easy child and a big huge guilt trip

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    So since easy child/difficult child's dad told him he will be living with him as of April 1st, he has not taken it well. I don't blame him. He is not close to his dad at all, despite his every other weekend visits. His stepmom is a witch. He will be changing schools and leaving his friends. He has been attending the same after school daycare for seven years. He will be leaving everything behind in the middle of the school year. And he is autistic and doesn't handle change well. So how do I tell my 12 year old Aspie son that this is all for his benefit? After easy child vehemently protested moving out and said outright he was refusing to go, I had his dad call him and talk to him. I urged him to play up to easy child and make it sound like a great big new adventure. So my ex called him last night. The call was on speaker phone so I heard everything. His dad asked him if it was true that he didn't want to live with him. easy child was too nervous to admit it to him. His only answer was, "I don't know." So my ex started telling easy child how great it was going to be to live with him. Promised to spend quality father/son time with him. Told him the experience would be great for both of them. Promised him he would love it. So easy child doesn't say much back to him other than "Yeah okay whatever." They hang up. As soon as easy child puts down the phone, he tells me, yet again, "I don't want to live with daddy."

    I don't know what else to tell my son. He is dead set against going, but he doesn't have a choice. And I feel like total **** for having him go. I already played up the father/son bonding scenerio with him but he's not buying it. How do I explain to a 12 year old that I'm simply no longer capable of taking care of him and meeting all his needs? How do I explain this without making it seem like it's all his fault? I told my therapist yesterday about him moving in with his dad. My therapist made me feel even worse. His response, "So you are sending your special needs son to his dad, who he does not have a good relationship with, in the middle of the school year, when he has autism and doesn't handle transition well. And to top it off your ex does not believe in his asperger's diagnosis, does not agree with his adhd medications, and has no idea what an IEP is?" Well gee, when he puts it like that, I really feel like ****. My therapist feels sorry for my son. So do I. I feel like an incompetent parent for making him leave. Right now I have all I can handle with difficult child. With easy child/difficult child it's just too much for me at my current unstable condition. So how do I help these guilt feelings? And how do I handle easy child who, understandably so, is happy in his own little world and doesn't want it changed? Right now I'm feeling like a pretty poor parent.
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I wish I had an answer for you, CB. This must be very hard for him to understand.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    The reality of life, sometimes the choice is between what stinks least. If you feel you can't care for easy child then some care is better than everything falling apart.

    Hopefully dad will become educated. You must stay involved with school though if you can . Call ahead. It's not fair but husband is not ready to take that on. They should do a school to school transition meeting if possible. May need to be by speaker phone.

    It will be ok.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I am assuming that you arenot just sayig "here he is, Ex". There has to a profesional bridge to assure his understanding AND his bioDad's. Is there "really" a benefit that you believe in making this change? I suggest that you tell your son "Daddy wants to have the opportunity to share life with you. There are only x number of months before summer. Do you believe you can give it your best effort until the end of the school year and IF it is going great...great! and if there are problems you and your Dad can visit Dr. X in hopes of working it out. If there are any real problems I promise (and make sure you can do it)!) the attorney, the psychiatrist, The therapist plus YOU and I and Daddy will decice if you are better off coming back home tome. Then reassure him that you want nothing but the best for him and he can rely on your devotion.......'cause you love him. DDD
  5. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    To be honest, while I do feel for you and what you're going through, I do have to ask why difficult child isn't the one leaving? Besides all the changes he will be going through, I can see where "you choosing difficult child over him" would be a huge part of the equation FOR HIM. I can see where he might see it as him being punished because of difficult child. If you're in that bad of a place, to me, it would make sense to ship off the more stressful child. If there are problems with difficult child, they are DAD'S problems now. HE should have to deal with the problems that are dragging you down. I guess I just don't understand the whole thing myself. I don't mean to guilt you. That is not my intent by any means. I am just looking at it from the point of a parent with a high-stress child and a low-to-moderate stress child and mental health issues of my own. To me it would be common sense to take a break from the high-stress child. The last thing I would do is ship off my spectrum child because of a major difficult child.

