Going out of my mind

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by STRESSEDTOMAX, Jan 9, 2013.



    I am going to try and keep this as short and clear as I can. This house is falling apart and so am I. We are being held prisoner by difficult children meltdowns/temper tantrums whatever you want to call them. If he doesn't get his way he throws a total fit. If I impose a consequence, he throws a fit. He has refused to go to school since Monday because one of his teachers is "strict" and "mean". Today when I gave him schoolwork to do he did some and then refused to do anymore. He threw a fit banging on doors, screaming, crying until our neighbor who lives across the street came over because he heard him screaming. He works at a home for children like this and told Tommy he doesn't know how good he has it here. The thing he told Tommy is that difficult child (Tommy) stopped the screaming when he heard the doorbell ring and he believes that proves the behavior can be controlled. Is that true?

    Life is just horrible right now. Financially, we're in the process of bankruptcy and trying to keep our small store open. My husband feels worse than he ever has and then he comes home to this **** all night. Brush Your Teeth...I don't want to. Go to bed...no. on and on and on. The other night difficult child refused to brush his teeth and finally husband shoved the toothbrush in his mouth and he's said it hurts for two days. I can't control either one of them. If difficult child would stop openly defying husband to his face, we'd have no problems but he won't. I am sick of being held hostage. How can I let a kid who was just screaming at me for an hour go out and play?

    The other thing that bothers me is that some of our best friends (including neighbor) act like difficult child has no diagnosis", which is not true. I don't know where this will end but right now, it's not looking good.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Usually difficult children dont want people that might turn on them to see the real them. With parents they know we will love them no matter what, so they dont turn it off for us. But they can for outsiders.

    Sorry things are so rought. Do you have an action plan? What is happening next? evaluation? Testing? medications?
  3. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    I'm sorry that you are having such a rough time! I've been there, mouth agape in the midst of a rage, not knowing what in the world to do. Homework time is such a trigger here- the teacher was good about it and sends home a chart now with the homework. Smiley face for no tantrum, Frowny face for a bad night. She gives difficult child rewards at school if he gets smileys. (Of course, this doesn't really work when husband gives him smiley faces anyhow, like he did last night, with the empty threat that "Next time I won't give you a smiley if you act like that!". Man, he's going to have it bad after I am gone.) Once difficult child actually ate his homework.

    I wish that I actually had some advice, but I only have support! Hugs to you!!!
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Two separate thoughts go through my mind on this...

    First, you are under stress. husband is under stress. Bankrupcy is a HUGE stressor. Don't kid yourself - your difficult child is feeding off that negative stress. difficult children do that. Even typical kids do that to some extent, just not with the same extreme behavior. There likely isn't any way to shield difficult child from that stress. Can you all at least acknowledge it? find ways to work off the anger and anxiety? Big task, I know, and you're not in a frame of mind to really go down different roads...

    And then... what diagnosis does difficult child have? I wasn't aware there was one. It makes a difference on things to suggest.


    He has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) not otherwise specified and intense ODD. They weren't sure whether it was Aspergers or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). But at six, they diagnosed him with a thought disorder.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or Aspie... both are developmental.
    The ODD... well, either it's a mis-understanding of the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) stuff, OR... there is more going on (like sensory processing disorder (SPD), or Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), or a Learning Disability (LD), or... any combo of those, etc.)

    And Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids do not handle transitions well - and the current situation in your home is sending his anxiety through the roof. Of course, no easy answers... but sometimes it helps to know what is going on?


    I am very aware of the amount of stress that the financial stuff puts on the house but there's definitely more going on here because the same stress has been there for a long time and about 6 weeks ago he was not being defiant like this. Basically, I feel like I'm stuck right between my husband and my son - trying my best to control both - and not being able to control either and I'm seriously exhausted.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Answer to me is....that is too simple of an explanation. I feel like sometimes they have a certain amount of control but I picture it like an old fashioned record album. Their brains are like the grooves and sometimes the needle gets stuck. When something unexpected happens, it can bump the needle and can get them out of that stuck rut. In general when some kids (with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) types of disablities especially) are thinking, they only really have one thought they can focus on at a time. So if they are buried in a power struggle/rage etc. it is hard to get them off that. But when something like a doorbell rings etc....that can snap them out of it and now they are wondering what the heck is going on at the door.

