difficult child 18 on 5/4

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MICHL, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    difficult child lives with my ex-husband (we're separated but live close by). I feel so bad for him. difficult child chose to drop out of HS last year by refusing to get out of bed or on bus... He goes several weeks even a month with no shower and doesn't brush teeth. Just today I got email telling me that in a rage demanding junk food he punched a hole in a his brand new bdrm door (replaced from previous hole). He refuses to take medications... And honestly he was the same on medications as not. diagnosis is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) but I suspect psychosis or sociopath maybe also. He just does TV or video games and eats junk food, and disrespects husband. I told husband ...57... He can't live the rest of his life like this... I made a appointment for me with counselor/Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW),not see how I can emotionally support him better. He is a really good decent Midwest type person and doesn't deserve this daily treatment.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi MICHL, I'm really glad you're going to see a counselor for yourself, it's so helpful, in my opinion, to get professional help, or really, any support you can find and feel comfortable with. This is a tough situation for parents and finding the line between enabling and love is often wrought with so much confusion and fear. Perhaps your ex husband would be willing to attend counseling either with you or on his own so he can regain his life back. Sometimes our kids issues and/or illnesses hold us hostage...........and giving up our peace of mind and our lives for them is NOT the answer, it really keeps everyone stuck in the same situation. If you and your ex husband can learn the tools to detach, you can, perhaps, provide your difficult child with a united front so you can set strong boundaries which will insist that your son find his way out of the stagnation he is presently living in. There is a good article on detachment at the bottom of my post. I wish you success and peace and send you hugs............
  3. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    Boundaries are hard to enforce with-him because he's too aggressive. Just found out he's damaged the fridge again from slamming door.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Has your husband ever involved the police? Is your difficult child violent? Is your husband afraid to set boundaries for fear of physical retaliation? I would ask the counselor what ALL the options are for getting boundaries in place for your difficult child, this sounds like a volatile situation which may escalate into something physical if left unchecked. I am here on the outside, but to me it sounds as if your husband needs to find ways to contain your difficult child and get his life back before something unfortunate happens.
  5. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I think your ex should get the police involved. Next time he damages something, he should call the police and press charges.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Welcome, and sorry you have to be here. :( But it's the best place to be if you are in the situation that you are in. I agree that your ex may want to call the police, or at least an attorney. I'd normally recommend taking the door off of his bedroom hinges, but with his punching holes in things it's only a matter of time before he hits and hurts someone and it might be the thing that pushes him over the edge. Are you certain that he has not hit your ex? You two need to be on the same page with him, or he'll never stop triangulating and running your lives.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi MICH, I am glad you and your dex can work this closely in raising your difficult child. It does sound like this is a very volatile situation for all of you at this time. He isnt a little boy anymore and being allowed to just continue to live in his cave isnt good for anyone. I do think its time to involve outside people. You have taken a good first step. Hopefully you can find out what services there are out there for young adults in your son's situation. He cannot be completely unique. Also hopefully he hasnt actually hurt your dex yet physically and your dex will be willing to get on the same page with you if you find some services.
  8. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    difficult child has scratched husband/ minor stuff. difficult child won't accept or participate in any services... I seems he's had services all his life. Nothing gets in to his brain. I mentioned that he could apply for ssi after he turns 18 and is not interested. I really don't think anything exists for him as far as services that can help or that he would participate or accept.
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good morning MICHL. Well, it appears you're pretty clear on everything difficult child will NOT do and isn't willing to participate in, yet he remains lazy, willing to drain your ex of money and energy and be obnoxious and destructive. Since he is unwilling to change, then you and your ex must make the changes for him. There may or may not be services for him, however, continuing to allow this behavior just gives him permission to be a jerk. At some point, someone will have to take a stand for themselves and do something, which sounds more and more as if it will be the police since he is combative and explosive. No one has to put up with that behavior, no one should either.

    As many of us here have found, unless WE do something, our difficult child's just remain who they have become, parasitic, manipulative, lazy people who refuse to change or get help. The sad truth is that nothing is going to change for you or your ex until you both decide that this behavior is unacceptable and you make some hard choices. It certainly is not easy, in fact, it's extremely difficult, but otherwise, you and your poor ex will sacrifice your lives for this kid, while he learns nothing but how to get his needs met by intimidation and terrible behavior. Remember, you end up living with what you're willing to accept. I hope your counselor has some insights and ideas for you. I wish you peace............
  10. RE is so right. Unless you change something your difficult child will never change. His life is working for him right now. He doesn't have to go to school, can sit around, eat junk and play video games all day. He probably thinks his life is great. The rages are for when he doesn't get what he wants. I see that he is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and ADD so his emotional maturity is probably far below his age at this point.

    There is a family in our local support group whose son dropped out of school at age 14 to play online video games. He has sat in front of a computer screen for the last 7 years 18 hours or more a day!!!! Nothing has changed. He has now developed agoraphobia (fear of being out in public) and won't leave the house hardly ever. He also rages when he doesn't get his way and has now taken to breaking windows in the home which has become unbelievably costly for his parents. He is no longer a child but has not emotionally matured at all because he hasn't been required to. And he is the size and build of a full grown man now.

    I'm telling you this because I want to give you an example of a situation in which nothing changed, nothing was done, nothing was forced on this child. I don't want that to happen to you and your Ex.

    I think getting counselling is a great first step as well as any other support group you can find. Next time he damaged the house I would call the police and press charges. It might be a wake up call for him that this is not ok. Having the police in his home might wake him up. Being charged might wake him up. Being forced into some sort of therapy might help.

    I believe that he is still a minor where you live and that as a parent you should be able to force him into some kind of treatment? I'm not sure. But if you have until he is 18 then take every moment of the next 2 years and use it to the fullest. Once he is 18 you can't force him to get any help at all.

    Hugs to you - this is hard and as parents this is the last board/forum we want to need. But the people here are wonderful and so so supportive.
  11. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    He'll turn 18 on 5/4/13
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think it sounds like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) symptoms of a moderate form of autism. If we hadn't made my son do those things, he wouldn't have. Does he have a case manager?

    Some Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids unfortunately continue to have meltdowns and get violent even when they are adults and the police don't care that they have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). If all avenues regarding his Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) have not been explored, I'd do that before involving the police because he is clearly disabled. Is he kind of all alone with no friends and just likes to play his videogames and watch TV? And not socialize?

    I'm usually hard on deadbeat kids, but have a feeling the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is either not being addressed right by husband or he is not that high functioning and he may not be able to just go out there and deal with the world. Unlike a normal child who gets into drugs and self-destructs, this kid is a victim of his disability and has been helped all his life, but I'm guessing he doesn't think hygiene or having a ton of interests are important, like typical young adults do. Not sure you can ever change that, but you can make his life richer, broader, infinitely more happy for him if you look into adult supports...they will get him a job he can do, a place he can live (maybe with adult supervision), take him on outings to force him out of the house and meet with his regularly, as needed. He is a child who was not even able to attend a regular public school. THIS kid I'd assume is doing as well as he can without the proper help at this time...good luck finding great supports for him. You should not have to take care of him all his life in 2013. You should not have to throw him out to deal with things while he has autism.
  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Is husband afraid of difficult child?

  14. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    He is sometimes fearful of difficult child due to his violent behavior. In past we've had to remove all sticks, long knives etc due to threatening behavior..
  15. Sorry MICHL - I didn't realize his birthday was approaching so quickly. I looked at your signature that said he was 16 and ignored your title. My apologies.