new here..need help with violent difficult child, please help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by kayplus7, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. kayplus7

    kayplus7 New Member

    I feel like ahuge weight has been lifted since finding this forum. I am married to awonderful man and we are raising our 7 children together. I have 3 from aprevious marriage and he has 4. We both have sole custody with no involvement ofthe other biological parents. The oldest2 are adults so we have 5 at home. We have 4 easy child’s and 1 difficult child. I am very patientand have done everything in my power to be a good mother to him and give himthe love and attention that he never got from his biological mother. We havegotten him therapy, medications, you name it, we’ve tried it. But at this point, Ifeel like a failure and don’t know what to do anymore. He is 15 and franklyscares me now. He is doing drugs, failing school, is a pathological liar,steals from us, hits his siblings, has abused the animals, has threatened tokill each of us, masturbates openly in front of his 10 year old sister, haspicked locks and walks in on her friends while they are changing, held a screwdriver to his little brothers throat …the list goes on. I love him and he canbe very charming at times but then it’s like a switch goes off and he goes intoa violent rage and there is no stopping a 6’2 boy. He has been diagnosed withadhd and odd. I am at the point where I am afraid to be home alone with himwithout my husband there and just need some advice. Boarding school? I know it’sexpensive but if it means my sanity and the other kids safety, I’ll tryanything. I feel like a horrible mother by thinking my child is a sociopath butwhen he looks at me and tells me he’s going to slit my throat while I sleep,what am I supposed to think? I just don’t know what to do anymore
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.

    It would be useful to know more about his background. How long was he with his bio-mom, and what was the situation like there? Any chance she used alcohol or drugs while pregnant? What kind of issues and challenges tend to run in the birth families? (mental health, developmental, etc.)

    There may be more than one thing going on with your difficult child.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi, well that indeed is a scary situation and IC is right. Probably not just ODD/ADHD. He sounds like he really is not connected to other people. Has anyone ever suggested Reactive Attachment Disorder (Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD))?

    This requires specialized therapy and general psychiatric therapy does not help much. He is quite old now so may not be very much helped by others, unless there is something in him that wants to change desperately and works at it in a genuine way. But we on the outside have no control over that. Still, I'd never give up at least finding some source to help no matter the diagnosis. A neuropsychologist evaluation can help you find out if there are other challenges he is facing beyond the adhd and odd diagnosis (Or if they are not the correct diagnosis).

    It is very scary and often these kids need to be living in a supervised living situation. I would be looking into a residential treatment facility. Just mho. (and I am living with a child who can be aggressive, but have no other kids and he is connected to people and pets in a genuine and loving way....still has attachment issues, but not the severe end of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)) I have always got the idea of a residential placement in the back of my brain, just in case.....
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    First should come the safety of your other kids. Then find the right diagnosis. If you can do both at the same time great, but right now just keeping them safe is the main priority. What kind if services/agencies are involved right now? Do you have alarms on doors and windows? Do you lock the other kids in at night and sleep with the key? Have you been calling the police or his therapist or case worker when he threatens you? Do you keep a behavior log? Are the other kids in therapy? How is he in school behavior and academically? Are there supportive family members the other kids can go to while you find a placement for your son?

    I don't have a 15 yr old. When I sent my son to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) he was 10. At the time he had a history of trying to murder his sibs and I could no longer keep them safe from him. He would hurt them right in front of me and was so fast I couldn't stop him. I really hope we don't have to go there again.

    Lastly, welcome. And I am so sorry you fit right in here.
  5. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

    I agree with others - sounds like more going on that just ADHD and ODD. I am not sure what state you are in, but here in NY we have something called Mobile Crisis. If my difficult child is acting violently, brandishing a weapon, or threatening one of us we can call the number and the police are dispatched for safety ASAP and then a team of 2-3 social workers, psychologists and or psychiatrists come to wherever we are to evaluate the risk. Outcomes if they cannot establish safety include the difficult child being removed by ambulance to a psychiatric ward for evaluation. As I only have the difficult child at home and we are his targets I cannot even begin to imagine how or what I would do if I had to protect other children from him. He is also big - 6'1" and 200 lbs at this point at 17 YO.

