The Story Changes Yet Again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    difficult child had his appointment with the therapist tonight. We were there two weeks ago and at that time the story was "no one loves me and no one ever has." Tonight that changed to "mom loved me to death until I was 5 and then her love started turning to hate and by the time I was 7 she just hated me." Anyone want to guess what happened when he was 5? easy child was born!

    therapist thinks this is all about jealousy (which, of course, difficult child denies) because easy child is younger and, in difficult child's mind, gets more attention. He said that I spend 75% of my time with easy child, 20% of my time on my needlwork, and that he and husband each get 5%. Even the therapist thought that was amusing. According to difficult child, I do everything with easy child. We're always together. I pointed out that alot of the time that easy child and I are together we are out and about running errands and that he is always welcome to come, too, but he chooses to stay home. His reply was that he can't go on errands with me because then he has to go with easy child and easy child is an idiot that he refuses to spend time with. But, he'll spend time with easy child playing video games. It's not that he doesn't want to go with us, it's that he has to share me and he's not happy about it.

    Again, the therapist is telling me that I need to be patient and that we are going to get his thinking turned around, although he did say that unless difficult child is willing to change the way he looks at things and unless he is willing to admit that I actually might love him, which at the moment he is refusing to believe, we're in for a long haul.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh wow, he is really stuck in that. Sorry, and the irony is that you are going there and spending all of this time on it.... of course he can't see that. Poor kid, and you of course... Thinking of you, Buddy
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Now there's an idea. Keep a log of how much time you spend with each member of the family. That way it's in B&W for him to see how the time gets split up. You may both be surprised to see how much time you really do spend on/with difficult child in relation to everyone else. They take up so much of our time! It just happens by default.
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    :rofl: Sorry, the math doesn't add up. He and husband should start a club.

    Actually, that might work. difficult child seems to relate to husband (they both get 5%). If husband takes him to do things difficult child will feel loved by some body (and you won't have to deal with it for a bit). Then after a few times of doing things together husband can start pointing out things you do for difficult child.

    Good luck its not easy changing a difficult children mind.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh that would drive me so batty he would wish I hated him.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Janet, to say that this is driving me batty would be the understatement of the year! LOL!!

    The therapist told him that the phrase "you don't love me" is unproductive because it is hurtful towards me and that it makes me angry to hear it because, obviously, I have a different view of things. What he told him to say instead is "I'm not feeling loved right now because..." He's trying to get him to focus on the present rather than continue to be stuck on the past.

    This morning he was getting ready for school and he fell back to sleep. I had gone upstairs to get easy child up and I realized that I heard no noise coming from difficult child's room. I woke him up and said to him that he had not gotten dressed. Well, he was all befuddled. He had a headache. Now he's going to be late and he can't go to school. The only things he had to do was get dressed, brush his teeth and put his shoes on, and he had 25 minutes in which to do it. Lots of time! I told him that he had to go because he missed a day of school last week. I told him to calm down, that I would go and get him some Advil for his headache while he picked out some clothes. I was going downstairs and he came to the top of the stairs, tears welling up in his eyes, saying, "But mom...." I came back up, sort of cupped his face with my hand, and quietly said, "'s going to be fine. I promise." So, he got dressed, came downstairs, had something quick to eat, and still had 10 minutes before he had to leave. I sat with him for those 10 minutes and talked to him. When it was time for him to leave he was putting his coat on and I don't remember what I said to him, something like, "See? I knew you would be able to make it on time. I would never lie to you about something like that." His response was "You might, because you don't love me." (Insert silent scream now!) I reminded him what the therapist said about that phrase and he said that he didn't know what he was supposed to say. I said to him, "Why are you feeling unloved right now? What happened this morning that you feel unloved now?" He said that he didn't know, and he didn't see why it mattered. Then he left for the bus stop.

    This is going to be a VERY long process, I think, and unless we can get him to admit that maybe, just maybe, I really do love him, it might all be for naught. He has to be the one who is willing to change his thinking. No one can do that for him.
  7. keista

    keista New Member


    To say he is stuck is an understatement. Has he always done this or is this a "recent" development? I use the term recent loosely. 1 year, 2 years, 3? Or as long as you can remember? Yes, he's claiming you haven't loved him since he was five, but has he been saying this since that time? My gut is just saying that he heard or saw or learned something about love - even an off handed comment, and is just really stuck on that, but not fully understanding how multifaceted love really is.

    In addition to the log I mentioned above, you can make a log of how much time difficult child gives you and other members of the family. Compare with him to your "time given" logs.

