help, new to board

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by texeattle, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. texeattle

    texeattle New Member

    We have batteled ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ODD, Bipolar, self medication for YEARS. I have documentation from early child hood of violent mood swings etc. He is now 16 and is out of control, being investigated for arson, is very destructive ( and always has been) skips schools and displays extreem anger outburts (usually his sister or brother's girlfriend are the brunt of it.)Has had multiple suicide attempts. psychiatric hospital stay. Anyway, this week he pulled a knife on me and oldest son and was in complete rage threatening to kill sons girlfried. We phoned police and he is in juvy. We had to go to detention hearing and request that son be detained because it is not safe for him to be here. We are requesting that he be sent to state psychiatric hospital for long term care and treatment. What we are doing here is just not cutting it..not to mention, after this episode we are greatly in fear for our live if he is here inour home. After all of this I feel still like I have betrayed him, to see the look of absolute hate in his eyes and he thinks that I do not lvoe him. I am overwhelmed with grief and guilt.

    Any advice, help, guidance, support, prayers?

    Me:42 chronic depression (mom depressed and grandmother bipolar)
    husband:41 occassionally moody, but all in very supportive and strong
    easy child 17 grew up too fast, went through phase of cutting and depression, stable now on medications and counseling as needed.
    easy child 12 grew up too fast, has been in fear for her life last year and half. Began having sever panik attacks, now on medications and dooing wonderful. She is an overachiever
    difficult child: 16 has been a challange since conception. Have tried pretty much every thing from A_Z and been told I was an overly imaginative mother trying to create problems. Inside somewhere (we see it occassionally) is a smart, witty, perfect attorny type individual with tons of potention. Just need to get a handel on it.
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    First of all, welcome to the board. We're always sorry someone has to find us but it is a very supportive place as well as a soft place to land.

    I can't really offer any advice. We've dealt with the ADHD and BiPolar but nothing to the extremes that you have. I will say though that while your guilt and grief is completely understandable, you are doing what is necessary to keep your family safe and get him help. If he is violent and threatening your other family members then detention of some sort is where he needs to be. Your request for long term treatment is also right on track. I know it hurts to have him locked up but if it gets him help and keeps everyone involved safe, all the better.

    It's been a little slow around here because of Christmas but more will come and have better words of advice. You're not the only who has had to do this or go through this. {{{Hugs}}} And remember to take care of yourself also!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I happened to be up early (waiting for kids to wake up for Christmas). I'm really sorry about your trouble with your son. He certainly isn't stable--is he on medications? Maybe he can get stable on medication in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I think, at this point in time, an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a good idea. He is too sick to live at home, and dangerous to everyone. I wouldn't feel guilty. He is old enough that, if he wants to get better, HE has to do it. You can't. He needs to decide he's sick and to comply with medication and therapy, and NOT take recreational drugs, which will screw up his body chemistry, mess with his medications, and only make him worse. I hope you find a safe place for him. Take care.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I'm sorry for what you are going through. Please don't feel guilty. It sounds like you are doing what needs to be done to keep your family safe. Sending some prayers that he gets the help he needs. Many gentle hugs to you.
  5. texeattle

    texeattle New Member

    Thanks everyone for your words of kindness. Thank you Midwest Mom for reminding me that he is old enough that he has to make the choice to do so.
    I did forget to mention that he is on medications: lithium, lexapro, geodon.
    Everyone have a great Christmas...this will be very hard for me (in last 1 1/2 year we have lost my mom, had to put beloved dog of 13 years to sleep in January, husband grandmother died in June, his father this November with his mom moving in with us, and now son in juvy)
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    I'm sorry for all you're going through. Just wanted to mention that SSRIs like Lexapro can activate kids with bipolar disorder. In fact, much of what you're seeing -- increased violence, aggression and homicidal ideation -- could be attributed to the Lexapro. You might want to ask the docs in charge of his case about weaning him from Lexapro. Geodon has also been known to have a paradoxical effect of activation in kids. He might need a second mood stabilizer and/or a different atypical antipsychotic to attain stability.

