A horrifically bad night-extremely long

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yesterday, difficult child had a friend over from 3:30-10:30. Long time! They tossed around a football outside, but mostly played PS2. I made spaghetti and pizza for dinner and they ate up a storm (which was nice ... I wasn't sure how the friend would react to rice crust, rice pasta and fake cheese, but if you don't say anything, kids usually don't notice ;)).
    After the friend left, difficult child went upstairs and straight to bed. He was wearing his clothes, which sometimes means he intends to go back downstairs in the middle of the night. Or, just that it doesn't occur to him to change. He was reading quietly. I asked him, in a nice voice, for the PS2 controller. He refused, in a nasty tone of voice. And he gave me that hard, cold stare that shouts, "I DARE YOU!"

    Uh oh.
    Not wanting to escalate it, I got husband and asked him to get the controller.
    He did ... and it escalated. VERY quickly. Like, 1.2 sec.

    difficult child totally exploded, yelled that he's never liked or loved us, hates us, hates everything about his life, etc. For good measure, he threw in something about hating Mom the most, especially in the past 2 yrs.
    (I was in the hall, so he couldn't see me.)
    He yelled at husband until he was hoarse, used the F-word, pulled out all the stops.
    Of course, when he's mad, no matter what you take away, he yells, "I don't care!" So husband said, "Fine, if you don't care, the PS 2 can go away for ever." "I don't CARE!"

    husband finally got the controller. I locked it in my ofc. (I hate to throw things away, so I'm going to tell easy child to give it to one of her babysitting jobs.
    husband took all the CDs and DVDs for games and hid them somewhere.
    I was upset when difficult child got the controllers for a birthday gift. I am so glad they're going to be gone now. He is so Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).)

    husband went back to bed. I told him that difficult child has some serious depression going on. husband agreed.

    difficult child started to throw things.

    I got husband to go back to difficult child's rm again.
    He went into difficult child's rm and had words with-him, but left soon after, convinced that difficult child was fine and he was just throwing around his little wrestling guys.

    I wasn't so sure. You know how the air gets filled with-such rage and irrationality that you think you're going to wake up to a kid with-a knife to your throat? After the things that difficult child yelled about me, the rage in his voice, the irrationality, (last night he said husband had said that if he didn't behave. husband would kill him. Where the h*ll did he get THAT idea? And that husband said he wishes he weren't his son. Say what?) he really had me scared. The dogs were scared and went into the guest room. So did I. I locked the door and slept in there.

    husband promised to set his alarm at 12:30 and check on difficult child.
    He never did.
    I've had a migraine for 2 days. I took major medications and fell asleep for about an hr, and woke up--no migraine! :D But no husband, either. I carefully opened difficult child's door, and he was sound asleep with-all the lights on. The rm was trashed but I knew better than to touch anything.

    It was so silent, so calm, I was able to go back to bed and sleep for 7 hrs straight.

    This a.m, difficult child refused to get out of bed to go to church. That mean glare again. I left with-o him.

    When I returned, he was sulking in a chair in the LR in front of the TV. I told him hello in a nice voice and reminded him that his chores were listed on the cupboard.

    Lo and behold, he got up and did them all. He even did two that I hadn't asked him to. I told him he was through for the day and I could see his sense of relief and accomplishment.

    Then husband and I asked him to sit at the kitchen table and talk to us.
    We had to address what happened last night.

    Funny, the sermon today was on negotiating conflict. I haven't attended for 2 mo's but am I glad I went to this one! One of the things the minister mentioned was that you've got to find a way to completely listen to the other side so you can figure out a solution. You can't half listen. You can't insert your agenda. Especially when you already know one another and you are assuming that people are going to behave a certain way. People only express parts of their personalities at certain times, which makes it difficult to work with-the whole person. All stuff we already know. But it helped to hear it again, in his words.
    The other side is going to imbue words and actions with-all sorts of meanings that aren't there, and if you don't address it immediately, it will get bigger until it explodes, or until there is no negotiating and the person cuts you out forever.

    I was able to calmly ask difficult child what he thought about last night (he asked me to be more specific. I had to give him credit for that one!)

    He said that he was mad at his friend and he took it out on Dad.

    Whoa! Wasn't expecting that. husband agreed, he had heard them arguing.

