Feeling strong-armed by your loved one?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Bean, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Bean

    Bean Member

    I've seen people mention this in their posts (specifically the one with the kid killing his mom), and wanted to bring it up because we are dealing with it right now.

    I think part of the reason we (my parents and my husband and I included) have some difficulty pulling back from my daughter is because of her ferocious presence. My parents would just assume give into her than to face her wrath.

    See, my daughter will show up on the doorstep. If you refuse her a ride, she will just show up. On the doorstep, or at work. My poor mom has been having to deal with the work one. The other night my daughter showed up, wanting money, in the middle of the night at my parent's home. It ended with an argument and my daughter spitting in my mother's face.

    That raises the concern for me. I don't know what I would do if she ever raised a hand to my mother. Though spitting at her is bad enough.

    So yesterday there are WINTER WARNINGS for ice and snow. We all told her NOT to go anywhere. But, the lure of her demon weed brings her to a friend's house and, she's "stranded" unable to get home. Dope-head friend down the street is "out of gas" and needs money to give her a ride home.

    She called my parent's phone at least three dozen times. Harassing, yelling. Bless their hearts, they didn't give in. Screamed at us and told us she was going to lose her job if she didn't get home to work in the morning. Buses weren't running.

    Long story short - she says that she's just going to come to our house; shows up on our doorstep. Ding-dong, ding-dong. It was freezing out. Raining ice pellets. Unsafe to be driving. My husband and I just looked at each other.

    He left her on the porch while the kids looked out the window at her standing there. Without anything spoken, they know the deal. Sad.

    Needless to say, she got her way. My husband drove her home. Better weather, and I think he would have left her there. She can't stay here, and we didn't want her inside the house, throwing a fit in front of her brothers.

    He said she was obviously high, staring into space. Little words were said.

    But, she got her way because for a concern over the alternative.

    How have you dealt with situations like this? Or have you? I'm curious as to how other people deal with the fear/concern of your difficult child's reaction to being told NO.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I always fear having to say no or put my foot down on something. A lot of things I just C basket because it's not worth it.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is a real problem for me. I have a horrible time with the word NO. It was better when Cory was living on his own and I was getting better at learning that NO really was a complete sentence but when he is right there in my face 24/7 he has a way of pestering me until I give in. Or maybe its more like he asks me at a time when I am most vulnerable because I am half awake or some how more confused. He will use my weakness to his advantage. Or take maybe as a yes.

    I have got to get my backbone stronger with him. He does know all my weak spots and uses them to his best advantage.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand all too well the term "ferocious presence."

    Oldest used to harrass me by telephone when she wanted something. Many times I'd just leave the phone off the hook. One time, after numerous calls at work, on my cell, and at home, I finally got so fed up I told her that if she didn't stop, I was calling the police and pressing charges against her for harrassment. She knew I meant it... and I did mean it... and she stopped. I used to tell myself that if she showed up on my doorstep in a rage as your difficult child did, I would also call the police.. but it luckily never came to that. I do think I could have stuck to it, had it happened, I was just so DONE with her at that point. It's not the answer for everyone, but it was for me at that particular time. She was not getting the message any other way. That's how, in fact, she finally left my home after I threw her out and she refused to leave... one night she flew into such a rage, I called the police, and they escorted her out. She didn't come back except to get her stuff, and I made sure I had a large male friend there when she did.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Nichole used to have the "ferocious presence". She still does if it's needed.

    Unfortunately, so does her mother.

    I can out stubborn anyone anywhere. If I dig in my heels..........I'm not movin'. husband will not cross me when I'm in stubborn mode for anything or anyone.

    This is where having been a difficult child comes in handy.

    If she was standing on my porch in that weather, she'd have left or still been standing there. Or I'd have called the police and have them remove her from the property.

    Over grown temper tantrum. You give in, it never stops.

    I know it's really hard for most people to go up against though. It can take a longish while for people to finally get to the point where enough is enough.

    Does sound like your parents are reaching that point as well, which is good. I also worry for them due to age. I hope they'd have sense to call in the police if she ever got physical. But I'll tell you, if one of my kids or even one of my grands dared ever spit in my face and ever expected me to help them again?? It would be a very cold day in hades before I'd bother.

