Underwear weirdness, sneaking and hoarding

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So, I cleaned difficult child's room the other day because he swiped my phone again (he plays games on it and then lies) and I was going crazy looking for it. I found a half doz. small lunch sized bags of goldfish and other wheat items that were supposed to be for easy child's lunches. (We obviously can't have them in the house. Period. He's got such a bad craving for wheat, and knows he's allergic to it.)
    Today, easy child asked if she could talk to me privately. She was doing the laundry, and found 3 pr of her panties inside difficult child's boxer shorts. Apparently he wears them ... we don't know if he wears them to school like that or just at home. This happened a few wks ago and I confronted him (I was calm about it), and he first said he didn't know, then that it got tangled up in the laundry. He stonewalled and I didn't get anywhere.
    easy child is very upset about it, which I understand.
    We had a big blowup with-difficult child tonight, so I decided that to pin one more thing on him would be counterproductive.
    We have an appointment. with-the child psychiatric Tues. and I will ask him what to do. We'll split the appointment in half and talk privately first, then bring in difficult child afterward.
    Between the urine in the bottle, the kinky underwear, and the hoarding, I am wondering if this is a pattern, or a coincidence. All kids sneak food into their rooms.
    But it's one thing on top of another, and with-a difficult child, whatever is going on is so exaggerated, I just can't see the forest for the trees.
    Tonight he reverted to his old manner of threatening me, shaking his fist in my face and screaming how he hates me, over and over again. I stayed calm throughout, but he ended up in a total meltdown that lasted about 45 min.
    It was because he wanted to go back outside to play with-his friends at 7:30 after dinner, and I had initially said yes, but he was VERY rude to me and I took away his privileges. He knows the rules and consequences.
    I was calm while he was shaking his fist, because we've been through this, but husband and easy child were very worried that difficult child was really going to attack me, so husband interceded. That made the meltdown worse. It's so hard to know what to do. I mean, if you just let him almost attack you, then run to his room, it's like he gets away with-it, but if you try to stop him immediately, it's seen as provocation.
    So, back to the panties. Any ideas?
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    The hoarding and the urine in the bottle doesn't alarm me. Travis has always hoarded/snuck food. I just stopped buying what he'd want to hoard. The urine in the bottle, well his explaination sounds logical to me, and an inventive way to not wet the bed. Although not disposing of it is sort of disgusting. husband has a urinal in our room in case he doesn't think he can make it downstairs in the middle of the night. I hate to say it, but I've found it full more than once. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/sick.gif

    The panties.....okay, I've been sitting here trying to think of a reasonable explaination. But I've got nothing. Is it possible he'd prefer briefs to boxers? That the form fit is more comfortable?

    The panties I'd definately mention to the doctor, psychiatrist too for that matter. Especially with the rages going on.

    For what it's worth, whenever husband had to intervene during one of Travis' rages it always made it much worse. Still does.

    I also wanted to mention that Travis was a late bloomer for puberty. His didn't hit til around 13, and when it did his behavior went all weird and off the wall, and the rages were no longer rare but common. As in weird, I mean like humping the wall and such. Stuff totally out of character.

    Don't know if puberty could be playing a factor, but thought I'd toss in the possibility.

  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{Terry}} I don't have a clue, just wanted to lend some support and send you some hugs. My difficult child did some hoarding and it was more like petty theft kind of stuff with all of us, like jewelry, change, and toys. I'd be searching madly for something and then a week later would spot it in difficult child's drawers while putting away laundry. Her therapist said it was due to anxiety and worry and possibly not feeling safe on some level. In particular, following her sexual assualt a couple of years ago, she took my wedding ring and a ring of H's and a bracelet of pcs. Just put them in her underwear drawer. When I found them, just before I was ready to make a report with the police, I asked her about it and she didn't even remember taking them. Seriously, the counselor spoke with her and difficult child was a mess, couldn't remember a thing and didn't know how they got in her drawer. It was odd. But after a few weeks, she stopped taking things. That's when the therapist said it was related to PTSD in regards to the assault.

