CD Parent's Worst Nightmare

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Bunny, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Maybe I'm wrong, so I wanted to ask this question here. My husband thinks that I'm nuts for having this thought go through my head. Ever since the shooting in Arizona on Saturday and all of the talk about the problems that the alleged shooter has I told husband last night that this is actually my worst nightmare for difficult child. That unless he continues on a path of getting help and being a willing participant in the process of learning how to deal with the issues that he has, my biggest fear is that some day it will be my child's name and picture splashed across every television screen and newspaper in America. Does anyone else ever worry about things like that, or is my husband right and I'm just nuts?

  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Pam - You are not alone. I had only been a member for a couple of months when Columbine happened, but I recall the board really coming together as a group at that time with a collective "There but for the grace." I know I certainly felt that thank you was capable of such an act, and continued to feel that way for many years afterwards. I don't anymore - not sure what to attribute my confidence in his safety to - treatment or time and maturity, or a combination of both, but my worst nightmare of him flipping out in the local 7-11 because they didn't have his favorite flavor of gum is no longer something I worry about.

    Thinking back over the years, I cannot recall a single family on the board who had a child who acted out as violently as the young man in Arizona. I don't know if it's luck or if it is because families were alert and advocating for their kids (I like to think it's the latter). Certainly, there have been a few kids who have had scrapes with the law and a few who have caused injury to people outside the family (my own son included), but nothing even approaching the scale of Arizona or Columbine.

    Maybe forewarned is forearmed. I think the other thing to remember is that compared to the number of people who struggle with severe mental illness, the number who really completely lose it and commit such horrific acts is quite minuscule.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You are not alone. I think Sue said it all very well.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know there were times I was very much fearful of that level of violence coming from my son. I think Sue said it very well also.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Used to but not anymore. My fear was more along the lines of the unabomber. Very scary but he has grown to be a non violent, stable adult.
  6. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I had the same fears, especially for my older difficult child. I'm not quite sure what turned him around but I no longer worry about that. Other things, maybe, but he has become a pretty stable person. But whenever I hear something like what happened in Arizona or the school shooting we had recently here, I immediately flash back to what it was like then.
    I wish I knew what makes the difference. Some kids with big problems seem to eventually find themselves and move on. Others go off the deep end. I"d like to believe it is something I did as a parent but I'm really kind of skeptical about that. Maybe it was just luck. Whatever it was, I'm thankful.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Usually, I don't worry... But every now and then Onyxx will make a comment/do something and I wonder if it's our turn for the news...
  8. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Pam, thank you for posting this.

    I think the incident in AZ touches my deepest fears. I had stomach pains during the first few days of the incident, mostly because (in my humble opinion) it was so preventable, and also because I hurt for my baby (gfg17, who had a psychotic break after his behavior escalated pretty severely -- but nowhere near level of some of the young shooters of the recent past).

    He's doing great now. But my stomach was still burning.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You're not alone at all. I said it in the thread about the shooter, that I used to watch experts in documentaries on subjects kiddo likes and think "That could be my kid one day," and now when I see news reports like AZ, the same thought crosses my mind.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Nope, you're not nuts to worry about that. I've had similar worries -- not so much that my son will develop schizophrenia and go off the deep end when he hits his 20s, but that he has inherited some of the genes that caused extended family a host of personal problems, including drug abuse, violence against others, paranoia and severe depression. It's a fine line to walk, and I'm doing eveything in my power to teach my kid the coping skills and get him the medications that will help him stay off that path. Beyond that, I don't think there's much more any parent could do.
  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I think most of us look into our children's futures and shudder at least a little bit. The unknown is scary when dealing with a typical child but scary for the parents of difficult children.
  12. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Wow! First I want to say thank you to all of you. It makes my heart a little lighter to know that I am not nuts for thinking it and that I am not the only mom of a child with a mental illness who has thought this or worried about it.

    I think that what Sue said could very well be a good point. Obviously, we have all fought for our kids to get them the help that they needed. Maybe it's the fact that we did the fighting that none of us have ever been the parent of someone accused of doing something like this. I don't know. I don't have an answer. I just know that it makes me feel a little better to know that I am not the only one.

    I do alot of cross stitching and I belong to several stitching boards. One of the boards is open to anyone and one of the members is, in my opinion, a very nasty woman who likes to point out everyone else's deficiancies, but fails to see her own. Anyway, someone posted a thread on that board stating how they felt bad for the parents of the alleged shooter and that they are praying for that family as well as for the families of the victims and this woman posted to the thread that what happened was all the fault of the parents because they didn't make their son get help. I guess it just bothered me. I get crazy when people say, "blame the parents" because maybe, just maybe, the parents did all that they could, or all that they knew how to do, and it still wasn't enough. If that were my son, would it be all my fault, knowing that I have done everything that I have been asked to do in order to help him? I don't think so, but I know there would be people out there who would have no problem saying, "it's the parents' fault."

    Sorry. I just re-read what I wrote. I don't mean to get preachy. My fingers just got away with me.

  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you, JJJ. That's a good piece.
  15. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Those parents here whose difficult children are so unstable, in such a state of disconnect that they use physical aggression/violence are terrified of just this situation. AND we have fought as the mother in the article JJJ posted.

    Bunny, it is what it is. When all is said & done once our difficult children reach the age of reason (supposed 18) we have little choice or influence in continuing treatment. It's a sad reality that all of those institutions that were closed in the 60's & 70's are sorely needed just because of the number of untreated mentally ill on the streets.

    We're all fearful. In the long run I've prepared for the worst & have prayed for the best. That's all that I can do.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know I used to worry but now I have a theory. Everyone wants to point fingers and say that its the "special needs kids" or the kids on drugs (IE medications) who do these things. I dont think so. I think its the ones who dont get identified. The kids who are never referred for any evaluations because they keep to themselves. Our kids have psychiatrists and tdocs and every kind of doctor under the sun. Our kids have a hard time missing the bus much less planning Columbine.
  17. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Janet, that made me laugh becuase it is so true! If difficult child thinks he's going to be late it absolutely throws him into a tailspin!!

    JJJ, thanks for posting the link to that article. I feel for that mother. She tried to do what she could for her son, but in the end he became a legal adult and made the wrong choices. It's sad.