I called the police

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, difficult child wasn't given his medications last night (I gave them to a friend, who had the kids use her house as a home base for trick-or-treating) and she had friends over, food and cocktails, and she forgot. I should have given them to him earlier and not expected someone else to remember.

    So difficult child was awake all night, eating and wandering through the house, and couldn't get up this a.m. for baseball. I canceled a 10:00 appointment --arrgh, he was so mean and nasty--I finally got him out of the house at 10:40.
    I had told him we were having dinner at Mama L's (he loves it because they have video games) and he refused to clean his room and to run errands with-me this afternoon and he started to throw things. I told him fine, no Mama L's.

    The ^*$&% hit the fan. He trashed the hall table and phone, knocked over the plastic pumpkins with-lights in the DR, knocked over and broke my hand painted stool in the kitchen ... I told him I was leaving to go to an appointment and had to leave him alone and expected things to be clean when I got home and he still insisted on Mama L's, and I said no, it's too late, you blew it.

    He refused to let me out the door and was very threatening, so I called the police.

    He knocked the phone off the wall and wouldn't let me call, but the call had already gone through. They called back twice and he knocked the phone away once, and simply picked it up and hung it up it the last time.

    They showed up, and one of them was one of the same officers who was here on Labor Day weekend. They were very good, nice and calm, but told difficult child that next time they are called, they would take him to juvenile detention. Then they separated us, and the one ofcr told me it's better to handle this as a mental health issue than a juv det issue, which I know, but easy child and husband were both out of town and I had no one else to turn to. difficult child and I are now the same ht and wt.
    by the way, the police pointed out that knocking the phone off the wall to prevent a 911 call is a typical domestic issue they see between a husband and wife during a domestic dispute.
    difficult child was very apologetic and very calm and remorseful when they left.
    He still has to write "I'm sorry for calling you a b*tch" 200 times.

    I wish I could have prevented this from escalating, but when he doesn't get any sleep, stubbing his toe can cause an escalation. That's why I decided to leave the house. But it backfired. I can't win.

    I already gave him his pills for the evening and he took them nicely.

    The one good thing that came out of this is that he finally admitted that he has something wrong with him, and he has anger issues.

    I am completely exhausted and utterly drained. We've GOT to get some sleep tonight.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Terry, I'm really sorry that you are struggling through this. I know I've said this before and it might not be what you want to hear, but he sounds EXACTLY like my difficult child 2 years ago. I went through the same trial-and-error, "don't know what to believe" processes that you are. The ONLY thing that has helped my son are mood stabilizers and the concept behind TEC book. In short, I agree with the officer who said it was a mental health issue. Trust me, if he gets thrown in the legal system, it could do more damage than good for all of you.

    Based on the information that I have gotten from the more qualified professionals, in this day and time, just because a kid is diagnosis'd BiPolar (BP) and put on mood stabilizers doesn't mean that they will live a life having to take a handful of medications daily and not being able to function in mainstream or be a professional themselves. It isn't a life of doom and the sooner their issues are treated, the better their chances are.

    I obviously can't say that your son needs to be on MS's, but it is clear that the current treatment is not sufficient and it appears that the ADHD/ODD is not accurate. Have you been keeping a log and discussing this with a child psychiatrist?

    Really, I do send you hugs and support. It took us a long time to see any hope in this situation so I know it is difficult. I just want you to understand that you can't force the answer to be what you might want it to be or to be something that is easier for you or husband to accept.

  3. Jena

    Jena New Member


    Hi I just read your other post about the fact he didn't get the medications last night at the friends house. The importance of those is obviously immesurable.

    I'm sorry you had a horrible day and difficult child, I"m glad though that something positive came from it. Him seeing or admitting he has an issue to work on. That is good. It is so hard when they are the same height and weight. I can imagine how scary that must be as a parent.

    So sorry to hear you had to handle it that way yet totally agree with you on it. He has to see there are consequences to his threatening behaviors.

    I'm sending you hugs and hope that you and difficult child get some well deserved sleep tonight. Holidays' can be so difficult with our children.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm sorry you had such a ghastly time of it, Terry.

    A suggestion for future reference - when we know our kids haven't had their medications, we drop expectations. Basket B stuff becomes Basket C. We also take mental note that the short fuse they normally have is probably so short as to have virtually no length to it at all, so we avoid walking around with the equivalent of an ignition source.

