Hour in the bathroom with-a blanket, pillows, magazine and cell ph, therapist on speed dial

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, May 9, 2012.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    difficult child flew in the door today and demanded that I take him to his friends' house, K and D. They're the ones whose mom and dad are on drugs and lost custody so the grandmother is raising them, along with-their younger brother, who is autistic. (Personally, I think that D is an Aspie ...)
    I said no. In view of the poor decisions he's made lately, I want to keep him home, underfoot.
    He blew up. Knocked over a chair and kicked another chair into my leg.
    "Owowow! Get me an icepack!"
    He gets one from the freezer, gives it to me, then continues his tirade.
    He finally tried to negotiate to get the Xbox/TV cord and I had originally said yes, later, after I calm down.
    He followed me upstairs and blew up even more, because he couldn't have it right that second, and "THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT CALMS ME DOWN. IF I CAN'T GO TO MY FRIEND'S HOUSE AND YOU WON'T TAKE ME AND WON'T ALLOW ME TO WALK, IT MEANS YOU HATE ME."
    "No, it means I care about you and don't want--"
    "Give me ONE GOOD REASON I can't go."
    "We've just spent the past 20 min. and you don't like my answer."
    "See, you hate me and I hate you and the only thing I love and worth living for is N."
    "I do not hate you."
    "If you don't give me the cord, I'm going to kill myself!"
    "How would you go about doing that?"
    "We've got knives downstairs."
    "I can take you to XYZ psychiatric hospital where you can get help right now."
    "You're trying to emotionally blackmail me. Get out of my room."
    "No. Shut the door on me!"
    I turn my back and walk toward the bed. He goes to his room briefly. I run to lock the bedroom door, grab the bedspread, pillows, cell ph and magazine, and lock myself in the bathroom, knowing it's going to be a long night.
    I call Soc Svcs to ask about respite or Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I've gone this route before and didn't qualify. After 3 phone calls and two transfers, I find what I think is the correct # and leave an explicit, specific msg.
    I call a local teen psychiatric hospital. "We're not a psychiatric hospital. We have 17 doctors and we're very big so everyone thinks we're an overnight facility. You can call R hospital mental health svcs, or H mental Health svcs. We really need svcs here. There isn't much around. We're a private group. My mother is mentally ill and I know how hard it is to get svsc. I call and call and only get support groups but no actual svcs."
    Finally, therapist calls back, with-some good advice.
    "You're doing the right thing. Give him time to cool off, about an hr. I like the idea of the magazine. And that *is* emotional blackmail. Do NOT give in. It's going to be a tough night and call the sheriff if you have to. But he has to remain reality based and cannot think that he can behave like that and get his way."

    We've got an appointment tomorrow (Thurs) at 1:30.

    difficult child knocks on the bathroom door. I knew the bedroom lock was weak but it offered another layer of safety and potential haven.
    "I know you're on the phone. You promised me the cord!"

    I come out. He is lying on my bed, playing with-one of the cats.

    "difficult child, I spoke to Dr. R. We have an appointment tomorrow at 1:30."

    "NO. I don't want to leave school and N. Besides, I have tutoring after school."

    "I'll drive you back for that. This is important and you. Will. Go."

    "NO. If you don't give me the cord, I'll blow up even worse."

    "Don't threaten me."

    "I will. It's your fault. You LIED! You promised me the cord!"

    "I did promise you. I acknowledge that. However, you became violent and aggressive and now you cannot have the cord."

    "I'm going to blow up!!!!"

    I get up off the bed and walk past him. I know he is ready to blow, but I also know that he is very hungry, and he does not want to go to Dr. R. I keep walking, while he mildly shoulder checks me, and I go downstairs and make porkchops, chicken flavored rice, and mixed vegetables, like this is totally normal behavior ... rolling the porkchops in beaten eggs, then coating them in gluten free flour, salt and pepper while difficult child screams his head off at me. He finally leaves the room. I put the food on and go up to my ofc.

