difficult child in neighbor's closet (long)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    This a.m., difficult child asked if he could run around the neighborhood and see who's home. He knows his two friends, S. and D., are at camp, so he said he wanted to see if they were home yet. I said okay.
    He came back within 10 min. and asked me to drive him to a diff friend's house.
    We got in the car, and halfway there, husband called and said that easy child was trying to get a hold of me; difficult child had been caught in the neighbor's closet.

    This is a neighbor for whom easy child babysits, so difficult child has been over there many times.

    I made U-turn, with-difficult child already shaking and in tears, and I was intending to drive straight to their house, but easy child called and said that the mom had already left for work.

    We drove home and easy child gave us the mom's cell ph #. We called her and she was very nice.
    She said she'd come home to change b4 work, and thought a cat was in the closet and she was alarmed when she saw difficult child there on his hands and knees. (I would have had total heart failure!)
    difficult child told her (and us) that he was looking for an antique toy car of his grandfather's (yeah, right, in the mom's closet?)
    She was very sweet and understanding and told difficult child he couldn't come over when they weren't home.

    During this ph conversation, easy child came up to me, in tears, and whispered, "None of that stuff downstairs in the folded laundry is mine. One of those panties is S's--(the 14-yr-old girl she babysits for) and I think the rest are her mom's."

    So, I'd spent 1/2 hr folding someone else's panties today???

    I did not tell the mom that. She was driving on the freeway and I didn't want to freak her out.
    Plus, I didn't know for sure whose they were (except that after I looked, they were not easy child's size). difficult child could not have taken then and run them through the laundry in 1/2 hr. He had to have had them much earlier. Like, wks ago. Or even a day ago.

    by the way, difficult child snuck into their house last mo and was viewing porn sites. He did it at our house and we lectured him on computer viruses and inappropriate viewing and I created a password. So that simply drove him to seek the websites elsewhere.

    So this neighbor was doubly sweet, given that this is not the first time difficult child has snuck in there.

    She won't be so nice when she discovers difficult child's got a boatload of her Victoria's Secret panties.

    My guess is that difficult child brought them along to camp, since they came out of the same load his sleeping bag was in.

    After the ph call, he blew up. Trashed his rm., screamed yelled, roared, you name it.

    I was distraught and confused, so called our child psychiatric. He's out of the ofc for the rest of the wk and the msg says to go to the emergency rm. Arrrgh! NOT a good option.

    I called a guy friend (husband was swamped at work and with-patients). By the time my friend got here, difficult child had calmed down and wanted to talk.
    So my friend (he's the bipolar one, and I wanted his opinion, not to mention he's a big person in case difficult child got really crazy. His opinion was that he didn't really think the tantrum was bipolar but pointed out that there is a hypersexual component to bipolar, and difficult child could have a very mild case. He also said we need to calmly but firmly tell difficult child that people will call the police next time and he's got to know how serious this is.) He hung around and did handyman work while difficult child and I talked on the steps outside. difficult child was sobbing and sweating and ready to throw up. He apologized for all the times he'd lied about being on porn sites, stolen easy child's panties and stolen a friend's Ipod.
    (Oh, I forgot to tell you all about the Ipod. Sigh.)

    But he insisted he hadn't taken the panties from the neighbor.

    I told him he had a pattern and what were we supposed to think?

    He said he understood but was still insistent.

    I told him that he needed to control his impulses and that he had boundary issues. He said he knew that, and he found himself walking across the hall to my ofc to look at the computer once and stopped himself. I said that was a good start.

    I said he had ruined any trust between himself and the neighbors and that now he's taken things from two of his friends and this was becoming a pattern.

    I told him that I loved him anyway, but he was going to have consequences.

    He said I didn't love him, shouldn't love him, he understood why no one trusted him, and he was going to commit suicide.

    I told him I understood why he felt no one loved or trusted him, but in my own mind I still loved him so that's the way it was.

    I had him stay in his rm most of the day. I ran errands and took him with-me. I told him he will be constantly supervised. (One of the big issues he talked about in therapy the other day was not wanting me to treat him like a baby, walk him to the door of a friend's house, or have him call every two hrs. We told him we would loosen up, but in general, he had to earn that privilege.
    So what does he do to earn his freedom? Sneak into the neighbor's closet. Back to square one!!!!)

