Single Mom being challenged by Teen Son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DixieGoody, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. DixieGoody

    DixieGoody New Member

    I will try to keep this short but will start with a brief background. I was married for 20 years and we have 4 children. Oldest two are sons and youngest two are daughters. My oldest son was a challenge because of several disorders. The main ones being ADD and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (Sensory Integration Disorder). He is now 22 and although not doing everything I would wish for him he is a law abiding, working, living with roommates and I think he will finally figure everything out on his own. Because it was very hard to keep him on task and on track while living at home the others saw it and it trickled down to the next son. He picked up where the other left off when he moved out. difficult child#2 decided to challenge me even more. EVERYTHING is dramatic, EVERYTHING is wrong, EVERYTHING is a challenge. He got a girl pregnant at 16 (she was 18) and I (in my own opinion) handled it well realizing that "the deed was done" now is the time to teach him to be responsible. NOW trying to get to the current issue. He has 2 -3 dramas a week. Meaning if something doesn't go his way, he pushes button, argues, whines. etc. EVERY morning I have to go into his room at a minimum of 6 times to get him up. Disrupting and and starting my day off on a bad foot. In my opinion he is addicted to video games (HE bought the system, I did not). Latest thing was after not getting his chores completed after 3 days and my final warning to have it done by the time I got home Tuesday he was restricted from the video system for the evening and made to go out and complete one. OF COURSE. He blew up and cussed me, etc. Just went very badly. He left the house to go stay with a friend whose parents allow them to smoke and drink. He is 17. Dilemma:I don't want him here like he is. I love him dearly but his irrational behavior (had him tested for issues that could cause it - none) is destructive. His sister asked me not to let him stay or come back. I don't know where I stand legally. He has already said that if I send the cops after him he will RUN AND NOT LOOK BACK.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. I am truly sorry you needed to seek support but glad that you found this oasis. I can't provide you with "the answer" but soon others will come along and hopefully you will feel less isolated. Many of our CD family members have had similar problems and have worked their way thru the trauma of having a teen who truly could not function within the family and had to seek other remedies. I've had an abundance of issues...but not this one. Hang in there. Support will arrive. Hugs DDD
  3. DixieGoody

    DixieGoody New Member

    I think I need to add a little more. I think I made it sound as though waking him was one of the major issues. I didn't mean to give that impression. What I tried to convey is that it goes from something as simple as that to him CUSSING me, taunting me and making everything seem like his life is over. Complete lack of respect!! My concern is for him ..but as well for my daughters, I DO NOT want them to see this behavior as acceptable nor do I want the rest of their teen years to be filled with the drama he creates. I must also mention, his dad lives out of state and I have tried to get him to come take him to live with him (not happening), I have taken him to counselors, doctors...etc.
  4. DixieGoody

    DixieGoody New Member

    Thank you very much for the welcome. I discovered this forum today and hope, for no other reason, to be able to share and get some feedback. Thanks again for that opportunity!
  5. kisco

    kisco New Member

    Your son is under age 18, take advantage of that as you are still the person who can decide for him at this time. Find a hospital with a mental/behavioral health unit for adolescents. Plan to admit him. Let him know that if he does not go willingly, you will call the police.

    "he will RUN AND NOT LOOK BACK" is just a threat, the police can and will find him and he is not an adult, so he can and will be taken to a hospital setting.

    Important to know that if you do have to call the police, you tell them that your child is a threat to himself and/or others in your household.
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator


    17 and bullet proof. I have one of those. lol

    Kids are different, laws in states vary, but I'll tell you what I did. I called difficult child's bluff. I told him to pack his $%^# and get out, called his dad and left a message for him to come get difficult child -- he'd find difficult child walking toward town.

    difficult child was 17, and it was a hot, hot summer day. He packed his backpack and I showed him the door. Told him I'd left a message for his dad to pick him up -- they could meet up in the middle, OR NOT. And to call before he came to get the rest of his stuff to make sure I was home.

    He left walking (we live in a rural area). He was gone about 1 1/2 hours and I was getting worried because I hadn't heard from either of them. About 2 hours went by and I glanced out the kitchen window, and there comes difficult child walking up the driveway (no backpack).

    My mom was here and we sat chatting casually at the table. I heard difficult child walk onto the deck -- then nothing. Then I hear a knock on the back door, so I go to answer. Yes, it was difficult child. I unlocked the door, stuck my head out and said, "Why are you here?" He says, "It's hot and I'm thirsty. Can I get a drink of water?" I said, "I'll get it." I shut and locked the door.

