Break with reality or what?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by rejectedmom, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    difficult child was a volunteer fireman before he was sent back to prison. He was kicked out Occupational Therapist (OT) the group home for not participating in court ordered therapy sessions and sent back to jail to serve out the rest of his sentence. That was back in May. He had responded to a fire the day before he was taken back into custody and today I got a letter from him with a news clipping. He had circled one of the fire men in the photo and said that it was him. He then went on and on about always wanting to be a fireman and that he doesn't care if he gets paid or not but when he gets out of jail that is what he wants to do again.

    The problem is that the news article is from two weeks ago and the man is not my son. difficult child had blacked out all the dates on the obits on the back of the clipping. So, I am wondering if I should be concerned that he might be loosing his grip on reality again or was he just substituting this picture for one that was never taken of fires that he did indeed respond to back in the spring?

    How do you think I should respond to this? I hate being lied to and I hate that difficult child would think I'm such an idiot that I wouldn't detect such an obvious ruse. -RM
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I have no idea how you go about it, but I would think you would need to respond differently if its a reality break than if its an actual intentional cover-up. If he did it on purpose and knows it, I'd call him on it.

    If he wasn't aware of what he was doing, or really thinks that was him, I would let it go or try to get him some help.

    (is it possible the picture is from a previous fire?)
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I hate to say this, but the way I interpret it is that the blacking out of the dates he saw indicates that he knows full well that this happened recently and not that he has a break from reality. The only other thing I can think of is that the photo was meant to be a general type photo of firefighters and not an aactual photo of the particular fire written about. But, it would appear that would be clear by the caption and that difficult child would have just stated that and not blackened out dates. I don't know why he would bother though if his point was just to tell you that he wants to be a fireman. I think I would write him and ask him why he did it. Does he have an issue about impressing you?
  4. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    difficult child has all kinds of issues and self esteem is one of them. He has a bit of a hero complex. He wants respect and doesn't know how to get it in the normal everyday ways so he latches onto things like becomming a Marine, or a cop, or a basketball star or a fireman. He has only ever really done the work toward such a goal in his quest to be a fire fighter. Truthfully he isn't really cut out for it and usually does traffic control but he gets to wear the uniform and it seems to give him a confidence boost.

    His letter says that he responded to this particular fire. "Enclosed is a newspaper article with a picture of a fire that I responded to. You can see me so I thought You might want it."

    husband thinks he is just making a substitution this fire for the last one he did respond to but I am not sure. I do know that I don't want to go in with guns blazing if he is not doing well. -RM
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Do you think maybe he wants it so bad that he is "forcing" it to be true, on you and in his own mind.
    Even if he did it and somewhere he knows it isn't true, maybe he is losing his grip and becoming unstable.
    If he wishes it and thinks it and tries hard enough maybe this will be...
    The mind of the unstable do not work like we want them to.
    On the other hand maybe it is just him be decietful and he knows full well what he is doing, why? I have no idea.
    I don't know enough about his personality...
    Sorry he is doing this for whatever the reason.
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Totoro, My first reaction was that he was trying to manipulating me because he doesn't have a place to go when he gets out. Maybe his thought process was that if he showed me that he is this upstanding citizen and was actually doing well when he was taken into custody I might take him back home. But when I thought about it more the cover-up was so very obvious that anybody could see it and the news story so recent that it is still easily verified. difficult child knows I am no dummy and that if I catch him in a lie I shut down on him. So I then started thinking that maybe there was nothing insidious going on at all and that he is just loosing it again. His hold on his sanity is tenuous when he is under stress and nothing is more stressful than prison for him. I am just not sure. -RM
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I wonder if this is just "grandiose thinking"...? It sounds like the same thing my daughter does (granted, she is much younger)--she will come up with stories about how great or successful she is eg: I won a contest! I won the race! I am the best player on the team! etc...

    And the reality will be that she was never even in a contest, or in a race or part of a team....and on some level she knows this--but it feels like if she can get other people to belive the story--then that will make it true.

    I wonder if your son is doing the same thing? On some level, he knows he is not in the picture (hence the crossing out of dates)--but maybe if YOU believe him, then it can be true that he is a great fireman and a hero.

    Probably the best thing to do is ignore it--you don't want to re-inforce his fantasies, but you also don't want some sort of resentment for not "believing in him".

  8. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Daisy you may be right. My difficult child has a very child like thinking process. -RM
  9. compassion

    compassion Member

    In my experience, it is the gradiosity that goes with BiPolar (BP). I deal with this type of delusion all the time with my daughter with BiPolar (BP). There is no way I can reason with it. I state reality calmly one time and try to accept/have compassion.
    Currently, I am dealing with her wanting the privileges,respect of being older without the ability, earning it. She wants to drive, have a license and car wants a job, her own apartment, a lot of money to buy fun stuff and activites. School started yesterday (she is going into 11th grade/she is 16) and she did not go yesterday or today.
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Compassion, you have just described my difficult child!

    So you do not think this was a lie but rather a manifestation of his Borderline (BPD)? I do not think in terms of him being Borderline (BPD) since that is a diagnosis that was put on him after he left my home. I also never quite agreed with it as we never saw the moods that are typical of this disease until he was using drugs and so we had a hard time decerning what was drug related and what was mental illness. I guess I will have to learn a bit more about what types of behaviors are associated with Borderline (BPD). -RM
  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    After thinking it over I have decided to just let it go. Maybe I will say something in a non accusing or threatining way when he calls and asks if I got the news clipping. I tore it up and threw it out as it does still upset me a bit. "Out of sight out of mind" does work for some things LOL.

    I also wanted to clarify that I m not opposed to difficult child's new diagnosis just not used to thinking of him as BiPolar (BP).