detaching seems to be the only thing

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by work in progress, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. work in progress

    work in progress New Member

    I must do. I hv been away from this board for a long time, so forgive my lack of abbrevs. I read Fran's board to cover the most common abbrevs used so please bear with-me. Feel free to use yours in your replies, I'll get them down eventually. I am 47, married 24 yrs, admin profession 15 yrs. 1 difficult child age 17-1/2. diagnosis ODD and ADD (impulsivity and attention depression) with bipolar depression. medications and therapy: Concerta 54 +27 mg. As part of the IEP, difficult child school based counselor was recommended. But difficult child sees private Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) thru my insurance plan. I would prefer that he sees one over the other, but difficult child prefers both. husband unwittingly assisted him in weaning him off of his prescribed anti-depressant: Remeron. The General Psychotherapist (new GP) who leads his treatment plan feels the Bipolar isn't so much an issue and asks us to closely monitor his moods in a journal. difficult child is coming to grips with his diagnosis. She has been assigned to replace the GP who left four months ago, but agrees with primary diagnoses that he clearly has ADD/ADHD based on two years of school's and our assessments of him. GP wants difficult child to see a therapist bi-weekly. Recently, we found out that difficult child that was seeing school based therapist on an adhoc-basis. I am requesting child-based 2 provide private based with her assessment of difficult child as we get closer to the end of difficult child's senior yr as part of transition. I also worry that if difficult child doesn't go to college there will be no more insurance coverage. I don't wish for difficult child to medicated for the rest of difficult child's life (unless it will be a forever thing), but I want to see him move into a transition to adult life. difficult child appears to have outgrown the hyperactivity. difficult child flatly refuses college (not even considering going PT ) and has no real plan of action after school except to be a music mogel or an actor. difficult child is a late bloomer in terms of being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD/BiPolar (BP) because husband was against child seeing a psychiatrist and thought child would outgrow the disorganized, undachieving and impulsive behaviors since elementary school. husband called it all a phase. difficult child is also a late bloomer in terms of what he loves: Acting-- even though he pursued it with great vigor in his sophomore, junior and senior years of high school. The school administrators, teachers, fellow students and his parents are impressed with the range of acting that difficult child demonstrated recently. difficult child was a key character in in Shakepearean play. However, husband and I do worry about this abstract plan of action. I think that a year off would help difficult child decide what he wants to do. difficult child's grades went up dramatically at the end of junior year and the past two marking periods as a senior which would help to boost his GPA and perhaps make him eligible for need based and academic scholarships. A student loan is out of the question as it has taken me almost five years to get out of consumer credit card debt and I am helping my husband to pay off his remaining debt. Despite the family's financial struggles, I managed to tuck away some of my earnings into a UGMA set up in difficult child's name and am prepared to take it from him and put it into trust for at least a year or two or until he decides to what he wants to do. It isn't much but it will at least cover his college courses or supplies for at least 2 semesters if he chooses to go. Believe me, it isn't much due to the family's up and down finances. difficult child got a PT job last summer and continues to work through the school year and he isn't contributing or saving toward college. difficult child spends every penny on clothes, music, movies, a girl who has caught his eye and eating establishments. This is where his head is. I have a lot more to add about the family dynamic and I'll get back to that drama later in another forum, but this lack of planning and what could happen after he reaches 18 rules over all. difficult child seems to resent me so much lately. My questions are: Does anyone agree with difficult child current treatment plan, should both therapist be involved or sharing in the treatment plan, is it fair to let difficult child live as he should or force continuing education beyond high school, can I legally move difficult child UGMA to a trust fund or do I have to give it to him? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. work in progress

    work in progress New Member

    Update: The GP General Psychiatrist, had suggested a mood stabilizer after I brought to her attention that he was reported as acting out in class. Teacher says difficult child leads classes in discussion and he was his star student but then he began blurting out answers and using foul language. This has happened once, maybe twice and it resulted in a detention. He also told us that he had saved some money for a piece of music equipment, he blew it all on a spending spree after a girl let him down. The GP suggested I think about one of three recommended medications for mood stabilization: depakote, lamictal and seroquel. Until I get difficult child a EKG and Blood work and she gets a report on his behavior from our journal, the mood stabilizer will be placed on hold. I mentioned that he was on the Remeron for sleep and BiPolar (BP), but difficult child was weaned off. He doesn't wake me up complaining of being unable to sleep at 1-2 am like he used to, but his first period instructor says he occasionally sleeps in class. The GP she recommended that he take 1 mg of melatonin as needed until she gets my okay to one of the above mentioned medications and she receives the results from all tests. What do you readers think? thanks again for hearing me out and my apologies for the long messages.

    later for drama between parents....have a blessed evening.
     
