How long do I have to put up with it? A truthful non-exagerated vent/rant

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MICHL, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    I don't care what labels they give difficult child... he's (name calling). I don't know how long i can keep living with this (name calling) He'll be 16 in May. He's aggressive, never showers, no chores, damages the house... I feel like a maid/non-person, not happy, yelling vicious cycle - husband (ugh urgh.)/difficult child and me. my life is nothing like this... I'm 50 and I almost want to grab my life and say it's hime or me and move out... especially after 18, as I don't see how I can leave now morally and I contribute alot financially, housework, holding things together. It's like holding a broken glass together... it's never going to be whole, it's never worked and it's not going to work in the future. He's not going to grad HS... and he failed Art class, has to stay "after"school to make up "P.E.". Just typing this message he threw three sandals a me. I H_ _ E him, and i don't even love him any more. He as dirt caked on his body, last shower 2-3 weeks ago, and he's yelling loudly this the whole time as i typed this about taking a shower.. I HATE MY LIFE!!!!
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *HUGS* hon. Things can improve. There are plenty here with more experience in your type of issues that will be along, just wanted to show you some support.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Oh Michl.... I'm so sorry!!!! Sending you many gentle hugs.

    I think you need to get out of the house and do something just for you. Nope, it's not going to fix a doggone thing and you'll come home to the same old stuff, but you have reached your limit and you need to do something to remind yourself that there is a life out there, past the stinky kid and seemingly never ending cycle of same old same old. Parenting a difficult child (or even pcs some days) can be a thankless job - if you don't take care of yourself, no one else will. Find a counselor - honestly, sometimes just being able to spew our innermost feelings to a real human body who will hear us and not judge us is worth its weight in gold.

    Some stuff to thing about *after* your day out (or better yet, "days" out!):

    Would you consider calling 911 the next time he gets aggressive? Request transport for a mentally ill child to local hospital for evaluation? The violence, aggression, and destruction of your home concern me. It's a heck of a way to live and it is quite frankly unacceptable - you don't deserve to live that way in your own home. He has no right to terrorize you.

    What is the plan for post HS? Is he capable of holding a job, going on to college, living on his own (capable of doing it, not will he do it)? What's his transition plan like in his IEP, and are those goals appropriate and being addressed? Is a voc ed program more appropriate for him?

    Get an ipod or MP3 or earplugs so you cannot hear the name calling.

    I'm going to assume that he is functioning on a high enough level that he's perfectly capable of taking a shower if he chooses to; that he's just being oppositional to the max. So.... let him stink. You've been fighting this battle for years, hon. Enough.

    Detach. He flunks? His problem. He doesn't graduate? His problem (again, assuming that he has the capacity to function independently). His choices.

    Our kids can run us right into the ground. We have to be vigilant about taking care of ourselves. You sound stressed to the max. Please please do some caretaking of yourself.

    Again, a gentle hug.
  4. Yeah, sometimes life is pretty sucky with a difficult child. Sometimes I wonder why I come home from work at night. Sometimes I fight the temptation to get in the car and go back there. Your perspective gets so skewed as a parent of a difficult child. Example - Mine somehow managed to kick out a window and ended up in the emergency room. husband called to tell me about it. I got home, looked at the bloodbath, and thought to myself, well, he didn't get any on the carpet -- that's good. It occurred to me much later that that isn't the response most mothers are going to have. That's why I love this board. Some of them would have thought the same thing. I realize there's nothing I can say about your non-showering son, except that you're not alone, there is an end to it all, and that you're among friends. Or fellow combatants, depending on how you look at it. Hang in there. Much love and many hugs....
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I've been there. I know exactly how you feel and I know that it sucks.

    My first suggestion would be that you find a good therapist - for yourself. You have alot of pent up anger, resentment, and frustration at the situation that you are living with and that is never going to get any better in your mind until you find someone who can help you work through it. You need someone to talk to, someone who is an outside third party who is not going to cast judgment down on you, but who will be able to help you see things a little differently.