    I hope that the counselor has some answers and solutions for you to work with. Hugs~
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Lisa.
    Yes, it could be. He's getting hair under his armpits and really, really bad BO. He'll be 11 in Dec.
    Maybe I should have his hormone levels checked ...
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    There are so many possibilities Terry, not least of which is, it's just another aspect to hoarding. There may not be anything sexual in this.

    If it's not hoarding, it could be he wants to wear her underwear because it's more comfortable. I note he "tested negative for Asperger's" and I know people here have said, it's something you don't test negative for unless you test positive for something else instead. But diagnostic criteria here are still highly subjective. I wouldn't rule it out. Also, his behaviour is sounding very Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)/Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). The Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) alone could explain the attracting to a different fabric.

    I remember buying difficult child 1 some silk boxer shorts. He then proceeded to wear them to death. I'd been lucky and managed to get pure silk ones ($10) and partly, I wanted to see how he went with them considering his Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues. There are undies available on the market (advertised by Pat Cash) which are supposed to be really comfortable - seam-free, elastic-free.

    At some stage you need to talk this over with difficult child. Ask him outright if it's because he is more comfortable in his sister's knickers. Then explain - a teenage girl's knickers are sacred to her, nobody should ever touch them without permission. Girls have a hard enough time in life without having to worry who's getting access to their underwear. If he insists he wants some of his own, try and find a compromise fabric/style. But if he insists it's the frills, the lace and the tight fit at the front (surely he must be uncomfortable with the lack of 'ballroom' if he's wearing his sister's knickers) then - what do you do? Me - I'd buy him his own girl's knickers. Anything like that, to stop him stealing his sister's. And at the same time maybe make discreet enquiries about the possibility of gender dysmorphia.

    If it's the feel of them you might be able to find a fabric he likes the feel of, and have some undies made for him. The pattern is simple, you might be able to make some yourself. Buying fabric and making up a number of them is easier than hunting for individual pairs of specials here or there.

    I would definitely talk to his specialist about the hoarding and the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - this needs to be managed. At the moment it's unhealthy, in so many ways.

  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It might just be an issue of "fit" -- but I'd definitely let the psychiatrist know about ALL of this. Perhaps they're not just random pieces...

    EVERYONE in my house (except me :wink: ) hoards something. easy child hoards stuffed animals. husband hoards stuff I can't talk about here. difficult child 1 used to hoard Yugioh and Pokemon cards and just STUFF/toy junk -- although he's not in accumulation mode now, just retention mode (won't let me throw anything out). Maybe it's the Lexapro helping? When difficult child 2 was younger, he would hoard plastic animals and Hotwheels cars. Then it was rocks. Last summer it was live lizards, but he's much better about it now with his new medications and is happy to have just 2 in his room, compared to 15 a few months ago.

    <u>WARNING: Graphic subject matter to follow!</u>
    FWIW, my difficult child 1 has been known to pee AND deficate in various containers when in the tub. I found containers stashed in various locations in the bathroom. He's left some floaters a few times as well. :bath:

    He'd stammer and stonewall every time he was confronted. I eventually got it out of him that he had to go but didn't want to get out of the warm water... and as for the bm issues, it was often a case of not realizing he had to go and mistook the sensation for needing to pass gas. Then he'd try to clean up as best he could with whatever container was on hand.

    WHY he didn't bother to just dump it in the toilet, I will NEVER understand!

    I banned him from the tub for about 6 months. It never happens in the shower.

  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I can't imagine the whys of difficult child wearing the panties....I can suggest that difficult child begin to learn not only personal boundaries (shaking his hand in your face) but also boundaries on other's personal property.

