difficult child had a big meltdown

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He had several things for homework that were important- one was to study (and let me help him) for a retake of a quiz in algebra. He was doing fine, then a "new" friend came over unexpectedly- at least unexpectedly to me. difficult child wanted to go hang out with him, but first of all, I don't like difficult child just wanting to go hang out on the streets in the neighborhood with a kid who we don't really know and who doesn't seem to be interested in anything else and who only shows up to do this once a week or so. It just doesn't quite add up to me and given the things difficult child has done in the past and the fact that the PO tried to make it sound to the judge like I just wasn't keeping up with where difficult child was all the time, let's just say I cringe when this boy shows up.

    Anyway, I told difficult child that he could sit on the porch and talk to the boy about 10 mins., but that was it because he had a lot of homework and, again, I don't really know this kid. difficult child says ok. About 7-8 mins later, I open the door to look on the porch and they were no where in sight. difficult child pulling a disappearing act is not a good thing. I turned off oven, since I was heating dinner, get in the car to look for him, drive around neighborhood and cannot find him. This is even worse, and it was approaching 7:30- his curfew from PO. I came home, resolved that he just will end up in trouble again. He comes home, works on homework for 5 mins and says he's done. I didn't say anything other than that I thought he was in big trouble. I didn't yell, discuss anything, that was it. Then, he starts yelling at me and getting in my face "why was I mad at him". DUH! I was so resolved to him just screwing up that really, I didn't feel mad and don't think I was acting mad. But he kept on in my face and I kept repeating "I am not yealling, I am not coming down on you, I am not doing anything, so I don't know what it is you are expecting".

    He says he wants to know why I'm mad, he didn't do anything wrong. I said that maybe someday when he was older he would understand more. I was not yelling or fussing- it was matter of fact. He flipped over my chair, with me sitting in it, grabbed this old wooden cane that we have laying around the house and swung it back like he was getting ready to bash my head as I'm laying on the floor in a turned-over chair. he kept yelling at me "why are you mad" and I said it doesn't matter what I say, you are going to hit me or kill me anyway. He said why wouldn't I say anything else and I said because I am afraid of him.

    Then he turned and started bashing the wall with the cane. Lovely- more holes in the wall. Then he went to the living room, sat down and bawled his eyes out. He was saying that all I did was go to a therapist and tell him everything he'd done wrong and put him on medications like he was crazy and mentally retarded and that everything in this world was not his fault. Mostly, he just cried for a long time. Finally, I went to him and told him for the hundredth time that the todc we saw 2 weeks ago got things screwed up and that I HAD NOT gone to him saying that everything was his fault (which is true). And that I wish he trusted me enough to believe that. Then he kind of repeated those things about crazy and BiPolar (BP) and not being all his fault. I said difficult child, BiPolar (BP) is a mood disorder and he says "I'm not mentally retarde" and I say difficult child, I HAVE a mood disorder. I said I have anxiety and depression issues, that is a mood disorder. It's not the end of the world. Well, why did I and psychiatrist put him on medications for BiPolar (BP)- who said he was BiPolar (BP). difficult child- YOU told psychiatrist you thought you were BiPolar (BP). He diagnosis'd you in large part based on the things YOU told him. (Lord, help me.)

    After some more crying he said where he and this boy had walked. (I wouldn't have been able to see them from the road.) I asked if there were any drugs or alcohol involved and he swore no. (I figure the PO will be checking on the drugs.) He said that is all they did- go for a walk and they were only gone 25 mins. I said difficult child, you left without permission and you were only supposed to be on the porch for 10 mins. Then, more crying, he can't stand not having a normal life and us not having money and etc., etc. I don't know how he's going to react when he finally realizes that things are in a desparate situation financially and every hole he puts in the wall just digs us in deeper.

    So, there went the evening. He got very polite with thank you's and may I's, ate, took a shower, took his medications, and is in bed. i would think this was 100% manipulation, except it is exactly what happened when we tried the typical therapy before 2 years ago. I am still so friggin angry with this last therapist- I swear I told him that route would trigger something then I'd be home trying to deal with it because all it does is open up a can of worms right about the time that therapy is over, then they send us home and I'm left trying to pick up the pieces and find stability for us again and it takes weeks. I specificly told him that I thought difficult child needed psychoeducation first and that psychiatrist had suggested that as well.

