And the latest from last week and yesterday.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have re-posted what happened last Sunday (8 days ago) in italics below this for reference. This is somewhat of a follow-up, I guess.

    Yesterday, I went to visit difficult child early because I'd gone to the area on Sat. and spent the night there. Immediately, I find out he's still in isolation so I am led to the area for "locked" wards' visitation and difficult child comes in, in handcuffs, again. His counselor hadn't returned my call telling me what punishment difficult child had gotten for the original incident described in italics below. So I asked difficult child how much time in ilsolation he got for it. He told me 30 days. That blows his credit for a year-long history class and his driver's ed (written part only). Basicly, it blows his advanced diploma. He told me that maybe he is bipolar, he's not sure, but he thinks he needs back on medications. He said he gets angry a lot and wants to get it out of his system before he gets out this time. I made suggestions on constructive ways to deal with anger, instead of holding all kinds of emotional stuff in until becoming a time bomb and exploding on someone. He gave me tons of reasons why those things don't work for him. (HUM) He said he was hurt and angry over not being able to come straight back to live with me or ever be able to see his old friends again (like they are still going to be his friends). We talked about Boys Town some more and the dogs and we hugged. He said he felt he'd become institutionalized and made it clear he meant internally, he had adapted to an instutionalized way of life and that he felt he could just live that way and know how to function that way the rest of his life, but he didn't want to and knew he needed to get past it because he really didn't want to spend his adult life incarcerated. He had to get all this out of him this time incarcerated and get past it. (That was what he was telling me.) We hugged, cried, said I love you's and he agreed to talk to this new therapist they are getting him (supposedly) and the behavior counselor (not a real therapist) on the isolation unit. Then, since visitation time is shorter for those in isolation, the guard told us to say our good-byes and another lady popped up asking to speak with me and I said "sure, our visitation is about over, I can stay so we can talk", and I watched as difficult child was led down a hall wayy.

    The lady sits down across from me and asked if difficult child told me what he was in isolation for. I told her he had told me about a fight last weekend and that higher-ups needed to review tapes, etc, to determine punishment and that his punishment had been 30 days in isolation. She said she had no idea about a fight the previous week but that's not why he's in isolation now. Then, why? difficult child had been sent back to his regular unit last week (meaning he did NOT get isolation or strict punishment for the fight and incident the previous week.) Sat. (day before yesterday) staff searched difficult child's stuff in his room (cell) and found he had a lighter (major institutional charge) and when staff confronted it about it and told him he had to go back to isolation to await another hearing for this, difficult child fought them and kicked the male staff in the stomach. Where did he get the lighter? No one knows. Why did he have a lighter? No one knows. This staff who got kicked decided not to bring a street charge but it is an additional major institutional charge for assualt on staff. And, they also found "a letter containing gang information" in difficult child's stuff. Is he in a gang? Is he holding this for someone? Is he teetering on joining a gang? Is this gang info he stole that instigated the fight the previous week? no one knows.

    difficult child is facing major punishment on top of the automatic 30 days in isolation one gets for committing a major charge to begin with. They could extend his time incarcerated and/or transfer him to a worse facility. They are concerned about the gang info (as am I) and he will be having some confrontations and conversations with staff there who specialize in dealing with the wards involved in gangs.

    Oh, koi, I can handle all this, except I'm having a rough time with the gang portion I can see how it could happen when you lock kids up with gang members. But my heart was absolutely broken again to know that everything difficult child had sat there and told me while visiting had been a lie. The lady said he just didn't want to tell me he had additional charges, he just wanted me to think this was the punishment for the previous incident. Yeah, sure, but the "needing to see a psychiatrist because he thinks maybe he needs medications afterall" is BS- he just wants medications to trade or take in an abusive way. Boys Town? Sure- like I'd trust him to mean that, too, and I think he'd actually get on a plane, fly out there with me and stay, without incident, and use that as an opportunity to turn his life around? Nope, this kids is still just soaking me for anything he can get from me. I'm not even angry about it because I can't be surprised enough to be mad. I just feel like it's another jab in my heart and I have to start wondering if he will ever out-grow any of the teen rebellion, taking parents for granted, etc, and really love anyone at all.

    I know I made mistakes while raising him but I swear, to this day, I don't know where I went so wrong as to instill this in him. He was able to feel compassion, show love, be sensitive to others, etc, as a young child until he turned 11yo. How can this happen? He's been asked a million times by a million different people if he was abused by anyone, in any way, and he has ALWAYS said no and I can't figure out when it could possibly have happened anyway. The ONLY thing we can link it to is difficult child figuring out that his father had never been in his life because his father chose that and difficult child flipped (he really did and made that obvious) and he has just hated the world since then. But I can't beleive something like that could turn him into a sociopath at his age and that NO therapist can help difficult child add things up any better mentally? Where am I going wrong here?

    Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. LOL!

  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    K -- Honestly, I do not think that you did anything to cause this. At that age, with bdad's genes, I think it was likely a organic issue in his brain. One day, the doctors will figure out a test and a treatment for it, but for now, it seems all society can do is limit the damage to others through incarceration.

    I am sorry that he is looking at more time. The only good thing is that it makes it less likely he will get out before 18.

    *******As far as his school credits, he should be allowed to do his school work even when he is in isolation. He is on an IEP and this is clearly behavior relating to his disability*****
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I can't even explain how much I wish I could think of something to say that would bring you comfort. This sounds really lame...but the best I can toss out is that you know where he is and he's not on the streets. I realize this is not too positive a note. I am genuinely sorry for your pain.

    There is an element of Conduct Disorder that results in poor choices based on what the person sees as serving their independence and perceived best interests. It does not mean that the love of a parent isn't important. Sadly, it just means that the love of self dominates choices. In our experience there can be baby steps toward adulthood but they are so darn small and slow tht it is not easy to stay optimistic. Your son is still young. I'm sure that he thinks he is more mature than he is. Hang on to the hope that his life will turn around. It may not but it could. You seem to be a black and white thinker (believe it or not we basically are too) but some difficult child's and easy child/difficult child's live in the grey. So long as they live in that state there is a chance that they will positively evolve. Hang on to that hope but continue to build your life as peacefully as you can. As much as you love him (and there is no doubt about that!) he is the one who is in the driver's seat. I'll continue to hope and pray that he comes out on the positive side. Hugs. DDD
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Maybe that would be the right thing, but there's no way that the sd can over-ride a Department of Juvenile Justice decision. The dept of education had to fight in court some years ago to even keep control of schools for incarcerated minors. We are actually "lucky" that Department of Juvenile Justice no longer has authority over the school decisions of k-12 schools on Department of Juvenile Justice property. And having a lighter and gang information (whatever the koi that means) wouldn't give the sd reason to fight for difficult child. It was an issue for them to discuss with Department of Juvenile Justice staff that difficult child could make flash cards in his unit to use for studying.

    At some point, difficult child does have to realize that his behavior is costing him a better education and credit for that education and ability to maximize his best qualities. If he doesn't care, I'm not sure there's anything any of us can do.

    I'm not disagreeing with you and I appreciate your thoughts. But I'll be darned if I'll fight for difficult child to get any lenience again tto accommodate classes he needs to get an advanced diploma again. I had asked them (the Department of Juvenile Justice sd iep team) to be thinking of how they could accommodate classes in the fall that they don't offer but difficult child would need for that diploma. If he can't keep himself out of trouble to go to school, how in the world could he ever make it in college? difficult child needs to wake up to that and if he's only been saying that to manipulate me more, than we can stop that charade.

    My stern tone is due to my determination tos tick to this boundary for difficult child, JJJ, and has nothing to do with you or your ideas. I appreciate them- I'm just really ticked and hurt by difficult child's choices and lies this past week. He apparently got off for the fight 8-10 days ago and could have continued on. But for some reason, staff searched his stuff and lo and behold.....but maybe this is difficult child's true colors coming out for them. At home, things were ok as long as he could get by with whatever he wanted. But if he couldn't, I had he!! to pay and yes, it obviously reached that line of violence.

    When I mentioned school repercussions for the fight last week, the staff person reminded me that their first priority is to keep everyone safe. I can't argue that.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry. I agree with JJJ that you didn't do anything to cause this. I'm so sorry he continues to make such bad choices. You and he are in my nightly prayers. ((hugs))
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Over the years in the family it always seems harder on parents who have bright kid or formerly high achieving kids to accept that they have chosen an alternate path. just seems like such an inconceivable waste. It will be interesting to see what his next letter indicates. He knows you are his lifeline and probably doesn't want you to think badly of him. What a delicate line. Caring thoughts. DDD
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you, DDD and Sharon.

    Maybe I've gotten a little paranoid myself after watching this darn CA trial and seeing the lies she has told. The main thing- I think the only thing- we can do right now is to hold difficult child accountable for these lies and efforts to manipulate....and just not let it work. He's 16, not 20-something with a child.

