and that's the only thing keeping me from throwing in the towel sometimes. After listening to him vent about me for about as long as I was going to take it, somehow we got on the subject of what has caused him to break the law- I think it came up by him asking something about it being his fault or my fault. Now, under better circumstances I would have stuck with putting this conversation off until the next therapy session, but since that won't be for another 2 weeks, I have lost faith in this therapy so far, and my feathers were ruffled from difficult child's vent, I went for it, but calmly. I told difficult child this was not about it either being his fault or my fault. We both acknowledge that he had to take consequences for what he did and breaking the law and I understand that I am not perfect and am not taking a position that I won't try to improve things or that I'm not sorry for some past things. But, I was trying to stick to the opinion and recommendations of the highest authorities/pprofessionals who evaluation'd him and I agree with their opinions and my goal was to get everyone on the same page. When I say that I don't think things are all my fault and that I definitely disagree that my "strictness" caused him to break the law, it does NOT mean I think everything is his fault or that he's just some bad kid, but rather that there are issues that are no one's fault that I think need to be addressed. He said it's so hard for him to talk about the problems with friends, or lack of friends, and he did not think this had anything to do with not having his father in his life because he wasn't walking around stressed over him all the time and as a matter of fact, he never talked about him at all. Ok, so here I go: "difficult child, you know how you often tell me that you can't hang out with 'cool' kids who don't get into trouble because you don't fit in with them and they don't want to hang out with you? Well, did you know that when a person feels like they don't fit in, they act different and like they don't fit in and then people treat them that way? Do you recall that you never had these problems or felt this way until 5th grade? Do you recall when this change happened- it was when you learned about your father's choices and you came to me time and time again saying something MUST be wrong with you- that you must be a bad kid. Did you ever break the law before then? No, but your started breaking the law right after this." I figured I was probably blabbing when I shouldn't have been and was going to regret it. But difficult child astounded me. He looked at me straight in the eye and smiled and just looked at me a long time. Then he said, "I have a self esteem problem. I started realizing it a week or so ago. But I don't get it. Why?" "difficult child, you had a lot dumped on your shoulders when you were in 5th grade, more than you could possibly be mature enough to process so you don't talk about that pain. You blamed yourself and convinced yourself that you were a bad kid instead. That is the opinion of the most qual'd people I have taken you to. That is why they say, and wrote, that you need help processing this stuff and learning better coping skills. Not because you are a psychopath or everything is your fault or my fault or that something horrible is wrong with you. But you have to choose whether or not you want to blame others and become another statistic or accept that your parents are not perfect and find a way to do the best you can with your life in spite of it." difficult child: "But, Mom, other kids are never going to understand that." "difficult child, other kids don't know it and don't need to know it. It is your personal business. The only people who need to know are people that need to be on the same page as far as trying to help you." difficult child (smiling): "Ohhhh, hummmmm, well, ok!" I swear sometimes I think we do a lot better without the tdocs. LOL!