    We asked difficult child if he thought it was acceptable to refuse to cooperate with-your parents, and to use the F-word.
    He said he was sorry about the F-word and it was done in the heat of the moment. But he wasn't sorry about keeping the controller because we didn't trust him not to use it in the middle of the night and it made him mad. He wanted to be able to control the controller.
    And he didn't like what I was thinking.
    (He's really into believing that we are thinking things. Especially things that are exaggerated, or completely fabricated.)

    He also said he wasn't sorry about being mad at me because I always promise him something and don't stick to it.
    For example, the other day, I told him that once he finished his chores, he could have the controller. He stunk to high heaven and had promised me he would shower 2 days in a row and he never did. I knew I had a way to make him shower--keep the controller until he showered.
    Boy, did he see betrayal in that!
    Never mind that he broke his promise to shower.
    husband and I explained to him about delayed gratification.

    I told him I could see his point and I would be more careful in the future. I also reminded him that is why I have the chores listed on paper and taped up where everyone can see them. That way, there is no confusion. He conceded that maybe I didn't change things every time.:whiteflag:

    I also asked him why, after easy child moved out, he urinated on the shower door and in the shower yesterday. (This is a new one.)
    He said he hopped in and didn't want to get back out.
    husband spent a long time explaining why you shouldn't do that, incl. how the plumbing system works, and all about germs.

    I suggested to difficult child that every single time he takes a shower from now on, he uses the toilet first. I told him it's partly because of that that easy child moved out, and that it is something like a 3-yr-old would do, and that he wasn't acting his chronological age. I told him that his explosion was way out of proportion to having the controller go away for a few hrs, and he agreed that he was angry about his friend and that made the whole thing worse.
    In a calm voice, I told him we were very disappointed and expected him to improve.

    He countered by saying that he hadn't hit me or broken any windows of kicked any holes in the wall for a yr and a half.

    I told him that was great; that showed he COULD control himself and that he could pause b4 he threw hurtful accusations and insults at people because what you say in an instant can last a long time.

    I told difficult child it would be nice if he could write 20X, "I'm sorry for saying the F-word," to Dad. He said that just saying "I'm sorry" out loud was good enough. So he said he was sorry. husband accepted the apology but said that he didn't feel it was enough to make up for all the horrible things he said about us as parents and he'd prefer a note.

    It's weird, hearing the convoluted thinking and rationalizations that difficult child has going on in his head. I'm glad that we discussed it length, and calmly, but afterward, I asked husband, "Do you think we accomplished anything or that we wasted our time?"
    He thinks we accomplished something but that it's going to take lots of repetition and enforcement.

    husband and I had lunch with-easy child. She said she is happy about moving out, and made the right decision. (After last night, she has NO idea what a good decision it was. We did not tell her.)

    We came home and difficult child had written the most beautiful, heartfelt, gut wrenching note I have ever seen. Actually, he didn't show it to me. He ran upstairs and gave it to husband. I asked husband to show it to me later.

    He said he really does love husband and is glad he's his father, and addressed all the emotional issues.

    I know I'm repeating myself, but the note is absolutely stunning.

    This morning I was so depressed and couldn't shake the feeling that our family is falling apart, and that I cannot cry because I will not be able to stop.
    I feel a bit better after seeing the note.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I wish I had some good advice, but I can give you hugs. You and husband did a good job handling difficult child, and he seems to be supportive of you. I hope things get better, and I am sorry that easy child moved out. That would be heart breaking.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know that this sounds simplistic, but in his mind I believe he was thinking that concrete Aspie thinking again. Is he getting any specific therapy for that? Are YOU two in therapy to understand Aspergers? They DO think that promises are unconditional. If you say something and don't do it, you lied. It's very frustrating because they can not think outside the box. I am not excusing him. My son would be in trouble a lot for talking that way, but I think it is a good idea to get some therapy yourselves regarding understanding Aspies. Whatever else he has, the Aspie thinking is there and the better you understand it the easier it is to defuse it. I would look for a center for Autism that helps the parents of these "differently wired" kids. I know it's not funny but I lol'd at how he didn't want to take a shower. My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kid can't figure out why anyone cares if he smells and I have to still bribe him into showering too.
    There may be some underlying adoption issues. I was shocked to learn that my Aspie son DOES think about his adoption. He has never once expressed it to me, but he wrote about it in a school assignment. "It used to make me sad, but now I realize it's all right." My daughter was flabbergasted--she didn't think he thought about stuff like that either because he is not forthcoming about his feelings. Adopted kids can feel very unsure of themselves. They were given away once and, no matter how we try to make it better, we can't completely stop that hurt. I think adopted kids have more trouble feeling accepted in the family and more insecure about their own identity, even those who don't talk about it.
    Look, you and husband did a great job with a very difficult child. Now you both deserve to take some time to relax (if you can) and pamper yourselves. I wish you all good luck. I think there is a lot of hope for your DS. I know it may not seem like it now, but he will really improve if you get him in Aspie interventions. His frustration level and way of expressing it could be brought down 90%. (((Hugs)))
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I just wanted to jump in and offer some support to you. It sounds like you are spent and should be. I think you did the right thing, I think you handled it extremely well. You didn't engage or escalate it at all. Even sitting down with-him after was huge to address what had occured instead of just chalking it up to rage again.