    After 45 min, he comes to find me because the timer has gone off. I serve him. He says he's going to his room. After a moment of discussion, "I don't want to eat dinner with you!" (Oh, yeah, that's right, you hate me.) I decide to let him eat in his room.
    "Thank you for the dinner," he says politely.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Terry, I can sooooo relate to that whole scenario. difficult child 1 does and says almost the exact same things when he's "stuck". When he gets an idea in his head....watch out. Sending tons of supportive {{{{HUGS}}}} your way.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I know it's hard to know where the line between MH and behavior issues are but Terry, this sounds like 100% manipulation to me- I'm not saying he doesn't need a psychiatrist or therapist but this scenario- it really sounds all manipulation to me. What you described had a whole lot of "but I have to have this or else", "it's your fault if I get madder or do worse" and "if you'd just give me what I wanted you wouldn't have to go thru this" messages in it, in my humble opinion.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, now he's really escalating because husband and I are talking about sending him away somewhere professional. He doesn't want to go because tomorrow is his anniversary with-N and he HAD to spend the day with-her at school.
    husband gave me a $20 bill Tuesday for my wallet. It disappeared. The anesthesia was an amnesiac, so I looked and looked and retraced my steps. I asked if difficult child had seen a $20 bill, and to please tell me if he saw it.
    Tonight, husband zoomed into difficult child's room, grabbed his jeans, and said he was doing laundry. Say what?
    difficult child chased him downstairs. They literally ran into one another in the laundry room while husband was taking a $20 out of difficult child's pocket. difficult child turned his back and ran upstairs. husband confronted him in his bedroom. Then husband and I started talking about intervention and Residential Treatment Center (RTC). difficult child followed us downstairs.
    He was sobbing, begging us to give him a wk.
    I told him he could start by not arguing about the dr appointment tomorrow, then move the rice and veg from the stove into Tupperware, and wash the pots.
    He said, "I don't know how."
    I said, "You've got one split second to learn or you're OUT!"
    He said he wanted to punch me in the face.
    So, I'm in my ofc, and then I'm going to bed.
    I've had it. I love him, but between lying, stealing, lying about stealing, sexting, flunking school, and general aggression and chaos, this is too big of a job for us to handle.
    I'll let you know how the appointment goes tomorrow.
  5. keista

    keista New Member


    I had to laugh at this part. He blew up. Knocked over a chair and kicked another chair into my leg.
    "Owowow! Get me an icepack!"
    He gets one from the freezer, gives it to me, then continues his tirade.

    Is that normal for him to do that? You've posted some blowups of his before, but like klmno said, this time sounds very manipulative, as in calculated manipulative. Only you can say for sure.

    I'm tired out reading it an am so impressed you were still able to make dinner. Way to stay calm.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    So very manipulative. God, I remember so well difficult child pulling the same stuff with us! Ugh, you are so much more better at tuning him out than I was with difficult child. Thankfully, they do grow and mature a bit. I am hoping you can hang in there, hugs.
  7. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Wow that whole thing sounded so familiar; I hate when they get in "mission mode" all the verbal sparring and trying to manipulate me.

    I'm not sure how big your son is but at 15yo regardless of size if he's getting physical I would call the police
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My suggestions would be to not let it get to a point where you are angrily making threats that you aren't prepared to back up, not to give in to "warnings" from him to get what he wants, and not to cross the line of stooping to that same level where you are abusing him, neglecting him, or kicking him to the street, or saying something you will regret forever. (I'm not saying you're that type of person- I'm trying to help you regroup and give you food for thought on reaffirming your boundaries.) I feel for you- I do agree you need some help right now with maintaining appropriate boundaries because this kid is ruling you but you can't let that turn you into a person you don't want to be.

    Just my 2 cents.
  9. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Manipulative means you are being taken advantage of and don't realize it. Kids on the spectrum are anything but manipulative-they aren't capable of the 'poker face' and level of deception necessary to actually manipulate us. He is being very up-front by telling you exactly what he is going to do if he doesn't get what he wants. This is a skill deficit in negotiating, perspective-taking, etc. His agenda, his rules, his perception, his rigidity was challenged numerous times (not saying the challenges weren't valid) and he doesn't have the coping skills. Although, I believe him when he said the video games would calm him down (as it would have done for my difficult child). And believe me, when I type this, I am also empathizing with you because my difficult child is also exhausting in a somewhat similar way and we question our ability to meet all his needs at home in the worst of moments. Hope you find answers at your appointment tomorrow.
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Very well put whatamess. That is a very insightful distinction. I will have to remember that if things ever go back to being that bad with difficult child 1....god forbid.
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I remember one therapist telling us to take away difficult child's most beloved items from her room when she misbehaved and/or threw a tantrum, which, in difficult children case, meant her boom box. I did it once --- it was supposed to be for a week. It lasted 3 days maybe. By day two, it occurred to me that she was truly suffering and wasn't 'learning' any lessons except how to be cruel. I swore I would never take away music and I never did again. Other stuff, privileges, yes, but never music. It was the only outlet that soothed her anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), tics, and depression.