    Soooo, there's my vent for the night. I don't think difficult child is going to do so well on this quiz tomorrow.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    What a horrible evening, I'm glad you are both safe. It sounds like difficult child has some very skewed thinking and just can't connect the dots.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Ugh big time!

    Maybe setting a "visitation" night or hours may help? "No one over on Monday - Thursday after 6:00. If homework is not done, no one over Sunday after 5:00pm." Set times for homework and noone is allowed over during that time.

    I have a "difficult child home and no one over after 7:00pm regardless of home work status". My difficult child tried to change that one with, "I don't have homework tonight, I can stay out later." "No, the rule is for every school night Sunday - Thursday. Homework has nothing to do with this one" (He needs to be asleep by 8:00pm).

    13 is a time of more rules to set boundaries of wandering - how far to go and how long to be gone - of course ALWAYS tell mom or other adult where you are going and with who.

    Just keep reminding him that he needs to be accountable for all his actions and that he is capable of making good choices.

    I hope he is feeling better. Maybe a good night's sleep will help.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok...I think you need to talk to whomever you need to talk to and get the order changed to remove difficult child from having to see a therapist for the time being. Get it set so you see a therapist for parenting skills and training to help you learn how to better help him at this time in his life. I simply dont think he is going to access therapy at this point. Maybe later.

    Go back to psychiatrist and reassess medications. Personally I dont think they are adjusted properly. Have you tried at least a low dose of seroquel daily?

    And as much as you hate behavior mod, I would look into some age appropriate steps. There is no way he should be getting by with threatening you in that way. There needs to be stiff punishment for such things.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I agree with-Janet. Sort of the STOP THE WORLD technique that (I can't remember who it is now) uses. The fact that he hit the wall and not you was great, but what happens next time? He should never EVER get to that point where he's threatening you. There are lots of options for him to vent his anger that are way more acceptable... punching bag outside. Pushups in the livingroom. Kneading bread dough. Washing the car. Going for a walk. Whatever. We need to bring back washboards and washtubs for kids like this! Anyway, he should never, ever, ever get away with threatening you.

  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Sorry, but I would have been calling the police 30 seconds after he knocked the chair over (or at least as soon as I could safely get up to do so). The cane wouldn't have even been a factor.

    For some kids, they manipulate through tears. It sounds like your son manipulates through violence. He knew he was wrong in leaving the porch. He came back and tried to put you on the defensive by repeatedly asking why you were angry. When that didn't work, he escalated. He needs to learn that violence is never acceptable and will be dealt with appropriately. Sadly, "appropriately" is calling the police.

    If you think the violence stems from medication issues, then I'd insist he be taken to the ER. Otherwise, I'd have the police handle it as they deemed appropriate. I found that meeting with lieutenant, captain or chief and explaining my daughter's behavior and situation helped a lot. That way, when I called the police for help, I could drop a name about how things should be handled. It really helped.

    Stop the world is a great concept for a mouthy, rude, obnoxious teen. Your son is well beyond that. He is violent and dangerous. You're fearful of your life. He needs help. So do you. Yes, he's on probation but it cannot be factored into this situation, at least not by you. You need to let him know that the next time he becomes violent you will call the police and then do so if he does.

    My daughter was violent. I foolishly made excuses for her. When she broke my arm and two ribs, the excuses went out the window and she spent the weekend in juvie. That was when I seriously began looking for an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for her (and it took me 2 more years to get her into one -- I kept making excuses).

    I'm sorry you're going through this. No person should be afraid of someone they love. No person has the right to put that kind of fear in another.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, everyone, for the support and thoughts.

    Right now I'm just trying to think of things I can do that might lead to getting him turned around without wasting years sitting in detention. And, I'm trying to think about the steps to pursue those things and start thinking those options through enough to make a good decision. So far, I have thought about this much (not necessarily in any order).

    1) medications- I agree that they aren't good enough right now. We had made an appointment for last week with psychiatrist that we were to keep if I wanted to try lowering depakote. I decided that we should kkeep the depakote as it is for right now, so a week ago Mon., I called to postpone the appointment. Of course, a day or two after that was when difficult child was getting into the rage and violent episodes (2 now in about 1 week). I can't help but think this is related to cycling. Plus, I had been using risperdal PRN- he took it the first week of Sept., then stopped, then from middle of last week until Mon. I gave it to him last night and intend to keep him on it now until we see psychiatrist again. I hope I'm not making excuses for him or being in denial, but difficult child has not been this way in the past except when he's very unstable, with other BiPolar (BP) sympotms active. Our next appointment is now sscheduled for 4 weeks from now and psychiatrist is on vacation this week. If the risperdal doesn't curb things, I can call next week and see if psychiatrist can squeeze me in (alone) to discuss the current situation. He will either try a medication change, or maybe write a letter recommending out of home placement or tell me to call police, which will ultimately lead to difficult child turned over to state dept of corrections.

