The Rubber Room

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AZ_SheilaC, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. AZ_SheilaC

    AZ_SheilaC New Member

    Don't know about anyone else, but dealing with a child with conduct disorder is the most frustrating, disappointing, annoying, horrifying, exhausting, obnoxious thing on this planet.

    My son has been oppositional defiant for two years. Any little change in routine and it's 20 minutes of being told to go F* myself, I'm a F*n this and that, so on and so forth.

    Medication that brought peace he said was making him fuzzy headed and sick in his stomach. He's been prescribed a controlled substance for the ADD (which this other stuff was also for) and it's off the richter scale for the ODD.

    I don't know about anyone else, but frankly I didn't sign up for this. I am thoroughly exhausted and fed up with the constant angst and turmoil, disrespect and hatred flying around. The mockery I face from my son is HIDEOUS and totally unacceptable.

    We are told to understand the child, to disengage from the power struggles, yada yada. Empathize, be mature. Frankly there are times I think this is so ridiculous, as if any of us don't react to a child purposely antagonizing and constantly creating strife?! HELLO! A kid causing constant havoc is EXHAUSTING. ANNOYING. OBNOXIOUS. RIDICULOUS. And yes, sometimes we just wish they would take a damned VALIUM and give us some freakin' peace.

    All I tell myself when he really gets my goat is ONE MORE YEAR. He's 17. At 18? He's out of here. His dad leaves me having to handle it 24/7 365 with 2 breaks a year. Because our son antagonizes him and his girlfriend. I'M SURE! His latest "solution?" Move back onto my property and LIVE if! The dufus is domestically mentally violent, and the SOURCE of these genetics I am left dealing with. URGH!

    At other times I feel so sad. Because I do love my son. This whole situation greatly saddens me. That I feel as alienated at times as I do is horrible. I don't want to throw him out of the nest and say "I don't care if you sink, just GET OUT" but frankly, that's what I am left feeling like doing 80% of the time.

    Anyhow. We just had a LOVELY 4 day weekend - one of my TWO A YEAR - ruined by my son and his tantrum. Refused to get in the car so I could take him to his dads, so MY time was HIS time. NOT alone, still dealing with HIM AND HIS PROBLEMS. I AM SO SICK OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You've found a safe place to vent and bang your head on the wall in frustration here. Sounds like there's more going on with him though.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Sheila! Welcome to the crowd! It's a great group - we all have similar experiences and we all rely on each others "wit and wisdom" (and sometimes a kick in the pants when we need it!).

    Soooo, I'm sensing that you're a little frustrated? Just kidding...I think most of us have been where you are at one point (let's be real - many points!) in our lives.

    I don't know much about the diagnosis "conduct disorder" but ODD, man do I know what you're saying! Usually, I look at both of those diagnosis's as symptoms of something deeper or more involved though.

    Has he had a full blown neuropsychologist done? The resistance to change can indicate a major problem with transitions. Mine has Aspergers Syndrome and PTSD and he sounds just like yours. Mine is 12, but has been acting like this for YEARS! Ugh!

    My recommendation is that you question/check into whether or not there could be some underlying cause. If he is on the spectrum - say with Aspergers, the ADHD medications could be making the problem worse. Either way, he needs something to stabalize him. My son is in a psychiatric hospital. trying out new medications. to see if we can get him a little less, shall we say, aggressive.

    Again, welcome to the crowd and huge hugs from someone who knows a lot of the feelings that you have!

  4. AZ_SheilaC

    AZ_SheilaC New Member

    After what happened on Friday, I felt literally as if I had taken a drug myself. THAT is how upset this situation has me. Completely disoriented. I went to Fry's grocery store and when they asked me to input the saver card telephone number for my discount (it's an old one, but I have used this for years) for the life of me I could not remember. I had a complete blank! I was panicked because I could not recall.

    My life has become utterly unmanageable, completely and totally at the mercy of this disease or whatever is happening with my son. He's very sweet sometimes, but DO NOT upset his sense of control or he's like dealing with the possessed, very controlling, manipulative, mocking.

    He does things to purposely agitate, not just me but his sister. My poor daughter, she tries to read for her homework and he'll do things just to annoy her because he wants attention. There have been times I have sworn he's manic, as if on speed or something. One day he stood about a foot behind her while she was trying to read and just made this monotone sound. She, like me, tries to be patient and said "I am doing my homework, please stop." After the 3rd or 4th time, she shrieked. She's 10. She's not supposed to be a psychologist for GODS SAKE. I was using the restroom and had shouted for him to stop which of course he did not until I got out there (when he heard the door). Then he mocked her before walking away.

