Unbelievable Stupid Meddlers

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WSM, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. WSM

    WSM New Member

    So we are living our lives and nothing is going wrong (except difficult child throws sister's DS in the pool, carves on the $1000 dining room table, and is missing school uniforms--nothing unusual for him, isn't it sad how you get acclimated and yell at him a bit and forget about it and move on like it's nothing?)

    And one evening last week the police come to the door. They got a call from the school that our youngest, a happy, well adjusted 8 year old was possibly a subject of child abuse.

    Now difficult child has for four years told everyone he comes in contact with that he's beaten and starved and poisoned and 'somebody' steals his homework and clothes, and plants the weapons on him that he takes to school, and etc... We've had several CPS investigations, the most serious being when difficult child said I threw him on the ground and jumped on his back three times (this said at the time he was standing in the principal's office about to be arrested the 4th time in 2 years and the second time in 2 months for taking a razor blade to school). difficult child was taken to a forensic child abuse special doctor employed by CPS who took one look at him, saw no bruises, broken bones, internal bleeding, soreness or anything that would be indicative that a 170 lb woman jumped on a 70 lb kid's back three times. Within minutes of seeing difficult child they were quizzing my husband about difficult child's psychiatric history, because CLEARLY this kid was lying.

    CPS has told us how sorry they are, and have told us to put cameras in the house to protect us, and the last time they came to the house (in Dec 08, because difficult child still tells everyone he comes in contact with he's being abused and they have to follow up every call) the CPS worker yelled at difficult child and told him that your parents don't have to do anything for you except give you one set of clothing and described how terrible the dentention center would be for him if he didn't shape up.

    So we are used to CPS showing up for difficult child. So it was shocking that the police were coming to our house for our daughter. She's a golden child. We have no problems with her.

    THe officer spoke to her privately then told me he didn't understand what was going on, he'd left two messages at the school and no one called back and it was all vague and didn't make sense. He considered it a closed case.

    So my husband calls the school and somehow finds out who made the call, it was a school counselor. And at first she doesn't want to talk to him (after all he's the scummy child abusing father), but he says he's happy to talk about it to the principal instead of her and she let's it rip.

    Apparently she's seeing 'red flags' about daughter. What red flags? Oh she's terrified of being punished and writes long apology letters to her teacher and is so anxious to help other people she's falling behind in her class.

    Huh? Last report card she had 3 A's, a B, and a C, and her papers come home with good grades. Daughter is a talkative, friendly, extrovert who loves interacting with people. It's her personality. Give her a choice of doing math sums or 'helping' the little girl in the next seat with her math sums, and guess what daughter's going to choose? And what's wrong with three A's, a B and a C?

    Umm...the counselor apparently wasn't aware that her grades were that good. Well, she writes these long apology letters to the teacher, because she's so afraid of punishment that she's trying to appease her. Dad must be a too harsh disciplinarian and she's terrified of getting into trouble. Ummm...well, two weeks into this school year the teacher complained to Dad that daughter was talking too much and being silly and dad had her write an apology to her teach, maybe fifty words. Other than that we had no idea she was writing apology letters, and if she's crying at school because she's afraid she's going to get in trouble with the teacher, how does it follow that Dad's the one she's afraid of, doesn't it sound like she's more afraid of her teacher?

    Umm....she keeps losing her books. Yes, her brother twice threw her bookbag in the pool. We notified the school, paid for the books, and the second set of books returned all swollen and falling apart to the teacher (did she not believe us). Apparently this proves that daughter is not being helped organize and is being left to flounder at home and needs more parental involvement in her schoolwork. Well, what about that science project she turned in last month and got an A on, a lot of parental involvement went into that. And she can't be the only one who loses books, although she's probably the only one who has an older brother who throws them in pools.

    Well, the school was seeing red flags and were afraid that we were going to send her to military school like we did her brother. difficult child was no trouble to the school, he was so bright and polite, and yet he got yanked out of school and stuck into military school.

    My husband was struck dumb. He said, well the school had him arrested 3 times for felony possession on school property of a weapon. That wasn't a problem for the school? Oh...umm...she'd heard something about that...she didn't really know...umm....

