Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lately difficult child hates it when he isn't with husband or even me. He has never been shy about going to things. Hasn't ever really wanted to go to camp (day camp except overnight on Thursdays) but enjoys it while he is there. Yesterday the camp counselor asked husband if anything was going to at home because every time the counselor asks something about husband or me difficult child gets very sad and quiet and asks to go home. He asks to call us several times a day (luckily they keep putting it off until difficult child forgets). He always makes sure to give us good bye hugs-not so unusual for him to do this with husband but he has even been doing it with me. He waves at us until we are out of sight.

    This past weekend when we were in Michigan husband was going out with his friend. I was trying to decide whether or not I was awake enough to go out with sils and older nieces and difficult child begged me to stay and wrapped his arms around me. I really was too tired to go so said I would stay with him. He had older cousins that would have babysat and younger cousins to play with. Once husband left he was fine and played with the kids-I think I fell asleep before he did.

    Another interesting thing is he is still really rude to husband and me, especially me so I'm not sure why he complains about being away. I'm guessing this is anxiety? Not sure though as he is always fine once we are gone but he will perseverate ahead of time. Also, he is not like this during the school year. I'm not really sure what is going on. Any ideas?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As someone who had severe anxiety and phobias as a child, it sounds like anxiety to me, yes. And he wants to be near you because he obviously feels safe around you, regardless of what he says. Kids, including me, say/said a lot of mean things to our parents when we are/were miserable. Whatever else is going on with him, you make him feel safe.
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Hmmm, maybe too much time to think and get anxious?

    N who has really bad anxiety is like this and worse. Lately her anxiety is worse. She just gave herself a bloody nose from crying because I could not go with her to Gymnastics.
    I have to go somewhere tonight, I never go anywhere, ever... (so sad) but she is going to freak.

    When I thought I was going to Cleveland we broached the subject a tiny bit, she was hysterical.

    I have to lie with her every night. We work on me having distance from her, but any glich in the system puts us back at square one. She needs these things to help feel safe though.

    The only other thing would be of course how are his medications? How is his sleep? All of that... Has he been having nightmares?

    N is still feisty even though she is clingy! LOL
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Is he by any chance enterring 7th grade and changing schools? My 12 yr old says he is both excited and scared to go to the middle school. He is going from a small 3 class classroom of 8 kids to public school of changing rooms and who knows how many kids (probably 30 per classroom).

    I think my difficult child's anxiety will grow as each day nears for that 1st day.

    Totoro is also onto something about too much time to think. That is my difficult child's largest downfall. Summers can get boring and before my difficult child's hospitalization, he had the most boring summer which he started thinking about his future and it overwhelmed him. A 10 year old can not know how to provide for a family but that was one of his worries, plus passing college classes, ect. I had to convince him that these challenges will not come before he has had a chance to prepare for them.

    The severe separation anxiety is something we have had to work to overcome. It is no fun - I had no idea what was wrong with him so I did attend 5th grade with him for about a month (a few weeks sitting at his side, then the back of the class, then the hallway). My child had just fallen apart and with all the somatic symptoms (is that what they are called? chest pains, unable to breathe, ect.), I really thought something horribly medical could be wrong. He had lost all energy and could not function. I would have handled that differently if I had known it was anxiety - I unwittingly fed into it.

    12 years old is HARD! You are just starting to break away the bonds with parents to be more independent. You don't really know the boundaries and know just enough to realize that this can be a dangerous world. How can you face growing up alone? (they are not alone but feel like it)

    Let us know how this develops. I would talk to his docs about anxiety - you will want to get that under control ASAP if that is what is going on - if it goes too long unchecked, you may have the nightmare situation my difficult child went through because it took a hospitalization to find a doctor to figure it out. Very much a nightmare!

    Midwest Mom is also correct! Kids will be mean to the people they feel safest with. They can lash out at you (try to look at it as venting and not personal as they learn how to communicate frustrations) and appear so hateful. It is like they are pushing you away but realizing what that means so are also pulling you back and not letting go. They don't know if they are coming or going.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM-I guess he must really feel safe with me based on just how mean he is to me;)

    Totoro-He has been going to camp for several weeks so not too much time to think, they keep the kids extremely busy. difficult child always needs husband to cover him up at night, often husband reads upstairs on our bed while difficult child falls asleep next to him. Until the last few months when he got his cpap machine he was always sleeping on the couch. Maybe there was some anxiety there, I never looked at it that way though maybe he was trying to be near us because he was anxious. We have his psychiatrist appointment today so I'll ask if it could be medication related. The bloody nose thing is interesting. I remember more than once difficult child crying so hard (once because husband was going away for the night) that he gave himself nose bleeds.

