difficult child Threw Dad's Cellphone Down Garbage Disposal

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WSM, May 6, 2009.

  1. WSM

    WSM New Member

    He's so quick. husband was making a birthday dinner for Daughter 8 now 9. Uncle called, husband put the phone on the counter. We had dinner. Between dinner and cake, husband had difficult child carry dishes into the kitchen. He carried two loads, I carried one, and in just that much time he slipped the cellphone down the disposal. husband didn't notice until later when he was helping difficult child clean up, but the water had been running for a half hour and the sink was filled with waste. This is the sixth phone difficult child has ruined.

    The night before difficult child snuck a steak knife up to his room and slashed his screen. husband remembered a couple hours after difficult child went to bed that he hadn't frisked him going upstairs. Actually, husband had been very slack on that for about a week, but that night he had a gut feeling he should have, and it turns out he was right. husband found the knife under the mattress. I think he slashed the screen and went out wandering in the middle of the night.

    husband told him to write a hundred word essay on why he did it. difficult child wrote I didn't do it, over and over.

    He's imperturbable. I didn't do it. How could I do it? I didn't do it.

    None of that's my problem, but it's different. difficult child has never been argumentative and openly defiant before. I wonder if it's the lexapro.

    SOmething else. After school he unloads the dishwasher and loads the breakfast dishes. He doesn't like doing it, but what kid does. So he does it passive aggressively by doing a bad job, his specialty is putting away dirty dishes and insisting on shoving the nasty dishrags under the sink instead of the laundry hamper. So lots of kids are onery that way, right?

    Today I noticed he was putting away a dirty dish. "That's dirty." He said, "Awesome."

    Not unsual for a kid to talk back, or be a smart aleck, right?

    But I am filled with disquiet. He's never talked back before. I know 12 and half year old kids do that, he's the fourth one I've lived with. But it seems so ominous and chilling to me. Rational or not, I'm starting to be afraid of him.

    I used to be afraid of his look, he has this look sometimes, not angry, not bored, not sullen or surly, not that infamous look of death teens are so good at, difficult child or normal. He's got another look, it's cold, flat, measuring, waiting, unwavering, and filled with hatred. When he gets that look on his face, he doesn't look like a child any more, doesn't even look like himself, his face isn't round and freckle faced. It's sharp and angular. I never saw it on any other kid no matter how angry and hateful they were being. I never saw it on my enraged alcoholic exhusband's face--and he'd get himself so worked up that once when he was arrested for kicking in my door after our divorce, he had to be maced twice, handcuffed and ducted taped and it took seven officers to get him in the squad car.

    difficult child's look seems to say, I'm just waiting to grow a little stronger and then I'm going to kill you.

    I feel sick and intensely anxious right now (he just gave me the 'awesome' about 20 minutes ago). I tell myself it's all in my head. But the truth is, I'm starting to be afraid of him. A couple months ago I told husband that within a year husband will not be able to leave him alone with me or daughter.

    husband told the psychiatrist that he thinks daughter 8 is afraid of difficult child. I was surprised. I know he hasn't done anything really to her, just once or twice said a couple nasty things, usually he tries to stay on her good side so she will do things for him that would get him into trouble. Altho we watch him so carefully he doesn't get many private conversations with her. But today she told me he's been questioning her about her MPV player. She got it for Xmas 2007 and lost it at Cedar Point last summer.

    Why's he questioning her about it? It bothers me because he steals her things, he's stolen her DS three times and she just got a new one last night. He's stolen her watch, her schoolbooks, her watches, her dollars, her kiddie laptop... I think he's trying to think of something else to take from her, we guard everything, but you can't always, ALWAYS be vigilent, sometimes you have to blink.

    I'm just rambling. I'm anxious and scared. I don't like living like this. I sense that I have about a year left and then I'm going to have to tell husband that I can't be alone with difficult child. I'm not exactly scared of him yet, but I can see the day coming when I might be.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I don't recall if he's on any medications to address the schizoid behaviors. I would be feeling unnerved by now, too. I don't think you should wait another year to address the safety issues -- you need to begin a plan NOW for what to do with him before his behavior escalates beyond the moderate destructiveness he exhibits now.

    You're absolutely right that you cannot ALWAYS be vigilant. Nor should you have to. There are facilities that can help him, I would think. You need to be starting down that path now before it goes any further.

