Breaking and entering?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ehlena, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Ehlena

    Ehlena New Member

    I don't really want to go into the whole back story with my difficult child. He's 15 now, and is my stepson. Used to be a sweet, but difficult, kid. Now the sweet is gone and the difficult remains. He's had a number of different diagnoses, including conduct disorder and reactive attachment disorder. At this point, he no longer lives with us, and as stated on the reports, this is for our protection. He has a history of false abuse allegations and becoming aggressive when he doesn't get his way.

    Unfortunately, he lives in a group home that is less than 3 miles from our house. When he goes AWOL for days on end, guess where he goes?

    The last time he went AWOL, we saw him in our neighborhood and tried to stop him to say "hi" (didn't know he was AWOL at this point, his social worker is notoriously bad at informing us). He ignored us and kept going. We kept going too, and that turned out to be a bad idea. He knew we weren't home, went to our house, tried the doors and windows, found something unlocked (he has found a way to climb to our second-story), and took a bottle of vodka.

    Fine. Whatever. I'm just glad that was it. Kids steal alcohol from their parents. I get it.

    They found him and put him in rehab. He AWOL'd there by climbing the fence, stole alcohol, brought it back, and when one of the counselors tried to take it from him, he assaulted them.

    Spent time in juvie. Was given the option to go back to rehab, but refused. Spent a little more time in juvie. Got placed into a higher level group home out of our area. AWOL'd there almost immediately for over a week, somehow got to another city 50 miles away, and was finally picked up by the police. He refused to go back to the higher level group home and said the only place he'd go back to was the one in our area. They put him back there.

    Can you see where this is going?

    He AWOL'd again on Monday. We have been very careful to lock our doors and windows. We came home to find the screens torn and bent on several of our windows. He'd let out all of our animals (I run a micro-farm) and shut them out of their pens. Our neighbor was nice enough to grab our dog, who was running willy nilly in the streets. difficult child took two of our hens (I have no idea why). I drove around looking for them, but they are still missing.

    I am pretty unhappy, to say the least. My husband maintains that difficult child will not go as far as to break the windows. I'm skeptical. He seems to be escalating his behavior. I know when he was in a foster home less than a year ago (they thought he was ready to transition down a couple of levels), and the foster mom locked him out because he was getting aggressive - he broke one of her doors to get back inside. husband hasn't been reading the court reports like I have. They make him upset, so I read them and summarize the relevant points.

    My husband is not interested in activating our alarm system. Does anyone have any theft-deterrent suggestions? Our dog is 10lbs soaking wet, and she is familiar with difficult child, so she's not a lot of help. I'm seriously considering moving the things I value most out of the house. Bought a padlock for the backyard gate. I know he'll just climb over, but this might deter him from taking any more of our animals.

    Half the time we don't even know when he's AWOL because the social worker keeps neglecting to inform us. And yes, we've complained to her supervisor - which seemed to have an effect for only one subsequent AWOL.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Poor kid. Really, I understand how difficult it is for you but poor kid. Basically an orphan who is trying to "steal" his way back into your home. I don't know what else to say, sorry.
  3. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    I would activate the alarm system even if husband doesn't want to. And, did you file a police report for the damage done to the house? Is there anyway you can meet with the SW and see if he can be moved further from home? If he was removed for safety issues, and he is constantly returning without your permission/knowledge they should do something I would hope. It may just take you having to be very pushy and forceful with them.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well, with a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) diagnosis., those chickens might be gone for good. Has he hurt or killed animals before? By letting them go he shows no regard for their safety.
    I'm sorry for him too but at this point he's at the very least a danger to himself. I would absolutely hide and lock up valuables. Of course he'll break a window. Why in heck not use the alarm system? It's really for his protection too. The more opportunity to do wrong the more charges. Did you press charges for this break in?

    I'm so sorry for you and husband having to go through this heart ache. We say here to trust your gut and if you feel he is ramping up then trust that. It may just be too hard for husband to think about.
    Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is such a sad diagnosis because on the extreme ends there is not much hope for recovery. He could be hard wired now to not be connected to or able to care about what others feel. I hope as he matures his brain development will allow for him to be less impulsive and self destructive.
    Too bad the system is failing him. He seems to need high level locked treatment. Kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) can even thrive in such structure.