    I am sending supportive (((HUGS))) to you AND easy child/difficult child. I really hope he doesn't develop abandonment issues like my difficult child 1 has. Being on the spectrum magnifies the effects of the abandonment he feels and is unable to deal with. It's gonna be tough....on both of you.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    As I remember things, easy child is running roughshod over every limit and boundary you try to put into place. He just ignores the majority of any rules you make, and both you and your ex feel that he needs some firm male guidance or he will end up heading down the difficult child road also.

    Given that, my response is that parenting isn't about being their friend, it is about making the hard choices, and making them do things they don't want to do because we know it will benefit them whether they like it or not. They get tons of friends/acquaintances but they don't get tons of parents.

    I do wonder if maybe difficult child should go to her dad's instead, but you would still have to be able to make easy child listen to you and do what he needs to do and I am not sure you can do that.

    You NEED to make sure that both easy child and ex/his wife know that you will be VERY active with his IEP, his dr appts, therapy appts, and that he WILL have accommodations at school and that ex and his wife are going to need to start reading about aspergers, sensory issues, etc... because otherwise this is going to be a disaster and it will likely cause major problems for everyone. Your ex may not like it, but tough noogies. It isn't like any of us realized our kid has a diagnosis and thought "Oh GOODY! Happy happy joy joy!" We still had to figure it out, find the right help and do what needed to be done.

    Change isn't ever fun, esp for an aspie, but it happens and one of the BEST gifts you can give your child is the knowledge that they CAN cope iwth changes, even big ones.

    All you can do is the best you can with what you have. It is easy to say a choice is not the right one when you don't have to live with the consequences, Know what I mean??

    FYI: If you end up with a studio apartment, and you have easy child living iwth you instead of difficult child, you could lose custody totally. Almost every court would have a problem with a preteen/teen child sharing a one room apartment with the opposite sex parent. Many apartment complexes either won't rent to you or would evict you even before the lease is up if they learn that you do not have a bedroom for him so that you are not in the same room. I am not saying that anything inappropriate would happen, just that most areas have housing regulations that prohibit this and often this would be something the apt mgr would have to report to CPS if they were aware of it.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Gee, we had alot of kids and parents in one bedrooms with opposite sex sibs and parent/child combos. It was an expensive complex and had nice amenities so they got dividers etc. Foster care wouldn't go for that but management knew. They lived there too. Must depend on the area.
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    difficult child cannot go to her dad's simply because he does not want her. Stepmom surely does not want her. She hates difficult child and has said so. Calls her a b**tch, stupid, etc and has an intense dislike for her. Ex knows this and does not want any trouble between the two. So he has stated that he wants my son and not her. I do feel bad for him, in a way, since his older son committed suicide a few years ago. He really blew it with him big time. Treated him badly when he was alive. And now he feels, rightfully so, partly responsible for his death. So he wants a second chance with easy child. He is his only son now. So I am willing to give him that chance in hopes that he can be a better father the second time around. At least he is promising not to make the same mistakes he made the first time. So that is why he is choosing easy child. I feel like I can be a positive role model for difficult child and I can be a better advocate for her education than ex can. And I really do feel like I can handle raising just her for now until I get more stabilized. Since reducing my Paxil two weeks ago I am feeling much better and the rapid cycling has stopped, but the depression is still partly there. I feel like easy child will be better off at his dad's for now, but if he gets treated badly or is not adjusting well I will make moves to get him back in a heartbeat. So I really am hoping I am making the right choice.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Will that be in writing? Once he is there would husband let him come back? You say he will change and desperately wants him but he is ignoring his autism and his Special Education plan and his need for medications, at least at school.
    I'm sure that's a worry for you because in the past you've said he's not fit to raise an animal. You were mad then about what his wife was saying and his behaviors. But, right now you don't have many options for getting better. It sounds like you'd rather keep both but just can't do, what else to do.

    I think if you call the school and doctors they plan to use, you will have a better chance of getting him back if needed. Most importantly, for easy child's sake....he needs your voice in his care. I agree denying his autism and not prepping the school (call and talk to the teacher yourself, fill them in) is risky for easy child. I get why you were upset that husband didn't set up the school stuff well. but you're better at it for now. And it's not about husband. You got easy child all of his services. You did the awesome job, which is why easy child is doing so well. I think the reality is, you will do better, at least at first, setting things up. And easy child needs that from you. If you can, facilitate a phone conference from his old teacher to the new sp ed teacher.

