Like I don't have enough bile on my plate...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm sitting here tonight trying to clear my head of all the stuff related to my dad's impending demise, and suddenly I get an automatic email from the bank stating that there has been suspicious activity on husband's credit card and that he has to call to verify the charges and then they will reactivate the card!

    So I immediately log onto the account and discover 4 different charges ranging from $3 to $64.97 from some fairly non-descript places. "Phone Biller", "BLVD" and "IP CIS CALL". I have no clue what these are, and the transactions are all pending. So I go to husband's wallet and see that the affected card is missing! At first I'm thinking he left it at the grocery store tonight, because next to his wallet is a receipt from the store and he used that card for the purchase.

    But then, my difficult child-dar kicks in and I decide to check on difficult child 1 because I suddenly realize he's been acting a little "off" tonight. He's up (it's nearly 2am) playing his gameboy in the dark. I ask him if he knows where dad's credit card might be. He's a little too quick to answer no, a little too quick to give me the overly confused and concerned look. IOW, HE'S LYING! I ask him again, telling him that it would be better if he just told me the truth. He denies any knowledge. Deny, deny, deny.

    So I walk out and I tell him that I think he's lying and that I WILL find out (I always do) and that his punishment will only be that much more severe for the lying when I do find out.

    Two steps out of his room and he cops to having "done something I shouldn't have done." That translates (these days) into something porn related.

    So I confiscate his phone, his gameboy and I proceed to inform him of the charges he's racked up -- about $80 worth. I tell him I hope the cheap thrill was worth the trust he's managed to destroy, not to mention the cash that he has to pay back and then I asked him what he thought his dad was going to say when he finds out in the morning that his credit card is suspended and that difficult child 1 essentially stole $80 from him.

    AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!! :grrr:

    So I look at the phone, and sure enough, he called three 800#s that are porn related.

    I really, really hope this Strattera starts to kick in soon. He's only on day 5 and not up to full dosage yet. We have GOT to have SOMETHING to address this lack of impulse control at night. Either that or I lock him in his room!
     
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ugh-You really didn't need this. Gentle hugs and prayers the straterra starts helping soon!
     
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What kind of porn is considered to be worth $80? How many copies of rough magazines would $80 buy? Crikey, I've seen mail order catalogues that came in the mail for free, that surely wouldn't be any more graphic. [husband took those mail order catalogues to the Vice Squad, a sort of Aussie SVU]

    Sorry you're copping so much of this crud. What the H is with this kid?

    Marg
     
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Is there any chance this is related to hypersexuality and not impulse control and that antidepressants and stimulants might be making things worse? Strattera, you may be aware, is an antidepressant and is effective in only 40 percent of ADHD cases. It also has anger and irritability as side effects.

    Just a thought . . .
     
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I'm not sure about the porn cravings, though I suppose, like gambling; it could become an addiction. I come from the generation where 'Playboy' was a "gentleman's magazine", and 'Hustler' was considered a bit "rougher".

    Granted, there were certainly some "specialty" magazines out at that time, some of which had been around for years, but you had to go to "adult book stores" to get those.

    I had no problem with husband having a subscription to Playboy, nor would I have had a problem with him visiting secure websites. My big concern was that we'd pick up a virus on the computer.

    Of course it never became an addiction with husband, just some things he wanted to explore that I wasn't into.

    In fact, I used to read Playboy after he got done with an issue. They usually had some good writing and some good advice columns. We had a Playboy Club membership for several years and used to go to the club in Lake Geneva WI once a month or so for dinner. They had a nice restaurant and husband and I used to commiserate with the "bunnies" who waited tables in outfits like suits of armor and stilleto heels, LoL
     
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    been there done that- many times and I ended up with tons of money charged on my CC. The worry I had more though was about the porn on and found thru the internet. It is not like what's in playboy or magazines most men might buy. It is half men/half women, graphically engaging in acts with each other, themselves, animals, etc. I did NOT want difficult child forming fantasies like that, thinking his wife someday might do something like that, etc.
     
