Crazy thoughts, needing some guidance from experienced parents!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Blueknight, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Blueknight

    Blueknight New Member

    Hi again all,

    I posted awhile back about my son, who lives with his mother in another state (12yo boy). He is in a special needs school for education, had a normal IQ, but has OCC, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), Depression/Anxiety issues. He is currently on Zoloft, Guanfacine, Adderall, and Abilify. He lives with his mother full time, visiting me twice a year for about a month. For brevity on background, he was involved in sexual activity (touching of my niece) and his visits are tough as we have to watch him like a hawk around my other small children.

    So to my question: I have issues with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in that I dread the worst of all possible situations. The recent school shooting probably did not help with my ongoing thoughts. My son has made violent threats around his mother about other kids, his mom, and hurting himself. This often happens when he is not getting his way with something (as opposed to out of the blue). Maybe because I am more sensitive to the subject, I see a lot of media reports on kids killing their parents or family members. So yes, I have media overload of information on these types of cases.

    My problem is that while he and I have a distant relationship, I often worry and fear about the future: how he will be, will he hurt someone, will things ever get better for him...etc. I wonder if these are thoughts from me having Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), common thoughts for parents with troubled kids, or what..!

    I'm relatively new to the research and reading on kids with issues, because like I said he lives with his mom most of the time. When he visits, the only troubling things he does is cuss a lot, throws fits when disciplined, and for sure wants things his way. I feel lack of empowerment over the whole situation since he lives far away.

    Another question: I am bombarded with negative visions of how he may turn out. It seems to me he is on a lot of medications and I wonder if he isn't rolling through as a zombie for now, and when he is an adult he pushes away the medications and goes off the deep end. In your guys opinion/experience, have you seen many kids who have these problems grow up to be okay adults? (I know tell me the future!) A friend of mine told me to start assuming he will turn out great and to stop focusing on the negative, but obviously when you have thoughts of your little kid growing up to be a psycho killer it doesn't help the negativity go away.

    Thanks for any feedback and happy holidays :choir:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As you figured, we have no idea how he will turn out. We don't know his history, what may be wrong with him that isn't caught yet, if he is getting better or worse, what his home life is like, etc. etc. etc. Most kids do not turn out to be killers, that much is true. If he has already sexually acted out on niece, he probably has done so on other kids isn't a good sign. I hope he is getting very good therapy with Mom and that she takes his issues seriously. Since you don't have him very often, there isn't a whole lot you can do except watch your younger kids like a hawk when he is around and I'd also be very careful of him with your pets.
    None of us, however, have crystal balls, about your son or ours either. Good luck :) Don't worry because it won't help! I doubt the medications will make him a killer either, but it is impossible for us to say he may be on too many medications because we know very little about him. I do think that since you have younger kids, if you have ever thought of getting custody of him, you probably shouldn't. JMO
  3. Blueknight

    Blueknight New Member

    Thanks MidwestMom, I did cover more of a history a few months ago and you helped me out through that. (which covered the custody issue;)

    To clarify maybe, since I do understand, unfortunately, that you can't tell me the future, I am just wondering if other parents have these thoughts? Maybe it is because I'm not around him enough to get that 'feeling' that he isn't headed down that path. By the way, to make matters worse, I work in LE and have dealt with mothers killing their children, homicides, and numerous child abuse type cases. So I live in a negative work world to start off. Which is also why I don't 'see or hear' of the success stories or positive outcomes of children with issues.

    Then again, maybe I need medications to stop me from thinking too much :imok:
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Blueknight - you are definitely not the first nor the last parent to have these thoughts. My difficult child was extremely violent both at home and in various RTCs. I can't say I ever really worried about him killing anyone in his immediate family (though my mother, who lives in a different state, was terrified that he would come after her - not sure why, but she was really very scared of him). We had safety plans for every one in our home, had altered the environment (knifes/sharps locked up, nothing purchased without considering it's use as a weapon - like lamps, furniture, toys, etc.), and at the time I felt confident in my ability to prevent him from getting past me (I was an invincible mom). But also, he left for his first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) at age 9, and was home for a grand total of about 6 months after that up to age 18.

    Did I worry about him hurting someone in the community as an adult? You bet. My biggest fear was that something simple and innocuous would set him off and he'd unleash his wrath. He did injure a teacher, and I'm certain gave staff members a lot of bites and bruises over the years, but to the best of my knowledge, he pretty much quit going after people around age 17.

    I can't say medications ever really toned him down a lot, but he did go off all medications at 18 and ... while it was a hairy couple years after that, I don't think he was a danger to the community. To himself? Yep. To others? Not to my knowledge (but he wasn't living here then). During that time period, the best case scenario in my mind was he'd end up in jail, worst was that we'd be getting a call to come and identify his body.

    Your son is 12, really still a baby, with a whole lot of learning and maturing left to do. I understand your fears and, in my experience at least, I think they're normal for a parent of a violent kid. I mean, really - you can only go by what your son has shown you thus far, and it's scary.