    2) If psychiatrist writes that letter, judge may try to find an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but I doubt it. There are a number of resons, including that no one here is familiar with her ever doing that and the state has a very few Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and last year DSS and an attny told me that difficult child would never be able to go into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in this state because he had a conviction for arson. So, if out-of-state placement would be required, I can see the judge giving placement to my bro if she didn't want to automatically send difficult child to state dept., which he has a suspended sentence for.

    3) I don't have a clue how to get difficult child into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) privately. I seriously doubt I would be able to do it between the financial aspect and the fact that he's "under" Department of Juvenile Justice authority right now, and technically will be until he's 21 yo. I think the only chance would be if I could find an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that would take him, figure out a way to pay for it, go to the judge with the lettere of recommendation from psychiatrist and proof that I had difficult child's admittance ready. She would probably approve that. But, insurrance won't cover it and I think the only way to get aide for the cost (if it's in state- I don;t know that this even works for out-of-state), is to go through all the local government mental health agencies to get their recommendation. First, I can't even get them to return my call. Second, that process would probably take at least a year. Third, I'm not sure how much they can or would be willing to pursue with difficult child already involved in a different government agency (ie - Department of Juvenile Justice)- they might look at it like "why spend their time on his case- let Department of Juvenile Justice figure out what to do and how to pay for it".

    3) therapist and outpatient route- we have an appointment this afternoon with "Mr. go-in-circles". I'm going to be fussing about why we've been seeing him for over 4 mos and haven't gotten past the diagnosis and what medications difficult child is on (which he didn't even evaluate- this was just relayed to him from psychiatrist and it was discussed with him on the phone before I ever met him in the spring.) Anyway, I'm going to asked if he knows of someone who has experience in this sort of issue that he can recommend. Also, I'm considering going to a therapist by myself. There are some logistics involved with that and I'm not crazy about the idea because even though I could use the confidential time to get some of the stress out by talking, I feel it's almost pointless because when things wwere similar 2 1/2 years ago, they said they couldn't help because they didn't know difficult child and just told me to call police if it happened again. So, why bother going. I might anyway- I don't know right now- ...I did find one psychiatrist listing that says he counsels as well as monitors/prescribes medications. He appears to only have been licensed a short time and accepts NO insurance. I'm a little reluctant on that one. I don't think I'd be comfortable with him handling the medications and I don't see how I could afford it out of pocket. I could ask psychiatrist if he knows of a psychiatrist that does counseling.

    4) I swear, I almost want to talk to difficult child and asked if he wants to go to a therapist and get all this anger towards me out- whatever it takes- if he wants to sit there and yell about me smoking cigarettes or whatever, fine if it can really release some of his anger instead of making it worse. BUT, then we would need a therapist who is going to handle things in a way that doesn't make difficult child feel justified for coming home and becoming violent (yes, I KNOW that therapist's don't intend to do that.) Maybe if I could find a therapist who would make a 2hour appointment instead of a 1 hour appointment a few times. I even thought about calling the intern and pursuing that, since he opened up this can of worms. But I swear, I would never trust him at this point. I feel he betrayed my trust by delving into this- and dumb-***t- he started it off by asking difficult child "please promise me that you won't get mad at home no matter what we talk about". Now, did he think that would prevent anything?

    5) Stopping therapy for difficult child right now just isn't an option- unless the therapist we see today is willing to write something saying difficult child doesn't need it right now. Or, unless I get him back in with the therapist he saw last year and he writes that letter. I kind of hate to do that because obviously, difficult child does need it. But, I can see that the way things have been going ssure isn't working. I guess I'm saying I will put feelers out to see if something else can give in this area that might help. I put a call into a referral place last Friday. They were supposed to have a psychologist call me back so I could explain the situation and he could refer a therapist. I still haven't heard from the psychiatric- maybe I'll call again today.

