Feelings & Thoughts because of difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Deni, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Deni

    Deni New Member

    Hello Everyone,
    I am going to try to make this short. My difficult child has become totally out of control. There is no more holding him down to keep him from hurting himself or destroying my things. I recently moved into a house with my mother thinking it would be better. Due to my job, there were days that I didn't get to really see my difficult child, let alone spend time with him. My difficult child has destroyed my property, my mother's property and stab holes in the walls of our house...AGAIN!!! I never used to worry about sleeping in the house while he was there but now I do. Most days I wish I could end my life. My job took me to the hospital in November last year to get help. The hospital put me on Wellbutrin and by the 3rd week, I was wanting to run people over with my car. Then my job turned away and put me through H3!! and threatened my job!!! I keep telling myself it's gonna get better but the truth is, I am feeling worse every day. I don't talk to anyone anymore, rarely answer my phone when anyone calls, I have no desire to go to church and question my faith on a regular basis, rarely go to social events and the last time I did, a friend mine looked me in the eyes and said, "I see you smiling but I can see all the hurt & sadness behind that smile in your eyes." I started crying and left! Not a day goes by when I don't cry. I never understood self mutilation or why people did it but sadly enough, I do now. Noone knows I do this and I regret it afterwards but there is a release there. I have started having what the doctor is telling me is an anxiety attack. It usually starts out with vision loss or seeing a big circle of light, then I start feeling dizzy, shortness of breath, shaking and my body starts jerking. I had one of these attacks a couple of weeks ago while in the store shopping for school clothes and during the attack, I just had this feeling that something was seriously wrong with me. Paramedics came out and check my vitals and things were good. I am not on any medications other than Xanax as needed and won't take it very often because it puts me to sleep. My friends leave me voicemails asking what is happened to me? I have almost completely shut myself off from the rest of the world. I don't want to bother anyone with talking about my difficult child.
    I was transported to the hospital by ambulance end of July because he re-injured my ankle that I had surgery on in January. The police didn't even arrest him...they sent him back home with me that night. They did set him up on probation but it is not court ordered. However, difficult child doesn't care and is only trying to use it to get out of taking care of his responsibilities. My difficult child is now 6'2 and 250lbs, I have to look up to him. I never thought he would ever hurt me but I guess I was living in that fairytale world. His doctor has recommended he go to a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but I just lost his insurance and not sure how I will manage this.
    O and thats another problem, with no insurance means no medications...what am I suppose to do? I just figure things are going to get worse.
    There are times I feel like I hate him and I can say I don't love him like I should. Does that mean I am just a terrible mother? What can I do though, he has made me cold! I don't want him in my house anymore and neither does my mother because he is so abusive. My mother has started resenting him because she knows I have thoughts of suicide and how depressed I am and that he is why I feel this way.
    I will stop rambling now but just wondered if maybe there was someone else out there feeling the same thing? Do you ever feel like you don't even like your difficult child anymore?

  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Deni -

    There are many of us that have been in a very similar place. You are not alone.

    Your first priority right now is to take care of you. If you are self-injuring and in this much emotional pain, at the very least you need to see a psychiatrist and a therapist. I don't want to scare you, but from what I read you are at crisis level and I think you should go to the ER. They will evaluate you and if needed you can be hospitalized to get medications and stabilization (make sure to let them know about the reaction to welbutrin - it's really not that uncommon). It sounds horrible and scary, but it's not. It gives you a chance to get the help you need and can open up resources for help for you.

    In 2002, I was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for 5 days because of severe depression and it wasn't a cure by any means. But, it was a start. I was at crisis level and I was safe there. I knew I needed to be there because I wasn't safe from myself. I was actively suicidal.

    Others will come along with info on services for your son. But, you need to take care of you first. Your priority right now is you.

    That's what happens to so many of us. We neglect ourselves in taking care of our difficult child's, walking on eggshells and trying to stop the next explosion/meltdown/rage, trying to keep from losing our jobs, etc. We are important, too. YOU are important. YOU deserve to feel better.

    And, yes, there have been plenty of times when I haven't liked difficult child. There have been months where my good day ended when she got out of bed. It's hard to like someone who is constantly abusive (verbally, in my case), negative, argumentative and critical.

