Update on my Amazing Son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DavidH, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    Hello folks..

    Well I am up too early once again, this not sleeping is really getting to me... Dr. Has me on Ambian but it is worthless to me.. I have no problem falling asleep now around 9 to 9.30 PM I am falling asleep in my recliner, I get up and get in bed.. and fall asleep fine.. but as normal I am up way to early - Last night I made it till 10.24pm making myself stay up (even got a chocolate bar at 9.45pm to try and wake me up) I did however make it sleeping till 4.01am, then I must of fell back asleep as next time I looked at clock it was 4.55am.. and of course could not go back to sleep...

    Anyone know if there is some kind of natural thing that may help? I am so tired of all the medications.


    Someone finally got it about a trick I tried with Justin when he was little...

    He has been stuck on his current level now for a while at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), he is doing great but they have a point system and each week he loses enough points to make him miss hitting that next level, it is all little things, like not tying shoes fast enough, walking along the trails with the group and he sees a deer or other animal and he says out loud "Look!" or he gets a "callback" meaning maybe he missed an area he was to clean or did not clean it up to standards, or even if the group does not line up in line fast enough... thins like this..

    Well they had a meeting last week, and decided that Justin is doing great except these little bitty things... and wanted to help him stay motivated.. they said he loses about ten mini points a day ( hard to explain in writing, they have two levels of points, mini ones and regular points)

    So what they did is give him 70 beads (yep those colorful ones) and each time he loses a mini point he has to hand a bead over to the counselor. Well they did this Tuesday of last week at the treatment team meeting.. and was told if he had any beads left at the next treatment team meeting he would earn his group a special pass for free time for all the boys, (phew pressure!!!) as of Friday at 5.30pm when I found out and got my weekly update from our therapist he had lost ONLY 4 beads.... ........ WOW from ten a day lost down to only 1 a day (as of Friday) absolutely amazing...

    I have tried to get teachers to understand for years, he is physical give him something he can see and touch as a reward like, you keep this up for 15 Min's and you get a sticker... ect ect..

    I will hear on Wednesday if he earns his next level... and it is a big one... and a hard one to earn... we also have family day this coming Saturday he has already been approved for a home pass for 24 hours, this silly kid said he does not want to use it till family day that way I can come up and have family day at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and then we come home, this way daddy I get to spend more than 24 hours with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    God it is good to be loved :) - silly thing is if he gets his next level Tuesday he will also by getting that earn up to 8 more hours on the pass that he does not know about yet!! (I think)

    Only other thing is I have asked the counselor to find out what we should do in regards to dealing with the issue of zero mom in his life, I feel it is a large part of where his anger was coming from, and she still has not responded to him writing her two letters in Jan. 08 ... Therapist said she will talk to people and find out what is going to be the best way to go about this.... ugggg
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Wow! This is a win/win/win all around! Justin, You and the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)! They really seem to have their arms wrapped around him in a loving way. It's so neat to see professionals heads on their shoulders rather than in their...oh well, I digress!

    David: keep in mind that since you've quit drinking, your body is going through massive changes. I mean really think of it, you went from drinking every day to not at all. Even medications taken regularly will take a while to "kick in". I don't know how long you've been going the ambian route, but let the Dr. know exactly how your sleep patterns have been running and he'll know if the dose is too low, if there's a different medication that may be better for your patterns, etc. Heck, they might have you do a sleep study so that you can see if you have apnea or some other twist! Yahoo! A stay overnight in the hospital! Umm, the positive here is room service (ok, so I'm grasping at straws!!!lol).

    It's so funny that you posted this morning...I've been wondering about you and Justin!

    Congrats on yet another milestone! You really need to be proud of the whole bunch of you!

  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm going to move this over to General.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    David, how many hours were you sleeping before you started drinking? I'm one who sleeps the same amount of hours no matter what time I go to bed. I could fall asleep at 5:00 pm and I'll be awake for the rest of the night when I wake up at 11:00 pm. A 10:30 pm sleep time means waking at 4:30 am. So, I'm usually stay awake late and and get up at 6:30 am at the latest. So, it could just be you're waking up because your body has had enough sleep but you're falling asleep too early. Can you take the Ambien later at night?

    I used to worry a lot that my daughter didn't have a father in her life. She did have some male figures (friends of mine that stuck around pretty consistently for most of her life). Her therapist told me that it is better for a child to have only one parent than a parent who would constantly jump in and out of their lives, use the child for the adults' own gains, abuse the child. From what you have said, your son's egg donor would have fallen into at least two of those categories. It may take some therapy to have him accept the feeling of loss but at less therapy than if she stuck around to use and abuse him.

    Sounds like the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is doing a great job with Justin and he's working hard to get home. Hope he makes the next level and the extra time with you on his next visit.

    Good to hear things are going so well.
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear that things are going so well for Justin at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). You must be so proud of him and his progress.

    With regard to his mother's lack of involvement, Meowbunny is right. Having her pop in and out of his life will build a lot of disappointment and resentment. Instead, helping him understand and accept that his mother has problems that prevent her from being a "mom" might be the better way to go.

    I can say that, as the child of 2 major difficult children, a life lesson that has been a great source of healing for me was to learn not to expect any parenting from them. Understanding that they were simply not capable of being "mom" and "dad" has helped me to get past a lot of pain.

    Hope you're able to sort out your sleep issues soon. Again, Meowbunny gives great advice.

