I am new to the sight, and hope that you can help me out. I am a single mom, 40 something, with an only child difficult child 9 year old son diagnosed with ADHD, mood disorder (won't say bipolar, but definitely a mood disorder) and ODD. He was expelled last year for hitting a teacher, which also produced a police report so he's "in the system" (but with-o any action taken). He has an IEP and is now in a special day class for kids with DSM-IV diagnoses and may be moved to another similar school that is more restrictive again due to hitting and kicking his teachers/ aides. Ex has been diagnosed with BiPolar (BP) and possible Borderline (BPD), but thinks that most of difficult child's problems are due to bad parenting (mine, of course, not his -- but that's another very long story). Was verbally and emotionally abusive to us during the marriage, but seems to have calmed down since the divorce (no familial responsibilities and limited visitation cuts down on the stress). My sisters have recently told me that my son is no longer welcome to family events because of his behavior. They too believe that my lack of parenting skills is ruining my son, and that he doesn't need the medications (even though he's been hospitalized twice for threatening suicide and aggressive behavior toward me and others). Believe me, their kids are far from perfect (one has a son the same age as mine who is MEAN, manipulative, aggressive and defiant; the daughter was caught stealing from classmates and from my purse in first grade), but I am "insane"!!! They tell me that my son needs limits, and I should "beat him if that's what he needs"! Of course, this attack was in front of my son, and they kept turning to him telling him he's "a great kid, we love you", but in the next turn saying that we "are no longer welcome around their kids and to stay away". They don't live through what all of us live through on a daily basis. They can't understand the heartbreak you feel when your child tells you that they would rather die than have these feelings, when they attack you because they don't know how to vent or handle their emotions, or the fear that we feel when we send them off to school, hoping that they have a good day. They've never cried the tears I cry often, they've never blamed themselves for the actions of their child. I am obviously heartbroken. I was hoping that my family would be helpful and understanding, but that is not to be. I am wondering if anyone else has had these issues, and advice for how they handled it. My son loves his cousins, and he is also heartbroken to know that he can't be with them. He knows that he needs to learn to control his anger, but I cannot believe the cruelty of the situation. I would love some advice on how to help him cope as well.