difficult child and car rides

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    just don't mix. No matter what we try to do to make them better they are not good and we've tried a lot over the years. When possible we do try to drive at night so he will sleep most of it. No such luck today as we had to be home earlier due to work tomorrow.

    It actually started before the car ride. This morning he kept coming in to the room we were sleeping in at sister in law's and bothering us. The first time was around 3:30 and then he did go back to sleep for awhile. Then he started at 5:00 coming in the room and asking to watch tv quietly. To protect the sanity of sister in law and her family we said yes (they live in a small trailer home and can hear everything plus they were all sleeping in the living room so we could have the bed). Next thing you know he is bouncing on the bed landing on husband and me, making noises and being a general pest. We finally got up at 7:30 to go to mother in law's house for breakfast.

    Then we get in the car to drive home. The first 2 1/2 hours I drove and he and husband slept. Of course, when it was time for husband to drive difficult child was wide awake and in full difficult child mode. A lot we tried to ignore (him playing his cd player with headphone so loud and singing that we could barely think or here our own music). However then he started getting dangerous. He would throw little things into the front seat that he knows he isn't suppose to because it is dangerous when someone is driving. Then he took a belt and started hitting my seat and then me (lightly but it still hurt and he is 14 and knows better). I told him he was on Stop the World (automatic for any violence). Then he took an ice scraper and thinking he is funny put it on the back of husband's neck while he is driving-grrrrrrrrrrrr!

    Next he started taking things of mine that are in the backseat and trying to get into them. One thing he took was my ww stuff and I didn't want it spilled in the car so I tried to grab it at which point he hit me hard on the arm with his cd player. Then when I took that he started swearing at me, etc... Real fun ride-NOT!

    At home he continued to be wound up and wouldn't follow any directions and started swearing at me and calling me all kinds of pleasant names. He tried to hit me again when I needed to take something. I know I just should walk away but darn it I was mad too and tired of being called the names. Maybe I didn't handle it the best but sometimes in the thick of a situation it is hard to always just walk away and let the consequences come later.

    He hasn't had this bad of day in a long while (those are just the highlights) but I've had it!! I'm so stressed and wound up right now I can't stand it!
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    What a nightmare. What the doctor ordered: a long, hot, relaxing bath and some ethereal music (eg Mozart) :)
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    how about a long hot bath, after you take a xanax (or your preferred benzo!). He just does not do well in the car poor kiddo. And poor you and husband.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sharon, why should you have to take it and be calm and serene while he gets to sit there and verbally/physically attack you? No one else on earth is going to let him do that to them. Personally I think you do him no favors if you let him think the real world is going to be like home.

    If he hurts you or hurts your feelings, you have every right to let him know it in no uncertain terms. I have shocked Cory a time or two when he called me a B and I turned it back around on him and told him that I guess that meant he was a son of a B. That sort of took him off his game...at least when he was younger. Wouldnt do a thing now except make him laugh. And I guess we all know where I stand on physical violence. They all knew where I stood on it too.
  5. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Hi Wiped Out,
    I am curious what part of his diagnosis's contribute to this behavior? Is it the ADHD, the bipolar, or what? The reason I ask is because it sounds like my difficult child. He is usually excellent in the car though - but his behavior is like that a lot. Purposely annoying and irritating everyone and not stopping no matter how many times you tell him. What is this? I really wish I understood and knew how to stop it with my difficult child. I feel like there are times when the only way to stop him would be to put him in a straight jacket and gag him. Geeez. What is this and why do they do it??

    Edited to Add:
    Is it ANXIETY? Is he anxious about riding in the car? Or about going home? Is it sensory? Gets car sick? I can't even find any real patterns for my difficult child's behavior.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Malika-The bath and music sound great!

    CM-Ditto on the hot bath! difficult child has never done well in the car. It's one reason I wish we could leave him here at times when we travel.

    Janet-Trust me I wasn't calm! The part I felt I didn't handle well was when I tried to take my ww stuff from him (even though I had every right to). difficult child will get violent 99% of the time that someone grabs something from him. I could probably have prevent him from hitting me with his cd player if I had just let him dig in my stuff but I was angry that he was going to get into it at the same time, Know what I mean?? husband will say things like what you said to Corey. Believe me, he knew husband and I weren't happy. Every time he tried to start a conversation tonight I wouldn't speak with him. Of course, when husband mentioned to difficult child that he could cause a crash and husband and I could die his response was, who will take me home. husband told him he'd probably be in jail for causing the accident and he still replied with the same question, but then who would take him home-argh-he truly doesn't get it.

