Do I Leave or Him ??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nuone, Sep 14, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nuone

    nuone New Member

    Yet another fun evening was had by all! Today difficult child went off to school very well with no hassles. I was only a few minutes late for work, so it was not all bad. Was fine when I fetched him after work, and then we had fun. He wanted to go to his friend for the weekend, but hadn't done his school assingments, so I spoke to the friend's mother who told me that the boys would be doing the work over the weekend together. I relented on condition that he would do it - maybe with the encouragement of a friend it would happen. Of course he came home with work not done. The excuse was pathetic too - the puppy bit his work !!! Luckily for him, he had his days mixed up so it was not due for another 2 days - still time for another last minute effort. A second assignment that was due today had not even been touched. Another ridiculous story why. Anyway on the way home, I said that he was lucky the teacher had given the class a day's extention on this one, and that when we got home, he should get stuck in and do his work. That's where it all started.

    Told me that he would do it when he decided and not to tell him what to do. On getting home he decided that he had to go for a run now. So he did. We then ate dinner and he only then went off to bath - having told me earlier that he will do that when he feels like it too - and not in my time. I then got everything ready for him to do research for the assignment, so that he could get going because time was moving on and I knew that he was playing around. Knew the repercussions of not having work done - it would be levelled at me for some reason or the other. Eventually he came in to tried to get me to do his work for him. and I tried to give him some guidance, but that was not going well, so I left him to it. He then switched on the tv. Told him that he was not to watch tv and get on with his work - of course the defiance kicked in big time and the fun began. What could I do - I had to stick to my word. For some time he has been telling me that I am all talk and that my threats are just empty ones. I do carry out what I say, but sometimes the effort is just so draining that I walk away for the sake of my own sanity, and his aggravation level. Tonight I decided to stick to my guns. I tried turning off the tv - that was useless. He just stood in front of it and put his foot over the receiver so that the remote would not work. A few tries of that and I saw that it was futile to try and switch off, so I again stood my ground and removed the aerial. Sounds so pathetic I know, just didn't know what to do - loose more credibility and let him gain more power, or do something like this. He then kicked the tv screen and had a lot to say, very loudly.

    Eventually he went and sat down by computer and threw his working pad across the keyboard, leant on it and started to make a show of writing. I asked him a number of times not to do that and again he was telling me that he will do what he likes and what exactly am I going to do about it. Again - do I stand ground - or lose more credibility. I pulled out the computer and put it back in front of him, telling him to work from there. This happened another two times, during which time he kept telling me that I was making him mad and to stop it because he will do it his way whether I like it or not. I lost my control with him and gave him words back, not so quietly or nicely too!!! That was when he picked up the aerial and started smacking the keyboard on my computer. Finishing point for me. Picked up my computer with the missing key and lined screen and took off to my room where I packed my suitcase and left the house, both for my sanity and safety.

    Well, my couple of months old computer is working, but it's not so pretty any more. I still haven't decided whether I am going back or not, maybe when I have calmed down and stopped sobbing!
  2. cindygirl

    cindygirl New Member

    You don't say how old your son is, but I think we have all been at this point. Deep breath, and try to think like this is your home that you have been run out of. Go home, lock away the tv, computer and any other items that you think difficult child is going to try to smash. If he doesn't do his homework then it is on him. You finished school and you are responsible to feed him basic meals, make sure that he has a roof over his head (his room but not the kitchen, living room, basement, ect) clean clothes (if they are not in the laundry they don't get washed) and school supplies. Sometimes I find it a pain that everything is locked up but then my daughter can't smash it. I don't bend over backwards to make sure that her favourite items are in the fridge and if she doesn't like what is here that is too bad. Stop helping him get his homework done and start making him responsible for his own work. When you start to worry over what he needs for school remind yourself that as long as you are doing it all, he will do nothing for himself. If he needs help or resources then he can come to you and ask you. I tell my daughter I am here if she needs help but I refuse to do it for her. I have a college diploma and no one did my work. The teacher isn't evaluating my knowledge they are evaluating hers. Now when you go home, lock yourself in the washroom with a good book (or music or whatever you enjoy) and have a good long soak. Tell him once it is bed time and then turn out the lights in the family portion of the house (I have had to remove the bulbs more then once). He can go to bed or sit in the dark. Sometimes we feel like we are the most evil person on the planet, but this is only going to get worse if we don't walk the walk. One day he will realise that you meant it and appreciate you for all you have done. In the meantime, I appreciate what you are doing, and the sacrafices it takes.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Nuone - if you could do a signature, it would help us to remember the details of your situation - like how old your son is, diagnoses, medications, etc. ;) (Some of us are aging more rapidly than others - at this point, I need to put signatures on my own kids just to remember their names, LOL.)

