How do you keep loving them?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wethreepeeps, May 29, 2009.

  1. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    How do you go back to being a loving, affectionate parent after they start hurting the family pets and laughing about it? I think I've reached a personal limit, and that I'm not capable of loving him anymore. The lying and stealing I've dealt with and dealt with, but trying to suffocate the puppy that he watched being born a few months ago and cradled in his arms when she was just an hour old? I feel sick.
  2. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    I can only offer gentle hugs and prayers. I know when difficult child' verbally harrass me it's tough to love them when they decide "they're done"
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Many hugs. I know it is hard and I'm sorry your difficult child is struggling so much. Sometimes I get so mad at my difficult child and truly don't like him.

    Did this just happen? He truly doesn't sound stable right now. I would be on the phone to the psychiatrist.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i think you keep loving them by taking each new day as it comes. i don't blame you for being sick to your stomach over this one it's harsh to watch, to know and to be witness to.

    i agree he doens't sound stable though and there are reasons why he's doing what he's doing right now to the puppy and the other stuff that must be going on. Have you changed medications recently??

    (((Hugs))) hang in there!!!
  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Sometimes when things are at their ugliest, a sense of responsibility and duty step in to the place where love normally sits. It gets you through the next day, the next hour, the next minute.
    Everytime, you see him do something right, make a note that there are positives to this child. Don't just see what is wrong. He is more than his diagnosis.

    Hurting animals and lack of empathy are red flag behaviors that should be addressed by a professional. Have you spoken to his psychiatric doctor or his therapist?
    In the meantime, he must be kept away from any animals 100%. Your pet needs you to be it's warrior parent also. A puppy does not have a voice.

    Try to get a good night's sleep and start fresh tomorrow. Some days are just total losses. Hugs.
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    The only thing that helped me was learning the difference between the child and the actions. I love my child---I love what is good about him---I can't stand the choices he make. He is not his choices---he is a human being with feelings and emotions who needs me to love him---because in all the world, I'm the only one who will always love him unconditionally. Love the child, discipline the behavior.
  7. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    we haven't had any medication changes recently. He's been the most stable of his entire life on this mix for over a year now, but we had the third instance of unsafe behavior with an animal in just a couple of weeks today. It always happens after he's been caught doing something wrong or he's in trouble. You know the whole "crud rolls downhill" concept? Basically that. He's in trouble, so he does something to one of the animals. He wrapped the puppy in a blanket and was laying on top of her. I asked him what he thought would happen if he kept the puppy from breathing, and he said she'd die. I asked him if he wanted her to die, and he said no. He has no concept of consequences. I can clearly state that if you do X, Y is going to happen, and he'll turn around and do X anyway, even if Y isn't something he wants.

    I know it's a huge red flag. I've had half a dozen professionals tell me that my son is a sociopath and one forensic psychiatrist look me in the eye and tell me, "It breaks my heart to tell you this, but it is my professional opinion that you simply must get this child out of your home before he kills you." But since then, he's had a marked decrease in violence after a five month sub-acute hospital stay last year, so I'd started to hope I wasn't ever going to have to consider that.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We adopted an 11 year old who did kill the animals. My very first suggestion is to be kind to your furbabies and rehome them. This child WILL hurt them and may kill them and it's so not fair to them.

    I wish I could tell you what you should feel. We found our 11 year old had not only killed two of our dogs, flinging one puppy over a top bunk with the leash around her neck--then he came running and tried to pretend he "found" her that way ( poor baby--I still cry when I think about it), but he had been molesting our younger kids. We made the decision that, after three years, we couldn't help him--that he was sadly a child who couldn't be helped--and we did not ever allow him to live in our home again, and we haven't regretted it. However, you've had your child since age three--I can't walk in your shoes. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is difficult and can be dangerous. At least you have no other children. I have no advice for you except to PLEASE rehome your pets. We were told that the "almost killing" can easily turn to killing and that it can then move on to people...Hate to say this, but psychopathic kids tend to be able to hide their pathology well. He may have just gone underground with what he does. He could be hurting neighborhood animals--sadly, my daughter told us (after this child left) that she had once found him choking a friend's kitten, but he saw her so he dropped the animal. She was so afraid of him, she never dared tell on him. He is of age now and it wouldn't shock me to hear on the news that he killed somebody. (((hugs)))
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If possible, I think it's important to take preventative steps so that they don't step over lines you can't live with. That puppy is obviously important to you and if he's at risk for harming the puppy or other pets than the kindest thing for the pets--and least damaging for your relationship--would be to rehome them.