    (I'm sure you've already worked on this - just a reminder.) kt is infamous, when agitated, to overstep boundaries in a very big way. I hate when a child steps into my personal space in a threatening manner.

    husband always always reminds kt (& wm) that they will not treat "his wife" in that manner - PERIOD! For whatever reason, husband taking ownership & protecting me like that, makes a difference for the tweedles.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I will try the things you all suggested. And you're right about boundaries, incl. taking his sister's personal things, and shaking his fist in my face.
    Today I am just exhausted. I didn't get to bed until almost midnight, and feel like I could sleep all day. This sort of thing wears you out.
    Just a few min. ago, I told difficult child to strip his bed because it smells. He insists it's some cologne he borrowed from husband. He yells, "Dad told you FOUR TIMES yesterday that it was the cologne!"
    I told him that was extremely rude.
    "NO it's not. I'm JUST TELLING you!"
    "You do not speak to your mother in that tone of voice, and you do not lecture. You're going to take Mom Talking Classes."
    He rolls his eyes but in a calmer voice he says, "All I was saying is that it's the cologne."
    "Much better. Why didn't you say it like that in the beginning?"
    "Because I wanted you to know."
    "Fine. But I'm the one in charge."

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I just brought up the topic of the underwear with-difficult child. He was calm, sitting at the table, and we were alone. He totally stonewalled me. I very calmly told him I'd be happy to buy him different boxers or underwear and he said no. He insisted it was something that happened by itself.
    Maybe I should just buy some and leave them in his room and say nothing more.
  10. ML

    ML Guest

    I hesitated to share this. This is one aspect of difficult child's complexity that most of our society is even less tolerant of than other forms of MI.

    In your son's case, Terry, my guess is that it is tied in with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) as Marg suggested. He probably likes the feeling of the fabric against his skin.

    My son has also horded stuff in his room but it's lessened greatly over the years.

    My son has struggled with some gender identity issues. He always has, from the time he was about 4. He said that he wished he had been a girl. When we would do our play acting games he wanted to be the princess instead of the king, stuff like that. Though I was extremely concerned, I decided to support him with unconditional love and allow him his desired from of expression. I would also tell him about society's expectations and suggest to him that his choices might be difficult. He has a chestful of playclothes for his "acting". He has done it much less over time. Now on occasion he and his girlfriend will play and dress up (and fight over who gets to wear the good stuff lol) Over the years I've struggled with worry over just about every aspect of my son's development. I have agnoized over the future, his ability to succeed in life (and my definitions of success are pretty liberal).

    About a year ago I asked him if he still wanted to be a girl and he said "no, I like having a penis but sometimes I like acting like a girl". So along the spectrum of things I felt better. I just want him to be comfortable in his own skin and the rest will take care of itself (by the grace of God). I have learned a lot about this stuff. Sexual orientation vs gender identification are two separate things. I'm sure my son is/will be hetero because of the crushes he has on girls. He loves them so much he wants to be like them I guess. In some ways it would be easier if he were "just gay" because that's so much simpler and identifiable.

    Having this child teaches me on a daily basis how to love without conditions. It has been and continues to be a rough ride.

    Terry I think you are doing an amazing job with your son. Just keep loving him and advocating for him. He just sounds confused and in pain. From what I have read of your situation, you are doing everything you can.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, MicheleL. Sounds like YOU're doing a great job, too!

    My son has never expressed a gender issue like that. He has always been "all boy" and even at a young age, identified strongly with-traditional Mommy and Daddy relationships.

    One thing that both easy child and difficult child did was virtually identical, and it made me laugh, not at their distress, but at the whole thing ... I have several Michael Jackson tapes with-his photo on the front. When easy child was about 5, she saw the name, but frowned when she saw the picture. "Is this a girl?" she asked.
    "No, he's a guy."
    "No, she's NOT!"
    "Yes, he is."
    "NO, SHE'S NOT!" Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
    Cried and screamed for 5 min.

    Repeat scenario when difficult child is 5.