    Oh, at one point he told me that he bought the panties at WalMart, on a trip at camp, with-the extra $ we gave him. Yeah, right.
    (We gave him $20 spending $ and he hardly spent any of it. He bought a cpl Reeses peanut butter cups and a postcard or two. He actually came home with-cash leftover.)
    Obviously, another lie.

    And I really blew it. Not that I yelled, just that I didn't play my cards right. husband is planning to talk to difficult child tonight and get difficult child to confess and figure out consequences. So I was supposed to not bring up the subject again. Easier said than done. difficult child came down to the kitchen and hugged me and told me he was sorry. I hugged him back and told him I'm sorry too, especially that he lied.
    He said, lied about what? I said, "You can't buy Victoria's Secret at WalMart."

    He pushed me away and took off for his rm.

    See? I blew it. No more hugs for me.

    At any rate, I highly doubt the panties came from camp. You pack light for camp. This is an entire drawer-full of panties.

    This puts us in the awkward position of having to tell the neighbor and retn all this stuff to her. I highly doubt she will call us and admit she's missing a dozen or so sexy lace panties. It's just so embarrassing all the way around.

    The good news, is that difficult child's rage only lasted 10 min. and all-in-all, made sense in light of the situation.
    The bad news is that I don't know how to deal with-his sneaking into other people's houses other than tell the neighbors to go ahead and call the police next time.

    I was planning to paint a huge tile project today and now I'm too exhausted to do anything. I am soooo ticked. And worried. We are going to make an appointment with-the child psychiatric specifically for this incident.

    difficult child is reading in his rm and I've got my ofc door locked. This is the quietest and calmest it's been all day.

    Thank you all for reading this much!
    Lasted edited by : Aug 7, 2008
  2. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    So sorry. I don't have any advice. I'm just sorry this has happened.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Oh Terry! Yes, you do need to continue to address this. I don't think it is behavior that will be easy to change. Hopefully the doctor can help before it gets much deeper.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The behavior is alarming to me. I think that's over-the-top for just ADHD impulsivity. JMO, but I'd have another evaluation and would not rule out bipolar or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Something's up, he knows it, he is talking about suicide...this is quite serious. I came home once and found a little neighbor boy (8) and his sister (6) playing with my son's toys on my porch. The boy has always been very spacy (but bright) and I was told he had ADHD. I think he has Aspergers. It is very socially inappropriate to enter somebody's house when they aren't home. I have no idea what is wrong with your son, but, in my opinion, neither do the people who have seen him so far. As for the panties, that would alarm me a lot...bipolar can cause hypersexuality, but not sure what that issue is. I would want a total evaluation for this child. If he had one already, they in my opinion did not catch the whole problem. Your son sounds like he has no idea why he does what he does, and I doubt that consequences will help. I think he needs extra therapy and a deeper understanding by all of you (him included) about what is going on, whatever it is.
    (((Hugs))) and good luck. Sounds terrible.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Terry}}} What a day!

    I think you're going to need to find out what's driving this behavior, particularly with the issue of the neighbors' panties. The way I see it he is either using the articles for a fetish or is experimenting with cross-dressing. I'd get him an appointment asap and keep him under constant supervision for the time being because the next time he may be charged. Ugh.
  6. No advice, just wanted to offer a hug.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Oh boy, many hugs.

    I really think his problems are becoming more complex as he is getting older. If he does have any sort of BiPolar (BP), than the mental issues start to manifest at puberty. Hypersexuality, lack of impulse control, and stealing, are hallmark signs of BiPolar (BP).

    There could also be other things. My difficult child has some really off the wall sexual issues, that I know have nothing to do with BiPolar (BP), but more some sort of thought processing disorder, I.E. his Non-Verbal Learning Disability (LD). Most docs have done little research with things like NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and AS as it relates to sexuality - however - I have noticed a pattern with it on our board.

    I think you are doing all of the right things. I am impressed at how calm and rationale you are.
    I would not anticipate the psychiatrist to have many answers, but I would go in prepared with questions.
    What medications can be trialed to help with the impulsivity, lying, stealing, and distorted thinking? what testing could be done you have not done? what other therapeutic avenues could be tried?

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    JMHO- as a layman- This description and his diagnosis of ODD and ADHD scream BiPolar (BP) to me- or at least the way they put it for my son- "the cycling might not last forever, so we don't know if it is truly BiPolar (BP) or not at this point, but we have to treat it like it is now because he has the symptoms and teach him strategies to deal with it and try to deal with any underlying issues ". Honestly, Terry, he sounds EXACTLY like my son.

