We stripped his room again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    difficult child has been so full of himself lately.

    He refused to get up yesterday, insisted he had a stomachache. He got a hold of food at a friend's house that he wasn't supposed to eat and ...
    We try to get him up even if he's a bit sick, assuming he doesn't have a fever, because in Real Life, you can't call in sick every day.
    But then we risk an explosion. So it's always a tough call.
    I told him that if he didn't get up, he was grounded off TV, computer, etc., and from his friends all wk.
    He snuck into my ofc right under my nose (actually, behind my back) and stole back the DVD player he wasn't supposed to be watching. I lock my ofc when I'm not in it, and I locked it yesterday while I was in it, but somehow, Mr. Sneak did it again.
    Both husband and I asked where it was and difficult child shouted, in that authoritative, mean voice of his, "I don't KNOW!"
    He was mad at me for telling husband over the ph that difficult child hadn't studied for his science exam. He thinks that merely writing his lab notes down is studying. Not. I told husband because husband majored in biochem and can easily help difficult child study, plus, difficult child listens better to a man.

    Anyway, difficult child insisted that I lied and he had studied.

    husband came home and got difficult child to go downstairs and study, and do his homework (a friend brought it home), and while he was out of his rm, husband found the DVD player ... difficult child had been sitting on it! Great hiding place. I'll have to remember that one. :angry-very:

    husband went to bed at 9, and difficult child's bedtime is 9:30. NOT an option. That means I have to stay up as long as difficult child does, which is sometimes all night, even with-the Vistaryl he takes. (He was up at 1:30 last night but I think it was just to use the bathroom ... I jumped up as soon as the light went on and asked him what was going on. He was already back in bed and screamed, "Go away!" Sigh. He loves me. ;))

    So to back up a bit, at 9:30 I sat down on difficult child's bed and asked him why he stole the DVD player and lied about it.
    He said, "You lied, too."
    "Don't change the subject."
    It went on like that until finally, in a calm voice, I said, "I know you stole it simply because you wanted to use it. But why did you feel you had to lie? Why couldn't you have asked to do something to earn it?"
    "Because you lied."

    So, it's payback. Supposedly. It's just a rationalization.
    I told him I did not lie and that when he came home with-an "A" on his science quiz, I would be more than happy to apologize for getting on his case. In thr meantime, I'm the mom, and he lied.

    The whole evening was like that, but I just saved the ending so you can get an idea.

    At any rate, his mattress is up against the wall of his rm, so we can vacuum and wash his wood floor, which is covered with-urine and various juices and stepped-on Halloween candies. I threw away 2 bags of trash, and put the toys in my closet.
    I left him his clothes and his books.
    We like to encourage reading. I hope I'm making the right choice and he doesn't rage and then tear them all up. We should buy stock in B&N, because we keep them in biz!

    Meanwhile, my 83-yr-old cousin is in a rehab nursing home and the staff is very inattentive. She is constantly in a urine-soaked bed, because she has a broken hip, and the pan overflows, and they are short-staffed and never come when she buzzes the nurses.
    Her Medicare coverage runs out in 3 days but she can contest it. She can't stand unassisted.
    I want to make sure she does not go home alone.
    I have a phone-conference set up with-the dr, a nurse, the soc. wkr, and my cousin at 10:45 Thurs.

    Our mtng with-difficult child's psychiatric to go over the test results is from 9-9:45.

    That gives me less than an hr to get back in town, get husband back to work, and disengage from difficult child's issues and get into cousin's issues and advocate for her.

    After all of that, I am having lunch with-a friend at an Italian restaurant to do editing. I warned him I may unload on him, and I will have wine. He said that was okay. What a guy! (He's the former military paratrooper who pulled difficult child out of bed last yr).

    Wish me luck!!!:faint::peaceful:
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, you know, difficult child doesn't have eyes in his ---, maybe he didn't know where it was!
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Do you think anxiety adds to any of this? The stomach aches, the not wanting to deal with stuff?
    Agitation is sometimes a result of anxiety as well. Lying, reactivity... from anxiety.
    i don't know I am just thinking out loud.
    I know he is smart and working you somewhat, but what if anxiety is causing some of it or making it worse?
    We are dealing with huge anxiety problems with N... so I am in Anxiety world right now!!!
    I hope the lunch is relaxing.

