difficult child has me on. the. edge. VENTVENTVENT...LONG

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mstang67chic, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    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." :919Mad:

    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.
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I would have lost my mind years ago. :faint:

    As for the laundry, either he can do it right or he can go to the laundrymat. And since he doesn't have a license, I guess he'll be hoofin' it there.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I put a lock on the bathroom cabinet. I had to. Or I would have had a whole lotta nothin'.

    Vent away.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Gosh, how horrible to live with! My bro was like that, but he took it even farther. He would go out driving in the country. If he saw a barn or house that looked "abandoned" he would go an walk up to and INSIDE the building. He actually took boxes of stuff from barns and old homes all around this area. He took an old dresser from a barn he decided was unused (meaning no one was in it when he was there - not that it had holes in the roof, or no roof, or was totally falling down. He refinished the one dresser to an incredible condition. A furniture dealer who bought some furniture from my mom offered her $3000 on the spot for it. But she didn't sell it because she didn't know it was stolen. she just thought my bro got it at a flea market and fixed it up. She wouldn't believe me when I said he stole it, and he told me so.

    Heck, he used to go to a seniors townhouse/apartment complex near here. It is for very wealthy people. If a door was unlocked he would go in and look for money or blank checks - with people home sleeping!!!!!

    Needless to say he has been shot at quite a few times. He even got hit with birdseed fired from a shotgun by an old man, but between the distance and the heavy duty jeans he was not sincerely hurt. I had to dig the stuff out of him or risk him hurting me. I just wished it would have hurt him more (May the Lord have mercy on me for wishing him harm but I was so afraid of what he might do to someone who surprised him on his rambles!)

    Stuff at home was also open season. One year I put hair dye in my shampoo because he always took mine instead of telling mom or I he needed more (I did most of the shopping but mom did some. All he had to do is say he needed some and he would have some the next day! Jerk!). It wasn't super obvious, but he was livid. But after he screamed at me and hit me for about an hour he left me alone and didn't take my shampoo or conditioner any more.

    I don't know how to get him to stop. Though with the laundry I think you should put a deadbolt on the laundry room and refuse to let him use it. That is far cheaper a solution than just waiting for him to ruin the machines. He can work to pay for clean laundry if you don't choose to pay for his use of the laundromat. A few times of hoofin' it to the laundry with his bags of dirty clothes will likely have him wanting a driver's license.

    Word of warning: He is so much like my bro that you should NEVER loan him a car. It will have something broken every time he uses it. My bro pushed me into letting him "use" my dryer while we lived at my parents. He stored it in his basement for me and used it. A year later my top of the line at the time dryer barely worked. Since my parents told him he could use it my dad bought me a new dryer. The old one quit 2 weeks after I got my new one. The appliance repair guru said it was destroyed because the way bro used it.

    I am SO sorry you are living with the next generation of my gfgbro! Lots of hugs coming your way! Since your difficult child is 19 he should be pushed to pay for as much as is possible. If he isn't working he should not have the luxuries of life as much as you can manage to take them away from him. Good luck, and I hope he can mature enough to move out very soon!
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    This sounds so familiar, I feel as if we are living parallel lives....

    To difficult child, there is no concept of "my things" and "your things". There seems to be only "my things" and "how come I can't have that, too?"

    If it's not a super-huge pain in the rear--you can actually put padlocks on the electrical cords of your washer and dryer. Yes, they make really expensive do-hickies designed for locking electrical cords--BUT save the money and purchase regular padlocks from Home Depot....just get the smallest size available...and thread the lock right through the holes in the prongs of the plug. You may also want to put your bathroom things in storage containers right inside your linen closet...and lock the containers, too.


  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    All I can say is Cory learned what it was like to have HIS things stolen from him when he moved out on his own. He found out it wasnt a nice feeling at all to have people take things from you. That is when he came back to us and apologized profusely. Now he wont take anything without asking first which makes us happy to give him things when we can.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    'Stang - my difficult child has never really gotten boundaries and the whole hand's off other peoples stuff concept. He's possibly a smidge better now (but is only here on weekends) but even last week, I discovered he downloaded a program onto our laptop in spite of the fact that I have told him a gazillion and one times not to. The only reason I didn't flip was because I have no nerve endings left when it comes to him. ;)

    It was always the little violations of personal belongings that sent me most over the edge. Moderate and big stuff, I kinda expect difficult child to violate - but little things??? Makes me nuts. My last blue-faced hissy screaming fit at him was because he wouldn't keep his fingers out of my candles and was making it impossible to light them because he'd shove the wick all the way down to the bottom of the jar when the wax was warm.:916blusher: Such a stupid thing for me to flip out over but... I gotta tell you, even though it's been several years, it irks me to this day that I can't have a *candle* in my home because he can't keep his hands to himself.

