when things don't go the way he thinks it should. He also doesn't know how to identify feelings AND vocalize them. Not now and later are mean the same thing as no. He had time to put what he wanted to say about the points in the "right" wording when he was calm. In a rage, words come tumbling out but aren't worded the way he wants.

    These are all issues difficult child 1 struggles with. I had to stop using vague words and give definite times. Later and not now were not concepts he could comprehend. difficult child 1 also struggles with identifying feelings. He has progressed from only "identifying" happy, sad, angry (EVERY feeling he had was one of those 3) to include frustrated, scared and nervous. He's still not stating them accurately 100% but it's better than it was.

    I am sooooo glad you're looking for a second opinion. Scenarios like this are ones that should be documented including before, during, and after behavior and words. You picked up on a key point in his thinking error. His idea of once a month was different than what you and husband were thinking. He was thinking literally "once a month" where you and husband were thinking "every 30 days". both are correct but not specific enough for difficult child to understand. This is the type of thinking error that is VERY common for difficult child 1. That's why Ross Greene's book was so helpful. If I hadn't tried using his methods, I would have never known that difficult child 1 thought soooo differently than I did and that's when his spectrum stuff started making sense to ME.
  14. IT1967

    IT1967 Member

    The day you described this past weekend could have easily have been a description of pretty much any random day for me. The raging is just so AWFUL and upsetting and depressing and and and. Blah. Seeing how similar my kids are to so many kids being described here has really been making me think they are on the spectrum as well - even though my husband, the counsellor and psychiatrist don't think so.
  15. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I sort of just saw this again tonight. difficult child asked easy child is he wanted to watch him play his new game on the computer when easy child was done with his homework. easy child finished his work and asked if he could play Angry Birds on my phone and I said fine. difficult child saw the easy child was done and asked easy child to come watch him. easy child said not now. difficult child said, "You said you would watch me when you were done with your homework." easy child said, "Well, I didn't mean as soon as I was done." difficult child went back downstairs and left easy child alone with very little trouble, although I did hear him yelling once he got down there, which I have no problem with. He gets his frustration out and he's not targeting anyone.

    I, on the other hand, was cringing in the corner waiting for the meltdown to commence.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sounds like easy child also needs to learn how to communicate with difficult child.
    Yes, it is in easy child's long-term interest.
    These kinds of traits run in families, and easy child may well end up with a difficult child of his own some day.
    Help him learn to be much more precise in his communication with EVERYBODY.
    (might even make a good engineer or IT person some day...)
  17. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Bunny, that just reinforces my point. I am REALLY happy you are seeking a second opinion. Any chance you're getting out of the "ODD mindest"?? IC has a great point when it comes to easy child. It's a learning process for all of us and I think you've hit the nail on the head. It would be something to monitor closely as it relates to meltdowns.