Stress Bunny

Active Member
Well, thanks to everyone who responded to my other thread about psychopathy in our difficult children. I believe our oldest difficult child lacks a developed conscience. This allows him to easily behave in a manner that is inconsiderate of others. Not only is he inconsiderate, but I think he enjoys intentionally hurting my husband and me.

We have been busy working on detaching from JT's drama, and it seems to be working. JT doesn't like it, though. He still sends me one-liner text messages, hoping for a reaction from me.

Here are some examples:

  • Texted me that I was going to be a grandma. Didn't mention who the mother-to-be was or anything. Just left it like that. I didn't respond. I could only assume it was the girlfriend whom he called the police on for threatening to shoot JT with the gun (rifle, supposedly unloaded) he has sitting out in his apartment. But hey, she paid some of his rent, cooked, cleaned, and let him use her truck.
  • Weeks later he texted me that I wasn't going to be a grandma after all, and he said he was sorry if he "freaked me out". I responded that I wouldn't be freaked out anyway because I am detaching from HIS drama.
  • Then, he texted me a one-liner that he asked a girl he dated on and off since high school to marry him. This is the fourth girlfriend in less than six months. She said yes. I didn't respond.
  • It must have irritated JT that I didn't respond, so he forwarded a picture message to me of a graphic that read something like, "The nicest people I've ever met were covered in tattoos and piercings. The most judgmental people I've met are the ones who go to church every Sunday." Yes, I go to church every Sunday. He should remember that some of those "judgmental" people who go to church every Sunday are praying for him! I didn't respond.
  • A picture forwarded to me this past weekend with no words. It was just a picture of JT with a little girl at a campground. I am guessing the little girl is the daughter of the girlfriend he is now supposedly engaged to marry. I don't know, because he doesn't explain. What does he want from me? I didn't respond.
husband was driving over to his parents' place for the holiday weekend, and a car drove past, with someone waving at him. Later, he realized it was JT with his girlfriend and a little girl in the back seat. They were driving the girlfriend's car. JT doesn't have an operating vehicle. husband immediately received a text from JT asking why he had ignored him at the stop sign. He went on that he has a job and is earning every penny and that he is getting married and wants his mom and dad to be there for him; that he is getting his life back on track. husband responded that he didn't know it was him at the stop sign, and JT texted back, "Oh, otherwise I was offended." HE was offended? Really? Let me tell you about what offends us!
  • Using our technology to view porn.
  • Getting jailed for underage drinking and distributing alcohol to minors.
  • Failing college when fully capable of succeeding.
  • Lying about everything.
  • Using and manipulating people.
  • Abusing alcohol and pain pills.
  • Nonstop bragging and boasting; living in complete fantasy about exceptional abilities and talents.
  • Shooting small animals for fun, even if legal.
  • Failing to pay bills or keep promises.
  • Faking injury to collect workers comp.
  • Refusing to leave cigarettes, knives, and lighters, etc. in his truck when he comes to our house.
  • Refusing to call before he drops in wanting something.
  • Disrespectful language toward us.
  • Sleeping/living with different girlfriends all the time.
  • Mooching off of others.
These are the things that offend me. I don't know how to reconcile this so we can have any kind of relationship. How do we even visit with someone like this? I don't honestly like anything about him right now, and that's the sad truth.

Every day is a new day to JT. He actually feels entitled to our time, attention, and support, not to mention respect. He acts as if we are so terrible for wanting to distance ourselves from him right now and as if he is so great because he has held a job for six months. I'm glad he has kept a job, but it doesn't make up for the dishonorable person that he has become.

Today I received a call from an Army Reserve recruiter about JT. Apparently, JT completed an application this month and he left our phone number. Why? JT has his own cell phone. Did he want me to get this call from the recruiter?

There is some history here, as about a year ago, JT had also applied for the National Guard, and we were concerned because we knew he had issues that should have disqualified him for eligibility. Well, the recruiter told JT to lie on his application about his ADHD and medications. We were so concerned, we called the recruiting office and reported it. Needless to say, that ended the process at that time.

Now, here he is applying again. He has been on ADHD medication in the past year, switched to Vyvanse, and he also has two underage drinking citations and the arrest for distributing alcohol to minors. His credit record is horrible, and on and on. I hope he doesn't get accepted. I know there are waivers in certain situations, etc., but I wouldn't think he would qualify even on waiver. But, I am detaching and disengaging from all of this drama. So, I just gave the recruiter JT's current phone number and left it at that.

This afternoon, JT texted me that he now has an iphone 5s because he switched to his girlfriend's cell phone plan. He uses people, and I so detest that about him. He has bailed out on people before that have allowed him on their cell plans, leaving them stuck with the bill. He is also driving his girlfriend's car. Most of these gfs don't last two weeks with him before they figure out what a user he is.

I guess he just wanted me to know that he is willing, once again, to lie to the military and use his new girlfriend. I think he knows I know who he really is, and he is taunting me, because he knows my conscience wants to intervene for the sake of the military and this girlfriend.