    Anyway, I'm going to assume your son is a teen. While I understand the almost irresistable urge to monitor their school work, I think you might want to consider backing off on the assignments. Your son is right - he *is* going to do it in his own time, his way, or not do it at all, and at the end of the day, there is not a doggone thing you can do about it. I think we do have to be consistent, and we do have to stick to our word, but... for our own sanity we also have to recognize that there are some things that we simply have no control over.

    Truly, truly, I understand how hard it is when you have a bright kid who just throws it all away but, with my difficult child anyway, I (and several dozen professionals) never figured out how to get him engaged and involved and participating. My difficult child has a gifted intellect, and it's just wasted on him.

    Assuming your son is a teen, it's time to hand the reins over to him, or at least start attempting to do so. His work, his grades, his consequences. He flunks, he gets to repeat. It is *not* your problem (and you need to stick to that word too). Let the natural consequences of him doing it "his way" affect *him*. Again, I know how hard that is to do - it goes against every mommy fiber in my body.

    The pros of backing off are you get to avoid scenes like tonight (which are so utterly draining), you get to stop being the bad guy, and you start letting him learn to do for himself (or not) and the associated consquences, good or bad. The con is of course he tanks the school year but... did anything that happened this evening prevent that?

    At the same time though, I'd not make life terribly comfortable for him. Perhaps when tempers have cooled, you can sit him down and explain that since he thinks he's got it under control, you're going to back off. You're available if he needs help but... he has to ask for it. In the meantime, since school is his "job", he needs to perform to get "payment", just like every other employed person in the world. You can define payment - time on computer, allowance, games, etc., - whatever is his "good stuff".

    I may just be old and tired and worn out from butting heads with a difficult child who was/is about as stubborn as they come. None of the horrible, awful, no good, absolutely rotten scenes that we had over school made one bit of difference in the long run with- my kid, and maybe I'm wrong in thinking it's that way with *all* super-defiant kids, but if I had it to do over, I'd chose my battles more carefully.

    Anyway - just my thoughts. And a gentle hug to you, because it sounds like it was just a lousy evening.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    like the other posters before me, I can't remember your specifics because you haven't done a signature.

    I am assuming that your son is a teen and I would offer the same advice as slsh. Time for him to start paying the consequences and you to start having the power. If he doesn't do his homework, he doesn't do his homework! He pays the price at school in his grades and at home with a removal of privilages like weekends with friends, tv time, computer time, etc.

    He needs to be accountable himself. It's tough, as slsh says, but it's the only way you can get some peace. Keep the computer in your bedroom and purchase a good lock.

    Does your son have a therapist or a psychologist you could talk to that would help you come up with a plan and then help you talk to him about it?

    The abuse of your property is a tad scary in that he appears to be pretty violent. I would hate for you to be hurt in the future.

    If you make him responsible for his work it takes you out of the loop. Just advise the school that you will no longer play the homework battle routine. It is between him and the teachers.

    Has this behavior gotten worse with the start of the school year? Is he on any medications that may require some tweaking?


  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We don't know enough about your son to really be of help. If he is 18 and acting rude and dangerous, I would plan to pack his bags when he graduates. Is he in danger of not graduating? Is he using drugs? Does he have psychiatric problems that you know of? On any medications?

    Based on what you've told us, we really don't know anything about the situation, which makes it extremely hard to help you or give any advice that really makes sense. I'm sorry you are feeling badly, but that's really all any of us can say unless we know more. I agree that a signature is sort of needed so we know what type of child we are dealing with...check out our signatures.

    If your child is old enough to work, I'd make him get a job and buy you a new computer.
  6. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Based on your previous posts it sounds like you are a single mom of a 16 yo with ADHD, ODD, CD and possibly Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) who is doing drugs and alcohol.

    As others have said, it's hard to know what counsel to offer because we don't know much about your situation beyond these bare facts.

