Update on difficult child, bad attitude but still doing right things

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    difficult child's attitude keeps getting worse quickly. I think it is mostly stress and anxiety, but it is getting old fast. :sigh:

    He did meet his second therapist option at Monday and liked him little better than first one. But when first one was "too mushy and not too bright", the second option is "not quite as dumb but total a**hole." Sounds promising doesn't it? :whoopdedoo: Anyway, he does think he can work with the second one and therapist also thinks it will work out. And when it came up that there is in fact third option, difficult child wasn't interested to even meet her, but will start working with the 'a**hole' one. Isn't it just lovely how much he has respect for trained professionals with whom he should work with? Oh all-knowing teenage arrogance! :2dissapointed: Good thing is, that he is likely making a right choice and for the right reasons even if his attitude sucks. He has some history on manipulating and playing games with counsellors who appear very emphatic. He does seem to do better with more hard-nosed, no nonsense kind of counsellors, who don't let him get away with any games. So I guess that going to that direction shows he is serious with this therapy. I certainly hope so, if other funding options will not come through, we will end up paying around 30 000 dollars over two years on this. He better really be serious about it!

    Unfortunately tdocs are not only 'dumb'people in his life right now. He complained how stupid one of his team mates is and how difficult child has to do this and that to keep the peace. He of course didn't tell the whole story. Not even his version about it, but considering this 'stupid' team-mate happens to be the one from the younger ones who has really tried to be nice to difficult child and keep him engaged with the group and has made sure difficult child is not totally ostracized, my best guess is, that difficult child has done or said something to make this other kid mad, is ashamed of it himself (if not, he would had told exactly what it was, that is totally this other kid's fault) and even himself knows he is totally in fault here. Good news in this is, that he is trying to make it up and it seems based on social media that the other kid is not totally p***ed off with difficult child.

    And let's not forget how stupid his coaches are being. Nothing good in them just now, except maybe a little. That I guess means the zero tolerance for lying, fibbing, bad attitude etc. is really taking a toll. However last I heard from his positional coach was, that difficult child is some trouble adjusting but is trying and mostly doing well and difficult child has also played well in pre-season games, so I do guess, it is not anything too serious. Maybe just venting to me because showing any bad attitude to the coach would be biting his butt hard right now.

    His coach was little worried about difficult child's school finals causing too much stress though and even asked if I would feel badly if difficult child would postpone some of them to spring and graduate then and not at fall. I in fact used to want him to graduate at spring, but right now I'm just ready for him to get it over with, because I think stress over finals have a lot to do with his bad mood. And I'm not sure that taking more time to do his finals would even lower his stress much, just make it last longer. But this may be something we need to talk with difficult child after his practise finals results come back. If there is a lot of work to be done in some exam (I'm not too sure about his Spanish, but he could also just drop that exam, he has three more than he actually needs anyway), it could be better to postpone. Other than that, I don't really see the benefit. He is likely to do very well anyway and I think he is stressing more because of his perfectionism rising than because there would be any meaningful difference in results with some intense study time. We are talking about a kid who will likely score around 99 percentile anyway. I don't really see any meaningful reason why he should do any better. Yeah, his plan B to become pathologist is ambitious and he needs good results from finals, but his likely results will put him the top 10 % of applicants to medical school before entrance exam anyway. And the entrance exam is more important than these finals and it couldn't be better suited for him even if he could plan it himself. And let's not forget that his main goal is in his sport right now, medication school is an after career plan and can change many times before that.

    Of course it is also new season coming and difficult child needs to proof himself again and show he is not suffering from any sophomore slump. He did surprised everyone last year, now the expectations are much higher and he still has to earn every bit of playing time he wants to have. The team has a new guy in his position to compete with and he has also been doing well. Last year the competitive situation between difficult child and other guys went really bad and they very much hope this year it could be more friendly competition. The blame of it getting so bad last year was mostly placed on difficult child's shoulders, but that probably wasn't the whole truth. But hopefully it won't get that sour this time. It only hurts everyone.