    With 20:20 hindsight, asking him to clean his room before going out was probably not going to work, if he didn't have his medications. We used to get bad rebound if difficult child 1 missed his medications, a common problem with school having to dispense medications during the day and NEVER chasing him up. "The students must learn to be personally responsible and turn up for their medications on schedule" which is ludicrous when you consider that for most of these kids, REMEMBERING to turn up for their medications is part of the trouble especially when medications are wearing off!

    So the problems we observed included violence, aggression, anger and a great deal of stubbornness and refusal. I could have very easily escalated it to dangerously violent levels.

    Our difficult children are NOT normal. One good thing from this is your son now realises this. For now. So strike while the iron is hot and take him to a doctor and get him to repeat this with a medical witness! If he forgets or gets complacent, gently remind him that smashing the phone off the wall when you are entitled to be calling for help, is NOT normal nor is it healthy; it must be dealt with and a medical solution should be far more acceptable, than considering that he is simply a bad person - which I suspect he is not. Support him in considering the medical solution first, before seeing himself as a sociopath. Because a sociopath wouldn't have broken down and said, "I agree, there is something wrong."

    Although we've spent a number of occasions when medications were not dispensed by tiptoeing around the house and trying to not raise an earthquake, I still think it is the better option by far, than to try to carry on as normal and trigger damage.

    If you're using "Explosive Child" methods, an unmedicated kid HAS to change the goal posts. Your child will be far more likely to explode with much less provocation; I do think it is OUR responsibility to change our tack for the day and work to avoid explosions.

    OK, so his room will be messy for a day. If he has twice as much to clean up next day, so be it. Because if he rages, it makes a much worse mess.

    In summary - it's easy for me to say this because I'm standing further away and looking on, but for future reference, if for any reason he is less capable of holding things together, then drop your standards for him until he is back on board. If he had been throwing up all night with a gastric bug, would you have asked him to tidy his room?

    And that's another thing to remember - a gastric bug can also interfere with medication absorption. And ANYTHING that reduces medications on board, needs to require us to change how we handle our kids - like about ten sticks of sweaty gelignite!


  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I'm sorry you are living this...it stinks. Lots of (((hugs))). Glad the police helped the situation and difficult child has remorse.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. You must be feeling pretty beat up and hopeless about now. Sending gentle (((((hugs))))).

    It is good that difficult child admitted he has a problem. I think getting him into a psychiatrist as soon as possible is pretty important. You and husband are also going to have to talk. With difficult child being as big as he it, you simply MUST have a safety plan. You have to work out ways to handle things when he is violent. IF that means that you don't stay at home alone with him, then so be it. You may need to hire a college kid to come stay when your husband and easy child both travel. I suggest a guy because our kids seem to react better wtih them, at least our boys do.

    Maybe you should also put a cord on your cell and carry it on your person, so it is harder for difficult child to cut you off from communication.

    Whatever you do, please keep in mind that no matter if he has his medications or not, violence simply can't be tolerated. NOT saying he has to go to juvy, just that he has to get help.

    Even if it means another trip to the hospital. You CAN ask the police to transfer him to a psychiatric hospital if he is violent with you again.

    Anyway, all that can be worried about tomorrow.

    Tonight, take care of YOU, get some rest, if you have a PRN medication that makes difficult child sleepy, I recommend it. A glass of wine, or whatever helps YOU relax is also in order. I hope you can both get some sleep.

  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Oh how terrible! I am so sorry! That was very scary. I do hope you get to catch up on sleep tonight! You need to recharge. Has difficult child'S medications caught up to him yet so he is calmer tonight?
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think juvy will make things even worse. in my opinion I agree with the poster who said that the ADHD/ODD is probably not the right diagnosis. and the medications should probably be something more sustaining. Has he had a neuropsychologist yet? I forget...wasn't he scheduled to have one?
    I'm sorry you had such a horrible night. Something really has to give; he is getting older, bigger and worse and it's not your fault. (((Hugs)))
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Terry, I'm not in your shoes but reading through all of this makes me think that you might want to rethink your plans for holidays. My difficult child struggled tremendously with holidays such as Halloween when he was younger--we cleared the calendar the day before and the day after whenever possible. I was armed and ready after the class parties for meltdown prevention--lots of Occupational Therapist (OT) strategies and keeping the sibs away from him. A cushion of alone time was needed between school party and trick-or-treating and then again before bedtime. The day after we laid low and stayed flexible knowing that he needed a day of recovery from the change in routine and overstimulation. That meant making choices like not going to things we might have otherwise attended and keeping him away from crowds. Definitely it wasn't a time for making demands such as cleaning a room because he could barely maintain the way it was...and that was even without missing medications. Even on a good day mine couldn't have had an overstimulated night with little sleep, gone on an am appointment, played in a game, run errands, cleaned up their room and then gone out to eat dinner and held it together. Heck, even the sibs wouldn't handle that schedule well.