    I hope your son gets the help he needs. Again, welcome to the board.
  7. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Huge hugs to you and welcome -

    I know you can't help but feel guilty - I am sure I would as well, but you have to keep yourself and other members of your household safe. You did the right thing.

    Lots of thoughts and prayers for you and your family.
  8. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hello and welcome to the board. Two Christmases ago I was in your shoes. My son had just turned 18 was taking his ADHD and depression medications but was also doing recreational drugs such as crack, pot and Ecstasy.

    Like your son mine has always been destructive and oppositional from the time he was an infant. Since he was adopted out of a very horrible bio home, I was repeatedly told that it was due to the abuse and neglect he suffered before he came to me at three months of age. I no longer believe that. His bio parents had mental health issues that I am sure he inherited. My son was raised right. He had many interventions, and privileges. He had help and services every step of the way but he still got lost.

    He got mixed up in a burglary with his drug using friends and was out on bond awaiting trial. We took him twice a week to therapy with crisis intervention as needed. He continued to verbally abuse me, destroy my possessions, steal from me and his brother, hit his father and brother and many other bad behaviors. The family was horribly stressed and loosing coheasion. His therapist asked that I just hold on long enough for her to get him into a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). So I did. I lived in fear constantly. I lived in embarassment for what the neighbors had to have heard. I lived in anger and panic. Until things came to a head.

    On December 21st of 2005 after a one hour emergency session with his therapist my son attacked me in a fit of rage and broke my ribs. He immediately realized what he had done and called 911 asking for an ambulance. I calmly took the phone away from him and told the dispatcher that I did not need an ambulance that I needed a police officer. When the police arrived I asked them to take my son to the ER for mental evaluation. They told me that domestic violence was mandatory reporting in my state and they they had to cite him. I told them that my son was under a doctors care and I was told to call them to escort him to the ER if he had a mental break. Reluctantly the police complied and escorted my difficult child to the hospital. Once there, my son signed himself out because he wanted to go to a party that night. He was then charged with harassment which was later changed to assault when the extent of my injury became apparent.

    My son was now loose on the street. He could not come home and was unstable. The police said that his assault on me was probably a probation violation but that it would take several days to get a warrant to pick him up off the street. My husband and I were forced to make the most difficult decision we ever had to make. We revoked his bail. He was picked up and put in prison on December 23rd.

    While I felt very bad about revoking his bail I knew I could no longer supervise him. He spent that Christmas on a suicide watch and the subsequent four months in prison while I, his lawyer, and his therapist found a placement for him. We then petitioned the court via letters to the judge to put him into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) out of state rather than send him to prison. The judge agreed and ordered my son into the program for 18 months. Unfortunately, my son ran away from the facility after two months.

    Since his completion of the program was court ordered, he was charged with another probation violation and returned to jail to serve the remainder of his sentence. The judge was still compassionate at sentencing and gave my difficult child the opportunity to be released after 4 months if he completed a prison program. difficult child didn't get through the program in spite of three attempts so he served 14 of his 18 months. While in prison, he made two suicide gestures and one attempted escape and ended up in the psychiatric unit. Finally, they realized that my son was mentally ill and started drug therapy. The prison doctors never got it right though and my son had seizures and panic attacks and at one point became non-compliant to therapy yet again. Finally in October of this year, he was released to a group home and put into a socialization program for the mentally impaired.

    For now he is doing well. He has screwed up a couple of times but not anything illegal. He must attend AA meetings. He is working part time to pay his restitution and rent. He is being seen by a therapist and a psychiatrist. He has a support system , and is building self esteem and looking to the future. He is now two months sober.

    As for me, I do some monitering of his services, stay in touch with his PO and his caseworker, provide medical coverage and executive support. I no longer have to deal with him and his chaous on a daily basis. I can now enjoy my life free of abuse and manipulation.

