I was full of dookie, back to "fun" times at my house, again...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Farmwife, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Just another one of those days. I guess it shouldn't surprise me. I knew better than to get excited and think things could go better but I went and did it anyway.

    Hope is a 4 letter word!! :sad-very:

    Sometimes I wish difficult child would just pick a mood and keep it, even if it's a bad mood. Then I would know how to properly detach/brace myself, you know? If difficult child was always the beast I could find my own routine, could protect myself emotionally.

    What kills me is the back and forth, the feelings of elation that maybe this time the medications/behavior modifications will work. It's like several months of desperation hanging by a thread for better medications. and the usual 2 to 6 weeks it takes them to get to a therapeutic level. Then the wind is knocked out of your sail and you have to modify the medications. Okay, wait again. Then who knows. Maybe a few weeks of the child you remember having the one you miss and love so much. Then in a flash the darkness consumes them again but not before they bring you a little sunshine mockingly...only to leave you shredded in the wake of their change.

    Rinse, repeat.

    I keep being naive and thinking that we got somewhere. I keep falling prey to those moments of peace. I lose the frustration and regain the empathy, tenderness and maternal instincts instead of withdrawl, survival and self preservation instincts.

    I'm just so road weary and battle fatigued. I'm exhausted from having to micromanage every waking moment of difficult child's day. My 15 year old is harder to care for than a crabby 10 month old. I'm tired of being dumped on for doing my job. I'm actually a pretty cool and understanding Mom but get treated like I am something evil and scornful.

    I have feelings and needs too, don't I? I can't remember because all I ever dream about is running away from home on a vacation that I know will never come. Even if it did it would take me all of my vacation just to lick my wounds, forget about fun. Then within 5 minutes of being home zoom 100 m.p.h. back to stress-town. Why bother?

    I'm tired of the guilt.
    Guilt over wanting to place difficult child outside of the home.
    Guilt that if I give up that difficult child will never get well.
    Guilt that if I quit now I may be just one more Dr. visit from REAL success.
    Guilt that I failed difficult child in some way and that he may never be right again.
    Guilt over bad life choices I made that impacted difficult child's difficult childhood.
    Guilt from watching my almost toddler imprinting strongly on difficult child and knowing I may have to split the pair.
    Guilt that if difficult child stays he may permanently scar the baby's psyche. A poor innocent baby trapped in a hopelessly dysfunctional battleground.
    Guilt that husband is suffering from stress related health problems due to difficult child who is his stepchild.
    Guilt from wanting to be far from difficult child and being happy when he isn't home. Everyone can be at peace when he is not home.
    Guilt over missing him like crazy when he is gone.

    Danged if I do and danged if I don't. Danged either way. Just danged danged danged.

    Mostly I am just BURNT out to a crisp. I'm tired of feeling like an emotional hostage in my home under the wrath of an angry teen who hates me for doing my job. I am tired of the abusive emotional games and manipulation.

    Like this job is easy. Like I enjoy doing it. Like I wouldn't rather be doing anything else in the world besides being despised by one of the people I love most in the world. (and could never possibly please unless I literally dropped dead):whiteflag:

    My magic chore chart is working fine for chores but the leopard still has it's nasty, rude, self entitled, bully spots. :faint:
  2. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    You have put into words what I feel most of the time as well....will his happiness stick around? Is he getting better? Are we over the worst of it? And then it comes back and takes you with it...the anxiety, fear, despair. Hugs!
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Oh yeah - many of us have been there done that, F'wife.

    I'm learning after about 10 years to put up an emotional barrier; my difficult children have taken me to my knees more times than I care to count. The terms of endearment, the physical, verbal & emotional aggression.

    A mom, a family is negatively impacted by the negative behaviors/choices our difficult children make.

    ktbug comes home from 6 months in residential - her 4th stay in that setting. At 15, she's old enough to know & she does know the impact her illness, choices & such make on others around her. At 15, it is now up to her to use all the skills she's been taught since she & her brother were adopted by us. All the interventions & the like.

    kt is beyond nervous that this time around it's up to her to hold it together (I will support her through the good choices & such). She can & many times cannot do it.