    I think you are right about standing your ground but only so long as it is safe for you to do so.

    If you left because you felt that you were in danger then I strongly encourage you to call your local battered women's shelter and ask for help managing this situation. Or, if your son has a PO, that might be someone for you to call and talk to about the way things are going. The PO will have the power to really do something immediate if your son is threatening you or, as you said, destroying your property.

    My heart goes out to you tonight. Please let us know that you are safe and how things work out.

  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First of all, hugs - because I know just how draining and difficult these nights are.

    Here is what I learned. Let difficult child pay the natural consequences of his actions. If he does not get his homework in, then he gets 0 points for the assignment. If he fails it is on him, not you and do not let any school try to tell you that it is on you.

    Also, in the heat of the moment is the worst time to impose additional rules or consequences. At first sign of homework noncompliance you should have just said something like, 'well you are the one that has to sit there while everyone else turns in their homework, not me.' and walk away. That provides the visual for him - and my difficult child did not care about that, but I still gave her the picture to think about.

    I know it seems very backwards or as I like to call it Non-Traditional Parenting, but telling a difficult child he can not watch TV without having their homework done and telling a easy child the same thing have different results. With the easy child many times that will get it done. For a difficult child it has no positive result. So, don't do it. Simple as that. What works for some kids does not work for others.
    Your goal for restricting TV is to get him to do his homework, right? Does it ever work? For mine it did not, but maybe you have had success.

    I guess the point is to sit down and think about the goal. Who cares how you get there. As long as you get there. Some days it will be as long as there is no arguing. And it is OK. I give permission ;)
  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    It is terrible to be bullied in your own home. Sue makes a good point about backing off on school work to eliminate conflicts. Is he passing? Close to graduating?
    When he's at school, I'd strip the house of all entertainment items, tv, computer, etc.. and make it known that they will need to be earned back by being respectful and responsible.

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Awww, I am so sorry. been there done that!

    I agree with-Christy--when he's out of the house, take all the electronic equipment out. It is a privilege, not a right. Don't put it in the garage. I did that this past spring and difficult child carried the TV back into the house! And then had the gall to complain about how heavy it was!
    If difficult child needs a computer for school, call the teachers and tell them that yours is broken and he needs to use the school computer. (Our teachers send home forms to sign to allow the kids Internet access at home. If we say no, the teachers have to come up with-something else. And they have a whole bank of computers in the computer lab!)
    One time I turned off the circuit breaker and told difficult child it was a power outage. He looked out the window and saw that the neighbor's TV was on (through their LR picture window) and immediately ran to the circuit box and flipped the switch back on. He didn't throw a fit, though. I think he was a bit amused--and relieved that it was such an easy problem to solve. Ahem. ;)

    Which goes to say, make your life as easy as possible.
    Just get the stuff out of the house.

    Do not chase after your son to do his homework. He's too old now. He's got to face consequences.
    Does he have a car? Spending money? Find something very important to him and use it as leverage. Then follow through.
    Expect an explosion, but walk away from him when he starts to berate you. Detach. I pretend it's an obnoxious TV show and try not to take it personally.
    Ea time he berates me, I've got a consequence. If he wants to go to a friend's house, I tell him no, you were too mean to me and don't deserve privileges. If he uses foul language, I charge him 25 cents for ea word. Etc.

    I had a really bad day the other day but part of it was because I was catching a cold. I went to bed. Smartest move I ever made! Some days are just too long.

    You should be able to sleep in your own bed with-o being harassed. I know how good it feels to sleep someplace else, and we all need breaks every now and then, but as a general rule, you need to sleep in your own house.

    Many hugs.
  10. nuone

    nuone New Member

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  11. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    If you haven't done so already you may want to review the information on antisocial personality disorder. Sadly, it sounds like your son may fit into this category better than any others.

  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) causes antisocial like behavior too though. The kids have organic brain damage and can't understand right from wrong. It could be a lot of things, but if he is dangerous, sadly, it is probably best if he no longer lives at home. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is another possibility. Drug use certainly doesn't help!!!:(
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like you need to make a plan. Sit and figure out what you can and can not tolerate. Let school handle consequences for school problems.

    Locks are important. Get good deadbolts and keep the key to yourself. do NOT leave a spare where he can get it.