    Next, would you consider taking an anti-depressant? I starting taking one last fall and I have to say that it has made a world of difference. I'm calmer and when I'm calmer, my difficult child is calmer.

    Do you have any hobbies that can take you out of the house for a while? You need a break. Find something that you like to do, even if it's just going to get a manicure ad a cup of coffee. Go to the local library and read for an hour or two. Take a craft class. Something to get your mind off of the home problems for a little while. It does not fix them, but it will give you a chance to breath and relax for a little while.

    What does your husband do when you son treats you like this? Throwing sandals at you? Calling you names? Does he tolerate that behavior towards you? If you son does these things and your husband does nothing to stop it, that, in my opinion, is part of the problem. If he dad says nothing about treating you badly he thinks thats the same and saying it's okay. After all, if no one is telling you to stop doing something it must alright, right? The problem is, that it's abusive behavior and it needs to stop. Would you be willing to call the police for assistance? We are not talkiing about a toddler here who does not know right from wrong. He's a young man now, and if he treats you this way how is he going to treat the other women that will eventually be part of his life. He has to learn that it will not be allowed to continue and if a trip to the hospital for an evaluation, or even a night in jail is what it takes, maybe be has to learn that lesson the hard way. Some difficult children are like that.

    Have you spoken to your son's psychiatrist? Maybe the medications that he is taking are just not cutting it anymore. Maybe he needs something else that can help his anger and aggression.

  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hear ya!

    I agree with-the others, and have had issues with-my son not bathing, too.

    Does your son have a TV, iPod or other item he loves? Use it as leverage. Take it away when he's not looking and hide it. When he comes home, in a happy voice, tell him you are giving him a list of chores, written down, including taking a shower, and when he finishes them, he gets his Ipod or whatever back. (Yes, I incl showers and teeth brushing with-my son's chores. Sigh.)
    He will throw a fit, so you may want to have a big guy around, a neighbor or something.
    Eventually, after a few hrs, he will give in and take a shower.
    You may want to try this with-smaller things so he knows he can trust you to follow through. One thing I learned not to do is give him more chores on top of the list ... IOW, he'd vacuum, and I'd say, "Oh, can you do that rug over there? It will only take a second." For us, sure, that's normal. For these kids, no. You lied. You added onto the list. You have to know that's how he thinks.

    I would agree with-antidepressants for you at least for the time being. Unfortunately, they take a few wks to take effect so you have to be patient. I like to get out of the house when my son gets on my nerves ... sometimes I drive to Starbucks, or the grocery store, or the book store, or park the car 1/2 a blk away and go sit in my own yard, just so he thinks I'm gone and won't bug me in my own yard.

    Also, put a lock on your bedroom door and carry the key with-you at all times. You need a place to call your own. The bathroom gets a little old, Know what I mean??
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds similar to my difficult child at this age - minus the throwing things.

    No showers, no laundry done, mean and nasty all the time, wouldn't do anything around the house. I recall feeling how you feel now. It DOES get better. The older they get the more they have to answer for their own actions. The less you have to try to impose on them.