  6. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Hound dog - you are so right. And Bean - it is really hard. We struggle with it a lot too but are getting much better at it I think.

    I too would have left her on the porch. She would have left if you had done nothing, if only to go back to the place down the street where she got high even though she knew she had no way home.

    If she's willing to spit - I think she's willing to hit. Spitting is such an assaultive gesture in the US - I would not be willing to bet otherwise.

    And what if she's not alone? What if her addict friends are with her? That would be my biggest nightmare.

    My advice FWIW - Your parents should NOT open the door to her. They should change their phone numbers and never give them to her. If she wants to contact them there's always the good old US Mail.

    If she comes to the door and will not leave they should call the police for help.

    If she shows up at someone's work she needs to be escorted off the premises without, preferably, having had any contact with the person she's come to see. I realize this isn't always possible but if it is - that's what I would do. If she won't leave then the police should be called.

    If she won't stop then a restraining order may be necessary.

    It is such a bitter pill to swallow but you are not doing her (or yourselves) any favor by prolonging the process of separation. And that's what she's trying to do. She's trying to avoid growing up by forcing you into the dependency game. You have to choose not to play the game, no matter how painful it is.

    We escorted our 18 year old difficult child 1 off the premises the day after he turned 18 because he would not follow the household rules he had agreed to follow in writing the day before. They were simple rules - no aggression/violence, no drugs, no alcohol, no overtly sexual behavior towards us (you don't want to know), no threats of violence and no suicide attempts. He had "attempted" suicide 5 times the week before he turned 18, one of which appeared to be a serious attempt but the rest were simply to get our attention.

    Because he is severely disabled and requires assistance with nearly all tasks of daily living, we took him to a motel that he could afford with his SSI, checked him in, put his stuff in the room - and then we left. He uses a power wheelchair and had mobility. We did not go back but he came back over and over. Our home was fenced all around and we locked the pedestrian gate that was accessible to him. He stood outside the gate screaming at us for long periods of time. When he finally stopped and hadn't come around for a few days, we unlocked the pedestrian gate. He showed up, let himself in and threatened me with a knife if I didn't give him money. This was in front of his 5 year old twin sibs.

    That was 9 years ago. We don't see him often now but we do have a better relationship than we ever thought was possible in those dark days. We even bought his grave site and did a funeral plan because we did not expect him to live to 19.

    He is still addicted and mentally ill but his symptoms and use waxes and wanes so we do sometimes have visits that are OK.

    It is incredibly hard. Your child knows you well and will do her best to make it as hard as possible. You must be quiet, matter of fact to the point of apparent indifference. But above all you must not give in. I pretend I am a brick wall. Sometimes it helps.


  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh Bean, we have been there too. For a long long time we did tiptoe around some of the tough issues, thinking very carefully about how to approach them because of his reaction. It always worked best to stay calm and really clear.... often though things would start out that way, he would go off and it would get me going too. We have certainly let way too much stuff go in the past just to keep the peace. This was a huge problem with my husband... I was more likely to go head to head and stand up to him if needed.

    The day things really came to a head we were talking to him about the rules he was breaking. We thought carefully about how to approach him (after he had used our car without permission again) and really were willing to bend over backwards to be reasonable. We were going to give him two weeks to obey the rules or move out. Well the conversation escalated to the point where he was threatening me with physical violence. I knew he wouldn't do it IF I backed down, but if I went head to head he would probably hurt me. That was it for me. Took away my guilt. I realized I could not live that way. I did not go head to head with him (for my own protection) but I walked away, pulled myself together and went to the police station for some help.