    You are required to give him a bed, food, clothing, shelter, and to get him to school. You CAN call the truant officer yourself if he refuses to go to school. You MUST tell school if he refuses to go to school. If you don't a judge may find YOU responsible and that is just a losing proposition. Contact whomever you work with at school for his IEP (if he has one). Tell them that you cannot oversee his homework because he becomes violent with you. Let them know they can impose whatever consequences are appropriate for his lack of work, not turning in homework or anything else he does.

    tell them it is too dangerous.

    Whether he is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) or antisocial personality disorder or anything else, if he cannot make safe choices he cannot live in the home. it just is not safe. YOU have the RIGHT to a peaceful home where you do not fear what violence will happen next.

    It sounds like nothing you do will work. You really HAVE tried it all.

    It sure sounds like it is time to call social services. I would not bet on straight to reform school. They usually want to monkey around for a while with other things. He will NOT be happy and you should insist they place him somewhere within a week.

    PLEASE know it is NOT you. None of this is YOU. HE has to want to change.

    Keep yourself safe. At all costs.

  14. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I completely agree with Susie. Your safety must come first. It is not weak to admit that he is dangerous. He is the one acting inappropriately and threatening you in your own home.

    Hugs and strength for the journey.
  15. nuone

    nuone New Member

    Thanks guys - really needed the support and great advice - am kinda thinking he might be APDand it scares me somewhat - any advice on that one. He has been home refusing school for the last few days and I have just left it. Also has not wanted anything to do with me except wanting food - he was pretty edgy when I came home tonight so I did not stand too much ground! It is really becoming more and more difficult with him. Have appointment with psychiatrist tomorrow morning and ex ): He is such a horse's ass at times. Gave him hell because he undermined my treatment of difficult child and let him get his own way this week and tonight again when he wanted money. He better watch himself tomorrow or else I might take a leaf out of difficult child's book hahaha.....well at least thinking about it is good enough. What is an IEP? Don't know if we have them here. Am tucked up safely in my nice comfy room while he has the run of the rest of the place. Let's see what tomorrow brings....
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Not sure where you are. In the US we have IEP's to help children who need more help or different things than are normal. IEP is an individual education plan. It is supposed to help a child get what he needs to learn. It also protects the child from being punished for behaviors that are part of his disease. This is federal law and many schools are difficult to work with, though some are not.

    I hope you can let someone else take difficult child for a while. Or maybe the psychiatrist can send him to an inpatient program. Maybe difficult child could live with your dad?

    Whatever happens, INSIST the psychiatrist help you find a placement for difficult child. You simply CANNOT continue being a battered mommy. Your son should be ashamed, but being a difficult child, isn't.

    It is time to send difficult child to his dad's, at a minimum. It is NOT giving up on him. It is all about being SAFE.

    Part of the safety is difficult child's safety. If he seriously hurts you, or kills you, he will either be on the run or in jail. Jail is NOT a safe place to be. So by sending him to your ex's you will keep both you and difficult child safe.

    I don't know if your difficult child feels guilt. But if he does, or somehow starts to feel guilty at some point, he may realize what all he has done to you. The guilt from that could be overwhelming. My difficult child sure didn't seem to feel remorse for a number of years. but something changed. HE changed. Now he is so gentle with me. If he sees my hands are hurting he rubs them gently, esp the left one where he caused nerve damage. When I made him leave with the Sheriff it was partly to keep him safe from himself.

    My difficult child has unipolar depression (meaning no mania or mixed states). If he had done more than just my hand damage and the PTSD his sister and I cope with, he would have killed himself. I KNOW that if he had stayed here we would have had at least one of us dead. He probably would have killed one of us. but then he would have killed himself later. It just terrified me, so I broke the cycle.

    YOU need to break the cycle. STOP the abuse. Insist that the sheriff take him if he abuses you.

    I am so sorry you ahve to deal with all of this.
  17. nuone

    nuone New Member

    Thanks Susistar. Sadly we don't have anything like IEP. That would surely help a lot. Anyway, DEX and myself saw psychiatrist today and had long session with him where I laid it all out and we have started on a new plan of action. I also was very clear to him that DEX does make me the bad cop and that he has to be part of the program and I will take nothing less from him. Again, let's see how it works out.