    And it's a military school where difficult child comes home everyday, and where he doesn't seem to have to wear a uniform because he's thrown them all away, and where they gave up on him having a signed agenda everyday, gave up on him doing homework and carrying a bookbag because he simply won't no matter what. (it's kind of a disorganized school and they too sort of believe difficult child's stories of having mean parents, but the best option we have right now).

    I don't think daughter is even aware that he's going to a military school--all her siblings go to different schools: middle school, high school, college. Why not difficult child as well?

    But apparently difficult child's old school didn't think we should have put difficult child into a military school, and are worried we are going to put daughter into a military school too (which by the way is OUR choice not theirs, even if she doesn't behave, there are lots of families that send all their kids to military schools as a tradition. We can send her to military school, private school, religious school, or even homeschool her).

    Since when did it become a crime to send a problem child to military school. How did helping others become a 'red flag for child abuse'? Why is it that if your troubled brother throws your bookbag in the pool it's a sign that you are neglected and come from an unloving home?

    The counselor lectured my husband about how daughter is just an 8 year old girl and little girls needs love and attention. Too bad the counselor doesn't know he asst coached her soccer team, drives her to school most days, tucks her into bed at night, takes him with her when he goes shopping (he does all the family grocery and other shopping), signs her agenda most days (when daughter remembers to give it to him). Sounds like neglect huh. The counselor backed off a little at the end and acknowledged daughter seems happy and had recently showed her a pair of earrings that her her stepbrother (whom she called just brother) had given her.

    For this we get a call to the police?

    WTH is the matter with people?
     
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi WSM. This forum is generally for the younger set, so I'm going to move it to our General forum where you'll probably get more appropriate responses.

    I'm so sorry this has happened to your family, I'd be outraged as well. I think I'd ask that a letter from CPS be placed in daughter's file at school to state that the claim of abuse was unfounded. I would also suggest that you find out where the counselor got her information (teacher? daughter?).
     
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi WSM, welcome.
    What an aggravation!
    Definitely make a copy of the CPS ltr, with- a short letter saying that you discussed the issue with-the school counselor, make copies for the school counselor, the principal, and your daughter's teacher to keep on file.
    The school needs to be aware that your 8-yr-old has a difficult child brother and that it affects the entire family.
    Sigh.
    So, how does your daughter feel about all this?
     
  4. compassion

    compassion Member

    I am so sorry. It is sometimes so difficult to focus on the ill ones when the difficult children keep spinning and well meaning enablers place undeserved blame. (())) Compassion
     
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you guys are coping with unnecessary stress. Truthfully I have not exprienced anything similar so I can't comment from experience. In fact, lol, the only outside interference I ever had was "gentle suggestions" that "perhaps" I wasn't discipling my first difficult child enough. :D

    on the other hand I do offer this free advice to anyone who joins the CD family who has a easy child younger child. Do not assume that any family member is unscathed by the stress of difficult child living. Time and time and time again over the years I have seen and heard people say "thank heavens we have easy child who is always a joy to be around" etc. It is either impossible or close to impossible for anyone to live with chaos and not be scared. Perfect kids usually are trying "to spare" the family stress by stifling their own issues. It may take ten years or twenty or more but the fear and frustration and anger will surface. Even if she does not want to go...I strongly suggest that you find a compatible therapist that your easy child can see periodically.There is a teeney, tiny chance that her teacher caught a glimpse of her concerns and jumped the gun. Maybe, just maybe, the intentions were really honorable.

    Welcome to the CD family. You will get a bunch of different perspectives around here but all of us are here to support you. Hugs. DDD
     
  6. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Thanks.

    It wasn't from our daughter. It might be from the teacher; my husband says she's given him the stink eye from the very first time they met. I went to an open house and she was real nice to me; I'm pretty sensitive to the unspoken accusation--I've been made to feel uncomfortable in that school for about two years. I used to hate picking the kids up from aftercare because of the watchful, stiff politeness.

    difficult child did a real number on that school. He's so cute (looked like little Opie Taylor on Andy Griffin), and he's got the wounded puppy dog game down superbly. Tears can just start falling out of his eyes and he's been in so much therapy he's got the jargon down pat: all he wants is to be a part of the family; all he wants is positive reinforcement; all he wants is more time alone with his dad; he doesn't know where his homework went--it was right here before he went to the bathroom and then it was gone; he doesn't know how the knife got in his backpack--someone must have 'planted' it on him; he doesn't see why he can't go into other people's rooms and steal their books--he's so bored it hurts and all he wants is a second chance.