    I am so sorry about your cousin. That is just wrong. I hate to hear that people are getting poor treatment in nursing homes. It just makes me sick.
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Good one Witz!!!
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the laugh, Witz!

    Yes, I do think anxiety adds to it. (Whatever "it" is.)
    I am going to talk to the psychiatrist about a new anxiety medication next month after she gets the test results.
    Right now it's clonidine, which definitely helps. But it's not enough.
  6. maril

    maril New Member

    Hey, at least you have a sense of humor! I, too, know about those late-nighters. My husband works graveyard shift, so it's up to me to keep my eye on difficult child during the weekdays.

    difficult child had been sneaking out late at night earlier this year and even "stole" my van about 3 a.m. one night (actually, we suspect more than once - it was the only time he was caught in the act) to go joyriding; he has no license, only a driver's permit. We had to do some changing up around here...

    Best wishes to your cousin, poor lady; good that you are there for her.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Dirty clothes hampers (particularly among the pee-ers) is a good hiding spot, too.... ugh.

    Hope the quiz goes great, he gets an A+, and at least there's something to show for the crud you had to put up with!
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    Shari, funny you should say that ... it actually never occurred to me that he would get an "A." I would be overjoyed!!! I wouldn't know what to do with-myself. I'd be doing flips in the kitchen. (difficult child would love that.)
  9. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Wow...and thank you for such a vivid picture of the teen parent dynamic. I am also
    wedged between the privledges and wishes of a teen with perplexing emotions. For me getting out of the round about of arguments and getting to the tasks themselves is now almost daily. ANd the techno-gagets are right there in the mix.
    Right now the lesson I need my teen to 'get' is doing his part FIRST and then the fun things.
    When they were younger the playing was important, and to a degree it still is, but
    getting the chores done daily and well, doing assignments and getting the good grades are prerequisits for the computer and entertainment time. It is not a mystery. Those are the rules.
    What I want is to cut the bull in my relationship with the teen. Pursuing negative attention is a form of whinning and temper tantrum. Mood off? READ a book.
    Angery? Use that to rip the weeds out of the yard and garden. Use...marshal the energy to do what needs doing.
    One of my favorite statements about men by a man I heard is men need to be told what we want because they like to fix it.
    When mothers, girlfriends and wives endulge males in their 'fight' type ability then those men do less. What is important for men to learn and do is to ACT meaningfully in the here and now. I think women: mothers, girlfriends and wives need to be VERY CLEAR that there is work to be done, what it is, when it needs to be finished and that production is the avenue to the granting of a priviledge. When a male does do good work, more than he thinks he can, that is when he begins to learn what possibilites await him.
    Otherwise they live in a parrellel universe of dreams and do nothing.
    Avoiding the challenge because they like to control by intimidation hurts them. Letting them name call and argue with you rather than behaving meaningfully is a bad habit.
    Plus when their are others learning from this example the matter is compounded.
    Good for you taking the DVD away. Next take EVERYTHING and reestablish what is reqired. No negotiation. These are the rules. Behaving fairly...doing your own self care:grooming, pick up after yourself daily,landry, household chores, courteous language and behavior are the basics after that :what are you bringing to the relationship? Volunteering? Growing something that feeds the family? A part-time job?
    What teens lack is experiance. I think the point of the teen with a messy room and
    a bad attitude is that they lack direction. What you may feel he "knows" is actually not that clear to him. Were it the habits reflect it. Loligagging is the same as a
    chick titering on the edge of the nest.
    It is exhausting being the parent.
    I am so sorry about your cousin and so glade you are co-ordinating all that. My mother has had a bout with a medicaid nurseing home and the system works the family so hard with worries. Do you know about the site a place for Mom? They are terrific and have so much to offer FOR FREE to help get the best situation arranged. Someone will send info to you e-mail and it makes the whole mess so much quicker to figure out and get through.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    What you may feel he "knows" is actually not that clear to him.

    Good thought, Ropes. I think that is true. Sigh.
    HOW to get it across to him has always been the problem. Sometimes he truly doesn't "get it," and sometimes he pretends he doesn't and uses it as an excuse.