    Anyway, with psychiatrist, we went over all his behaviour and what is going on with him. Possible bi-polar being brought into the mix now !!! Did discuss the possibility of him being escorted out should he go into that mode again. There is not much option here for placements. Either in foster care or children's homes (can you imagine the havoc he wreaks there) or institutions like BoysTown. Then there is the juvy or reform school when they have transgressed the law. been there done that - did change for a while, but it is going downhill again. So, medications have been adjusted and he will be having a session with psychiatrist for him to assess and from there we will know which way we are going - inpatient or continue as outpatient.

    Not to sound melodramatic and self-pitying (just factual here), but there is nobody else that can take difficult child to live with them. No dad on my side and DEX will not take difficult child to live with him at all. Has another marriage and children and they take priority. Also his wife won't have him living there. Have even documented this via lawyers. He can go to him for odd weekends and part of school holidays, but that is it. Personally, I think he is actually afraid of difficult child. He is always trying to bring in his easy child's and say that they have drama there too - so just keep bringing him back to the point that difficult child IS DIFFERENT - this is not normal teenage stuff. What a dweet he can be....

    So, DEX did come back this morning to have a meeting with difficult child who surprisingly was quite a bit more together again. Made him do the talking this time but did say that all decisions going forward will have been in consultation with each other and no matter which one delivers the verdict (obviously going to be me) it is not one parent that has made the decision. Lets see how it goes. difficult child was quite verbally antagonistic towards me, trying to stir up emotions and bringing in the last week's events through with his distorted unrealistic view, but I did hold it together and not react. He again said that he does not want to live with me, but we will wait until he is stabilised again and who knows, with divine intervention, maybe that will come to pass and we can land up having a calm relationship, because through all of this, I still do love him.

    So tiring - just hate all this draining stuff. Today I feel envious of those with sedate normal lives ! For now, difficult child has gone off with DEX for about 2 hours, and I am going to just languish in the peace and stare into space doing nothing. Hmmm, maybe they can get me a space on that padded verandah with a rocking chair.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  18. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    Nuone - you made me laugh, LOL. I think none of us with difficult children have sedate and normal lives = = = we just take the time to recuperate during the 'down times' to be ready when the next round of BS starts.

    I think - more than anything - you need ALanon or some such meeting group for yourself and for preserving your sanity. You have literally become a prisoner in your own home [snug tucked away in your little room or packing a bag and running away???] and you need a way to handle that better than that. Why not give him the car keys and your ATM card on top of that? As tough as it is, and as scary as it can get [and that ain't going down peacefully] - you need to grow a backbone and take charge of your home again. Right now you are proving to him that he is right - he can bum around at home, not go to school or work, mouth off whenever he feels like it, threaten you and damage your property - and nothing is going to happen as consequence... So next in step of escalation comes pushing and shoving - or are you there already? Has he cornered you yet somewhere in the house so you could not leave or get away from him? You do realize that you are in an abusive relationship, right? Sweetie - you need as much help as he does, and guess what? You cannot change him - but you can work on yourself, change the way you react to him and get better for yourself. Please find yourself a therapist for your own self and also go to Alanon!

    What are you waiting for - for him to turn 18 so he can leave? Reality check - he won't be leaving then either - at least not peacefully! He will continue to freeload because you have given in to his intimidation tactics [probably tighten the fingerscrews some more to make you heel better]; he will boss you around; steal from you; trash your home, use you and take you for all that you are worth. If this was your husband or SO treating you like this - would you settle for that???? Really?

    I know how hard it is to look at our kids and see an abusive mean person, that cares nothing about the hell they are putting us through, looking back at you. Someone you would not have anything to do with, if you had a choice and this wouldn't be a family member. Sometimes medications help, counseling sometime helps - but you know what - it's not going to happen until he makes the decision to deal with his own problems and issues. Sometimes they cannot due to brain chemistry/damage; sometimes they can when they mature and have a reality check. As long as you are allowing/enabling him to bully you and be a jerk to you - HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE, why should he? But YOU can change!!! Do this for yourself, not for him!!! Hugs, MuM.
  19. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Just so you know, this thread is over 2 years old.
  20. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    LOL - you are right, now how did I get into this one???

    You gotta wonder what ever happens to the posters that post a few times and then dissappear? Did things get settled? Worked out? Taken care off? Did it get worse? God forbid it went so far for one or the other to end up in jail - it's always possible... Hope she found a workable solution, sigh.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.