    Jules-I really don't know what it is or if it's a combination of everything! He has always been this way even thought he knows he won't like the consequences. I wish I understood it too. I know what you mean about the straight jacket and gagging-lol!

    He really calmed down tonight and told me he loved me before he went to bed. In his mind he even made a peace offering by offering me some of his pizza rolls he was eating for dinner. He also didn't argue his stop the world tonight after he calmed down. Now that he took his evening medications he is going to bed. Whenever he is on "stw" he goes to bed right after his medications (his choice, he can't stand that there isn't much of anything he gets to do).

    Of course, he is all calm now and my stress level is still really high.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Maybe we can get a bulk rate discount for the group here????
  8. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Haha Buddy - I am cracking up! Maybe I shouldn't have said that but geeez - well you guys know. It's tough being a parent of a difficult child.

    Wiped Out - I'm glad your evening was calm. I know what you mean about your stress level still being high. So often my difficult child snaps out of his funk and acts like nothing ever happened while I am still picking up pieces and trying to recover from the trauma. It takes an emotional toll on us for sure. I really think half the solution to our difficult child's problems is just taking time for us and figuring out a way to find peace wherever/whenever we can.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Let me get this straight... it was 2.5 hours to get there in the first place, and obviously more than an hour's visit, and then another 2.5 hours home?
    Like... 5 hours of driving? With an "event" in between???

    (if that's not the scenario and I missed something, then ignore the rest of this post)

    Because... seriously, *I* would be insane before the day was half done. And I've got how many years of practice.
    We can handle road miles, OR an event, on any given day - but NOT BOTH.
    If we go at all (sometimes we do), we go the day before, and sleep over so that the "event" day doesn't include driving.
    And then usually stay over again and return the next day.

    OR... if its not an event but just a road trip... we do major miles every other day, with a break-day in between.

    Its the multiple-transitions thing that gets me, and difficult child, and to some extent the rest of our crew here.
  10. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    "Maybe I didn't handle it the best but sometimes in the thick of a situation it is hard to always just walk away and let the consequences come later."

    I don't get the self evaluation that you were the problem. If anything, I would think that you and husband weren't powerful enough. I know you know all the therapeutic stuff but what is the plan for when he is dangerous in the car? Just his distracting noise is not safe.

    The other side of the coin is that he won't/can't change and you have to make the best of it. Road trips with him in attendance should stop until he has better control.
    In the meantime, I know you know all this and you are just venting. Remember that you aren't the problem and you are learning every day what works and doesn't work for difficult child. Don't take the blame on your shoulders.
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Yes!! I think alot of difficult children just don't get that. There have been so many time when difficult child causes chaos and he calms down, but I'm still really annoyed that I had to deal with his nonsense in the first place. If he tried to talk to me and I am short and curt with him, that can start him all over again. I should forgive and forget it what difficult child says, but he does not seen to undertand that it's not that easy. How can you just "forget" that your child turns your life, and the lives of everyone else in the family, completely upside down?

    At least the evening went smoother than the car ride did. I understand that you lost your patience with him, but how can you not do that? Sometimes I think that even the saints would lose their patience with a difficult child in full on difficult child mode!
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Buddy-Lol-love the idea!

    Jules-I completely agree we need to take lots of "me" time.

    Insane-No events yesterday-just a 5 1/2 hour car ride home. Usually the clonidine helps him sleep through more of the ride. husband's family is in Michigan so we are there a lot in the fall especially (road trip to football games)

    Fran-Thanks-I think I needed to hear that because you are right I shouldn't be taking the blame on my shoulders. We've already decided that for the next trip (family Christmas party) we will travel both ways at night so he will be sleeping for the entire drive. We hate driving back Sunday at night when we have to work the next day but it will be safer.

    Bunny-Thanks. My difficult child is like yours. One minute he is angry and the next he thinks all should be forgiven. Argh!!
  13. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    one word.....gravol