  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I'm glad you have come back and posted here. I agree with Heather. You need to go to the ER. You need to take care of yourself. If nothing else, you need to get off the Xanax and find a medication (or medication combo) that allows you to function without so much pain. Please, please, please, seek that help right away.

    As for difficult child, I'm assuming you haven't updated your profile in awhile because when you mentioned he was 6'2" and 250 lbs I looked to your profile and it says 5th grade. He certainly has gotten big and I can understand where holding him down does not work anymore.

    You know, if you seek that help for yourself, you will be better equipped to help your son too.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, this is very bad for you. First of all, are you in therapy? Do you feel the medications are working? Obviously your difficult child is making you worse, but you need to be at your best to stay sane for all. I suffer depression myself and know how it can debilitate you. I'm sorry about your job. Been there myself.
    Secondly, has your son gotten worse since being put on Prozac? Prozac made my daughter violent for the first time ever. She pulled a knife on herself. Since then, she refuses to take anti-depressants and has never had any episode like that again. Some times the medications that are supposed to help us make us even worse. ADHD stimulants and Straterra can also cause increased violence. You may want to look into the medication. It sounds like a small thing, but these are powerful medications and can really affect our kids--if you take medications yourself, then you know!
    Ask your social services if you can get your son into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to stabilize him. That's one thing I would do. It can't hurt to try.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Deni, all your feelings are typical when you are being abused by your own child. A spouse is one thing, but you can get away from a spouse. There is a real dilemma when it is your own child. You can not just run from them and find a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere to hide.

    It is very difficult to be abused by one's child. Not many people even accept that it is possible. They figure the parent is the one that calls the shots so how could they be abused? Well, they have never parented a difficult child.

    You are in the fight for your son's life and here he is turning on you, the one person helping him. Am I right? I know, you have had these thoughts, too. It is not natural and the human body/mind does not know how to process it. There is no ingrained instinct in parenting this way.

    One thing I know for sure, if you are not healthy you can not help anyone else. So, let difficult child do his thing for now. Do whatever it takes to make sure you and your mother are safe (locks on doors, video cameras, etc.) and work on getting you healthy. Heck, your mom probably needs to focus on herself a bit, too. She is not as deep into the tunnel as you, but she still is in darkness.

    So, think about what it is that you need and get the help you feel would be best for you. If you lose your job, there will be another one someday. Your priority must be you. I used up 6 weeks of vacation that I had built up during my dark year. Thank goodness I had it, but I know not everyone does. I really did need that time away though to heal.
  6. Christy

    Christy New Member

    You've received some good advice. I just wanted to offer my support and send good thoughts your ways. I'm sorry things are so difficult right now.

  7. Deni

    Deni New Member

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I guess I need to add that there are 2 other difficult children in the house. My 2 nephews(my mother has custody of them) also live in the house with us. So I can't just let him do his thing.

    I don't know if the medications are working on him or not. I have to fight with him constantly to even take the medications. I do know that I can tell if he does not take the Vyvanse.

    No, I am not any medications, not in therapy or anything else. I can't just go to the hospital and be admitted. There is noone to care for difficult child. I can't leave that on my mom. I have tried a couple of antidepressants and they just seem to make me feel worse or make me gain weight and I have enough of that.

    Littledudesmom-Sorry my profile was a little confusing. difficult child is in the 9th grade but this is his 5th year in the BAC. He is 14yo now.

    By the way, my job seems to be stable right now but if they find out that I am struggling, that will be IT. I will lose my job and I can't do that. I can't show any emotion at work or let anyone there know there is a problem which is hard. Those are pretty much the only people that I talk to other than my mom. My officers have dealt with my son before we moved in May. Most of them know there are problems but they don't know the extent of it.

    Again, thanks for everyone's thoughts. I just needed to know that I wasn't the only one who had had some of the thoughts about the child that I brought into this world.

    by the way, got off work at 7, got home at 7:25 and fought with him before he went to school. It is never ending. I need a break but its just not possible right now.

  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Deni, tell us what the fight was about. Give us both sides. Perhaps someone can offer suggestions to a specific scenario for you.
  9. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Oh Deni, I'm so sorry for the situation you're in. I know all too well what it feels like to not like your own child. There have been days...many days...that I don't feel like I can stand the sight of him. It doesn't mean I don't love him, or that we're bad parents for feeling that way. It really doesn't. I DO love my son, just like you love yours, but liking them and wanting to be around them have nothing to do with loving them.