    I think parenting a teenaged difficult child is very tricky because while they have the behaviors that their brain disorders present, they are also typical teens and so, while they may not be very good at it, they do try to manipulate. In that way, I think a 15 y/o is capable, though he/she just may not be well practiced at it or their difficult child-ness makes it difficult to pull off. When my easy child was trying to manipulate, we saw it...and she was very good at it, lol! When difficult child tried to manipulate us, it was a bit more difficult to differentiate between typical teen behavior and difficult child behavior. She got us a couple of times, lol.
  12. Sorry you have had such a rough week so far. Between the previous incidents and this one - ugh. I don't have anything further to offer except my sympathy and understanding. And I will send you some positive thoughts for a good appointment with the doctor today and a better day all around.
  13. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Oh, I can imagine that this was a VERY long night for you. How was he after he ate dinner? Did getting some food into him help any?
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I didn't see this before I responded to your earlier thread. I've got to stop and catch my breath just reading this! I found what whatamess said very interesting. I agree that while kids on the spectrum try to manipulate us, they're not capable of it. Both difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 were very forthright in telling me what they would do if I didn't give them what they wanted. While I agree with whatamess that if I had given in to their demands, they would have been able to calm down, at the same time, in my humble opinion, difficult children, like their typical developing peers, need to understand that they cannot control us even though they are unable to see things from any point of view but their own.

    I like how hearts and roses handled the situation with her difficult child by giving her consequences but letting her keep her boom box. Looking back, when difficult child 2 was about six years old, we sold our first house and were moving to another one. Following the advice of his doctors, we sold his stuffed Curious George at our yard sale prior to the move. This was probably one of the biggest mistakes we made while raising him. To this day, he hasn't gotten over losing his Curious George. He is 20 years old!

    While I think you handled the situation very well, even being able to calmly prepare dinner, from personal experience, I found that not responding to either difficult child 1 or difficult child 2 when they were in meltdown mode worked the best. I know this is easier said then done, especially when they can and do get violent, and that every situation is different, but with my difficult children, ignoring them was the way to go. Unfortunately both of them got a rise out of me responding to them and loved this, especially difficult child 1! I found that by not responding, while things got worse in the beginning (things got thrown, smashed, etc...), eventually the meltdown phase became shorter when it dawned on them that I wasn't going to respond unless they were calm.

    Thinking of you today, hoping that therapist appointment helps! Hugs... SFR
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Just (((hugs)))

    Good luck at the appointment today!
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So, I picked up difficult child at school and went to the therapist.
    therapist said, "You know why you're here today, don't you?"
    "Yes, sir."
    Then therapist read difficult child the Riot Act.
    (He also reminded me to fill out Chins forms so that I can get difficult child in the system asap if/when I have to call the police.)
    He told both of us that there is no "next time."
    There is only juvenile detention.

    He started out by asking, "How tall are you? How much do you weigh? How old are you?"
    difficult child dutifully answered and the therapist said, "When someone your age and ht and wt throws a tantrum like a 4-yr-old, it means that your mom calls the police."

    difficult child asked for one wk, maybe two, to get his act together before we send him away somewhere. He said his goal is to not have his girlfriend break up with-him. That's all he lives for.
    I had to ask, "If she breaks up with-you, then what do you have to live for?"
    I paused and said, "You need to do this for yourself. You are smart, strong and capable. You are a GOOD person. Do it for yourself. I know you think I hate you and you hate me, and you won't understand any of this until you're my age. But just do it for yourself."
    He mumbled something about supposing he could do that if and when the time comes that she breaks up with-him.

    I told the therapist that on the way in the door to his ofc, difficult child said he wanted me to take him to B&N to pick up a new Dean Koonz book. Say what?
    "You haven't even gone through your punishment for the Xbox yet!" therapist shouted. "Your head is in the wrong place!"

    He also said, "I don't care what's going through your head, what your reasoning is, what your problems are. I want to make it perfectly clear to you that this behavior has to stop. Period. This is the end. Your behavior WILL CHANGE. Now, what is your plan to change it? And stop and think before you open your mouth and talk to me."
    After that, he asked difficult child to leave the room, and then told me that the next time, (and sadly, there will be one) I should call the police, I had a choice to have them take him to the psychiatric hospital or to jail/juvie. He suggested juvie, because he thinks that difficult child has figured that he can work the psychiatric system and say whatever he wants and he'll be out in a week and back to his old behavior.

    So, I take difficult child back to school. He stays after to do homework/tutoring, and calls to have me pick him up so he won't have to stay on the bus for over an hr. Fine. A little bit ago, the science teacher remailed and said that difficult child only finished one assignment and then called Mrs. J to pick him up early (she apparently thinks she's been emailing husband all this time). She was discouraged and disappointed.
    I printed out the note, gave it to husband, and husband gave it to difficult child.