    If he's not BiPolar (BP), there's something else going on. I think your BiPolar (BP) friend means well, but I'm not so sure that he's the best person to make this call. Of course I'm not either- I guess if psychiatrist is out of town, you're doing all you can but this really needs to be told to psychiatrist.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Has he ever tried mood stabilizers?
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Have there been any recent medication changes?
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    No, we haven't tried mood stabilizers.
    It's still possible that my son is bipolar, but as you all pointed out, it's easier to see it at puberty, so we may well be on that road.
    I still think he's ADHD. He could be both. When his Adderal wears off, it really shows.
    Last night, at 7 p.m. on the dot, he started running around the kitchen, throwing open cupboards, asking when dinner would be ready. I made tomato soup with-rice pasta, and he dug his hands into the strainer and started scooping pasta into his mouth. I had already made him a bowl of soup with-pasta, and he grabbed it with-one hand, then started dishing hiimself another bowl with-the other hand--2 full bowls of soup--setting down one bowl to grab another handful of pasta and shove so much in his mouth he couldn't shut his mouth.
    Obviously, when he's on his Adderal during the day, he doesn't do that.

    I looked up crossdressing and we hit a cpl of the categories for it but not very many. Mostly, the websites said not to focus on it, because most kids outgrow it, or just do it for fun on occasion, and it doesn't affect their overall sexual identity.

    Now, the part about going into other people's houses really bothers me. If it were one or the other, I could handle it (I think) but both ... at the same time ...

    I do agree that something else is going on ... Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), autism, bipolar, and he can't express it. in my humble opinion, the impulse control issues seem to exaggerate everything. In the end, maybe that's a good thing, as it may help get a diagnosis because he'll get caught, so to speak.

    Right now, he's in bed, reading his summer school assignment. He slept for a cpl hrs after his explosion and tears. On one hand, that could be bipolar, and on the other hand, everyone is exhausted after that sort of thing.

    G*d, this isn't easy.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It might help to look at the bkkids website and there are a couple of others (one for juvenile BiPolar (BP))- but, I'd suggest looking at the different (but similar) lists, printing a couple out and taking to psychiatrist with checkmarks alongside the things he has done. One of the earliest things my son did, that I had no clue what it meant until much, much later, was the craving for sweets/certain foods. When my son is unstable, he will literally steal packs of sugar from restaurants and eat the sugar right out of the packets (he sneaks- I find handfuls of empty sugar packets). Initially, I thought he was acted hyper because he had eaten all that sugar. Of course the sugar didn't help, but the compulsion, action, and hyperness actually resulted from the illness. To me, my difficult child's hypomanic state looks like ADHD-
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Terry, I'm so sorry. I'm also glad that you are trying to get in to see the doctor. I do think he needs to see a psychiatrist to discuss possible medication needs. But isn't he also seeing a therapist? Is it the same person? Right now...it seems he might need his medication to be addressed as well as talk therapy.

    I do think it is normal for boys to be curious, but he went a few steps into frightening territory with this episode. The going into another person's home...Have you read or heard about the book Crazy? PM me if you would like to hear more. This was mentioned in the book.

    BiPolar (BP) II is associated with hypomania and this might be something to be considered. I looked up a definition of hypomania and got this defintion: A mild state of mania, especially as a phase of a manic-depressive cycle.

    To the best of my recollection, grandiosity is absent, but impulsivity is usually significant....leading to distress and impairment in social and other settings.

    As you know...many of our children have both ADHD and other diagnosis's, comorbid.

    It's a tough, weird and fine line....not sure exactly how to pull it off...but I do think somehow we have to teach our kids logical consequences for inappropriate behavior, but make sure that their self esteem is not negatively altered. Somehow, they need to know that they are deserving of a healthy life and that they are perfectly capable of having a healthy life and that it is okay to ask for help.

    I like the way you assured your son that he is still loved and did your best to keep your cool. I would do a quick read-up on all the disorders you are concerned about and formulate your questions prior to your appointment with the doctor. I hope you left a message re: the urgency, so that you can get in asap.

    Try not to let this personally consume you. Simply be prepared and let the Dr. make many (if not ALL) of the decisions. Also, share some of the burden with your husband. by the way, would your husband resist a change in diagnosis?