    I also know what it's like to know you need someone else's help, to know that you're killing yourself trying to do everything for difficult child, to know you really need a break, but that it just isn't possible because there's no one else to 'sub' for you - even for a few hours. It's a desperate feeling. Like being trapped in a sink hole with no way out...just watching everything and everyone sink into it with you. I have so been there - and very recently, in fact.

    I know for me that the only way I was able to get past that feeling, and start to feel even remotely better, was to channel all of it...all the hurt, the despair, the fear, the helplessness, into constructive anger. I let it all just flat out p*ss me off (constructively) so that my anger could fuel my will to keep trying, keep begging, keep pleading for help for all of us. There's a fine line between just letting it make you angry and channeling that anger into constructive resolve & determination. I don't have a clue how to tell you how to accomplish that part, I just know that's how I did it, how I keep doing it, and still stay somewhat sane. I don't let the anger spill out onto non-constructive things - like dealing with my other kids and loved ones, but I do let it all collect (for lack of a better term) inside my warrior mom armor & use it for the battles with the system(s.) If you can figure out a way to do that for yourself, you might find that it gives you a small feeling of having a little more control over things. (Lord knows, there are much more areas with difficult children that we don't have control over, so having a little control somewhere, at least for me, helps out alot.)

    My heart goes out to you, hon. I really do understand where you're coming from. I don't know what to tell you in terms of medications/therapy for yourself. I haven't gone that route yet. Not that I wouldn't, I just honestly don't have any space left in my appointment book for doctor appointments for me. I don't think I could manage another treatment plan - not even one for me. So, I keep finding other ways to help myself get through. But I highly recommend squeezing out whatever time you can to find solutions for yourself - whether that's medications/therapy, or a hobby, or just time to stare off into space and meditate - whatever works for you to help you regain control of your own thoughts and emotions so you're in better shape to deal with the curve balls life keeps throwing at you.

    The other members have given you the best advice in the world - find a way to take care of you first. You're all your difficult child has in terms of advocates...you have to keep yourself okay in order to get him to a level of okay, if that makes sense. Please take that advice to heart. You really are going to be the biggest key to success for your difficult child, so you have to keep you going no matter what.
  10. Deni

    Deni New Member

    Thanks Hex, I am trying...I just want to give up tho. I don't see a bright future for my difficult child at all. I see him in prison by the time he is 18.

    Our fight this morning was over something petty. I am just tired of the abuse. difficult child had to have 2 pictures for school, one when he was little and then a semi recent picture. After working all night, I rush home to try to find one. When I walk in the door, difficult child says, "come on, let's go." I told him that I had to get the pictures he needed for school. He starts yelling at me that I should have already got them out and he needed to get to school so he could eat breakfast. (Keep in mind, he just finished eating before I arrived home.) I told him that he don't need to eat at home and at school and I didn't have the money to keep breakfast food here and for him to eat at school. He follows me in my room and keeps mouthing at me about if I didn't have my freakin job, I would already have the pictures and that I should have got them out before I went to work and he was tired of waiting on me. I ask difficult child if he had taken his medicine and he screams at me, "Yes I took my friggin medicine, can we go already?"
    I am tired of being yelled at. He hates my job because I work with police officers and he hates the police. He also hates that my hours change and he feels like he can't keep up with me all the time. I found out about the pictures before I went to work Sunday night and didn't have time to pull them out. I worked a 12 hour shift, came home took him to school, took care the dogs that he was suppose to have done, ate something and went to bed. When I got up, I had to go to the store after fighting with him (after the fight, he went to his room and went to sleep. I didn't bother waking him for dinner because I didn't want to deal with him or even look at him) for destroying my mother's stuff, cook dinner and then it was time to get ready for work again. I am doing the best I can but it is never good enough and I am tired of keeping on. Every day there is a fight. We have already fought today because he don't want to do his homework or chores, he just wants to sit on his lazy butt and watch tv and eat.

    thanks to all of you for the encouraging words,
  11. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Oh man, Deni...I hear so much of me and my son (difficult child 2) in what you were telling us about the fight. Man is he ever good at pushing every last one of my guilt buttons. And for the longest time, I never even realized that's what he was doing.