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    These weren't mags, they were 1-800 "talk" lines that take your credit card number to hear someone talk in a sexually provocative way. I haven't called them to verify for certain, but that's essentially what he's copped to. I'm going to let husband handle the credit card issue and research the numbers. I don't have the bandwidth for this right now... and my hair is already falling out from stress at the end of the school year.

    I don't think this is hypersexuality SW, and although psychiatrist had suggested that it could be not too long ago, but because it's not pervasive and intrusive like it was when difficult child 2 was that way, we think it's related more to anxiety, especially when you consider the skin picking that still goes on (and which got WORSE when we lowered his Celexa). And there's a ton of anxiety around here right now with my dad's illness, and difficult child 1 is not taking this situation well.
     
  8. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    In most states you have to be 18 or older to purchase porn. It is the companies responsibility to verify. You might be able to get the credit card company to reverse the charges of this technicality.
     
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Aeroeng, husband was given the option of either accepting the charges and paying them, or refusing them and then the card company would send it to their fraud department which would then file a police report. So he chose the first option. My job today is to make difficult child 1's life as miserable as possible. :devil:
     
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm wondering where he found the 800 #s to call in the first place. When my difficult child did this he had gotten them from porn sites on the easy child, which meant further porn involvement than just the calls.
     
  11. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Ugh. been there done that. So sorry you have to deal with this in the midst of everything else.

    You might want to check the home phone too, and make sure you ask the phone company to block calls to 900 numbers. I had to get $280 worth of those reversed from my bill. :sick:
     
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    klmno, there are ads on late night TV for these numbers. It's possible he saw them then and wrote it down to use later. It's possible he got it from a magazine he stole from husband's "stash". It's possible he got the number from a porn site he visited using someone else's phone to access the internet like he's done in the past (he didn't do that last night, though because I checked the browsing history and up until now at least he's never deleted that history -- then again, he may have finally figured that out).

    What frosts me is the lying. AND he did all this while I was in the next room on the computer. :grrr:

    He's walking home (2 miles uphill) from lacrosse practice right now. And tomorrow (the last day) he will have to get himself there and back WITH his heavy gear bag. I've already got his chore list for today compiled. My mom said I should make him shadow me all day and not let him out of my sight since he clearly has to be babysat, lol.
     
  13. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Although N is only 6, when she is having heightened anxiety her first impulse is to lie. I have no idea why. She has never really gotten into trouble. It is a reaction for her and impulse.
    She has always been sneaky and we have to watch her. She is the sweetest little girl, but, she just has this side... It is like it is just inside of her!!??! !
    I have to work through the situation and scenerio to get her to realize I know the truth... I still do not punish her rather I am trying to help her see that honesty etc works in her favor.
    obviously you are beyond this point but I just find it interesting and think that some of our kids with anxiety are truly reactionary and impulsive when it comes to this.

    I hope the medications and the tactics you are using help. You so do not need this. I think he is freaking out a bit as well, not that it excuses it.
     
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Toto, he is freaking out. And that's why I think this is an anxiety driven behavior. He told me last night he wished he didn't do these things, he didn't know why he was doing it.

    I called our local teaching hospital to see if the therapist I've been trying to get him in to see had any openings for new patients yet. After months of trying, they FINALLY gave me his direct number to leave a message asking if he could see us!!! So maybe, maybe, maybe if we can get in this will help him learn some better coping skills for stress and help US understand how to help him better.

    In the mean time, I searched his room and found two old porn mags. I thought I'd boxed up and stashed all of husband's stuff where no one would find it (or where I would KNOW if it had been tampered with), but apparently not the case. I threw those ones away and will talk to husband about disposing the rest. Should have insisted he do that years ago... but that was the old me.
     
  15. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    This is one of things that out therapist works on with N so much. Her anxiety has caused her to shut down or act like a brat, become agitated, so many emotions that she doesn't and hasn't learned how to process or deal with yet.
    Our therapist is afraid that if we leave it unchecked it will snowball and become to big for N to manage in the future. Where the "little" things she does now will become huge.