    It's like he's possessed or something, I swear to God. Sometimes it seems like he is just nuts.
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I will write more later - just want you to know that you are NOT alone.............
    We have all been there, and know what it is like.
    It is lonely, sad and maddening - all rolled up into one ball that makes us want to choke.
    Hugs, you have found the right place to vent.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What medication is he taking and how much? Are you saying it's helping him focus but making his behavior worse?

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, although sorry you have to be here.

    Is his behavior made worse by drug or alcohol abuse? What was his early development like and can he get along appropriately with his same age peers? Is he still in school?
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, AZ Sheila. I HEAR YOU!

    That could be my son! But only on a bad day. He has good days. And sometimes they're all in the same day. ;)

    Did you mean to say that the stimulant he's on for ADHD is making him ODD and that this is new? I'm wondering, from what I've read of others' on this board, if he's bipolar or something. Stimulants tend to make those kids worse.

    Have you tried clonidine yet? It was and is a lifesaver for us.

    In regard to the F word, we started by washing our son's mouth out with-soap. No kidding. That was yrs ago. He stopped, but now he's 14 and has learned to say it in Spanish!!! Luckily, he's not done it in anger, so I laugh and blow it off, and he doesn't do it unless he hears it in a song and then he points it out. Sharing is so sweet, isn't it?

    Anyway, one thing I KNOW works with-these kids is a strict pattern of sleep, and routine, routine, routine.

    Do not give in when it comes to school. He's got to go, or he's got to make it up at home and turn in the assignments. It doesn't have to be a fight. Find out what your son absolutely loves and use that for leverage. For my son, it's anything electronic. Cell phone, computer, Xbox, TV. We had a friend cut the TV cord in half and replace the ends with-an appliance plug. That way difficult child cannot turn it on in the middle of the night. Each night we take the end of the cord and lock it up.

    Oh, by the way, do you have locks on the doors? Bedrooms, etc? That way you can lock up equipment, foods he's allergic to, etc. He will eventually break the locks so be prepared for that. Just replace them with-something better. You've always got to be one up on him. He messes up the wall, you paint it over, and over and over until he realizes you will outlast him. Doesn't have to be a fight. Just observation on his part that you won't give up.

    I can type this right now because difficult child just left for school, I've had a good night's sleep, and life is good. Two days ago, I could have written your note. Overall, in many ways, I hate my life. I didn't sign up for this. I have no idea where I get the stamina, except to say, like in AA, I take it one day at a time.

    P.S. Someone else here mentioned Asperger's in regard to his rigidity and inability to transition. I would definitely have him tested for a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Welcome to the board.

    I know exactly how you feel. My difficult child is 11, alomost 12, and there are days when I would gladly ship him someone. I don't care where. As long as he's anywhere but here. I have felt the same way that you do. This is not what I signed up for. Trying to handle his behavior is exhausting and it does not help when you have people who look at you and say that it's your fault because you don't parent him properly. He does some of the same things your son does. I'm sitting with easy child trying to get him through his homework and difficult child will come into the kitchen, making loud noises abd trying to distract easy child. When I ask him to stop his answer is, "I can be in here." I tell him that yes, he can be in the kitchen but he can't distract easy child from getting him homework done, and BOOM!! We're off! It's one of those afternoons where I would just rather eat nuclear waste than have to parent him.

    Is your son currently taking anything to help his ADD? Are there any other underlying factors? Was he always like this, or did it get worse when you and his dad split up? It sounds like there is more going on with him than the ADD. I know that you said he was also diagnosed with ODD, which my son was also diagnosed with, but in our case he also has general anxiety disorder, which was what was driving the ODD behavior. If you can figure out what is driving the defiant behavior, you might be able to calm things down. Is he willing to undergo a thorough evaluation at this point?

  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Welcome. Just some thoughts as I've read through all the posts. You said you Ex is "domestically mentally violent". Could some of your son's behavior be learned from daddy dearest? How long have you and his dad been apart? Some kids have strong behavioral reactions to situations like this. I agree with the others, it sounds like more is going on than ADD/ODD. You said you could "have sworn he's manic, as if on speed or something". Those are very real possiblities. Since you voiced them, either you have thought of these possibilities or maybe your subconscious is trying to tell you something.