    I got the water for him and handed it outside. I asked where his dad was; he didn't know. I said, "Oh, well," closed the door, locked it, and walked away.

    difficult child sat down on the back porch for a good while. Then he's knocking again. So I asked, "Why are you still here? What do you want now?" "Mmmm, Michelle (friend) wasn't home." Me: "Guess you'll need to call your other friends then or go to the homeless shelter. Whatever. Bye."

    "Wait, wait, wait," says difficult child, "I don't have any where to go!" Me: I don't care. You WILL NOT live in my house being disrespectful and intentionally being in some sort of trouble. I don't have to live that way, and I WILL NOT."

    difficult child apologized profusely, promised yadda, yadda, and things went a lot smoother around here respect-wise.

    There's a lot of backstory that goes with this, but in a nutshell, difficult child wanted to live with his dad (not in difficult child's best interest and Dad didn't want him anyway). For almost a year, with intent and forethought, difficult child set out to be "as bad as I can be so Mom will let me live with Dad." And let me tell you, when a hard-headed 17 yr old makes up his mind to be a hellcat, words just can't describe it....

    difficult child learned several things:
    1) Dear old dad just ain't what he's suppose to be
    2) Friends suddenly disappear when hellcat needs a place to crash
    3) Watch the smart mouth
    4) Don't threaten mom with running away
    5) Old mom has a break point so don't poke the bear and
    6) If you must "run," make sure the weather is bearable. (He had thrown his backpack behind some weeds about 1/2 miles down the road because it was heavy and the heat was unbelievable. lol)

    I suppose I lost one of my "mom" designations. "You care too much!" difficult child used to say in disgust. Haven't heard that one since this little incident...... Oh, well...whatever. :)

    And while it's minor that difficult child is not getting up in the mornings, it certainly is aggravating, stressful, and an awful way to start the day. I cured that problem by [pouring a tablespoon of ice-cold water on difficult child. I only had to do it a time or two.:hamwheelsmilf:

    Hope you can pick up an idea or two that might be suitable for your situation. Our little darlings can be tough.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have any of your sons, including this one, ever been evaluated by a neuropsychologist to see if an underlying disorder is causing his behavior? Are there any psychiatric or neurological differences (severe ADHD/autism) on either side of your son's family tree. This includes their sperm donor because he has contributed 50% to their DNA so he lives on with you (sadly, I"m sure).

    I had a drug abusing daughter (another possibility) who was very disrespectful and full of rage during her drug abuse years. Maybe you should look into drug use or alcohol abuse. But my main point is that the younger two kids did NOT copy her behavior. I don't believe kids deliberately copy their siblings. In fact, my younger two k ids saw enough not to touch drugs and are both very law abiding (with a few typical teen exceptions) and good kids. Perhaps there is something that runs in the family tree that hasn't been addressed? At least not yet? The odds of all your children becoming dysfunctional because of the oldest one is in my opinion not a good one. Something is probably going on. Since your son is sixteen and you only have two more years to help him (and yourself from his behavior) I would try to get him to agree to a neuropsychologist evaluation to see what is going on with him. A therapist would not be knowledgeable enough. I would also spot drug test him just to be sure.

    Due to his age, however, if he threatens you in any way, I would call the cops too. If he runs, he runs. They'll find him. More likely, he'll call you, scared and desperate.

    Hugs and keep posting.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome! Regardless of whatever is diagnosed, you have found a place where parents 'get it' that kids often are beyond the 'normal' standards of unruly - something many people just cannot understand.

    If your real name is the one used as your screen name, please change it. This board is seen by all sorts of people and identifying info can and will make you a target. Plus if your kids can identify themselves, this could cause problems.

    I do think your son needs a full evaluation if you want to figure out what is behind the problems. You say he was evaluated, but by whom and what did they do? We recommend full neuropsychologist evaluation, plus Occupational Therapist (OT) for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and full evaluation for auditory processing disorders AND a drug/alcohol evaluation to see if that is part of his problem.

    If you follow the link in my sig, you wll get to a thread about a Parent Report. This is a document that YOU create that is ALLLLLL about your child. in my opinion it is one of the best weapons you have in your arsenal as you seek help for your child.

    I do think you may need to draw a line. Where does his father live and what involvement does he have? Could your son go live with him?

