Really hoping he's not bipolar but starting to look like it?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by welcometowitsend, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. I posted on my previous thread yesterday that I had to call difficult child's guidance counsellor and the people he is living with to let them know he said he'd been cutting. The guidance counsellor and the psychiatric nurse on the hotline I called both thought it was more attention seeking than worrisome but we all felt it still had to be taken seriously.

    So difficult child was pretty mad that I called girlfriend's family (that's where he is living). I offered him counselling and he adamantly refused stating that he didn't need it. All he needed was for me to admit that I had abused him. Said that he didn't need to learn coping skills because he'd never experience anything as bad as the abuse he suffered. Huh? So I told him at that point that I would no longer discuss this with him unless we were in front of a counsellor. I told him we'd have to stick to talking about day to day life things instead.

    A few hours later I get an email saying... sorry I can't go to counselling on Wednesday, I have a field trip. Not sure if he was rubbing in that I'd paid for that trip (and it's to a play that I really want to see) or if he was being genuine. Then last night I get another email - hey, can we rebook that counselling session? I'd like to go with you but not dad at this point. So I said sure, I'd book something and let him know.

    So, in the last 2 weeks here is a recap of this difficult child's behaviour:
    1) April 2 - Went ballistic - intimidating, screaming, yelling, telling us to f off etc. because I grounded him from Facebook for 1 night. Only because I tried to discuss the pornographic and crude content of his FB and he kept laughing and saying it was funny. Goes to girlfriends and won't speak to us until April 7
    2) April 7 - Came home, packed his things, demanded expensive items and money and left.
    3) April 10 - Refuses to speak to his father or even be in the same room with him and refuses counselling in front of guidance counsellors at school. Tells me he would move home if dad was gone because he wants to me around me and his sister and wants us to pay his bills and buy him things.
    4) April 12 - Agrees to meet his father and I for coffee. Have a great meeting, civilized, friendly, even joking around at one point, thought we worked through a lot of feelings and made some progress. Agrees to go to counselling. We drop him and his girlfriend off at her house afterwards and he hugs us BOTH goodbye.
    5) April 13 - I get a very curt, short email in response to a friendly email I send him.
    6) April 15(Sunday) - Calls and asks if we can meet him for coffee. Has slept all day (it's 3pm) and is hungry so we buy him food. Gets angry and belligerent when we try to discuss some things with him. We wanted to know what he might be willing to change/work on to address his part in the problems. Yells at us, causes a scene and walks out.
    7) A couple of hours later I get an email stating IF he comes home this will have to be a group effort and we will have to admit what we did wrong. So I sent him an email in response detailing everything that we have agreed to do to make this situation better, everything I am trying to do to help him succeed (offered him help with schoolwork), etc. Admitting again that we have made mistakes etc..
    8) Late that night I get another email referring to husband by his first name because he no longer qualifies as Dad and accusing both of us of verbal, physical, emotional and mental abuse. Originally he was only mad at husband because he thought husband had physically abused him because he has had to restrain him on 3 different occasions in the last 6 months. Now we are both abusive? And tells me he is cutting
    9) (Monday) Again refuses to go to any type of counselling, even individual.This is after I called girlfriend's parents and advised them he was cutting - which he says he hasn't done in over a month. Confuses me because he is in serious crisis right now and have been for the last month but he's no longer cutting? I offered him every avenue so he couldn't make up an excuse - just outright refused and is yelling at me on the phone about how much abuse he has suffered - then hangs up.
    10) Emails me late last night and says he'll go to counselling with me but not with Dad (back to calling him Dad) at this point.

    Does this sound like possible emerging mental health issues to anyone? Or just a teenager who doesn't know whether he's coming or going? Literally.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I may be naive but it's almost like he has someone "coaching" him. I just can't shake the feeling that someone is "advising" him how to proceed after a new development. He wants you to admit to a BUNCH of abuse but when you refuse and say only in front of a counselor, he gets upset but then LATER (after he's talked to "someone") he suddenly emails you sounding all cooperative. This just sounds waaaay to suspicious to me.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Weird. I am not sure. I need more info.
    Wish I could be more help.

    I would definitely make and keep a counseling appointment.

    I'm sending hugs.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    I'm with TeDo on this. Also, it's not like anything really needs to be emerging. Tourette's (mild), ADHD, overlapping Aspergers symptoms (minor) combined with typical teen we get "your son" I'm sure it's been brought up, but we also have to remember that there's a possibility of drug/alcohol.

    I wouldn't go looking for new dxes and certainly not bipolar. I'm not sure if it's comforting or not. On the one hand, if there is a new diagnosis, then it explains a lot. On the other hand a new diagnosis brings in more complications, and potentially a less positive outlook.