    I am going to tell difficult child no ph or TV or anything tomorrow night if he does not do science at lunchtime. (You can do working lunches.)

    He is just so lackadaisical, I can't tell if it's depression or if he really believes he's beaten the system and he can just slide by.
    There's only one way to find out.
  17. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Good for therapist. Can you clone that one and send it my way? It would be nice to have around here. Good for you. Keep him jumping through YOUR hoops.
  18. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Hi Terry.....first I want to say how sorry I am that your family, including your son, has to gothrough this!!!!
    Me and difficult child went through the almost same thing 2 days ago.....It broke my heart...its just sucks up all your energy! The only difference was that you handled it much better than I did! Usually I can handle it, but for some reason my system just gave in and I overstepped all the bounderies! I broke EVERY rule in EVERY book I have read so far! And believe me we are paying the consequences of my son feeling insecure now and acting out! I was emotionally in a BIG mess yesterday! I could see my son was really trying his best yesterday to behave better! We had a nice chat and hugs last night.....BUT as we all know, this usually doesnt last long......:(
    I was a bit shocked in your psychiatrist reaction.....is this his normal way of handling your son?
    Maybe this is what he thinks your son needs? Maybe he is right?
    But like me and hubby spoke last night.....we can punish, we can be nice, we can be rude, we can be everything.....it just seems as if our difficult child cant internalize it and REALIZE
    that he is behaving disrespectfull or rude and make poor choices....He sometimes gets it right for a while...

    This really makes me wonder if they ever CAN?!
    I mean surely it must not be nice for them to always be in the soft and smellies!?
    If a person can choose behaviour to get nice loving reactions.....wouldnt they?
    I dont know.....I dont think anybody reallies knows what goes on in their brains?
    But what I do know from the little experience we had so far....the more we turn on the heat, punish, gets strict, exct.....the more he acts out....because the more he feels rejected and insecure.....
    Big, big hugs coming your way and blessings to get strenght and insight in doing what might help!
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Lovelyboy,and I'm sorry you just went through the same thing.

    This really makes me wonder if they ever CAN?!

    I have often wondered the same thing. I spend hrs online, searching through Asperger's articles and hypotheses about the amygdala and hippocampus, and whether oxytocin would be a good hormone to prescribe to difficult child to make him feel warm and fuzzy, or if it would just make him go out and make a baby (lol!).

    Our therapist is a behaviorist, which is why he's into not catering too much toward the "why's" of behavior. He comes up with-ways to stop it and re-route it. He has known difficult child since he was about 4, so I trust him. He has given me excellent advice in the past. Some of his methods may be extreme but all I can say is that they worked. (Marguerite got on my case about deliberately driving difficult child around to different places until he raged, iow, changing course and deliberately instigating rages, and letting him cool down, and then doing it all over again the next day ... but hey, it worked, at least for running errands. difficult child is fine about that now. Just one example.)

    I think difficult child will "get it" in some respects, as far as what husband and I are doing now ... when he's about 40. I just hope I'm alive to see it. And that I won't be too bitter to appreciate it.
    He will not "get" everything but there will be "aha" moments. I've known enough Aspies to know that.
  20. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Terry, I'm amazed at how calm you were through all this.

    difficult child 1 used to make threats like "I'm going to kill myself." "I'm going to hurt difficult child 2." Often his threats were disguised as a question "What would happen if I hit difficult child 2 in the head with a rock?" He was trying to get what he wanted by threats. He didn't connect his behavior to not getting loving reactions. He wanted my attention and he was going to get it. Your son wants something else (Xbox cord) but he is doing the same kind of behavior.

    difficult child 1 only stopped after he was admitted to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and everything got very strict. If he wanted anything besides food and a place to sleep he had to earn it. Any little infraction of their rules and he lost points. He got in trouble for destruction of property for picking something out of the pond there and throwing it away. Yeah, they were a bit nuts. BUT, he needed very strict in order to feel secure. He didn't get the social rules of how to get what he wanted any other way besides threats and hurting others. Everything was always in chaos to him before the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He thrived in such a strict environment. Then he could learn in therapy how to get what he wanted, how what he was doing hurt others, o.k. we're still working on some of this - but you get the picture. Then he could feel more loved as his self respect grew.

    At age 15, we can't let someone off the hook for their behavior because of their disability. Its not doing our kids any services and will end up getting someone else hurt. Especially when they make that connection that they can physically hurt to get what they want. Terry is doing a great job in a very hard situation.