    I'm not in your shoes and I mean this very kindly, but when things are sure to be out of whack due to changes in schedule/routine due to holiday, missing medications, and a parent out of town, the chances are very high that you're going to get meltdown unless you make some adjustments. It's too late for this time but kicking up meltdown prevention and lowering demands a la the Explosive Child might be worth a try next time.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  10. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Terry, I'm so sorry you've had such a terrible time. Your difficult child's meltdown sounds eerily like the explosions my difficult child had at that age, right down to tearing the phone out of the wall when he saw me going for it.

    If you had to call the police again, you could ask them to take your difficult child to the ER for the mental health crisis team to see.

    There have been lots of other good suggestions so I'll just send some cyber {{{hugs}}} and hope you get some sleep tonight!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    Yes, difficult child is doing very well tonight. He ate everything on his plate and we played cards.

    I did not know he had missed his medications until after I had cancelled my mtng this a.m. That's when the lightbulb went off and I called the other mom. I wanted an explanation of his behavior and while it made me feel better, in a sense, to know he'd missed them, it didn't occur to me to not have him clean his room at that point; it seemed like a small request. Sigh.
    I changed it so that he could clean the rm when he got back but by the time I suggested that, he was too far gone, and was fixated on going to Mama L's.

    by the way, he had a ton of wheat last night; chicken nuggets at his friend's house, and 4 TV dinners last night while I was sound asleep.


    Yes, we are paring down for the holidays. We are driving up to see my brother in Difficult Child on Christmas Day, staying overnight, and coming home. That's it. Typically, we get everyone together in MN or CA but it's just too much this yr, plus, we can't afford it. (I'm sure everyone here is in the same boat.)

    husband called and had already spoken to easy child on the ph. His comment was, "I guess I can't go out of town."
    Uh, yeah!!!

    We are awaiting test results and have a wk to go. I am guessing it's going to be right down the middle between bipolar and Asperger's. It's quite possible he's both.

    Today I asked difficult child what he thought he was tested for last wk. He said "Asperger's, which is sort of related to autism," and wasn't sure of the other thing, so I told him bipolar and asked him to explain it. He said it's when you get really mad at things and have anger issues, and then you're too happy. I said that was close, and part of it, but you have times of high energy and low energy, which can be sleep issues or depression, and anxiety, excitability and silliness on the other. He of course had to disagree with-that, and then talked himself into a corner while he explained why that description fit him to a T. :)

    He finally cleaned up the candy from Halloween and it is stored in a bag on top of his dresser, far away from the dogs. The trash (about 20 pcs of eaten candy) is thrown away. I wouldn't normally let him eat that much but he ate an entire chick breast, 1/4 of a head of brocolli, and pile of wild rice for dinner.

    It took me a min to figure out the initials for TEC, LOL! Yes, I could have put things in basket C ... and in fact, I did ... I cancelled my appointment TWICE today but I was determined to have him show up for baseball. He must be responsible and not let down his team. I also told him he could finish his rm after we ran errands.

    Whatever. I'm finishing my wine and Snickers and going to bed. :)
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    as you know, medication consistency is vital and avoiding many changes in schedule is also very helpful.
    don't know if this helps or not...but we eventually got permission to give our child risperdal when she was having a very difficult day. this really helped her and the family. things were more do-able. rages were less frequent. she didn't normally take this medication...it was "added on/as needed." in addition, she always liked her therapist...so we could add on an extra day as needed...particularly helpful during the teen years. having the contingency plans and being able to see when they might be needed, made things slightly less chaotic. i know that drained feeling well. wishing you a good night's rest.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, you said, "by the way, he had a ton of wheat last night; chicken nuggets at his friend's house, and 4 TV dinners last night while I was sound asleep."

    Doesn't it make you want to spit! AND she didn't give him his medications! I really hate it when I or my kids get sabotaged like this, and I'm the only one to see the problems caused; the person who goofed up has no idea what happened and would probably make the same mistake again.

    OK, I know she was busy and distracted; but before agreeing to do what you asked, she should have stopped and thought, "Can I do this?" and maybe said no, or asked you to stay long enough to medicate him plus bring him some food of his own so he could eat with the others but still stay gluten-free. But to agree to have him, to accept delivery of the child with allergy problems plus child's medication, and to then not follow through - oooh, I'm so angry!