But, I am choosing a new path now.

Calamity Jane

Well-Known Member
My son was also adopted, but at 16 months. He was a dreamboat until he hit 13. I can't tell you how much vile nonsense we've had to endure at his hands, so I know where you're coming from.

Never in a million years would I have thought I'd ever come to terms like this, but I really think that ultimately, biology is destiny. I think they never get over being adopted, or some feeling of abandonment that I cannot ever make up for, no matter what I do. I don't know what it feels like to not look like any of my relatives, to have to tell the physician I see that I have no knowledge of my family health history because I was adopted, to not share DNA with my parents, and family legend and family traits, not to mention feeling like my grandparents didn't love me as much because I wasn't their "real" grandchild. I know this is what my kids go through, so I'm only speaking from my experiences. I don't know, but I think it would mess with my head, too. However, they're adults now, and they have to develop maturity, insight and self awareness to see the big picture. They have lives to lead and lessons to learn, and contributions to make. Many times I've felt like a glorified babysitter to them; like they don't think of me as their real mother.

If your son wasn't adopted, I'd advise you to block his number for a while. That may be too extreme. But you can warn him that you reserve the right to do so, and you can, if his calls/texts are just too much. It's OK to disengage if you're not supporting the things he's doing. You can let him know (probably for the millionth time) that you will support positive steps in the right direction. Whew...I know it's hard. Hang in there!


Well-Known Member
Not all adopted kids use adoption to screw up their lives. It's just a convenient reason a difficult child uses to make nothing out of himself, but not all adopted kids are difficult children. More adopted kids are in therapy and my feeling is their birthparents often passed along some nasty genes. My two adopted daughters are sweet as pie. Oldest had issues in high school with drugs, but she is almost thirty now and way beyond that. My youngest son has autism and is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Who is my biggest problem?

My biological difficult child, who turned the adoption thing around a few times to say, "I always felt different because I'm the only one who's not adopted." It never ends, the nonsense they use to screw up thier lives.


Well-Known Member
Personally I wouldnt worry myself about the military because if they are stupid enough to not vet him then it is their problem. I will be willing to bet that they will figure it out at some point in time. I will tell you why I feel that way. My middle son went into the Marines when he was 18 years old. It was a lifelong dream of his so we had contacted recruiters when he was in middle school. We knew that his ADHD diagnosis could be an issue so he went off medications for his entire 4 year HS career. When we signed his early enlistment paperwork at 17 I made sure his diagnosis was listed even though his recruiter tried to tell him he didnt need to list it because he hadnt been on medications for 4 years. I listed it anyway. Im so glad I did.

After my son had been at boot camp for a week and a half the medical folks pulled him out of his platoon and claimed he had lied on his paperwork and hadnt disclosed the fact that he had been dxd with ADHD as a child. NOT TRUE! It all worked out in the end but my son was in limbo in the medical unit for almost 2 weeks not knowing if he would be put back into training or sent home. He was so upset. I was so upset. I went down to the recruiters station and cussed them out...lol

Stress Bunny

Active Member
Calamity, I have noticed what seems to be a disproportionate number of adoptive difficult children on this site. When we adopted our boys, I really believed that environment/parenting was everything, but I have since changed my mind a lot about that. Love is not enough. Genetics play a huge role in personality traits, just as they do with IQ and introversion/extroversion, etc. JT has some of the very same mannerisms, even, that his bio mom and half brother have, and he only had contact with them for the first 18 months of his life.

I don't think the fact that JT joined our family through adoption is a huge source of his current problems. Unlike your case, JT was never a dreamboat. We loved him anyway, and we tried SO hard. We read every book, took him to therapy, tried various medications, and experienced all of the usual parental angst and guilt over his issues. Our families were fantastic with him. They showered him with love and attention. Still, he has always been very stubborn, independent, strong-willed, argumentative, uncooperative, hyper, ego-inflated, and just plain difficult. We thought it was the terrible twos, then the terrible threes, and then, we realized this was his personality, period.

I do recognize that adoptive children may be extra sensitive to abandonment issues, and I do keep that in my mind. I do want to keep the door open to a good relationship.

As I mentioned, I believe JT lacks conscience and has sociopathic/psychopathic traits. From the book I am reading, "The Sociopath Next Door", I learned that attachment disorder, often seen in children adopted out of extremely neglectful situations, is entirely different and separate from sociopathy. Research shows that children with attachment disorder are more withdrawn and less well liked than manipulative sociopaths who demonstrate charisma and charm to get what they want. In addition, research shows that sociopaths enter the justice system at the same age, regardless of their early childhood experiences. This differs from non-sociopaths who enter the justice system at earlier ages in the face of more abusive/neglectful early life experiences. Even twin studies support the fact that most sociopathic behavior can most likely be explained through genetics.

Unfortunately, none of that makes me feel any better, because I realize it is unlikely to change.