    But yeah, my rather delightful and maturing son from summer has been replaced by obnoxious jerk who is living in the land full of stupid people. How awesome is that! :sigh:
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Your difficult child is just being a difficult child, that's all. He just got home from a MAJOR road trip that totally threw his brain for a left curve... and then the stress of coming back to deal with tdocs, school, regular training again, etc. Well... I'm guessing he's in overload mode and... just the fact that he's still somehow keeping it together is a good sign.
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    You are probably right. The trip was taxing for him. The physical part alone (long flights, jet lag, no time to regroup in any point) is hard and while difficult child is experienced traveller and this was certainly not his first trip with the team, those are always hard for him socially. There were some new guys in the team he didn't know very well beforehand, there were guys he did steal from (yes, those things have been atoned, but socially still very awkward situation), it was competitive situation (and difficult child didn't have his best games, far from that) and there was also lots of socialising with kids from other teams and whom he only knew very few beforehand. So he was likely exhausted when he came back. And it certainly haven't been easy even after coming home.

    Pre-season means lots of constant changes and trying this and that, more people in team than normal, atmosphere being more competitive, lots of 'extracurriculars' (events for sponsors, fans etc.) to get things going before calming things down and getting to the routine, getting to know the new guys in the team, having to get used to not having some of the old team mates around etc. difficult child's 'babysitter' was one of those who left during the summer. He was not exactly a close friend, but an older guy who 'happened' to be sitting next to difficult child in locker room and who just 'happened' to notice and tell difficult child if difficult child was about to forget some part of his gear or something like that when packing to away games (or when packing before heading back home) or if difficult child was about to get himself forgotten to rest stop etc. difficult child again 'happens' to have one of the older, most experienced guys sitting next to him on locker room (and yeah, that just never happens, that older, high in pecking order guys just happen to end up sitting next to the rookies to worst seats, that's why ''s), so he is still receiving babysitting services, but of course it's the big change still.

    And then there is of course competing of position. Last season was bad. difficult child started as third string, not expected to get much playing time and mostly to play in junior team. He quickly surpassed the number two guy and gave a run for his money for the number one, surpassing him at times and it was not even clear who was the number one in the end. No one expected him to do so well but now expectations are much higher. difficult child isn't, and wasn't in later part of the season, in the speaking terms with the number one guy and it was difficult, because that guy was extremely popular in the team, known as a nice guy and of course blame of their relationship being so bad was on difficult child, because he is certainly not known to be a nice guy. It probably wasn't that clear cut though, this number one is about ten years older than difficult child, coming to prime of his career and last season was his chance to show if he could get to the level there he would be able to leave small teams behind, get to the big ones and change the first number of his six figure pay check from 1 to 2. And he didn't play badly, and in fact got himself to 'big team' and the nice raise to his salary for this season, but difficult child certainly rained to his parade. All the before season talk about him are about if he will be able to make it in the big team and how it is not very promising, that last season he was often surpassed by this wet behind the ears problem boy who is still far from his prime. So difficult child did give some major blows to his ego so I'm not at all sure he even wanted to be friendly with difficult child. But anyway when he and difficult child couldn't be fitted to same room nicely, it was always easy choice to their team mates to deicide who to include and who not to. Him leaving is a good thing for difficult child but somehow difficult child should achieve a better relationship with his new main competitor. Who again is known as a nice guy and is quite a bit older than difficult child and has a lot to prove.

    So life and work in general has a lot to navigate for difficult child just now and you are likely right that being PITA is just about being overwhelmed. And of course this was from the call he made to me. Maybe venting to mom over phone is not that bad way to try to blow some steam. As said, he is mostly doing the right things there he is. It really does not matter that much what he is saying to me on the phone.