    I guess what I'm saying is that even though your difficult child has an illness/disorder he's old enough & you should start expecting, demanding better choices out of him. He can no longer be allowed to negatively impact your baby, your husband & YOU. Do you have a crisis plan (aka Plan B) in place? A crisis team you can call?

    Many times our litte wonders, after the medications start working, have the negative behaviors ingrained - it's a habitual response. It's always worked before. Now they need to learn new & better coping skills.

    Sending you many positive thoughts this morning.
  4. Autismkids

    Autismkids Member

    I don't have a teen yet, but I'm not far from my teens. I remember I always used to yell at my father that my brain wouldn't be fully developed until age 25. I don't know if that helped him at all, but I try to remember that with my little man.

    Teens are a psycho stage even in typical kids, but then we have the added issues.

    Our kids are 10 years apart, but I think I know how you feel. My little man went through a serious aggressive stage this past summer. So many things changed, and I could never figure out what the breaking point was. One day I'd had enough and I actually brought him to the psychiatric hospital, but he was too young for them to help (he was almost 5). I left with no help, and no phone numbers. When I got home, I was in tears because I couldn't believe I was going to leave my baby there just to get some peace. I felt like **** as I tucked him in thinking there was a chance he wouldn't have been home that night.

    It's January and he still has not recovered from whatever happened this past summer (preschool ended, he passed his milk challenge, and a few other things happened). We now see his neuro, sleep Dr, and pulmonologist quite often because I *know* that there is something medically underlying that we're not treating. I just found a new neuro and gave her enough symptoms to order an MRI. While nothing came up diagnostically important, his cerebellum (sp?) is low which could account for his low muscle tone and poor fine motor skills. I'm now looking for a third neuro to scrutinize the MRI results for any evidence of brain damage. He's been beating his head since he was a newborn.

    Anyway, sorry I went off here. Sending positive thoughts your way...
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is SO HARD to live with a difficult child, esp in the teen years. Timer is right - now you have to start expecting better from him and giving consequences if he does not meet them. Sometimes if you act like they CAN behave better they do for a while.

    The trick is to not let yourself feel bad that they are in trouble. If they CHOOSE to misbehave then they need motivation to make better choices. Their behavior is largely a CHOICE and you have to try to see it that way.

    If you get an out of the home placement it is time to be thankful he may get the help he needs so that he can be a productive member of society. It is very difficult emotionally to ahve your son placed out of your home. been there done that twice.

    You DO have to think about what is best for the entire family, not just difficult child. It is more like the theory of system optimization. If you have a system comprised of A, B, C, and D that all work together and you put all your time and attention into part C then part C will be the best it can be. Parts A, B and D will be neglected and will run poorly. Then the entire system may break down.

    If you divide your attention between the 4 parts and concentrate on what each part needs to work in tandem then the whole system will run well. No part will be at 100% but together they can surpass what they could do with any one part.

    In your home if all the attention and effort go into making/helping difficult child to do the best that he can then the family will fall apart. So you need to figure out how to make the whole family more functional. If that means sending difficult child to a placement out of your home, well that is what it will take.

    I am sorry that so many things have failed to help your family. I hope you find a way to help everyone feel more hopeful and for the family to function better as a whole.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    There are some behaviors we witness and as we grow up we just accustom ourselves to and take for granted. Society doesn't allow us to expand our thinking, or draw outside the lines, see things in a different light or accept seemingly inappropriate things as occasionally acceptable.