    So it gets to a point where you realize you can't just let them walk all over you, make their own rules at your house and manipulate you. Your parents seem to be learning and are getting there. Hopefully when you talk to them they can get you are really serious when you tell them to leave her where she is next time.
  8. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Wow!! Through all of my difficult child's issues he has never been violent or disrespectful when I have said no. He might beg and plead and when he doesn't get his way, quietly goes away in the end. I can't imagine you having to deal with that. Nothing really to add because it's not something I have experienced, but just wanted to let you know I feel terrible that she does that to you and your family. Not sure how I would deal with that.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, spitting is ASSAULT. Flat out. No wiggle room. IT. IS. ASSAULT. As she is doing drugs and satan knows what else with druggies, I would encourage your mother to get tested for STDs. Or at least to discuss it with her doctor. WHile saliva is not as likely to carry HIV, other diseases ARE present in salive and can live for DAYS outside the body.

    By giving in you are teaching her that if she is awful enough for long enough she will get what she wants.

    NOW is when you and husband sit down and make a PLAN. Who does what, when, and how when she shows up at the door, when she calls over and over and over, when she shows up at work, etc.....

    I have had to deal with this with my brother and it has taken me a LONG time to get to the point where I will call the police next time he pulls in my driveway. At this point I don't care if his child is with him or not. That is the ONLY reason I did not call the last time he just walked in my home. I had the wonderful good fortune to have an officer living in the area who drives down most of the streets as he comes and goes to our development (3 short roads). He was coming toward our home as gfgbro was leaving and it made a HUGE impression.

    See, my gfgbro had 3 felonies and finally got them expunged and does NOT NOT NOT want any more legal trouble - and I know this very well.

    You parents are getting stronger, keep giving them support. It isn't easy to do with your kids and I think it has to be even harder as a grandparent because your role is more to spoil them than to discipline them.

    Make a plan. If she shows up at an outlandish hour or will not leave, call the police. Call the non-emergemcy number and ask an officer to come out to explain your options - they will be happy to do this for you. THat way you will know what will happen, and they will have some idea of what is going on. When she is standing there it is time to use 911. If they come and she is high or drunk she WILL get at least a ticket and more likely a trip to the drunk tank. It is FAR safer to let the cops transport her than to drive her home on bad roads. You NEED your husband to be in 1 piece and not mangled in an accident because she refused to stay home and then demanded a ride.

    Tell the kids at home what to do if she shows up and they are home alone. Have the officer speak with them as well so that they know they can call and if she gets into trouble it is NOT NOT NOT their fault no matter what she says. Practice where they are to go and what they are to do when she shows up or calls or whatever.

    You may have to call the police a few times, but she will get the message. You can also take out a restraining order so that she is not allowed on your property. Won't stop her but it will up the penalty when she comes around. As this is sure to be having a huge impact on the other kids, it may be something you need to do to help protect them. It would be a lot saner than driving her around in super bad weather. She would then learn that you really won't give in - regardless of what she says/does onthe porch.

    Work situation may have to be handled via your HR dept. Hopefully it won't come to that.

    I know it is hard. I wish it was easier.
  10. AHF

    AHF Member

    This is such an important topic. I seem to meet people with difficult children who are manipulative in that they are kind and loving and helpless and then they go out and get a fix or steal Mom's jewelry or whatever. And I think, "If only!" Mine are bullies. They learned it from their dad; perhaps they have it in their genes. And however much we want to stand up to bullying, it wears us down. I find that if I tell other people what my sons actually say or do to me, they are apt to look at me in horror, as if no one would treat a mother that way unless she had done something unforgivable. I have even had psychiatrists bring me into the room with my younger difficult child, trying to prompt him to issue a stream of hate speech at me so they'll have something to work with--and some have been so flummoxed that they've spent hours trying to get me to 'fess up to whatever horrible thing I must have done to create this monster. When it turned out to be bullying plain and simple, one psychiatrist turned to my son and said "You know what? f**k you." Which I thought wasn't good psychological practice(!), but part of me reacted with a weird sort of glee. Bottom line, I think, is that the strong-arming is strategic at first, and later habitual. If the strategy works and their other coping skills atrophy, after a while they have nothing but bullying left.
  11. Bean

    Bean Member

    Gosh you guys are fantastic.

    For support, for shared experience, and for the slap in the face/butt kick I needed to hear.

