Perspective lost and found

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by slsh, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I have completely lost perspective re: thank you at this point, and I'm frustrated with myself and scared too. It's probably been a good 6 years since I've woken in the middle of the night obsessing about him... most waking thoughts are about him as well. It's a bad place to be in and I guess I foolishly thought I wouldn't be here again.

    He called last night to find out if we were coming up to see him this weekend. I said absolutely not. On Monday he was too "stressed" to discuss an AWOL and the fact that he is now asking sibs for their property (or conspiring with- peers at TLP to steal sibs' property during home visits - depends on who you believe) and the conversation Monday nite was left at he was to call me when he was ready to discuss these issues. Instead I get a call last nite asking what fun things we're going to do for him. Nope.

    He went AWOL again on Monday, for the entire school day. He did it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and when I quizzed him about it then, he said it was an "accident". I rather strongly voiced my opinion that intentionally walking out of a class and leaving the building hardly qualifies as an "accident". He was peeved that I didn't get it. Sigh...

    Justification for Monday was that since I didn't believe his "accident" explanation 3 weeks ago, why should he bother to keep going to school. Circular thinking at it's finest. I told him that him going AWOL has absolutely nothing to do with me.

    As far as sibs' property, he wasn't aware he couldn't ask them for their stuff. Apparently, he's been deaf for the past 7.5 years. Not a new rule.

    I asked him how his quality of life is (no allowance due to various infractions, owes a lot of peers a lot of money) and he said it su*ks. I asked him what he was going to do about it. Nothing, because I'm never going to let him live at home again (not true, he just has to show consistent decent behavior and compliance) so why bother. Again, all my fault. I am apparently an incredibly powerful woman, as well as incredibly unreasonable for asking for more than 2 months of half hearted compliance with rules and school.

    Conversation last night ended with this wonderful morsel: "You can't *make* me do anything anyway, so I'm just going to do what I want." I told him that was an interesting take on things and that he should let me know how it works out for him.

    He's been nasty and foul mouthed in the past - I've been called *every* name in the book. Somehow, I miss those days. There was no name calling last night but he has reached a brand new level of vileness and hatred with his tone. It was really quite scary to hear.

    I see him crashing. He's digging a deep hole and instead of doing anything to change it, he's just going to keep on digging. I've talked with staff and they're giving him enough room to really foul things up. His attitude is vicious across the board. Principal is apparently buying into his "I'm bored with school" junk, so is requesting classwork from home school district, which of course he's not going to be able to do because he hasn't done school work in... 8 years? He's all gung-ho about the new curriculum right now, but it's going to hit the fan when he figures out different isn't better (and why is it taking him so long to learn that lesson?).

    My biggest fear is that one of this days he's going to go AWOL and do something really really stupid. He has no street smarts and is hanging with kids who I suspect won't take too long to figure out he's a patsy. I can only hope that the call will be that he's in custody, not something worse.

    I know I have to let go. He *has* to go thru this process. He is crippled by his insistence that it is all my fault - every choice he makes all comes back to me. I have nothing to do with it. We've got a year and some months before he hits 18 and I'm just panicking because he's so focused on consistently making really poor choices. And he's right, not a doggone thing I can do about it, absolutely nothing.

    If someone finds my perspective, please return it ASAP.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lord Sue...aint this grand?

    He is really falling apart and fast. He is right that you cant make him do a doggone thing. We really never have been able to make them do anything since they were toddlers. Even then it was hit or miss.

    I understand how ~sheesh what is the word Im looking for here~ irritating? it is to deal with this garbage. I have wanted to drop kick Cory into outer space or beat him or even shake him till some sense fell into his head. I am convinced he has his head planted firmly up some other orifice because no one can be as stupid and naive but falsely macho as he is. He thinks he is king of the world and it revolves around him. I, of course, am some peon who knows nothing and am put on this earth to do his bidding.

    I think all we can do is let them fail. The earlier the better. I think that is where we made our mistakes. We rescued him too much. We sheltered him from consequences at the urging of therapists and caseworkers. We should have forced a tougher line. Much much earlier.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Amazing what you can find in a lavender-scented tub. :bath:

    I had actually allowed myself to hope that thank you *would* return home to live. When he was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), he pulled hugely difficult child type stunts and it didn't faze me a bit, because he was there, staff was dealing with it, his choices and his consequences. But with the move to TLP, I slipped and allowed myself to imagine him living at home permanently in the not horribly distant future. So every difficult child thing he's been pulling, I haven't been dealing with- because it's been pushing that return to home for good date back further and further. My fault. My weakness.

