Sometimes, it's the little things that just push you right over that cliff. School can not start soon enough for me! difficult child was hospitalized twice in April for various reasons. (Suicide attempt, total non-compliance with his medications while at home and all of the lovely results of that action.) Once he was home from the second stay, he was.....well, not easy child but not too bad. But as the summer wore on...ugh. I'm not sure if he's gotten a lot worse with his attitude/mouth/not listening, if I've just reached my breaking point or if it's both. But I tell you what....school starts next Thursday and I. CAN'T. WAIT. Nothing we do or say is right/agreeable/intelligent or even audible apparently. Things that we've always done have been met with complete disgust and snotty arguments. Reminders of permanent, long term rules are responded to with disbelief, shock and accuations of persecution. It's like typical teen multiplied by ......what's the national debt right now? husband and difficult child went school shopping the other day. EVERY YEAR it's the same thing. The clothes are brought home and are kept in our room till the night before school starts. EVERY YEAR. This is not a new thing. If we don't, the clothes are well on their way to being stained, torn or otherwise destroyed before school even starts. husband asked for the clothes when they got home and you would have thought we were telling him he had to march naked through the middle of town. difficult child has a history of stealing. This is established and undeniable. His items of choice vary widely and can be things that would normally be stolen down to stupid little household things. This is why we have a deadbolt on our bedroom door and keep things in there that most people wouldn't consider keeping locked in their bedroom. This morning I noticed a couple of "dirty" spots on difficult child's leg. I got some story about how it was mud or clay from when he was digging for nightcrawlers with the neighbor kid. Yeah, whatever. He took a shower later but I saw the spots were still there and when I said something, difficult child just said they didn't come off. Not surprising since I'm pretty sure he doesn't use soap anywhere below the neck. But when I took a closer look I realized it wasn't dirt. It was fake tan. Actually, it was more like big drip marks from fake tan stuff. The light bulb goes off above my head so I start looking around the house. husband recently bought a can of spray on tan because he has Vitiligo. (It's where you lose pigment in your skin and have areas that are noticeably lighter than the rest of your skin.) When dressed in his work clothes (long sleeve dress shirt, tie, and dress pants) the only spots you can see are on his hands and are very noticeable as they almost completely encompass the backs of both hands. husband is very self-conscious about it and got the tan in a can to try to blend his hands a bit. In our bathroom we have a 3 level cupboard with two separate cupboards on each level. husband has one, difficult child has one, the middle ones are for towels and the bottom ones are cleaning stuff. (I don't have one anymore because I can't keep difficult child out of my stuff. I carry what I need in a tote back and forth from my bedroom to the bathroom.) Anyway, I check difficult child's cupboard and lo and behold....there sits husband's can of spray tan. Empty. When I asked him about it, I got one of difficult child's standard replies. "It was just sitting there and he never said I couldn't use it." By this time I had already texted husband and asked him if he let difficult child use it and the answer, not surprisingly, was no. When I asked difficult child if he ASKED husband if he could use it....."No but it was just sitting there." Evidently, if something is just SITTING there, it's fair game no matter what it is. Doesn't matter that we have (attempted to anyway) DRILLED into difficult child's head that if something is not his, he is to LEAVE IT ALONE!!!! Doesn't matter what it is...if it's not his, DON'T touch it. Somehow though, being told this literally hundreds if not thousands of times during the last ten years with us (and I'm sure before as he's had this issue since he was little) has had absolutely no effect. Something about that sentence just doesn't register. Because I'm stupid and think that maybe THIS time it will sink in, I start the speil yet again. Somehow, and I still don't know how, I kept from SCREAMING in his face and kept it short. I did finish off with a new one though. I asked him how he expected us to trust him with big stuff when we can't even trust him with the little stuff. Smart mouth that he is came back with, "You DON'T trust me with big stuff." I just looked at him and said, "That's why! Think about it." I have a thread up right now in the Watercooler for ideas on laundry issues with him. One of these days he's going to burn up the washer because he crams as much as possible in there. We've explained this to him many, many times. He doesn't listen. Or doesn't care, or thinks we're stupid, or, or, or, or. He was peeved with husband a week or two ago. difficult child earned about $20 for doing some things around the house and asked husband to take him shopping. difficult child was eyeing some sheet/comforter sets and asked husband to cover the difference because they were more than what he had. husband said no but that if difficult child saved the money and did some more chores, he would have enough to get a full set. OR he could just get the sheets now and get the comforter later. Nope. It was all or nothing so he bought something else. Sheets are something I quit buying him. When he was younger, he would cut them up. Literally. Now, I'll buy him sheets, they'll be on his bed for a few days...maybe a week or two, and then POOF. They magically disappear, never to be seen again. So I just don't get them for him anymore. It's not a necessity...he has a couple of comforters/blankets. He's warm in the winter so I'm not wasting the money. He's also currently mad at me because he doesn't have a belt. I warned him (emphatically) the LAST time I bought him a belt that if he cut that one up (as he's done with every single one he's had), I was NOT buying him another one. Ever. Yeah...that one lasted abour 4 days max. Then I discovered him wearing what was left as a bracelet. He claimed it tore but amazingly the "tear" was a clean, straight tear. AND it happened at what proved to be, the perfect distance from the buckle to give him enough belt to wear as a bracelet. Quite the coincidence don't you think? So....no more belts. It too is not a necessity and if he wants one, he can earn the money and buy it himself. I know I've vented about basically the same thing over and over and I'm sorry. I just need to get it out now and then or else I turn into a raving mad woman around here. I would love to have alternate living arrangements for him but there are reasons that make it not so feasible at the moment. But I tell you what....when that changes.....you all will hear my screams of delight and celebration echoing from one coast to the other!!!! I can't wait to remember what it's like to live in my OWN HOME and not worry about if I locked the bedroom door or what I left out. Imagine! Leaving your own things lying around your own home and NOTHING HAPPENS TO THEM!!!! (And how sad is it that those are my dreams???) I just wish there was some way to get this boy to "get it" or to give a rat's patootie because he absolutely doesn't. A healthy dose of reality when he's finally out on his own will go a long way, I'm sure. But right now he's living in a house owned by someone else that is filled with belongings that aren't his and it's all fair game to him. And what can I do? Press charges because he used a 3 oz can of spray tan without permission? AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH I can't even take things away from him or hold anything over his head. He's in no hurry to get his license, he does have a cell phone but he hardly uses it, he has nothing of any particular value because he's either destroyed it, lost it, or basically given it away. He has nothing. He does nothing. We have nothing to bargain with. Anyway...thanks for letting me vent.