What does this mean?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child was discharged from psychiatric hospital on Mon. He had been depressed and was cutting his arm and had been sneaking off to hang out with an undesriarable boy about his age. Yesterady, he had the disrespectful attitude and was trying to be intimadating and manipulative. Today, he's been great, but I did see on my credit card bill that he had charged things to my card that I don't allow him to do- I don't allow him to make internet purchases, much less charge them to my card. I told him he needs to sign over Christmas gift checks to reimburse me (the checks total about $50; the charges on my card are about $100). Anyway, he said he would not do it.

    Other than that he has been very aggreeable, compliant and helpful, I have to admit. He helped with dinner, he did a couple of chores I ask him to (ask only once) and he stayed right in front of the house to shoot a few basketball hoops with the neighbor boy. Then, he has been in his room- with no tv or stereo on. I went up there about 1/2 hour ago to check on him, he said he was just thinking. I can see through the crack at the door- he was just sitting there. He came downstairs for a few mins and ate 1 1/2 brownies that he'd made and joked a bit about the dogs stockings. Then, he went back to his room.

    These are the times where it doesn't seem like mania- actually- I'm sure it isn't. But, I don't know what to do. I'm not sitting here thinking that he's up there remorseful- he isn't. He's just "there". Does anyone else's teen boy do things like this? How worried should I be?
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    If I could understand teens at all I'd be a millionaire. I don't like the fact that he won't accept responsibility for the charges. Does he understand that even if it's family its still theft? And illegal? I know that you are worried about him, but I wonder how much of what he does is manipulative? It seems to me he should be grateful to be home---of course, I know he is a difficult child----I have one myself who maybe trained yours....but I think you need to continue looking for support...don't know where to tell you to find it, but I think he needs more than your community is able or willing to give.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Regarding the credit card charges - can you contact the companies and cancel those orders/services? Also contact your credit card company to see if they will cancel the charges. difficult child is too young to charge things and I think most if not all places state you have to be 18 or older to charge or purchase items via credit card?

    I don't know about the other part.

    Good luck! Glad to hear he has been helpful in many areas.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree with Adrianne that you can call your credit card company and ask to cancel the charges because they were done without your knowledge by a minor.

    What you may be seeing with all the buying is not mania but depression. When my kids are depressed, they seem to have an insatiable need to buy, to fill the emptiness they feel inside. Just a thought.

    I hope things settle down and you are able to enjoy your holiday with difficult child.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I've called the credit card cos' before- this isn't the first time it's happened. They will stop any ongoing charge- like a subscription to something- other than that, I have to either pay it or let them file charges against my son. I haven't pursued charges at this point.

    The charges may very well be from the depression- I don't know- I opened the bill today so the charges were actually made a few weeks ago. It's nice to hear that a spending spree can result from depression, too- not just hypomania or mania- that could clarify a few things.

    It's hard- he is manipulative. But, it's also an intermittent thing with the stealing. That is what is wierd about it. The stealing is always here when there are other signs that he isn't stable- other signs that aren't legal issues. But the stealling doesn't happen when there are not other signs of instability. psychiatrist calls him ODD when the signs are there, and removes the label when the signs aren't there. So, I guess my son has ODD for 3 mos, then he doesn't , then he does- that's what psychiatrist is documenting anyway.

    Anyway, I went to his room and talked to him a min- he's getting in the shower now. Yep- EW- that's a big part of the problem- and I noticed that when I was flipping out over them even considering them taking him from home, the GAL was saying I should sign over cutody. Now that I'm trying to get extra help, they are telling me I can't and that even if I signed over custody, they would not accept it. So, it really looks like the system is more manipulative than difficult child is!! LOL!
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I can't say my boys ever acted like that (although one did charge stuff on my ex's credit card and had a very sad Christmas that year). But the staring into space "just thinking" and then coming down to hoard all the brownies makes me wonder about smoking pot. Just an idea.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good morning!! Profs and I have been keeping a close eye to see if any drug use has started- I've never smelt any or seen any signs and difficult child has random drug tests thu PO and then he just had one at psychiatric hospital- all have always been negative for everything. He does self-medicate with legal stuff- at least that's what I call it- during periods of instability.

    difficult child go three checks for Christmas from other family members- he's already been told that some of it will have to be given to me to reimburse me for part of the credit card bills. I've witheld his allowance money (he has to earn it) too to help compensate. It just seems that he has no self-control during periods like this- he can't think beyond the moment or thinks he won't care about the consequences.
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    You are doing the right thing by withholding the checks and hopefully he will come around to accepting responsibility but even if he doesn't, the natural consequences are absolutely necessary.

    Extending my cyber arms around you dear friend and praying for miracles to happen in 09 for you.


  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't have any answers. I do think keeping the checks to cover his charges is the right thing to do.

    EACH of my kids has times they will just sit and "be". Usually they are thinking about something or they are overstimulated in some way.

    I wish I could help. Sending hugs and prayers.

    Merry Christmas.
  10. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Major has periods when he will steal and I agree, it seems like he just doesn't have the impulse control or the concern about the consequences. It also isn't who he really is. It is so strange to have to shift from being able to trust your child to not being able to believe a word or trust any tempation.

    One thing I have started to do is to leave a box of candy out where he can see it and if he resists the temptation I then either give it to him or give him even more. I don't know how successful it is because he doesn't need this lesson most of the time and when he does...I'm not sure he would be able to pass it but it does seem to be a small way to work those impulse control "muscles"
  11. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    How is your son getting access to your credit card in the first place to be doing any charging? Even my 17 year old easy child daughter has NEVER used my card because I have never permitted it. If she wants to buy something on line, she gives me cash and I order it. My psuedo-difficult child, 18, is the same. He uses his gift cards on line but if he wants something bigger, he pays me and I order it. I personally don't believe in giving children access to credit cards.

    I would cancel your account, get a new card and not give him access to it at all.

    And don't think I'm not sympathetic; my mentally ill sister got access to my credit card info and I had to press charges to get $5K in charges reversed. I would probably not have filed the charges had the amount been as small as your son's but I would have changed the account.
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member

    sorry i'm late to this. you did the right thing with-the checks. as far as him sitting in the room alone, easy child does that all the time. when i go in she'll say i'm just thinking. they ponder alot of stuff. my easy child also does not seem remorseful when she wrongs me like she did two weeks ago.

    just sharing my experiences.........