I feel like giving up on him

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Beanner, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Beanner

    Beanner New Member

    Hi, I am new to the group and I am sure I will upset some people by saying this, but after our last family therapy session I feel no hope of re-connecting to my son. We have battled depression/anxiety for years. 90% of the time I was the only parent because my husband was at work, or to emotional (angry) to be the leading parent. Last November, a depressive episode hit my son, in April it turned bad. We have had self injury,property damage, and suicide attempts. on Wednesday I had to call the police and force my son back into the hospital. Of course he was angry. While doing our family session my son was so hateful and mean towards me. He has been in the past but this was like on mean on steroids. Even told the therapist that I am just doing things ( taking away his phone, car or trying to get him to take his medication ) to have power over him,and that I do not have his best interest at heart and basically I am a liar and have broken his trust. Like I said he has been angry and mean before but somehow he said the words just right that I broke. I just don't know that I can heal and help him anymore. I am hoping maybe someone has words of wisdom that will help me get back in his corner but right now I just feel like fading into the background.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would be very hurt after that. I think his age is important. Is he under 18? Drug use? Ever hit you or stole? How are his grades? Job? Siblings?

    If he is under 18 that is one thing. If he is a legal adult i believe a break from him, no more money to him and even making him find elsewhere to live is up to you. Or make staying in a hospital to get treatment part of your agreement to let him live in your space.

    Your house/your rules.

    You are not awful.
  3. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Beanner. I felt like quitting many times. When Ferb was much younger and causing problems, I wanted to run away to a retirement community for some peace and quiet. I think you feel really low, because you are stressed out. Can you do something nice just for yourself this week-end? Go to lunch with a friend? You are feeling emotionally beaten up by your son's mental illness/issues. Make sure you are taking time to just be yourself and recharge.

    Many hugs :group-hug:
  4. Beanner

    Beanner New Member

    Thank you for responding and not judging. My son is currently 17. The thing was is that even though we were dealing with depression before I always thought we had a good relationship. Yes he was a child growing up and we had growing pains but I thought our relationship was good. It seems to me that he met this girl and everything went to :censored2:. I do not blame her for our issues, but I do believe she is manipulative and has him under some spell. He has had other girlfriends but he just doesn't seem to think clearly with this one. I try to no longer say anything about her because I don't want him to use the you hate her excuse. Tonight I told him I was very hurt and that you can't just expect to say hurtful things and for people to continue life as normal. He said it doesn't matter that is how he feels and that he is allowed his feelings. I for the life of me have no idea when I have been anything like he described. I held myself back from telling him what I thought his realty should look like.
  5. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    That is probably true. The problem is that you cannot fight it. At 17 he is supposed to be pulling away from you, making his own decisions and dating. Honestly, Beanner, I wish my son had a girlfriend his own age. I wish that I were in that boat of teen love with you.

    My son spent most of last year not speaking to me at all. He was hiding a relationship with his teacher from me.

    How is your son feeling about his current medication? Is he on board with taking it? I had wanted my son to take medication for ADHD. He did try several when he was younger but did not like how they made him feel. This past January, he became very depressed and willingly went to the hospital. He is now fully on board with taking anti-depressants and since it was his idea, very compliant. I had to wait for him to make the choice.

    How is your son doing in school?
  6. Beanner

    Beanner New Member

    My son has gone from a 3.7 GA to a 1.4. This school year he has done zero school work. I know he is suppose to pull away. I am not saying that I expected our relationship would be the same as when he was younger. I am saying that I didn't think that while on summer vacation in the Bahamas I would have to beg him to leave the condo to do something( anything with or without me or his dad) couldn't get him to horse ride, jet ski swim....somehow it seems that she has him convinced you shouldn't do anything with your parents. What I mean by a good relationship is I never would have thought he thought I wasn't on his side,or his biggest supporter. I never would have thought he thought I disciplined him to "just have power over him". By discipline I mean shutting his phone off until all homework is done...... today though since it has been a couple days since the family session I realized that maybe he just needs to be angry with me. Maybe he needs to think/say those things so he can grow in someway.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The way he talks about you is in my opinion purely manipulation so that you will feel guilty ever disciplining him or setting reasonable house rules. You have every right to set boundaries with consequences for him if he breaks your house rules.

    Although I have no doubt girlfriend influences your son, that is not in my opinion the whole thing. Your son chooses to change from a good son to what he is now. Drugs?

    None of us really know what our teens do when they are not with us or what makes them change if they do.