    What great news!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I adopted four of my kids, David. They all have "why was I given up" issues. One of the birthmothers was supposed to be in my youngest daughter's life, but she kept disappointing my daughter--making plans, then withdrawing them or disappearing. We finally said "no more" and I do think it's best to help your awesome son deal with "it's MOM'S problem, it's NOT about you" rather than setting him up for disappointment. There are people in this world that we can't rely on. That doesn't even mean they don't love their kids--they just have too many problems themselves to be there for their kids. Do you know any nice women, maybe grandmother age, maybe from church, who would like Justin in their life? I would, if I lived close enough...lol! I'd be happy to play a "mom" role for a good kid who doesn't have a mom in his life (or grandma). The bond you have with your precious son is such an asset to him. Sadly, many kids don't get from ONE parent what YOU give to Justin. And that counts for something big.
  7. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    Your all so kind... I will say again... If I had not found thsi site and you ALL I would have pulled Justin and I am sure been back in the same boat we were in before his placement... HUGE changes in the 3 months since I found you guys.. you all need to know you give real strength to those of us with no support out here! thanks again

    to answer some.. the Mom issue .. I will no longer ever try to get her to be a part of his life any longer.. it will be her doing on her own and if she chooses to be as she has been for 15 years almost she will not be happy with who she meets as he will want nothing to do with her I am sure...

    the bigger issue is helping him with the loss... he still in a way thinks I am to blame.. (and that is fine for now) so the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) said it is almost going to be like greif therapy and they want to make sure they do it right.. at least start.. as I am sure the family therapy will include this issue once he is released from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I also think in a year or so he is going to come to accept it and not dwell on it as he has... and this is what I tried to warn his mother about... there will be a day he figures it out... and you will not like what he figures out and nothing you say will change his mind..

    I am really kind of out of it.. except to be the hug he needs when it hurts his little heart
  8. fosterparent

    fosterparent New Member

    My twin g'sfg go to therapy once weekly and their program is centered around grief. Their mother lives literally around the corner from them with bio brother and half sisters, and brothers and she has not spoken to them since last October. They have not opened up a lot about their mother to the therapist, although they are free with all other information, but she seems to think the sessions are helping, and difficult child 1 is learning to better cope and deal with her anger. You are a really great dad, your son will learn as he gets older where the blame lies. Just be careful not to talk her down. Remember it is "HER" problem, not yours or his.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    What a refreshing post, David!

    Justin will have to grieve his mother, as though it were a death. He is grieving the mother he SHOULD have had, the mother he DESERVED to have. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) will begin him on his way, and you will continue with him once he gets out.

    Big ups on using the beads as a tangible thing to get Justin to advance in his levels. That is just great.

    As far as your insomnia goes, ho boy. Quitting ANY chemical (or altering it) can change your body's natural rhythm. Do you smoke? Drink coffee? If you do, try not to indulge for at least 3-4 hours prior to bedtime. I'm assuming you are still not drinking? Careful; Ambien can be very addictive. I'd steer clear of any narcotics. You may consider Melatonin. It is natural (my 7 year old takes it!). It works for some, not for others. Otherwise, the old standbys - Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, CDs with soothing nature sounds, relaxation exercises...

    You most certainly do have an amazing son.
    He has an amazing father.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    it was interesting to see you write about Justin blaming you for his mother being gone. And most recently the question I had asked our therapist/psychologist was this: "After abuse, after physical aggression, after watching and hearing his father abuse me, after not having any food, after not having new toys, after being taken to places you wouldn't even let a stray opossum venture into at a young age, after not writing or sending a dime in 11 years, and after not kicking drinking, drugs and other women, and making a general mess out of his own life and having nothing to do with raising or growing Dude into a young man = WHY does he still consider him Father and forget all the things that were done and HOW can he continually defend this jerk?"

    and the answer was simple -

    "Because a child will always fantasize about the absent parent. They will sometimes fantasize that the parent has gotten their lives together by 'now' and just pining away for their absent child."

    Once that was put into perspective for me - a lot of "I hate you's" seemed understandable. Not appreciated or accepted, merely understood from a child's point of view. Actually it made me cry, because all this time I thought that Dude hated x just as much as I did for various disgusting reasons...and we forget that children sometimes can forgive and remember things differently in which they choose to give heroic proportions to the absent parent.

    As far as sleep - no food or drink after 8:00 PM
    Get a copy of WAR AND PEACE
    Make sure your bedroom is clean and dust free-
    Change to a lower wattage bulb for your bedside table
    Turn the TV out after 10 or put on a timer to turn off and leave off
    Read the copy of War and Peace or some other brilliantly boring book - how to shear sheep or growing corn in the andees - I dunno
    Get some sub lingual melatonin at the health food store - liquid under the tongue stuff....
    And also check with your pharmacist about a guide to helping you sleep. Ours had one at one time. Or check on line with the national centers for sleep - maybe a web site has some ideas.

    My Mom took Lunesta - slept walked. So they gave her Ambien - she set up a video camera and found she was sleep walking with that too - only this time she was making popcorn, eating in bed - leaving the tv on all night - it freaked her out pretty good when she came out of the fog...but the video was pretty hard to dismiss. That and the popcorn kernels. lol

    I'm glad to know that I am a part of a group that has helped someone. That is my feel-good for today. Thank you.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update, David. Way To Go! I know what you mean about Justin having to touch something. My son is like that too.
    So sorry about his "mom." You've gotten some good insights here.
    I agree about the sleep issue, and would add, that once you're awake around 4:30 a.m., don't bother going back to sleep. Also, try Xanax instead of Ambien. You've got a lot on your mind and the Xanax may help calm thoughts running around loose and help you nod off and get the sleep you need.
    I wish continuing good luck with-Justin.
  12. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    thanks for the update David. good to see another dad out here. great to hear that things your son is doing so well. fantastic to hear how much he loves you.
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Glad to hear difficult child is doing so well!