Can't stand to be around him

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shiny, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Shiny

    Shiny New Member

    It's the end of spring break and my stepson will soon be home from visiting his mother for the week. My husband misses his son and is anxious for him to get back. He worries when the biomother has his son, since she's bad news. Me, I'm anxious for another reason. It's been such a quiet, peaceful week and I'm not looking forward to the war at home resuming. We've only been married for about nine months, and since then I've sunk into a deep depression from living in such an embattled household. My stepson has adhd, odd and I strongly suspect there's a bit more wrong than that given his behavior, especially given the history of mental illness on his mother's side. Every conversation with him becomes an argument. Even when we're not having a conversation, he's still talking -- constantly talking to himself from morning to night. But that's not even the half of it. We've tried it all: medications, counseling, Special Education, and a million different tactics at home, but nothing makes things better for more than a week or two. Sometimes I think about leaving, but my husband is the best thing to ever happen to me. I was never the mom type, but I feel like I must be the worst mother ever because I really just can't stand my child. I've tried to take an active role in parenting him, but lately I feel so defeated I just want to hide from him or get an evening shift job so I won't see him at all.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. It is really hard to live with a mentally ill person, be it a child or adult.

    You sound very depressed. Please seek out YOUR doctor and tell her about your anxiety and depression. medications can help YOU find coping skills. I think therapy might also help (you seeing a therapist). NOT that you are crazy, and I totally understand both your feelings and your husband's. I can tell you that I have had almost as much therapy as my difficult child (gift from God - the difficult child who brought you here).

    Can you tell us what professionals you have seen? Who has diagnosed him? How old he is?

    Often our kids need a good neuropsychologist to evealuate them to pinpoint what is truly wrong. This is often around 12 hours of intensive testing. I found this type of testing at our developmental pediatrician. He actually had a number of different professionals help with the testing and exam. It really helped.

    One thing you can do this weekend: Go out and get a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. Also look for a copy of The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz, and Love and Logic Parenting by Fay and Cline. Personally, I would just get the Explosive Child, and then the other two later. READ the Explosive Child. It is a great way to look at what is going on in your child's head. And a wonderful way to handle a difficult child.

    Many of us have found help with the book.

    You are NOT a terrible mom. You are an inexperienced and overwhelmed mom. Even with many years of experience LOTS of us feel this way at times.

    Sending big cyber hugs!!!

  3. Shiny

    Shiny New Member

    Oh, I have already seen my doctor. I'm on Lexapro for depression. It keeps me from blowing my top at my son's antics, but makes me terribly sleepy all the time. I can't afford any counseling for myself. Right now financially it's a stretch just to meet our son's needs.

    My son is 15. He was 12 when I started seeing his dad. He got diagnosed when he was 5, by the local MHMR people after he got kicked out of kindergarten for harming the other children. He's been medicated (mostly Adderall) since then. He was off it for about a year when he was 12--kind of an experiment--but it was decided that it did more good than harm and he's back on it. It helps out alot for school, but wears off by the time he comes homes -- and we practically have to force him to take it.

    He started seeing a psychologist about three or so years ago. He reconfirmed that he believes it's add and odd, and he says my son is also depressed. After visits to him things are better for about a day. We go to the psychologist less now that money is tight. He gave us the love and logic book, but when I read it I had to laugh because most of the things it suggests would never work in our house. We have tried a few things, though, just to be sure, but no luck.

    I've been pushing to get our son evaluated a little further, maybe some clinical tests or something more involved than a questionaire, but my husband is reluctant. And there's the money issue. My husband just gets so encouraged by the little steps toward progress we make with our son that he never seems to notice that within a week or two he's taken two steps back.

