Can I survive another second?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by janique, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. janique

    janique New Member

    :twister2:We adopted a 2 (now 3 year old). Things with him were not normal, but we kept thinking that he was this way because of his past. A year later, my life has become so impossible that I wonder if I can through another second of the day. I've never seen a child so aggressive and so demanding and so ..... determined. My husband said, "I don't can't figure out how come I have to come home from work because you can't handle a 2 year old!" I was devistated by his statement and just kept thinking I needed to try harder, be more of everything to this child. Now I am at the point of hitting the wall. I sat down with a counselor and just poured out my heart and my daily experience with my son. The fighting and hitting and screaming from the moment he wakes up until he goes to bed. The fact that I can't even run a simple errand to the store because he is so out of control. For the first time, the counselor said she understood. We worked together and got a child psychiatrist involved. He has Conduct Disorder, non specified at the time. They gave me medication because his behaviors were so constant and extreme. I haven't started the mediccation yet as it frightens me to put a 3 year old on psychiotics. But I need help. I need to find some support. I need to find some answers. I need suggestions on how to help teach him to control himself. I need wisdom. I need courage. Anyone out there able to help? Anyone want to help walk me through this so that I can give this little boy the best chance at a normal and functional life -- and still stay sane myself. What are you all doing to find support? I find I've very isolated, because of my son's behavior - my friends simply don't get it and how bad it is. I would love input, and direction, goals, motivation, help . . . . Have any of you ever found local support groups? Does anyone know if they exist or how I would find them?

    Pleasing ---- Janique
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi - and welcome! I'm glad you found us, but sorry you had to...

    I don't have a lot of experience with really young ones, but honestly, I wanted to say hi. I know someone will appear that does!

    In the meantime - what medications/dosages did they prescribe? And... Was it on the basis of a single visit, or more...? You said you knew there were issues - what kinds of issues?


    Now, as for your husband - does your son act up only when he is not there? If he does, that would explain why your hubby doesn't understand. Trust me - there are times with my two that BOTH husband and I have had to be there. And trying harder doesn't always work with our difficult children - sometimes, it just makes us feel nuts, and useless.

    Also...More background if possible? I know that will help others here.

    More {{{{{HUGS}}}}} - I know it's not easy. I wish I had a magic wand or at least some answers. But welcome!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have adopted four kids. You need to give us more information. I would seriously fire the psychiatrist who gave him the CD diagnosis...what a cop out for such a young child. Likely much more stuff is going on than that.

    Was your child exposed to drugs or alcohol before he was born? If so, that can and often does cause permanent brain differences. Alcohol use, in particular, can cause fetal alcohol spectrum, which is organic brain damage causing unstable and aggressive behaviors. Often fetal alcohol spectrum children do not understand right from wrong and have no impulse control. It is not their faults.

    Are the birth parents mentally ill? If so, their genes can be passed on. I'm assuming something is wrong with them for your son to end up in foster care. Although you are raising him is DNA is 50/50 (birthmom/birthfather).

    It is not uncommon for adopted kids to be whirlwinds of confusing behaviors, especially if they were substance exposed AND thrown around a lot in their infancy. There are some things you can improve and some things you can't, depending. What you really need is a Psychiatrist who understands adopted children who may have been substance abused. I also think a neuropsychologist evaluation will help you immensely. Or a developmental pediatrician. Sounds like this child belongs in Early Education (not the only solution, but one of them). My now seventeen year old son, who came to us at two, started Early Education at three and had help way before that (when he had been in foster care). The difference in how he is vs. how he COULD have been is like night and day. I suggest aggressive help for your child because he is going to need it. I joined a special needs adoption support group w here people at least understood and some had good advice and resources.

    The best sanity advice I can give you is to not take his behavior personally or as proof that you are a bad parent. You aren't. You inherited a child with a ton of issues that NOBODY could deal with. You are doing as well as anyone could.
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Janique! Welcome to the crowd! No, No, No! You're not a bad parent. If you were a bad parent, you'd be blowing off the behavior and letting get away with anything he wanted to shut him up!

    There are a lot of us on here that have been or still are dealing with a lot of the same kind of things. Early intervention is key and that's what you're looking for.

