False hope

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    (Reminds me of the Paul Simon song: No, I would not give you false hope, on this sad and mournful day...)

    I realise that I am always a bit surprised when I read on the forum of children older than J still displaying his kind of behaviour - meltdowns, aggression, etc. And then that made me realise that part of me is definitely thinking and hoping that J is going to grow out of all this stuff, just mature out of it and calm down. Yet the realistic prognosis is probably that he is not going to, right? He has definitely got better at controlling his aggression with other children, if I think about how he was when he was say 2 or 3, but he is still as aggressive with me, still constantly has meltdowns and tantrums.
    Just felt a bit shocked when I realised tonight that I have been living on false hope...
  2. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    My dear-is there false hope when it comes to the complicated organism called humans? How can anyone predict the future of a human? If you dobn't have hope, who will. Just don't make it blind hope-"help the the hope" as it were!

    When my boy (who was a difficult child from he**) attended a special preschool, the very reknowned director, whom I still see on the news when child psychology commentary is needed, told me my boy would never make it through regular school and would probably either have legal trouble or addictions, I lost some hope. Then I got ticked!!! I pulled my kid out (because it cost a bundle and if they didn't have any hope what the heck was I doing there?), and got to work. I read, I surrounded myself with people who did have hope for my boy-in short, we did some therapist hoping and intervention hoping and medication hoping until things felt right! Every time I see this jerk on the news, I want to tell him that my boy has a career (not just a job), he has a band that is well known in these parts, that he is responsible and has never been arrested and graduated from public high school (with honors). Nobody believes that he was so difficult when he was young. He has no addiction and lives clean. He isn't perfect, does not want A girl friend (too much trouble), has spent 2 years house hunting and can't decide if he wants to move out, move out of state or what. Had I listened to others, we would have never accomplished this.

    Even difficult child daughter is doing better. She is so wounded and she struggles in so many ways. But, she has a job, aced the GED, and has not run away for at least a month.

    Now I am the only one this morning who thought things would get better in 2012 (at least at that point). But, you just don't know. And things will only get worse if you dont believe that you can help. (((Hugs)))
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think you might need to realize that so many of us come here with kids who have diagnosis and older kids..... those that did not grow out of it. (yet, I think lots of us still hope for better if not complete improvement) Many of our kids who still have these behaviors have some serious neurological and biological added issues. Others have amazing emotional histories.

    There are many many more people who have really hard kids when young who DO have them grow out of it and they would not probably come here. I know several kids personally (and then went back to my old child development books) who at age 5-6 reverted to toddler like behaviors and tantrums and they were worse because now they are processing things like fears in a new way...still too young to really know how to solve problems and to know imaginative from real monsters and bad guys or situations, etc..... but old enough to have bigger fears and thoughts. It is actually documented that this happens as a normal part of development.

    Not at all negating that his behaviors are different from typical kids his age. But just saying that if you add his developmental stage with his history and the issues you see it may seem bigger right now than in a couple of years. Then it may go back to awful in the teen years, then stabilize again.

    There is always hope. There are many who think no one should have an exact diagnosis (I disagree for other reasons but do agree with this point, people lower their expectations) because so often people end up unconsciously only having expectations that are typical for that diagnosis. or create what is known to go with that diagnosis, etc. Not on purpose of course. Just never give up hope.

    There clearly are real issues, but he has so much going for him. I think working on the strengths/weakness model for developing skills works best. Really focus on what his strengths are. Help to build those new and different dreams. Right now remember, you said that it is only just hitting you this is real. So, you are seeing things thru those kinds of eyes. There actually ARE many here who have talked of how their kids are now independent and even have jobs, and families. There is a TON of hope. Maybe not the picture you dreamed of when you wanted to become a mom to that fantasy child we all dream of. But tons of hope for J. He has YOU!!!! You are thoughtful and caring and working hard to be a good mum to him.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks exhausted - and for sharing something of your difficult child's inspiring tale.
    I am not beyond hope, though. I meant that I have had this false hope that J would grow out of all this stuff all on his own, without help, just as a matter of time... He has a lot of potential, many qualities, and I've always seen that, certainly don't feel despairing about him on the whole.
    Thanks too, Buddy. Wise words, as ever. Yes, there is a lot of hope. I just am struggling with my own incomplete acceptance - I've come a long way! - acceptance of J's difference. This is a child without a diagnosis, though, for the moment! And I think you make a very interesting and important point about diagnoses and limited expectations.
    Though to be honest... I think I probably need to be clearer and more specific about asking for more help with him. Raise my concerns more forcefully with the new psychiatrist, with whom we have an appointment in January. Otherwise everything just sort of slides by... J's behaviours are not outrageous and intense enough to warrant a sense of urgency on people's parts... Except for the way he is at home, which most people don't see and witness.
  5. Gr8Gramma

    Gr8Gramma New Member

    Malika, I don't know all your circumstances but since J is adopted is attachment disorder a possibility? I hope things get better for you and J and I want to remind you of another song, one of my favorites by the way.
    When the night has been too lonely,
    and the road has been too long,
    And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
    Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
    Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes
    The Rose.
    J will reach full bloom in his time, remember all children are gifted, they just open their presents at different times.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That makes sense and sounds like the Malika we all know, lol! (not that it wouldn't' be perfectly within your rights as a mom of a tough kid to despair at times and need some help pulling out of it....I go there LOTS) I think it is probably true you may need to be more direct about what you want from psychiatrist. You have new stories and info to share.