    But of course, some people just know better than we do...

    How possible is it to engage difficult child in his own management? I know our kids often can't remember this important stuff especially when unmedicated, but we were finding all sorts of things to try to sort this out for difficult child 1, including getting him a swatch with multiple alarms on it, which he set while we supervised. The alarms were to remind him to go see his school nurse to get his next dose. It helped a lot, but not for the times she was out of her office or he postponed going to see her and just cancelled the alarms.

    Also, with diet - difficult child 3 got fully engaged in his diet even though he didn't like it. He would check labels on foods and still does because of his food colouring allergy. He will even check food for MY allergies!

    Terry, I'm glad you're digging for more answers. It sounds like a lot of problems accumulated to trigger difficult child for you.

    As for holidays - we had problems with difficult child 3 that we never realised at first. The poor kid didn't understand about holidays to begin with, he thought we had permanently moved house and left everything behind except the minimum we'd packed, leaving behind his computers, his toys, his bedroom - everything. He was VERY clingy and would scream if any member of the family got out of our sight, so if his brother or sisters wanted to go play in a nearby park or went into a different shop, difficult child 3 would be frantic and want us to find them NOW. But he still tried to be good about it. It was when he said to me in an uncertain voice, "I like our new house..." that we finally realised what he was thinking. We told him over and over, we were just having a holiday - but he didn't understand that word even though he was 6 at the time. It wasn't until we got home to OUR house, after repeatedly assuring him we would, that he realised. Until the NEXT holiday...

    Now he's more used to it. One way or another, we have a holiday or weekend away at least once a year, often twice. He's a much more seasoned traveller but is still very much out of his comfort zone when we travel and his anxiety is a problem. He needs a job to do as well as something he can lose himself in (such as his Nintendo DS) to ease his anxiety.

    The other thing that has helped us is to keep him informed, often give him a map of where we are going so he can 'navigate' and listen to what he wants. We also require compromise form him, but it takes a lot of reassurance. One thing difficult child 3 really gets anxious about it "getting lost". However, husband & I LOVE to explore new territory and although we mightn't always know exactly where we are, we always know how to find out way back if we need to. If we're driving along and see an interesting place, we like to feel free to stop and explore if we want to. It's not as bad as it used to be, but we've often had to work hard to keep difficult child 3 reassured that it's OK to do this, to discover new places and people is what holidays are about for us. If the place we stop at turns out to be something that difficult child 3 enjoys, we keep reminding him that we ARE having a lovely time because we made a choice to stop and explore. Then if our next stop is something he's not interested in, it leaves his mind 'free' to begin to panic, so we remind him that he had his surprise explore of a place he liked (perhaps a maze, or a playground) and that it's my turn, we'll only be x number of minutes and maybe I will be finding something interesting or enjoyable to cook for dinner. Again, if we need to we have something for him to work on to take his mind off his panic - a puzzle, a job such as taking photos or doing schoolwork (keeping a holiday diary on a portable keyboard is a good standby for us).

    For holidays - we plan, we prepare, it's like travelling with a baby who is obviously too young to understand that Daddy has to keep driving for another two hours, we can't stop now and set up the portable cot just because baby needs to go to bed. We all try to enjoy the holiday but we enjoy it best if we can keep the most difficult member of the pack as relaxed and calm as possible, without everything going their way unfairly. Music is good, travel games are good, when we get to our destination the board games and card games come out.

    Some people might worry that pandering to the most difficult person can spoil them and make them selfish - not in our experience. Our most recent holiday was just me, husband & difficult child 3. We visited a small wildlife park (we're zoo junkies) and difficult child 3 made a point of taking photos of the eagles for his big brother who wasn't with us to see them. difficult child 3 is a good photographer, difficult child 1 loves eagles. So difficult child 3 was thinking of his brother and trying to do something to please him. It's what he's learnt after spending time together as a group, as a family especially on our holidays.

    We also plan our holidays for low-peak times so we avoid large crowds. Lots of little ways to make our life easier, as well as difficult child 3's.

    Sometimes the wheels still fall off - but if we've done the best we could do, then we can't beat ourselves up over it. We just do the best we can and if it works out, we ALL come home having enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot.

