Heading toward a nervous breakdown.. just a little one..

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sunxstone, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    cuz I am living in a continuous state of panic!

    Big changes coming up in the next few weeks - divorce finalizing with ex, custory/visitiation aggreement we're (ok, *I'm*) piecing together and trying to cover all the bases for everyone concerned.. Moving 1500 miles west to California with difficult child, where I hear the services for mentally ill children are *amazing*, but we'll soon be without insurance, and ex mother in law really messed me over re: SSI.

    I owe the government $8k because of bank bonds ex mother in law put under difficult child's name about five years ago.. we've been without SSI since, and I dont know if I can even get medicaid for him with that over my head.

    Hoping I can get difficult child into an extended school year / partial hospital program. His current school recommended extended school year, but never got it into an IEP, so I'm working on that now.

    I'm sleeping maybe 4 hours a night, even on ambien, and I am sooo tired, and feeling pretty sedated during the day..and trying to get all these pieces in place are really wearing on me. My SO is helping and assuring me as much as he can, and I *know* it's gonna be better, but these last two weeks I have *so* much to do, I can't focus, I don't know what to do next or how to do it. I'm not even close to done packing. I'm terrified I'm going to miss an important detail or do it wrong.

    Add to that just trying to get through each day with difficult child's behavior spiraling out of control. His behavior therapist and I discussed the behavior plan / credit system and difficult child is adamant that he will not follow it.
    I know difficult child is torn up about the divorce, even though he and my ex get along like a couple rabid fighting dogs. I'm working to get him into a better, more stable, supportive environment, and he likes my SO, but he doesn't like the idea of following any sorts of rules at all. He's all ready fighting us on everything.

    Everyone agrees difficult child needs a residential placement, but 1) group home placements reportedly will not accept difficult child with his violent and also encopretic behavior. 2) Here all the residential hospitals are at least 3 hours away, and I didn't feel comfortable sending him that far away where we'd never get to see each other. 3) Even with insurance it's like $500 a week, from what we've experienced so far.. I just don't have that. How do you get them help? One of our caseworkers, after witnessing a pretty serious rage, suggested we surrender difficult child to the state and get him hospitalized that way. After another few rages recently, I asked about the behavior therapist about it, and he said no, you can't do that. I wish they were all on the same page.

    He's been hospitalized 3 times for a week at a time, and it's done *nothing*. He needs long term, not just stabilization. I really have my hopes up for a partial hospital program, but not sure how to make it happen. Even then, are they going to address the encopresis, or ignore it like the other times he was hospitalized?

    I can't see going another five years with his behaviors - smearing, urinating where he shouldn't, his threatening to kill us, raging tantrums, stealing, hoarding things..

    I know in a few weeks I'm going to have some amazing support, but in the meantime, I'm panicking. I'm going back to work after almost 14 years of being home. I'm pretty much agoraphobic, I haven't left the house since 2008 if I haven't absolutely had to. I can tell you when and what dates I have left the house since early 2008, and probably have fingers left over. I have no real skills. I am so freaking out about going back to work and dealing with *people* all day! People scare me!

    The past few years have just been survival mode. I was totally detached on medications for depression/anxiety/sleep problems for over 18 months 2007/2008, things went way downhill, and I have a lot to make up for. I'm trying not to give in and go back on the medications. I'm not *unhappy*, I'm not depressed, I just need help figuring out what I'm doing!

    I'm overwhelmed.

    Please don't attack me, I don't have a normal feelings filter, whatever you call it.. I got chewed up and spit out on another board recently for sharing what was going on in my life. I just need to bounce this stuff off someone who knows what it's like, need some ideas, direction, or just some encouragement.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Wow- you do have a lot on your plate! I think I would go for the placement that is 3 hours away if you think they will accept your difficult child and be effective and appropriate. I know at first thought having them close to home seems best and feels more comfortable, but sometimes it works a little better to have some disctance.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    If you can afford the placement, I would go for it. It seems to me that you have enough going on without difficult child antics, and the placement could mean some stabilization for him and a small break for you. How is your daughter holding up?

