How do you do it?



How can all of you be so calm and just know the right things to say? I just lost it with difficult child yesterday, and again this morning. I actually told him he can live someplace else and follow the rules there.
I went to pick up difficult child for psychiatrist appointment. that I was not aware of until after he went to school. husband had scheduled it and didn't tell me. They even left a reminder message that husband didn't tell me. I just happened to be going through old messages.
Anyway,the appointment was scheduled during his lunch time, so I thought I better get there a little early so they can notify him to come to the office before he goes to lunch. Well...I walked inthe office and he was in there. I asked him why he was there and he said the teacher was going to fast so he wanted to do the work himself. He said he kept talking to get kicked out. (it was a 4 page study guide that she was giving the answers to so they could study) I told him that wasn't very smart, here she was giving the answers and now he has to do it alone. Brought him back to school after appointment. I have not been feeling well, so I did some chores (day off) and layed on the couch. husband comes home with difficult child and starts yelling because I was laying on the couch. I then tell him about him being in the office. difficult child changes his story said he asked if he could do it alone and teacher said sure and he went to the office to work. I called him on this and he tells husband I am lying. Also came home progress reports for the week. Missing assignments in every class. Did not bring home a report for math. Most of these missing assignments were on last weeks report. He always tells us, he did it they just didn't have time to update report. So..I layed into him about lying and he needs to DO all assignments. He wasn't to do anything until he has that work made up. So..he takes off on his bike. Then when I look outside again husband and him are playing ball. I just shook my head. husband comes in and starts screaming at me that difficult child "needed" to cool of he was hot and he needed fresh air. It was in the 40's. Not even warm.
This just esculated to the point I left. husband was down stairs, I came up and difficult child was laying on the deck. He looked inthe doors and I just held up my fist. I walked out and told him he has everything he wants now. Got in my car and left. Didn't want to come home, but can't afford a hotel. Didn't have anywhere to, I drove to the mall. Thinking I would just hang out there until it closed. I am sitting in my car..just sitting there and someone tried to park next to me and hit my car.
Stayed at the mall until it closed, then about a 30 minute ride home, but stayed away until I knew they were both in bed. Come home and go to the bedroom and difficult child is in bed with husband, TV on and both sleeping. So I went to bed in difficult child's room. difficult child had to be at school early today to work on missing work for his business class. Got him up..refused to cook. Told him to eat cereal, or starve. He chose not to eat. Looked at his papers he had brought home last night, didn't do anything. 3 1/2 pages blank. I asked him why he didn't do it. He said it is only a study guide. I KNOW he has to turn this in. Then started the whole thing over. I went off on how all he does is lie. That he lies to me and to husband and then we all start fighting. I only had 15 minutes, but those fifteen minutes my throat was sore because I was totally out of control I was SOOOOO mad. Then I go into school with him told him I was going to go through his locker while he was in business. Many times we find missing work in there since he just throws everything in there, no folders (he has folders) Everything is crumpled up. I go through it all. Find a math pamphlet, not done. Other things were not on the list of missing work. Put all papers that did not have a grade on it in a folder. Mean while Special Education teacher comes up and says, "oh, cleaning out lockers" I was so upset. I told her it is not a good day. I asked her what happened the previous day that he was in the office. She said he wouldn't stop talking and making noises so he was asked to leave. So, he DID tell me the truth but lied to husband and husband believes him and thinks I am lying. I showed Special Education teacher the papers he brought home. She told me the work that is done on that paper is what SHE did for him in advisory. So..he didn't do anything. I walked into business class and told him all papers are in his folder, and he has one folder and one book in his locker. I asked where his other books are. He said,,in the locker. Nope..not in there. Lost it AGAIN.
I cannot live here anymore and don't know where to go. It is difficult child's lies, and husband seeing no need for punishment and believing that I am the one lying. I want so much for difficult child to be better. Second quarter he would never miss a class, straight A's, honor roll. Then he told me "you know third quarter has always been hard for me" That was before it even started. Like he had it all planned out.
I only have a few days off, then back to work again. I slept three hours the first three days I worked. Then the last day I was up for 22 hours before I just had to lay down. They then are upset that I went to bed at 5pm.
How do you all stay so calm? I said many things I should not have, but it was all true. I just don't know what to do. I feel as if I cannot be in my own home when they are here. And it is MY job that pays for the bills. So, I am planning on being gone when they get home today. difficult child has a baseball game at 5:30. I want to watch him play, maybe from a far away spot. As much as I want to be close with him again, that just isn't the case. He told me everything is MY fault, and I am the reason for everything. I just want to disappear. No warning, No note, just pack up and drive and drive until I am as far away as I can be and never look back. It breaks my heart to think that way. but it breaks my heart to stay too.


