Am I wrong?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JKF, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    So as most of you know difficult child #1 is no longer in our home. After threatening my life he was in the hospital, then the shelter, and just last week was moved to a 6 month PCR program. I was supposed to visit him on Sunday but my father, who is staying with us, was having trouble breathing. My father had a liver transplant 2 years ago but has been suffering from some after effects and is still a very sick man. I chose to stay home with him in case he needed me to take him to the hospital. difficult child freaked out and hung up on me. He then called me back and told me how angry he is at me and then hung up on me again. He now refuses to speak to me. I know he expects a visit this coming weekend but in all honesty I don't want to go visit him. He put us through living hell all summer long and was very rude to me last weekend because I had an emergency and couldn't get there to bring him his game boy. I'm at the point now where I really want to take a step back and let him work on his issues alone for a while. I love my son and miss him but I can't let everything else in my life go just because he's in the situation he's in now. He will be 18 next July and he needs to start taking responsibility for his actions. Am I wrong for feeling this way?
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You made the rational choice. difficult child 1 is not being rational. Either he was disappointed because he wanted to see you, or he was upset cause he wanted his game boy.

    What is difficult child 1's discharge goal? Will he be returning to your home?
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Feelings can't be "wrong", in my humble opinion. They just are and we have little control over them. Actions, on the other hand, are things we can control. That's where it gets tricky.

    From reading your past posts I understand that he has been out of control and an imminent danger. Truthfully I have never lived with those symptoms so I can sympathize but not empathize. on the other hand I honestly can understand his anger and disappointment. Unexpected changes always have hit my difficult child's hard. All three counted on my word "like death and taxes" and the youngest in particular fell apart when anything prevented the plan from being followed.
    So...your difficult child "knew" that you were coming. He probably knew about what time. Probably biggest of all he knew you were bringing his game boy which likely was greatly anticipated. Bottom line is he was not able to accept that all the things he had counted on were not going to happen...therefore he lashed out. For difficult child's I think that was a "normal" and "logical" reaction. The fact that he called a second time indicates that he was discombobulated.

    Whether you go visit or not is your decision completely. You'll get full support here as always but, in my humble opinion, I think you need to go, acknowledge his disappointment with-o a long protracted conversation about it, give him his game boy and have the visit be as long or as short as you are comfortable with. Then, I'd suggest, don't make a specific committment as to when you will come next or for how long. That way you'll be able to see how you feel in a week or two and figure out what the best course is for future visits.

    There, lol, how's that for a "book" of a response! My thoughts and support are with you. Hugs. DDD
  4. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I'm sure he wanted to see me but I know he wanted the game boy more.

    As for the discharge plan, the CMO wants him to return home but my husband and I are against that. We feel that he can not live with us ever again. When he's home it's hell. He steals, has rages, and is a very angry child. I can't see that changing in just 6 months. I would like to try to find him an independent living program so that when he turns 18 he can learn how to live in the real world while still receiving the constant support/supervision that he needs in order to function. I think a program like that would be able to help him far better than we can at home.
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thanks DDD! The thing with the gameboy is that when he asked for it I didn't say yes. I told him I would think about it and talk it over with my hubby. He just assumed that I'd bring it. difficult child is a major video game junkie and a gameboy is like crack to him. This has been one of the main reasons he steals. So he can get his game "fix". He will steal from everyone and anyone (family, friends, strangers) in order to get cash to go to GameStop. That's why I'm extremely upset over his behavior last weekend. He never once asked about my father. All he was focused on was his game. I know he was disappointed but in my opinion he wasn't disappointed for the right reasons. He feels that because he's in a placement that he should get sympathy from everyone around him. He feels that he should be "rewarded" by us when we visit in the form of video games or a lunch out. When he doesn't get these "rewards" he no longer wants to visit with us. The PCR is over an hour away. It's not close. I feel like he needs to apologize for his behavior last week and at least be willing to actually visit with us when we go and not just get what he wants from us and be on his merry way. I'm going to call his clinician today and get her advice. I don't know what to do anymore.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    I was thinking along the lines of daughter but also opposite. I think it's important for you to go visit, but leave the gameboy at home. Or if the place allows, just mail him the gameboy, and then see how often he wants to visit with you.

    I think the visits should be just that - visits. Not a lunch out, not bringing "stuff". Just visits. That way you are showing him that HE is important, that you want to spend time with HIM. Whether he chooses to accept or reject the time you are offering him is his choice. He needs to recognize that the visit itself is the reward, and the only way to try and get it through to him is by showing him.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    in my humble opinion, he doesn't need his game boy. I would not be giving it to him.
  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I go through this with mine as well. Once something is said it is written in stone in his mind. If it does not happen that way, all hell breaks loose and his ability to think on a rational level goes with it. If you already promised/said you would bring it, then he is expecting it when you come. I would let him know in advance that you are not going to bring it...should you decide not too and judge from his reaction about going to visit. Does his therapist/unit people know of his latest melt down. What do they suggest you do?

    My apologies you already answered these questions. To my son, not saying no means I have said yes.
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Look - he has to learn that his actions have consequences. His actions towards you have made you not want to be around him so much. That is the consequence of his actions. Not yours.