    I thought I was trying to explain to him that I wasn't neglecting doing something for him (like not ordering a specific book he needed for schoolwork, or like not getting the pictures ready for your difficult child) I thought if he knew what was going on, and how much I had on my plate, he might "get it" that I'm really, really crunched for time and honestly just haven't had a chance yet. Not that I'm being neglectful or don't think about him...I've just got alot on my plate and some things just have to come first.

    Thing is...difficult children like ours don't "get it." They don't even realize they're supposed to be "getting" something when we try to explain things like we would to another "normal" person. They just hear that you're already stressed out & to them it's like waving a red cape in front of a bull. They get ticked because you aren't thinking about them 24/7 AND they get to see a chink in the armor too. (Our "weakened" state brought on by all this stress swirling.) It's like a shark drawn to blood. They jump on it every single time.

    It's taken me a long time to realize with difficult child 2, I don't have to make any excuses about anything. I don't have to explain anything to him. He is a child. Period. He does not yet understand what it's like to walk in an adult's shoes - much less an adult with difficult children in the house. So trying to explain anything, or get anything through his head, it's just a waste of time. It will only open doors for him to pick up the fight and run with it, spouting whatever whines/complaints/frustrations he wants.

    I have found the absolute best method for cutting out the chance for my difficult child to launch into a tiraid is simply a calm 10 words or 10 second rule. The more tense or in a hurry he is? The calmer I am (even if I don't feel calm - I put off as much of a stone front to him as I can.) Then I say whatever I have to say in either less than 10 words, or less than 10 seconds. Like "M, Your book will be ordered this evening, after dinner." (Ignoring any nastiness he spews out of his mouth in response.) Or like in your case "We can leave as soon as I get the pictures." When he complains about running late, something simple like "Everyone runs behind at some point in life." (Keeping a calm "no need to stress/get upset" monotoned voice as I go. I keep moving, and never once stop to look him in the eye. I just keep going about whatever I need to be doing at that moment, commenting in short, quick sentences that merely reiterate what I've already said.)

    For my difficult child 2, I've found that this "brick wall" approach works about 50% of the time. He sees that I'm not budging. I am not stopping because HE has some sort of issue. I'm not getting upset and neither should he. Whatever happens is out of his control and he simply will not get a rise out of anything or anyone. Not even throwing a tizzie is going to change a thing. I am an unmoving brick wall - the end.

    Like I said, it only works about 50% of the time, but I'm hoping over time that it will work more and more. A few months ago, it didn't work at all...so I'm hopeful. ;)

    Just thought I'd throw that out there to see if maybe it might work for you.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nothing new to add but sending prayers your way.
  13. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hex gave great advice.

    You are not doing anything wrong. But, you are certainly being verbally abused by your son. It has to stop or you will lose yourself.

    Give up the bright future thing. He will do what he wants to do. Right? He will be only as successful as HE wants to be. It is not in your control to get him a bright future.

    For this kid I would be doing bare minimum. Clothing, shelter, food, school. No extra rides until he starts being respectful. No $80 sneakers until he can be respectful.

    You are going to have to demand it and I do not mean verbally demand it. Your actions must command how you will be treated.

    He has got to be bringing you so far down. UGH!

    Just walk away. When he starts to be disrespectful leave the room. If he does it in the car. Shut down and say no more. When he starts to ask why you are not responding just tell him you do not interact with people if they are disrespectful to you. Heck tell him it is the new you. You have decided no more.
    You have to do it now. In a couple years his anger will only grow.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, I'm going to temper what others have said - I don't think it's quite accurate to say you're not doing anything wrong. One thing I think you ARE doing that you need to try to change, is you're not stopping in your tracks to face him when he begins to abuse you like this.

    However, I must emphasise - you haven't caused this behaviour. He is abusing you. And I think you have (like so many of us in this situation) begun to retreat into defensiveness in response to the continual abuse. It is very much like the way the underdog responds in spousal abuse. The trouble is, while we do this defensively, it also allows the abuse to continue. And especially with a child, it gives him a sense of power from this bad behaviour which actually encourages him to keep doing this.

    It would be even more wrong to engage in a tit-for-tat screaming match. You need to calmly stand your ground, make eye contact, stop whatever you're doing and say to him, "Do not criticise me. Do not criticise my job. If you have a problem, then we can deal with it politely. You do not get results when you are rude and abusive."