    It would be interesting to do a scientific experiment and clone him, and raise him in 3 diff households:
    1) Military boot camp
    2) Free childhood, no school cares, no stress, no responsibilities
    3) His real home/MY WAY :)
    and see how ea clone turns out. ;)
  11. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Terry, I already have 1 of the clones you need, if you will pay for boot camp, I will let you send him. Otherwise I seem to go between 2 and 3 and things aren't looking good.
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I'm sorry to hear of all of this. I'm glad you have mtg. set up to go over test results. You def. have your hands full right now. I say go and enjoy your wine while you edit away you deserve it!

    I hope you find some answers....and solutions.

    ((( hugs)))
  13. ML

    ML Guest

    I hope you had a nice lunch.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    lunch and the mtgs are all tomorrow. :)

    Last night, difficult child walked into his empty rm, and immediately began tossing his mattress and box spring around like huge toys. He was as happy as a clam.
    Go figure.

    Then he found ONE baseball card that had slipped through the cracks, and he insisted I pull out the collectors' book so he could put it in its exact spot. I said no.

    We had dinner with-o him. It was fun, discussing politics with-easy child, having salads ... listening to the crashing going on upstairs.

    difficult child came down 1/2 hr later, calmed down, and ate some prefab corn chicken quesadillas.

    Another day in our household ...
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?


    I can hear the relaxation in your voice.


    Sorry! Sending hugs. Hope today is better.
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Ahhh, the stripping of the room. Sorry difficult child is still so volatile. I really hope that you get clear information from the psychiatrists and assessors soon, so that you can start to pinoint what's going on with him.

    Glad to hear that you carried on with dinner as normal (well, as normal as possible in the circs) while difficult child raged upstairs.

    The baseball card incident gets me thinking though...difficult child loved having his room cleared. I suspect that having no stuff, having a clear visual field in front of him with nothing to see, interpret or organize in his head was a relief to him. Then having one stray baseball card...no doubt it defied his sense of order and he felt a really strong urge to put it away and impose complete order on his surroundings. The pitching of the fit was totally inappropriate though. I wonder if there's a way to help your difficult child express whether he feels that way.

    I know that for me, clutter literally short circuits my head. I feel--and hear--a little static electrical buzz every time I look at piles of disorganized stuff. Usually I reach a trigger point where I have to tear a room apart and rebuild it from the floor up. With your difficult child possibly on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum, I wonder if he has something similar...

    Sorry for the rambling. I'm having a very hard time focusing today, but I wanted to get these thoughts out.

  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Shari and Trinity, LOL!
    Glad you got the sarcasm ...

    Yes, Trinity, he does feel better when it's cleaned up. However, when I try to clean with-him, he has fits and doesn't want me touching anything. When I tell him to clean it, he says "NO!" and turns his back on me. I try to work together with-him ... I really do need to get a better grasp of what is going on in his head. I wish I could get him to communicate better.
    He loves to yell "NO!" no matter what. I can never tell when he's serious and when he's defiant and when he's playing. I ask him and he glares at me.
    This a.m. I told him, nicely, to take out the dogs. Of course, he yelled, "NO!" I ignored him and figured I would do it later but I put their leashes on just in case, to make it easier for him. Lo and behold, he did it!
    Anyway, yes, clutter makes everyone crazy. It's so nice to walk by his rm and actually be able to see the floor, and not to smell urine. :)

    Thanks for keeping me company here until the big mtng tomorrow ...

  18. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    It's funny...when I used to try to get my difficult child to clean up his room I used to get boatloads of defiance, yelling, tantrums. When I tried to do it for him or with him, I got the old, "Mo-om, that's my most prized possession!" speech. It could have been a first edition Superman comic (worth a mint, I understand), or a wad of dirty socks...same response.

    So...I started tossing his room when he wasn't there. I would get rid of absolutely EVERYTHING that I didn't think he needed. Most of the time, he never even noticed the things were gone, unless I made the mistake of leaving something lying around...then there would be hel* to pay.

    The sense I got was that difficult child was afraid to make the wrong decision about his stuff. That if he let something go, all of a sudden it would become the world's hottest commodity and he would forever regret getting rid. Sigh!

    (I'm lucky in that I'm ruthless with stuff. Otherwise, I suspect I would have the same stuff-paralysis as difficult child when I "remodel" a room)

    Hope The Big Meeting tomorrow goes well, and that you get some answers!

    Until then, sending many gentle hugs.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ahhh! That reminds me, he found a bag of baseball cards I had missed. They are all over his floor. I have to run in and grab them b4 husband brings him home!!!