    When they are not in that adrenaline filled, all cylinders firing mode they can think more clearly and can consider more information making them look more in control. But depending on their states, they have different levels of control. It is not that they are being intentionally on again/off again, but they certainly can learn some skills to help come out of that state so it is not like they have to remain at the mercy of their impulsive or rage-filled behaviors. Some, like my son may always need someone to help cue them to do better, hopefully long before he gets to that out of control state.

    I too can totally relate to that feeling of being hostage to rages etc. The door pounding, wall pounding, swearning, demanding, blocking me from going out of a room etc....his falling apart if he is panicked about something or not liking having to do nor not getting to do something...uggg.

    Sometimes I have a harder time than others keeping my priorities regarding which power struggles to avoid and which things are hard and fast rules.

    I sometimes remind about brushing teeth but I do NOT get into a power struggle about it, this morning he quickly started an argument about it...he wanted to brush his teeth but had left the cap off his toothpaste and wouldn't let me help get it out...wanted to use mine. I should have just let him, then fixed it later...really not a big deal. But, instead I said if he used mine then he was going to have to buy me a new tube from his earned money because it is expensive (sensitive kind) toothpaste. He fell apart. Really not a good moment for me. He had awakened in a mood and I already knew I should have been keeping overall stress lower. I do take responsibility for triggering some of what happened this morning.

    Things always go much better for us when I keep to the plan. Only have power struggles over what is considered a safety issue/legal issue type of thing. I can usually tell when he is in a place to work on other skills, but when we are having a day or days/weeks that are in general stressful....I go back to only worrying about the few priorities until the overall stress is lower and he is able to keep it together better.

    While doing that I am big on having natural positive consequences happen (If I make a big deal out of earning things it is too stressful, but for example...got ready easily and on his own to go somewhere....well then, we have time to go through a drive through for a treat or here is an extra dollar I found for you to go to XXX with your Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) worker, etc. ) Once the positives start adding up (and wow, that is so not easy to do at our house some times, luckily it is easier these days) it really does change things.

    What you have that I do not have??? A husband who needs to get on board with the program. What he did with the toothbrush was abusive. And that is not meant as a judgement really, because I understand getting to that point. Still, we are the adults and can't go there. Teeth are not worth it. I have let someone at school tell Q that he needs to use deodorant or to brush his teeth as a natural consequence to his not doing it at home.

    I sometimes go back to a visual reminder on the bathroom wall so he does not have my voice to react to. Even if he rips it, he saw it.

    Are there any medication changes that happened? Any one of the ones he is on could be adding to his mood/oppositional/aggressive issues. Prozac set my son off as did a couple of AP's and Tenex did nothing for him either way. Other medications from those same categories did work for him though. Prozac was the only one that got worse over time so I didn't recognize it right away. (I think I remember you might be questioning that ...but might be mixed up with someone else, sorry)

    I just really badly for all of you, such a stressful time overall and I know how hard it is to have a child who is hard enough if you were isolated on a farm and causing the scenes he is causing, but when it is so disruptive that others can hear you....I admit that is an added layer of stress I can sometimes just barely handle. It is a huge reason I moved.

    And most of all, it is awful to have our loved ones in such a state that they are acting this way. We know or at least hope there is a way for them to be happier and not get so worked up. But getting there is so tough!

    I hope just one thing can change and help him start to spiral up. you have my thoughts and hugs, it is so not an easy life.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    When you said "6 weeks ago he wasn't defiant like this", my first thought was to think yep, another one reacting to the prozac. That is the one that made difficult child 1 so defiant and eventually physically aggressive before he was taken by cop to the hospital and transferred to a psychiatric hospital. I may be wrong, but after witnessing it first hand, yea, that's my first thought.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    GREAT responses here.
    I can't add more, just to send hugs.


