Reading all these posts.....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DammitJanet, May 6, 2007.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    and then reading some of the info on the new diagnosis Cory got really has me thinking about some things.

    How many of us think we have really made one iota of difference with these kids? I have chased my tail all over creation for the last 16 years trying to get Cory help. I knocked on every door I could find. I put him in every program there was and tried every medical combo suggested. Honestly I am now thinking back to a psychiatrist who told me when he was 12 that he was a sociopath and that I should just let him go into the juvy system and walk away. She may well have been right. He is turning into one.

    No matter what interventions I attempted to put into place, the defiant part of him led straight into conduct disorder and that led straight into antisocial PD. Doesnt matter about any other part of the whole mental health mix with medications and such if they simply will not comply. If they feel nothing is wrong with them and it is the rest of the world who has the problem...well then where do we stand? They can talk a good ball game when they want something but that is all part of their manipulation tactics.

    I guess there is no answer. I am probably grieving the loss of what I thought could be possibly fixed or controlled. I know now it cant. My son is a sociopath. He is no different than Ted Bundy or The Unibomber. He simply doesnt kill people. Yet.

    How does a parent go on knowing this?
  2. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Oh, no Janet! I don't think so. Our psychotherapist took one look at our son, and his intense efforts to disassociate from us at the time, and told us that, in his opionion, it would be years before the layers our son was piling on himself, as his way of coping with life, could and would be stripped away, leaving us the core individual we thought we were raising.

    Maybe he was wrong, but this is a highly respected individual who even writes a column in newspapers in our area. In any case, please try to not give up your hopes!
  3. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #000099"> janet, as moms we think we can fix it all. it's a hard blow to find out that this isn't true. my heart aches for you.

    i've known you...and corey......for seven years now. i know that you have tried to move mountains to help corey & ultimately prevent this kind of diagnosis. the thing of it is, it's not just about what you did/do. corey has responsibility here as well. he has been so resistant to all forms of treatment....only being compliant for short periods of time during which we were all so hopeful for him.

    now more than ever you have to be strong. not so much for corey, but for yourself. you know what you need to do.....detach. possibly the ultimate act of detachment. total. not saying never talk to him or see him again, but he cannot be allowed to s*ck you into his chaotic world. you cannot place yourself in a position....ever again to be held at gunpoint or beaten. those are life threatening situations that just cannot be allowed.

    where is husband on this? is he aware of what this diagnosis signifies? i know he thinks he & corey can *come to an agreement* whatever that means. does he realize that corey focuses his anger at you ~~~~ placing you at the highest risk of all?

    for what it's worth i'll be keeping you in my thoughts & prayers.

    </span> </span> </span>
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> He is no different than Ted Bundy or The Unibomber. </div></div>

    Of course he's different, Janet.

    For one thing, he agreed to go to the therapist's office and be diagnosed. Hopefully, he will agree to medication and/or some other kind of therapeutic intervention.

    There's no question that Cory is difficult- he is. But he is also still young.

    Grieve, Janet. And keep yourself safe. But don't give up hope yet.

  5. judi

    judi Active Member

    Janet - I want to add that yes, you have absolutely done what you could do for Corey. It is on him now. Sometimes these kids have to learn the hard way. However, it can be very sad to watch.
  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Yes, you have done everything you can do, and now it is up to him. You can detatch without giving up hope. My husband believed my difficult child would never be able to get clean and do what he needs to do and difficult child proved him wrong. Maybe someday Corey will prove you wrong and he will want the help he needs. Until then you need to detatch knowing you have done everything you can possibly do, and now it is totally up to him.
  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Janet,
    I sort of feel the same way as you. We spent $50,000 on my dtr's Residential Treatment Center (RTC)--I was so sure that it was the answer. She had countless hours of outpatient therapy before that, many medications, went to rehab after the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), etc. We did everything we could to help her and I often wonder what would be the results if we had basically done the bare minimum. I'm not sure all the help really did anything except that she can now talk like a therapist and appear to be more "normal." I don't think the "core" person has really changed at all.

    I'm not agonizing over it, I also hope that I am wrong, but I do wonder....

  8. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    <span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>Janet, don't think that just because of Cory's present situation that YOU have failed to help him. He knows you love him, he must realize that HIS choices got him where he is. We tried therapists, special schools, and all sorts of programs....until our son went thru all his choices and had to live with them for a while the consequenses never sunk in. He nows sees his friends, peers, who have graduated from college and are starting their lives on a positive note. He has jail time and felonies where a college education could have been. I think its finally sinking in, still not sure what path our son will take, but he is "on his own." We see him about once a week and buy lunch or dinner, but other than that he makes his own way. Our home is no longer filled with his chaos, he knows we love him, but we won't trust him for a long time and he is aware that if he steals from us we will call the authorities. This is not the life I had pictured for my son, but I had little say or effect on his choices. Maturity does help some, and time eases the guilt(which is natural to feel, but not necessarily justified). If you could live his life for him YOU would not have made these choices.....

