Needing waders & duct tape!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Burndoubt, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Burndoubt

    Burndoubt Burndoubt

    Hi again everyone, sorry it's been awhile... School's out & the inmates are running the asylum. *wry grin*
    Well, it's been a pretty good 3 weeks since the garage fire incident. difficult child's been towing the line fairly well, even for a teenager.;) Of course, there are the occasional 'I know more/better than you' conversations, but I chalk those up to teenisms rather than O.D.D.isms.
    Things had been going fairly stably (is that a word?) till tonight, when I found I had stepped in it with both feet in my mouth, up to my waist. I had blurted out the whole sordid mess to a longtime friend of the family. I have no good reasons, no reasonable excuses. I was mad, and tired, and sick of the whole thing and I just lost it and out it all came.
    I found out tonight that said 'family friend' is a HUGE gossip, and it just goes downhill from there. husband is beyond livid with me, and barely speaking. The 'old friend' mangled a few things in her reitterations to husband, and now he's making noises about taking the kids away from me. Not going there right now, just showing an example of how mad he really is.
    I need to point a few things out that I may have been remiss in my posts.
    difficult child has many good points. He loves animals, and is really good with them. Prefers them over people, in fact, but I can kinda see how- animals won't lie to you, hurt you & tell you it's your fault, etc.
    difficult child is a talented artist who loves to paint & draw.
    He's in all honors classes, with regular honor roll status. Always has been. It's humbling for someone without ADHD & double vision to see a kid with these issues totally trump her old report cards. *wry chuckle*
    He absorbs books. No common sense to speak of, for the most part (what ADHD kid has?!), but can spit out a ridiculous amount of info on a book he read months ago. Very impressive.
    Said 'friend' told husband that if we didn't get difficult child into Residential Treatment Center (RTC), I was going to pack up our 2 daughters & leave. I'd told her that if anything else bad happens, that I wouldn't have a choice but to do that.
    Things had been leveling off, starting to calm down. difficult child's been playing nicely with others. I screwed up, bigtime.
    Anybody have some duct tape for my big, fat mouth?:ashamed:
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Oh, I am so sorry. It hurts when your vents gets into the gossip circle. It also super hurts when someone you trusted with a confidential subject starts discussing it with husband or other members of the family.

    That is why forums like this are so good for venting and sharing of info. No way any of us can betray your vent.

    I hope you can get husband to understand what happened.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sorry to hear about this. That's one less Christmas card you need to send this year...

    Several things here -

    1) husband should perhaps now understand how stressed out you have felt.

    2) I gather you've already done this, but you need to both agree on some things - first, this friend is no friend at all, to either of you. Second, you both need to talk and agree on stuff (such as he's not a bad kid, just a big workload; you're overloaded and need help; he needs to step up to the plate and support you emotionally, which may also require you to ask dfor help from him if he doesn't automatically see it - again, not sure if you're already trying to do this).

    3) I'm sure I've said this, I think I recall you saying it's been ruled out - but your description of difficult child screams at me "ASPERGER'S!" or similar. So please, just for me, even if you've been told it's NOT Asperger's - can you read up on it and use it as a working hypothesis? If you check out some recent threads by DaisyFace and her very difficult daughter, you might also see some family tips which could help. As well, you can see how sometimes changing your mindset towards a difficult child can bring about more positive change than you thought possible.

    What I mean by "changing mindset" is NOT necessarily what you think. I'm not meaning it to criticise. But what we do as parents, especially with a difficult difficult child, is we're often constantly poised and on the alert, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And a lot of the reason for this is because at the back of our minds, we are still wanting the magic wand to turn our difficult child into a real live boy. Normal. We continue to punish them when they can't organise their way out of a wet paper bag. I know, I did it with difficult child 1 and made a real mess of things with him. We punished him for not telling us about his homework. We punished him at home to continue on with "supporting the school" when THEY were punishing him for not "following through" with his work. The belief was, if we can only teach him to think before he acts, if we can only teach him to write down his homework in his school diary, if we can only teach him to tuck his homework sheets inside the pocket in his diary, if we can only teach him to...

    The answer was - if his brain is just not ready, you CAN'T teach him these things.

    But in the meantime, we were not supporting him in the things he COULD do. Poor difficult child 1 - he would struggle all day at school and not take much information on board. Assignments/set work/omework would not get noted unless it was provided by the teacher in a form he couldn't miss. He wasn't being difficult, he just couldn't stay focussed. Then the lad would get home and I would have a pile of work which I had compiled independently from his teachers. The pile was all the work he had not been able to get done in class. So he would get home from school, medications wearing off, and have the equivalent of another school day's worth of work to do.
    He never got to visit friends, he had too much work to do.

    We eventually pulled him out of mainstream (there were other options, but tis is hwat we chose to do. I'm not saying you should). The result - I was there to help him stay on task. The work all came into the house via me (posted to him by the correspondence school) and I was there to help difficult child 1 organise the work. He had teachers telephoning him and also talknig to me about it, so I was kept in the loop.
    And because I was there to support him, difficult child 1 got all the work done during school hours. So when every other kid in town got out of school - difficult child 1 was finished his work and available to go play.