    If you do not have an equivalent to Mobile Crisis in your area, I am sure there is some service that the state or county offers that you should be able to tap. At a minimum in my humble opinion, safety is the most important factor and if difficult child is threatening his siblings I would probably call the police.

    I think, especially with a pattern of documented incidents it would be easier to establish the need for removal from your home at least temporarily for his and other kids saftey to a residential treatment facility. In my area we also have residential schools for kids with violent tendencies with and without mental diagnosis. In NYS they can, if eligible, stay until they are 21.

    Good luck - I will be thinking about you. I just found this forum a few weeks ago and it is so helpful to know that I am not alone in this constant struggle.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he had a very chaotic early life, he probably has some sort of attachment disorder. Kids who hurt animals can be very dangerous. Does he also play with fire and pee/poop inappropriately?

    Maybe you should start looking for out-of-home treatment for him to save your other kids from whatever he may do when you're not looking. And don't blame yourself. This kid was damaged before your husband ever met you and love doesn't do any good if a child has any attachment disorder. Did his bio. mom use drugs/alcohol when she was pregnant? That could be another factor.

    I would not be at all surprised if this child is sexually abusing the younger kids and, no, they wouldn't tell you. This also means YOUR younger kids. Sadly, been there/done that. He is unsafe to live in a family. I adopted an 11 year old boy who was like that kid and we found out, three years after he started, that he was having sex with the younger kids. No, not just molesting them. Having sex. He threatened to kill us if any of them told on him so none of them did. You have this boy showing off his junk and walking in on your other kids. All I can say is don't believe nothing has gone on and get him out of there. You'll find out more about what he's doing when out of your sight once he is gone and not coming back. As big as he is, I'd be scared to death to have him there.

    Reactive attachment disorder is much like a child sociopath as they stopped caring about people long, long ago when they were infants and toddlers and nobody cared about them. It's very sad (the reason they get this way), but it's too big for you to solve and too dangerous to take a chance on. When Mr. 11 first came to live with us he had NO diagnosis because he was so charming to adults, even his psychiatrist. When he left, his diagnosis was SEVERE Reactive Attachment Disorder. On top of my other kids, he had killed two dogs (probably other animals in the neighborhood), set matches and burned little spots in his rug and threatened to burn up the younger kids, and peed and pooped in our closets (we thought it was one of our dogs). So I do know what it's like to live with a child who, for lack of any better word, is acting like a sociopath. He never improved either, but he never came back to our family either.

    Until he is gone, put heavy locks on everyone's door and insist they all use them so that this child can't get into their rooms and maybe put an alarm on HIS bedroom door in case he prowls around at night. You may want to ask your kids if he has molested them, but they may be too afraid to tell you if he least until he is no longer living there and a threat.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry that you are living through this. You have GOT to get the authorities involved. I don't think finding a diagnosis will do a whole lot right now. He could likely spin a sob story and twist some therapist or psychiatrist (therapist and psychiatrist respectively around to the point where you are told that he is the victim. I don't know if he had Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) from severe neglect/abuse before age three, if he is a sociopath and/or if he had conduct disorder or if this is largely the drugs. NO ONE can tell you any of this until he is off of the drugs. They make ANY diagnosis impossible an adding psychiatric medications on top of drugs is pointless for the most part.

    You MUST, sadly, make the safety of the other children the highest priority. Unsafe behavior equals a call to the cops. Make very sure you have a cell phone on your person at all times and practice dialing 911 without looking. Call the police non emergency line to see if your area will allow you to register your address to your cell number. I know my area does and we are not a large city so the technology for that isn't hard to get. This lets the police know where to come if you cannot talk on the phone when you need to call.

    Also practice calling for help with each and every other child who lives in your home. Let them know that if they call 911 because he has hurt or threatened them, that you will back them up and not the 15yo. They NEED this. You also must not EVER leave them home with him with-o an adult. It is way too dangerous.

    I know you think you have a pretty good handle on things and know most of what he is doing. From first hand experience and I only had a total of 3 kids, I can PROMISE that he has done and is doing FAR more than you are aware of. You will only discover this stuff after you have gotten him out of the house and the other kids are sure he isn't coming back. I very much have been n somewhat similar situation as a parent, and I was TOTALLY in a similar situation as a sister.

    My bro is a difficult child. My parents didn't acknowledge 1/10th of his problems/behaviors. NOW they want to know why I didn't tell them. I didn't tell a lot because I was afraid of him. They didn't believe the things I did tell them, so I really didn't trust them to do anything. I was more afraid of what he would do if I told than certain that they would keep me safe from him. At age 12 made a plan to kill him if he did certain things ever again, or tried other things in the future. I was totally serious and my intent with the plan was not to warn or scare him, it was to end his life. I am now amazed I had the strength to make the plan, shocked at how well it most likely would have worked, and deeply saddened that I felt so alone and unprotected and unable to find help that I had to make the plan. I wanted my kids to never feel that way. I wasn't as successful as I wanted to be. My kids told me a LOT more, but until he was out of the house I didn't know nearly enough.

    You NEED to start calling the cops every time he is out of line. INSIST on pressing charges. If he hurts one of the other kids, or you, physically, flat out refuse to allow him to come back. Tell them that you are afraid of him. Also, you MUST get child protection involved NOW. Make a report that he is sexually abusing his sister and has tried to peep on her friends, and that he has also hurt his siblings and you need HELP. Yes, they could take all the kids away. As long as you are doing all you can, you put locks on doors for each child's safety, you give the youngest one of those personal alarms to use if he does ANYTHING (they run five or less at Walmart and radio shack, dollar tree sells them for a buck) that scares her, heck give each of the kids one to protect them.

    CPS will also want to see a written safety plan. Who does what, goes where, etc... when difficult child does something unsafe. I would suggest the other kids all go into a room with a land-line together and have calling 911 be the first thing they do when they feel unsafe. Better a few calls that were not so serious than no call where something awful happens.

    I know it is hard. He very well may need help with something other than drug abuse issues. Sadly at his age you pretty much are helpless until he wants help, which sure doesn't seem likely.

    You MUST protect the other kids, and know that getting him into a position where he cannot hurt anyone really is in his best interests. It may feel mean to call the cops, but isn't it better to teach him now what happens when he hurts someone than to wait until he puts someone in the hospital or morgue and the only option for his either death row or life in prison? At his age most states WILL try him as an adult.

    The peeping on the youngest is very serious. This is one of the steps that leads to becoming a sexual predator, and it isn't the bottom step. Get your 10yo to someone capable of doing a proper interview over this because if she has told you this, he has almost certainly gone much further. He has threatened her to keep her from talking,and the right person asking will figure out what has gone on and if it has gone farther. They can help you find the right help for her, which she very very much needs. You should NOTNOTNOTNOTNOT ask her about what all he has done. Asked in the right way, the truth will come out, but the more she is asked by people not trained in asking these questions, the more likely it is that the wrong answers will come out. NOT NOT NOT because she wants to lie, but because she is a kid and wants to please. Regardless of the issue, if you ask the same question several times, kids will change their answers to what they think you want rather than sticking with the truth. This is NOT saying she is a liar, it is saying she is a child and human. Actually, lots of adults also do this, it is why there are so many false confessions. So please do NOT ask her about the peeping, but take her to a professional who is properly trained and can let you know how much you have to worry about and how to help her heal.

    From the parent of one dangerous child to another, STOP allowing your children to bring friends home. For as long as he is in your home, you cannot invite other children into your home. It is DANGEROUS. What, exactly, do you think would happen if he harmed or molested or raped a guest in your home? Do you have ANY clue what that would do to your other kids? They would ALL be ostracized. VERY few other parents would allow your kids to play with theirs in public, and as far as coming to your home or going to theirs? It won't happen after your son harms a friend of your family. I have seen it happen. We were blessed in that a family that lived close to us for the worst years was my daughter's best friend. We are close to the family and I confided in them because I didn't want them to think their child couldn't come over because we didn't like her. It was for her safety. They responded in a way very few would - they gave my 2nd grader a key and said to come over any time, day or night, no matter what. I am VERY sure that if her friend had been harmed by my difficult child at our home the response would have been very very different. I saw it happen in my community a couple of years ago, and it was ugly and sad.