    I'll see if I can find the Explosive Child book -- that certainly describes my son to a T.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    Sadly, this child in my opinion should have been re-evaluated way before now. He probably should have seen a NeuroPsychcologist. They do intensive testing that regular psychologists and psychiatrists don't do, and they can often catch things that others miss. If this k id talks to himself day and night in my opinion there is a lot more wrong than ADHD/ODD. He could have a mood disorder and maybe be hallucinating auditorily or otherwise. He could also be on the high functiong end of the autism spectrum. Do you know anything about his early development, speech, his social skills? Do you know if he is using illegal drugs? That can wreak havoc with a teen. Will your husband consider having him re-evaluated by a neuropsychologist? I need to warn you that my daughter was once a drug addict and her drug of choice was Adderrall. She and her friends would crush it in pillcrushers and snort it with either alone or with other drugs, such as cocaine. Adderrall has a very high street value--my daughter said it is $10/pill, and is abused A LOT, as are all ADHD stimulants. If this child has a mood disorder, undiagnosed, rather than ADHD (and they mimic each other) Adderall won't help him--he will probably get worse. If the birthmom has mental health issues, he could have inherited the same ones and it doesn't help to put off getting him better help...good luck.
    Actually, you're not a bad mother. You're not his mother at all. You're his stepmother, and you walked into this with no warning when he was already twelve. You had nothing to do with his upbringing or diagnoses or treatment. This is really in my opinion your husband's responsibility to try to both help his child and make your marriage better.
    On the other hand, his son is part of the deal. You must have known what he was like and you signed up for it. I recommend trying to get your hub to get aggressive about finding out what's really wrong with his son before he's too old and his father can't do anything about it. If he's ignoring the problem, I would bring it to his attention. PRONTO.
    I think you have a lot on your hands and your hub should step up and help more. Even nice men can be in denial about the problems with their kids. And it sounds like he's in denial. That will only hurt this boy in the long run. Time is running out. By 18, he can't do anything and this could spiral bigtime.
  5. Shiny

    Shiny New Member

    He's never had a problem with speech -- he gets lots of practice, since he never shuts up. But he does talk unusually loud most of the time.

    His social skills have been a big problem for all of his life. He doesn't make friends easily and has many enemies. Some of them don't mean to be his enemies, but when a peer innocently tries to joke with him he automatically labels them a bully. He often complained about bullies in school, but when we probed for more information it turned out that he assumed other kids were going to start something with him, so he preempted the "bullying" and started something with them. He often assumes people are talking bad about him, including us.

    What few friends he has are usually much younger kids who don't mind his constant ordering them around. In his interactions with other kids I've never seen him express any sort of empathy for others. It's all about what he wants to do and how he wants it done. Others are there merely for his entertainment and for what they can buy him or give him.

    It's interesting to see him interact with adults, too. He constantly wants attention and will just talk louder and repeat himself until all eyes are on him all the time. He jumps right into adult conversations as if invited -- not something I see a lot of kids doing. And then he tries to dominate the conversation, certain that everyone wants to hear the plot of his video game in great detail. His teachers complain that he also tries to dominate their attention, talking to them constantly about non-class related stuff. With both his teachers and with us he comes up with a question or something he thinks we need to know every five minutes -- always something trivial.

    On illegal drugs, I'm certain he's not on them. He has an almost irrational fear and hatred of people who do drugs or drink. And we can barely get him to take his prescribed medications, not even antibiotics.

    I did know what I was walking into. Mostly, at least. There's such a big difference being around him all the time instead of heading back to my apartment to recoup. I dated his dad for two years before we got married. I guess I just deluded myself into thinking that having a whole family and bringing some structure and stability to his life would help.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't condemn his actions or even try to guess his motives until you have a better diagnosis. Lack of empathy can be a big red flag for autism spectrum disorder (not saying he has it, but, if he's, say, Aspergers, they tend not to relate to otheres, ESPECIALLY peers. They also repeat a lot. They also tend to talk off-topic because they don't understand social cues and are very self-absorbed. My autistic spectrum son talks to himself all the time, and chatters non-stop to me if I'm around. He usually says things right out of the blue, often that my daughter and I and my hub haven't talked about. He has learned to wait until there is a break before piping up.
    If he has a mood disorder, he can't really control himself because he's not on the right medications. Adderrall would make him quite manicky and chattery. I took Ritalin once (I have a mood disorder) and it made me higher than a kite. I never took another pill. I also crashed bad and it made me depressed. He could be a lot of things that have not yet diagnosed.
    Does his biological mom have a mood disorder? Substance abuse issues? This does not sound like a typical kid of fifteen at all (I've raised three to date and have one who is fourteen). This is a kid who doesn't know how to socialize, doesn't know how to get positive attention, can't really control his behavior, and in my opinion it's not his fault. On top of that, he sounds a little paranoid, thinking people are talking trash about him all the time. That's not normal either. He needs more help than he's been getting. On top of that, he has a dysfunctional mother who he lives with, and who probably also is in denial about his problems.
    Structure and stability won't be enough to help a child who has a psychiatric or neurological disorder (or both). He will likely be high maintenance for the long haul, moreso if Dad won't seek additional help for him (or can't afford it). I wish you luck.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off ((((hugs)))). You must be exhausted and it's o.k. to be enjoying the peace while he has been gone this week. I agree with the others in that he probably needs a neuropsychologist to reevaluate.