    (((HUGS))) Have I mentioned lately that I think you're handling him most excellently? Yeah? Well, I'm gonna say it again. I think you're doing a great job with him. Keep that armor nice and polished!
  5. Keista, Terry and TeDo - You're probably right and I really hope you are! I don't want this for him, at all. Being a jerk you can grow out of. Mental health is a whole other ball game and because he is 16 we can't force him into any kind of treatment (in Canada) unless we can prove he is a harm to himself or others. I just feel like we've (especially me) been riding such a roller coaster with him for the last few months and especially the last few weeks. And to top that off I've had 2 guidance counsellors from his school suggest the possibility as well as a friend of ours whose ex-wife has bi-polar.

    But, it does seem like he's being coached - probably by girlfriend. Not sure. He is really trying to go to bat for the student welfare so he can live on his own and he has to prove abuse in order to do that. Maybe he thinks that being in counselling with me will be a way to con me into admitting something or prove abuse. I don't know. I do know that this child was never abused.

    Thanks for the kind words - this is the hardest thing I have ever done.

    I did have him drug tested about 3 weeks ago and it came back negative. Now that's not to say he's not huffing - my understanding is that they can't test for huffing because the 'drug' doesn't stay in the system long enough. I don't think he is drinking but he could be at his girlfriends place - her parents let the kids drink.

    I just don't understand how it went from being ok with some arguments about behaviour and rule breaking to all hell breaking loose and him leaving. Then he is mad at his dad but ok with me to hating his dad and both of us being abusive and now I'm kind of ok again. Doesn't make any sense to me.

    Sorry, I know this response is disorganized and all over the place. I have a wicked stress migraine today. I think it is because I have run out of people to call and sources to go to for help and now all I can do is sit and wait him out. That's hard for me because I am a problem-solving, take action kind of person.

    On a lighter note I came up with a nickname for difficult child yesterday. PJ Funnybunny. Not sure if you ever read the book but my difficult child loved this book as a kid. PJ Funnybunny hated being a bunny so he tried being every other animal he could think of until eventually he realized that what he really wanted to be was a bunny.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    But, it does seem like he's being coached - probably by girlfriend. Not sure. He is really trying to go to bat for the student welfare so he can live on his own and he has to prove abuse in order to do that. Maybe he thinks that being in counselling with me will be a way to con me into admitting something or prove abuse. I don't know. I do know that this child was never abused.

    Ahh, the smoking gun ...

    I feel for you about the migraine. been there done that. Do you have any Imitrex?
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yeah, I was thinking along those lines too, if not overtly coached, at the very least he is maybe getting tons of sympathy and reinforcement to increase the drama of his stories by sympathetic people who are the rescuers taking care of the poor abused boy....
    And of course he has to try to make his case. He just doesn't see the major contradictions in his actions and communications though. I really hope the case workers catch on to him and realize that girlfriend's family only knows one side.

    I was thinking how much you tell him you know you made mistakes etc....I worry that will be twisted. I think I understand you are saying what we all say, there is always room for improvement and none of us is perfect, not to mention when living with someone who is so provocative--I know I have had some not so pretty moments talking to my son.

    Just for now maybe save those comments for the therapy sessions you go to so you can clarify in front of a witness?? Maybe I am way off base, just feeling a huge lack of trust that overflows to other people's situations I suppose.... If you disagree, no problem, it is just a thought.

    Hang in there! This is a really tricky situation.
  8. Terry - No imitrex. Doesn't work for me. Wish it did. I'm feeling a lot better now though. Went to Booster Juice and the girl there is so sweet - made me a smoothie and put some extra brain booster and some other stuff in it - not sure if it was the Advil and Tylenol or the booster juice (or all of it) but I feel much better! :)

    And yes, I think you are right about the smoking gun.

    Buddy - I totally agree with you about being careful what I say. I have an inkling he was recording our phone conversation the other day and trying to get me to admit to something - not sure what. I told him then - I will not discuss this with you any more unless it's in front of a counsellor. I don't have anything to hide but he can definitely try to twist things.

    Another thing I found odd - girlfriend's dad said that he grew up a lot like difficult child so he can relate to him. Now, girlfriend's dad said his father was abusive (beating him up, punching him etc) a couple of weeks ago. He didn't say that on Monday when he was talking about relating to difficult child but he said difficult child is reclusive, quiet and withdrawn. I didn't respond to that - but he obviously does not know my child. He is the most outgoing kid I have ever met - I'm guessing he is laying low with girlfriend's parents and coming across like the withdrawn, depressed, abused child for effect. Who knows what he's told them about us.

    Anyway, I guess I was having a 'moment' worrying about the possibility of mental health issues because so many people have been saying that over the last few days. I suppose there is still the possibility of that but for now I'm going to assume that is not the case and put my shiny armour on so I can be on guard.

    I'm on my own little emotional roller coaster here too so I'm sure that doesn't help.