New Member
Oh sweetheart. ::::hugs::::

Dealing with a difficult child day in and day out is never easy, but to parent with a spouse who you don't see eye to eye with is even harder.


Kjs, do you have a therapist you're working with? If so, please call him/her today. You need support from a professional who can help you face-to-face.


New Member
Your husband needs to be at least on the same page as you. How in the heck does he expect difficult child to have any respect for you if he doesn't? I would not be able to stay calm if my husband was belittling me especially in front of my children. We had this issue in the past and husband was may disagree with me, fine, but don't ever speak down to me or override what I say in front of them or one of us is out of here. I won't stand for it. difficult child used to hit me, bite me and had no respect and it was because of the way husband spoke and treated me.

I think you and husband need to work out some parenting solutions so that you have a chance with difficult child. When I read your post it sounds like your husband and difficult child are treating you like the child and making you feel uncomfortable in your own home. That's not right and not fair.

(((BIG HUGS))) I don't know how you do it. I am so sorry husband is being a pain and in turn probably making the situation with difficult child worse for you.


Active Member
I am so sorry it is all such a struggle right now. I think many (most probably) of us have been pushed mentally and emotionally to a breaking point. For me, way more than once.
I distinctly remember a time after my easy child was born. She was about 7 months old, difficult child was about 7 years old and rapidly getting harder to deal with. easy child's father (now an ex, thank goodness) was not backing me and it made everything worse to have a feeling of no support on the home front. I honestly threw a huge hissy fit worthy of difficult child'dom and stormed out of the house and walked over 5 miles to a highway and had my thumb out. I honestly don't know if I'd gotten picked up if I'd have gone back home. I was ready to just pack it in, send child support and birthday and Christmas gifts, but go far far away. I am so grateful that someone easy child's father found me. I was at the end of my rope for sure. I went home and went on strike for over 2 weeks. I took care of me and easy child. Period. Left the now ex and difficult child to their own devices. It didnt' solve anything. But I felt good after a break for a bit.

I don't have any advice, just don't want to see you feeling alone or beating yourself up for having very understandable emotions. I hope that husband can see that without his support you are sinking and it is his responsability to work with you with difficult child. (((hugs)))


New Member
I know I do not have any answers. I meltdown myself, too.........and while I try to stay calm, I do not always succeed, but I remind myself that my difficult child also TRIES to do what is right,. just as I do, and sometimes she succeeds and soemtimes she doesn't, just like me.

Becuz of how ill my husband is, I have often controlled our environment in our home. _Especially after "I" got ill myself and could no longer take care of my own self alone. For awhile I ran the house by my manipulating the environment and avoiding triggers and all sorts of little ways some might disagree with. But it worked for me-us at the time and much of it I simply carried over once I began to get some better.

I decided it did not matter if something was exactly "fair" ------even to myself- if it kept things from exploding, it would work for me. WHen things in my house would escalate, it would feed my husband and then my oldest difficult child and then me and then it would also affect my easy child and my lil dude. - and THAT would be most unfair of all---------to have the whole family affected like that--------- often in many ways......could have been by psychiatric hospital stays (that never did any good here) or police involvement (which would strain things even more) or who knows what.
So, I worked hard to do what I could to avoid meltdowns, anxiety attacks, or worked to reduce them........

I realized a few years ago things I thought were so important often were not..and behaviors I thought difficult others might not even notice.

