My son has been in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for three months now. He's doing so-so in school (as usual), so-so in the house (gets issues for minor things other than for one occasions when he was caught sneaking out into the backyard with a couple of boys to smoke a cigarette), but great in therapy. Because of his so-so performance in school and at the house, he has yet to make his B-status which is required in order to leave the grounds, i.e., a visit with us at our hotel or home for the weekend. To eliminate the stress and pressure he seemed to be feeling about making his B-status, we stopped discussing it and settled into a routine whereby he calls us every couple of nights, and we visit him at the house every other weekend (he's 200 miles away from home). Even so, he seems to be extremely frustrated and alternatees between being angry about his failure to reach that status and sad. During one conversation, he rants and raves about this staff member who is a "b-tch" and that resident who is an "a-s" and blames that for why he can't make his status. The next time, he blames himself completely for his crime and the situation he has gotten himself into and gets teary eyed and clingy. What I'm finding really difficult is trying to come across as neutral as I can when he's ranting and supportive when he's sad. One night he's obsessing about such-and-such a friend who hasn't written him and begging me to immediately call that friend to give them his address. Then, a few days later, if that friend still hasn't written, he's ranting and raving about what a terrible friend he/she is and asking me to pass on a negative message to that friend. (Of course, I decline...) The next night, the friend situation is completely forgotten, but he absolutely MUST have a certain hoodie in a certain color because they have some sort of activity happening that he needs something new wear for, and could I PLEASE send it overnight so that he has it in time. Then, after I've gone out and gotten him what he's asked for, he doesn't bother to call or even mention it when we see him. If I bring it up and mention to him that a phone call to say thanks would have been nice, he asks me why I went to all that trouble because "I'm not a baby, Mom--I'm not going to fall apart if I don't get what I want!" Huh??? I'm feeling like a dumpster for all his frustrations and, quite frankly, I'm having a difficult enough time with his situation as it is. Finally, I told him the other night that I was having a hard time with this, and that his negativity wasn't helping me or him, and that I would rather he simply not call if he's not feeling in the mood to have a pleasant conversation. He became upset and told me that, until I was able to accept his situation and "deal with it," he wasn't going to call for a "few weeks." On one hand, I'm a BIT relieved because I'm getting a bit tired of being his scapegoat. Yet, part of me thinks he really NEEDS to dump some of his pent-up feelings on someone who loves him no matter what. He's doing great in therapy, according to the psyc, so I know that he must be dumping some of that in the right place. I'd be interested in some takes on this...I'm feeling like ONE of us (or both) are completely nuts!