    Sending many supportive hugs.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Wow - No kidding you are heading toward at the least a little nervous breakdown! O.K. take a great big deep breath through your nose (deeper than that - real deep) and let it through your mouth very slowly. Do it one or more times with your eyes close.

    I want to say to set EVERYTHING to the side and take care of yourself if even for just 15 minutes. I know how super hard that is because I am so much like the person who can not take care of myself until EVERTHING else is done. I have 12 days of vacation time that I either have to take or loose before July 1st and that stinks because I do not want to take it. If I am not at my job, it doesn't get done and then I know the stress of trying to catch up - not good. You are feeling much the same with the things you NEED to get done (I also don't work well under the pressure of a deadline).

    You are so tired. I would suggest that you do take a few hours tomorrow morning after the kids leave for school and catch up on that sleep - even if you sleep all day, you need it and you will be able to work quicker and more alert and catch up on whatever you feel you will loose in doing so.

    Make yourself a list of To-Do's - one page for each thing so you can write notes/reminders under each thing if needed.

    Looks like the chart will not work for your difficult child. It will just be another battle ground. I would suggest that you do however look at adjusting his easy child time to whatever you were going to do on the chart. Start implementing the family activities that you were going to let him "earn". In order to take away the easy child time, you do need to replace it with something. My difficult child loves to paint. We go to the craft store and purchase birdhouses and various colors of paint and he paints. (stay away from those $1 paint a craft projects - they have super small pieces and become a mess) You can also get flat wooden projects to paint.

    Do you have a pet? My husband and I were so adamant about not having a pet. We do not want that responsibility or expense. However, when my daughter asked to purchase a puppy bichon friese, the only way she could care for it was the help of difficult child. She would do the overnight potty runs and difficult child got to take care of her most of the day. I really do believe that for some kids an animal is very good medicine. The puppy gives difficult child unconditional love - never ever is angry with him. difficult child also spends time playing with the dog, taking her for walks, things that keep him from the electronic fun.

    Now is not be a good time to get a pet if you don't have one but something to keep in mind as an option to help keep difficult child away from the easy child.

    I agree that a placement may be a very good thing for the entire family at this time. As he gets older, bigger, stronger, those threats to kill combined with those rages will become increasingly more and more dangerous. You do not want your daughter living in fear and you should not either. I would be very firm with the behavior therapist and DEMAND that he give you directions on how to make your home safe. When he is in a rage, get him to an ER (or call police to transport him to an ER) so these behaviors can be documented in the terminology that doctors and psychiatric hospitals understand and will respond to. Maybe someone in the medical field will finally start listening if you start using up the ER for rages.

    I would also be tempted to actually call the therapist's office during a rage and let his staff listen to it (or maybe it would be recorded on the answer machine). Sometimes professionals don't realize the extent of these rages unless they witness them. My difficult child is awesome, very kind, very respectful to others that I get the feeling his psychiatrist doesn't really believe me when I describe some of our ugly moments of him trying to take power of the situation and "put me in my place". My daughter is much the same - very very very few people see the total disrespect that she shows to me - she is very respectful of others and knows how to behave in public so they only see her polite side and don't believe me when I tell them how nasty she can get.

    Another thing to do is to get a video camera ready and tape the rage so that you can actually show it to his doctors. It is a big responsibility for a 9 1/2 yr old girl to do but it may have to be her doing the videoing since his rages may be toward you or he will keep his attention more on you and ignore whatever his sister is doing? Only consider her IF she is a witness to these rages and you can explain to her how the videoing will help get him medical help to hopefully learn to stop.

    Hang in there - one moment at a time!
  5. Luvbooks7

    Luvbooks7 Guest


    I'm new here but I wanted to say that I care, and just reading your post I can understand feeling overwhelmed.

    Try to take some deep breaths and maybe write down things that need to be done, seeing it on paper may help with the stress some.

    Maybe sleep when the difficult child is at school?

    I'm still finding my way around here, but I do care and hope things get better for you, others have more experience and knowledge than I do, just wanted you to know that you're not alone on the boards.