    He's also polite and helpful (wonder where he learned manners and consideration from? maybe his home life?), so it's hard, to understand how he could bring weapons to school (he doesn't threaten anyone, and has in fact pointed this out to everyone, 'Yes, but I didn't threaten anyone with them' as if that made it all right).

    It was shocking to hear that the school never had any trouble with him. Not only did he bring weapons to school on 4 occasions (a bb gun, two knives and a razor blade), but he:

    Seldom did homework, threw way every agenda, refused to pass papers from home to school or vice versa (including pictures, checks, field trip permissions slips, not just complaint notes).

    Almost never was in full school uniform. He threw away his shoes (many mornings knocked on the bedroom door and told husband that his shoes were missing, he had no shoes anywhere), his school shirts, his bookbag, his school pants, and the classroom shirt everyone was to wear on field trips.

    He shook down classmates for money. At a book fair he managed to talk another kid into giving him $20. The teacher made him give it back later. On three occasions he had money he'd talk other kids out of and I made him take to the office and give back. God knows how many times it happened where he wasn't caught. It wasn't coersive or a threat or stealing, everyone agrees, even the kids he got the money from, that they gave up the money voluntarily because they felt sorry for difficult child. He even talked the lunch lady once into refunding him some of his lunch money which is against school policy. He's great at a con.

    He took his little sister off school campus and they snuck to a store and bought candy. He put it in her bookbag and blamed her when they were caught. 'She' wanted to do it, and he was just trying to be helpful.

    He turned in a report and interspersed in the sentences of the report were phrases like "...the Civil war started in April 1961. I wish my dad were dead. It began with the firing on Ft Sumpter, SC. I hate my sister. Within months many states seceded from the Union..." He said those phrases just 'showed up' when he sent it to be printed off my printer.

    He lost every library book he was allowed to take home.

    But he was so helpful and polite and bright and does so well on his test scores and just wants to please and is friendly, he can't possibly be a con artist. Even though he did persuade the school to contact my husband to suggest that difficult child needed at cell phone at 10 (altho they had no reason why he needed one). He also persuaded the horrible CPS worker that his 7 year old sister should be taken out of aftercare and come home and spend a half hour or so alone until her other brothers came home, while HE should go to aftercare instead. And the school was always telling husband that he should spend more alone time with difficult child, give him more privileges, make him feel more special, do more one-on-one with him. But when husband did spend time alone with him and do just that, it was ALWAYS, is ALWAYS followed by difficult child getting some sort of 'revenge' on dad somehow.

    So my husband was just shocked when this woman informed him that the school had never had any problems with difficult child and didn't understand why husband would put him in a military school. They had constant trouble with him. And at a school ESE conference once, the school itself thought it was a good idea if he went to a local therapeutic residential school (which unfortunately refused to take him saying their program would only 'frustrate him', whatever that means). One of the reasons we put him in the military school was to reduce the risk of him going to the detention center.

    What the heck is the matter with people?
     
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, he's a handful.
    How did you find a military school for an 11-yr-old?
    He sounds like he needs a lot more therapy. I don't see in your signature that he's on any medications. I would be very concerned about someone who intersperses their school papers with hate phrases like that.
    Is he adopted? Or are you a blended family? I'm wondering about the attachment disorder. What were his early yrs like? What kind of a baby was he?
     
  8. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Ohhh boy...

    My blood is boiling just reading your post.

    I would have been all over that counselor and she would have never forgotten it. I work at a school that sees way too many kids abused and neglected.

    Daughter, when she was 13, decided to go one of her school counselors and showed where I had slapped her on the arm. Ok, not the best choice, but this was after an hour of her SCREAMING that I was a child abuser. I finally blew and hauled off and slapped her arm with my OPEN hand with a "You want child abuse? Here, here's some child abuse!"