    I feel bad for him but he needs to learn coping skills. I hope you can get him in, FAST!
     
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Must be anxiety season.

    I know he could find those numbers anywhere. I am going to complain heavily to the gas stations locally because I noticed just the other day as I was parked in front of the glass wall that they had a rack of adult magazines to the left of the door. Fine except the backs are all clearly visible to the entire world and on the back of one was an ad for 1-888-hot-teens! I think that was the number...who knows.

    I realize I am dating myself and now sound like MY parents but...didnt dirty magazines come in brown paper wrappers? Behind the counter?
     
  17. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You're right Janet, they used to be MUCH more difficult to access. Now it's all out in the open and the stuff kids can be exposed to (no pun intended) is just so outrageously over the top and unreal that they can end up with very twisted ideas of what is within most people's comfort zone. difficult child 1 can't even establish normal relationships with guys his age, let alone girls. That's why I am so upset about the impression he's going to have when he finally does meet someone he likes.

    I'm all for experimentation. But that comes much later in life after you've got the mechanics of relationships down and understand who you are as a person, and have a healthy respect for the feelings and boundaries of other people. He has none of that yet.
     
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so very sorry that you keep having to deal with this. If it wouldn't drive you up the wall, your mom's suggestion used to be a very effective way to keep Wiz from doing certain things. But he was younger and it was VERY hard on me, largely because he mouth never ever stopped moving and was hard to tune out.

    While I have no problems with an adult having a "stash" of porn, when you have a child with as much of a problem with porn as difficult child 1 then you must make sure there is none of it in the house, period. It isn't fair, but neither is life.

    While I realize this is anxiety related, you still have to stop it because it will color his expectations of relationships, esp with females. Do you think that it is time to go through his room and eliminate hiding places such as under the bed, between mattress and box springs, etc...? Simplify his possessions greatly and then at night do a quick check to make sure his room is free of porn, video games, cell phone, tv, etc... and put an alarm up that will sound if he leaves his room? Not permanently, but until he pays off his debts?

    One thing advised in love and logic is that if the child owes money to pawn some of their stuff. Why not take the gameboy and games, and/or the cell phone, to the pawn shop. The bills must be paid, soon, and if difficult child 1 wants them back he can work to earn the $$ to get them out of pawn (he would have either 90 or 120 days but he would have to pay interest at about 10% per month).Even when he redeemed the items they would still be able to be confiscated and/or limited because legally he cannot own them as he is a minor. You or husband would have to pawn the items, but make him keep track of the paperwork.

    This would maybe put an end to his running up bills that the family has to cover while he takes his time earning the money by doing chores around the house. He could even offer to do odd jobs for the neighbors if you don't have enough work or the inclination to supervise his work, or if he is doing such a bad job with the work that it isn't worth your effort to supervise him.

    He has done this quite a few times and does not seem to be learning that it is theft and not okay. He figures you will just add it to the other sums he owes you and work it off when he wants. Pawning his electronics will help him see that it is an IMMEDIATE problem and must be paid IMMEDIATELY, regardless of his bank account. It is a real world lesson, and a very natural consequence.

    If he decides he does not want to redeem the items, he can do without the freedom to go with friends (because he cannot be reached easily) and without the privilege of borrowing a siblings gameboy or whatever.

    At this point I think you can see that he isn't likely to stop using this as a crutch to ease his anxiety without something changing. I think pawning his items would teach him far more about the real consequences of this type of financial crime than clearing his room and searching for porn and using the alarm. It is also far less work and worry for you and husband.

    If he has money in the bank from birthday or gifts, or college savings, I would NOT allow him to pay the bills with it unless he is willing to pay extra or even double. Many tdocs have advised us that this lets them off the hook too easily. If they have to work to earn the money they learn a LOT more, esp if as they work they are with-o items like gameboys, etc...

    Pick whatever consequence involves the least amount of stress for you and husband. Things are hard enough right now for you.
     
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