    As far as mornings, ice water is the BEST. My bro always had trouble getting up. His last year in high school he actually paid me to go in and pour ice water on him every morning. I got a dollar a day to do that, five bucks if I had to make a second trip. The first time was just a dribble, the second? He had to air out the cushions. He refused to sleep on a bed, so he had put an old couch in the room, so it was cushions and not a mattress. I wouldn't have odne it if he slept on a bed, because from the time he was a toddler, if you touched him in his sleep he punched you - with-o ever waking up. Nothing broke him of that until he discovered that some girls wanted to spend the night, not just a little while. I kept a jar of water in the fridge, and put ice in it every morning so it was very very cold.

    We tried all sorts of alarms and NONE worked. My dad is very good with electronics, etc... and he even amped up an alarm clock to a ridiculous volume. It woke ME up but not bro. So we ued water.

    If your other kids are afraid of him, or upset by him, they have the right to a peaceful home and to not be afraid in that home. It may be that he is better off with his father - even though that will be hard for you. My son used to be so violent that we had no choice but to get him out of the home. He ended up with my parents, and he managed to turn himself around completely. We are very proud of him, and hope that he continues to be happy and successful in life. I miss him terribly, and see him when he makes time.
  9. DixieGoody

    DixieGoody New Member

    OH MY GOODNESS! This is the best! I am just now being able to get back here to check messages and EACH of you have been wonderful. Sheila, I see so much similarities. To answer the question about his dad, it's one of those typical stories (that one hopes not to be the status quo). After 20 years of marriage and "parenting together" which means as long as I told him where to be and when to be and how to --- he was there. However, with the 17 difficult child I have been speaking of.... he and his dad were inseparable. Mainly because his dad lived his life thru difficult child with sports. difficult child withdrew from sports. When his dad got angry with me after the divorce, his punishment was to not see the kids. I would beg him to please see them as much as possible - NEVER limiting him. He came maybe 4 times a year. He now lives about 4 hours away and about a month before this last incident we were all "SUPPOSE" to be working towards difficult child moving in with his dad. As the time kept getting closer his dad found excuses to the point that the weekend it was to happen he told difficult child that difficult child was just running away and needed to stay and figure things out. In Other Words: Don't let your problems interfere with my life. difficult child GP tested him for hormonal, drugs, etc. (NO ISSUES). difficult child psychologist did test him and said he has major anger & depression. They tried him on some medications that didn't work. He's been trying to get on ADD medications (he had been stealing some from his older brother) but I won't allow him to be on a controlled substance so he is trying some other medications. I can't say it's the medications that's causing it because he acted this way when he wasn't on them too. His dad was diagnosed with Narcissism and Depression.
    I am on an emotional roller-coaster. I feel like he is safer in my home but I don't feel safe when he's in my home. I truly believe that alot of the behavior started with DAD. When the kids would go visit with their dad after the divorce they said he was taking it VERY hard and that included disrespecting me. Plus with the fact that because of "me" he wouldn't come see them. Then the oldest son would disrespect me but not like this one. In fact, 17gfg would be the one to call the oldest out on the disrespect. When the oldest (23) moved out 6 month ago, the torch passed on. Even though the 17gfg was already disrespecting me since 14 -- I called many of those things just being a teen. Now it seems like he is doing what his dad used to do which I call "thumping his chest" ME MAN - you just a woman. I can't stand the though of my sons disrespecting women and I want so desperately to be the one to show them how to do it the right way and feel like such a failure. I know, I know - no self-pity. I can talk my way out of that but I can't find the solution.
    I confess: I have hit my breaking point with him. I HATE THAT and the word 'hate' is not allowed in my house. I know I am strict because I have to be both MOM & DAD and I feel that I don't have enough eyes on them to make sure they don't mess up or correct them when they do so.
    I never wanted to use the "single mom" card. Thank you all for reading my rambles. What a BLESSING to find this site!
    AGAIN - sorry for the ramble. As much as I want to go back edit the post - it's how I am feeling and I am going to roll with it. HA!
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Anger and Depression in teen males is OFTEN... secondary. As in - there is something else major going on, and not having whatever "that" is identified and appropriately treated can result in all sorts of anger and/or depression - and in males in general, anger is often a front for depression.

    ADHD is... a tricky diagnosis. Not anything wrong with that, and it might even be partially correct, but...
    1) ADHD is most often accompanied by "other stuff". There are a few people who are "just" ADHD (I have a kid like that). But MOST with ADHD are ADHD "plus"... other stuff. Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), LDs... and those are just as major as the ADHD, or more so. Or, it can be ADHD plus another mental health condition - given his Dad's dxes, there may be some biological tendency towards these issues.
    2) ADHD can be an initial diagnosis, when the real diagnosis is something like Aspie or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), or some of the MI dxes like Bi-Polar, for one.