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome back. You have a number of different issues and I am no expert in any of them! I'll be glad to give you my opinions, however, since I know that it's difficult to feel alone and worried.

    It sounds to me like you have quite alot to be thankful for right now with your difficult child. He is capable of doing the academic work and has improved this year in that arena. He is capable of
    holding down a job and is doing that regularly. He accepts that
    he has issues and not only accepts help but has dual experts that he is turning to for help. He is capable of interacting with male and female peers and is doing so. He also has found
    an area of great interest that could lead him to a satisfying career.

    He is really really doing well...even though he is not on the "same page" you are on now. I would assume that he is trying
    to distance himself from you right now because he will be a legal
    adult in six months (yes, I know he is immature but he still will
    be a legal adult) and even easy child's have to separate from their Moms
    and start looking at their future as "theirs".

    Regarding the college funding, I think the rules vary depending on which program you have set up. Chances are you can just let
    it accrue and hope he decides to seek more education. With our
    program, by the way, it can be used for technical schools if the child
    does not opt for a standard college education.

    I know it is hard to be thankful for what you have, when you have
    hoped and planned for something else. My happiest and also my most successful child was completely in sync with me "until" she
    met her future husand. Although she did not marry him for four more years, she refused to stay in the University dorm AND she
    refused to even let us keep paying for a dorm room so she would have a "safe" place. After 18 years with-o a single disagreement she came home, announced she was moving in with her boyfriend etc. and
    I literally broke into sobs. I had never ever been so heartbroken. I pulled the parent "trump card" and told her IF she wouldn't even keep a change of clothes in the dorm...she would be on her own. She replied "I'm sorry Mom. I've made my
    decision. Don't worry. I love you."

    She earned her education. She is the most happily married of our
    six grown kids. Her husband ended up (after quite a few years) being
    an awesome husband.

    I strongly advise you not to play a "trump card". Thank God that
    your son is doing so well. He will soon be completely in charge
    of his future. He knows you love him. In some ways you can guide him, but mostly now your job is to encourage and support him as he makes choices. Sending hugs. DDD
     
  4. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Seems like your difficult child is doing really well.

    You posted mostly about college, yet you say difficult child doesn't want to attend even parttime. Is college what you expect from him? even if he has no desire for it?

    I know acting is a gamble, but if that is his passion, maybe an agreement could be met regarding pursuing acting in college?
     
  5. work in progress

    work in progress New Member

    DDD and Heartrope,

    Both of you are terrific. I needed that boost. I am so grateful that difficult child is who he is. difficult child had considered Julliard school of acting and another college with an excellent drama program is sending him countless brochures. He tends to neglect applying himself or do incomplete assignment of the HS art/music/theatre teachers who could write letters of recommendations for acceptance into these schools. difficult child wants to take short cuts or not at all. difficult child also wants to break it big in the music producing industry, he writes songs yet (keeps a notebook handy and will write songs whether in bed or in his classes) We bought him an instrument to nurture his love of music (you know, to be supportive and help him to be even more creative). He is passing a piano lab class but is struggling because difficult child won't do the practice part. We went on a tour of a music production school last year and the instructors said it is not easy, there is study, reading, and hands on study. There isn't a special education department to support him with his ADHD issues, should he get stuck. It is expensive and all he will walk away with is a certificate. difficult child realize that with hard work and perseverence he could make it as the acting/music fields are so fiercely competitive. I suggest to difficult child that if he wishes to forego college or a specialized trade school after HS he work his pt JOB at night so he can go on cattle call like auditions in the morning, to read the trade publications but my suggestions are met with who are U, I know better. A relative in the next town who meets expenses between acting gigs is available for any career advice should he need it, but difficult child won't call him. Three weeks ago, he walked off of his job over a misunderstanding with him and a manager. But his dad intervened to get it all straightened out so he is continuing to work at his semi-parttime job.