    Conduct disorder diagnosis's are a cop out for a 3 year old. For pete's sake, he's just a little guy. I have to agree with Midwest Mom about a developmental pediatrician. What type of medications did the psychiatrist prescribe for him?

    I would suggest a full allergy panel be done on him as well. While you may have a lot of information on the birth parents, you may not have info. regarding the little things. I'd make sure that there wasn't something organic interfereing with his behavior.

    Quick question: have you noticed anything different in regards to his development. How's his eye contact with people he knows, but doesn't see all the time (therapists, neighbors, relatives that he sees once in a while)? Does he have what I call "itchy tag syndrome" (can't stand the feel of a tag on his shirt?)? Sounds that freak him out or smells that make him nautious or uncomfortable? Does he line up toys or only play with a certain type (like trucks vs. blocks)?

    Don't feel bad - we're here to help you stay strong and help out (our sanity for everyone here has been on the edge more than once!) :imok:

    Talk to you soon (the Weeble just dumped the salt shaker all over the dining room!)

  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome!

    Count me as another vote to fire that psychiatrist. Conduct Disorder for a three year old???? Ridiculous!

    You need to find a doctor that will spend some time getting to the root of that child's issues - and as has been mentioned already, as an adopted child there may be many, many issues inherited from or caused by the birth parents. Drug/alcohol abuse, poor pre-natal care, heriditary conditions, etc...

    You need a better "picture" of what is happening with that little boy before you know what the correct treatment should be. I, too, would hold off on the medications until a more thorough and accurate diagnosis is made.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Without knowing what the doctor prescribed I cant give you any idea about whether to give it to your son or not. I do know that CD is a mighty big label to hang on a very little boy. If the doctor just said he has one of a myriad of conduct disorders, well that might be more apt. Lots of things can fall under that label. Most all of the stuff we see here basically falls under that label in one form or another.

    See if you can find a childen's hospital or a developmental pediatrician or a neuropsychologist who can do a more thorough evaluation on the little guy. There is something going on there that is causing him to act this way. Its not because he wants to be a little terror or that you are not parenting well. There is a reason. You just have to find it and that can take time. You may want to consider that medication if it can give him some relief from the craziness because I am pretty sure he isnt happy right now either. That is up to you.
  7. alg

    alg New Member

    Janique --
    I have a 3 year old daughter who is VERY similar in behavior to your son.
    I obviously won't have time to write to you until she's in bed, but I WILL respond to this thread as soon as I have a chance.
    I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I have different things to say/ask than the other posts here (although I love this community & value ALL their input).
    Please check back on this thread tonight/tomorrow. I would love to talk with you.
  8. alg