    I absolutely agree with flutterby that the laundromat is the way to go. If he can't use your machines appropriately, he needs to find someone else's to abuse.

    Hang in there, hon!!
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    A lot of our kids are a huge ball of chaos producing energy.
    difficult child learned a little of the more real world when he was exposed to teens who weren't quite so insulated as my little darling(sarcasm). He learned to not tell the truth, take money from the common jar, things that he liked in the house. I told him without blinking that taking things from his family is theft. I will call the police. He has no right to anything in this house unless he asks for permission or is offered to him by the owner. Me. For whatever reason that stuck. He does ask before he goes through the change jar.
    I'm sure you already did the same things. We just don't know what clicks with them or what doesn't. I did offer to steal things from him so he could understand how that feels.

    More and more I believe in supported independent living for young adults. It is probably more instructional than all the life skill lessons we try to teach.

    Vent away. It's all you can do some days.
  9. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    ME TOO!!!!! I had (well, still have, just no candles on it) a multi-candle holder that sits on the floor. The holders are of various heights and hold the round ball candles. Not ONE of them can be lit again. I have a ton of candles and candle holders......locked in my room. difficult child has even tossed candle holders because "they were just sitting there." I even have a couple of wind chimes that I don't dare hang because they have neat beads. They would be gone in an instant.
  10. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I've thought about that but I already know what would happen. difficult child has had things stolen from him by his "friends" and throws the biggest hissy fit you've ever seen. He even accuses us of messing with his stuff when he can't find something. I just tell him that I don't bother things that aren't mine and that just makes him more mad but makes me giggle. He just can't seem to or refuses to make that connection between his feelings when he's the "victim" and my feelings when he's the culprit.

    I am so glad though that I have this board to vent. The majority of my friends don't quite get how bad things are or understand the depth of the issues. I'll vent about stupid stuff like this and they can't understand why I'm so upset about little stuff.

    Thanks guys!
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I used to get SO MAD at Wiz when he would do this. It was the dumb little stuff that made me the maddest. I did steal from Wiz when he wouldn't stop. He called taking my stuff back from him "stealing" because it was then his stuff, not mine, regardless of the fact that I didn't let him have it.

    I once stopped the traffic officer outside of the elementary school and asked if she could come to the house or send another officer to talk to him about doing what we say, calling CPS on us, and having sticky fingers.

    She was awesome! TOTALLY shocked and scared him. She told him (and us) that in OK there is a law on the books that says a parent has the responsibility to use corporal punishment on children who are misbehaving. Not "can" or "has permission" but the parents HERE can get written up for NOT spanking. It isn't widely enforced, but even CPS knows this law and has to follow it.

    I would cheerfully go into his room when he is there and just take whatever strikes you fancy. Then go and destroy it and give it back. Yeah, he will ahve a cow. So what? He doesn't care if YOU have a cow, ignore him - pointedly ignore him, fix a lovely dinner just for TWO and share it while you laugh at how funny he looks while he has a baby like tantrum. It will be an ugly thing to remember, but after a few times he will at least learn to show more respect or YOU will trash HIS stuff.

    You might want to have an officer come out to explain the consequences for stealing - and that he IS stealing and as an adult the penalty is pretty severe.

    I am sorry he is such a jerk.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    OH, when he goes into the "you never" things, go into his room and say, well, I bought this and since I "never" buy you anything it must be mine. THEN TAKE IT AWAY! Do NOT give it back until he learns some lessons. If you bought his computer take it first! Make sure you lock up your computer and husband's if he has one. After a while he will start to get it that the "you never" routine just brings worse consequences.

    I would make him walk to the laundromat too. But I seem to have a lower threshold of tolerance for lots of this stuff.
  13. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    There's no way that I could take something of his, destroy it and get away with it. I wouldn't be able to bring myself to do it outside of anger anyway. Besides...he's 19 now and is a legal adult. He would have no qualms going to the police and lodging a complaint. Who knows if anything would come of it but still. He's done it before. When I was gone last weekend, husband called me from the police station. Seems that someone was in our bedroom and when husband confronted difficult child, he grabbed difficult child's arm. difficult child denied it, took off and husband went to the police to report a possible theft. He had a bit of a surprise when he got there and found difficult child there reporting HIM for assault. The officer talked to difficult child for awhile and believed that he didn't do it. But....SOMEONE was in our room, we know that much. And, difficult child is a master manipulator and can buffalo professionals. Because of all the stuff we have in our room, I only know that 2 major things we had in there were NOT taken. Beyond that, I haven't discovered yet. While it is possible that someone other than difficult child was in there, I don't believe it. husband said our door was locked but the window was unlocked. I looked at things when I got home. There were no hand or finger prints that I could see on the window, the dirt on the outside of the sill was not disturbed, I didn't see any marks on the side of the house where someone would have put their feet to boost themselves up and the main thing.....stuff that was in front of the window inside was NOT disturbed. Personally, I think husband forgot to lock the door and that fact was taken advantage of. But again, we can't prove anything and husband started second guessing himself. I don't know.....maybe I'm just so conditioned to this sort of thing that it's automatic. But I just don't believe that someone was in there and difficult child had no knowledge. Another thing that just occured to me....the dogs go nuts if someone comes to the house.....especially a stranger. difficult child would have heard them had someone had gotten in there through a window, even if it was someone we know. Not one thing was said about that and I don't think that's something that difficult child would have thought about to cover his tracks by blaming someone else. So...that's just one more thing that convinces me it was difficult child.