    I can totally relate to feeling of just wanting to ship him off sometimes. My son was diagnosis with ADHD and ODD. It wasn't until he hit puberty and his rigidity, struggles with change and transitions, and frustration/anger got worse that I had him re-evaluated. ADHD and ODD just didn't fit with the behaviors he was now exhibiting. In our case, we found he has Asperger's Syndrome. Have you thought about finding a good psychiatric hospital to take him and do thorough assessments, one that maybe has a neuropsychologist on staff? It would give you and your daughter a much needed break while still helping your son by finding out what he REALLY has. Is your son in therapy? Does he see a psychiatrist regularly? Have you brought these other issues up to him/her?

    I'm sorry I can't be of more help. I really do feel for you and I also feel for your son. Life as an adult is going to be very rough for him.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    First, I would talk to his doctor about the new medication - sounds like it is making things MUCH worse...

    Second, at his age - are there any groups or anything that he could join to get him out of your hair for a bit?
  12. AZ_SheilaC

    AZ_SheilaC New Member

    My son is almost 17. The behaviors began to a very slight degree about two and a half years ago. He was taking Strattera, I found the results fantastic. He (on the other hand) said it made him feel fuzzy headed and his stomach hurt. He refused to take it, saying I was trying to "drug" him. After the big blowouts from that I was like "forget this." I waited until HE asked, twice, to go into the doctors again because I'm not going to be accused of trying to drug anyone. This had to come from him.

    This second visit, despite my reservations, his doctor prescribed Ritalin patches. My son says one doesn't do anything for him, two is better. Other than going by his word I don't see >anything< improved, in fact I see an erosion of his behavior on this drug big time. I mentioned that to his doctor both times, this second time before we left, while we were in his office and he did this "your son and I are pals" thing saying "this is what their decision was." I thought =as I did the first time he suggested it= -> "are you nuts? This kid will go off the walls with his aggression!" Which he has. But, who am I to argue with a licensed medical doctor. Maybe he knew something I did not. His physician is aware of the issues we are now having.

    To answer the question has he had a full screen, no. As of Friday I spoke with my insurance (it was PM, so I had to wait until today) and they said to have a full workup with a psychiatrist done and to request to begin working with a case manager to see if he can be placed inpatient somewhere for the anti-social behaviors. So today I am going to see what is available to us.

    My sons dad was not an alcoholic, nor was his father, but both had all the personality traits of the addict and abuser. Their family have significantly reduced empathy for others with severe intimacy/bonding issues. My father was an alcoholic and manic depressive. I was not raised around my father - my parents divorced when I was 1. My mother, however, was undiagnosed with extreme personality disorder. She was abused as a child and from what I saw her mental development was arrested at about age 7 from incest trauma. She became a nun, and has been in mandatory psychotherapy 2x a week for the past 25 odd years. While parenting me, however, she was a prescription drug addict and quite literally insane. I was emancipated at 16.

    I have spent my life working ACOA/IA issues. I thought my life would be better now that I do not have an addict/abuser in it. This is why it is extremely upsetting to experience this stuff (albeit without the physical violence except last year until the police came out) with my own son! Much of what he's doing reminds me of my mother. I think that's why I totally freaked and couldn't recall my phone number at the store. This is a NIGHTMARE.

    My son has more sensitivity then his father believe it or not in some ways. However, that is when he is in control of his behaviors. I have seen him act as if he's on speed when he is unmedicated. "Spastic," and it concerns me. I am so worried he will warp my daughter in her perceptions of "normal" by their interactions. I hope to God she does not think this is normal.

    Anyway, just wanted to answer some questions. Thank you for being here to vent. This ebbs and flows usually. It is FAR worse with the introduction of Ritalin.
  13. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    When my son was about 15 or 16, we increased his Adderall dose and put him on the XR version. Within 2 days, my previously sweet and gentle, but incredibly distractible, child started cursing, throwing things and acting like a monster. When I caught him with his hands around his little brother's (8 1/2 years younger) throat, I flushed the XR down the toilet and put him back on his former dosage. He returned to normal.

    The Ritalin could be doing it. Maybe put him in a psychiatric hospital and do a medication wash to get a baseline? Another possibiliity is he's drinking and/or using other drugs.
  14. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry you are going through this right now, but glad you found this community for support.