    You don't want that to happen. Y Our kids are enduring enough with-o having all that heaped on. Do what you have to. Keep calling the cops and wanting to press charges until they put your son somewhere he will get help and not be able to hurt anyone. If you don't, the things he is doing with peeping and physical abuse can and will be used to take all of your children from you for their own safety. That is NOT what you want.
  8. kayplus7

    kayplus7 New Member

    Again, thank you for the responses. He has been with me for 2 years now. The courts finally granted a no contact order with his bio mom. We have been seeing a Psychiatrist and a therapist. My husband has finally agreed to put him back on medication(at my insistance), we tried them before, and he manipulated his father enough by crying and saying they made him "sick" until he got his way, then back to the same behavior again.His bio has been in and out of mental health facilities her entire life and is schizophrenic, and yes, drugs and alcohol while pregnant. Bipolar is the latest diagnosis, which might be the right one, because it feels like the Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde thing going on with him most days. The only thing he seems to like is ROTC so I've tried to keep him off the psychotropic drugs so he can hopefully go into the military like he wants to, so I'm in a catch 22 there also.. The other kids have learned to avoid him, but he doesn't seem to pick on his two brother that fight back. He picks on his little brother that is weak and small and his little sister that is small. His rage is always directed at women and people that are smaller than him. Just something I've noticed. I know nothing sexual is going on because my husband didn't believe his perfect angel was doing the things I told him at first, so I had to resort to putting hidden cameras in the house to catch him...that's how bad it has gotten. He has manipulated everyone for so long, that it took someone to stand up and point out the truth to get him help, so now he is rebelling and big time..sorry for the long story :)
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Ok that adds another level. He likely has FASD and/or neuro damage due to the drugs on top of this all.

    I still would consider out of home parenting. A start can be something like a 45 day inpatient evaluation. Or straight to a residential treatment center.

    This kind of thing doesn't get better with the best of parents. And you will still be the parents. Just getting him a higher level of care.

    And, your little ones are just too vulnerable. One terrible incident will be one too many.

    You are really smart and strong. I love that you installed cameras. Keep them running.
    Whatever you decide, your kids are all lucky to have you.
  10. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    It took a neuropysch 3 days following difficult child 1 around at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) before they got a diagnosis. That kind of testing just can't be done outpatient.

    And no matter what the cause some behavior is to risky to have other kids around. So glad you have the cameras.

    Good luck
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    CAn the cameras see in every room, including the bathroom? This kid has already tried to see the kids naked. I don't trust him. Also our sexual predator child did it outdoors to and in school and to neighborhood kids, although nobody ever caught him (my kids knew and he confessed once he was put into a home for young sexual predators). I don't think he's safe. I don't think he is bipolar. I think he is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I hope he ends up leaving the home. He is dangerous. medications can't change that. And this scary child we had liked to prey on the weakest kids. He most certainly didn't go near my oldest daughter who would have kicked his hiney and told on him. But he picked on my very youngest AND in school he strangely buddied up with a mentally slow child who had epilepsy. The child couldn't talk very well and we wondered why this child would want to be friends with him until we found out what he did. There is really no way to watch him all the time.

    I don't blame you for thinking "no way" either though. It's so horrible that nobody wants to think it may be happening. We didn't want to believe it either, but we had to after a certain event happened...

    Sending you good vibes and lots and lots of luck.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi, Im so sorry you are going through all this but one thing I want to point out about his medications and his like of ROTC. He may like doing it in HS but the likelihood of this boy making it in the military is slim to none. The military is extremely picky about taking people with psychiatric disorders and who have been on medications and if your step-son has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), then that is even a bigger issue that would keep him from getting in. Really, a person who is violent isnt a good candidate for the military no matter how ironic that sounds.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I am so sorry! He's a mess.
    You've got the dual issues of biology and then drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.
    Definitely, keep him on the medications. Forget about the future in military. You want him to focus on his life here and now or there may be no future. His behavior is over the top and dangerous.
    You also have to somehow get him off of street drugs. with-my son, I literally followed him everywhere, took away all his electronics, and yes, called the police. That got his attention. So far, it has worked.
    Fingers crossed that you can come up with-a plan that works.
    I feel for you.