    As for having the police talk to him....difficult child has a juvenile record. Most of it is for theft. He's already been talked to. Numerous times. He's been in our local juvie facility (which admittedly is a cake walk) twice. Once in the "minimum" security part and once in lock down. It never really phased him. We've told him that now that he's over 18, if he gets in trouble again, he WILL go to big boy jail and we will NOT bail him out or provide a lawyer. During the room incident over the weekend, husband said difficult child was pretty scared. I don't think it was because he was innocent, I think it was because he knew if the cop didn't believe him, he was toast.

    Nothing we do will get through to him. If anything works, it's going to be a stint or two in big boy jail. He just doesn't learn any other way.
  14. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I know how this feels... And I don't have any suggestions that others haven't already made... But... [[[[[[[[[[HUGS]]]]]]]]]]!!!!!
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am SO SORRY! I cannot believe he had the nerve to go and report husband for grabbing his arm. It really sounds like it was difficult child. I tend to think you are right and he was scared because he realized that it would be real jail, not juvie stuff.

    He still lives in your home after trying to bring charges against your husband for grabbing his arm?

    I guess that is part of it that I don't get. My kids are free to report us for child abuse. But they best be sure, because there are no take-backs in my family. Not for that. They had best be ready to move to a new home. IF we hurt them, then they need a new home at least temporarily because we are not being the kind of parents we should be. If they did it to get out of something, or to have something to hold over on us, well, I won't live with them after that kind of allegation. I have seen too many lives and families ruined because some difficult child decided to work the system and allege abuse when he was told no.

    Your difficult child is 19. Does he have a plan as to where to move to? He will continue to charge you with assault to the point it damages your career and all other aspects of your life. It sounds like he left the house to go allege assault so that when husband reported the "intruder" he would already be the "injured" party. It is a good scheme to keep you and husband under control, for as long as you allow it.

    Has he refused services to help him transition into the community? What are his plans after he drives you out of your home by bringing charges that lead in loss of your or husband's jobs or both?

    I strongly suggest you and husband sit down and come to terms with what happened, how it is to be handled in the future and what will happen if difficult child brings or tries to bring charges against you or husband.

    Then you need to sit difficult child down. If he really feels in danger, then he needs to move out ASAP. You love him enough to let him go if he feels he is in danger. If he chooses to stay, you need to let him know that his residence will be gone if he tries that stunt again.

    My kids are far too afraid of what I would do to try to allege abuse. Not that i ever hurt them or ever would. Just that I am more devious than they are and will not be held over that ledge, ever.

    Many hugs and I hope that someday soon he has his own home and you can have yours all to your and husband's selfs.
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending understanding hugs your way.

    Sadly, both difficult child and easy child go through streaks on this. difficult child more so.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mine wont and wouldnt try this with us...like I told you. Cory always said he was afraid he would wake up dead...lol. That was his term. He had a good point. We live on 8 acres, most of it is swamp land. He was sent off to various placements so many times over the years that no one would think to look for him because we could just say he was gone again!
  18. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I know I'm late to this, but we have had stealing issues from difficult child 1, too. And he lies about it also. Nothing I've done so far has had much of an impact, so I think I need to exact a stiffer and immediate penalty the next time it happens (and I know it will happen again). Strangely, the stealing (as far as I know) has only happened here at home.
  19. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Gcv, I had to chuckle a bit about how your stealing only takes place at home. With difficult child, at least before he branched out some, it used to be he only stole from you if he liked you. :slap: That's the theory that one of my friends and I came up with anyway. (She was one he stole from)

    Even with his juvie record for theft, far as I know, he still hasn't stolen from a store but...like I said. That's only as far as I know. He and I were at Wallyworld once and when we walked out, the alarms went off. It turned out that something in my bag wasn't properly "deactivated" but I made difficult child walk through the sensors before we did anything.
  20. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Oh and Janet.....swamp land, huh?

    Hmmm...can I bring difficult child for a visit???? :bigsmile: