I think I may have lost my son today

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Baggy Bags, May 22, 2018.

  1. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Son pulled a knife on us and then somehow cut himself a little on his leg. We called the police.
    I went down to meet the cops when I hear son screaming. Run back up, husband has him on the ground, husband's head is bleeding.
    Son had thrown a really big rock at him. Hubs tackled him.

    Four cops in our house. He's saying that we wouldn't feed him and that hubs cut him and always attacks him. omfg!!!
    Hubs would never lay a finger on him, except in self-defense, which has happened a few times. Hub's head has been busted open 3 times by son, and none of those times did he ever hit back.

    Police broke protocol and agreed to let us take him to a private hospital instead. But they wanted to take him to the police station first. Son was in agreement to go to the hospital instead of the state. Police know our story from many previous incidents, it's a small town.

    So. We get all our stuff together as fast as we can and run to the police station to get him. If I were not needed to sign the hospital papers, hubs would go without me because of how carsick I get, and it's a 4-hr drive, but he's not the bio-dad so he can't sign.

    We get to the police station. They're taking pictures of son's leg, and they also got one of hub's head. I had already sent a picture of my arm from an earlier aggression today, to the doctor. Son had written to the doctor saying: "if she keeps bugging me, she's going to end up with something way worse than that mark on her arm." Doctor told us that it was dangerous for us. So I guess there's that if it comes to a courtroom.

    We get in the car. Start the 4-hr journey. Immediately I start thinking. After about 20 minutes I ask them to stop the car and for hubs to get out to talk to me. We call my mom and ask her if son can stay with her for a while. She says yes, if he agrees to follow her rules. Son of course says yes. He is the only grandchild and my mom has always spoiled him, which is why I didn't want him living with her.

    But I just don't think that spending another $3000 on a week of hospitalization (yup, that's what it costs here and the alternatives are horrific), is going to make any difference at all.

    Hubs calls another car to pick me up and bring me back home. He and son do the rest of the journey to my mom's, without me.

    For now, we all assume he wouldn't do anything like this to my mom. But now I'm worried about her safety, now that I think about it some more. Today was so scary. But hopefully, he won't pull this kind of stuff on her, at least long enough for us to figure something else out. I've heard of other families where the problem child wasn't violent with other adults/guardians. Do you think it is irresponsible to let him stay with my 60+ year-old mom? I told her to let us know at the first sign of problems, but still, it makes me nervous.

    It's midnight. I got these terrible shakes a little while ago. Hubs will be another couple hours at least.
    We just talked and he said "it feels like son has won and we might never get him back".
    I don't know if I'm just in shock, but I'm not crying. I'm more just realizing how terrified I am of him.
    When you're living in a battle zone all the time, you don't realize that you're in survival mode until the battle is over and you release. And then you feel it. I'll probably cry soon. But maybe not. I miss my boy so much. I've been missing him for almost a year. I think I may have already mourned him.
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So sorry to hear that this happened. How old again is your son?

    I do think he is dangerous and he should not live with you. It is not safe.

    Is he still using drugs? Something is terribly wrong with his behavior either way.

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. We have been on a long an dark road also. The only thing that has helped our son is a long term faith based program. He is doing well now. I do not know if this is an option for you but we tried everything else and our son is FINALLY responding well to this program.
  3. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Oh my dear BB, I am so very sorry for what you are experiencing right now. My oldest stepson is violent and has strangled my wife, has also strangled my YS and has gotten into physical altercations with his dad. I understand all too well the irony and the horror of fearing one's offspring.

    Only you know your situation....with that said, I would probably have hospitalized him rather than sending him to his grandmother's. Given that the cost of hospitalizing is so high, I would have let the police take him and book him in lieu of the hospital. While it's possible he will not act out violently against her, my thinking is that he needs treatment and/or consequences for his behavior. He probably won't get that outside of a hospitalization or adjudication.....any child who commits violence against parents in my opinion, is not safe to be in a family situation until that child has been treated appropriately and the incident processed therapeutically. Such a child should be in a hospital or depending on the severity of what occurred, possibly in jail..

    Please make sure you are taking care of yourself and of husband, and any other children in the home. You need peace and healing.