    I'm 45 years old. I can remember pretty vividly actually a little girl in my ballet company who's Mother had MS. Everytime her Mom did make a rare appearance people stared, and gawked. She was a nice lady, her gait was awkward, her speech slurred. My Mother, God love her, never stayed away from her for a moment. The minute she'd come into the room on her crutches, dragging her feet my Mom was the first person to greet her and hug her. At first I thought it was embarrassing, I was five. No one elses' Mom went out of their way, they stayed to themselves. I found myself wishing the same of MY Mom. Eventually it wasn't so odd that Mom would ask this trembling, jerking woman to sit next to her and talk to her and that we would hug her when she came to the practices. She started to show up more and more. We became good friends with her little girl.

    From that point on, I guess you could say, it was a lesson in - what IS normal? Was that other Mom not normal? Or were the other Mother's who didn't take time to greet another ballet Mom not normal? See? It's perception that I'm getting at. To me? My Mom was normal for greeting the other Mom. The other Mom with MS was normal for greeting MY Mom back and sitting and talking to her. It was the other Mom's that did nothing - not greeting another Mom, not conversing, not asking another Mom to join them in their group that MAY have made them different - but I still don't know what normal is. I carry that logic today and will forever.

    So when you are talking about your home, and your family and your son, your dreams....Farmwife -What you may need to do to help you in the now is figure out what you can do and stop comparing what you have to what you think you should have in your son. He can't be what he's not. You said it yourself - he has spots. They're not going to rub off. You can't Mean-Green them off, you can't tattoo them together and make him a Panther - under it all? Panther? Still a leopard. You can't grind them off. He is what he is. So, before you make yourself bonkers - you find the best way you can to deal with that.

    How you figure that out is individual. Coming here and blowing off steam helps. Getting suggestions for setting limits and consequences - even though you think, feel, believe they never work - consistency is a parents game and despite the futile effort? We stick to it as much as humanly possible.

    Does it mean you're not human when you want him gone? Nope. Who would want the Wild man of Borneo living in her closet shredding her panty hose? (Oh pick me meeeeee meeEeeeee) yeah right.

    Does it mean you're a bad Mother when you yell at them and loose your cool or lob rocks across the front yard? Nope. But I bet the look is the same with your kid as it was with mine when a 9lb boulder MAKES it 69' and you belt out a curse word. :surprise: And YES you feel like a horses petute for two weeks after, and you get the mail at night - but WHO cares. YOU ARE HUMAN. You are not perfect and you can only walk on water when it's so cold it freezes.

    Does it mean you're a troglodite when you wish them away and they go and then you wish them back? Nooooooope. Just means you wish that you had a better way of coping with the problem and that they would get over their bout of cranialrectalidis and come home and be whatever "normal" is or close to it or some semblance of decent is so that you could do the fun stuff like other Mommies do - and stop wasting your time disciplining the 15 year old who's emotional status if recorded and catalogued would make the best theme park ride EVERrrrrr......EVvvvvvver. UP down, UP , down. OMG how does this kid not get sea sick.....drammamine....I need DRAMMAMINE....up down.....wholey cow. Seriously - the fact that you would want them back at ALL means you're human. Even birds throw their chicks out of the nest and say "Good luck - there's a cat down there - fly fly."

    Then you worry about the 10 month old. Well....yeah. 14 year age gap, and I'm thinking....Wow. You gotta wonder why at 15 this kid can't be more mature than the one that's filling his diaper. I'd wonder too - And just the fact that you have a 10 month old and a 15 year old - WOW. Do you have hair? What a brave soul you are. You know....I just don't think you are giving yourself NEARRRRRRRRRR enough credit for all you do in a day.

    As far as the 15 year old goes? I think you are going to have to get some TOUGH LOVE going. I think it's time to tell this kid - GROW UP. Really. Somewhere in all of this he's got to start figuring out he is 15 YEARS old not 15 months old. YOU have an infant.....you don't need two. That baby does not need the stress, and neither to you or the 15 year old.

    Do you all communicate? Fight fair? You said your dad is a psychiatrist? Can your son talk to him or one of his colleagues? Is something bugging him? Does he have any idea why he's so angry? The up an down stuff? Would he consider a mood stabilizer? Does he behave this way at school or is it okay at school and acting out at home?