    So, the counselor called CPS. I'm not upset at that because I understood he's a mandatory reporter. So am I. Later that day, here comes CPS knocking on my door. Whatever! Come in and take a look around. Arrest me?? Sure, go a head take me to jail because it will be HEAVEN and PEACE compared to my life at home. Put her in foster care. In fact, PLEASE put her in foster care! I think some time spent in foster care would be GOOD for her.CPS dude changed his attitude after I said that.

    Last year, son was struggling with behavior in middle school. It was a tough transition from elementary school for him and he was acting out. One of his teachers calls husband. Poor husband never deals with the difficult child/school/therapy stuff and was blindsided. This teacher starts lecturing him on the phone and telling him it's his fault because he doesn't spend enough time with him.

    When I found out, I made Mt. St. Helens look like a pimple popped.

    I called the school and spoke to this teacher and in no uncertain terms told her to contact ME if she had any concerns. However, if she made the decision to do that she had better do her research and bring her A game otherwise our conversation is going to be very nasty and I will be THAT parent she will be talking about in the staff room for years to come.

    I'd call that counselor and realign her moons.
     
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello--

    I just don't know what to say....

    My difficult child has the face of an angel and can turn on the tears at the drop of a hat, too--so there have been many times that an adult has assumed that husband and I are the problem...but so far no one has actually called CPS to report us as being abusive parents.

    Of course, this may be because difficult child is really not very good at being the "master manipulator" she thinks she is...and after she shows her true colors, it becomes obvious that her parents are not the issue.

    I am so sorry that this happened to you!

    --DaisyF
     
  10. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Daughter8 has been questioned several times by CPS and the police. The horrible CPS lady scared her and made her cry (and angered 2 of my other 3 children because she was badgering them). But this go around she just answered the police, a little puzzled, but okay with it.

    She has been quizzed by her teacher, and I think it makes her uncomfortable. She came home one day asking husband exactly what does he do at work--she's been there but the concept of business purchasing contracts is not necessarily a glamorous one, so she didn't know. And said the teacher had been asking her a lot of questions about things at home. However, if the teacher thought Dad was an abusive disciplinarian, why does she write in the agenda so often how daughter is talking too much in class?

    However, some of this must be coming from her. I had the impression she was ok the one time I met her. But she told me daughter talked alot and she made daughter miss 5 minutes of recess. Five minutes of recess! I thought: five minutes isn't going to do it, have her miss the whole thing. But I don't think parents should interfere with how teachers run their classrooms or the relationship with the child. Daughter does talk all the time. My guess is she isn't the only 8 year old girl who does. I remember doing it myself. Daughter's told me that she's had to sit at another desk because of her talking and told me that of the 8 tickets they get everyday, she's had to back to the teacher six of them because of her talking (if you lose all 8 you get a consequence).

    My impression of the teacher was she was well meaning and ineffective, the type to flutter about ineffectively. She's not a young teacher either or inexperienced, somewhere in her 40s or 50s I think. So I don't know. difficult child had a very codependent teacher last year: we had a meeting with 14 school personnel about difficult child and the teacher suggested that everyone in the family, all 4 other kids devote their time to curing difficult child. We and the other school administrators said it wasn't their responsibility and squashed that idea. He, the teacher, got up and left the table and went and sat in the corner and sulked. He wouldn't even say good bye to us.

    difficult child equates pity with love, power, and safety. The things that make most people feel loved, make him anxious; what makes him feel loved is to get people to feel sorry for him. His early life experiences make this a logical conclusion for him, but it's almost impossible for most people to realize this is going on. They fall for the wounded puppy dog act and believe they are just being nice to him and getting a great response from him, so why can't his parents, but don't realize that they are in fact responding to his sad face, his worry about people taking his things, his waif-like demeanor. difficult child has a remarkable facility for identifying and using codependents and enablers.

    It has truly affected all the kids, including daughter. She is by no means perfect; she's sloppy and careless, talks all the time, tells little lies, hurries through homework and schoolwork, cleans her room by shoving it all under her bed, all normal kid stuff. She once was playing at a friend's house and was supposed to be home at 6 and told the friend's mother that the clock in our house were different and 6:00 in the friend's house was only 5:00 at our house so she, daughter, could stay another hour.