    I know it's easier to say this than to actually carry it out. We have had parents come through here whose children have killed the family pet. We have also had families here who have had to have two living addresses in order to keep younger siblings safe. It's important to protect the helpless so that they don't become the victims.
  10. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Look for PorcupineWhisperer's most recent posts. There is always hope.

    I would find new homes for the animals to keep them safe.


    By the way, you pms are disabled.
  11. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    thanks, I didn't know the pms were disabled, I'll fix that. I do have another child, a 12 year old daughter, and she'll be devastated to rehome our pets. Not that I can let that stop me, their lives are more important than our desire to have them in our home.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I agree you must find a new home for the puppy. I wish I could tell you things were going to get better but I am not filled with much hope these days. I have seen too much and know there is so very little we can do when they are born with a faulty wiring.

    How do you feel about a long term placement for your son? I speak from experience when I tell you the toll this is taking on your daughter is too great to go on like this.

  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Like Fran, when I didn't feel particularly loving toward one tweedle or the other, I began advocating & looking for in home services or other types of help/interventions for them.

    There are days we aren't going to love our children ~ that's simply human nature. Saying that, your difficult child has some serious diagnosis's going on there along with alarming behaviors. As the parent what intervention are you lining up for your difficult child.

    Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a horrendous disorder to deal with ~ many of the behaviors your are describing can be a part of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Is your difficult child in some kind of attachment based treatment (not the holding or rebirthing therapies). It's a notorousily slow process & you can see progress after a while.

    Please forgive me if I overstepped or crossed personal boundaries when asking about the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). It's a serious disorder; anytime I see that diagnosis in another's difficult child I get chills up my spine ~ for the parent & the child involved.

    Take care of you.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont know how we keep loving them. I just know we do. There have been many times over my son's life that I didnt like him very much. Many times I was down right angry at him. Many times that I screamed at the top of my lungs that I just wanted him gone from my very life. But all that was due to his behavior and even through all of that I never stopped loving him I just hated what he was doing to himself and to us.

    I think EW said it best.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hear you.
    I agree with MWM and Fran, that you should find a new home for the pets and that you should go into duty-mode. Don't expect love at this point. On either of your parts.
    Perhaps you could let a friend "borrow" the pets like a foster care situation. And don't tell your difficult child where they are.
    It would be a consequence for his actions. "What do you think would happen to the puppy if it can't breathe?" "It would die." ... can become, "What do you think would happen to the puppy if you torment it? It goes to a better home. We will teach you how to control yourself, and how to express your anger more appropriately."

    Your daughter can visit the puppy (alone, with-o difficult child).
  16. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    I don't even know what to think of this kid's behavior or thought process right now. At a friend's suggestion, I rented Marley and Me last night. I didn't know the dog died at the end. difficult child cried and cried, and I held him and assured him it was only a movie, but that this is what would really happen to our dogs and cats if he kept doing things to them that hurt them. And that if it made him sad to see a dog pretend to die on tv, how was he going to feel when it was one of our own dogs, dead right here in our living room, and they wouldn't ever get up and be alive again. He said he was sorry and would never do it again. Not that I really believe that. He always means it after the rage is over, until the next time.

    Timer Lady, he's not getting any sort of decent services right now. It's a long, long story. We live in Louisiana, and there's *nothing* here. He does counseling with a social worker once a week through the office of Developmental Disabilities, and sees the therapist for medications every three months. That's it. There's no wrap around, no in home therapy, nothing like that here. There's respite, but there's a two year wait.