  6. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Wow.. thank you all for being so understanding and supportive!!! difficult child is having a good day today, no battles yet and it's 7:30 pm (knock on wood!)

    Getting this all out really helped me to focus and I gained a few steps today.. difficult child's caseworker is going to drive us to a walk-in evaluation/medication appointment first thing tomorrow morning. It will really help to have her there and help me articulate what I need to share with the doctor. I also copy/pasted a prelim custody agreement I found online, reworded it for our situation and gave it to my ex to look over. So far he's been very civil regarding the divorce, I just hope he stays that way. We are doing it ourselves, uncontested. I can't bring myself to fully trust him with his history, and the custody/parenting agreement has me really stressed out. What if I leave out something important? easy child chose to stay here with him, and we agreed to abide by her choice, with the provision that if she ever changes her mind she will be allowed to come stay with me in California. In a way, the time in between now and summer will do us good with difficult child and hopefully allow us to get him settled and more stable before she comes to stay. I think she wants some time to herself without having to fight constantly, and I'm supporting that. She needs some time for herself.

    If we can find a residential placement for difficult child in California I absolutely will place him if at all possible. I'm trying to get help from ex regarding the SSI/medicaid situation (his mom got bank bonds in difficult child and easy child's name, put us over the allowed limit by 1800$, and now I owe them 8000$, by their math. I don't get it..), and he keeps telling me he's going to get copies of the bonds from the bank to prove we did cash them in, but other than saying yes, yes, he will, he's not, and he hasn't. He took me off the account so I can't get to them. :/ I keep stressing that I need to get this situation taken care of so that I can get services for difficult child, but he really doesn't care. difficult child is no longer his problem. difficult child is dealing with his step dad giving up on him and moving 1500 miles away from where he's grown up.. I know difficult child is stressed, too and it's not helping everything else. I'm just hoping that when we get there and he has stability and a family that is consistent and some real services that he'll improve and he'll gain some hope too.

    I can't sleep. I get the kids up and out for school and lie back down and try to force myself and it just doesn't work. I started back on 5 mg of Ambien, and now I'm up to 10 mg, and still getting no more than four hours. I'm going to bed around 11 pm each night, trying to keep to a normal schedule and hoping my mind/body just falls in step! I'm purposely avoiding the Ambien CR because I am a total zombie during the day on those, I literally cannot function.. but the lack of sleep is really compounding my ability to focus, relax and *keep my patience*! We stay so wound up waiting for difficult child to explode. easy child is looking forward to time away, and I think she needs it too. She's the older sibling in so many ways even though she's 3 1/2 years younger. She sticks up for herself, too, which is *amazing*, I wish I'd had that confidence at her age, but it also starts a *lot* of the battles and rages. I've stressed to her to *ignore* difficult child's outbursts, name calling and all out baiting, but she just can't. She gets angry when I tell her, when the behavior therapist tells her that this is what she needs to do. She will not back down from difficult child.. but mama is really tired of the refereeing!

    We do have a pet - several in fact.. 2 dogs, 2 cats, a tarantula (difficult child went through a tarantula obsessed phase at 6-7, he got it for his birthday that year and its *still* alive lol) a fish and a frog. He enjoys the younger dog but pretty much ignores everything else. He is constantly bringing strays home and bringing me critters he's found to hold until he can find the owners. That makes me proud! But he doesn't do much of the way of cleaning/feeding/walking. They are all, minus one of the cats, going with us. My ex didn't want them, and one cat we've had for 9 years, a dog for 8. They are family.

    I have videotaped several of his rages using my phone, and he absolutely hates it. I just turn the video on and leave the phone on my desk or my lap so he doesn't know I'm recording. I wouldn't feel comfortable making easy child a target holding the camera.

    Someone suggested instead of calling the police while he's in a rage, I could call an ambulance, and this will keep him from having a police record. Is this an actual option?

    So wiped out, looking forward to bedtime in a few hours once the kids are down for the night! I feel good that I made some progress today though.
    Thank you for letting me vent safely and helping me to focus. I was really worried after my last experience on a message board, it really helps to have people who get it. I haven't talked to other parents in a long time.. can you tell? lol Sorry I'm so long winded..
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Holy cow, you really DO have a lot on your plate!