    In my son's case, I think developmentally he was lagging a couple years. When he hit 18, we refused to allow him to come home (long story, but basically he thought he could just wait us out, not work his treatment plan, and then come home at 18). I don't know all the details of his life after that, but there were drugs, a lot of nights living on the streets, eating at shelters, etc. The end result though was that at age 20 the light bulb finally went on and he started living within the rules (for the most part) rather than expending so much energy to try to get around them. Today he's in college, living at home, and is virtually unrecognizable as the same kid who was so uncontrollable 10 years ago.

    I think he still has some mental health issues, but one thing that actually did work was years and years of therapy. He's extremely insightful and is (for now) managing both his anger and depression without medications or therapy (though no question I think he would benefit from both). I do not worry about him being safe in the community.

    I think you have to listen to your gut today in terms of safety issues. Don't make items that can be used as weapons easily available to him. But I don't think it's necessarily an indication of how your and his life will be in 10 years from now. I really can't emphasize enough that age 12 is still so young emotionally - he's got a lot of cooking to do.
  5. I have those thoughts too. I have had them for years. They keep me up at night sometimes. Last Friday did not help.
  6. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Blueknight- It must be very hard to work in that kind of environment when you feel things so excessively. I have always had the fear of (since difficult child here is only violently aggressive at home) is for his future wife/children. That is enough to keep me up at night.
  7. Blueknight

    Blueknight New Member

    Yes the job doesn't help. Dealing with others problems, or dark times along with your own is tough.

    Sometimes I think I just get a bad take on how he is doing. His mother, in the past, has only told me about how he has messed up or done something bad. I don't hear about the times that he is doing anything good, which I assume he has to do something right! When he comes for visits, aside from some temper issues and cursing, he has not gotten physically violent or destroyed anything while around me.

    A friend told me today that I need to start thinking about a better future outcome for him, like going to college and getting a good job. Instead, I tend to envision the worst possible outcome and dwell on it. I understand that there are a huge amount of kids out there with mental health issues and they don't end up doing these horrible things.

    I think these forums need a success story *aka* Happy Endings section! I appreciate all the feedback and thanks slsh for the input. I do need to remember he is still a young kid, has a lot of growing to do, and hopefully with benefit from his numerous therapy sessions. The info on your 20y/o helps people like me to be hopeful of a good future. Thanks again!
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I know you were partly joking about the medications for yourself... but many of us have needed our own therapist to help with the stress of difficult child kids - and your job is stressful besides. It doesn't hurt to seek help for yourself or at least explore options.
  9. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome back.

    I also always envision the worst case scenario in many situations, not only difficult child-related. I think I do this to mentally prepare myself (as if) should the worst happen. I was completely blindsided by my difficult child once, and I am always on high alert ever since. I don't think that ever completely goes away, even if/when the difficult children straighten out - we are always waiting for the other shoe to drop - it's an occupational hazard.

    Individual therapy has helped, and so has talking things out here and with husband. It's a reality check and it's been so helpful. With your job and everything that goes along with it, you may want to consider talking things out - it's very important to take care of yourself.
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Blueknight, I just wanted to say I read your post and I'm glad you're here. Others have given you wonderful advice. What I know from myself and what I read here is that our kids behaviors can put us through so much that often we require outside professional support so that those anxieties, fears, sorrows and angers don't overtake our lives. Given your profession and even your gender, seeking help may not be within your usual frame of reference, however, for me, it made a world of difference. Sitting in a support group listening to others recount a similar scenario, or have a therapist offer options, insights and compassion, or listening to other parents offer their stories of success or even failure, was a tremendous help to soothe my aching heart and give me strength and the resolve I needed to motor on.

    There is an organization called NAMI, (national alliance on mental illness) which has chapters everywhere and it is a valuable resource for parents. It offers parent groups and loads of information. Armed with information it's easier to understand our kids behaviors and find our own comfort level within the strange landscape we find ourselves in. At the very first NAMI parent group I attended I recall taking a deep breath and thinking to myself, 'these folks know what I'm going through, the Social Workers and all the other parents, they really get it.' That was a stellar moment for me; to be in the presence of understanding and compassion was amazing.

    It must be very difficult when your work puts you in the position of keeping the public safe and then wondering if you can keep your son safe or those around him safe from him. And add the fact that you're so far away and powerless in many ways, that would keep me up at night too. What a conundrum. My heart goes out to you.............
  11. tammybackagain

    tammybackagain New Member

    BlueKnight, husband and I were both in EMS when difficult child was growing up we did see the worst. you did ask if they ever straighten up? Well my difficult child is a proud Daddy (although 4 moms) He works and is planning on going back to Chef school, I do still see the difficult child in him at times but it's so much better. I was like you always thinking the worst and waiting for that call, think sometimes I still do, also everytime I see something bad happening in his city I look to see if it could be him.
  12. Blueknight

    Blueknight New Member

    After events last year, I did start seeing a counselor for some of the issues. This is where I found out that I probably I'd say do have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). For the most part, I decided to go the natural route to deal with stuff. I ordered a library of books on anxiety/depression and tried several steps in those. Also during my very high stress time last year, my doctor prescribed some zoloft which I never took. It gets difficult in my line of work to take stuff that I'm worried will alter my 'response' level. Looking back however, I see that throughout my life I've had a lot the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). So I guess medications maybe should be considered. From what I see here, several parents have had the same thoughts, but with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) it is repetitive, long lasting, and tough to shake out. I was probably just looking for one of you to say "Oh ya, I had that problem, I started popping zoloft and the world is wonderful now :flirtysmile3:!