As for schoolwork? My oldest was difficult and she was a perfectionist. BUT that meant if she was not positive something would turn out perfect, she could not even start it. <sigh> I also learned she had zero organizational skills. So, I had to work side by side with her, sit beside her literally while we practiced with her work. I would call school, get her assignments, and then I would supervise them word for word......making sure she did write the assignment into her daily homework assignment notebook and then worked with her daily, me right there next to her, making sure she brought home from school anything she needed to DO those assignments. That way I knew whether or not she COULD do it, and I also knew EXACTLY what her assignments were. Then I also checked for myself item by item using the homework assignment notebook to make sure she really had done each, and I worked with her me right at her side, while she learned how to put her homework into her folders so as to be able to find it to turn it in next day. I also signed my signature on her assignment notebook and each page of homework to show I knew it had been done..........and if something was missing, to let me know so I could handle it at home. We made this our habit and routine so my daughter could develop this skill. SOme kids learn it on their own, some need more time and help. By doing this, I knew when she had the skill to do so.and I also knew step by step, day by day exactl;y what was done and what wasn't- so it avoided any ugly surprises for me to find out about and for me to be upset over all at once. It allowed me to dole out punishments, rewards etc and to know if-when I needed to intervene and work with my difficult child to head off larger blowups or incidents. It5 kept things at a baby step level, so we could work on other issues at the same ti me (like social skills, or hygeine grooming skills) as well, so we could keep a steady well rounded pace of learning going. Seems when one thing blows up, it interferes with other parts of life. Avoiding huge blow ups helps us all sleep better at nite, which helps promote stability. It helps us avoid major huge "punishments" that interfere with having a nice blend of work/pleasure.....

SO, with 3 kids, it keeps me busy, working to keep incidents on a smaller scale........but what I have found is while it may sound like it is a lot on my plate keeping up this the long run, it gives back to me a gentler quieter life.

I do lots of little things to help me accomplish this. I turn off the phones at dinner and a certain time at nite (once all my kids are home) when I make dinner, I make sure there is one thing each person WILL eat and like........I use caller ID and do not answer most calls the first time, I usually let caller ID tell me who is calling, then I listen to voicemail, listen to what is going on, process it and then return calls. I control the stimulus in our home......and I seperate people who are arguing. As soon as voices raise at all, I send the persons involved to seperate rooms. Very little besides escalation is ever going to happen when people are yelling at each other, so I simply do not tolerate yelling at all. and if it is my husband who is yelling- I take his keys and hand them to him and send him to sleep in the tent or in the basement.......If it is me yelling, I take myself into bathroom to a hot bath. LOL, I tend to use bathtub for both punishment and reward a LOT. ANd I have done so since my first child was born. We have a saying at our house- a bath cures most things. It can calm a person down, - it can relax someone who does not feel well, and it sure can feel nice anc cozy when you have had a good day. Or a crummy day. Just becuz you get sent to the tub does not mean you must wash, nor does it mean you must bathe. You can shower. and you can just lay in there and soak and even read. ANd I have found it is cheaper than a hotel. LOL.


Active Member
I too used to hate to come home. home meant my difficult child and my (now ex) would be there to torture me with their crap while I was trying to solve everything and keep the mood pleasant.
it was exhausting.

I finally went with them to counseling and when they both refused to use the help the pscyhologist offered, I went without them til I realized what I had to do to help my own life get better.

for me it meant divorce. for me it meant ant going to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC).
for you it may mean something else. go to counseling with or without them. get some ideas and suggestions for new ways to do things. the way it is now is not good for you.

I never let myself be sick while they lived here. it made them worse. the one time I had to lie down with the flu...they both screamed at me that now what are they going to do?? I was tired of being everything to everyone else and nothing to me. I am not the entertainment director. if I am sick, I am sick.

take care of you.


Former desparate mom
<span style='font-size: 11pt'>Don't for a moment believe any of us are calm all the time. We have all been in the difficult child chaos in different degrees. It's a learning process of what works and what doesn't. Yelling doesn't seem to be working so maybe trying something else will. That does not mean you can't let them see that they have pushed you too far.

It appears that you have more than one issue on your plate. You are the primary bread winner, your husband doesn't seem to have warm, loving feelings towards you, difficult child issues, school issues, respect issues and personal sense of loss issues.

If difficult child does better for husband then let husband take the lead. Do a whole role reversal. You go to work and come home to husband taking care of the cooking and house and difficult child. It's what most of us do when we are the primary caretakers of difficult children.
The goal is to help the difficult child function better. Chasing him for every piece of homework is a thankless task that doesn't really achieve anything. Let it go. Have husband set up some structure for school work and walk away. Let husband deal with difficult child.

Trying to control everything and everybody is a lose/lose situation. Set up personal goals of what you want to accomplish. Imagine what you would like your home to be like. Make some steps to create that home. If it doesn't work then you may have to walk away.

The best thing I did for myself is taking some of the over the top emotionalism out of the issues. I can get pretty wrapped up with the disaster of the day(DOD) I have learned to take some time, take a step back and ask myself what does difficult child need from me.
How can you best parent him? The constant fighting has horrid results on you, husband, difficult child, the school and difficult child's future adult life.

