Update on difficult child - wish I had something good to report.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by welcometowitsend, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. I've been away from the board for a while and I apologize - the school year and dealing with difficult child's gfgness has taken over.

    So difficult child has continued to skip classes on a regular basis. He is retaking Grade 10 math which he passed last year and is now failing, drama and vocals (which he never goes to so I am assuming he is failing that too). He dropped his guitar class.

    He threatened suicide at school (end of Sept) and so the school had him picked up by police and he spent 5 days in the psychiatric unit at the hospital. They changed his medications to Wellbutrin (300mg) and said they do not think he is bipolar but depressed and very immature and irresponsible. He also got suspended for 2 weeks from school because he had a knife on him when he was apprehended by the police. He was good for a couple of days after coming out of hospital and then things quickly went downhill.

    He has now taken to not coming home on school nights and I recently discovered over $100 US funds (we're Cdn) missing from my wallet. More good news. He blames me if he sleeps in and misses the bus, he demands that I do whatever he wants at the exact moment that he wants it yet will do nothing to help around the house and won't follow any rules.

    I told him a couple of weeks ago that if he tells me to f off again he is out of the house - so, one morning I was driving him to school because he missed the bus again and he was yelling at me about how it was all my fault so I dropped him at the bus stop because I wasn't going to listen to that and still drive him to school. He has bus tickets that I'd bought for him and the bus would arrive within 1 hr. His story? "I left him stranded in the freezing cold for 1.5 hours in the middle of nowhere." Huh? Anyway, he told me to f off again and called me a b so his dad and I had a meeting with him that night and gave him one last ultimatum - Follow the rules or find somewhere else to live. So, he is now finding somewhere else to live. He is allowed to stay here until December 1st (we gave him 30 days) and then he has to be out on his own.

    In the last year he has gone from a typical teen to a kid that I've called the police on several times for my protection, stealing money from us and his sister, telling us to f off, telling grandparents to f off, skipping school, failing school, getting suspended for taking a knife to school, the psychiatric ward, verbally abusive to us, physically intimidating me.

    Right now he is couch surfing and or staying at the homeless shelter. He's only 16 but under our laws we can't compel him to do anything. We can't make him live at home, go to treatment, seek medical care, nothing. He missed his last therapy appointment and wasn't taking anything out of it anyway.

    He is trying to tell me that we are responsible to support him until he is 18 but that is not true (I made some phone calls today)- unless he's been abused and he can't live with us. I spoke to Children and Family Services this morning and told them the situation and they said that the only concern they have is that the conflict with difficult child is not adversely affecting easy child. That tells me they are more concerned if we let him continue to live here than if we kick him out.

    He is back together with the girlfriend from last year (the one he lived with for 2 months) and apparently he stayed at her place last night. In the last week he stayed here 2 nights, at a homeless shelter, at a friends, went camping on the weekend and stayed with girlfriend. So maybe he'll end up living with girlfriend for a while.

    Basically what we have told him now is that "We love you and if you were willing to follow our rules and respect us then you could live here. We respect that you want to be independent and do things your own way so you can go and do that in your own place. We want to have a relationship with you and get along well but we will not support you (except I will make sure he has a cell phone so I can keep in touch with him). He has 2 other homeless teenage friends so maybe they can all get a place together.....

    I have been having mini breakdowns lately and a lot of panic attacks which scare the heck out of me. It is time to look at the health of the family as a whole and not just difficult child.

    I was thinking about letting him back home if he changed his mind and agreed to follow the rules but now I think it might just be best if he finds his own way in life. I really don't think he'd follow the rules anyway and we'd just be prolonging the inevitable. Mental illness or not - he has to want help, want to change, want to take what is being offered. He doesn't.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like my kid.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ugh, I'm sorry things are so difficult right now. I hope once out on his own he will realize how good he had it. Maybe it will spur some changes on his part. ((((hugs))))
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My heart breaks for you.
    It sounds to me like he's on drugs. On top of it all.
    I hope he figures out he was better off with-you. FAST.
    Fingers crossed.
    In the meantime, you need to work on yourself. Massage, therapist, walks, friends, whatever it takes. You cannot afford to get sick.
    Many hugs.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry he is so determined to make his life as hard as possible right now. And I'm also sorry, that his choices make also your and rest of your family's life hard.

    Hopefully main thing wrong with him is immaturity. They DO grow out of it - at least at times and some of them. He will likely find out that life as an emancipated young person isn't all that fun and easy. You may want to think beforehand how and how much you are willing to help and with what stipulations. been there done that and I would want to say that advise is cheap, so is coaching a kid through taking care of the things. Just remember to end the phone call if he is too disrespectful while asking your help. When it comes to things that would require you to do or give more than moving your lips, you may want to be more frugal with your help. If people around him make it too easy, he will not learn and there are some valuable lessons learned in this for him.

    Other than that, just try to keep the relationship going. It may even be easier when he is out of your house.
  6. Thank you all for your replies. Suzir - some very good advice on when to help and how much. I will do some thinking on that for sure. I like the coaching idea and that was something I offered to do with him. Coach him on how to organize himself so he can remember to do things, get to work on time, that kind of thing. As far as financial we will be very stingy for sure. I completely agree that if we make this too easy on him he won't learn a thing. He has a very strong sense of entitlement. I remember him saying to me a few months ago that if he chose to do nothing with his life and didn't earn his own living as an adult that it would be my responsibility to pay his way and look after him. ha!!

    Terry - he does sound like he's on drugs but he's had 3 drugs tests and they all came back negative. He was given a drug test on the day he was admitted to the psychiatric ward. At least that is a positive in all of this - so far he has tested negative for drugs. Of course if it was drugs it would certainly explain the behaviour.

    Maybe I'll take my mom out for lunch after her dr.'s appointment on Friday and we can get mani/pedi's. Something relaxing and enjoyable - she is stressed too. Thank you for that advice Terry! I'm gladly taking it! Mom has developed heart troubles and has to go in to have her heart shocked to try to get it back into a normal rhythm. All this stress with difficult child is hard on her too - my parents were the ultimate grandparents to my kids - amazing grandparents and this is very hard on them to see him going in this direction.

    Thanks again! It helps so much to know that people are there who understand where I'm coming from. My friends son is just a few months older than difficult child. Is getting ready to graduate this year, going off to college, just saved enough money to buy his own car. Such a contrast to my own child. Sigh..... I just keep reminding myself that he can accomplish all of these thing later in life if he chooses to turn things around for himself.