    Detach as much as you can. And for SURE get some time to yourself - for yourself. It is super important!
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Sounds identical to mine at this age - only he had already been kicked out of a thousand schools, and I was stuck with him 24/7 trying to homeschool him. Finally he ended up in residential. I can't tell you the horrible things I used to think about him during this time - it was really bad.
    However - I can truly tell you that at some point this WILL get better!!! Matt is 20 now, and still hates laundry but does shower - he has a LONG ways to go - but he is going forward - and I can feel my love for him again, deeply.
    Biggest change for both of us was separate residences. Truthfully, I feel like I could have skipped the thousands of dollars I felt like I threw away on treatment programs - and just gotten him his own place and many of the struggles would have been solved. Now in order to have a place he has to go to school - and the rest is his deal. If he wants to live like a pig, he can - because it is no longer my house. Interestingly enough - he has not broken ONE thing in his own house - not one hole punched in a wall - nothing. For him it was always about engaging others in his own cr@p - and now that he can't do that - it all falls on him.
    Please know I am not suggesting you kick him out at 15 - I am just saying I understand. And perhaps a program or grandparent respite is needed for the situation right now???
    Hang in there -
  9. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    Thank you all for your replies. I do take an antidpressant and it helps, but often his behavior is just too much for me, and husband. I hope he improves, but after 15 years with NO improvement, it's a little hard for me to believe he will change.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hmm... would telling him the "grunge" thing was in when you were his age inspire him towards the soap? When was the last time his medications were truly evaluated for effectiveness?
  11. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    perhaps a strange question--but do you think he is capable of doing better and can't or do you really believe this is his top level of functioning? What do you think is going to happen when he turns 18? Can he live on his own? Do you see him living with you forever? That would depress me no end....
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so very sorry. It is such a tough situation to have to live with. Have you read any of the Love and Logic books? Sometimes taking a step back and reading or re-reading a book like that can be helpful as it can give you a new perspective and some ways to change. You cannot change your difficult child. Period. ALL that you can do is to change yourself. Call the cops when he damages the house or anyone else's things. Call for transport to a psychhosp if he is violent and/ threatening. If he won't let you use the phone then leave the house and find a phone at a neighbors or the store or use your cell phone from the locked car. Refusing to let someone call the police/911 is also a crime, by the way. Work on letting him live iwth the consequences of his actions. If he stinks, he cannot come into the main rooms for any real length of time - no one wants to be near someoen who stinks. Get the video games, tv, etc... out of his room and into the main room. If he doesn't stink to YOUR NOSE then he can play. Stinky people don't need video games or tv. He can be in his room. I am assuming there isn't much in his room, or else it is a mess. Get rid of anything that bugs YOU. Heck, with his behavior, I would at least consider stripping it to the barest of basics. Yeah, he will have a fit. But he has those anyway, doesn't he?

    Make sure your bedroom has a sturdy door and a strong lock. use it at night and/or when you want a break. Keep a computer and tv and if you like video games get your own system for in there. Make it your oasis - right down to noise cancelling earphones if you need them! Not for long periods of time, but for a break when you cannot get away from the house for a while.

    Read "Parenting Your Teen with Love and Logic"(or re-read it). It won't work as well on a difficult child as it will on a easy child. It WILL change how YOU react to him, how YOU behave. He won't get instantly better and you will have to be persistent. You may find that at least YOU are calmer because you have a plan to handle what comes up. That is what it did for us. It confused Wiz mightily - we were NOT doing what he expected and that was wrong, wrong, wrong in his mind. Yeah, we had to keep changing some things, but it did help a lot.

    Call a domestic violence center or stop in and make an appointment to see someone. What you are going through is more than some tdocs will know what to do with. A dv center may not have clients who are abused by violent kids/teens, but they DO deal with violence used to control people. THAT is what is going on in your home. Your son is clearly using violence to control his world and the entire family. YOU AND husband ARE BOTH ABUSED PEOPLE. It is HARD to hear, and harder to accept. It is also very true.

    Just like a battered woman has some power in a relationship with a husband, boyfriend, so, etc... you and husband have some power in your relationship with difficult child. Not as much as many people assume a parent has, because your son is a difficult child. But you CAN learn to stop taking the abuse, and difficult child can learn to behave better. If you don't do things NOW to teach him to stop, regardless of if he learns to handle his other issues, he is going to go out into the world with this violence and he IS going to end up in HUGE trouble. As it is, many of the things he has done would land him in jail if he did them to anyone who wasn't an immediate family member.

    Do NOT allow yourself to try to "protect" him from the legal consequences of his actions. Right now he is learning that it is okay to use violence to make people do what you want. NOT NOT NOT because you wanted or tried to teach him this. Rather it is because the unending violence and lack of support/respite/etc... have overwhelmed you enormously.

    You CAN stop accepting this as how he is. You CAN find support to help you, even if you cannot find support to help get through to him via therapy, medications, etc... (and we all pretty much know that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is almost impossible to get unless you are wealthy or in a very good financial position. Even then finding a program to accept a kid isn't always possible.)