    We are here for you!!! Many hugs.
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    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  4. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I am so so sorry you are going through this. Know that you have landed in a very supportive community and others will be along shortly. Couple of things.
    How old is your son? It sounds like he has been violent with both you and your husband a number of times. If so, why are you allowing that, and not having him face the consequences of his actions? I know that it is very very difficult, but he is no longer from the sounds of it a child, rather a young man who chooses his behavior. His behavior wont change if the consequences are not there. We endured the same thing with a son who had addiction and mental health issues. Interestingly we became like the frogs in the slowly boiling water and did not see how totally dysfunctional our situation had become because we thought OUR LOVE could change things. Guess what? It didn't. And as many members on this board will tell you if love could change these kids there would be no need for this forum. They need therapy, boundaries, consequences. Please evaluate where you and your husband are with this and make some plans for the future. Are you both getting counseling for this? If he is violent he should not be welcome in your house. As for your mom, I know my mom was very very uncomfortable having my son with her alone, although he was not violent with her, she knew his background and drug usage. I agree with BBB that hospitalization would be a better choice because at least he could get some help and you and your husband could find a path that works for you both. Hugs and keep posting. We all help each other on this long and sometimes frightening path.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a scary situation! I agree with BBU. Take care of yourself BB....I am reading along and praying for all of you.
  6. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Thank you for your replies.

    He is 15 and there is no emancipation in the country until 18. We are in a very underdeveloped country.
    The jail system here is guaranteed to rape and possibly even kill him.
    He was on his way to a detention center where really terrible things happen, when the police agreed to let us take him to a private hospital.

    We are considering a cheaper hospital, even if it's just for containing him, as cheap hospitals mean less prepared therapists here.
    I think anything that gives us a few months apart is a first step.

    We have two psychiatrists and a psychologist working with us for months now. They were *just* starting to figure him out.

    We tolerated the violence as long as we did because we love him so much, and he's sick, and the system doesn't work, and also because we don't have other children to worry about...
    But yeah, if we're dead or in the hospital, there's not much else we can do for him.
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  7. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    That's right BB - I forgot you are not in the US.

    I would not send my child into a situation knowing he would be terribly traumatized or worse. Of course not! What a terrible situation to be in. Between a rock and a hard place.

    I am so sorry for everything you are going through.

    Is relocating to a more developed country an option?
  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I fully agree with the others here that he can not be in your home. It is not safe. He has injured both of you and does not hesitate to use a weapon. Since he has gone after both of you i sincerely doubt that your mother is safe. You didnt say parent's. Does she have anyone with her to help if he does get violent? If she questions something or says no to him she could be in danger. I am sorry this is happening to you and your family and sorry for the added burden of not having community resources to support you in your country. What makes you believe that jail is a death sentence?. Many people hear horror stories about prisons but it is not as exteme as they think. Obviously it is not pleasant. Does your country have a juvenile facility? Would it be possible to see if there are any international organizations that would provide help to place him in a residential facility. My prayers go out to you.
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  9. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    If he's going to stay with his grandma she needs to have an action plan in place in case he tries to harm her.

    I don't know how long his violent behavior has been going on, but he sounds very angry and aggressive. He might need his medications adjusted. Have you asked his treatment team about Seroquel? It has some bad side effects, but is really good for rages.
  10. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    I talked to the doctors today. They are telling me that the only options they can see are the hospital he was in before, that is too expensive, or to stay with my mom. They don't think he will hurt her, and that his conflict is only with us. For now anyway. We'll see what happens when she starts getting annoyed with him. He's probably being very good right now, to be able to stay with her, but his bs will start surfacing sooner or later, and then she'll think twice about keeping the doors open for him. I think he'd be different with us if she wasn't always an option in the back of his mind. I'm heartbroken, but this just isn't sustainable anymore.

    My mom is alone. I've given her all the warnings, but she also feels certain that he won't pull that kind of crap with her.

    No idea how this will all turn out. Fingers crossed.
  11. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I will pray for a positive outcome for your family.

    Just to be safe, I would speak to mom privately about a safety plan. I would not be surprised if his dark side emerges as he spends more time under her roof. As you said earlier, he may react very badly when she tries to set limits with him.