    Id suggest making sure you put in writing to the new school that you want copies of every note sent home. Even about picture day and school activities. When I've worked in schools that has made it so there was no way a parent could not say the other did not communicate with the other. You can schedule your own teacher conferences if being with husband wouldn't work out. And you can always be there by phone.

    You are doing your best, we are just sharing ideas. You've brought easy child to where he is and you know it's going to be hard.

    Keep moving forward, you can do this.
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am typing up an agreement that states the IEP must be carried over to the new school. I am also going to state that ex must keep easy child on his Focalin as a stipulation. I am going to meet him Friday and have him sign it. I am going to give both kids the big news that I found a place today after school. easy child will need to move earlier than expected. I was going to move the weekend of the 29th but the apartment won't hold it for that long. So we are moving this weekend, which means easy child will be starting the new school next Monday. I am not looking forward to giving him the news today. He expected to be with me another two weeks. But it is what it is and he will need to go to his dad's sooner. I am hoping he takes the news well.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Amber...be kind to yourself. You have bipolar and many other challenges and when you're not stable, it's hard to take care of a well behaved child, let alone three who are challenging. I have been there. I also suffer from mental illnesses. Don't beat yourself up. I do suggest a new therapist. This one is awfully judgmental. I didn't think it was a therapist's job to judge, but to encourage you to make the right decisions for YOU.

    Ok, now having said that :) maybe it can be temporary. Once you get stable, you will probably feel differently about being able to parent all of your children. It hoovers that you have bipolar yet have had to raise these children alone and that ex is a krapola father. Can you maybe actually sit your child down and tell him the truth about why he is going to Dad's? That you are too sick to take care of all of them right now and that Dad won't take difficult child? That you will get him back as soon as you can (if that is the plan)? I'm always brutally honest with my kids. I dunno...it has always worked better for me to be honest.

    This is a mess and I know you're looking for an apartment too. Sounds like everything is hitting the fan at the same time. Having felt the despair and inability to cope of a deep depression, I can not and will not condemn you for your decision, but I do urge you to try to make it temporary. And again FIRE THE THERAPIST! I would have gotten up and walked out of the room then burst into tears, but I never would have gone back again. Does the therapist have bipolar and three difficult children? If not, he is nobody to talk.

    Gentle and loving hugs. Hang in there.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sorry. Guess you have two kids. Well...same thing.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    None of that here either. CPS doesn't touch cases like that here unless there is sexual abuse. I don't think that should be a problem.
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    when kids transfer schools, iep's are sent. but more important is all those subtle things that will help him transition. the teachers need to talk.
  16. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I have no advice or anything like that. I just wanted you to know that in my eyes putting your child first is the trait of a great mother and if you didn't agonize over this decision you wouldn't be a great mom. You are showing how much you love him by how seriously you are taking this.

    I also think making it temporary would be a good thing. Maybe put in the stipulation that physical custody of easy child will be revisited in x number of months? Or at the end or beginning of summer? This leaves it open which ever way easy child and your health need it to go.
  17. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well easy child took the news rather well. I told him yesterday after school that he would me moving in with his dad this weekend instead of next. All he said was, "I thought it was supposed to be in two weeks?" I explained to him that the new apartment needs us to move right away. He said okay and went about his business. However, my mom did tell me that last week he told her, "I may seem like I'm fine with it now, but when it comes right down to it I am not going." I don't know if he still feels this way or not. Hopefully when it comes to him going to his dads this weekend he will go willingly. It is going to be a hard day for both of us. I will be dropping him off for a weekend visit at his dad's on Friday, and Sunday I will be meeting his dad and picking up difficult child only. It will be hard to not see him for a whole week. I am going to have to adjust as well as him. I am not looking forward to it but I know I'm doing the right thing.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What kind of communication can you set up to help you both through this?
    For example, would it help if he could talk to you each night and tell you how his day went etc.?
  19. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    easy child and I are avid texters. Both of us are not very good talking on the phone. Talking to him I barely get a word out of him. But he loves to text me now to tell me about his day when I'm at work and he's at daycare. So I plan on texting him every day after school to talk to him. I am very glad I got him this cell phone for his birthday last year. I get more out of him with texting than I do while I'm in person with him. He's not a really big talker, but, like me, he's a text a holic.
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Go with what works, especially if it's already working... :)