    I'm thinking that you're going to need visual charts defining what love is. If you don't have room for a big wall chart, dedicate a notebook just to this. Sit down with difficult child, and have him define how he thinks a parent should show love. Have him define how a child should show love. EVERY time he says that you don't, ask how he thinks you should have acted to show that you do.

    The thing I find really strange about your difficult child is that it's always "you don't love me". This is a really hard statement to prove or disprove. Does he every mix in the more typical "you hate me"? in my opinion that one is a bit easier to deal with even though the kid's perception is a bit warped - because they were grounded, or punished, or denied something in some way, they equate that with hate. Maybe because they really do or maybe because they are practicing emotional manipulation.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggghhhhhhh! You have the patience of a saint. Your scenario, holding his chin in your hands and telling him it's going to be all right, nearly brought tears to my eyes. Then his nearly snide remark as he left for school made me want to strangle him.
    I'm sending strength through the DSL unit ...

  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    True. Very True. But there are methods that help people who are cognitively stuck. this is just a thought, since I obviously dont know the ins and outs of how he thinks or does things. So, not to say he is not really feeling this, but our thoughts affect our feelings and vice versa. He clearly has some perseveration going on here... psychiatrist/therapist can help to teach methods that work to change thoughts. The difference between I am not loved and I dont feel loved at this time might be too subtle for him. Working through underlying feelings and connecting it to what is going on may work wonders, but there are methods that can go along with that like ... identifying (or being cued) when to STOP! now re-state to the accurate thought (even if you dont believe it right now) and then say it over. And over, and over.... Maybe this is what therapist is already doing with the focusing on the future idea (I have seen and read things just recently about "future" therapy where people with depression are using a cognitive approach and it specifically focuses on changing future thoughts and dreams... having good success and again links feelings to thoughts).
    of course my perception on this is from living with a child who gets so stuck and perseverates on old beliefs so much of the time. While we acknowledge his feelings under certain conditions (like just in a therapeutic conversation) we work on diversion, changing words, etc. in the perseverative moments. It could be totally off base for your situation, so please know I am just sharing....just in case.


    Hey Bunny - Do you think he really feels this way or could it be he knows that it gets some kind of reaction out of you that is giving him some sort of payoff? It sounds to me that he says it when it just isn't fitting the situation like this morning. Tommy does this with certain phrases that he knows really bug us, esp husband such as: "You're mean". Hope you have a better afternoon...:)
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Kiesta, he's always been the kind of kid that gets stuck on things and once he gets stuck somewhere it it VERY hard to get him to move on. Even the therapist says that. This is the first time that I can recall him saying that I don't love him on a consistent basis. He's said it before, but it's usually at a time that he's being punished for making poor behavioral decision. You know how it goes. "You took my priviledges away because you don't love me." I also brought up at the therapist's office the times over the weekend where I suggested that we do x, y, or z together, and he told me no. therapist asked him why he said no when I was making an effort to do something with him that he enjoyed and I was trying to connect with him, and his answer was that he said no because I was "pushing" him to spend the time with me, and he made it sound like he said no because he thought it was a way to punish me. therapist told him that he can't have it both ways. He can't complain that I don't, or won't, spend time with him, but then turn around and tell me no when I make the effort.

    Stressed, I do think that it's an attention thing. He thinks that he's getting some kind of payoff when he says it, but I'm not quite sure what it is. Yes, I have made an effort to try to spend more time with him, but it's not like when he says it to me that I melt down, crying because my baby is unhappy with me. Most of the time I simply say "You know that's not true" and I end the conversation. I can't get into an argument over whether or not I love him because no matter what I say it's not going to make a difference. Who knows? Maybe he's looking for an argument and keeps saying it because I'm not responding the way he wants, or the way he thought I would. I really don't know.

    I do know that I am losing my patience with this, even though the therapist is telling me to have patience with him and to keep myself calm (which I did a great job on this morning, thank you very much) and if he tells me that I don't love him to try to turn the question around, like I did this morning. Why are you not feeling love right now? What could be different right now so that you would feel loved? Honestly, I don't think he knows the answers to those questions. This morning there was absolutely nothing that happened that would make him feel unloved. I was quiet. I was calm. I did not get angry when he feel back to sleep instead of getting ready for school. It's almost like he has himself so conditioned to believe that I don't love him (if that is really what is going on in his head) that no matter what happens, no matter how I react, it's just not going to be enough for him.

    He tells me that he loves me and that he wants me to love him. I guess that is hopeful.


    This must be sooo hard... I really feel for you...hugs...