    It still amazes me how "normal" our (ab)normal life becomes to me. I really do sometimes need someone else to remind me that these instances are NOT normal. It is even more confusing for us when there are ebbs and flows to her behavior. Her normalcy at times throws us off, and skews our perception of the situation, I think.

    In our case, the spitting really struck me as scary. I worry often that my daughter would do something to my parents. I think my parents have that concern now, at least my mother does. They've mentioned restraining order for her, and I think they probably should.

    It it completely correct that we should not have driven her. We were worn down, cornered and I think that's why we both just were looking at each other for a long time-- we were breaking our own rules and we knew it. I guess it gives me a better understanding of how my parents slip up so often.

    That is SO true. Thank you. Reinforcing this behavior of hers is not helpful to us, but also damaging to her. We need to continually remind her that it is unacceptable behavior.
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member

    It is not good psychological practice, but after all they are human just like the rest of us and I'm sure at some point they can't help themselves! I don't blame you for reacting with some sort of glee because you probably wanted to say it yourself and felt it wasn't right. LOL :)
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Yes - again, not good practice, but sometimes I think the manipulative part(s) of our difficult children could really use this. As for the glee - well, when husband finally admitted we'd done everything we could, and Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was about all that was left? I know exactly what you mean. No, I'm not actually happy about it, but...
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think our kids really do confuse us or at least I know mine does. I know his dad gets so mad at me because I am so entangled with him. I can get so mad, enraged, ready to just disown the kid and then an hour later I remember how it feels to be him and my feelings change. I think its because I have done some of the things he has done, even if I was smart enough not to get caught, or that I have had some of the feelings he has (or maybe I think he has the same feelings I would have?) so I feel sorry for him. I kind of feel almost responsible for his life. More so because we were advised to abort him. That weighs heavily on me.

    However, we almost got to the point of throwing him out and walking away with a restraining order in late August of 08. I cant remember the exact wording of what he did though I could go dig it up on here and I have once before, but he severely crossed the line with me. He broke my heart. He was fixing to go do a 30 day stint in jail and at that point I never wanted to see him again. Things were bad. Now I dont remember him coming out of jail and its probably a good thing. See...at the end of Oct 08 I got very sick and almost died. Guess who was the first person at the hospital giving those dr's hell? Yep, Cory. He was there taking care of me and threatening the doctors that they better take care of me and when they kept saying that they thought that maybe I took an overdose of my medications, he told them there was no way in hell. He insisted they look further, that there was something seriously wrong with me and he was right. He told them I was no junkie mom on pain medications. Thats what they wanted to blame my condition on at first. When he thought I was going to die, he realized he could have been in jail. He should have been in jail. He was racked with guilt over what he had done to me. And when I got out, I didnt remember a thing. I only knew that I loved him. That he was my baby. Thats why I have such a hard time with him. This is the baby boy who climbs in my bed when he is sick. Still.
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    The last thing I ever wanted to do in my life was call the law on my son, or turn him in for a crime. Then you have to ask yourself. WHAT favors are you doing for your children by NOT? Your daughter SPIT in your Mothers face and then got a ride home? Do you know how ludicrous that sounds? I don't care if my son had a mental disorder or not. If my son spat on my Mother? He had better stay away from my home and my Mother ohhhhhh I don't even think there is an apology for that, but to then have the audacity to come near me and beg for a ride? Wow - how much control does this little girl have over your husband and you? And you FEAR her? Yeah, you do. She is totally controlling you, like my ex did me. And it's so sad. Because she will continue to bully, and berate and take and control your lives until you get yourself some help.

    I guess when I was in therapy for abuse my therapist asked me about Dude, because he was modeling his own Fathers behaviors even though he saw VERY little of it and the therapist asked me point blank.."IF this was NOT your son that came at you with scissors, or swung a baseball bat at you, or swung at you with a fist, or tried to hit you, or threw things at you, or slammed a door in your face, or threw things at you or did not listen or screamed at you or cursed at you? If it was a total stranger on the street that treated you like this in your own home? HOW would you react?"
    So I sat there and thought about it and thought? I'd probably kill him. I mean - I had had it with my ex - and I was in therapy for 15 years over his abuse and torture and here I was going through it again? No maam. So from then on - when I was being abused by my son - I was to look at it like a total stranger - it took the "mental illness" aspect out of it - mental or not? It was abuse and I wasn't to stand for it. Mental or not - he was abusing me and he wasn't to get away with it. Someone had to teach him this behavior was not going to be tolerated - I was his Mother - so I guess that was ME....if not ME then WHO? Ask yourself that.