    While I want him to live at home again, what I want doesn't matter and in fact really messes up my ability to deal with him. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. *If* he ever is ready to come home, he will show us by making good choices. I need to quit holding my breath. Until he does live here, his choices don't affect us and therefore I have absolutely no reason to get aggravated or frustrated or obsessed.

    So simple and it took me five long days and nights to figure it out. His choices, his problem. We are simply not in the equation at all.

  4. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Oh good, Sue--glad you found your perspective again! I do know how easy it is to lose it! Good job!
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I just wanted you to know I am SO sorry........just when you think you may be able to look up with these kids, you are quickly reminded to never take your eyes far from the past. They just seem to have a deep need to repeat, repeat, repeat............and blame, blame, blame. Which perhaps is why they never grow, they are too busy blaming. And who do they blame? Mom. Always.

    I think you are completely on track with your thinking. Sometimes it does take days for us to regroup and find our own perspective. But, you did, and know you can go forward without as much guilt, or stress. Detach! And let him live, so that he can have his own natural consequences. Evidently, it is the only way these kids learn, because otherwise they are too busy blaming us :frown:

    Hang in there............sending many hugs.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a pretty rough time lately. I hope your perspective sticks around. It stinks when our kids make dumb choices.

    I am so sorry he keeps thinking you are doing all this.

    What is the plan if he does manage to really screw up? Back to Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? Another placement somewhere else? Is this something you need to think about?

    I don't think it sounds as if he is going to be safe at home with the rest of the family. If he is already stealing (through whatever means), it can't be very far to violent behaviors.

    I am so sorry. I know it hurts.

  7. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Do you ever sit back and think about how incredibly wonderful you are? (Stop laughing) I'm waiting......(ahem) Okay now, seriously - You have raised in my professional (from being here) opinion one of the hardest difficult child's around - not to trivialize anyone who is here's life. We all have it tough, but some kids just NEVER seem to get it - yours is in that group. You are also dealing with other issues and a son with epilepsy. That's an incredible amount to deal with.

    So if you loose your perception or put your heart out there every once in a while with day dreams of "I HOPE" and "I WISH" or "WHY COULDN'T IT BE ME THAT HAS A SON WHO" - that's very human. Knowing the difference is being a warrior mom. Sadly what we want and what we prepare our selves for depends on who our friends are that kick our butts, our therapist, and our ability to look in a mirror and say "I am a good Mom" - then believe it, wholeheartedly. You're somewhere in between butt kick, good friends and believe it. Despite the lavender bath - you aren't in the wholeheartedly group yet.

    And it's okay not to be there yet. It's okay to want to have your son at home. You've had to give him up to other people so much that you got ripped-off and I did too, and I was angry about it for a long time. I wanted to be there to protect my kid from all the bad things in the world, and find a way to fix him so that at least by the time he was 8, 10, 14, 16, 17 - he'd appreciate life, me, the simple things, be able to support himself, have friends, a girl, nice things - who among us doesn't wish that for our kids? No one. No one here sits and says "I hope this kid fails, I hope he leaves me alone forever, I hope he never comes and lives at home and is happy, I hope he never supports himself." Well, maybe for a little while on occasion but not long term.

    So here's your butt kicking from your friend, YOU ARE DOING FINE. You are a good Mom. Those racing thoughts you are waking up to? Tell your brain there is NOTHING more you can do because YOU have done it all already, and bad as it su*ks (liked that) you and he are parting ways. His choice. We all know already what your choice would be. Mine too.

    My difficult child - it's like he's making 3 steps forward and 4 backwards some days. It's been harder than anything NOT to call, NOT to send a home package, NOT to pick stuff up in the store, NOT to engage him in a conversation where he talks about his grandiose ideas of how it's going to be. LIFE is his Mother and Mentor right now. And LIFE will give him a slap that will sting. I couldn't ever hit that hard. And the great thing about LIFE giving him those slaps that sting? He won't be able to be angry at you (try as he may) enough stings and he'll really start to figure it out.

    My kid is REEEEEEEEEEEEEALLY (to the nth degree) thick headed and he's just JUST starting to see how if you have no job, no money, no car, no family, no Mom, your friends (LIFE) will slap you down if its between them and him, and that the stupid house, stupid job, stupid car MOm drives, stupid chores, stupid school are all really a luxury. Your statement "let me know how that works for you" hit home.