    He is just so good at getting the raise out of me. I did manage to stay calm while talking to him, but I was fuming after the call. But again, maybe that was the best way. Be a rock for him, while he is venting and dealing with my own irritations and embarrassment over raising such an ungrateful and obnoxious child on my own. Intellectually I know better than expect him to be able to be grateful of the chance he has now. He may understand how much people have worked to help him in five or ten years, but it is probably beyond his understanding right now. And many of those people who are helping him probably do get it. It's just not fun to be a mother of total brat, when it feels that every other mother (in these same circles) are complimented how smart, mature and good kids their sons are and how well they have been raised. Of course it is not statistically possible for every talented young athlete in this sport also be mature beyond their years, so I guess someone has to have the kid who evens all those super kids down. And I happened to be the lucky winner :onesmiley1: :bigsmile:
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    5 or 10 years is a good estimate... many of our difficult child kids somehow "get a brain" around age 25... I've got quite a few years to go, too.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Giggling here by myself after checking difficult child's team's web page.

    Video from some event, some fresh pictures. My difficult child seems to have had his biannual haircut, so anxiety is not so bad he couldn't handle going to the salon. And he has been in the salon, doesn't look like something girlfriend would be able to do. Usually he has gone with very short buzzcut and after it has grown too long and started to get very inconvenient, had a new one. Now he is in fact sporting a real cut. Makes him look like about twelve and is adorably dorky (not that I'm going to tell him that :tongue:), but it is a cut!

    Even better news is that in the video interview his team-mates are making fun of him in the not too mean spirited way. Okay, he may not enjoy always being a butt of jokes, but as long as they are still publicly joking, they are not totally fed up with him.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Just got a new venting call from him. School is stupid, his teachers are stupid, weather is stupid, his car is stupid, life is stupid, town he lives in is stupid, food is stupid, everything is stupid. And why we force him to finish school? It is stupid! Even if he doesn't make it in his sport, he doesn't want to go any stupid medication school or stupid University to study chem or engineering or any other stupid school. He will just work as an early morning mail man delivering newspapers or something and you don't need any stupid schools for that. And he even doesn't want to hear back from his practise finals because his stupid teachers will just give him some stupid work to do to prepare him a and those stupid teachers just want to make him do it to make their stupid school do better in evaluations (mainly based on results of these final exams) and he is too stupid to do it anyway and then everyone will just yell at him about it and how stupid he is. :sigh:

    Couldn't help him much. Just told him to lock his computer (to prevent him from relapsing to gambling), take a walk outside, read or watch something fun and go to sleep. That everything is likely to feel better tomorrow morning. And if not, there are other ways to handle all the 'stupid', but not much to be done to any of that this evening. And if it turns so that he really can't finish school and graduate, we can live with also that and no one will yell at him. I also asked him to call me any time during the night, if he starts to feel even worse. But of course also I was stupid and don't understand anything.

    Not sure about how much was just venting and being melodramatic and how much was true anxiety. Knowing him, he is likely to deny whole phone call or at least what he said during it tomorrow and I'm the one being over the line and melodramatic by thinking he may have an issue...
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lets see... it could have been a "stupid" vent. Or... his "stupid" brain took over (I've used that line on difficult child before... he has a "stupid" brain and a "smart" brain and I can tell which one is driving). Or... maybe it was your "stupid" ears not hearing things quite correctly...

    Sure. And then there's mom-gut radar, and... ptsd or something else kicks in, and until you know that the "smart" brain is back in gear, it's hard to relax!
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I have to admit i didn't have my best night after that vent. It is already Monday morning here and I called difficult child around the time he should be drinking his morning coffee before heading to the first practise of the day. He was feeling better. Didn't deny calling, but basically claimed he just riled me for fun. However he did take my advice, had went to a walk and had watched a silly movie before going to bed. That is good, I think.

    My take of this is, that he was having some kind of anxiety attack, when he called me. This is what I think happened: His girlfriend was out of town, he had had a free day, I think he had planned to do some studying after something else. His 'stupid car' really has some issue (car was still stupid this morning and he has to take it to repair shop today) and that probably messed his timetable. That made him anxious and because of that he was probably not able to concentrate studying as he usually can. And likely didn't get things done, he thought he would and felt he is running out of time with school. He probably worked his anxiety up all day and in the evening there was nothing else to be done but call me and blurt it all out.