    alg New Member

    Hi, Janique --

    I wanted to wait to reply to your post until I had time to really respond to what you said.
    I have a 3-year-old daughter who is suffering from a very similar disorder as your son. As of right now, she has been diagnosed with both Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified and Disruptive Behavioral Disorder. They need to do more observation to determine the severity of her conditions, but DBD is the general heading under which Conflict Disorder is categorized. And my daughter displays all of the same physically violent behaviors you described in your son. Frankly, I think she's going to end up with a "Conflict" diagnosis. She doesn't seem able to stop herself from hurting people/destroying things. The scariest part? She actually seems to enjoy it & find it funny.
    Every day, every minute is a fight with her. Every meal, every bath, every diaper change. (She has adamantly refused to potty train, preferring instead to throw her potty at me.) She screams, kicks, spits, hits, scratches, bites & throws things. All. Day. Long. She has injured me more times than I can count. Once she pulled an earring out of my ear. Another time, she literally tried to claw my eyes out. When she gets really mad, she runs at me with her mouth open and an EVIL look in her eye, trying to bite my face. It's like being attacked by a zombie. I literally flinch now when she moves around me. I tiptoe around the house when she's finally focused on the TV like an animal trying to avoid it's predator, desperate for a moment where I'm not in physical danger.
    I feel like I'm in an abusive relationship. And it's not like I can "leave" her, the way I could leave a spouse or friend if he/she was treating me this way. In fact, no matter how awful she is to me, I need to be doubly wonderful to her, doubly supportive. Because I am her mother. If I don't love her unconditionally, WHO WILL? I can't subject my child to a life of wondering when her mother will finally give up on her. So I will never give up on her. No matter what. I just have to endure it.
    So... I know how you feel. I know exactly how you feel.
    That said, some things you mentioned really hit a chord with me. One was about how your husband couldn't understand why he had to come home from work because you couldn't deal with a 2-year-old. And how that sentiment made you feel about yourself.
    I've had the same issue with my husband. He is a chef and until recently, worked a 70-hour week. So I was the only one dealing with my daughter. Almost always. With no breaks. No sick days. No help.
    Well, it has gotten so bad with my daughter lately that my husband was actually FIRED because of our issues at home. I felt SO responsible. I felt like the biggest failure of a wife/mother in all of history. And I felt like I'd completely harpooned our whole future by not being able to handle everything alone.
    And even as guilty and worthless as I felt, the very first thing that occurred to me when I heard he had lost his job was, "Thank God I don't have to be alone with my daughter anymore." Which started another spiral of self hatred. I mean, what kind of mother thinks something like that, right?
    Well, after spending some actual time around his daughter, my husband finally started to come around. He finally saw for himself the things I was telling him about her behavior. He finally realized that I wasn't just making mountains out of molehills. He finally dialed in. I still haven't gotten an apology for him doubting me, but at least I don't feel completely alone in this struggle anymore. And that's huge.
    Of course, I'm not suggesting that your husband quit his job. That's not realistic. But maybe you can find ways to leave him ALL ALONE with your son for significant stretches of time (a little longer each time). I know it'll probably be as hard for you as it was for me. I felt nervous, guilty and selfish at first when I'd leave my husband alone with my daughter at first. (While he was unemployed.)
    I was SURE something bad would happen. And then THAT would be my fault.
    But instead, something good happened. My husband gained some very, very necessary respect for what I'm going through. Frankly, that insight alone probably saved our marriage. Because up until then, we were living in the same house, but leading two entirely different lives. We couldn't relate to each other's day to day existence. We were starting to drift apart. And with a child like ours, it's absolutely imperative that we stick together.
    Because her illness could kill us. Literally.
    So, as INCREDIBLY HARD as I know it is, try not to just take all the blame on yourself. And definitely don't let your husband get away with disavowing his responsibility for sharing the parenting load.
    Of course he'll get in trouble if he has to come home during work hours to deal with his son -- that's how society functions. BUT HE DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO NEGLECT HIS DUTY AS A PARENT JUST BECAUSE HE HAS A JOB. No parent in the world has that right. And especially not the parent of a special-needs child. Your husband has to find a way to be just as involved in raising your son (no matter what the hassles) as you are. If he can't understand that, show him where BOTH of your signatures appear on your son's adoption papers.
    And don't ever forget that YOU are working your ass off, too. And for a much more demanding boss than I bet your husband has!
    OK... so... sorry. I didn't mean to rant. I just know what you're going through and I know how easy it is to take all of the pain, worry and fear entirely onto your own shoulders in a situation like this. And that isn't healthy for anybody in the long run. Especially you.
    I've got to run now. I wish I had more time, but I just got my daughter to bed & I still have laundry/dishes, etc. to do before I can actually try to relax for a few minutes before collapsing into bed (and trying not to cry, because I know I have to do it all over again in the morning).
    But I do have more to say, believe it or not. I relate to many other things you said, besides just the husband thing.
    I hope I've helped even a little -- maybe just knowing that there's somebody else out there going through the same thing helps? I know it helps me. And I'd really like to talk to you more. If you'd like to talk more with me, please reply through this thread. If I don't hear from you, I'll understand. But I hope I do.
    Hang in there. One day at a time.
    -- Amy
    PS -- In case you wondered, my husband is now delivering pizzas so he can be close to home & stop by when he's needed. It's incredibly hard making ends meet financially, but at least I finally feel like we're all in this together.
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello Janique. I am new here too and absolutely not an expert but... my gut feeling on reading your story - just my instinct, for whatever it is worth - is that your son's behaviour is related to his past history... Have you read "The Primal Wound" by Nancy Verrier? I think it's an important read for anyone who adopts (I have an adopted son also). There is something called reactive attachment disorder and I think it may be worth while your investigating this. Look up a website of something called the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) Consultancy. Not that I particularly want to give them an advertisement because they seem very focused on making money but the basic thesis seems sound... My own 20 cents worth - and others may well disagree - is that you should indeed not give such drugs to a 3 year old unless as an absolute last resort - until all else has been tried and failed. There is such a lot of energy and life behind your son's protest and anger... I know how very hard and soul-destroying it must be to live with . But i feel sure, at my gut level, that if you could get the right help his pain could be slowly transformed... I hope this is of some tiny help.
  10. death-diver