    I think your mom gut is right there is some major depression going on there. My difficult child was the same way last year when she was extremely depressed. Is he still waking during the night? What about any new medications yet or no??

  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest


    I think difficult child has a beautiful heart. He just needs to learn how to express his feelings in an appropriate manner. That doesn't come naturally for a lot of our kiddos. It's something I continue to work on with difficult child.

    You're right; repetition is key. difficult child is almost 14 and it's still a daily occurrence. But, there is improvement. Sometimes it happens in baby steps and some times it's a leap and bound. I know she'll get there. She may be 14 in physical years, but I think she's closer to about 10 in emotional maturity.
    Lasted edited by : Feb 14, 2009
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a terrible night. I have found that the Aspies in my life have a tendency to want to tell others what they are thinking. It drives me batty, personally. Esp when I am told that I hate someone or am thinking about something terrible. I knowh ow hard it is to hear your child say all those hurtful things to and about you. Sending lots of sympathy and support to help you through this.

    difficult child may not have an Aspie diagnosis, but he surely does act like the Aspies I have known. What they consider lies that you have said, such as not carrying through with promises, and then their outright blatant lies are two totally separate issues that have nothing to do with each other. Your lies are unforgiveable and will be remembered forever, and theirs donot matter and should be ignored/forgiven/forgotten with-o them saying or doing anything. (My bro still harbors ill feelings for things I did as a child, and even my father holds a grudge for decades when something was done or said to him, but the things he has said that were HORRIBLE have no meaning after they leave his mouth.)

    I still don't know how to address this issue, but I hope you can figure a way to do it.

    I know you said the playstation was gone, and said it with good reason. But what will you use as a "carrot" if you don't have this? It is something to think about, because with-o that "carrot" to motivate them, our difficult children can be impossible to get even basic hygeine done.

    One book that was recommended to us at the last time Wiz was in the psychiatric hospital was "The Everything Asperger's Book". I didn't buy it, but did spend an afternoon at the bookstore reading it. You might find some helpful ideas in it. It also may explain some of how difficult child is thinking to you, esp the toddler urinating on things behavior.

    I hope that the note can help you through this. I am glad he was able to put things into words in such a moving way.

    I also think YOU and husband need therapy, and difficult child needs therapy to specifically address the Asperger's issues. Even if husband won't go, YOU need to go, and go regularly. As Mom, you are the one ALL the blame will fall on, all the responsibility will fall to, and no matter what your husband does, difficult child will think husband only does whatever it is because you told him to.

    This isn't the therapist or psychiatrist blaming you. It is how your difficult child rationalizes things. Nothing is his fault, it is all because something you did, or maybe, just maybe, something easy child did. MANY parents of asperger's kids say that the aspie boys blame EVERYTHING on the females in their lives. I have NO idea how my son decided that my husband was powerless, that I controlled everything and that all females were evil and to blame for everything wrong with everything. I have seen this in so very many Asperger's guys.

    It is something Mom needs therapy to handle. It is hard to be blamed for everything. You need to develop some coping skills for that. You also need to develop some coping skills to help you teach difficult child not to blame others or rationalize or justify his behavior.

    That is one thing the first psychiatric hospital taught us. NO justifications or rationalizations were to be allowed. The minute Wiz said, "yeah, I did X but everyone else did to" or "I did Z because mom didn't let me watch tv" we stopped him cold and asked "Are you justifying or blaming?" And he had to go do a chore each time. It REALLY helped us teach him to take the responsibility for his actions. I think it is one of the most effective things we ever did.

    I am glad your headache went away, and that you got some decent sleep. You and husband need to work on a way for husband to truly get up to check on difficult child if he says he will. maybe an alarm clock he can set - separate from the one to get up in the morning. One to get him up in the night if he falls asleep. Or even a timer that he can set for an hour? Some way to help you to know he really WILL follow through. It is super important for difficult child to know that husband will follow through.