    I'm so, so sorry that difficult child has these issues. I hope you are documenting and updating the psychiatrist regularly. I'd be on the phone daily reporting this kind of stuff if it were happening with my difficult child(s), and demanding a plan of action.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would get him off the Lexapro pronto. Anti-depressants, of which I've taken almost all of them at one time :tongue:, are not good medications for violent kids. If he is slashing his screen and acting bizarre, he could be becoming psychotic from the antidepressants--or suicidal. I've had both reactions to different anti-depressants. They are serious medications with lots of side effects.

    Aside from that, I reread your post and something bothers me. A lot. I wonder if he is molesting your eight year old. I know she's never said anything and he tries to be on her good side in front of you, but that doesn't mean anything. We had a kid like that molest our younger kids. We adopted him and he was really charming around us, especially to the kids he was molesting. And the kids themselves never said anything because he threatened to kill us all if they did. It took months of him being gone for us to learn the entire truth. So be VERY careful. I sense something bad going on and hope I"m wrong.

    He sounds scary. In fact, he almost sounds like he is becoming a psychopathic kid very early. How is he with animals? Does he like fire? Poop in his pants? It may be good not to stay with him alone now and never leave him alone with daughter. I'm not sure medications are the entire problem here, but I'd sure re-evaluate those medications (I say again for emphasis!)
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is something very wrong with this kid. He needs to be in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) now...not a year from now. I dont think its the medications because he has been doing this destruction for a long time now. The psychiatric needs to address this now before it gets even worse.

    Im so sorry.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Lexapro can cause disinhibition as a side effect. So if things seem even worse than they were before, they could be. Definitely talk to the psychiatrist about it.

    Have you looked into Projective Testing yet? That could be your ticket to help for this child. I agree with the others that he needs treatment NOW, not a year from now. You don't want to regret waiting.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would definitely be documenting everything and calling the psychiatrist almost daily. It does sound like he needs to be in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). ((((hugs))))
  7. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Nothing for schizoid behaviors. only 5 mm of lexapro, for about 3 weeks.

    The psychiatrist did a check up last week, she thought he seemed more awake and approved of the progress.

    I don't go to the meetings. I am just the stepmother. Although he lives with us fulltime, I spend easily as much time with him as my husband and I've known him since age 6. My imput is meaningless. In fact stepmothers and remarriage is often seen as part of the problem. So generally the official stance is that I just butt out.

    But I do keep a log of his behavior. It's appalling.

    Who would I report to?
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I understand where you're coming from. I was just the step-mom, too. I endured the comments and I saw things thru, and eventually, earned the respect of the people I dragged difficult child 1 to for help, they eventually came to see me as a stable person in his life that genuinely cared about his health - but it took a while.

    I encourage you to take your log and start going to the meetings. You're not new to his situation. As for who to tell, tell anyone who will listen, and ask them for help in helping your child. You'll be suprised where you will find advocates.

    But wear your rhino-skin, cause you are probably right about the step-mom routine - at least at first.
  9. WSM

    WSM New Member

    No to the molesting. He has not been alone with her for 2 years. We and the other 3 boys are vigilent about this. She's not alone with him. He barely gets a word into her alone. He asked her about the music player when they were trailing husband in the grocery store and kind of fell back out of earshot of husband.

    However, when he was ten and my husband talked to him about sex, he then wrote out a list of questions and threw them away without showing anyone. It was at a time when he was throwing away homework and shoes so we checked the garbage every day and found it. There were lots of questions about whether or not his sister could get pregnant and whether she could have sex really repulsed me. And his throwing it away meant to me that he knew those were inappropriate questions. But the counselor at the time said it was normal. But it gave me the creeps and I watch ALL THE TIME.

    ALso, altho my husband said he thought daughter was afraid of difficult child, I don't think daughter is afraid of him. I was surprised that husband thought so. I think she is uncertain of him and anxious about him stealing her stuff, but she'd happily play with him. But difficult child stresses everyone out, her included because he stirs up so much trouble in the household and a good time can go bad in a second or he can make her cry by stealing her stuff or saying he doesn't like her.

    THe dog is not afraid of him at all. He usually ignores her, but she approaches him. Sometimes he'll chase her or play with her but rarely. She's a very timid dog too.

    No on the pooping. But he does pee inappropriately. He says he's not allowed to use the bathroom. He peed in a pot. In a baggy, out the window, in the garden, repeatedly, and when asked why it's always, "I thought I'm not allowed to use the bathroom." It's like he wants us to beg him to use it or ask him all the time, do you have to go, do you have to go, do you have to go. It's sort of stopped because he is watched all the time, the only time he gets privacy is in the bathroom.