    Imagine that woman's shock when she dropped off daughter and there were 5 police cars infront of the house and the police pulled her out of her car to find out what she was doing with daughter and asking daughter questions like, 'has anyone hurt you, has anyone kept you against your will?' and all she had to offer the police were: "Ummm...the child said the clocks at her house were different from ours." LOL. We are still all friends.

    It IS hard for daughter to have a brother like difficult child. She's been the focus of a lot of his covert aggression: he takes more of her stuff to destroy than anyone else's. He's tried to talk her into doing things he knows he shouldn't do. He's tried blaming his misbehavior on her. She has to 'guard' her things, hide her money, keep her bookbag in our room because he will take it.

    ALl the kids have to deal with CPS and the police coming to the house. A few parents won't let their children come to our house because of difficult child (he's not at all violent). Other kids notice difficult child in a funk, standing and staring or going into a pity fest or acting out in some weird way and my kids have to explain "that's just how he is". The kids have been embarrassed by him, disgusted at him, and worried about him. The older ones have each said, "Why don't you DO something about him?" Meaning 'fix him', and also meaning, 'just get him to stop no matter what'. At one point both older kids have said, 'If you'd just...he'd be fine..." and then been chagrinned when we 'just...' and it made no difference. They've said both: 'be nicer to him' and 'be harsher with him'. At one point or another, he's betrayed everyone. Altho they are nice to his, they pretty much ignore him. You get used to it after a while, and the oldest two have moved on.

    The 14 year old tries to reach out to him, and has invited him to play lots of time, but difficult child ignores him and can barely answer. So right now 14 year old is disgusted with him. Everyone worries about difficult child taking their stuff and ruining it.

    I'm sure daughter will go through all these stages too. I just don't see how to avoid it. In truth and reality she has a problem brother and she's going to have to deal with it. Just like she has a schizophrenic bio-mother. It's terribly sad for her, but no one can change the reality of what is.

    Our family does make heavy use of the therapeutic community.

    Thank you for all your kind sympathy.
     
  11. WSM

    WSM New Member

    The therapist recommended a residential school for emotionally disturbed kids. The school turned him down, probably because he was beyond their abilities (there is a lot of skating around the possibility that he has his bio-mom's mental illness and a personality disorder; but you can't officially be diagnosis'd with a personality disorder until you are 18, so people just drop him and wish us luck with him). They gave us a list of state resources. This is a military school paid for by the state for ESE students from 5th grade to 12th.

    It however is not really a miliarty school. It has an awesome WIlderness Weekend (think Scared Straight), but actually it's about 30 - 40 students and maybe 10 staff; some who are ex military. It's licensed and certified by the state, and difficult child has a good personalized lesson plan; but the military aspect is pretty lax. Their transportation is always late, they don't enforce their own rules, and they have a weird school schedule where all of a sudden the school will be closed the next day but they won't tell the parents until the night before.

    He's supposed to be getting therapy, but I think he's not. They are evasive, and because I'm just the stepmother, and supposedly one who's so meeeeeeean to him, I don't push it. I pick him up at school everyday and get definite vibes that they buy at least some of his story. But I think they are charging the state for therapy and don't have any one qualified to give it. It's got a reputation for being tough, but is haphazard. The value to us is even if difficult child does something stupid again like take another knife to school, they will probably handle it internally (provided he doesn't threaten someone). The regular school has to report it, which means he's arrested--and the State Attorney General has already said the next arrest will mean mandatory juvenile detention for difficult child.

    This worries us. He's a skinny little white boy with red hair who cries easily and feels sorry for himself. He won't last long in state juvenile detention. If difficult child goes to detention center we are scared he'll be destroyed; I don't know how we could possibly get back the same kid. It will make all his problems so much worse.

    No, he's not on medications. The last child psychiatrist wanted to hold off as long as possible. difficult child does not tantrum, so his problems seem less compelling to many professionals. He'll get another full assessment done this summer.