    He MUST understand that it is YOUR job that pays for the food he eats. If you stayed home to wait on him hand and foot, you wouldn't have a roof over your heads or food in your bellies. And by crikey, he sure would complain then!

    He needs to understand reality. He needs to understand accountability. For some kids, this isn't easy to connect the dots. But a beginning - "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" approach to day to day living, would be a start.

    You have a lot more power here than you realise. Sometimes when we've been subjected to this sort of constant verbal abuse and barrage, we forget this. Our self-esteem hits rock-bottom and this makes it even harder for us to take control back. We retreat into what is going to make things easier, minute to minute, instead of longer-term planning. We have got into the pattern of our daily routine (work, home, meals, bed, breakfast, work, home, meals, washing, bed, breakfast...). I know, I do it too. I will tell difficult child 3 to stop being so demanding and do it for himself, as I unthinkingly begin to do it for him.

    So sit and think (when he's not around to cloud your concentration). Think about what HE does in his day. What does he really rely on? Meals, organisation, clean clothes, shelter, transport... make your list. Also make a note of what you CAN provide for him because of your job.

    Then think more. What is the bare minimum he requires? What is the bare minimum you must provide? What would you like him to do, in order to earn more?

    I would make a list of things you need him to do, to help with, which will also build his life skills. You can do these alongside him so he learns, but he needs to be working with you at least, not standing watching you.

    Example 1: difficult child 1 wanted fresh elastic put in his tracksuit pants. So I showed him what to do, talked him through it. I showed him where to find more elastic, asked him to put more on the shopping list when I realised we were using the last elastic in the house. I showed him the quick tricks to doing this job. It would have been quicker for me to do it, but it meant that he learnt how to do it for himself. Similarly, he has learnt to sew on buttons, to use a sewing machine, to load and run the washing machine, to hang out the washing the labour-saving way.

    Example 2: easy child 2/difficult child 2 whined that I never cooked what SHE liked. OK kid, I can't afford lobster for every meal. So I told her she could take over meals for the week in order to have what she wanted. But there was a catch - she had to stick to the same budget I had to; she had to plan the meals for the week to feed everybody in the house with food THEY would eat; she had to shop for the food AND prepare it (or arrange for someone else to do it). I helped her do this (it was a BIG job) and she very soon realised that I was not choosing to cook the same boring meals because I was lazy; it was because we were broke and also needing to meet a wide range of different needs.
    When easy child 2/difficult child 2 took on the job, she had to contend with others at home saying, "I don't like this, it's too spicy," or "Do I HAVE to eat this? What else can I have?" The funniest moment was the look on her face when she heard MY words coming out of her mouth, "If you don't eat it you will have to go hungry, or get yourself something else."

    If my kids came home from school and loaded up on junk food, ate all the biscuits and chocolate and chips - then I refused to buy any more. If this penalised innocent people in the house - too bad. If it meant friends dropped in for coffee and I had nothing BUT coffee - too bad. If my efforts were not appreciated - I stopped making the effort. I went on strike. Food went back to the bare basics - not quite bread and water, but certainly no added sugar, no favourite foods, nothing but good,very basic nutrition. With the emphasis on BASIC.
    We don't have cable. If we did and a kid behaved like this - I would have it disconnected. Everything not essential - shut off. No TV, no computer games - you can do this by shutting off the electricity, if you have to. Remove the fuses.

    Whatever it takes.

    It can be done. It's not easy, it requires some self-sacrifice also, but it IS worth it even though initially it will cause some storms.

  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Deni, Hex and Wendy have said pretty-much what I was going to say. It's great advice, and the payoff is immediate. Even if your difficult child hits the roof, you don't feel so beaten down by it if you're not sucked into the vortex.

    It's true that with our difficult children, talking to them about the burdens we carry just doesn't sink in. Our burdens are just one more thing in our lives that's not all about them. They resent it and resent you for having to do it. They don't recognize that if you quit your job there would be no food or shelter, new clothes or whatever. They want 100% of you.

    But you need to hang onto your core so that you don't disappear completely.

    Please be gentle with yourself and take whatever steps you have to, to get help for you.
    Saying prayers and sending strength your way to get you through this very hard time.