    Go to the DV center. Start on a plan. See a therapist at the dv center. Have his medications checked if you think that will help. Read the book that I mentioned, and think about the things it suggests. Keep coming here to vent. Talk to husband about when difficult child turns 18 - what do you want to happen, what does he want to happen, how do you intend to get it to happen?

    I have listed a bunch of things. Too much to do all at once, it would be overwhelming. I know my first choice for you would be to call the DV center for an appointment and to read the L&L book. But pick any 1 or 2 that you think you can handle this weekend, and do them. There are hotlines for DV centers, so you can call one of them and find out what the routine is for getting an appointment and some help. I was shocked at everything they offered and how helpful and understanding they were. I was the first parent who had come in because a child was abusing her. It was almost 5 yrs ago and now they have quite a few parents in our situations. Just knowing they were there and would help me was a huge relief and very empowering.

  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Adding in my support and understanding. I know the feeling of wondering if things will ever change. There have been days that I have wished I could just drive off and get away. I will say one thing that helps me is making sure I plan "me" time. husband and I play tag team a lot to give each other breaks. For me that "me" time might be a workout, reading a book, or just vegging in front of the t.v. We also work to have some together time.

    I understand how frustrating the not showering thing is too. It takes a lot to get difficult child in the shower; unfortunately he often smells of urine (bed wetting issues due to medications knocking him out so much when he sleeps. A lot of times we just tell him until he gets in the shower he gets nothing (no t.v., video games, etc.. and our difficult child can't stand to have nothing to do). However, when he is more unstable that doesn't work because he will get violent.

    Sending some gentle hugs your way.
  14. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    No, i don't see him improving, and I don't see him being able to function on his own at 18, maybe not never. It is a sad situation. He often acts like a very young child and that is where his mentality is, very irresponsible and immature. medications are abilify and tenex (max dosage of both).. no where else to go medication-wise, he's trailed just about everything else. He's at the same maturity now as when he was 3.
  15. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Just an idea to toss out there - would something fun like bath paints get him in there?
  16. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    If i understood your answer you really are in a hard place Some of the suggestions that you have gotten here probably aren't appropriate to your son's level of functioning He sounds pretty affected on the spectrum.

    Does he have a case manager at school? Sounds like he may qualify for some sort of disability payment when he gets older Are there groups homes that would take him at 18?

    Don't know whether you have started to explore these options but it sounds from what you describe that maybe things aren't going to get better and than it would be good to start thinking about how to managed the future

    I am so sorry for you It is hard when you are living with that level of dysfuction each day

    Take care of you
  17. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    I don't think he would do well in a group home because he has such a hard time getting along with others, especially in a group. He "gets along" okay, sometimes, one-on-one, especially if they are playing video games, but even then he can annoy the other person by not playing fair. Life is only about video games in his eyes. That is limited by timed settings and if he deserves it, but that doesnt help, nothing seems to work with him. Also, yes he has a case manager, counseler, and all sorts of services; doesn't do a lot of good though it seems.
  18. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    Sounds like it's really frustrating. BIG BIG HUGS.

    I've been there too with both my oldest son and my youngest daughter. Especially youngest daughter, it's so hard when their behaviors are so destructive (I've gone through 12 pairs of headphones, 6 mp3 players, a plethora of my own personal items...always my stuff she zero's in on. Never anyone else...she even broke our mini system computer less than 12 hrs brand new..had to pay to replace things in it to fix it). It's amazing some of the things that she's done. She very similar to your son just 5 yrs old instead of 15\16 yrs old.

    I rue the day she is 15\16 yrs old...I'm terrified for those years coming...She's Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)\GDD not otherwise specified. We're still working on figuring out some stuff with her.It's so incredibly frustrating, draining, emotionally deadening at times....she's put holes in walls, broken bedroom doors right off the hinges, drew on electronics, destroyed classic (you can't find this nikko amp anymore, and if you do it's a classic and expensive as a collectors item) electronics. I feel where you are big time. My oldest, he hates bathing, I leave it as a battle I only fight once a week rather than every second or so day. It's his choice, I have to detach from that...