    I am too. He's also drawn a picture of himself stabbing his sister while his head explodes and his dad hanging upside down and me scowling angrily.

    He's also ripped a bean bag chair apart with his knife and twice knifed his mattress and bedding.

    He once said he wished he was dead; and at summer camp he once banged his head repeatedly against a table. The staff couldn't get him to stop, so they put paper under his head. When he did stop he pulled out the hair on his arms. Oddly enough they never thought to tell us about this. He has also self reported that he knocks his head against coke machines and a door frame. He only told me this because I saw a mark of his face, a thin line. I thought it was either a pencil line or a bruise. He said it was a bruise and that he liked to hit his head.

    A few months ago, he got caught hiding my husband's cell phone in a box of hot chocolate packets. My husband didn't realize what he was doing and said, what are you doing, you're supposed to be in bed. A few minutes later he went upstairs to make sure difficult child was in bed and difficult child was anxious and hitting his head softly against something, saying, I'm afraid I'm going to be in trouble. (but he didn't confess about the cell phone--we found it the next day).

    Oddly enough, two different professionals have said pictures and this stuff aren't necessarily alarming. You have to look at the whole behavior, and in whole, difficult child is very passive and timid seeming.

    I think it's a problem, no one else seems to.

    He's my husband's biological child from his first wife who has severe mental illness. She goes into psychosis several times a year, is homeless, getting committed, lives in halfway houses, tries to rebuild her life, goes back into psychosis, an endless cycle. difficult child talks to her about three times a year on the phone for a minute or two and last saw her a year ago and probably won't see her again for a long time.

    We are a blended family. I have three boys 19, 17, and 14; husband has difficult child 12, and stepdaughter 8. My handle WSM stands for wicked stepmother because that's how difficult child portrays me. I've been in their lives since daughter was 3 and difficult child was 6. The family blending was not really a problem except for difficult child and oddly enough my mother in law. (she's a whole nother story, fortunately lives far away).

    None of the kids see their non-custodial parents (my X is an alcoholic in another state who doesn't pay CS and is hiding). My husband had full custody of the kids since daughter was a couple weeks old and difficult child was 3 and a half.

    difficult child got a rough start. His mother's instability led her to suddenly flee, get in the car with the kids and drive, and on six occasions he was taken into protective custody while she was being Baker Acted. Three times he was put into foster homes. My husband has told the story of how when difficult child was a baby, she'd get 'sick' and for days clutch the baby to her chest not feeding or changing him and he'd have to call the police to extract the baby from her arms, so difficult child could be fed.

    difficult child remembers those drives when they ran out of gas and the police came and took his mother away. He was afraid for a long time whenever the gas guage moved on the car and had significant abandonment issues for a long time. There was one time his mother was baker acted in a lowe's parking lot and he was too young to identify himself and the police asked him to show them which car was his, and they traced my husband that way.

    Even with all this history, my husband had a hard time getting full custody.

    His personality as a baby was normal and he hit all his developmental markers on time. I've been taking camcorder recordings of him since Xmas 2003, and when you look at him evolve through the years, you can see a progression of something wrong.

    Unfortunately no one knows what it is or how to fix it.
     
  12. WSM

    WSM New Member

    difficult child didn't used to be good at it either. But he's getting better. The first time he accused us of abuse, he said he had a bump on his head because his dad hit him (the lunch lady patted his head and he screamed OUCH!).

    CPS was called, and they couldn't find a bump. He changed his story and said no one hit him. Then a month later on a follow up visit, he said I hit him. Case closed.

    Another time he asked his dad if they could talk. husband took him on a two hour car ride. For two hours difficult child accused me of everything from beating him, to sticking pins in him, to poisoning him, to stealing his clothes, homework, bike and toys, to calling him names. husband got an emergency session with a counselor. The counsellor was horrified by what husband told her on the phone, she believed it, husband half believed it, and when difficult child got into her office, he didn't want to talk about any of that. He wanted to talk about how mean his dad was for not letting him go to Orlando for a weekend with a family of a classmate he'd just met and we never had. difficult child had told the classmate's mother how meeeeeean Dad was and she felt sorry for him (altho months later she forbade her son to even talk with difficult child because he was 'sick in the head') and invited difficult child. The counselor wanted to talk about the abuse allegations; difficult child wasn't interested, he wanted to persuade the counselor to make take give permission for him to go to Disney. After a few more sessions, mostly with husband and I, this is the counsellor who thought he should go to a therapeutic residential school.

