Feeling so alone

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by fabfive, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. fabfive

    fabfive New Member

    I feel like there is no one out there (in real life) that even remotely understands what it is like having a child like difficult child#1. Everyone around me feels like difficult child#1 is the way he is because I don't give him enough structure. OMG, I give him ALL I CAN. Every second of my day is spend dealing with him. I feel like I have failed my other children- for giving them a sibling like him and not being able to give them the time and attention they deserve and desperately need too. There are so many days where I feel like hopping in my van and just leaving. Not looking back. I tried to vent to husband last night saying that I had a brief moment yesterday where I fantasized about putting A in foster care. I needed a soft place to vent and instead he made me feel like **** for even entertaining the thought. The thought. Keep in mind he is at work 10 hours a day and spends at most 2 hours a day dealing with A.

    I feel lost and helpless and I fear I am about to break.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi, I want to say welcome to the board if I havent welcomed you before. I'm sorry you are getting the reactions from people in the real world that you are getting but it isnt uncommon. Most people who dont have to raise kids like ours simply dont understand what its like. They arent your average bears.

    Heck even a 34 year old mother with 5 normal kids would be exhausted but when you add in kids who arent neurotypical, boy, you have your hands full! Im sorry your husband didnt understand why you would feel the way you did. Many of us have had to place our difficult child's outside the home to get the help they need. I did. Its not that we want to send them away to just get rid of them but sometimes it takes more than two parents to help a child. Its not a bad thing or a sign of weakness.

    Now for some questions, does your son get any therapy or anything like that? Maybe he would benefit from some sort of in home or wrap around therapy. Perhaps you could attempt to find something like that. I do think you should seek therapy for yourself to help you deal with the stress of parenting these kids. It is so not easy. You need someone to go to at least once a week to unload on that is not your husband. It will help you so much. They can also give you some strategies to help with the kids.

    I hope something I have said here helps you. If not, know that I am here and I care.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, ditto. Welcome. You are a heroine in your own lunch time... And, no, people don't understand. Best I got with this one recently was saying to a friend who was giving me the (rather doubtful) benefit of her advice as to how I should be tougher with my son, "Okay, you take him for a week and have the experience." She thought for a moment and said "No, I just want to have an opinion without the experience...." A tiny victory :)
    Your fantasies about sending him away so you can have a respite are very understandable. I think we've all been there done that.
    Please tell us more about how/why your son is challenging.
  4. fabfive

    fabfive New Member

    We are starting therapy on 8/8. This Dr. specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorders so maybe it will help.

    He is challenging in so many ways. He knows how to push everyone's buttons in this house. He knows he can make a certain noise and it will irritate difficult child#2. He knows he can say a certain word and difficult child#3 will fly off the handle. And then he will laugh and laugh when they are upset. I don't get it. He hits his siblings, hits husband and I, spits, throws things, kicks walls, curses when he doesn't get his way. He is OBSESSED with speakers. I mean obsessed. He starts talking about them from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed. He asks me to buy him speakers because it's not like he has enough. I say no, and then all hell breaks lose. He will meltdown for hours when he is denied a speaker. During his meltdowns he will go from one extreme to another- asking if I love him (I obviously tell him yes) then saying I love my sister more than him. He will ask over and over for speakers and my answer stays the same. Finally, he will stop the meltdown and then ask me calmly for a speaker like the entire scene just didn't take place. He will break whatever he can get a hold of to find his beloved speaker. All the boys got brand new dsi's for Christmas- not cheap! Within weeks he broke his...a few weeks later he broke another...and then he finally broke the last one. Same goes for laptops, radios, old tv's. Nothing is safe from him. He is a handful at school too. He spends most of his day in a resource room. He tells the teacher how to teach class, tells her she's crazy and that she hates him, etc. He doesn't have a single friend but he doesn't care one bit. He has never shown ANY interest in having a friend at all.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Welcome, fabfive - you have quite a full plate there! Always, ALWAYS feel free to come here and vent and say whatever (WHATEVER) you want - get it off your chest. Guaranteed you will receive comments that understand exactly what your life is like along with some really helpful ideas.