    If in fact he really IS an ADHD kid... in our experience, the most effective medications are the "controlled substances".
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Growing up with a narcicistic father (I had to) is very difficult. The father is more interested in what the child can do to make HIM shine than about his child's happiness. All my dad ever cared about was what WE could do to make him able to brag about us. We fell short, in his eyes. Maybe this ND (narcisitic dad) is furious that athletically talented son quit sports and thinks it was a way to stick it to HIM, which he can't tolerate, since the center of ND's universe is him. Like my own father, he is obviously fine not seeing his kids. I don't even have many memories of my dad as he was very disinterested in my girl activities and never cared what was going on in my life unless it could give him something to brag about to his friends (of whom he had very few).

    Be careful. Personality disorders can run in families. The "why" of it is puzzling to professionals. They are starting to feel that part of it is genetic, but some of it is obviously having to deal with a self-absorbed and sub-par parent...and it hurts!

    Reading your explanation of your ex, plus seeing his diagnosis, riled me up because I feel for your children. It is IMPOSSIBLE to please a narcissist unless you are kissing their feet, doing exactly what THEY want, and lavishing the ND with praise about how wonderful he is. I feel badly for your sons. I wish I had more helpful words of wisdom. I don't, but therapy probably can help all of your kids deal with this selfish man.
  12. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So he has an issue with drugs! Stealing his brothers ADD medication which is C2 controlled substance in most cases is illegal and constitutes a drug problem. Doesn't matter that they are prescription. They are not his prescription. Its illegal and you could call the law on him for that.

    Last but not least. If you have to pack his stuff, put him in the car, drop him off.
  13. DixieGoody

    DixieGoody New Member

    Thank you Midwest Mom, I can see that. What I can't understand is that difficult child will tell me how his dad is failing him, he says he sees it but when given the chance will do everything to please his dad and treat me like crud even though he admits that I am the only one there for him. WHICH is why him leaving (and me letting him go) is so hurtful because I feel like I am giving him TOUGH LOVE but I also feel like I am deserting him when I am actually just not playing into his emotional blackmail. However, I so wanted to be at the finish line when he finally gets thru this tough part in his life. MY FAULT: I get mad, I give a punishment and then I get over it. I do not like to "stay mad" and honestly, it is for selfish reason - I just don't like the feeling. Well, I think they (kids) have figured it out. MOM may get mad, but she will get over it, and still loves us. DAD may get mad, may never talk to us again and not sure if he loves us. This time.... I am not speaking with him and am trying hard to not "get over it" so that he realizes this isn't just a "thing". It is serious, you can't manipulate me with tantrum. The strange part is that all of my kids were awesome when they were young!! They didn't give me ONE ounce of trouble, no terrible two's, no tantrums, etc. I am not only looking at his issues...I am trying to change mine. Thank you so much! I try not to get angry with their dad because ....well, frankly, he's not worth the emotion and I don't want kids to see me bitter ....BUUUUTTTTT oh, I long for the day I can really give him a piece of my mind. When my youngest turns 18 maybe. HA! We'll see.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, well, you've just hit upon something interesting that my mother used to point out. She said that parents who are abusive to their kids have kids who basically bend over backwards to get their approval, even though they will never get it and even though they are being treated horribly. Kids have an intrinsic need to get parental approval. I have adopted kids and the social workers tell me that even if the mother has almost killed the child, almost every child screams "Mommyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!" when they are removed or have to separate. They mourn for the abusive parent because it is their parent anyway. He feels safe that you love him. It's a compliment, in a sense...
    If we are good to our kids and they know we love them, they are more apt to treat us like crapola. Not in all cases, of course, but it's common. Your boy is trying hard to get approval and love from a man who can't give it and it is very sad. One day he will probably figure out that it's not worth it, but it takes a long time.
    (((Hugs))). Keep posting and keep us updated.
  15. DixieGoody

    DixieGoody New Member

    UPDATE: Received a message that 17 difficult child was sick. I made an appointment and took him this morning. I also asked for a drug screening - just to make double sure. I haven't seen him since last Tuesday. We didn't talk on the way to the appointment but we did on the way back. To make a LONG story short - I feel he is taking minor things to an extreme. He is on such an emotional roller coaster. My heart is breaking for him. He told me all of the things he is willing to do for the friend's family but unwilling to do for ours. I don't know how to show him it's wrong. I have tried to explain it but I can't get thru to him. I didn't cave though. As much as I want my "happy family" - I didn't cave. They are trying him on a different medicine, vyvanse.