    See most people think that they have to call the police first thing on people like your daughter. Not necessarily so. I mean it sounds so final, but in reality - you call the cops and then she goes to jail and then you sit in fear of reprisal for how long - and the anxiety that comes with isn't worth it is it? Not really, because you just keep waiting for her to do something - and just that fear is not worth it. So what you need to do - is learn how to beat her at her own game. Level the playing field. Stop allowing her to control your life. Sounds good huh? Not so easy.

    There is a cycle of abuse, and it doesn't matter whether it's husband/wife, brother/sister, mother/daughter - boss/worker - abuse is abuse and there is a cycle of it and recognizing the cycle is part of stopping it. At this point, you should be able to call the police but you are too scared. That's natural. Other things that you CAN do - change your phone numbers. Tell your Mom and Dad to do the same. If she gets them somehow? Pay to have them changed again. There needs to be NO explanation to her why. It is what it is. She's your daughter? Well okay - when she starts behaving like it? She can have the number. That will stop the calls, and the COME GET ME demands. If she shows up at your door? You don't take her. Call her a cab. Walk out - give the cabbie $20....tell him to take her to her house - or burger king and keep the change. Tell her this is the LAST time she shows up at your house, unannounced. You won't pay for her to be given a ride any more. Period. next time it will be trespassing without an invite. The police will be called, don't call your bluff, and go back inside - again state - when you behave like our daughter - you will be treated like our daughter.

    These are very basic things - you can do to get order and control back in your lives. If she shows up at anyones work? have the place of business put a restraining order against her. THE BUSINESS not your mom, not you, not dad - THE BUSINESS. She's causing problems at the place of business. If your Mom won't ask for it - you call your Moms boss and ask for it. Explain the situation. Then explain it in writing to your daughter. Very basically - no emotion - You are not allowed at XX place of business, you've caused problems in the past, if you show up again - you will be arrested, there is a restraining order do not attempt to show up the police will be called.

    As far as your parents? I would tell them IF she shows up there? To not answer the door.....PERIOD. If she got beligerent? Then call the police. She has no reason to be there anymore. Period.

    I think it's time that your family turned their backs to her and let her know when she starts acting like a family member - she will be treated as such and until then? This is the treatment you have for her. In the mean time? I would get into counseling to learn how to deal with an abusing person and get your confidence back - these types of people rarely change. But if there IS ANY HOPE for her? YOU are going to have to be the people that help her, and the ONLY way this is accomplished is by doing things like I am telling you - Otherwise she will continue to do what she is doing and it will escalate to people outside your family and the sad thing is ----evenutally outside your family someone isnt' going to give her a ride home ----------they're going to get tired of her abuse and give it back.

    So it's something to consider......if she has a chance and hope in changing - It's going to be up to you and your parents and as bad as it hurts? You're going to have to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye until she either changes - or you do. But the abuse can't continue. It's setting a horrible example for your other kids - and believe me - you don't want any of the other kids in your house to think that THIS is how a boyfriend or a girlfriend can treat them in a relationship on down the road. And don't think they won't - they see that you keep forgiving HER - over and over. They won't be able to discern that THIS is okay and if its done to them later it's NOT.

    Hugs and Love

  16. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Star makes some very good points. I work in the area of domestic violence and it was a real shock to me that I had DV in my home with my son. The difference between dealing with abuse with an adult child, vs a partner, is that for most of us it is impossible to really walk away and totally leave our child. What I realized, and am still realizing, is that I don't need to turn my back on my son but I do need to set clear boundaries and flat out not accept abuse from him. Our current stand is we will help him with his recovery if he is doing the work... we will not support in any way him using drugs or being abusive to us. So we are currently supporting him financially as he looks for a job.. we did support him going to rehab. We will continue to help him in this way. We will not have him come and live at home and I don't think we will help him financially to move back here and live on his own because we know he will get back into the same old groove.