    Another time, Dec 5, 2007, difficult child met another kid one street over from us. This boy went to a different school, so they didn't know each other. difficult child told this kid's mother he was abused at home and afraid to go home (actually he had missed his curfew and was going to be late for dinner). The mother got indignant and took difficult child to her mother's house and got her husband and came over to our house. She demanded to speak to husband without me and then told husband how abusive I was to poor difficult child. husband explained difficult child's history and problems and said to take difficult child to the police station if they had any doubts about difficult child's safety. Upon reflection the couple decided they'd just bring difficult child back. They went home to get him, difficult child re-convinced him of the torture awaiting him when he got home. They put him in a car and parked in front of the neighbor's house and refused to return him since husband had taken another of the kids to boy scouts. I called husband and the police. The police came, explained to them that the penalty for unlawful detention of a minor under 13 was punishable by 5 years in prison and got him out of the car. The police then talked to difficult child. difficult child told them his complaint wasn't that he was hit or abused but that he didn't get to play video games. Weird thing was, at the time difficult child was not restricted from video games and had actually played them that morning before school. But it was another case closed.

    Another time he said he didn't have his homework because he saw me throw it away. He was out back cleaning the pool and saw me go into the dining room, take his homework, carry it through the kitchen and to my desk and hide it. He was passionate about it. He saw it! He saw it!

    The problem is there is no place by the pool or anywhere in the backyard where you can see the dining room--unless you can also see through the breakfast room wall. And unless I was carrying it over my head, you couldn't see me from the kitchen window either; the kitchen window is high over the sink. difficult child acknowledged he couldn't see through walls, but that just the same he DID see me take his homework out of the dining room and hide it. He did, he did, he swears he did!! He cried and looked so pathetic that I was willing to believe him myself. difficult child would not concede he lied, until several months later when he said he must have dreamed it.

    This one happened this Xmas Eve. difficult child had taken to smuggling syrup upstairs and dumping it on his mattress and floor (no one knows why). His mattress had been out back for a while after having been scrubbed off and drying. On Xmas Eve, me and the other kids all left the house to pick up family from the airport, leaving husband and difficult child alone home. As a Xmas gift husband took the mattress back upstairs (he'd threatened if you do this again, you are going to lose your mattress for good, but it was Xmas...). He noticed the room was messy and said difficult child had five minutes to straighten it up. He then went downstairs to the patio (we live in So. Florida, so it was warm). A couple minutes later, difficult child strolls downstairs saying, "I'm so pizzed; somebody spilled syrup all over my room and mattress again!" Like he really thought he wasn't going to be blamed. There was no one in the house.

    So he's got the concept of lying down, he's certainly got the passion and the act down, he just messes up on follow through and details. But not everyone takes the time to check on details and think the lies through. Many people just take it all on faith because of the story and his apparent sincerity.

    And there's such a quantity of these stories that a lot of people think, 'where there's smoke, there's fire.'

    And I worry about the day he gets all the parts of it right.
     
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Keep records. It's clearly what you're already doing (good for you) but it will be your only defence, for "when that day comes".

    I also think he is likely to get a Personality Disorder diagnosis or similar, when he finally isoldenough. That is assuming he is still within reach of being seen by someone for long enough to be properly evaluated. It could be his early experiences or it could be genetic. But it soundsvery worrying.

    Your description of him as someone who can only recognise pity as the only valid attention - it's a really bad start.

    Since he is husband's son, is there any way you can get husband to talk to the military school and explain the history? Without your presence, if necessary, so they can ask him all the mean and nasty questions clearly on their mind. Then schedule a second meeting, this time with you present.