    He didn't sound too anxious this morning and I do hope he has not gambled to calm himself down (nothing in his account to imply that, but of course I can't be sure), but really just done as I advised. I'm not sure if I will call his team doctor and tell he had an anxiety attack (I told him to tell himself, but he totally blew that off), mention it to his positional coach when I talk with him next time (probably after difficult child gets his practise finals scores later this week) or just let difficult child handle it himself (he is an adult after all. Or should be at least.)
  9. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I'm thinking hold off talking to anybody about last night. You probably are on track with the anxiety theory and him calling you as a anxiety relief. As difficult as it is for you as mom to be on the brunt of his mood and have it then worry and upset you, it is actually a much healthier method of relieving his anxiety than his previous choices (gambling etc). Could be that as his mom who always has his back, you are for him the person he trusts to let it all out with. Totally not fair to get you wound up! And down the line when he's well on his way, this probably should be tackled to relieve some pressure on you as the go to vent source. For right now though? In many ways your posts show him progressing and participating in his own personal growth. I think that's great. And very rarely comes easy to a person. Add in pressures of school, his sport, getting along with teammates, working to not repeat past mistakes, impending graduation and the fears of the future? That's a lot for a easy child to navigate. Let alone a difficult child. I think it's great that he went for a walk and watched a program, had a good sleep and sounded better today. I hope his car repair goes smoothly so he doesn't upset himself again. Meanwhile, I think it's pretty common for adult kids to call their parent to vent out all of their fears to a trusted person. Sadly, they get relief from the talk and leave the parent worried sick when they usually feel much better and think nothing of the parent worrying themselves sick over them.

    I am glad he has you.
  10. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm still undecided if I should inform difficult child's team about the anxiety attack. There are some complicating factors. First of course is, that I can't know for sure it was an anxiety attack and difficult child denies that. If it was, difficult child may be technically committing breach of contract by not reporting (his contract states he has to immediately inform his team of any medical or other reason that could interfere to his ability as an athlete.) Full-blown panic attack would certainly be something he would be obliged to report, just high anxiety is more iffy. But not telling is certainly against his zero tolerance for lying, fibbing and withholding information-program. So if I report, difficult child may well be in trouble. They will not go with breach of contract (it's not like they would be willing to get rid of difficult child) but he would likely have some consequences because his zero tolerance program. Best of course would be, if difficult child would report himself. Few days late would likely bring him a scolding and some minor punishment, but nothing more. I'm thinking of telling difficult child I plan to take a matter up with his coach when I talk with him next time and let difficult child decide if he wants to man up, tell himself first and get off with lighter consequences. On the other hand I wouldn't want to be the one who rats him out. I do want him to trust me, even if it means I get that kind of phone calls. I don't enjoy them but they are the better alternative than many other ways he could deal with his anxiety.

    difficult child's practise final scores should be back tomorrow. That will be very informative about his school situation and I hope it will help difficult child to come up a workable plan with studying still needed before the real things.

    Mattsmom: You are right about calling home and venting, feeling better after that and not even thinking that parent is left to worry being quite common procedure for young adults. I found out Monday that I wasn't the only one who got venting call at Sunday night. One of my work mates, who has a daughter who is just month older than my difficult child, got one too. And her daughter is one of those super PCs I have always been so jealous of. She started University and after first week she was freaking out. She is used to being a big fish in the small pond and reality of the University there she isn't the smartest kid around any more and there pace and difficulty of study gets much worse freaked her out a little bit. I was emphatic for her mother and I'm really sure she will do just fine and love her studies a month from now, but secretly I felt much better that it is not only my problem kid who does things like that but also other people's perfect kids.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    To continue my monologue ;)

    difficult child got scores and teacher recommendations from his practise finals. I think he did awesome, unfortunately he isn't as happy with himself. Still recommended study shouldn't be too much for him and with the results I will be against him postponing some finals (and graduation) to spring. He will be busy enough also then. Better to get it over and done with.