    I don't have any advice or suggestions that others have already brought up - just a hug for you. :grouphug:
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hey Zoni Mom!

    How are ya today? Frazzled? Defeated? Talking to yourself in the car on the way to work? Zombie eyed? You know, there were days when I seriously wondered if the right person in the house was being medicated. No really - I can remember sitting in the psychiatrists office while my son sat 3 seats away from me with his hoodie over his head and a pillow over his face not talking to the "stupid #(*$&* ing doctor" and looking at the man and saying "Well I think today you should just get out your handy dandy note pad and write ME a prescription for something - maybe Valium?" and I was stone-cold serious. Actually I wanted something stronger, but I never took medication so that was the only thing that came to mind, well that and I watched a Western once where this woman in Tombstone took Laudnum and just laughed and laughed and hardly ever got out of bed....that looked fun, not functional but then again....can't end up in the state bed and breakfast and loose my job now can I? ahem.

    I see that your life hasn't been peaches and roses. WOW. I know that had to be really hard for you. I'm so sorry. My guess would be that somewhere along the line there must have been a lot of therapy for you for that, and you're probably sick to death with anything that has to do with mental health. I would be too. I am actually. Fifteen years of counseling for an abusive ex, and a kid that made me have a stroke? I get it! However, it is what it is, and it's beyond stressful - so somewhere along the line there has to be someone for you. Unfortunately that can't be a girlfriend, a co-worker, a family member, and it should be someone who specializes in children and more importantly children who have conduct disorder and understand that you are at your witts end. Reason I say this is I was in therapy, I was on medication for depression and I still had a stroke. I thought I was having a heart attack- nope. And my childs reaction to the entire thing from his juvenille jail house visit to his step-dad? Oh is she gonna be okay? Can I have some money for a candy bar? I mean - somewhere in there you either have to pretend they care, or know that their brains are wired so differently you detach and move on.

    I'm really with svenghandi's thinking on the medication here. So now I would guess your next question is how do you get them into a psychiatric hospital? Well - the criteria is danger to self or others, and usually these kids are SO smart they play their cards really close to their chest. At 16 you would have to be careful because there is a fine line between what is an arrestable offense and getting him to the hospital. Danger to self and others means just that. If he's ever threatened suicide or has self-harming behaviors you could call 911 and get him into the hospital without having him jailed. If you call 911 because he's attacking you or his sister? Then the law arrests him for domestic violence. Not good for him. That's a felony. Not really sure how you could do this - maybe his therapist would have some suggestions but he DOES need to be observed without ANY medications and then have some medications trialed, and added slowly to see which will help him with his therapy.

    The burden of most of this however is going to lay with him and you. Sadly you are going to have to learn the fine art of DETACHMENT. The other wonderful thing I can suggest that will make your world a bunch better? Effective communication. It's a lot like a secret language - no I'm not kidding. For me it was the difference between getting things done, and NOT with my son. There is a book out called How to listen so your teen will talk and how to talk so your teen will listen. or something to that effect......and it is awesome. You do like a chapter a week. It has worksheets in it. It's funny, upbeat. It teaches you things that you can not only learn and use with your kids - but with everyone. Give it a try and put it to use and see if it helps.

    Those would be my suggestions - and the other thing I would BEG for.......I would find a local agency that has big brother...type of thing and BEG BEG BEG for the upcomming summer or get your son signed up for something NOW because most places lists close by the end of Feb. for Summer.
    Get him a big brother for the summer where he is volunteering with someone that can help him keep busy.

    Hope this helps.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Star, I love your notes. :bravo:
  17. AZ_SheilaC

    AZ_SheilaC New Member

    hi, an update. I did call the sheriff and he was brought in and evaluated and was not deemed to be 'extreme' nor a threat to himself or others so they hit the bell, rang the receipt for $150, and off we went seven hours later with nothing in hand beyond the feeling that something is significantly wrong with this situation. empathy? sure. but being told "if you were on federal welfare health insurance your son would have been admitted" ...that there is a great program - but that place won't take private insurance? WHAT?

    ok. and I got an engineering degree why? life was better on welfare with my Section 8, foodstamps, medical, and so on. i used to garden. who has time for that now?

    he's got an appointment to a psychiatrist on 3-21. we're going to try to advance that timeline being on the cancellation list.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear. That is SO WRONG!!!!!