    6) Calling police- I've done it in the past and I'm never happy with the outcome. It might stop escalation that moment, but that is all it does. And, it is a sure way for them (3 mos down the road when it makes it to court) to turn difficult child over to state Department of Juvenile Justice and never get him more help. I'm not against calling 911 and asking for ambulance, though, and they will still send police.

    Then- there is the bad financial situation I'm in right now. I don't want to give up on out-patient solutions (if there is one) just to desparately end the financial problem, but I need to come up with some solution. I'm mulling one over, but need to think it through a little more.

    Sheewww- thanks for being "sounding boards"- if you made it through this!!! i haven't proof-read this so if I wrote something that doesn't seem to add up or make sense, I might have forgotten to put the word "not" in or put too many words in somewhere...sorry, still having my coffee! There were other suggestions mentioned- I need to mull them over, too.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2008
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Glad he got THAT out of his system. :(
    I agree that he needs to talk to the therapist about his anger, but the therapist has to be skilled at rerouting the anger, IOW, at finding ways for difficult child to express it more appropriately and also, to communicate better with-you. And to think more clearly, rather than immediately catastrophize.
    I understand completely where he's coming from about not being able to lead a normal life, where he cannot roam the neighborhood at will. Same thing my difficult child is going through. They have to learn that they are going to earn back that privilege very, very slowly. It's THEIR behavior that keeps them at home, not yours. Our therapist is very good about repeating that to difficult child.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What MB says makes a lot of sense. Your son is manipulating you quite a bit with his tears then his anger/violence. He knows you dont want to send him back to Department of Juvenile Justice. I dont have a clue why they would even consider your brother as a resource unless he is trained in handling out of control, emotionally disturbed teens. I think you would have a rational argument there that he is not a licensed treatment foster parent. If anything, they would have to find one of those in VA. They do exist.

    But back to the real problem. Yes your son has some sort of issue. What it is may not have really been uncovered yet but lets go with bipolar for now. Bipolar is not fun and it downright hoovers for much of the time. However, no matter how much I hate being bipolar and I know lots of the stuff I do is symptomatic of being bipolar...I cant just get away with things because of it. I have done things that have cost me dearly while unstable. I have had to pay the price. I cant tell a store that I wrote a bad check because I was unstable...I have to make it good. They couldnt care less. Same goes for your son. If he becomes violent because he is unstable, he needs to be held accountable because no one is going to give a rats behind that he is bipolar in the real world. He isnt psychotic and hearing voices telling him he is Caesar and he must kill the Romans. We live in a world that we have to adapt to, not that will adapt to us. That is simple reality. We must learn to assimilate without causing chaos around us or we will end up in very small pens. I dont much like it, I wish I could be more accepted for my challenges but I know its not going to happen. That is why I tend to stay home. My real behavior shows at home. But Im an adult and this is my home and Im not going to kill anyone in my own home...well maybe Cory but he has the option to leave. (Just kidding there!)

    You and your son need to work out a way for him to get his aggression and violence out in a more socially acceptable way. Its perfectly ok to be angry. Its not ok to try to kill your mom. Beat a tree, punch a punching bag, destroy phone books. Go find old tires or something he can destroy and let him...but he cant hit in the house.
  10. KLMNO,

    I'm sorry you are having such a tough time with difficult child. My heart goes out to you. I certainly hope that you are able to get some help for him.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Is he doing better tonight?
    Did you tell him about the "discussion" with-the therapist?
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He's better tonight, thanks. He talked to me about some things bugging him on the drive to therapist's. i'm not sure his behavior is completely manipulation, although, I can see it's in the mix, too. And i do agree that he can't slide through all this like it doesn't matter that it happened, I just have a problem doing something that will result in him being punished for years in detention with no therapeutic help or mental health treatment whatso ever. That's just throwing him away, to me, being that he's 13 yo. I see that others have kids who continuously are let loose by the system. That doesn't happen with mine- and I'm sure he's a goner if he walks back in that judge's chambers any time soon.

    As far as this therapist, difficult child has had the same complaints I have. He had said before that it bothered him that this guy just wanted to talk a lot about treating heroin addicts. And, we've both been frustrated because we've gone for so long and nothing ever happens. difficult child said he did give him a mood cycling chart once (I didn't even know that much had happened) but then the therapist never mentioned it again. difficult child's at a point where he's saying, just forget therapist altogether. But I keep telling him that whether it is a therapist or not, I haven't given up on getting some help.