    Kids like clarity when it comes to gender ID, especially when they're very little.
    However, when it comes to fabric, or playing with-dolls, I couldn't care less whether it's a boy or girl thing. I really wanted to do the unisex thing, having been raised in the 60s and 70s, but kids are born as little personalities with-their own minds, no matter what you do.
    I saw a special yrs ago, that showed a film of boys and girls playing with-blocks. It was showing how most brains are wired and how you can tell a boy from a girl from outward behavior.
    The girls, with-o exception, laid the blocks out horizontally. The boys stacked them to the ceiling.
    They interviewed Gloria Steinem and a bunch of other people who insisted that was hogwash.
    But the beauty of it was that these were non-gender toys.

    difficult child has always stacked things "up," and in the past 3 yrs, has learned to make them more diverse and 3D. When he played with-dolls, he always made them do army things. (This, despite the fact that I did not allow toy guns in the house, and did not allow military cartoons. You can see how effective that was.)

    The neighbor girl asked him to play Barbies with-her when he was 5. He thought about it long and hard. Finally he said, "Does she have a car?"
    Yes, they played Barbies together.

    You are absolutely right to do what you're doing, Michele. In fact, if there were more people like you, I think there would be FEWER gender identity issues, because we create problems with-our centuries old force-feeding, one-size-fits-all.

    Was it Ann Landers who, yrs ago, answered a parent's concern about his son who liked to play with-dolls? She told the parent to change out the baby buggy to a wagon. The kid continued to play and was very happy. The kid was heterosexual, grew up, got married, etc.
    It was all the PARENT's problem.

    So, maybe this is MY problem and I should just go buy a bunch of diff. types of underwear, toss them into difficult child's room casually, and say they were on sale for 50 cents ea.

    Either way, bugging difficult child about it is not going to solve anything.
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Terry,

    Yes, the underwear thing can be very disconcerting, but I agree with the other posters who have suggested some form of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID).

    About 3 years ago, my difficult child was forever wearing my clothes and shoes. (My wardrobe is very girly, and most of my shoes have high high heels on them).

    I observed carefully, and noticed a couple of things. difficult child was taking only certain types of clothes, ones that were very soft and close-fitting. The shoes he always "borrowed" were clogs with soft furry linings. The fact that they were platform heels just didn't concern him. He liked wearing my clothes because they were soft, and he said they made him feel safe. HE said it was like "wearing a hug from mom".

    I had a long talk with difficult child about perception, and that other kids might tease him when they saw him wearing girl's clothes and high-heeled shoes. Once he understood the impression he was making, he stopped wearing my things out of the house.

    Although I still find him wearing some of his sister's things occasionally (he's too big now to fit into my clothes), he doesn't do this nearly so much anymmore. We buy him lots of soft fleece-lined or silk clothes of his own, so he doesn't have such a great need to get into the girls' clothes to find soft things.

    Hope this helps,
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    It has been one thing after another in the last 2 years with my son and, um, sexuality issues. He has done the same thing with panties, only they were mine. He has dressed in my clothes, he has done other, um, quite odd things with urine.........

    I have really never known where this comes from or why this happens. I mean, for some, cross dressing is a form of sexual pleasure, so it could be that our boys are "playing" for sexual arousal. My son, when pressed, has not much to say.

    After freaking out about this at first, I am starting to come around to the concept that his brain is just wired a little goofy. So things that would seem normal to him, are so not normal to the rest of the world. Somethings that bring him pleasure, are not the things that the mass majority find pleasure. Or maybe he is just on the bell shaped curved of our world and enjoys kinky things.......there are many like that. I don't know. I try not to think about it too much anymore - and hope that someday he finds a partner who is able to make him happy.

    As far as your son - I really kinda doubt at his age that this is just a sensory thing. He knows what that would mean to put a girl's panties on. He knows that would be a sexual thing - one that he has problably been exposed to in this day and age and our media. It would also be my opinion not to buy him girl's underwear, because that could send him a really weird mixed up message. I think I would have husband take him to get some new "comfy" underwear.

    Good luck.......you have had a tough week. Hopefully today will start anew!