    Teens do not have to lash out meanly at parents to grow up. I have four grown kids...only one lashed out, although in a different way. It does happen, but more often with teens headed in the wrong direction. It is definitely not all teenagers. Your son has no right to talk abusively to you.And you have every right to hand out consequences if he does. Even though he will continue to twist normal consequences into a horrific control grab from you. He is still a kid. That is nonsense talk.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  8. Beanner

    Beanner New Member

    I haven't found any signs of drugs. We keep a close lookout for that because addiction runs in my family. Like you said though,if a teen wants to find away they will. Tonight he came downstairs and ask to go to his friends. Right away his father said yes, then I said "did you clean your room" He said no and I said I asked you to clean it this morning. Then his dad said clean your room before you leave. He said " fine, I just won't go then" He after about 10 mins he came back and said. I will clean my room tomorrow and go to php on Monday" . It was like he was going to do us a favor by going to his hospital program in which I have all ready said if he didn't go he was returning to inpatient.
    Manipulation is a big part of his game
  9. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Yes, sounds like manipulation. Stay strong. The real world is full of rules that we have to follow.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just adding in support. There were so many times I wanted to give up. The verbal abuse was almost worse than the physical abuse. (((hugs))) It might help to know he is doing much better now.
  11. Beanner

    Beanner New Member

    Thank you.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Beanner, I have been where you are. When my son was 13-14, I could not say anything to him without him taking offense. Even good morning or hello were offensive to him. He said the most awful things to me that you could imagine. Not just cursing, he was vastly more creative than that. He said things designed to destroy my self esteem and my enjoyment of any and everything. He was great at it. He was also incredibly violent. It was so bad that we moved him to my parents house a few miles away. I couldn't even see him for a few months. Mostly because he flat out refused to participate in anything I was at, even family meals. It broke my heart. I then had a breakdown, a physical one where my body just mostly stopped working and every movement hurt. My doctors said it was from stress making two of my illnesses go into hyperdrive. It has been 9 years and I am still dealing with some of the problems.

    The good thing is that I have my son back. He is almost 26 now. He has his own apartment, recognizes how awful he was and is incredibly hard on himself over it. I just want him to forgive himself and move on. He is wonderful to us. He is an involved big brother and he is always willing to help out if we need him. This is something that I NEVER could have dreamed would happen back when he was younger. Even when he was 18 it was a pipe dream. We even have game nights where he comes over and we order pizza and play something like Cards Against Humanity. It is incredible to have him with us.

    So don't give up. You may have to take a break or let someone else step in. You have to get on the same page with your husband. I was the mean parent also, the way you are. Get your husband to stop just saying yes right off the bat and start asking about the chores first. He knows your son doesn't do his chores. Make a board where you write down what you asked your son to do and you initial if he did it. Or something like that. Sure, you do it with little kids, but you can do it with older ones too. Make your husband start using that to see if your son can do something.

    And as far as that "I will go to php if I can go to friend's house now" stuff? That is bovine excrement. You need to be on a Do to Get system, not a Get to Do system. He wants to get to go to his friends house and then he will do what you want (go to php). That is not an acceptable deal. He can go to his friend's house AFTER he goes to php. Otherwise you and I and the dog all know he is going to refuse to go to php when it is time. Change the system so that he has to EARN the reward before he gets it. Do to Get. It works.

    Also stop thinking about consequences as you handing them out. You are misunderstanding the system. You are not handing out consequences. He is earning them. He is CHOOSING to have consequences. You are not the one in power, HE is the one in power. He can avoid the negative consequences and get only positive things. How? By doing the things he is supposed to do. By cleaning his room, getting good grades, not being disrespectful. By acting poorly, he is choosing negative consequences. Explain that this is how the world works. We ALL, every single person on the planet, choose our consequences. If we do good things, we get good rewards. If we do bad things, we get bad rewards. It is not Mom being mean or power crazy, it is LIFE. Better he learn this now.

    By the way, have you drug tested him? You don't know that he isn't using unless you drug test him. Buy a test that covers as many things as possible, and then test him when he comes in from a friends. Do NOT give him any warning or let him know you have the kit ahead of time. Do have your husband watch him pee. No, your husband won't like it. It is a consequence of a having a misbehaving teen. The drop in grades, change in behavior, etc... are all classic signs of drug use. Don't trust that you will see signs around the house. Drug test him as soon as he comes in from being out with his friends, preferably on a weekend when they are more likely to party. He won't like it and will be angry. Ignore his ranting. Do it anyway and don't let him talk you out of it or bargain this or that if it is clean. If he does that, he may be using something your test doesn't cover. But the most comprehensive multi-panel test is the best bet you have to figure out the truth for this question. It is what the doctors offices use generally.

    As you do these things, also do nice things for you. Don't forget to care for yourself. Date nights, bubble baths, good books, music, whatever relaxes and recharges you. If you don't care for yourself, you cannot care for anyone else under any circumstances. This is incredibly important!!! Make sure your hubby does the same.
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  13. Beanner

    Beanner New Member

    Thank you for writing. The funny thing is, my son called to say he wouldn't make curfew because his friends mom was not home and the friend isn't to be home alone. I told him to text me when the friends parent came home, instead I received a text from the friend saying Andrew fell asleep and could he just stay the night. At first I was like sure I mean I don't want him driving if he is that tired, but then my mom gut kicked in and something got me thinking about drug testing. So I log onto this board and here y ou are telling me to drug test him.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS trust that mom gut. You have instincts for a reason!!! The times I made the biggest mistakes with my kids are the times I ignored my instincts. Learn from my mistakes. I also know that there were times I listened to my instincts and ended up saving my kids from really bad situations. I watched as other parents ended up dealing with big problems that we didn't have to cope with because I did something people thought I was nuts for.

    Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and most other pharmacies and similar stores carry drug tests. Go and get one and as soon as he gets home, surprise him with one. If your husband thinks you are overreacting, ask him to go along with you. Tell him that if your son tests clean, and your husband has actually watched your son pee in the cup, then you will give your son a reward. Something he wants. If your son tests positive for drugs of any kind, you will have to seriously restrict his movements and activities.

    Parenting Teens With Love and Logic by Fay and Cline is a very helpful book. I really like the Love and Logic way of handling children, especially difficult children. One thing that was truly helpful was that it let my husband and I get on the same page. I was the parent who handed out chores and discipline and dealt with the tantrums. My husband was the easy, fun parent. He was off working and I was home all day. When he came home he didn't know all the problems, so he would say my son could do something, not knowing that my son had been told he couldn't because he hadn't done chores or whatever. L&L got us out of that triangle of manipulation. Other books and methods tried to help, but never really got through to my husband. Many moms I know said the same thing. Our schools often recommend L&L books and methods, so I have talked about this with a lot of other parents here. It seems to many of the moms I know that L&L is a method that let us work as a team with our husbands, rather than having them undermine us or go wandering in a different direction because they just didn't understand what was going on. L&L has books for parents and teachers that are directed at all sorts of problems and at kids of different ages. I went to a seminar and found it incredibly useful. It was well worth the $100 I paid for it (about 10 years ago). You can learn more about L&L at www.loveandlogic.com . Most bookstores and libraries carry their basic books, as does Amazon. You can also buy them from the website.

    A very funny thing happened at the L&L seminar I went to. It was for parents and teachers. Dr. Fay was telling us to give your teen a chore and then not nag him about it. If he does not do the chore, hire someone to do it. Tell the teen the worker must be paid. If the teen does not pay him, you pay the worker. If the teen does not have the money, then you take something of the teens that he values (a game system or a tv or computer) and you pawn it. You give the teen the pawn ticket and tell him that you pawned it so that you would have the money to pay the worker to do the chore the teen was supposed to do. If the teen pawns something of yours to get the money to get his item out of hock, you call the cops. That is theft. Actually the teen doesn't own anything because he is a minor, so it isn't illegal for you to pawn the teens item, but it IS illegal for the teen to pawn your item.

    As Dr. Fay is finishing explaining this, a young looking gym teacher (male, mid 20s) exclaims "So that is why you did that!" . Then we hear an older woman laughing hysterically. It turns out the older woman sitting with him is his mother. The gym teacher is her son and was a very rebellious teenager. She had learned L&L as a young teacher and she used it on her son. He was headed toward jail and she was at her wit's end with him. L&L methods turned him around in a fairly short time. He figured out she was not playing and he didn't like the logical consequences to his actions!!
  15. Beanner

    Beanner New Member

    So my son went to partial today and yesterday without complaint. I went to my first parent support group meeting a lot of stories sound the same. Today we met with the doctors to discuss medication and I think we have somewhat of a plan for that going forward. I have been reading Love and Logic and I guess I should have read it earlier, but better late than never. One thing I found interesting is when they talk about how children's brain grow/function and how they should be able by my son's age (17) to think abstractly (People in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks) but when I asked my son to think about what that meant he said. Well of course they shouldn't throw bricks, they would break the glass. We have a family session tonight and I would like to ask the therapist her take on that. Anybody here in the same boat?

    A positive is on the way to the hospital he asked if I wanted to do something with him on Saturday. (He was suppose to go to a festival with his girlfriend). I said "I would love to can she not make it." He said "She cheated on me." So I pushed "mom" voice out of my head and said "I am sorry, that must hurt." I waited and then he said " I don't know what I am going to do yet, I thought I would talk about it in group today." I said, "I think that is a very good idea, I appreciate you sharing this with me, and while you are deciding if I can help in anyway; like listening, go with you somewhere where you can scream or throw water balloons at a target, any thing you can think of I am here." -- Of course after I dropped him off I thought, I wonder if I should have said/did more, asked more questions but I am trying to convince myself that is helicopter mom trying to come out.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Aspies have great trouble with abstract thinking. They are very literal. My son is too. Your son may need a therapist who specializes in autistic people. They are different. The thetapist needs to know how to work with this type of person
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Aspies can be VERY literal. Only the most high functioning Aspies ever grasp the abstract. Then it is sort of like they know what it is, but it doesn't make any sense to them. It can take them until they are far older to grasp the abstract, and to grasp the concept that fantasy and reality are different things. We had to really work to convince my son that he could not find real live Pokemon if he went to Japan. He was 21 before he fully believed us. It broke his heart. truly and deeply.

    They are just different than other people, but very special.

    You handled it very well. Any more and you would have been prying or interfering, and teens hate that. But you let him know you cared and were there for him. That is all you can do. He was willing to discuss it in group, which is a good thing. Maybe he will get some helpful ways to cope there.