    Believe me, I am struggling with husband who is pushing the college thing on him. I think a year away from school might help difficult child sort his feelings; husband disagrees totally. I've only suggested to difficult child to at least try one or two classes and see how he likes it so to shut up husband. Then there are the PPs who want to know what school our difficult child is attending or proceed to tell me his/her child is going or to share where some scholarships are. Then there are the distant family members who say what is wrong with you, mom, what do you mean he isn't going to college, you have to show him how to get moving. Four months ago, he took the SAT/ACTs. I paid for them; he did okay without us having to spend loads of money to prepare him for tests. But the brochures and college apps continue to sit on a table gathering dust. I've literally shut down emotionally and I am trying to detach because of these pressures and his lack of appreciation. I haven't filled out a FAFSA form online because I feel like I am wasting time and just setting myself up for more disappointment.

    I am trying not to control his future, but when he expressed interest in dropping out as a sophomore, I promised him that if he graduated, I would send him on a short trip to visit his uncle overseas. Did I overdo it? This is what he's always wanted to do since he was in third grade....brother in law who lives abroad will allow difficult child to visit for a month or as long as wants. So I tucked away some of my earnings to also fund a RT airline ticket to send him out into the big world to give difficult child a break from us and help him decide on his future. The passport photos are taken, the passport application will be submitted in a week from today and I will purchase the airline tickets soon.

    I'm even considering using the college funding for the special music production school if that would make him happy. And if he really wants to complete his studies at this school, he will have to come up with the rest of his tuition money and any other incidentals because he won't receive any state aid because it is in the next town over (out of state). Ditto for any schools at the county level because there isn't a lot. Maybe he'll earn a scholarship later in life when he has matured some and has figured out what he wants to do. But when the money is gone, it's gone. No loans, I mean it.

    I've told family and friends that this is his life, but I get in return from husband (who hasn't so much as put a dime into the college or graduation gift fund). or the PPs, or from distant family members, what do you mean.it's his life? what are you talking about? My company has a ADHD/Learning Disability (LD) support group that meets once a month but I feel awkward attending these meeting because my son at age 16 exhibited behaviors like the younger ones and I don't want to cry at these meetings, so I stopped going. I wish I had known what these parents know now when my son was younger. I get so distressed by the attitudes from all of those above that I refrain from keeping in touch with those in the family except those who are closest to me or pass on lunches with my boss and his co-workers because the topic of conversation is what school is your son going to? Last year, I told my son that I used to attend these support meetings because they did help me a lot and when I told him that these kids who were acting like him at 12-17 were as young as 5 and 6 years, he got so quiet. Maybe it was the turning point. I'll never know, but I am glad he is improving. Now to keep me centered, I use my company gym 4-5 days a week and practice yoga and Pilates on the weekends. It has helped me somewhat. I'm inspired to get on with my life and reapply for school, maybe try to get a certificate in personal physical training. husband and I have been struggling in our marriage and I am at a crossroads about leaving him after difficult child graduates. I stayed for the sake of our son.

    I know that difficult child couldn't control it back when, we didn't have a name for what he was going through, but now he understand consequences and he knows he has ADHD and he will be considered an adult in four months and the stuff he does won't continue to fly in the real world so I will keep my door open to conversation when he needs me. If I initiate a conversation, he calls my talk noise. He thinks he isn't hurting me when he acts out or talks sarcastically or gets fresh mouthed, but he does. I let him know that his disrespectful behavior is not going to be tolerated or when he chooses to play his rap music with the awfullest language, we don't have to hear it. Either he has to wear a headset or the "music" gets trashed. He has to respect the house or else then I go into my bedroom and cry, pray to God to ask what did I do in a past life to deserve this, ask for his help to change and strengthen me, to open our difficult child eyes to all he is doing, the whole shebang and all husband says is let what our difficult child said or did roll off. I want it all to stop now or at 18, but I know from reading your posts that things will improve when it's time to improve

    Thanks ago, DDD and Heartrope, you were a blessing. All that you said gives me some hope. I love my son so much and I know he loves me too. He does let me know at least once or twice a week before he goes to school or before he goes out with his buddies. Even if we are coming off of a rough argument or he's had a bad day. Boy do I ever cherish life more when he says that!