    So yes when your daughter gets abusive in any way to any of you walk away and shut the door for the moment. Does not have to be forever, but you do not need to sit there and take it. If she calls you and starts berating you or calling you names hang up the phone and if she calls back don't answer. You do not need to pick her up, especially if she is high or drunk. If she comes to the house making demands do call the police... believe me the police get calls like this all the time. If she comes to you and says she needs help and is willing to do some work to help herself, then by all means be there for her. Sometimes I think we look at it as all or nothing and it really is not. It is about boundaries boundaries boundaries.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Bean -

    I just wanted to add - HUGS - our kids are NEVER easy. They never made decisions EASY for us, and they certainly hardly ever leave us choices we care to make.

    You'll weather this storm too! I have no doubts - you're a great Mom.

    Hugs & Love

    ps. You can......call a domestic abuse shelter and just get some anonymous information just FYI. Or talk to a counselor 24/7 without giving any information. There's a national hotline too that you can call for a local shelter for more information and most times their counseling is free. It may be a good place for you to start with people that will be sympathetic and VERY VERY understanding, with EXCELLENT insight to help your family.
  18. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I'm so glad that this thread has emerged and I think that every new member ought to be urged to read this thread as part of their "orientation" to the forum/website. Why? Because, if we're really honest, this is at the very heart of what's happening in your homes and lives due to your difficult children. It's what no one wants to talk about or admit out loud, unless a thread like this opens the floodgates: you are being held hostage by the threat of abuse, of violence, or even the threat of serious harm or even murder if you don't comply with what your adolescent or young adult difficult children demand. It is hideous and vile and insupportable, but there it is, and it's probably at work in the lives of about 80% or more of the parents who post here.

    I don't have a difficult child child. So how can I make this claim? Because my sister does have such a child, a son now almost 19. True to form (and by "form" I mean the standard onset of ODD in budding sociopaths at about 13-14 yrs of age), he "went bad" at around 13. His father died suddenly when he was 14, and he likes to blame his hideous misbehaviors on that convenient excuse, but he was already going way south (pot-smoking, dealing drugs at school, stealing, bullying) well before his father died. When his father died, he didn't grieve--he stole his late father's remaining pain medications. Then the predatory household behavior and the bullying of his mother began. You all know the syndrome: the lying, the thieving, the constant desire to do drugs, to party, to blow off school, to do no chores, to defy all parental authority. In his case he simply bullied and menaced his widowed mother--even without provocation, just for the fun of it. He partied/drugged every night, was the big drug dealer at the high school--as a 10th grader. His friends were similar reptiles, but they didn't brutalize their parents--because there was a Dad in the house to prevent it. My sister had no such protection. His younger brother, from whom he stole at will, had no such protection. Finally, my sister sent him off to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in UT, at enormous expense. He was gone for 8 months. When he returned, he was superficially well-behaved, but the thievery began anew almost immediately: money stolen from her purse, from the "rainy day expenses" coffee mug in the kitchen. He denied, he lied, he began to menace again.

    You can imagine her despair. He was only 16 and the state offered no solution except to have him declared an "unruly child," and even then he couldn't be hauled off to a reformatory unless he committed crimes around the house. My sister simply couldn't send him away. So she used the one ace she had in her hand: she called me. The one single adult male in the family whose job was "transportable" and who had no locational obligations to keep him away. She flew me in. For 3 weeks he and I locked horns over and over and over again. I had never seen anything like it in my life: if he didn't get his way, a hugely violent rage and tantrum and probable assault was in the offing. I settled the assault matter pretty quickly--frankly, you need a man young enough and strong enough to just plain kick the kid's ass, period, and that settles the matter. For a while. But he raged and raged and raged, whenever he didn't get his way, and with me there, he didn't get his way anymore. You mentioned feeling "glee" at finally being free of your child's predations: don't feel guilty about this. I saw it in my sister after I arrived and took control of the situation: her almost-glee at finally being able to deprive him of the money he'd been demanding, to tell him off when he had it coming (which was every day), to take his car keys away, to stop his enraged destruction of furniture, walls, art, plates. It stopped the only way it can be stopped: by dint of having an in-house bouncer.