    Anyway, glad you found us. There are other parents here who have raised kids with severe Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Welcome to the CD board.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This situation seems VERY DANGEROUS to me. Press charges for taking the animals as he likely took them to hurt them. it is a common step for kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and/or conduct disorder who end up hurting people. It is a lot easier to hurt animals and is one step on the way to becoming a very dangerous person. I cannot see him trying to steal his way back home or stealing something from home when all he has taken is vodka and 2 chickens. Simply does not add up to me.

    He is going to break in. It is what it is. Insist that husband start setting the alarm and do so yourself. If husband won't? Have a gigantic temper tantrum. I am NOT NOT NOT joking. This is your safety. He is violating your home, and given his past behavior and that he was removed due to your safety, he is likely to wind up harming you or husband, esp as he seems unhappy with having to be in the group home.

    He clearly feels he can set his own rules and they SW/system has allowed this so far, esp with putting him back in a home in your area when he could not cope/succeed in a more restrictive one and demanded to be returned to the close one. Of course the close one is not able to keep him their either, and he is close enough to you that he is breaking in. You NEED the police more involved and you NEED to press charges because otherwise he is likely to stay there and hurt you if you come home or if you are home when he comes around. Taking your anmals and not having them at the group home, plus letting all the others go is a bad sign. At least he hasn't harmed them all, but setting them loose certainly makes this a strong possibility for the future. Padlocking the gates is a good idea.

    I think your husband needs to read those court reports, probably several of the most recent all at once. He is hiding from the reality of his son, and as long as he does this, he is going to endanger ALL of you. What happens if difficult child harms you or husband, or steals something of value or a weapon from your home? The police will be after him, and if he is threatening they may not have many choices but to shoot. The solution isn't to not report things or to not set the alarm, it is to do what you can to stop these things NOW by usin the alarm pressing charges, etc.... so that he has a chance to realize that he doesn't want the consequences. Having the alarm sound may startle him or warn him off so that he doesn't confront you or harm you. Allowing him to get away with this stuff with-o consequences leads him down the road to more serious crimes. husband has to step up or tragedy may happen. A member here recently lost her son in a police shooting after some dangerous behaviors. She did everything she could to prevent it, and it still wasn't enough. You don't want that to happen, and you MUST protect yourself, your home, AND difficult child by making him face the consequences NOW before he escalates even more. You may not be able to stop bad things, but you can try.

    I am sorry he is so disturbed and is escalating this way. I feel 100% he will escalate to breaking in before long, and I am sorry about that.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I was just looking at your signature and it appears that your husband was a teenage Dad who, I assume, created a son with an unstable drugusing woman..who likely was also young. If so your husband probably doesn't want to know the details as it triggers guilt. If the teen was only identified as ADHD and ODD through the age of thirteen he is way behind the curve for attempted redirection at fifteen. I am very sorry.

    on the other hand I completely agree that it is necessary for your home to be secure and safe 24/7. Your husband "may" be afraid that the police will respond to an attempted B&E and his son may be arrested or possibly injured. Based on your description of his recent choice I believe you and your husband need protection from possible impulsive choice that could endanger you. Domestic violence is very common and although it is difficult to accept the perpetrator could be your child...statistics prove that is a real possibility. I wish you luck in convincing your husband. Hugs DDD
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is no poor kid in my opinion. Well, he may have been at one time (thus reactive attachment disorder developed), but now, regardless of why it happened, he is a dangerous criminal. I'd definitely activate the alarm system whether hub likes it or not and I'd call the police on him if he takes the animals. I'm an animal lover...your little dog could have been killed because stepson let him run in the street. All I can say is, as sad as it is that it got to this point, this is no longer a safe kid and you need to protect yourself. I feel really badly for your husband, but he needs to protect his house and family and pets.
  8. tammybackagain

    tammybackagain New Member

    So sorry you are going through this, as someone who's been there done that has t-shirt YES alarm should be set, Report every attempted break in and follow through, our difficult child was not as bad but bad enough. he went to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), then Juvie, finally home at 16 and back in reg prision at 18. it took reg prison to straighten him. You must protect yourself husband and your animials. Your difficult child needs help and the more locked down he is the better to get him the help he needs.
  9. Ehlena

    Ehlena New Member

    He unfortunately does have a history of hurting animals. I don't know how bad it is, exactly. No one's actually caught him doing it. The last SW noted suspicious scratches on his arms, and he told an elaborate story that made no sense when she asked him about them. And he's told me things - about throwing a cat from a roof and putting my dog in the refrigerator.