    I had a vaguely siimilar experience. I had really tee'd off the teachers at the local school because of my campaigning for a certain placement for my daughter. It was getting nasty, the teachers were threatening to all walk out and it was a stalemate. I knew I was being talked about so I asked the proncipal to organise a face to face meeting with all those expressing concerns, so they could say to my face whatever they wanted (preferable to it all being said behind my back) and I would try to calmly answer their concerns. I promised I would stay calm, we would discuss it all like rational people but if they wanted to get heated and yell at me, tere would be no consequences. I said this because I knew I had the right of it and Iknew they didn't have the true picture.

    To his credit, the principal organised the meeting. To their credit, the teachers came. I took notes and later published an anonymous summary (not naming the teachers or the school) in a journal for parents of 'special' kids. Mind you, those teachers still found out about the publication and circulated it. But I quoted them correctly.

    But I digress. My point is, we had it all out in the open. I let them say the things they wanted to say, including their accusations of pressuring one child and neglecting another, as well as "family history of mental disturbance" which was a new one to me. When we got to a point where we were making no further progress I had to say, "On this point we have to agree to disagree. I think this, you think that. Next point?" And so we went through their entire agenda.

    End result - air cleared. They knew what I was capable of and what I was not capable of (ie not capable of doing anything to harm my children). I actually stayed on friendly terms with just about all of them (no mean feat, but we all live in the same small village). I didn't convince them, not much anyway. But what I was trying to do was more alien than what you are trying to do, you should have much more success. And you sound to me like the sort of person who would be capable of putting your own feelings and hurts over this to one side and letting them say horrible things to you, so you can calmly respond and explain the true picture.

    You shouldn't have to do this. But if you can, it cuts through a great deal of rubbish.

    It also could head difficult child off at the pass, so to speak.

    As for the rubbish over your daughter - I would document things again, put it in a letter. Get husband to write it if possible (or at least you write something he is prepared to own) and in the letter, list the accusations made by the school counsellor, then refute them as you have done here. List the accusations in the form of, "I recall that you said this, if I am mistaken please correct me in writing so we may ensure this to be a true and accurte record of our conversation and your concerns. If your concerns are valid as you believe then of course they must be addressed. If, as I believe, your concerns are not valid, then they need to be laid to rest. If somewhere in there are concerns neither of us is awre of fully, then hopefully through this process we will identify them so we can properly take appropriate action."

    This leaves you open to perhaps identifying some underlying reactive anxiety in your daughter (which would be understandable) and perhaps finding a way to help her. Perhaps even finding a way for the teacher to channel that talkativeness and not punish so severely. Because callnig CPS on you, has deflected attention way from what I can see are some potentially nasty problems building, with that teacher. I don't think this has happened on purpose (the deflection) but it Is what happens when you just have too much on your plate.

    Hang in there, I hope you can get this stuff sorted. You don't need this, on top of everything else.

    However, one consolation - every time CPS writes a "closed file" on you, is one more nail in the coffin for any future complaints.

    Marg
     
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, Marg beat me to it.
    Document everything!
    Your poor son. He really has problems.
    I would want him in intensive therapy. It is worrisome that the military-type school is so lax in regard to punctuality and therapy. I would ask for their documentation of sessions, and why they don't have periodic mtngs with-you.
    There's got to be a way to keep your stepson from sliding down the same hill that his bio-mother did. You've got far better tools available than there were a few yrs ago.

    My son has drawn mean pictures too. He drew a picture of me once, and stabbed it all over with-the tip of a pencil. Actually, I thought it was pretty good therapy. One of my sisters said, "Well, I can see where you were very angry with-your mom. Now that you've gotten that out of your system, can you draw me a nice picture of your mom?"
    He said, "No."
    LOL! (I knew he would say that.) She bugged him until he drew a really lame smiley face. That wasn't really smiling. ;)
    Maybe because I'm an artist and writer, I find it safer to put things on paper than to act them out. It also gives me a "picture" (excuse the expression) of what's going on in my son's head. Any little thing that will give me a clue is helpful, in my opinion.

    I can kind of see why therapists would dismiss your son's drawings, for those reasons, but on the other hand, if they are part of a pattern, and a pervasive pattern, that is something different.

    How often do you see him?

    I like Marg's idea that your daughter could be talking a lot due to anxiety.
     
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