    Maybe it's selfish and naive for a parent of any teen, much less a difficult child, that I'm so hurt because I am interpretting this like he doesn't care at all about me or having a decent relationship with me or trying to rebuild anything between us. It's all a lie and he just sees me as someone to use as long as he thinks he can get a drop of money, advocacy, sympathy, anything from me. Then he'll walk and spit on me, whether his killed me first or not. It's one thing to find out someone you love in a romantic relationship really doesn't care and is just using you, it's another to learn that your own child feels this way.
  8. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I'm so sorry and I too don't know what on earth to say although I do wish I had words to help ease your pain. Sometimes the reality with our loved ones is such that there is no words to escape the hurt, it simply is the way it is. I do hear your pain though and send warm hugs and support.

    The only thing that does come to mind is that I think sometimes when we think behaviors are reflections of their feelings for us (or lack of said feelings), we can be wrong. Sometimes I think people stuck in mentally damaged or ill thinking have zero capability to apply a realistic view of the true impact they have on others, or sometimes they merely are incapable of thinking outside of their distorted thinking. While underlying that it may be that some people can't love in return as they are loved by for example a parent like you, I do think many times it is diseased thinking and they really aren't at all considering or caring about their actions and their consequences on others. Sometimes if a diseased thinking process can be brought to a healthy one, it turns out they do have emotions towards their loved ones and when clear thinking is in place, they may be able to then see how they have to work to consider others and my want to do so.

    I also wanted to chime in that I too don't believe you created this via any action or inaction on your part. I think sometimes we don't get to know WHY a person develops the way we do. We just love our kids so much it is sometimes hard to see that indeed all humans are born as individuals with their own paths, and we as parents can only TRY to impact their lives in ways that are healthy but it doesn't mean we get to concretely raise them in such and such a way to achieve such and such results. In the end, we are all responsible for ourselves, and we all risk having distorted thinking etc that no environmental impact or influence can ever be responsible for.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I don't know the whole history here so I can't really offer anything helpful. I am one of those that tries to believe until proven wrong. I would like to think he lied to you about the new "stuff" because as DDD said, he knows you are his lifeline and he doesn't want you to think worse of him. As for the medications and Boys Town, maybe you should confront him with what you know now and see what he tells you. It might be that he was serious about that. But, then again, if he's planning on joining a gang he might be trying to hide that from you. I don't know. Maybe that's why I keep getting walked all over, I'm too much of an optimist.

    {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you and I will keep praying that HE turns things around for himself. You are not responsible for his choices and nothing you ever did makes you responsible. Once the difficult child's get to a certain age, we are just along for the ride so to speak. I really feel for you.
  10. ML

    ML Guest

    You didn't cause this, KLMNO, you can't change it and you have no control over his choices. This is a truly heartbreaking situation and my heart hurts for yours. You are doing the best you can under tremendously difficult circumstances. Please try not to beat yourself up so much. I will keep praying for healing and peace for you. Big hugs xoxo
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I do wonder if he lied because he was ashamed of the extra charges. I have no words hon, just *hugs*.
  12. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    K --

    I totally get not wanting to fight for the school stuff anymore. I have stopped really dealing with that with Kanga. These 'resistant to parenting kids' are tough on the heart.

    I hope you can find the time for a Calgon moment for yourself. You deserve it -- you have done an amazing job with your choices in the last two years. You are a wonderful person -- please remember that!
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you each and everyone- I'll mull this over the next day or so as I'm winding down for tonight and trying hard to just stay focused- not being to much in denial or too paranoid when it comes to difficult child... that just seems to be the fine line I tread with him sometimes.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    K, personally, I think you are very right on the money with your feelings here. difficult child seems to have all the lingo down pat with what he spouted at you. "Institutionalized" "thinks he is bipolar again and needs medications" "blacking out and has anger control issues"

    These arent words a desperate kid uses to his mom, they are words locked up teens learn from other locked up teens on how to manipulate parents and others on the outside to attempt to get out of some sort of trouble. Kids dont sit around in the day room playing cards and worry about becoming too used to being in juvy that they will become institutionalized and decide they like 3 hots and a cot so they will go to prison next. "Hey Joe, lets make plans for next year to meet up at the Spring St. Hotel okay? Cool dude!" (Im assuming it is still on Spring

    I have no idea how much time these new charges are going to add to his time. I am surprised they didnt add on any actual street charges considering he assaulted a guard. They must like him. That does say something for him. I do hope he isnt headed into the gangs. Maybe they can move him into another area to help squelch that interest. If not, well, its his problem and he will be signing his own future.