    One hard thing I find, when we talk to the professionals or other people off this list, it is common to want to focus on the progress and good things ...for many reasons (some I fear are because I want people to know about what I am doing and that I am not a lousy mom). but I have learned that there are times to really just focus on the yuck. (of course that can backfire at times too....like the psychiatric that said I must be exaggerating...I WISH)

    Be kind to yourself and remember that finding out that your child really has special needs is like they say in all the books.... a grief process. You will feel anger, despair, denial, hope, acceptance, in all different order, at all different times. Milestones that have us compare our kids to typical kids can cause it to all start over. You are doing fine and J is super lucky to have you. You were matched in life for a reason.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    "Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

    One of my all time favorite quotes.
  8. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    Hi Malika.

    My oldest son, Screamo, grew out of his rage and aggression, and he is now one of the kindest, extremely well-liked kids around. Yes, he still gets mad, but he decided to learn coping skills and use them, so he wouldnt rage anymore. He didnt want to be that person anymore. When I share how he used to be, people go...Screamo? Then I walk them around the house and show them all the wall holes he has had to patch on his journey to normalness. :-/

    It can and does happen. My hope for my difficult children has dwindled, specifically difficult child 1, but that doesn't mean all is hopeless for everyone. Screamo proves it.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nothing is hopeless. But in my opinion a child like J. needs interventions and help. A lot of our kids act out the worst at home...at first.

    Sonic had meltdowns too that went away, but he is still different and still needs help and, although he is the nicest young man on the planet, without interventions I do not know if he would be this way. On the other hand, the friend I wrote about whose young son is having so many problems (the one who is attracted to young girls) also adopted a girl who was a hellion and a rager when she was young. After s he was sent to a treatment center for school, she suddenly turned it all around and, at twelve, she is now a wonderful daughter and doing great. It's a hard call to make. I wish we all had crystal balls...
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow-Many wise words in this thread-for some reason I'm almost in tears (but they are good tears). This thread was just what I needed tonight.

    Our difficult children are so lucky to have such warrior moms who advocate and hope for them.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    There's a wide spectrum of levels of GFGness - if you want to call it that - represented in the kids that bring parents to this board. I've gone back, sometimes, and read up on some of the background on some of these kids on the board... and there are many who, at J's age, were MUCH worse. So, you can't compare to those.

    There's also a lot of shifting in knowledge, perceptions, tools, etc. over time. You are getting access to resources, help, ways of thinking, that didn't exist when my difficult child was J's age, and definitely didn't exist when some of these older difficult children were J's age. Even if you don't feel you have some of the resources that are slightly more common in North America, you have things like this forum. That puts you, and J, at an advantage. Just like it does any other 5 year old whose parents are seeking the right path for their own kids.

    There is also concrete evidence that SOME of these marks, they may indeed grow out of, even without interventions etc. However, it makes sense that anything that we as parents can do to teach better skills, reduce secondary damage, and keep a good bond with our kids, has to be beneficial both in the short run and in the long run. In other words, you may never find all the answers, but every answer you find makes J's future that much more hopeful.

    Trust me. If there was hope for my GFGbro (and that's going back a long ways)... there's hope for J. Hope in the short run, as well as in the long run.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    So much wisdom in our board family. In my case, and I think with many others, I just assumed that my children would be normal happy kids and that I would be the perfect Mom. Yeah, I really did. Of course I also never ever imagined that I would ever be a single Mom...good heavens, no.

    I write this because I believe that adapting to unforeseen circumstances is difficult. Whether difficult child or easy child young children change constantly as they grow and develop. It took me quite awhile to realize that I had to adapt almost daily. For me that was very difficult....sometimes still is. I'm sure you'll do fine. Hugs DDD
  13. keepongoing

    keepongoing Guest

    My son is on the spectrum (which is different from your kid) but it sounds like your kid has issues with self-regulation beyond what a typical kid experiences.

