I've been putting up with-difficult child's "attitude" for years. Yes, I know he's got Asperger's. Still, we've spent yrs in therapy, tried medications, succeeded with-a few, changed his diet, put him in sports, taken him out of sports, put him in the best private schools, transferred him to other schools, sent him to the best camps, watched him flunk out of school, sent him to public school only to see him slack off the first week, dealt with-his arguing and rages ... I am totally deflated and defeated. I've been alone with-him all weekend. He refused to go for walks with-me. Refused to do half the chores I gave him. (I could say that I'm in the mood where my glass is half empty rather than half full, since he did half his chores), left messes all over and I had to stay on his case to clean them up (he eats and literally drops things around the chair or around his bed. He is so unmotivated that he won't even climb up onto the top bunk anymore, and sleeps on a sleeping bag on the hardwood floor, and drops wrappers all around himself, totally oblivious to his surroundings.) He has argued all weekend about computer time and I have made him work for every minute of it. I have always dreaded weekends, but now I abhor them. My husband doesn't get it. The next time he goes out of town, either difficult child goes with-him, or he can't go out of town any more. Period. Tonight, I made homemade chicken and vegetable soup for difficult child. While it was cooking, he sat in his throne (a tan La-Z-Boy that I bought for husband a few yrs ago) and played PS2 (a friend gave him an old model) and yelled, "I'm hungry. I'm thirsty. I want orange juice." I told him I'd get dinner but he couldn't wait 5 seconds b4 he started yelling, "I want orange juice. I'm hungry." Like a toddler. We have gone over and over this. You don't shout like that and order me around. You don't sit on your throne and demand things. I will bring you something to eat but I will finish what I'm doing first. I will not drop everything to wait on you. You will eat with-the family. (He sneaks into the freezer, fridge or pantry and eats when he feels like it, then refuses to eat when we are eating. We make him sit with-us at dinner, whether he eats or not. But now that easy child is at college, and husband is out of town, it's just me, and the whole system falls apart.) While the soup was simmering, I leafed through mail order catalogs and saw the most adorable photos of puppies that I wanted to show difficult child. (Orvis has great dog photos.) "Oh! These are so cute! Look at this!" You know how you spontaneously want to share something with-someone? "NO!" D*g forbid that I interrupt his game. "When will you get a break?" "I don't know!!!!" (He shouts a lot when he's excited or angry. I can never tell which.) Fine. I serve him his soup. (He previously asked what I was making and I refused to tell him. Past experience shows that no matter what it is, he will complain, so I have learned to just place it in front of him. If he's hungry enough. he'll eat it.) He eats it, and asks for seconds. "I don't like the vegetables." "It's chicken vegetable. That's what it is." "There are too many vegetables." Fine. I take the bowl to the stove and individually pick out pieces of chicken and add a little broth. I do not remove the vegetables he left behind, but I do not add to them. There is a nice pile of chicken that is steaming hot and I serve it to him. He eats for a min or two and shouts, "I said there are too many vegetables." "Go serve yourself." End of complaints. I sit down, read the paper, and find a funny editorial cartoon. Having learned my lesson on the dog photos, I wait until difficult child has finished his game and gone upstairs to go to bed. I go into the bedroom and say, "This is so funny. I want to show you something." "NO!" "Oh, come on. You told me you didn't want to look at anything while you were playing your game. Now you're not doing anything." The light is on, he's petting the dog, relaxing. So I decide to start reading it anyway. Sometimes when I do that, he likes my company and gets into whatever I'm doing. So I describe the drawing in the editorial cartoon. He rolls over and yanks the sleeping bag over his bed. "I am not a political person!" He is, in fact. The cartoon features Osama bin Laden and he's all about that issue. Can talk for hrs about it. I stand up and say, "I don't know why I bother talking to you or doing anything with you. You hate everything I do and everything I say." He practically leaps up out of his sleeping bad and yells, "Why do you have to take everything so personally?" "Because it is personal! You wouldn't go for a walk with-me, didn't like my soup, you played your game(s) and refused to sit with-me, you argued about your chores and made it hard on both of us, you wouldn't look at the pictures I wanted to show you, and now you won't look at or listen to the editorial cartoon. You're rejecting things that I am interested in. The implication is that you are rejecting me." "No I'm NOT!" (Shouting.) "I said there were too many vegetables in the soup. I didn't say I didn't like it." True enough. I suppose this is an improvement over having him say he wanted to strangle me the other night. Even after all the communication skills we've worked on, all the therapy, I feel like I'm back at square one. I continue to have hope that he'll communicate--and he does, on occasion--sometimes in the car on the way to school, sometimes at night, who knows when, but it seems as though it's on a whim--and when he doesn't communicate, I feel like a door has been slammed in my face. He can be so eloquent, he can blow you away. The teachers at his new school told me that they were awed and pleased by his immediate participation in class, raising his hand, answering and asking questions. I know he can do it. I want him to do it. He's just so unpredictable. If I totally detach, then I feel like I give up on all the qualities I've nurtured in him--his interest in animals, politics, sports--and I treat him like a robot rather than a human being. There is such a fine line between detachment and disownment, I can't tell the difference any more. I want to send him to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) ... forever .. and take my life back. I want to paint. Write. Garden. Laugh. Have someone compliment my cooking or at least say thank you. He sucks the life out of me. We are suffering from a serious drought. It hasn't rained in weeks. Flowers that should be blooming in bright colors are dried and wilted and awful, washed out shades of tan and gray. I look like those dried flowers. I feel like them. At the very least, I want him to not threaten to kill me. Is that asking so much?