    None of this was easy on me. I had to fight him. I endured towering verbal rages from him of the most heinous sort--and I gave as good as I got. In the pitch of verbal battle I called him what he was: a sociopath, the worst **** I'd ever laid eyes on. We lived in a constant state of stalemate: him refusing to "stand down" temperamentally but now unable to brutalize, to steal, to destroy things, to demand money, the use of a car. We permitted him his verbal offenses, but attacks and destruction of property were forbidden. This was a terrible way to live, and we endured it for 15 months during my stay there. For me, it was a horrific experience, but for my sister and younger nephew, it was a blissful period of being unmolested physically.

    What ended it? I had been assured repeatedly that my stay was only until he would turn 18, at which point she would throw him out of the house. When that date came, however, she couldn't do bring herself to do it, so it simply went on as it had been: his nightly partying, his occasional run-ins with the law, from which consequences he was freed by means of her paying for lawyers and legal defenses. When my children came to visit last April during spring break, he was using and one night attacked me in the kitchen, in front of my children. We fought, in front of my horrified college-age and teenage children. It was bloody, a melee. When the police came, I was tacitly pressed by her not to press charges against him, so I didn't. But that tore it for me: she lacked the spine to do what was necessary--to throw him out, at least for the sake of her younger son if not her own safety, and I could bear it no longer.

    My point? If you have a husband, he needs to step up. If you can recruit the aid of an adult male in the family in the family, do it. If you can't do either of these--let me be very clear--call the police. Liberally, as often as needed. I have bad news for most of you: in most of these cases--not all, I grant, but most--you've got a budding sociopath on your hands. Your mercy and your lenience and your patience will not bear fruit. When he/she hits 18 years of age, put him out of the house, and use the police to enforce and sustain his ouster. Yes, he will malfunction--use drugs, commit crimes, flirt with disaster. Believe me, nothing you do can prevent it unless you simply surrender your savings and your home to his predations. My sister's solution is to put him out of the house, supposedly to attend classes at a community college in a neighboring city and live entirely at her expense while there, but he isn't attending classes. He's using drugs and partying and getting nothing done, and it's all on her dime. The tacit understanding is that if she ever cuts him off financially, he'll come home and there will be hell to pay. Like most of your difficult children, when he really needs help, he's very sweet and vulnerable: when he broke his leg a few months ago (skateboarding), she took him in and he was very sweet, enjoying the vicodin fog that his injury had earned him via prescriptions for pain. When the leg healed, he returned to his apartment and the parties and drug-taking and worthlessness resumed. It'll never end. And she's being held hostage financially throughout this ordeal.

    Sound familiar? It should. This is what most of you are contending with: tacit enablement at the threat of more brutality. If this would or could somehow work, provide a buffer of time until he grows up, it'd be worth doing, I suppose. But it doesn't work. Throw him/her out and let him plummet. That is the *only* thing that *might* work. Meanwhile, you've got a life to live, a career to pursue, other children to protect and nourish and enjoy, and a home you should enjoy and feel safe within. Don't let these monsters eat your life--and don't kid yourselves that someday it'll somehow end or taper organically. So long as you enable them--with money, with housing, with mercy and patience--they will not change. They probably won't change anyway, regardless of what you do. But don't let yourself be played for a chump. A kid like this doesn't love, doesn't feel compassion, and doesn't feel remorse. Protect yourself and your other children and your property accordingly.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    To the above poster. In some cases what you describe is very true. I was lucky enough that my son was never violent. Yes he was verbally abusive quite often but he would have never even thought to lift a finger to me because he knew either his father or his brothers would have killed him. I will never forget one time when he was in a group home and they told me he was trying to be a badass and act like some tough guy. I looked at them like they had lost their minds. Obviously they simply didnt know how to deal with my kid. I simply walked over to him and jacked him up against the wall and asked him if he really thought he wanted to play tough. He looked at the ground and said no. I asked him again if he wanted to hit someone. No. I said good because if he ever wanted to hit someone they could call me and he could hit me and the amazed and shocked look came across his face when he answered was "Oh no, I could never hit you, you're my Momma!" I told him point blank, well every one is someone's momma, daddy, son or daughter and you cant hit them either! Never had a bit of trouble out of him again unless he was ambushed and attacked. Cant blame him there.