    Any more suggestions or any opinions from you or other posters are welcome. I need all the support I can get.... . IM DONE, SORRY TO BE ALL OVER THE PLACE. God bless you all, WIP
     
  6. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    In your subject line you say detaching seems to be the only thing..
    Seems to me you have to learn to detach from family and co-workers.
    One of the hardest things I had to learn to do was hold my head up high in this small town I live in with my difficult child.
    Your extended family does not know your inner feelings, your co-workers certainly have no idea what your struggles are at home.

    But you have to ask yourself, in the end, what will it matter what any of them think? You have to do what is best for your child, he is the one that matters.

    I think a trip aboard is wonderful! how neat that he can stay with brother in law!

    College is not for everyone.
    I understand your disappointment, my difficult child's class is graduating from hs this yr. I had to force him to get his ged.
    He was supposed to be at Auburn University on a football scholarship and then on to play pro football, that was his dream and god gave him the talent to play in the pros, everyone saw it since he was young.

    He walked off the field his sophmore yr and has yet to look back....
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Like Hearthope I, too, have a teen who in addition to ADHD is/was
    gifted, unusually good looking and had extraordinary God given talent in two sports where he excelled with joy, natural talent
    and lots of practice. He also has always shown respect and
    taken time to give us each a hug and an "I love you".

    Alochol and pot took over his life. He has been in juvie and
    county jail. In a drunken state he actually fell three floors off a balcony and landed on the frontal lobe (impulse control)
    of his head/brain. He still opts to drink.

    We quickly learned to thank God for his life, each of the recovery steps and now for each day that something bad does not
    happen. We try to focus on what we have to be thankful for..but
    life is absolutely not what it was suppose to be. DDD
     
  8. work in progress

    work in progress New Member

    Thanks again to you to for responding. You are such strong and dedicated parents. Heartrope, you certainly hit the nail on the head when you mentioned my subject line. All that matters is what is best for the child. I wish my husband felt the same way. Thanks for sharing about your son and daughter's lives, wow. DDD, I am so glad your son is still here, not doing pot and remains out of harm's way. I pray for his deliverance from alcohol. DDD your child and you are in my prayers.

    In my edit, I expressed that I had detached from some family members who were not as supportive. It's tough to do, because I come from a large family and I am and have always been a pleaser, but it had to be done. My child is the one that truly matters. Actually difficult child didn't want to go back to work for that company. I told difficult child you don't quit until you find a better job. The key is not to settle for the job you hate. Keep trying until you get there. Do what you love and the money will follow and ask yourself if you do it even if it paid nothing. That is when you have reached your true calling. One day, when he has reached the pinnacle of success that he seeks, he hopefully will remember those words of wisdom. I am proud that he has a job. But afraid that he doesn't know how to set perimeters for his time. He had no plan of action of before the play rehearsals began, except to hope that someone could cover for him, so wrote a note to his manager expressing that this play counted toward his final grade. He is a student employee and with that, he has the power to work the required minimum or take time off for exams. He is also a union member and he pays dues so if his request went unheeded, he could take this to the union board or the Board of Education. This is what I mean by making the transition into the real world from high school. He won't listen to us but he will listen to outsiders who truly support him, if he will let them get close enough. Often I am forced to sit on the sidelines and watch difficult child mess up over the same issues before. The guidance counselors, the youth minister, his vice-principal, and other adult role models are out there with the exception of the school based counselor, but he rarely crosses their doorsteps. It's his senior year and it will very soon be over. I don't foresee me or his dad doing the pitch hitting for him forever. Scary thought to leave him out there on his own, but it is his life. I won't leave him but I'll be there if he needs me.

    Thanks for the sharing your experiences about yourselves and your children. I can't wait to hear about all the good things that God has in store for you and your families.

    Be Blessed.





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  9. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    "do what you love and the money will follow, ask yourself if you would do it if it paid nothing"

    maybe that is what he is trying to do with the acting, and he doesn't see the need for college.

    Your difficult child sounds like a normal senior trying to gain his independence, they all break away and listen to outside advice from peers, etc.
    He is in school, he is working, and he is trying to pursue his acting, he sounds alot like my easy child.

    Wishing you peace!
    HH
     
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