    His first language teacher wants him to check some grammar and be careful not to let the majority language to influence his expressions in writing. Very common problem with us and difficult child has been mainly speaking this majority language last year and half. Still difficult child scored somewhere between two highest grades (highest is top 5 %, second one next 10 %.) The majority language will be an easy highest grade (it is considered similar higher level foreign language exam than English to him and in reality he is basically almost bilingual.) His English looks like weak second best grade, but the teacher wants him to write few short (200-250 words) practise essays for her to correct and she believes that will help to make it solid second best grade. Spanish is his worst subject. But even that is likely to be the third best grade (top 15-30 %.) Teacher wants difficult child figure out when to use imperfect and when preterite and rehash some vocabulary. This is the most work and I wouldn't mind if he would just forget whole exam. He really don't need it, so he could just go and do his best without any extra studying or skip it. Absolutely not worth stressing over. His math looks like sure bet highest mark even though he did mess up something small with series and teacher recommended him to check those. Still safely over the limit for highest grade. Chem was also strong highest grade and while his understanding of electromagnetism may not be up to bar with other parts (he totally gfged that course) also physics should be a top mark. So he should mainly work with his English and Spanish. Or drop the Spanish or take a little worse grade from that. I really don't see any reason for him to stress.

    Then again, I will be stressing if he will
    a) remember the exam dates
    b) wake up early enough to make it to exams
    c) not get lost between his home and the school he is doing exams in (it's less than a mile away and he goes by it often but that doesn't mean a thing with difficult child. When he doesn't want to find his way, he can get lost in the single bedroom apartment if he wants to)
    d) remember to take a pen with him
    e) remember not to take his phone with him (or anything else forbidden)
    f) not run away middle of the exam
    g) actually do the exam
    h) remember to write his name to the exam
    should I continue? :runcirclsmiley2:

    Seriously: Unfortunately this is exactly a kind of situation, there difficult child self-sabotages or behaves very passive-aggressive ways if overwhelmed. It is totally his MO to 'forget' dates, times or 'get lost' if he feels insecure and overstressed. And if he screws these up it only heightens the stress for spring.

    We will have a conference call tomorrow with difficult child, his positional coach, head coach and the mental coaching specialist difficult child has been working with about the accommodations for difficult child during these finals and difficult child's schedule. I will try to call difficult child today and talk him to tell about how stressed he was at Sunday during that conference call. I think I will not rat him out even if he doesn't. I think I'm not willing to risk his trust over this after all.

    Can we just skip straight to two months from now when all of this will be over with? Pretty please?!? :please:
  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Now we have this finals thing mapped out. difficult child will take all the exams as planned. He will be missing one or maybe two away games so that he will have a chance to sleep night before exams next morning. He will have planned and scheduled daily study time (part of it supervised) and timetable for things he has to do then. Other than that - no studying, no thinking or stressing over it. That study time should be enough to get things he really needs to do done and hopefully it will lower his stress levels (study time was mental coach's idea to help control difficult child's stress, have I mentioned that I really love the guy? So very calm and common sense approach to everything.)

    When asked difficult child did acknowledged he has at times been over-stressed with school, but didn't tell specifics of for example that call he made at Sunday. Still better than total denial I think.

    Less than two months and we should have this over with. Hopefully everyone involved will come through it sane. I'm not that worried about difficult child, but I may be found climbing on curtains before this is over. And difficult child's positional coach is even worse to wear. He is the one I mean with 'someone else's headache' in my sig, most of the time. He likes difficult child, is very invested in difficult child's career and has probably not read all the books about detaching ;) He complained me that he haven't stressed this much over his own kids' school work combined and he would had torn his hair out by now if he wasn't bald to begin with. Poor guy! He too had been really good to difficult child, but difficult child really isn't too good in rewarding those who help him.