    How will he get to school? Will he have to transfer living with Mom?
  12. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    I've homeschooled him since he was little after being bullied at school. We follow the US system, so he has no papers in this country and can't attend school here because of it. Yesterday she told me that they would start "education activities" soon. I know that he is thinking that he'll get a job, be able to go out, see the girl he likes (yup, surprise, she lives there)... My mom is under orders not to allow this, but who knows if she'll uphold or end up just letting him do as he likes. We'll see what happens when she tries to fully take on what has been a full-time job for me (containment, policing, supervising, schooling...) and he realizes that his big city life isn't what he was planning on. (we live in a very small, rural town, mom lives in the big, dangerous city)

    To answer Tired Mama's question - jails here really are as bad as anyone could imagine. The inmates run them. When a newbie comes in, they are lightly beaten up and given a phone to call their families to send a "jail tax". They give you a bank account number, usually in a woman's name who is likely the girlfriend of a top inmate. Depending on what you look like, is how much your family has to pay. We recently had to get $2000 together for a friend. If the family doesn't pay, the beatings get worse by the day. Rape, especially for someone as pretty as my boy, is a given. This is as much the situation in detention centers as it is in adult prison. If you've ever seen documentaries about the worse jails in the world - that's what it's like here.

    The doctors are telling me that I made a huge mistake by not letting the police take him after what he did, but I just couldn't. They say that now I've rewarded him with a holiday with his Granny. Perhaps it was the last thing I do for him, from now on it's up to him and I won't come to the rescue - or at least I'll try not to.
  13. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Perhaps the hardest part of this journey with our troubled children is realizing what they have become; and reconciling that with our memories of who they were when they were younger.

    Your son is no longer the beautiful, sweet little boy you remember with such love and fondness.

    He is dangerous. He is willing to harm. He is mentally ill. And he hurt you, and your husband. And expressed no remorse. And will harm again if allowed to do so.

    Puberty can bring this on if it is lying in wait to explode.

    Are you citizens of the country where you live?
  14. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Under normal circumstances, I'd agree with the doctors. Not knowing exactly what the situation is there, its harder to say.

    As far as him staying with your mother, we did this as well. After a physical altercation between me and our son with police involvement he went to stay with my parents. It did NOT end well. I don't think he actually tried to hurt my parents but our son does things that he doesn't consider to be aggressive that I could never get him to understand that most people would consider it to be aggressive. In this case, he was opening and closing a pocket knife. More of a nervous tick for him but it freaked my parents out which caused a HUGE uproar with my siblings.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am only now seeing this thread. I am very sorry. I have 2 ideas.

    This is what I would do provisionally. But it would require your mom's consent.

    I know it is inexpensive to hire household staff where you are. What about hiring a woman to be in the house with them?

    Or. What about finding a foster family informally?

    I understand protecting him from the jail/detention center/the risks of being on the street. But you can't protect him a hundred percent from his life. Nor should we.

    I agree. It is not a solution that your mom shoulder this by herself. And you are already worrying.

    This murderous behavior is happening over a long period of time. It is becoming a baseline.

    Does son have dual citizenship where he might be eligible for hospitalization paid for by the government?

    Personally. I would not do the 3k a week hospital. It is not a solution. It is too much to pay that he should be contained.

    As far as losing him, forget this nonsense. You have no idea what will be. Not one week. Not one year. Why burden your self with that, when one day is enough of a burden? PS. Your husband is a saint.
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    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  16. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Thanks for all this support, I really need it. It's so good to have this objective feedback. Most everyone around us loves our son and just can't be this objective.

    Yes, my husband is definitely a saint. I don't know how I could have lived through this without him.
    He's been with us since my son was a baby, and has been the only father he's known.

    We both have dual citizenship, but my son has never lived in the US, and I have lived here for my entire adult life.
    I don't know how the system works over there, but I've heard we'd have to at least be residents of a state to get any kind of help.
    But I'll look into it.

    He hadn't gotten this violent for several months, since he was using.
    He'd been clean for several months, with random drug tests from psychiatrist.
    The last test was done last Tuesday, after two months of not doing one. So, he must have thought "well, they probably won't test me again for at least a month, so I can smoke some marijuana today". He smoked the day after said test, but someone saw him and told us, so we surprised him with a test two days later. He gets psychotic with cannabis, but he won't accept this. He continues wanting to believe that we cause these incidents (by not giving into his terrorist tactics and by enforcing consequences). I think this is the most important thing for him - to realize the effect it has on him.