    Wishing you a little peace in your life....</span>

  9. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    janet, I have been saying the same stuff for two dys or more. nothing has made ant healed. nothing has stopped him except bars and that cannot go on forever. today like you I am tired, worn out and just sad about it all.

    all our strength gets sapped time and again. what choice do we have?
    some say cut them out of your life. I know for me he will always be my son. I will care. I will help him less and less but I will still want better for him. I will hope. for today though I am discouraged as you are.
    hugs, my other janet
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I do not think I made any difference on my difficult child's behaviors. He is living the very life I tried so hard to save him from. I do know that I have made a difference. He is much higher functioning than he would have been if I had not worked so hard on his interventions but I am not sure that is a good thing. My son appears normal at first and it is only after really being around him and really knowing him and his abilities that a person can realize how limited he is. I really do not think that is better for him. He is punished more harshly than if he was "apparently" retarded. Professionals and judges and prison guards 'doubt' his inabilities. His future is looking dismal. He cannot make it on his own and there is no proper programs and living arrangements available to change that. It totally stinks.
  11. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    We all seem to be in the same sinking ship

    We all did EVERYTHING we could do to prevent how our children are now living

    One thing we must remember

    In all the things that we have done for them,

    We have taught them the RIGHT way

    We have all made sure they have the tools they need to make the right choices if they choose

    This, seems all that we can do
  12. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I still have some hope that one day my difficult child will be the person I know he can be. I see glimpses of that person from time to time, and I really like him. I get discouraged at times, but I also know that I have been his biggest advocate when he was doing the right thing. I have always made him accept the consequences for his choices. I think that's all we can do as parents. We can't "fix" anyone. I like Covey's habit---Be Proactive. We have to change how we react to things. I know difficult child is going to mess up from time to time; I can't prevent him from making stupid choices. I can't control him. But I can detach and let go of any guilt I have for his choices.
  13. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dammit Janet</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How does a parent go on knowing this? </div></div>

    Janet - I don't know for sure but I *suspect* that the answer is that we go on a whole lot better than if we had given up at age 12. At least we tried. We banged our heads against that darned wall, we fought, we advocated, we lost our ever lovin' minds at times but... we were there and there is *no* way our children's choices can come back to haunt us with "what if's..."

    The only *sure* thing I know is that I have done everything within my power to get thank you on track. I won't be surprised if it's been a completely futile effort but if it has been, it's not for lack of trying to the very best of my ability.

    Regardless of what *thank you* does with his future, I cannot have done anymore to try to prepare him given my own resources and limitations and strengths.

    So... I think, remembering all the trials *you* have been through, all the hand wringing and worrying and frustrations and advocacy you have done in the years I've known you, you go on knowing that you did your utmost best and that's as good as it gets.
  14. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'>Janet, it's hard to look back and wonder what you could have done differently. I don't think we can cure our kids. The best we can hope for is to help guide them in the right direction. Maybe the best we can hope for is that our kids aren't murderers. It sounds awful especially to those with younger kids.

    I don't think we know enough about thinking disorders.

    I believe with my whole heart that as mother's we have to try to help these kids regardless of whether our interventions helps, hurts or leaves them unchanged. It is almost more about us then difficult children. We can't just throw up our hands and walk away. I have tried. Most of us have tried. The truth is that the bond from mother to child is pretty close to indestructible.

    I spent hours crying, days worrying and months researching my son's issues. We tried everything we thought wouldn't hurt him. I always hoped for a cure and he would be neurotypical. This is not something I can do. I am pretty sure we prevented more disability. It's hard to hang our hats on that as a success. It's all we get in our case.

    I don't know if anything made a difference with Cory but I don't think you could have not tried everything possible. I hope Cory sees the light and straightens himself out. He is young enough to want a better life. We have to hang on hope that they will. Sorry you are having a bad time right now. I go through these when difficult child is swirling in negativity.

    I wish we knew more. I wish we knew how to decrease the amount of collateral damage that mental illness creates in our son's thinking. One magnifies the other. I feel your pain.</span>
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I was talking to difficult child one night (several months ago) while she was in the middle of a meltdown. She was not participating in therapy and was noncompliant with medications. And she was absolutely miserable. She was sobbing that she hates her life and wished she were dead. When I talked to her about how I wanted her to be able to be happy and not feel so miserable all the time, she responded, "So!!! I'm not going to die!!!" Simply put, she would rather be miserable then have to do the work.