If you have an opportunity to take a weekend away, then go for it. Start reading some self help/self affirmation literature. Build yourself up so you have some strength and focus.

difficult child and I continue to battle but it's about difference of opinions. He is entitled to make adult decisions that have nothing to do with me as long as he has a plan and he can pay his way. We continue to have to help him financially but it is always baby steps forward and I doubt he will be totally settled until his late 20's or early 30's. Hope,love and maternal responsibility are what I have to help my son. It's also what powers my determination.

I'm sorry this is such a tough time. I hope you find your own personal way to live with your husband and difficult child. We each had to make peace with our life choices. Not everyone can stay and certainly not everyone is calm all the time. Get some time away to help yourself think things through. </span>


Active Member
I don't always handle things calmly, and have said the wrong thing on occasion. My blood pressure is up, headaches, finally went to the doctor and got pills, which gave me side effects for a few days making me actually feels worse (feeling better now LOL), and in the midst of it all trying to do housework, laundry, difficult child not doing school work, easy child being not so easy child, husband being himself - all three of them being very NEEDY - it just go to be too much and the day ended with me telling them they were all a bunch of selfish, self-centered jerks. Not my finest moment of the day. husband finally got a clue, took easy child to the park and difficult child pretended I wasn't there while playing on the computer.

My husband does not always agree with how I handle difficult child, but for all his criticism, he also did/does nothing to try to learn about difficult child, his diagnosis, and how to parent. I finally ended up telling him either get with the program or get out of the way. Mostly he gets out of the way and says very little, because that's the easiest thing for him, easier than actually trying to be a better parent. He and difficult child are still like oil and water, and I don't think it will ever get better between them.

When your husband isn't helping, and in fact is enabling your difficult child, doing much to try change your difficult child is going to be like banging your head against the wall. Only your head ends up hurting. in my opinion, ant'smom is right, you all need to go to some counselling if possible to get on the same page, and if husband won't go with you, you should go on your own to decide what you need to do for yourself. You can't take care of anyone else if you're sinking.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
We all lose it over different things. I am realizing how to be more patient and to let go of more responsibilty... and that some things really are not that important.
If I can stay sane for my girls and husband and myself great! But it takes work... lots, many mistakes.

Some of us keep it together for our kids, and then like me, I lost it on my mother in law... she had been pushing me. Not believing us, turning it into something all about her... feeling like she was being left out. I finally had enough and blew up on her one night!!! It was not pretty. She deserved it! Even husband agreed. But it caused damage, and I was maybe a little too honest and difficult child'like.
But it was once again a learning experience for me... I need to learn better how to keep my cool! It is better for most situations.
Take care of yourself, I know it is hard, I really have a hard time when husband is out of town for a week at a time...


Well-Known Member
Trust me...I am not calm! Suffice it to say after this morning my house has several new holes in my walls and I am not doing major home

I hit one wall, tore a smaller hole into a bigger hole and pushed a tv through another wall. Now...dont you feel better?


When your husband isn't helping, and in fact is enabling your difficult child, doing much to try change your difficult child is going to be like banging your head against the wall. Only your head ends up hurting. in my opinion, ant'smom is right, you all need to go to some counselling if possible to get on the same page, and if husband won't go with you, you should go on your own to decide what you need to do for yourself. You can't take care of anyone else if you're sinking.

Hmmm...just musing here...

husband has his way of dealing with difficult child. You have your way of dealing with difficult child. There doesn not have to be a "right" and a "wrong". But both of your ways are definitely different.

I agree with everyone that husband should never undermine you. Likewise, you should never undermine him. The two of you need to come to a compromise. That takes time and effort.

In the meantime:

I agree, get yourself counselling, whether husband accompanies you or not.

One thing about your post struck me, and I would like to make a suggestion. Try it or throw it out. You mentioned that husband never instills any punishment. I noticed that most of difficult child's issues are school related. If he does not turn in an assignment, he will get a "0" or a failing grade, right? Well, let him. Natural consequences. Let that be his punishment, and then you don't have to deal with it. Just a thought. Your stress level just may go way down. It did for me when I stopped hounding Basset Hound (ooohh, wheee Hahaha) to get her homework done.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Ditto what EVERYONE has said, kjs! I think each of us has 'lost it' at one time or another. And since i've had to negotiate with an exh and and h in regards to difficult child's behavior and future, I totally know where you're coming from. Very often I felt like the only one in the room...they were there, but they weren't listening to anything I was saying. There were times when I thought I'd be better off being the ONLY parent - at least difficult child wouldn't be confused about her so-called treatment plans...seems she had a different one depending upon whose house she was at! Aunts and uncles, grandmas, dad's, home, yech!