    death-diver New Member

    I have 2 BOYS 1 is 6 and the other is 4 almost 5 ... the oldest went to the meyers center (tc chidren's hospital) I was told he had a speach something or other (he hears but does not comprehned ) and a behavioral problem that only is ODD or CD ... my other son is fixing to be seen because he is worse then the oldest (if you can imaagine worst then what you are going through) besides seeing my kids in your post my younest tell detailed graphic stories about how and who he is going to hurt .. this has gone on for aout a year and 1/2 with about 6 months of not doing it it started back up and this time is taking it to school with him even after telling him a billion and one times we dont talk like that ..... yeah i totally understand the frustration and everything The oldest's 1st behavior theropest Cused him out like he was a 15 year old just stole 3 cars calling him a little S and a little F ( with the words) and told him he was going to jail by the time he was 10 so I found a different theropist and SHE YELLED at me like it was 100% my fault he was ODD I have done my homework al the very most enviroment is like 15% but that is for my house because I live with in laws who show my sons I DONT MATTER, "THEY DONT HAVE TO LISTEN TO MOMMY" infact a few days ago the hubby's father came slamming through the door FROM the garage and yelled at me "Who the H do you think you are telling telling these kids what to do?" I replied "THEIR MOTHER" then he said "B.S." i told him "iF I am not thier mother then Y am I here?" when he gets mad at me he yells and it has turned into him hurting ME 4 times now i finally called the cops because my husband does not stop him and then acts like i over exagrated how bad he hurt me.... YEAH 15% enviroment but NO way am I takeing 100% of the blame .... some phsyciatrist also told me they have a touch of adhd ... i told him if they cant have that because they can turn it on and at their will .... anyway the other 85% brakes down to mental issues with my husbands MOTHER and there is GOT TO BE SOMETHING PHYSICALLY wrong that noone is takeing a look at... I am not happy with just having tell me my sons are mental ... I dont know what it could be because I dont know how or what to tell a dr to look for i know its NOT toretts or down syndrom I dont have a clue if it might could be a high funtioning autistic the myers center didnt say anything about anything other then what he diagnosed 1 of the 2 (they cant see the other one untill I get a refural and his Pdr said no BASICALLYdidnt just come right out and say no but said his development looks good and in normal range for his age group ....i WISH I was like you and not start my sons on the medications they were proscribed my oldest had to go to the ER 2 days after taking the 1st pill and now is ahving breathing problems from the 2nd one (he already has asmha) and the nebulizer did not stop his coughing so I knew it was not an atack because that thing never has NOT WORKED FOR HIM and the 2 child is on a CONTROLED SUBSTANCE at 4 who knows what kind of problems that is going to show up soon ..... I wish I would have kept to my guns and only have them see doctors that CANT prescribe medications but all thous doctors said they NEEDED to be and I believed them because of how bad I get hurt by them BOTH at the same TIME. I just wished there was a real formal "TEST" I or they could do like a heartatack is read by the ekg and a cat scan is for the brain if they bump it too hard .. not just talk to me for 30 mins and say here is a medication we can try.... I talked to a lawyer about the time I had to RUSH my son to the ER and she told me because he is a mental type dr he does not have the same malpractice laws as a regular dr .... he is allowed to make my son a ginny pig and ddo basicaclly whatever to him as longas it does not have a PREMENT EFFECT I said so basically he has to KILL my son before I can sue him she told me saddly but yeah pritty much how it works .... & even then they can get out of it because its too hard to diagnose the exact thing he may have because its all mentally not "physically" like a broken arm