    Thank you all for your understanding. I'm not looking for sympathy but it does get a bit old worrying about the drug dealer you just busted coming to hurt you or your family, trying not to get shot at work, and then the future possibility of your kid going after your family.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) too and panic disorder (among other things). I thought my drug abusing daughter would end up in jail or dead. She did neither. She quit and has been in one relationship for ten years, has her own home, went to culinary school and is a Pastry Chef (making pretty good money too!) and is a wonderful young adult. I never dreamed it would work out so well and I worried myself sick over nothing. It's hard not to, but in retrospect I wish I had stayed more in the present and not projected into the future so far. I was 100% wrong. Your son may really surprise you!!! Stay positive; never give up hope. I am currently helping myself through dialectal behavioral therapy, that I wish had been around long ago. Originally it was for people with borderline personality disorder, but it's being used for everything now. I like the part about in the present...and how to stay there. Here is a link. Maybe it will help you. I have to read it over and over again!
  14. Blueknight

    Blueknight New Member

    Thanks Midwestmom, and to all, for your help. It helps a TON to see others going through or gone through the same thing and that their kids have turned out okay. I also looked at the mindfulness site and it has a lot of great info!
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Ours is a success story. My difficult child was 11 when troubles began. He started withdrawing and no one could figure out why. He couldn't go anywhere even if it meant going to get Legos. He was unable to go to school so I went with him. We didn't last the whole day. He started having medical complaints.... Not able to breath, chest pains, headaches, ect. His doctor was stumped with advise of, "umm, I don't know but I think this is anxiety. Here is Zoloft to try." I was not going to give my son Zoloft on a "I don't know, I think" so we continued on our path. With a referral to another doctor, my difficult child was told that all his concerns would be looked at however it does appear to be anxiety and was referred to a therapist. While waiting for that appointment., self harms as well as thoughts of harming others (mainly mom) started to grow. He battled those thoughts. The worst moment being his body wanted him to jump from the 3rd floor of the Mall of America. I insisted his therapist appointment get moved up. After our first visit which is an orientation that gives all our options sitting on the 5th floor with difficult child cowering because his body wanted him to jump from the windows and he was fighting the urge, we got to the car and difficult child asked to be taken to the phospital. He couldn't take it anymore. He returned to school with tools to use when his anxiety peaked. However, by this time, his very small class and school had already formed that year's bonds and difficult child felt left out. He became very angry and with a strong sense of right and wrong took it upon himself to dole out discipline to those not following rules both academically and socially. He didn't want those reactions. One of the medications he was on became a disinhibitant finding him disrespecting authority. His teachers knew him well and knew that the person he was that year was not the person he really was or wanted to be. Their faith in him helped so much. They were on his side, rooting him on and recognizing the positive goals. I am not much into discipline the way some people wanted. I do a lot of talking to explain and explore what happened and what better options there could have been. He has come now to the point that anxiety medications are working well. He is an incredible young man at 16 years old. I credit it all to him because he wanted to change. I showed him that he could be the person he wanted to be and he took all the tools given to him and worked his program well. Those super dark years I did have thoughts of a life ruined with no hope what-so-ever of not becoming a prisoner by the time he graduated. All through it, I told him that he had the power to become whatever type of person he wanted. Because you don't see your son that often, you can be a positive source in his life. Have "man to man" talks with him to find out how he handles different things in his life. Help him to look for positive outcomes of challenges he may face. Your son is facing the hard path of over coming sexual behaviors so tools he needs will be different then the ones my son needed. Since you may not have much say in therapy all you can do is support him when you do have him. Whatever time you can give to be with him will do wonders. If he can start looking forward to visits with you, maybe he will keep a line of communications open with you. I often wonder if those who do these awful acts felt they had someone to turn to or did they feel a lone in this world? I am so blessed that my son was able to confide in me or we would have had a different outcome. It is very scary those dark moments. We did have to hid sharps (at his request because of thoughts of stabbing). I hope his mom has him in therapy. I hope he takes ownership in a program to become the person he wants to be. I figured out that my son was worried about how he would support a family. I explained to him that it is a process. He was 11 years old. His years of school will make him ready, college will secure his ability. One step at a time and that is what he has done. Every kid is different. I hope you find what will work for yours.