    I am missing him so much today. How long will this feeling last? Will it ever go away?
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I know what I wrote below is off the wall. I know your son cannot go to another country without you. But still....

    I just googled in Spanish therapeutic boarding schools for adolescents (in Buenos Aires Argentina) because I know there they are free, or used to be. Even for non citizens. I have a phone number.

    I know this sounds far fetched. And it is. But realities of your country's situation are fixed. Where you are will always have violent conditions. And it will always have a dearth of resources. That you have managed to assemble the treatment team you have is testimony to your love and ingenuity.

    Given that this emergency situation with your son is now chronic, and he is not yet responding sufficiently that you are safe to live with him, we need to find a setting where he can live, and get treatment. On an ongoing way. He will not be able to return home for many months. The proclivity to harm has been ongoing. Neither medication, treatment, or behavioral interventions has worked thus far to give him control. This does not mean they won't.

    I know you have a lot of responsibilities (as well as being in shock). But what about the idea of exploring what other places might or might not offer?

    People travel to other countries all of the time for treatment. Mind you. I get it is usually sheiks and presidents and the shah of Iran. But why not? There might be reasonably priced therapeutic boarding schools. People everywhere have difficult children.

    As I see it, there are these possibilities: (I put everything in, even the close to impossible.)

    If you and his doctors think he will stay away from you, keep current treatment. Find foster home in your community.

    Find therapeutic boarding school someplace else, where he can live.

    Travel with him to a children's regional medical center where he can get comprehensive, in depth evaluation. But this is delimited by financial and insurance concerns. And seems to only be an option if a second citizenship offers benefits.

    Has he seen a pediatric neurologist? There is a condition I remember hearing about where kids have mini seizures that give rise to aggressive behavior.

    I know this is far fetched but have you googled his behaviors all together and seen what comes up.

    I am so so sad you are dealing with this, And he has not thus far responded. He will. In time. But meanwhile there will be an answer for what to do in the meantime.
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  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Okay. I change my mind now that I know the circumstances of his smoking. That seems like a clear cause and effect. It is still the issue of the mj psychosis.

    But the thing is, as long as his pea brain still decides to use, you guys are in danger. It is too big a risk.

    But it is immensely reassuring that there was the mj use. Whew. Do you see that? That it could be so much worse.

    What about finding a family in a pueblo that needs money, where he can live and keep his same support structure. Do you and his doctors think he would stay away from you?

    I know how you feel the missing him....but this is one day at a time territory.
  19. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Thanks, Copa. Yes, one day at a time.

    And thanks for pointing that out, I do realize that mj-related psychosis is better than the alternatives, but I hadn't thought of it like that this time. It is something to be grateful for, for sure.

    I think that if he's in the city, he will stay away from us more than if he's with non-professional people that he doesn't know. In that case, I think it'd be more likely that he'd try to come back for his stuff, which he would then likely sell to try to live on his own in hiding.

    Maybe I'm just imagining this, but I feel like he's probably falling into depression, slowly realizing that the walls are closing in on him and he doesn't really have the option to just up and start a "normal" life elsewhere. He'll either have to be confined to my mom's house and her rules (and mine, because she's promised to keep them, PLUS she doesn't have internet at home) or run away and live in fear of the police finding him. Poor boy. I'm feeling so sad for him. He had so much going for him, except friends. It was always hard for him to make friends. He's so beautiful, he always got girlfriends, but they never lasted long. Breaks my heart to think of him so lonely and without me. I always his person, his comfort, his defender...
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Okay. I don't like the idea of your mom being alone with him. But I don't know her. You do. Does she have help in the house?

    Can you see that your being his everything, could be part of the problem, for him and for you too? I say that in the spirit of, it takes one to know one.

    If he is in the city with your mom, what kind of a support system could be set up? Are you thinking of this as more than short term? What about school? Is there an art school there? A gym? What about martial arts? Could he get a job? What about treatment?

    I mean. He has got to have a life for this to be an option. He can't be in jail. PS. Your mom is a saint too.
    Last edited: May 24, 2018