    I second Janet's question: is difficult child (or any of your children) enrolled in programs or seeing a therapist to help them learn life/coping skills? Do you have any resources available for you to get a break once in a while?

    If you presently have a counselor for your difficult child(s) or the family, I would speak with them about helping you find programs and resources that will lighten your load, help your children and give the others an opportunity to get away from difficult child or at least learn ways in which they can detach from a situation when necessary.

    Also, I think I would FORCE H to go to a few sessions to help him better understand what an average day is like for you. He needs to be a support to you and the children, despite the amount of time he spends outside the home.

    Big hugs, read the boards, acquiant yourself with others' stories and continue to post.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    What you are dealing with is tough.
    There is a ray of hope with the therapy starting in August. I really hope this leads somewhere positive for your son and you as a family dealing with him. The speakers... this seems like an Aspergers/autism rather obsessional thing but I am rather out of my depth with that and I am sure someone with more experience and knowledge will have something helpful to say.
    I don't have much advice to give right now but I do want to express my solidarity with and understanding for you.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just sending a supportive hug your way. DDD
  8. fabfive

    fabfive New Member

    Yeah, the speakers obsession is totally Autism. When our Dr. started him on Luvox we really hoped it would decrease his obsession just a little. It hasn't though. I have been good about giving into his obsession (when reasonable) and buying him speakers now and then. But then he just breaks them and wants more. It's never enough for him. He even wants all of his shirts to have headphones/speakers/radio's on them. I oblige because I just want him to be happy but some days I think I should just take the route of acting like speakers don't exist.

    Speakers aren't the only thing that causes meltdowns though. He wants to be in control of everything in the house. Tell him no- watch out.
  9. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    Two or three quick thoughts that came to mind...

    First of all - you need mini breaks. If you don't take care of yourself, who will??? Call your best friend or your fav sister and invite yourself for the weekend - just you alone, no hubby, no kids, not even the baby! Or if you prefer to unwind alone - I suggest book yourself into a hotel in the next town over, stop by the library for some books or rent a couple of DVDs and have some quiet unwinding time for yourself [don't have to be fancy or far away - across town will do and cheap if necessary if money is tight!]. Leave your husband to deal with all 5 of them [oooops!] for the weekend [and make it a long one - Friday evening when he comes in from work until in the wee hours on Monday morning before he needs to step back out] - I bet he will be more open to offer you some support and hands on help when you come back!

    Once the kids are back to school - use the mornings [I am assuming you are a stay at home mom?] - and do something for yourself - exercise, eat healthier [that might help the kids too], get a hobby - just anything to make you feel better and replenish your batteries and self.

    Look for possible counseling and/or if possible a support group of other ppl/parents dealing with the same issues you do. You need someone in real life to talk to, and if friends, family and associates don't get it, keep looking until you find someone new to talk to. Stuff like the things our kids can come up with, can eat you up and make you as unbalanced and erratic in the long run as our difficult children are, if we cannot unwind and put a bit of emotional and sometimes physical distance between us and them. You are what holds your family together - and if you fall apart, everything else will spiral down the drain too. So be selfish and put your own wellbeing first - so you can remain strong and do what you need to do to help your children! Heartfelt hugs to you!
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Making strange, unusual, high pitched noises is also part of autism. You sure he's trying to bug you? He sounds like he could be stimming. My son is eighteen and doesn't stimulant out loud anymore, but he sure makes a racket in his room sometimes...lol.

    I let my son do his obsessions because he has a disorder and not letting him do them doesn't make him crave them anymore. He will talk about them nonstop and t hen start touching everything and trying to take them apart. I do force him to participate in some sports and other activities. He is high functioning enough to do them.

    I'm not sure that foster care would help him. He may have trouble finding foster parents who want to take him on, if he's that high maintenance, or understand Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Is he getting any AUTSISM specific therapies? Talk therapy often is very unproductive for those with autism because they have communication problems. Is he getting school interventions? Any IEP?

    Have you looked into respite?
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow...you really do have a mess dont you...sigh. Ok, I am going to try and think outside the box for you so just see if any of the stuff I throw out here is usable and if it can work, great! If not, then just toss it out and try something else.