    I do not feel any guilt over any of this. I did everything I could to help my son but I learned that unless they are willing to participate and buy into their own health it is futile. The people here on this board have taught me that it is ok to morn the loss of our dreams for our child. It is ok to hope but not to enable. They taught me that we must detach with love and take care of ourselves and the other members of our family too. We cannot become so consumed with our difficult child that we forget to live, to love and to laugh. They taught me that sometimes the very best thing we can do is to step back and let our children find their bottom. Only then will some difficult children find their their way out of the bad behaviors that defeat them. They taught me that our difficult children will slip and revert and to be prepared for that also.

    We cannot save our difficult children from themselves. They have to want to be saved and realize that they need to be saved and work at it themselves. Had my son killed himself and/or died would I have guilt? I honestly don't think so now that I have gone through the metamorphis all thiis has brough about. I would feel anger and profound sadness but not guilt.

    I am the first to admit that I went trhough a long emotion process to get here. At first I blamed others. I blamed my husband because I felt he could have been more involved when difficult child was growing up. I blamed the doctor for missing a diagnosis, I blamed the system for all the cracks my son fell through. I blamed his bio parents for the abuse.

    Now I only blame his genetic makeup, his inability or refusal to make good choices and the drug abuse for all that has happened.

    I have learned to look for the joy in everyday things once again and embrace it where ever it reveals itself. I have learned not to obsess over my difficult child and to deal with his issues in smaller doses. I have learned to take care of myself and my health better. BUT...Most of all, I have learned to love even when I don't trust. I have learned to embrace the good times with my difficult child as them come and not worry over the future and the what ifs. I know I will be able to handle them when/if they arrive. I have learned to trust others to help my son and not to try to control every aspect of his service needs. I have learned that I cannot "fix" my son but that I can help him and accept him and his abilities such as they are.

    Right now my difficult child is doing fairly well. I am proud of his successes though others probably wouldn't even notice them. Last night he was here for a gift exchange. He came in with his gift in a box from a grocery store. It was taped shut with masking tape and he placed prominently it in front of my beautifully decorated Christmas tree with all the color coordinated gifts meticulously wrapped under it. And I smiled and left it right where he placed it. There was a time I would have tried to make it less conspicuous by discretely moving it behind some of the prettier gifts so things would look nice for the guests who had not yet arrived. But I have grown through all this too. I have accepted that he is who he is and that he is not going to be the dream I had envisioned when he was a tiny baby. I have learned to appreciate his efforts whether they are magnificently successful or not even noticeable. His gifts were used things that he probably bought for 50 cents from a thrift store. But he bought them with money he earned honestly. He put thought into them, and was proud of them. That was the real gift.

    As for you my friend, You are on a journey now that you never dreamed of taking. It will be hard, but the good people here will help you as they did me. This is not a journey for the faint of heart and it is not one anybody would choose for themselves. But it is yours to take and to learn from. Believe me when I tell you that you can find peace in this if you seek it and learn. You can also find acceptance if you seek it and learn. They may come to you in a much different form than that which you envision now, but they will come.

    I send you strength and support for the long road that lies ahead of you. May your God walk with you every step of the way.
  9. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Tex---I know this is difficult. You have to let your son learn to live with the consequences of his choices. Hopefully he will survive them and learn and grow. It is not easy. been there done that.

    RM--you made me cry (which is really hard to do)
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Sorry I didn't mean to do that.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    You have to give yourself a break. It is not your fault, you did not choose this. You HAVE a responsibility to protect your family AND to help protect him if possible. Take it easy on yourself.

    I had to have my son removed by police at age 13. He eventually ended up at my parent's, with my newly retired JR high teacher father in charge of him. My son's only offenses were against his siblings and I, so the courts were more than happy to do what I want.

    You have to LIVE. To find a way, small to start, of course, to enjoy life and the safety you now have. It may be that your son can never live at home again.

    You know you love him. You always have. This is why you did the hard things and had him removed. you are protecting him from a lifetime of guilt over killing someone. I see this as a true act of love.