    Andy-He started middle school last year (in 6th grade here) and will be having his same case worker, however, other than that it will be a whole new team of teachers so you may have something there. The weird thing for difficult child is this seems relatively new but maybe he has always had some anxiety but his other issues were so much bigger we didn't notice it. Before last year he never had to be worried about separating at school, because he went to the elementary school husband teaches at. We will be seeing his psychiatrist today so I will definitely bring this up to him.
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    Manster is just like this. The only difference is he would be too embarassed to let anyone outside the home see him sweat lol. He would rather die than admit to anyone that he was feeling scared or anxious. I think it would be good to talk about this with him, even if he doesn't want to. When manster is in shutdown mode I just do a monologue and talk about what I do when I'm scared like pray, find someone who feels safe to hang with, distraction, visualize a bubble around me, etc. Later I'll find out he used one of those methods to help. I'm sorry he and you are going through this. It's been a long journey to get to where we are today and we have a long ways to go.
    Love and hugs, ML
  7. idohope

    idohope Member


    I believe my difficult child is dealing with anxiety although that diagnosis has not been made yet. We see the same combination you mention. I am told I am a stupid idiot (or some such thing) multiple times through out the day but then difficult child sleeps on the floor of our room at night and at times begs me not to go to work etc.

    No suggestions. Just letting you know we see a similar pattern.
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The anxiety was also very new for my difficult child when it hit. He was a very happy go lucky kid with not a worry in the world than BAM! It hit fast and strong. We were totally blind-sided which was the reason it went as deep as it did. We did not know about anxiety and it was not treated as fast as it should have been.

    Boredom is a big trigger for my difficult child. He was having the most boring summer imagineable for a kid and then a disasterous dental appointment sent him into a panic attack which started the huge heavy ball rolling. However, sounds like your difficult child is kept busy so if this is anxiety it is something else?

    He may be struggling with growing up thoughts of wanting to move out of your room to be independent but still not ready to? Maybe he is scared of what could happen if the cpap machine stops working? I am not familiar with the cpap but since this is something new for night and it changed his sleeping arrangements you may want to talk to him about his feelings and fears around the machine? This could be what is triggering his anxiety.

    My difficult child was 10 1/2 when this started. So, for our experience, anxeity doesn't need a history to appear. Triggers are different for each person and our difficult children may not really understand how triggers work so can not vocalize what they are. Sometimes they are afraid to let us know what scares them. They think that we will not be supportive and will tell them to put up with it, to get over it, ect. They don't see their peers with the same fears so think they are being childish if they bring it up. They have to learn how to tell us that they can not overcome something on their own and need help.

    I hope you are able to figure this out soon.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    ML-I totally understand. My difficult child, for the most part, won't let anyone else see he is anxious, unless it turns into an overnight and then he seems to fall apart.

    Idohope-It sure is a strange pattern, isn't it?

    Andy-It's so weird with difficult child because he just likes to fall asleep in our room and knows husband will move him once he is asleep-if given his choice he'd fall asleep in the living room still but is getting way too big for husband to carry him up the stairs.

    difficult child's psychiatrist isn't convinced it's anxiety, he definitely didn't want to change up any of his medications right now except for starting to decrease his Loxapine. I still think it is but I guess because difficult child doesn't seem to show it during the school year and seems fine once he is at camp he didn't seem to worried.
  10. Mandy

    Mandy Parent In Training

    Little Bear is much younger but has always perferred to be with me and husband (his Stepdad)! He would rather not go to his biodads, stay overnight, and had trouble even when he first started his class at church. I think it's the comfort zone they get in and do believe it has to do with their anxiety. Little Bear definitly takes his aggression out on me the most too;)
  11. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    You're lucky he forgets. My son won't. He calls me 4-6 times a day from school. It's like he just has to check in. If he's home alone he only calls if he needs something (can I have a sleepover? will you bring me a treat?etc) But if his PCA is here and I"m out he's bound to call me at least 3x an hour. Before we lost our house in a fire he would stand at the top of the stairs and yell "MOM" when I'd respond he'd say "nothing". We called it checking in. His anxiety seems to spike in the winter and lessen come summer though.
  12. Mandy

    Mandy Parent In Training

    Little Bear does this constantly to myself and husband! It can drive you batty but I also thought it was his way of making sure he is constantly "connected" to us.