    I so get the obsessional thinking stuff because my oldest is aspie and he obsesses over stuff. Over the years it has been tons of different things. Oddly enough, at one time it was old radios that he took apart. After he took apart my good radio, I fast discovered that I needed to go buy old ones that didnt work at the junk stores.

    I have no idea if you have the room in your living area like maybe a junk room or maybe even better a shed outside but maybe you could designate a place for him to have a bunch of old non-working TV's, radio's, computers, etc that have speakers in them that you get from places that toss stuff out. Let him take them apart. Give him books on speakers. Let him revel in his speakers. In his space. The rest of the house is speaker free.

    As far as the hitting, that is a problem. Does he have problem using his words when he gets very frustrated? Some people here have had luck with social stories. Look them up online and see if you think they would help.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Actually, this "his space" thing is a normal "guy" thing - just taken to an extreme when you get to Aspie et al. But even regular guys need to be given a "space" and then taught that all "their stuff" belongs there, not all over everyone else's space too! The only "stuff" allowed inside is the books on that subject...

    And I'll second Janet on the books... second-hand and thrift stores often have rafts of interesting books on arcane subjects. And the older books are usually very well written. Don't overlook more generalized books either - like Popular Mechanics books that cover a range of subjects... which will also have the "specialty interest" in them... these become a starting point for a slightly broader interest (sometimes - can't hurt to try!)

    Ours isn't on the spectrum, but has some milder tendencies in that direction. But... the "his space" thing and the "stuff all over" thing and the "books books books" thing... yup. Difference is... ours has at least 20 intensive interests, not just one! (Try helping a very-high-adhd kid keep track of stuff that relates to 20 different interests... let alone trying to keep track of the uninteresting stuff like school work...)

    When we went through a very intense period, I was going insane - literally - until I stepped back, and stopped taking it all "personal". As in, stopped assuming that he was doing all this stuff just to bug me and the rest of the family... and it turns out, he wasn't doing it deliberately - he was just going insane himself, and thrashing out to try to survive. But wrapping my own head around that concept really saved my own sanity.
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS)))) I can so relate to your husband story. Mine was just as clueless to understanding that type of frustration. I do like "mum's" idea of a long weekend away. Let husband experience first hand how difficult it is, and yo get a much needed break.

    Janet also brought up a good point of the "junk room/shed" and finding salvaged speakers. In our community we have bulky rubbish pick up so you can cruise looking for "trash". Also you might try yard sales. Even if ppl don't have something with speakers for sale, you cold ask if the have something broken they were going to throw away.

    Other than that, I got nothin' today - I think my brain is finally going on strike.

    Welcome to the board.
  14. fabfive

    fabfive New Member

    Thank you so much for posting this. I get too wrapped up in how his behavior is effecting everyone else in this family but very rarely do I step back to think about how things are effecting him.

    And thanks to everyone else who posted and offered support. I do take time (I try to take an hour a day) for myself which consists of me working out at the gym. I can watch a show or listen to music in peace which is something that never, ever happens here at home and it does help. Our space is so limited in our house right now- family of 7 in a 3 bedroom- YIKES (we had less kids when we moved here). The plan is to move in Jan. and A will have his own space. He shares with his younger brothers right now and it's just bad news. He has been making plans for quite some time now for his room and I think him just having a place to chill where no one can ever bother him will help him immensely.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sure it will help. I was talking about your son to my oldest son just last night and he actually started bringing up stuff that I hadnt even remembered! Back when we lived in one house we had an old dilapidated barn in the back yard and he found all these old broken things in the barn. He took them all apart while we lived there. One was a big old black and white TV. You know, those big cabinet ones? He got so mad at his middle brother because he was trying to break some of the tubes he took out of them...lol. They chased each other all over the top and bottom of that barn!

    Now he has been obsessed with computers for years and years and he can build them from the ground up. He doesnt buy a computer, he builds them. He has also been obsessed with sci-fi, nano-technology (groan!), lego's, trains, and I cant tell you what else.