    We did report the break in and the missing animals. We reported the last break in, too. Last time one of our neighbors saw him, so was able to identify him to police. No one saw him this time, but our neighbors know who to keep an eye out for. The former foster mother specifically requested that he not be placed in the area (he broke into her place too, and choked and threatened her son), so I don't know why they thought it appropriate for him to be here. May call her and see if he's done anything to her house too.

    The police are looking for him. He is likely looking at more time in juvie, but I don't know how long. husband took the day off, and we are working on making our place more secure. I think the only reason difficult child hesitated to break a window is because our neighbors run a day care, and they would have heard. Still trying to get husband on board with the alarm monitoring. I know he feels guilty. He feels like he should have been there more for difficult child when he was little (husband was attending college in another part of the state), that he should have known his mom was on drugs, and that she was neglecting/abusing him. And maybe things would have been different, I don't know. But husband has also done everything in his power to turn things around for this kid. I just wonder if there are some wounds that can't be healed. When difficult child was 12, his mom decided she wanted to be a part of his life again, and then he wanted to live with her (which husband said absolutely not to - he knew it wasn't safe) and she encouraged him, and things spiraled.

    I don't feel safe with him running around our neighborhood. Every time I see someone that looks like it could be him, I start getting that fight or flight reaction, even if I'm just driving down the street in my car. I don't think husband understands. difficult child is not a tiny little kid anymore. husband is much bigger than him, so maybe that's why he doesn't get it.

    We talk a lot about what a good kid he used to be, but I have worried and worked myself to the bone trying to help difficult child. This kid, who looks me in the eye and tells me he loves me, and then two minutes later is telling someone how we have abused him and calls me an "asian b---" - I don't know this kid.

    Got a good suggestion for a masterlock product that keeps people from kicking in doors. We are also looking into security cameras. Hoping the alarm system isn't a hill my husband is willing to die on.
  10. Ehlena

    Ehlena New Member

    I just wanted to say think you for the suggestions and the support. My friends are all just starting to have kids right now, and I feel like a freak show attraction next to them.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My heart is breaking for you. This sounds like a no-win situation. At this point, I guess all you can do is focus on yourself and your safety. The others here have had some good ideas. Hugs and strength heading your way.
  12. Ehlena

    Ehlena New Member

    He dumped the chickens in a neighbor's yard last night. Our neighbor was out with the dogs in her yard last night, and she said the hens were not there (and our yards are very small). Those chickens can fly maybe 3 feet high, so I know they didn't clear a 6 foot fence on their own. And their wings are clipped.

    My favorite hen is fine. The other hen was not so lucky. She's dead, and I'm not sure why. It looks like he may have snapped her neck. I'm going to check when I get home. Just hope it was quick.

    My husband is coming around on setting up the alarm. I'm just anxious, because we're both at work today, difficult child still hasn't been picked up, and I'm worried for the rest of my animals. husband doesn't get it. He said it's just a chicken. I know we weren't very fond of that hen, but it could have very well been the other one, who I raised from a chick and is essentially my pet.

    I am just angry with difficult child and angry with my husband.

    At the very least, we padlocked the gate to our backyard, and put wooden dowels in our windows. I think husband at least needs to inform the social worker about my dead hen, because I want difficult child moved out of our neighborhood, and I want that done yesterday!
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhhhh dear. I'm so sorry! And if your husband doesn't get it, he will when your difficult child raises the bar to an animal that your husband does care about. This is a huge red flag and your husband needs to get on the same page, asap! And at least he's setting up an alarm.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Omg, Ehlena. I am so, so, so sorry. But if he is already snapping the necks of chickens he is far too dangerous to live at home. We lived with a child who killed two dogs... hanging a puppy once. I tear up every time I think about it. Then he sexually acted out on my two other was a nightmare. Therapy was our life for years. Sadly, no matter how they got the way they are, by the time they turn into monsters, it is usually too late for anyone to help them. He should probably never live with you again. Warn your kids to stay away from him. (((Big hugs))). I'm so sorry.

    I would tell the social worker about the dead hen even if husband won't because killing animals is a very dangerous sign in any human being. Maybe they'll watch him more carefully if they know he is doing this. husband has to wake up!!!! If he absolutely won't, you may have to take Mr. 13 and live somewhere else further away until husband gets the seriousness of the situation.