    I've been talking to her a lot lately about how I can find the right professionals, I can take her to appointments, I can buy her medications, that I can and do provide the resources and tools, but *she* has to do the work. That no matter how much I wanted to be able to do it for her, I couldn't. If she wants to feel better, she has to use the resources provided.

    You provided the resources. You provided the tools. That's really all you can do. It's the leading the horse to water analogy. He has to want to make use of them. I don't know if their failure to do so is a symptom of their illness or if it's just a lack of desire or if it's comfort in the familiar. But, I feel very confident that had you not provided the resources and tools the outcome would have been very different.
  16. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Janet, after everything we went through with daughter I wouldn't put any more faith in a psychiatric diagnosis than the ink it took to write it out.

    Here is what I say: It doesn't matter what they call it. You taught Cory right from wrong and he still knows that.

    Don't let the label scare you.

    The label doesn't matter.

    Your safety, the safety of the baby ~ those are the things that matter.

    Protect yourself, protect the baby, protect and cherish your life.

    Cory made a choice. You don't have to like it. You do have to accept it. Then you, and every one of us, will be forced to choose again.

    And that choice involves whether you will see Cory, at all.

    And that is the only choice really, that we get to make, once the kids are beyond a certain age.

    On the genetic component to behavior:

    husband said something very similar to that just the other night, Dammit. (That idea that difficult child behaviors are genetically mandated, and that nothing we might have done has made any difference one way or another.)

    We had just heard from our difficult child.

    And the story was the same one.

    Only now, even we can see it, as difficult child is soon to be thirty-two years old.

    What, he could not recover from a bad childhood, or insufficient parenting, or whatever the traumatic event(s) were by now?

    Not that he is approaching it in an ethical or straightforward way, but our difficult child wants to come home again. (Remember the phone call I posted about a few months back? I was right.)

    This is what husband said, and is something you may find helpful, too:
    "I feel bad for difficult child, but I do not feel sorry for him. difficult child is a man. He is making the choices a man makes. I don't have an issue with that. If difficult child had it to do again, he would do it the same way. A man makes his choices and takes the consequences, or the rewards.

    And he repeats: "I don't have an issue with that."

    Whatever difficult child says, husband says "I don't have an issue with that."

    So, you asked how we live with the outcome.

    I think slsh was correct in one way ~ we know we have done all we could. No ghosts whisperings down the years about how we did not care or how, somehow, we were irresponsible parents and created monsters. (Remember when everything ~ even homosexuality ~ was blamed on the mother?)

    But I think my husband has the right attitude, the right response, for this time in our lives: "I don't have an issue with that.

    The grief for us is becoming a very private thing. It seems to have less and less to do with what has happened to difficult child than it does with the wonderful things that never did happen for us with the son we could see so clearly until he ~ disappeared.

    And both ends of that spectrum seem to meet in the middle somewhere, and husband and I go on, and don't expect anything different from difficult child.

    Unlike the mothers of an earlier generation though, those of us who come here have the site, and one another.

    (Thank you Fran, thank you Abbey, thank you runawaybunny.)

    I am sorry for your pain, Janet.

    But it really does not matter what the psychs call it, other than to prove to you, once and for all, that you were coping with an impossible situation and did everything humanly possible, and more, for your son.

    Bitter comfort, right?

    But I have learned to take what comfort I can where I find it.

    You are stronger than I am, Janet.

    You can do this.

    You don't have to like it, but you CAN do this.

  17. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    I also feel like I moved mountains to try to help my son. Yet nothing worked and today he lives with his father, who remarried and turned his back on him financially and emotionally. I don't feel one single thing I did helped my son because he doesn't think there's anything wrong with him. It tore my heart out, nearly bankrupted me and helped end my second marriage.
  18. Jen

    Jen New Member

    hey Janet I am right there with you and now and thinking the same thing aobut my difficult child son.

    There is still some things that I was able to accomplish that are still good in all this though.

  19. Loris

    Loris New Member

    I'm so sorry for your pain. I'm in the same boat with two of mine. I hope it gets better somehow, for all of us.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know if *I* made any difference in my drug-addicted daughter's life, but I did make her leave at 18, when she wouldn't get help. She turned her life completely around and will be 23 in July. She has been drug free for three years now. She's getting her own place with her boyfriend (a really nice young man) and told me, "If Tom (my hub) still smokes, he can't do it in our place. I'm sick of smoke." (My hub quit smoking, but THAT was a riot coming from her!). Yes, she even quit her cigarettes. I think the morals and values we teach CAN make a difference if the young adult decides to listen to them, BUT they have to be willing to help themselves and THAT is not within our control. I don't blame any parent here if a child won't get help. The law states that at 18 we lose any rights we had over our kids. (((Hugs)))