    I always thought my boy would grow out of his behaviors and when he did get a diagnosis it hit me like a ton of bricks that this was life-long and not a phase. That being said - my son is now in middle school and while his behaviors will always be different his aggression has decreased and his academics have improved. I learned to raise him as who he is instead of who I hoped he grow into and that has made a big difference for him and me. My son has changed but so have I.
    You do not know what your kid will be like 5 years from now but trust that when you get there it will be okay. There will be good days and bad days and both of you will grow along the way.
  14. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I agree with Buddy and your own comments-you are probably grieving the loss of the son you pictured. I've been through that more than once with both kids as I have had to accept certain realities. It's normal and expected. I think it even happens with parents of some PCs as they take turns in directions parents don't agree with. You're a good mommy and little J is lucky to have you.
  15. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Malika I understand completely what you said and are going through. Just today I said to my husband I just want for difficult child to be better. He looked at me with all seriousness, and said you understand that she will never be "fixed"? What he meant was that this will never completely go away. That it is always something she will have to keep an eye on, and work with for the rest of her life. It was a real smack in the face. I wake up every morning with a combination of dread and hope. If I didn't have hope, false or otherwise I would never be able to get up everyday. I have to hope that difficult child is getting a little better. Sometimes that is all there is to hold on to.
  16. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I have given up the wish of a "normal kid" for V. But I have not lost hope of him being able to cope and reaching HIS full potential.
    I was just talking to a very good friend today and we were catching up on our lives. She wanted to reassure me with the "he is probably just delayed, but he will catch up". I very calmly explained that no, somethings in his brain are not working right. He will never be fixed but we can help him. That is what I'm working on. She was SO confused by my statement. For her, it's one or the other: a normal kid with a bright future, or a "broken" child with no hope.
    Life is not black and white. Maybe V's brain has a few bugs ;) , but I believe he can still have a bright future.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    KTLC, this is for you.

    We also hoped that Sonic would become "normal" as in his odd behaviors and differences would disappear. Much of it did, but he is eighteen now and not 100% "normal" as defined by most people. HOWEVER, *he* doesn't care. He is happy, even-tempered and good-natured. He keeps busy and will get help with things like his work and living. With his trouble multi-tasking and his anxiety, it is unlikely he will ever be able to get a competitive job (money-wise), but that does not mean he has to sit at home and vegetate, and he will not.

    I would say he is 80% self-sufficient and needs a little bit of help. He can live alone one day, if he chooses, with government help, of course, to pay the rent. Not all of our kids will become totally independent or totally ok. In fact, probably most of them will not. Some will learn to compensate enough to get by. Some may be able to get by but will feel "safer" with continuing help. Some will end up great citizens. Some will end up in drugs or in jail. There is no magical formula to know how our kids will turn out.

    I am willing to settle for a happy young man who needs a little assistance. I'm sure Sonic is fine in his own skin. To me, making our k ids know and accept who they are is VERY important...if we can raise happy, contented young adults with disabilities, we have done a great job. The disability is then secondary to the contenedness. Is that even a word? At any rate, there is nothing shameful about being different unless YOU feel it is shameful. I think it is very important we always accept our children's disabilities (not willful bad behavior, but the things they can not help). If we don't, how will they?

    I don't know if this made sense, but I hope so. *I* know what I was trying to say...lol.
  18. zaftigmama

    zaftigmama New Member

    I feel you, Malika--our boys were born very early (27 weeks) and since their birth we've frequently moved between "everything's going to be fine!" to "everything is horrible!" and back again (they're six years old, about the same as your son).

    So much depends on your perspective and expectations. Of course my children aren't typical six year olds--but I can acknowledge where there's been progress--our oppositional difficult child (Brownie) is still refusing to do almost anything we (or any other adult) asks him to do, rages, etc--but he has been pooping on his own for the last several weeks (he usually holds it to the point he's soiling himself, we need to administer an enema, etc)--so we're happy about that. He's also eating apple slices and yogurt--a departure from his "cat food" diet (anything crunchy). He gets along great with other kids--of course, the adult thing is a MAJOR issue--but a strength is a strength!

    I feel for Brownie. His oppositional nature keeps him from doing things he would like to do. He'd like to play soccer, but can't take any direction from a coach. There were things he loved about his homeschool nature program--like identifying leaves and learning how to build shelters--but he couldn't stay because any demand placed on him would make him tantrum. This can't feel good. It can't feel good to rage and be out of control. It can't feel good to be incapable of coping with even the mildest frustration. So it's my job to make sure that he gets the help he needs so he can be the best Brownie he can be--whatever that looks like.

    Anyway--you're not alone. Hope is not a bad thing to have!
  19. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks all for your supportive comments.
    Because J is so "close" to normal - at this age, he mostly looks to others like a turbulent little boy more than anything else - and because he more or less conforms to the requirements of social settings, it sort of prolongs my hopes/delusions that all this is just a mirage and will just disappear in time. Don't know if that makes sense.
  20. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I'm not sure if I've been living with false hope, but for me I've been dealing with coming to certain realizations about difficult child. He's been on medications now for over a year, and while it's definately better than it was before he started the medications, it's been tough to admit that this might be the best that it's going to get. Maybe my expectations were too high when he started the medications. Maybe I had such high hopes that he would take the medications and be "cured", for lack of a better word.

    I understand what you mean, though. You suddenly know that things are not what you had hoped they would be. It can be tough to admit that, expecially when you have worked so hard to get him help.