    What I finished my therapy out on was HOW do I protect myself and my heart from what seems inevitable at this juncture in life? How do I prepare myself to potentially say Goodbye to my only son? Lord what if he ends up on the streets? If he should fail, if he should fall could I find him, take him home? And then what that horrible life all over again for BOTH of us? - I know life WITH him at this point is not a possibility, if I dont' prepare him for a life of his own I could end up trying to take care of him and I can't anymore, he's too much. So cutting him loose to the group home while it made me want to vomit - (my last chance at him home gone) I'm dealing with letting go day to day.

    It sounds heartless. I kept finding myself wanting to make excuses to everyone saying "But you don't know what his life was like, you don't know how his bio dad treated him and on and on. And now I do tell him that I feel sorry for the situation that caused him to have all this extra work to make himself better, but that is what he was dealt - either work with it or give in to it. It's his life. I can't do more than I have already done.
    I hope you find some peace or something logical that helps you in all of this. You really are NOT alone. I empathize with your situation. Really.

  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Star said things so well. I'm sorry thank you is struggling. I'm more sorry he is taking it all out on you and playing the blame game.

    I'm glad you had a nice lavender bath and were able to find your perspective-for me it's an easy thing to lose.

    Hugs. :flower:
  9. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    They do wear you out.
    The months of positive growth gives us hope and then we start the downward spiral. I say we because I go up and down in my relationship with difficult child as much as he does emotionally.
    I have reached the point where I don't want difficult child to live with me. He has his own mind and his own way of doing (or not doing) things. The problem may be that my difficult child can't quite do it 100% independently. I may not have a choice.
    Your son on the other hand could probably function but he seeks out negative influences.

    Sue, he isn't coming home again.

    He will come for brief visits until he wears out his welcome by trying to victimize or manipulate his siblings. He hasn't gotten it yet and he isn't going to get it in another year. He may be closer to the truth of how to live in this world but he isn't going to be done cooking.

    After 18, he will go AWOL any time he wants. Having the freedom of choice after such a structured life is like binging after a long diet. He is going to over do. Hopefully he will find a middle ground between structured living by force and a wild free for all.

    Little of his behavior has anything to do with you. He just wants to blame you. I get it all the time because he can't blame himself and he wants to vent. It's brutal.

    So try to focus on the long term goal of getting him to somewhat independent life at 18. Maybe the fear of living on the streets will scare him. The world after 18 is voluntary education or work. None of which puts up with :censored2: that they pull in h.s.
  10. Janna

    Janna New Member


    I'm glad you found your perspective. I think leaving it in his lap, at his age, is what is best.

    I will say, while Brandon was out of the home, through all the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, the foster cares, he was always difficult. It was my intention to wait, like you, for him to change, before reunification. I thought, too, just give me 2 or 3 good months, and then we will talk.

    But I couldn't get one month out of him.

    I think, for me, I got tired of waiting. I figured if he came home, acted the same way, he'd get the same consequences here he'd get anywhere else. Especially the natural ones.

    Oddly enough, since he's been home he's been great. The first few weeks he did a few stupid things, and he suffered the consequences for his actions. Since then, no issues. Not one call from school this year. No problems. I stay overly involved, I'm sure more than the typical parent, but ya know, I don't care if he likes it or not. He has to be watched, yes, and babysat at times, yes, but it's okay. He's home.

    It's interesting to me how he couldn't hold it together at the foster's though. The school was calling them once a week, suspending him, he was just getting in so much trouble. None of that now. Same school. Same principal.

    I'm sorry you can't get to the point where you can bring thank you home. I know it's exhausting, frustrating, and no matter what anyone tells you here (which, by the way, I think you are one of the most amazing mothers here), you still feel the guilt. I can relate to you because I have been through some of this, too, not only with Brandon, but now with Dylan being placed out into an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF). I understand the middle of the night issues.

    No matter how much you tell yourself it's not your fault and you keep the perspective in place, it's always going to hang with you. That feeling. The "what if's". You have to follow your gut, do what you think is right for *your* son, keep it going and pray some day you can look back and say "it was worth it".

    I'm very sorry thank you is on a landslide. It sounds pretty obvious he has some attitude issues. The whole "I can do what I want" thing is frustrating, once they get in that frame of mind, it's hard to get it out. I hope those around him can get him on a better track, soon.

  11. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    the world has its own built in limits. your job as a mom may simply be changed to praying for him at some point, and no other active role for a while.
    hugs and understanding, thanks for sharing your post, we care.