    We moved to Tennessee for a year last in 2007, because difficult child was born and his adoption finalized there. He qualified for services through their adoption preservation program, but had to be a resident to get the services. He spents five months in a sub acute inpatient program, then had three months of three times a week in home therapy. But my daughter and I were miserable in Tennessee. We knew *no one* at all. Due to her disabilities, getting out to socialize was very hard. She grew very depressed and starting turning into a difficult child herself, with the tongue of a viper. She loathed and resented him and our home life was hell. My ex husband barely called and didn't visit the whole time we were there, and she felt like difficult child had stolen her father from her, essentially. And then things got very scary with her health last summer, and it became clear that she doesn't have a lot of time left, so I moved us back to Louisiana so she could spend that time with our family, friends, and church community. It's not fun to feel like I have to choose between what's best for one child or the other, but that there's no way to really meet the needs of both.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    that's awesome. There IS hope.
    I totally disagree with-the psychiatric who told you to send difficult child away.
    Get him involved in situations like that, maybe helping at the SPCA or other shelter. If you work FT, you can do it on weekends.

    I understand your daughter's viewpoint. What a difficult situation.

  18. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Wethreepeeps, I looked up your daughter's disorder and am living with a son similar to yours and I just want to cry for you. You are a brave lady with impossible choices in an intolerable situation. I have no advice, just want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope somehow everything falls together for you and you can get all the help you need and more.

    (((((mega hugs)))))
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Look up attachment disorder on the internet and see if there is any therapy for that in Louisinana. There probably is.

    I don't think sending him for a class with animals will help, having had a child who killed animals. He acted like he loved animals to everyone around him, and he killed ours anyways and cried convincing tears. If we had known how he was secretly with animals and sent him to volunteer at the humane society, it would not have done any good. He would have loved the attention at the humane society, but still he had no feelings toward the animals. Not really. He did put on good acts. This child actually killed two of our dogs. We wanted so much to believe in him, because we loved him so much, that we were convinced that the first dog (a dog we'd had for eight years, had been killed by some dangerous kids in our neighborhood. Only after difficult child "found" out second dead dog (after finding the first one too) did the cops sit us down and tell it to us like it probably was. Hub and I cried a river, and son denied it, but he admitted it once in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I believe it's best to rehome the pets if he is rough with them at any time. And watch him with other pets in the neighborhood. And we also found out he had been sexually abusing our younger children.

    Your son just has so many symptom sof Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)/attachment disorder (which our son who was so disturbed had) that I don't think therapy is halfway enough and I still think it's best if he is helped out of the home. If your daughter is vulnerable, who knows what he will do to her that you don't find out about until years later? You in my opinion have to do what's best for the animals and not risk any incidents. If you had no other kids, then I would think it's ok to try helping him at home (although he could be dangerous to neighborhood kids--our child was). However, in my opinion you need to think about your easy child. God help us, I know how sneaky Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)/antisocial kids are--they will ring your heart, but they don't really know how to feel love--so they are dangerous. I do think an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is the best idea. There are three symptoms of kids who are on their way to psychopathy (we learned this after our adopted child was removed): cruelty to animals is a huge red flag, so is fascination with fire or firesetting and inappropriate pooping/peeing. Those are the Big Three. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best.
  20. Giselle

    Giselle New Member

    Oh gosh, I urge you please to rehome all the pets, no matter how valid his tears look to you, and I would honestly figure out a way to talk to the neighbors about keeping their pets safe too. Most people really can't imagine that someone could be so cruel to a pet, and I can virtually guarantee that son will abuse animals again given the things you've written here. I'm sorry to sound so negative. It doesn't mean that there isn't hope, but it won't be quick enough to spare these pets suffering at his hands. It would also be a terrible idea to allow him access to vulnerable pets through the humane society or anything like that - the workers and volunteers are too overworked to supervise that closely. While I understand the desire for privacy and to handle things yourself and to give him the benefit of the doubt, I believe this situation is serious enough that now you need to try to protect any potential victims. You also have to imagine how you'll feel if he does hurt or kill an animal you may have been able to protect. You don't need to add that to your stress.

    As to how to keep loving them, it can be hard, and don't blame yourself for feeling less than loving. I think if my daughter abused animals I would be very challenged in that arena.

    It's unbelievable what you're going through with your daughter and your son both. You never imagine when you have kids that it could turn into so much pain.