    About a year ago we found a pile of matches in his room. He said he lit them because he likes the smell and was bored. We've been hypervigilent since, and no lighters are missing, nothing's been burned, etc... So no he doesn't seem fascinated by fire.

    But he has no shame, no conscience, no guilt or regret. the psychiatrist said he feels bad when he lies and my husband laughed at her, no he doesn't. Never. He is never sorry, never regrets, it never EVER occurs to him or has occurred to him to apologize for something he's done. If you tell him to apologize, he repeats the words parrot like. He feels bad at the consequence, but never about what he does to someone else. Never.

    When husband told the psychiatrist that, she looked shocked. husband thinks it's because the psychiatrist thinks he husband is callous towards difficult child and that's what difficult child's problem is. We've been down that road many a time. Blame the parents. He asked, did difficult child express any regret? She hesitated, no, he didn't and it was awkward and the subject changed. I find it discouraging because the psychiatrist did what she shouldn't do: assume emotions in difficult child instead of observing. But maybe she'll observe more now that husband told her her feels no remorse.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    in my opinion, I think you need to get him to a different psychiatrist for a second opinion. And I think you need to push a little harder to be allowed at these meetings. You are a caregiver and need to be part of the treatment plan. It would be foolish of them to exclude you!
  11. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    First of all, as bio-mom to two difficult children, I salute you for being such a concerned stepmother, and I am sorry that you are made to feel like a second class citizen when you are on the front lines.

    Kudos, also for being observant to his behaviors. I would be writing down everything he does, time, date, place, and thrusting it under the psychiatrist's nose. You might want a more experienced one too.

    My son's aggressive behavior towards his younger sister (three years apart) has meant that since age 11 he has lived with his dad following our separation and divorce, and we have had DCF involved with us because I left the two alone together for ten minutes on a Sunday night while I went Occupational Therapist (OT) get milk for breakfast, they got into an argument and he threatened her with a pair of scissors. I was found negligent. This happened in March 2007 and the case was just closed last month.

    I think a placement in a good Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where he can be weaned off the Lexapro and evaluated before they put him on soemthing else would be a good idea. I just have the same sinking, uneasy feeling in my gut like you do after reading your post.

    If you want to know the name of great Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in eastern PA, feel free to private message me.

    Good luck to you.
  12. WSM

    WSM New Member

    This is the log I've been keeping. It does not include a lot of minor stuff,.

    7/6/2008 Dad's cellphone disappears;
    7/13/2008 Sneaks in rooms steals books, destroys 1882 Ben Hur because he wants to see if I get angry;
    8/3/2008 Made a comic book abt boy who didn't want to be human; tore it up after aunt showed interest and praise; tore up her gift book he liked;
    8/24/2008 Goes to Wilderness Weekend;
    8/31/2008 school folders; agenda missing on different days; thrown out, replaced, thrown out again, lies abt having wrong uniform;
    9/7/2008 Stabs mattress, cuts up blanket, sheets
    9/14/2008 Cut up gym uniforms; can black paint spilled in his room
    9/21/2008 Sits in dark; clock disappears twice;
    9/28/2008 agenda/homework/school uniforms
    10/5/2008 Stabs mattress again; has a clockradio he 'got from school'; it disappears too;
    10/12/2008 Sister's bike found in pool; clock disappears new one is liquid nailed to table;
    10/19/2008 Dad's new cellphone found in pool;10/26/2008 Sister's bookbag found in pool;
    11/2/2008 Black spray paint in room and carpet in the morning;
    11/9/2008 Daddy daughter dance dress and shoes disappear; sister's bookbag found in pool
    11/16/2008 Dad's cell phone found in pool; white sugar scattered in his room
    11/23/2008 Dad finds him in food cabinet 10:30 pm; difficult child is caught banging his head because he thinks he will be in trouble; dad finds his cell phone missing; next day cell phone found in food cabinet
    11/30/2008difficult child takes dad's cell phone while untangling lights unsupervised alone on patio; a couple days later brother finds cell phone behind powder room waste basket; dad's jumpsuit found in dining room drawer;
    12/7/2008 Steal two books from someone else's room, lie about it; have food hidden in his room including a baggy of cake flour; thrown brown sugar all over the floor, ground fudge into the carpet;
    12/14/2008 cover his bed with syrup; not do his homework; throw away his gym uniform;
    Dec 19 CPS investigator comes on an unfounded complaint;
    12/21/2008 Xmas Eve, cover bed/room with more syrup; Xmas day refused to watch movie with- family chose to stare straight ahead;
    12/28/2008 A month of staring in the dark, sitting as martyr at party, refuses to play with Xmas gifts;
    1/4/2009 his bookbag, school uniforms disappear, sister's reading book. Talked to mom on birthday;
    1/11/2009 Gym shirt in the oven; then in garbage; syrup in bed again;
    1/18/2009 talked to mom 1-18;missing belt and pants and shirt;police come to door abt sister;
    1/25/2009 Carved picture into table;Sister's DS in pool;
    2/1/2009 Lying, (father out of town for a week); but no other problems;
    2/8/2009 Stealing his sisters repaired DSS, hiding shoes and a school sweatshirt under his dad's car,
    2/15/2009 2/14 sees mom; peeing on the floor in his room;
    2/22/2009 Put his father's birthday GPS in dishwasher;
    3/1/2009 New clothes (pants,shirt,tie, found gym shorts, Xmas shoes) missing; GPS missing and found a second time in the dishwasher;
    3/8/2009 Red phone in dishwasher; brother's HP book in Starion backseat; hid behind truck and missed school; ran away and stayed in shed 13 hours;
    3/15/2009 peed all over his bed, shoe disappeared, found in bush, sister's DS was found in big vase-he knew it was there because he'd been asking her for her cord;faked a crying fit abt going to school; told sister I made him eat 8 hot dogs;
    3/22/2009 Threw sister's DS into garbage; peed outside;
    3/29/2009 Hid the fact he had 2 half days, had access to house unsupervised; syrup in room, sister's texting toy and keys missing
    4/5/2009 Had unexplained money; DS missing again from her room,
    4/12/2009 oil in pantry, syrup in pantry;
    4/19/2009 Sister's pink watch in dishwasher; took found money and ran off after school; said he didn't want to eat until he died.
    4/26/2009 Stole father's wallet, wandering neighborhood after school. Sister's black watch missing.
    5/3/2009 Slashed screen, hid knife under bed, put dad's cell phone in garbage disposal.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    :holymoly: (((((HUGS)))))
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are really in a bind.