    I do think you are looking at conduct disorder here and not a darn thing you did or didnt do. Dont blame yourself.
  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry, k. I wish I had words to comfort you. Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking about you. Don't blame yourself... you have fought tooth and nail for your son for years.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Klmno, my heart is breaking for you. After all you two have been through, and it just seems like you do it over and over again. I'm guessing that he lied because he was ashamed and couldn't handle one more thing. And yes, he surely is learning the lingo, but that's to be expected. I totally agree with-your plan to no longer interfere, and just let him reap his own results.
    It's really good that you're staying in touch with-him and that even though he is lying and struggling, you can still see one another. It is so bittersweet. (To say the least--more like love and rage.)
    And at this point, I agree with-the others that he's got a lot of biochemical or neurological issues going on, on top of learning behavior, and I wouldn't worry about what you may have done when he was younger. Easier said than done, I know.
    Many hugs.
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    No, there's a ton of kids out there with far worse parents who turned out just fine...and vice versa. You did not cause this.

    I don't think difficult child doesn't love you...I think he just loves himself more. Whatever it takes to keep himself in the clear with someone else...he's doing a CYA.

    Lying...I feel it is the gateway to bigger behaviors, just like I feel weed is a gateway drug (to youngsters). Once you get comfortable doing it, it seems easy to take the next big step...

    Hugs. I'm proud of you for how you are handling this, though.
  18. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    K - I'm so sorry. I think the bright side of this whole mess is that he is somewhere where he *is* being held accountable. Sorry it's where it is but... I don't think it's a bad thing.

    I understand, and ache for, your hurt feelings. Not only did he lie you to, he somehow thinks he was going to get away with it. I agree with- Janet wholeheartedly - sounds like he's learned the lingo and is using it well. Bites that our kids are so smart in some ways and so darn (not so smart) in others. He certainly knows which buttons to push with you (institutionalized, sad/angry he can't come straight home, etc.). Personally, I think it's time to really get detachment firmly in place. He's institutionalized? As DadRich used to say, bummer for him. Can't come home? Bummer. I know it breaks your heart and you wish like crazy it was different, but it is time (and he's old enough) to put all of this very squarely on his shoulders, and then go cry your eyes out as often as you need to, *away* from him. His choices, his consequences, his failure to learn from past experience. What more can you do, K? It's a lot like when they were younger and we had to learn how to react with zero emotion to their gfgness. You have to find that stone-cold neutrality again.

    I'm not saying to give up on him at all, but I do think there comes a time with our kids when we really have to distance ourselves for our own mental health and self-preservation. You did nothing wrong - why do you have to keep riding this rollercoaster? In my experience, there's not a doggone thing we as parents can do with- a kid at this stage who is dead-set on sabotaging himself left and right. They're not going to listen to us. They know it all. They have to figure out on their own that their way is only going to make life very difficult for them. Watching them flounder as they (hopefully) figure that out is ... well, it's just horrible, but there is absolutely *nothing* we can do to help them because, in their "wisdom", they don't think they need help.

    I don't think I'd even call him on his most recent lie. What's the point? It's just acknowledging another gotcha. I love Suz's bobble-headed response - "yes, dear, um-hmmm, that's nice" or "sorry, dear, that your life inhales severely right now - what are you going to do about it?" because *you* cannot do a darn thing about it.

    I got to the point where I imagined husband and myself, as well as most of the other adults in thank you's life, as hamsters running on one of those circular exercise wheels, with thank you dictating how fast we ran... to nowhere. Getting off the wheel was hard (I was a wreck for a solid year and a half, and literally cried daily for the last 6 months leading up to his 18th b-day, and quite often after as well), but I believe (for thank you anyway) the *only* way he ever had a shot in Hades of getting it together was when I completely backed off. If nothing else, I didn't have to hear the details of his life and to be honest, it was a relief.

    Many many hugs to you, hon.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    (((((hugs))))) NONE of this is your fault
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, everyone. As usual, you help get my feet back on the ground and keep me staying focused. slsh and DJ, I needed to hear what you had to say, even tho no mom wants to hear that about her kid.

    I got a letter from difficult child that was apparently written right after visitation and him figuring out that I'd been told he had new charges. He apologized profusely in the letter and said he just didn't want to hurt me anymore and he knew how much I loved him because he saw how much I tried to help him, but he can't help who he is even tho he made himself this way. (I already have a response to THAT statement in mind. LOL!) Then, he said this was all about him having a lighter that he "bought" from another resident. I can't help but wonder if a staff person is involved- our state isn't known for having all ethical law-abiding staff members in Department of Juvenile Justice. Anyway, he never mentioned a word about the gang info or assault on a staff member. He did tell me he tried to fight staff and push them away, but it didn't sound like exactly what the lady told me on Sunday.