Take a deep breath, seek out a good supportive counselor and go. Even if you go alone, go. You need the support and hopefully in time you can get H on the same page.

Many hugs~


Well-Known Member
Well it was something like this:

Cory had an assessment appointment at 11. Shows up at 10:30 with some girl with him. husband starts screaming bloody murder about how this girl shouldnt be here and how Cory can pack his blankety blank and blankety blank and blankety blank and yada yada. The screaming escalated on everyones part.

I still cant figure out exactly what was so wrong with the girl being in the car but oh well. I had to go to the assessment appointment with Cory and this whole screaming thing set me off into a major tirade of my own.

I dont do screaming and stress and all that well. So by the time they were threatening to throw Cory out in the street at tops of their lungs at the very second we needed to leave for the appointment and all I could see was me losing my car and 5K in bail money because he wouldnt have a way to get to court next week...well I lost it.

I started screaming at everyone myself and threatening to toss everyone out of the house, tearing the house apart myself, and putting the aforementioned holes in the walls.

Need I mention I dont do stress well? I need calm around me for me to function well.
Reading what you've written makes me so sad! As the others have already said, if you and husband aren't on the same page, things will be much worse. No matter what type of problems you and husband have as a couple, it is important to present a united front when dealing with difficult children.

My husband and I don't always agree when it comes to parenting difficult children. There was a time when husband questioned my parenting skills in front of difficult children, did lots of screaming, but never had any solutions. During this period, I too, often dreamed about giving difficult children to husband to raise by himself. I felt like I was living in H-LL!!!

Things got worse until husband and I spoke to difficult children's therapist. therapist explained to us how important a united front is when dealing with difficult children. We began having weekly meetings to discuss difficult child issues and find solutions acceptable to both of us. To this day, we have to do alot of compromising!!! However, the results are worth it!!!

difficult child 1's behavior improved when he found out that husband would no longer tolerate difficult child's total lack of respect for me. Most of the time, husband is actually harder on difficult child 1 now than I am.

As difficult child 1's therapist said, when difficult child 1 is unstable, he actually enjoys a good argument and tries to create tension between family members. As long as husband and I present a united front, difficult child 1 is powerless.

Please find a time to talk to your husband privately. If you can't work things out alone, consider talking to a therapist. If you don't get on the same page, you will continue to suffer...

In the meantime, take as much time away from difficult child and husband as possible. Go out with friends, exercise, discover a new hobby, etc... You need to take care of you!!! You deserve to be happy!!! Sending cyber hugs and a cyber shoulder to lean on...WFEN


Well-Known Member
Kjs, I have lost it quite a few times with my difficult child. But, I have learned that things go much better when I do not lose it.

My advice to you is to start wearing headphones - get an ipod or soemthing. I do not care what you listen to - it can be nothing really. But, you certainly can use it to not get involved - you just will not be able to hear anything being said by anyone.

Believe me when I tell you - when a difficult child repeats something it is shorter and less tense than the first time they tell it.


Well-Known Member
Kjs, I don't think any of us can stay calm all the time. That's why we're here! Believe me, I know exactly how you feel and have had the same feelings.

So, I am planning on being gone when they get home today. difficult child has a baseball game at 5:30. I want to watch him play, maybe from a far away spot. As much as I want to be close with him again, that just isn't the case. He told me everything is MY fault, and I am the reason for everything. I just want to disappear. No warning, No note, just pack up and drive and drive until I am as far away as I can be and never look back. It breaks my heart to think that way. but it breaks my heart to stay too.

Actually, I think it's a good idea to not be home right now... you need time to calm down and think (actually, to NOT think--you need a break!). I am so sorry husband is not on the same page as you are. :frown:

And I know what you mean when you're getting hot under the collar about homework and being the bad guy, and then you see husband and difficult child curled up, watching a movie. Been there, done that!!! :mad:

The single most important thing I have been teaching myself is to step back and not get involved with-everything that difficult child does. He has to make his own mistakes.

YOU'RE not the one going to school. He is.

Take care.