    So mainstream = bad for socialisation. Correspondence in isolation = brilliant for socialisation.

    It seemed paradoxical, but that's just an example of how changing your approach and ceasing to try to change your child into 'normal' can almost magically turn your family back into happy and functional.

    The irony of this - difficult child 1 now passes for "normal". He has married some months ago and his wife still argues that he can't be Asperger's, he is just too capable. But we can still see it, even if only in small ways.

    Look up Tony Attwood's writings on the topic of Asperger's. It was a psychologist we saw with the kids, who put me onto this. She priinted out an article by Tony Attwood which listed the wonderful things you find in people with Asperger's. Again, it was a mindset-changing moment. There was I, feeling tragic at being told three of my four kids were affected in some way by autism/Asperger's. and here was someone telling me how wonderful my kids were.

    The gifts -

    * loyalty. Intensely so.

    * They are good friends, especially to others like them. They have a curious ability to recognise themselves in others and will staunchly defend a friend who is such a kindred spirit.

    * They can feel emotions intensely. It used to be thought that people with autism had no feelings or emotions. Not true. We just never recognised the way they expressed them. They can love, very much. Very deeply.

    * They can be incredibly funny, they love humour especially slapstick humour and puns.

    * They have a prodigious memory capability. Often it is rstricted to areas they are interested in, but those areas can be expanded.

    * Often extremely intelligent, although testing doesn't always indicate this. They can be difficult to get accurate tests done on, so look for the high scores among the low. A test with widely ranging scores should never be averaged out (but school counsellors too often will do this, and give you false low results).

    * Honest. THis comes with time, as they learn that they can TRY to lie but they're generally not very successful at it. Conditioned response eventually teaches them that honesty is always easiest and best. "I didn't do it" is avery simply lie, often the most they can attempt. Telling a complex alternate truth is just too difficult for them. "I was minding my own business walking along, thinking about Ockams razor, when three kids jumped out of the bushes and attacked me. I only hit one of them because he kicked me first" is NOT likely to come out of the mouth of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kid, unless that is what really happened.

    Of course it's not all beer and skittles, but we found that when we turned our mindset around to focus on our love for the boys and to reward them instead of punishing them, we did so much better. And so did they. Instead of them mooching around resentfully with hunched shoulders, each boy began to look around, take an interest and really try to do things for himself.

    Burndoubt, if you can, get your husband to lurk here and read posts. Who knows? He might get a better idea of your stress level. Or he might look at a situaiton and say, "That's familiar. But look at what they did, why don't we try that ourselves?"

    Parenting should be a team effort. But what we each expectwhen we go into marriage and parenthood often isn't what we get. We never asked to have difficult children. So we were never fully equipped to handle that experience. It is so much easier to just leave it to someone else if we can and work around the edges, trying to fudge normality onto the child.

    But sometimes as we've discovered - you can find a totally different path to something that also passes for normality, but is oh, so much better!

    Hang in there. Talk to husband. Grovel. Ask him if he has ever made a mistake like this (probably not - he's a bloke. They tend to not talk to relieve their feelnigs, they tend to go silent instead. But has he ever bragged about a girl when he actually didn't get anywhere at all? Hmm?)

    It will pass.

    I've learned to use the duct tape. Years ago I had friends I confided in. I found out the hard way that they did not have the same investment in confidentiality as I had. For too many people information is currency.

    I really want to know, and I think if you can, you need to explore this with husband - just what was the motive of your 'friend', in rushing off and telling husband? Does she have the hots for him or something? In which case, if she had succeeded in winning him - who would SHE talk to, when difficult child was being too difficult for her to manage? Hmm? (an interesting picture...)

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, a few thoughts here. First of all, you need a therapist to talk to. The therapist won't betray your trust and, regardless of the boy having three good weeks (it can happen), that doesn't make him any less dangerous. You need objective people to talk to who won't judge you. That is what a therapist is for. You have so much stress--you really do need somebody to talk to. If I recall, husband is in serious denial about the severity of his son's problems. ADHD doesn't even start to touch this kid's issues. I think it's beyond ADHD, way beyond Aspergers. This kid is showing psychopathic tendencies and all heck WILL break loose again and you won't have anyone to talk to if you don't have a therapist who is on YOUR side.

    Many very sick individuals are very bright and prefer animals to people. Don't let husband lay a guilt trip on you. There is a lot inside of you which is the reason you told somebody who is less than trustworthy. Please, please get a therapist of your own. You don't even have to pay if you go to your county mental health services. You need somewhere to spill your guts. I don't think you need duct tape. I feel you need a compassionate, understanding person to listen to your very real fears who will give you advice that isn't biased and who won't threaten to "punish" you. You won't probably find such a person in a neighbor or "friend." Please be kind to yourself and get a therapist who will lend you an objective, kind ear. (((Hugs)))