    Some of these kids dont grow up until their mid-twenties and that has been proven. Sometimes we have to work with what we have to try to nurture them along in some form or fashion to get them to that time frame. I am probably a pushover and a sap because my son has done some really awful things to me but I keep letting him into my life. Maybe I should have kicked him to the curb and never had anything more to do with him but he has also given me the most precious thing in my life - my oldest granddaughter. In September he will give me my fourth grandchild. I simply cannot walk away from that. I see hope. I see forward progress. Yes he slips and yes he can drive me insane at times and yes I need him to find a place to live that isnt in my home but I see a totally different person today than he was at 18 or even 20. These last 3 years have done a major difference.

    If he was violent towards me it would be a totally different scene though.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My son was very violent. He is NOT a sociopath, though we did wonder for a while. He has a developmental issue and learned some not great ways of handling the world. Some husband and my fault, some not. There are a LOT of reasons for behavior like mrsammler's nephew. His sister has a LOT of options - she lacks the spine and personal strength and support to choose them. His time with her might have been FAR more productive if he had used some of the force that he showed to drag her off to the local domestic violence center for some help and to force her to spend her $$ on therapy and her time on alanon and/or narc anon meetings to help her learn to deal with her codependency.

    No way is having a relative come in and force the person to behave going to be enough. WE have to do the HARD WORK to change our ways. his sister first depended on her spouse to control him and then on her brother. I give mrsammler great credit for being willing to sacrifice his life for so long to go and protect his sister and nephew. I just wish he had done more to enable her to learn to stand up for herself. SHe has the POWER because SHE has the CASH and in this world - that is HUGE POWER. SHe is paying for his drugs, his life, etc... Yeah, he has threatened to come home if she stops - but she could take that money and hire a bodyguard for a few months as she goes through therapy and beefs up her security system. Heck, she could pay some local thugs to go give him a thrashing and tell him if he ever dares to speak to her again they will come back and do it again. There would be some dicey times as he tested her, but if she took the $$ she is using to subsidize his addictions and used it for that it would at least gain freedom and safety for her other child.

    Having someone come in and impose those limits is great for as long as that person can do it. Most people cannot commit to doing that for long periods of time for a family member. It is why pushing counseling onto her would have made mrsammler's sacrifice far more beneficial. so would calling child protection in if she could not protect her younger child from her older one.

    We were investigated by CPS because our older child abused our younger one. They didn't offer any services because they coudln't do more than we were doing. The sw who came wanted to take Jess and thank you away but she was so new and so stupid and made so many terrible mistakes (like convincing Jessie that it was her fault her bro kept trying to kill her - done in front of the principal of the elem school) that she lost her job shortly after. The head of the dept knew us because his child was on a team with thank you and he flat out said that they couldn't do as well for our kids as we were doing - to a judge. But in many cases CPS can push a parent into protecting a easy child from a difficult child.

    I was a real shock to our DV center. I was the first person to ask for help because my child was abusing me. He was battering me and I had to take drastic measures to make him stop. I wasa afraid of him, for him, and for the rest of the family. I went for help after he was out of the house and they didn't quite know what to do, but they worked with me and we muddled through. Since then they have had some other parents in for the same thing.

    I think we, as a society, need to amke this a much more widely recognized and treated problem. Our kids do learn from other family members that it is okay to bully and abuse us. It is what BEan's daughter has learned.

    Bean, do you think you could go to the DV center and ask for help? They don't charge at most of them. It would be aw ay to learn how to not give in to her. Alanon is also crucial for the entire family - kids need alateen and you and husband need alanon meetings together AND separately. If no one else will go, go anyway. They may not know what to do at first to help you at the dv center, but they can figure it out!!