  14. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm not saying this as criticism but just as food for thought, again thinking on TEC, being flexible and taking preventative steps. Having had a former spectrumy child who is now functioning well without medications, I learned that holidays were so difficult that we learned to treat difficult child as if he were a sick kid whenever the main event wasn't taking place. He needed to be left alone. He needed us to make zero demands on him. He needed us to be flexible and back down sometimes. He needed us to take extra care to tend to sensory and dietary needs. Cleaning rooms, running errands, and going out to eat wouldn't even have been on our radar back then like it could be now when he's achieved stability. Your difficult child may be used to a lot higher activity level on a daily basis than mine, but at our house it would have been a set up for failure.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Marg, I'm sure those eagle photos are fantastic!

    LOL about not knowing you weren't moving to a new house on holiday. difficult child was like that a bit ... we'd go to a hotel, swim, etc., and then after we'd be home for a wk, he'd ask, "When are we going on vacation?" and everyone would look at him and say, "We just got back!" So we learned to do some of the things you do ... give him a heads-up, explain that "holiday" and "vacation" are often the same thing, that we will either stay at a hotel, B&B or a relative's home, and that there's no homework.
    When we said no school and no homework, the lightbulb went off, LOL!

    SRL, yes, we are demanding, in a sense. We want our kids to be high achieving and have the bar set high. I believe that my difficult child can go to college and live a successful life, and am prepared to give him the tools and teach him. In the meantime, he is so high functioning most of the time, we quite literally forget he's a difficult child! It's like living with-an alcoholic ... we're lulled into complacency, them BAM! it hits. Then there's the remorse and honeymoon period, then it starts all over again.
    So you're right in that we need to be more vigilant and more consistent, ESPECIALLY during holidays. This was a good lesson to learn.
    We will talk to difficult child about it today. husband should be home from his trip in about an hr.
    Right now difficult child is up to about 83 on his list of 200 X writing, "I am sorry for calling you a b*tch."

    by the way, he was very tired today ... slept until about 9 (10 b4 I changed the clocks back), took his pill, then went back to bed until about 11. He's got circles under his eyes and is clearly recovering from everything. Sigh.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm sorry you had such a rough night and that difficult child escalated.

  17. been there done that through everything that's been said.

    Imagine difficult child at 4; grandparent's decided to make a trail with string to his x-mas present; difficult child, of course, lost it within minutes. We've been dreading certain holidays for years.

    One thought, difficult child tends to get "used" to things, and that helps a lot. We are looking at changing vacation plans to something we've done for the last two years over spring break. As I was discussing plans this weekend with sister in law; I told her to either plan for a or b; or assume we need to allow difficult child two days to adapt. sister in law never really argued about difficult child; but was shocked when she saw difficult child in full bloom and completely out of control this summer. To us a minor incident; but shocking to see that she couldn't "reach" difficult child."

    There were a few comments about difficult child wanting to be normal. We are hearing the exact same thing from our's; including a determined attitude that he is going back to public school next year. (We support the attitude, but don't think he'll be quite ready).

    Have you talked to him about what happened? This is pretty important to our difficult child to keep the lines of communication open, if possible. I'll tell difficult child where I went wrong; but that he is still responsible for his responses.

    One of many turning points for our difficult child this past year was his saying he is tired of his anger issues and what does he have to do to help it. It's still challenging and difficult, but the difference between having a kid who is trying; and doesn't makes all the difference. We often end-up backing down on consequences when we realize things that happened that might have led to the melt down; especally if Mom or Dad lost it.

    Take care; I know how often I do things wrong with difficult child and easy child.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Another thought, just for me and difficult child- it has helped to reinforce to him that everyone has different issues but almost everyone has some sort of issue. difficult child shouldn't feel like a "freak" (difficult child's term) just because he needs medications or struggles in some areas that most his peers don't. They have other issues, usually, and what is important is to find a way to live with yours and not let them conquer you. Like a diabetic on insulin, the point is to do what it takes so the difficult child can have a good quality of life. It isn't so the diabetic feels so different or strange that they refuse the insulin.
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Others have given good advice, sorry I'm late seeing this (we were out of town) but wanted to send you the gentlest of hugs and hope you find time to do something nice for yourself.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for all the hugs and support.

    I like the idea of talking to him about how he may be different but not to let his issues run or ruin his life. Good point.

    He was so cute when he was writing "I'm sorry for calling you a b*tch" 200 X (yes, he did it!) and he even drew a heart and said "Love, difficult child first, middle and last name." LOL.
    But tonight he's grumpy again and I can see dark circles under his eyes. Sigh.