    Thank you all for your responses. Buddy...everything you said was so helpful. What you said about my husband is true...it was abusive. I am so heartbroken over HIS behavior because he has always had a rage problem but it had been dormant for years and years before this and I feel like it's so unfair that he is CONSTANTLY pushed so far that he reacts like that. He actually called while I was writing this and he could tell I was upset, which I am, because I know it's abusive but to see someone else say it was just upsetting. Which has nothing to do with you - I'm glad you said it. It's just that I don't know what to do with it. This kind of thing has been going on since difficult child was about four and this horrible dynamic developed where I had to step in between them and it gave difficult child the impression that it was me and him against husband. All I want is when difficult child sees husband is at his limit...to STOP...but I guess he can't. I wish I could say I KNOW he can't but sometimes the defiance seems so manipulative. I mean...we're asking him simple things. It seems to me like he's baiting husband and taking pleasure in it. On the other hand, I know he is scared of him at times abnd I would think if he did not have the condition he has, he would stop. difficult child has begun taking this stuff into school and telling teachers and I told husband that we are going to wind up losing him if this behavior continues. But it is not under husband control just like it is not in difficult child control so the only thing I can think of is for husband to get anger management and I'll have to search for somewhere free since he has no insurance. I am just plain overwhelmed. Believe me when I tell you that husband tries SO hard not to get to that point with difficult child and after difficult child calms down, husband feels absolutely awful.


    Also wanted to add that I believe that it may be the Prozac causing some of the aggression. When we went to the psychiatric last Friday she actually doubled the dose but after giving it to him for two days I took him off it completely (googled it first to make sure I could just stop it). My gut feeling is that it's not good for him.
  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You really are in a pickle. Poor difficult child. husband is the one that needs to stop or walk away when he reaches his limit. That is HIS responsibility. He also needs to learn to pick his battles or HE is going to lose difficult child. Who and how to teach him that, I have no idea but it needs to happen soon. It would really hoover if it came down to you having to "choose" between husband and difficult child. YOU are good for difficult child. husband is NOT.

    I don't think difficult child is doing anything on purpose and I really doubt he's taking any pleasure in being "abused" by husband. I really suggest you monitor and document the "timing" of the requests and how the request is made. What exactly is difficult child doing when make a request is made? What time of day and under what circumstances is the request made? Is he told or asked to do something? What tone of voice is used? Is he expected to drop what he's doing to comply with the request immediately? These are just some of the things that might show a pattern. You can even experiment with delivery methods and timing. Find something that works.

    I would NOT rely on husband for much of anything, just to protect difficult child. It sounds like husband could use a therapist and/or psychiatrist of his own. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}} to you AND difficult child.


    You're right, TeDo...husband could definitely use a therapist and psychiatrist. I have known for years that he should be on medications. We separated two years ago vfor about 4 months because of all of this but difficult child was still giving me so many problems that I couldn't do it by myself and I made financial mistakes that actually would not have let me be seperate from him for much longer. I have so much guilt because I've let this go on because I really don't know how to solve any of it.
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You're breaking my heart. My good friend called last night in a similar situation. She is left to pick up the pieces when husband calls her kids failures etc. He really does love his kids and works hard for his family
    She swears he is spectrumy himself in some ways and just doesn't think his words and actions have the impact they do. Her kids are all teens, two have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). She said many things you have said. I'm sorry what I said made it more real. I believe you that he likely doesn't get it but he has to somehow. But you can't control him so don't blame yourself for his choices. You have enough hard choices to make yourself. Many hugs. (Does difficult child like races? Q used to like to beat me getting dressed etc.)


    I have often thought that husband may have Aspergers. As far as races, husband does that with him to distract him from a meltdown and it definitely works. He also tries to joke him out of it which also works. Like I said, his heart is in the right place but he definitely needs some help. we both do.