    You should be honest with your feelings. Tell him you are not coming this weekend because you really do not feel like begin around someone that is so selfish they can not even care enough about their Grandpa to want their mom to stay with him instead of driving for a visit with him. Not only did not dislike that choice, but he was mean to you about it. He could have told you he really missed you and was sorry you would not be visiting, but he understood. Then his consequence would be you being excited to go see him this weekend.

    He has to learn this. Has to. He is too old to be a whiny child when he does not get his way.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sure your decision will be best. It's a shame that parenting difficult child's is so complicated, isn't it? I did notice in your signature that he is only on one medication. Has he ever been on Vyvance or Risperal? difficult child#2 was much more volatile before adding those medications......but maybe we just lucked out. Hugs. DDD
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I know exactly how you feel.

    Whenever we go to visit O, or she comes to visit us (usually this is when bio's friend is taking both kids to lunch, she picks up O first, O comes in, hugs and then goes and gets "something" from her room) - she wants something. When Mom & I took her to lunch, it was her iPod (which she had, she just wanted to be able to use it all the time, and was at that time grounded from it, but had it anyway); when we all went to the drive-in movie, she wanted MONEY; when I visited her once at FM's, she wanted money AND more of "her" stuff. She's not the least bit interested in actually visiting - she wants stuff, or to get out of the house (she informed J she hated bio's friend but it was a way to get out...), or whatever SHE wants.

    I'd visit. Sans gameboy. And if/when he is rude and nasty? End of visit. I don't see the point in warning him about your choices. They are YOUR choices.

    But then, I'm "only" a stepmom... And I have been there done that.
  12. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Just wanted to send support :hugs:
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    had to stop and chew on this mentally for a couple of hours. Personally? If you have never been to this facility to visit him, I would go. For a very short visit. I would push them to have weekly family therapy if that is possible. Either way, he would be told that you are not his delivery service and if he needs something the staff will let you know and you will then bring it. I would tell him that HIS actions determine if you will visit him/call him/take his calls. If he is rude? You will leave or hang up. If he calls you and if rude/inappropriate? you hang up and don't answer for the evening. I would tell staff that this is how it is going to be.

    If you have seen him there already? I wouldn't go. I would tell a nurse or the therapist over the phone that you will go for family therapy with him, but otherwise visits/calls will only happen if he has been appropriate to you and if he stops being appropriate? You will leave immediately.

    Do NOT make you visits a trip to Disneyland. No movies, lunches out, whtever. He gets food there. Go and play a game there - take a deck of cards. He can learn to talk with you, play a boardgame or cardgame, etc... If you have him out for lunch and he gets rude or violent, how do you get him back to the facility? Going out for something is to be EARNED with demonstrations that he can and WILL be appropriate for more than an hour or so at a time. If he can't be appropriate on the phone for five min, how could you even entertain the idea that he would be appropriate for two hours at a movie?

    Also, if your trips are just fun, fun fun, when he leaves (if he comes home) he will expect that to be the way it is. he won't comply with rules or chores - why should he? For six mos all he did with you was fun stuff? Why should changing where he lives change that - this is how HE will rationalize things. I know because I heard it from my own child.

    I thought about the issue of his problems with changes in plans - even if he is the only one who perceives these plans - meaning you shoudl go visit. I can understand how he has problems with changes in plans, etc... Your son is WAY too close to age 18 for you to let him use this as an excuse/rationale for his behavior to you. Real life will mean the cops and jail/prison for those actions, not rewards. He has to get that, understand that, NOW. Otherwise adult life is going to be ugly and painful - sadly that is what some difficult children need.

    Don't take him any type of videogames. He is not where he is to have his fave obsessions. He is there because he cannot make safe and appropriate choices. Video games are for those who can make safe and appropriate choices. period. I know I am thought to be a meanie about this, but there is no reason on earth for you to give him something to distract him from what he is there for. NONE. I sure as sugar did not take videogames to my son when he was in the psychiatric hospital, and for the first two years he lived wth my parents I wouldn't let him have his gameboy, D&D stuff, etc... Those things were what he usually got violent about and were, for him, at that time, as dangerous to him as crack would have been. Even my own parents thought I was awful for that. they let him have a LOT that we did not. Then they learned WHY we did not, and lots of those things got locked up.

    I would ONLY take things to him that are necessary for life - clothes if his have worn out and were not damaged on purpose. If he damages them on purpose? Tell staff to sit him down wiht a needle and thread (again, NOT joking). Toiletries if STAFF says he needs them. ALL requests for things should be verified by staff - even if staff finds it PITA. If staff says videogames are okay - tell them they are not with you and he doesn't have your permission to have them and you won't bring them regardless of why they want them.

    Your difficult child has six precious months to learn what he needs to learn. He won't change if it is too comfy there. So don't make it comfy. don't make your weekends all about him - make them allabout the rest of the family and once in a while visit difficult child. Visits with you and the rest of the family are a PRIVILEGE that he has lost right now. make him EARN you all back in his daily life. I would be up front with him about the fact that how well he does there will determine if you and husband will even CONSIDER letting him come back home until he is 18. He needs to think about that also, in my opinion.