MWM, I am surprised to hear how your bio difficult child turned the adoption issue around! That is fascinating. But, it sheds light on the use of excuses, for sure.

DJ, I hope the military does its homework too. JT does not belong in the military. He already knows he is not currently eligible, given their disqualifiers, but he is applying anyway. So, he probably intends to lie about everything again. He doesn't learn from consequences, and he has no sense of moral responsibility. It's all about him. He wants to be in the military because he thinks it will benefit him in some way, i.e. pay and benefits and admiration, not because he wants to serve our country. He is all about him. Growing up, when confronted with his lies, he always said he "had to" for some justified reason. He seemed to really believe there was no other option, conveniently, of course. Whatever it takes to justify his immoral actions.


Well-Known Member
Attachment disorder is exactly what antisocial personality and psychopathy and sociopathy are. No matter what the cause, and the cause is often chaos in the first three years of life plus DNA, your child is now without conscience. Does it really matter why he has none at this late date?

I adopted a child who was a sociopath too. We adopted him at 11 because his profile was so marvelous, psychiatric reports were stellar, and his foster mother of five years loved him to pieces. She told me how sweet and loving he was toward her little kids that she babysat for. It was all good until we found out he was having sex with my two youngest adoptive kids (I don't want anyone to think I believe all adoptive kids are sick...my other two are not nor is my oldest one). But this was was beyond sick. Not only had he had some penetration with my six year old daughter and forced our eight year old autistic son and his seven year old foster brother to have sex at knifepoint, but he did other great things like kill two of our dogs (the first one we thought were racist neighbors). He set fires that only my kids knew about, not us, because the little guys were terrified of him. To them, he had more power than we did because he could and did hurt them and he threatened that if they told us anything he'd burn the house down with all of us in it. They saw him kill animals.

As soon as we found out about the sexual abuse, even before shocked and overprotective father busted home, I was on the phone with CPS telling them he had to be removed. We were fortunate that he babbled what he had done...this time because, for the first time ever, he had a ton of adults surrounding him and I actually think he was afraid. At least he didn't blame us for abusing him. He could have turned it around and we would have been screwed, but he admitted it in a dull, flat voice that indicated how little he cared. He ended up being sued by the state for first degree sexual assault of a minor even though he was only thirteen. If a child perps on a child who is six years younger, he CAN be charged and he was and he spent a useless several years in a home for young sexual perps in which he was caught on camera several times trying to perp.In this lock down facility, he admitted he had perped on his foster mother's charges...those she had babysat for...and many other little kids in other foster homes.

When asked why he did it, they said he had a totally flat expression and shrugged. He had no idea why. He had no insight into his own sick behavior.

He did not miss us (attachment disorder), but admitted he missed the money and toys we bought him, although he was pretty good at shoplifting. The knife he had was shoplifted. We would have never given him a pocket knife.

The adoption was severed. We never wanted to see him again when we found out there had actually been some penetration with our baby. She and autistic son had to go through some gently administered testing by a special pediatrician who deals with finding proof of sexual activity in children. Because of the fantastic support of CPS, we had so much support and the kids had so much free psychiatric care that both are doing great today. Jumper remembers some of what he did. Sonic remembers nothing, but I have it in his caseworkers files just in case he starts to have flashbacks. I want them to be able to clarify to him exactly what happened and who did it. I want them to be able to help him through it if it surfaces when he is older. Since it was a court case, the facts are there.

Sorry I got carried away. I guess I wanted to share with you how absolutely awful attachment disorder/antisocial personality disorder/psychopathology/psychopathology can be. Does it matter that this child was abused by his own birthmother? That she almost kiled him by not feeding him? That he had tons of caregivers and no stability and six foster homes? That definitely caused his attachment disorder and it wasn't his fault. Furthermore, most foster kids are sexually abused along the way, although he doesn't remember it. It still probably happened. Does it really matter though...when the WHY of it has morphed into a dangerous person?

If I think about it, I am very sad that this child had to go through so much in his life that this is what he became. But I still can not forgive what he did nor do I ever want to lay eyes on him again. He still could have destroyed our entire family and did a good job of trying...even at ages 11-13 which was when we had him. And he was not psychotic. He knew exactly what he was doing. He just did not care about living things. He was too damaged by then; too dangerous to live in society, although he is currently not in jail (I follow his court cases...he is free right now. I have no doubt he will be incarcerated again...I hope not for murder, but it wouldn't surprise me).
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one day at a time
Love is not enough with bio kids either. If love was all it took, this site would be dark and empty. I believe we have offered more love---not less---as the days got worse and worse.

I even began part-time work from home when difficult child was born. You can't even blame it on "mom being away and baby being in day care."

We were vigilant, involved, loving, caring parents who set limits, had consequences, went to all of their sports games, took them to church and Sunday School every week, had dinner on the table every night.

It didn't stop any of this.

It is a disease. It's a brain disease. That's where it starts and stops. No other explanation necessary.

Hugs to all of us tonight.