first visit to ranch


New Member
Well we had our first visit with difficult child at the boys ranch on Saturday. All went well, He was so excited to show us his horse (daisy) and all of the other horses. He said it's not too bad there compared to where he could have gone. Believe me this place is gorgeous. The staff are all very nice (the ones I met), we had a picnic style lunch, and talked alot!!!
The worst thing about the place is the drive to get there. It took us thru our state into another then back up into Pa again. About 2 1/2 hours. After 5 hours of driving both ways I was pooped.
We were there for about 2 and a 1/2 hours, like I said it was a good visit except when it was time to leave He got upset when I said I din't know if I could make this drive every other weekend. I told him I didn't think my van would take it and we really have no other transportation to get there. He didn't seem to care JUST COME!!! I then saw the malnipulative difficult child come out. The crying, the I'm all alone, I won't see you for a month if you only come once a month, etc. Well when he was home he did't want to see me period. :slap: I'm not sure what I'm gonna do.
As for mothers day still no word from difficult child's grandma and I didn't call her either. She did email the ranch about seeing him they of course contacted me first. I told them in not too much detail that she was the enabler to difficult child and I'm not sure about her visiting him yet. I figure if she wants to go she will contact me and ask me. Maybe then she'll realize I am the parent.
Well have a good day all.


Active Member
Tracy, he's 16! Of course he can manage without seeing you every weekend! It's good that he says he wants to see you, but as you said - the manipulative kid emerges when he wants something (or says he wants something).

I do wonder if he was getting upset more because you were holding back something (yourself and your next visit) and he wants. Doesn't matter what he wants, he just wants. And when he wants, he will nag and whine until you give in. If you don't give in, he makes you miserable. It's a habit he's got into. Chances are, five minutes after you were gone he was off somewhere happy and doing OK. I reckon that if you give him advance notice that you won't be there next weekend, he will not be sitting around waiting for you in case you changed your mind - he will be off doing things. But he would want you to THINK he spent the entire day moping because you weren't there.

Can you write to him? Often under these circumstances, a letter does more to lift their spirits than you would think. Keep your letters happy, newsy and open. Don't buy into any claimed misery or loneliness, at least not openly. Ask him to write and tell you about his days - like a diary, of sorts. Describe his achievements, even the tiny ones. You can prompt this by writing your letters as a sort of diary too. Keep it short so he doesn't think he has to write large letters, but it's a way of staying in touch with the good things about home and family, without revisiting the unpleasantness.

Good luck, and look after yourself.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts

This is life. difficult children choices/illness, whatever, has placed him in this situation. While he may be sad over the visiting situation, you cannot change what is or isn't.

I'm sorry that difficult child feels he's been dealt such a blow in life; I hope this helps him find a way to self regulate. I hope it sinks in for him.


New Member
I spoke with difficult child's counselor yesterday alittle. He said he spoke with him and he is going to start to try to get into "things" a little deeper with him this week. I'm not sure what that means but I'm hoping he will try to break thru the wall I could never get to. I explained a bit the situation with "grandma" and how I'm not sure if or when she will be visiting. I also explained to him the for us to come see difficult child every 2 weeks may not be possible. I felt alittle better after talking to him because he said he understand how hard it is to be the bad guy in all this when over the the years you try to prevent a situation like this. He said he doesn't have a problem with being the bad guy. He also said sometimes it's better to have a third party intervene with difficult child's malnipulation and have him see that it's not going to work. It only makes time there harder when that's all they think about.
Even with difficult child away right now I'm still stressed and tired. I still think of him all day and wonder what he's doing and how he is, but I know he'll be ok. So many mixed emotions right now.
Thanks for all the help over the last few weeks all it's helped to be able to talk to those who have been there done that.


Active Member
you are holding up as well as you can. I know when ant was sent away at age 16, I about died myself. I moped on the porch on a hammock all summer the first year. I cried all the holidays. My birthday went by and he never called so late at night I called and made them get him out of bed to talk to me.

I dunno...knowing what I know now, maybe I would have taken a nice long trip to relax while someone else was taking watch over him. they do come back ya know. still your son, hopefully improved. relax if ya can!


New Member
I always found when my difficult child was away, sending uplifting cards letting him know I knew he was strong and could accomplish anything he wanted in life, always made him feel better. It's never easy when they first leave, I don't care how old they are. My difficult child was 18 and I felt like I could crawl in a hole and die, but guess what, I survived :smile: as did difficult child. And today we are both better and stronger people for it. Your son is in a safe place getting the help he needs. Focus on that. He could be in the streets and far from safe. Be happy for where he is and try to get some of yourself back while he's gone. Take care of your self and become a stronger more productive less stressed you!! You'll be happy you did.