    As a side note...how old is your daughter? You don't want to burden her with- all of this. Now might be the time to keep an eye out for a super duper responsible/wise/capable sitter that can watch your son now and again (probably not for long periods of time). This one one of the best moves husband and I made! We would go out for an hour or two and it was pure heaven...paid the sitter a little extra...STILL WELL WORTH IT.

    Sending you healing/positive thoughts. (Hugs). A.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 7, 2008
  14. Christy

    Christy New Member

    OMG Terry! What an embarassing situation! I agree with others that it is time to seek a more indepth evaluation and see whay might be driving these behaviors. While I am sure he was hungry, the pasta situation sounds manic to me.

    As you said in your post, constant supervision is now required for difficult child. He basically broke the law so he dosn't give you a choice. What a pain for everyone :(

    Good luck working through this. I hope the psychiatrist is helpful.

  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PS- To hopefully ease your mind a little- my son does not seem to try to get to women's underwear anymore. Whether or not it was puberty (crossing over), or medications, I don't know, but I don't know that he actually ever "cross-dressed". Apparently, there can be a complusion for sexual things and such (porn, etc), but that doesn't necessarily mean they are gay, cross-dressing, or anything else, so I wouldn't worry about that so much just yet. The internet porn- yes, I agree that needs to be addressed differently. We still have that issue when difficult child isn't stable. I found old lingerie that I had stuck back years ago under difficult child's bed when he was going through this. I never said a word to him about it, even though inside, I was flipping out. I just threw it away. Now, going into someone else's house- that can lead him to big trouble, as you know. My son did that stuff, too. So, I hope you can make sure he stays supervised all the time until you get the diagnosis and medications or whatever it takes figured out so he doesn't end up in the trouble mine has.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aargh! My difficult child played at a friend's house yesterday and they were unsupervised. This is the friend whose mom is in TX for a mo while she plays with-her boyfriend. The older boys, 21 and 24, were not home. I was told they were home. I made the decision because the 14-yr-old is allergic to the sun and has to stay indoors all the time, and he really enjoys having friends come over.
    When husband pointed it out, I freaked and my mind went in completely different direction. I said, "Oh no, then it could be C's panties!"
    He said, "Oh sh**."
    I'm thinking we could sneak them back in b4 she comes back into town.
    (You know how kids write their initials on their clothes for kindergarten? Women should do that with-their panties. Of course, that would open a whole new can of worms ... LOL.)

    difficult child has GOT to tell husband the truth tonight. I'm going out for sushi by myself. (So much for my date night, but husband knows I can't stay home any longer.)

    I feel like I'm living in a soap opera.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nomad, I love your advice that this shouldn't consume me.
    Nope. Not me. I did 6 paintings, wrote 2 novels, grocery shopped, painted the kitchen, and quietly read a book this afternoon.
  18. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    You poor thing!!! I am so sorry for you and your family. I can only imagine how you must feel having to look at your neighbor, or your poor daughter who babysits for them. :(

    Don't really have any advise, just wanted to send you some much needed {{{HUGS}}}. Hang in there and God bless.
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    just another note.........
    ADHD is so often a co-morbid symptom for these kids. Just like ODD.
    Impulsivity is a hallmark of bi-polar. The shoving the pasta in his mouth thing.........OMG............that was my son when manic. One day he was screaming at the top of his lungs, on his hands and knees, scouring the house for a dime...........just because he absolutely needed a gatorade. He was scrapping pennies out of the floor of the car, he was that over the top.

    I think you are wise to play down the sexual aspect of this, and focus on the bigger picture. Focus on his sneaking, lying, moods, and trespassing. Just don't let a doctor tell you this is some sort of conduct disorder.

    in my opinion, he needs medications to help him stabilize his mood.
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I agree, the panty thing is not overly concerning. To me, it is more concerning that he went into someone's home, when they weren't home. IN addition, he may have taken panties from more than one person...even more than one home. It's not like he had a crush one someone and got curious. There seems to be lots of impulsivity here.

    Anyway...Terry...good for you for going to dinner by yourself. All we can do is try our best to put one foot in front of the other when we get blindsided with difficult child business. That is what you are doing. And sushi is low in calories. If I were you, I would join a gym as well...just another place to duck into when you need a place to clear your head that wont get you in trouble. (hugs).
    Lasted edited by : Aug 7, 2008