    Sending lots of hugs,

  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wow, Terry--

    I am stunned at the HUGE amount of patience you exercised when dealing with some really stressful and hurtful stuff! You should be very proud of yourself for being able to stay calm and keep your composure. Way to go!

    Sending you mental and spiritual support tonight--

  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you handled it beautifully. I'm sorry, it sounds like a horrible night. Susie's right about the mom being blamed for everything. My husband is very involved, yet everything is my fault. Hugs to you.
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    I too am impressed by the patience exhibited by both you and husband. I'm sorry it was such a hard night.

    I kind of agree with whoever said without the ps2 you'll have to come up with other leverage.

    I think it's great that he wrote such a sincere letter, it shows he really felt bad, which is good.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think you both deserve medals for how brilliantly that was all handled!

    And I think your husband is right.

    I'd be taking a copy of this post to the next psychiatrist appointment to discuss what you are still seeing in difficult child.

    Everyone misdirects anger at one point or another. difficult child's just tend to do it to the Nth degree. The fact that difficult child could see that after he was calm is HUGE. He may have a long way to go yet and may need more supports, but the fact remains that he has the capacity, and that's half the battle in my opinion.
  11. compassion

    compassion Member

    Terry, Sending you hugs. I have had a week like this myself. My difficult child says almost exactly the same stuff. I do think though with her currently it is that she is usng again and not taking her medications, bipolar rages. She got vioent two tiems last week. I do not take the blame on today.
    I know that long social stuff for her can be a trigger.
    The not taking responsbility for self can be very frustraitng. Curfew is 10, it is now nearly 1 and I knwo there really is not anything I can do. I called and she hung up on me. ON Friday, when caught that she really ws not at themovie she said it was becasue her brother was checking up on her.
    A big violent tussle occrued last week when I attempted Occupational Therapist (OT) get cell phone from her. A lot is conrol with her. She is so out od control, she trie dto contorl. The next time she exploded , I did not react AT ALL.
    I can't agre with her illness. She is very ill right now. She is refusing her medications. She says they make her fat but will nto choose to not eat the sugar ,etc. I canot reason with her. She is veryinto her illness, doing whatever she wants. It is heartbreaking. Compassion
  12. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie

    I think you did brilliantly handling all this and I am so sorry for you for having had so many insults thrown your way.

    It is always the same The MOM gets most of the abuse and I mean this even with the PCs.

    Well done, you are truly a great mom
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    Susie and MWM, thank you for your insights.
    Yes, I do need to meet with-some people who know about Asperger's. difficult child seemed convincing in regard to not knowing about the shower.
    Unfortunately, I was convinced that the PS2 was going away forever, and husband thought it was one day, so he told difficult child he could have it back after today and I blew up. The tension had been building anyway, and husband and I really got into it. It was a very bad night.
    I'm hoping we cleared the air, but it is clear that living like this is wearing us down and we have to do something about it.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm sorry you had such a bad night, Terry. It seems that living with a difficult child means things have to stop at a moments notice and revolve around them so many times. It could wear anyone down.

    I had someone tell me once that if I tell difficult child that if he'll do "A", then I'll do "B" or give him "X", that I needed to stick to that no matter what and if he did something that warranted punishment before I followed through, then I needed to find another way to punish him, but make sure I stuck to what I said to reinforce that fact that he will get his reward for what he did right, even if he still makes mistakes. This keeps some positive reinforcement going and prevents "waiting" for the next bad thing to happen.

    I hadn't thought about it before then, but I had been pulling out a reward when he messed up, even if he had done what I wanted to get the reward. I try not to do that now and it has seemed to help. I imagine it might be a benefit regardless of the diagnosis.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good point. Thank you.
    I've been calling around this a.m., looking for a suport group. They're all in N. VA. I may have to just go to lunch again with-the teacher for whom easy child babysits.
  16. Did our kids have the same BM? All of our kids are so much alike; but especially yours!

    One thing that really helped me to "understand" my difficult child was realizing that his perception is his reality - "end of story". Unfortunately, I never quite figured this out until it was obvious that difficult child was completely irrational and coming totally unglued, yet again.

    Did you ever think that the difficult children use drama and stress to manipulate and control the environment to cover their own issues? With difficult child stable, his issues are very evident - if there is no drama around.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm. Interesting point. I will keep my eyes open.