    A tarantula? My easy child spent spring break in Honduras on a mission trip at an orphanage and one of her friends was bitten on the foot by a tarantula. Not fun. However, unless you are allergic, you just swell up and limp a little (like a really big bee sting ;) ) and it goes away. But if it's a pet, it's used to your body, so ... to each his own. :)

    I never thought about recording difficult child using my phone. Thank you! (I love this place.)

    Hey, maybe instead of Ambien, you could try Xanax. I've tried Ambien and it doesn't work very well, plus, it makes me forgetful.
    Also, you don't drink coffee or tea after 2 p.m., right? But you already knew that.

    Nice to meet you.

    So sorry for you and your family. Whew. They are lucky to have you.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  8. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Hi Terry!

    We don't touch the tarantula. Ever. No no no. LOL! I explained to the kids when we got her, it's just like a fish. It's to look at, not to touch. She has grown *massive*, and no way am I sticking my hand in there with those fangs. Neither kiddo has any desire to either. She's a very interesting critter otherwise. :)

    I would definitely like to try something besides ambien! I *am* forgetful. I have trouble tracking conversations during the day long after its supposed to have worn off. I'll say something, then forget what I just said.. can't remember what my boyfriend just said to me..it's horrible. I did give up caffeine a few years ago, so no problem there. I think I'm just permanently wound up.

    Glad I could help with the phone idea! :)
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh well. I guess I just watch too many nature shows, where people hold those critters in their hands.

    So, make a dr appointment for some new medications, and in the meantime, give your boyfriend a run for his money and call him Joe, I mean Al, I mean, uh, Henry ... LOL~
  10. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so glad you are feeling better today and it was also a good day for difficult child. I am looking foward to hearing the result of the evaluation appointment tomorrow morning.

    You can try just calling an ambulance. If they are unable to restrain difficult child to get him to the hospital than they may need police help. But I would definetly do everything possible to keep the police record at bay. The day is not yet here when law enforcement can be seen as looking at these types of call as a "helping situation" and not a "punishing situation" if you know what I mean. Some police departments and officers do "get it" and will "help" but you really won't know which way it will go until it happens.

    My difficult child uses Xanax for panic attacks or when his anxiety is sky high. He used it to get to school every day last Spring and about a week this Fall. He states he can feel it working taking the fear away and calming him down. That may help you? Check with your doctor.
  11. sunxstone

    sunxstone New Member

    Update - our caseworker drove us to and from a walk in appointment today.. it felt like a waste of time. The doctor talked to me alone for about five minutes and I mentioned the rages, threatening behavior, aggression, smearing and wetting behavior.. she kept cutting me off. Then she talked to difficult child for another five minutes, then called me back in. Said she couldn't see bipolar or ADHD, and that difficult child claimed he wasn't depressed.She wrote him an rx for Risperdal for the anger problems. She blamed step dad for everything (yes, he's a big part of the problem *now*, but wasn't when he was first diagnosed) Other than difficult child's relationship with step dad, I don't feel like she listened to me at all. Like she just shut everything out after that. Oh.. and she refused to look at any of his past evaluations.

    Definitely going to have him re evaluated by a professional once we're in California.. and the next time difficult child flies into a rage, I'm going to do as someone here suggested and leave it recorded for her on her voicemail.

    Someone also asked if he'd been seen by a neuro psychiatric - he has, when he was almost 7. She diagnosed PDDNOS/Aspergers.. and the more I think of it the more I think it all goes back to that. I think the bipolar they saw was casein allergy. He gets food from friends, etc..

    Anyway.. got a prescription so that will help in the short term, I hope. I do think talking to her helped difficult child, too, if only for those few minutes. He's been calm all day.. but his sister isn't home yet. :/

    difficult child was texting back and forth with my boyfriend while I was in with the doctor, and the caseworker asked difficult child how much he liked my boyfriend on a scale from 1 - 10, and difficult child said "8!" So that was awesome. :D lol
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010