    This child should not be living at home.

    I don't know what to tell you to do about it, but I send prayers and (((big hugs))). The description of this child scares me. I'm glad everyone is watching over your precious daughter.

    It's not normal for boys to ask about having sex with their sisters. Some counselors are in my opinion really useless.
  15. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    All I can say is that judging from that log difficult child needs some major intervention now. I would be afraid to wait any longer to do something drastic. I also echo evryone else - you, as a care giver, should absolutely be at those meetings. I'm so sorry for what you are going through!!!

  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    He needs help, a lot of it, quickly. Check with your insurance and get him hospitalized ASAP. Please.
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Maybe I'm super sensitive about this stuff but something kept smacking me while I was reading this.
    We had a similar issue with difficult child 2.

    That said, you're "only the stepmom"... YUP. You may have no "legal" rights to this child, but you do have rights.
    1 - to live in a safe household
    2 - to live without fear
    3 - to your own property without it being stolen or destroyed
    4 - to inform the authorities (psychiatrist, etc.) about your observations

    There's more, but honestly - you should let them know what's going on. Because the more points of view they see, the better they can treat the child.

    Get him into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) as soon as possible. And tell 8-y/o - don't leave your stuff anywhere out of your bedroom.

    Can you invest in a lock?

    How is he getting hold of the cell phone? I wear mine all the time except when sleeping. husband's wanders - he never can remember where he left it - but it does not get taken.

    {{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}} You shouldn't have to live like this.
  18. maril

    maril New Member

    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    WSM, GREAT log!

    I think you may still have a chance with-this kid. This is what jumped out at me:

    11/23/2008 Dad finds him in food cabinet 10:30 pm; difficult child is caught banging his head because he thinks he will be in trouble; dad finds his cell phone missing; next day cell phone found in food cabinet

    Anxiety about getting caught is halfway toward a conscience. That's where we started with-my difficult child and he has come a long way. Maybe I'm just Pollyanna but I would change therapists pronto and do major intervention.
  20. WSM

    WSM New Member

    At this time he's not cut out for family life. We aren't doing him any good, he's not doing us any good. He does need an residential treatment facility.

    His probation officer was about to put him in one about a year ago. Then she got another job, disappeared, her supervisor took over and closed the case without seeing difficult child, and that was that.

    We can't afford a residential treatment center. I don't think our insurance will cover it. We have BCBS PPO. The public school system doesn't even want to put him in an alternative school. The criminal justice system tossed him out and won't look at him again unless he breaks the law. And if he does, they are likely to put him in juvvy not treatment.

    So what to do?