    We're here for ya. We really are. YOU are doing a GREAT job. REALLY REALLY. You have to keep in mind that HE OWNS his behavior and HIS choices....not you. Do you contribute to it? Sure - on how you react to it, but you can work on that.

    _I recommend a great book - How to talk to your kids so they will listen and how to listen to your kids so they will talk. It's about effective communication. There's one for communicating with teens too. It works for everyone....not just kids. But it IS a revelation - was for me anyway. There were so many things I had and still Do say that are just not the right way to say it for ears to hear to go "Oh okay I'll do that." You think you're saying it nice, but ears interpret it different.

    Try it
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Anyway to finish ----

    What I'm trying to get at is this.....

    What seems very un normal and horrible, and weird and just beyond words to you? WE understand. So in that respect you are not alone. For that much? Is some comfort. Being alone and misunderstood is an awful place to be. Years and years ago maybe it was the 'norm' to look at a kid like ours and jerk him out of class or leave him in class and put him in the refrigerator box at the back of the class, or wonder if it was the "parents" fault for him being like he is. Or have that stigma as a parent to worry, grieve and be embarrassed that EVERYONE will think "It's me, I'm a lousy Mom." Well, it's not. It's a disorder. You didn't do it. You didn't make him this way - he just is. You didn't make him this way anymore than that mom in our ballet class made herself have MS and walk or talk like she did. Know what I mean?? But people are people and they are ALWAYS going to stare, and assume and wonder and point and blame and cajole their own ideas....

    Except in this case....you are the one doing it to yourself. So....knock it off. He is what he is, and since you can't change it you just have to find a different way to parent him, and do the best you can to live with it. Some days you can, other days you won't....some days you'll want to throw him out, other days you will.....and some days you will wish ya hadn't and then other days maybe you'll be glad you did and take yourself for a pedicure and detach. You love him....that's all you know for certain at this point. That's more than a lot of other kids have....start with that. Stop beating yourself up. Give yourself some credit - LEAN on your girlfriends here.....and know that you've found a really soft place to land. With a friend that just loves to type and type and talk and talk.....lol.

    ......and at least if she's not normal....?.....she cares. :tongue: and she doesn't care that she's not normal. :tongue:

    Hugs & Love
  8. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Thanks Star for pointing out the part where I am too hard on myself. I really need to reflect on that.

    difficult child and I are caught up in an abusive cycle. My ex, his bio Dad was a real "prize". He and I were married before his adult onset schizo. The man would act like a total #^%%$#@ and find ways to make excuses or find ways to blame others. He would justify his nastiness and never cared about anyone around him.

    Now difficult child is following in his foot steps. He is the man spittin' image, shares expressions, hand gestures, has the same voice almost and worst of all uses all of his old tricks. It took me many years to escape the ex and now I am trapped with his "mini me".

    Be that as it may...

    It's so easy to be critical of myself when I tend to be a giver, am a perfectionist and love to play the martyr for some twisted reason. I'm just used to doing what needs done and unkind people take advantage of that.

    The ex and now difficult child was good at making me feel worthless, making me feel like all the problems were my fault, witheld affection to make me try harder to make things right and on and on and on.

    So, I grew up and moved on but my past, those demons that tear down every bit of my self esteem, well...difficult child is an expert at tearing me down.

    Unconditional love and loyalty have proven to be a weakness for me. It's a shame I am jaded by people I trust rather than a random evil doer.

    Enough of the pity party.

    Long story short, I need to cut myself some slack and learn to be uncompromising with my personal boundaries.

    Easier said than done.:tongue:
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I read the other thread about the rewards chart but didn't respond. Honestly, I used a similar system with my son and found that it was fine when he was stable (and then we really didn't need a written system), but I might as well throw any type of behavior contract out the window when he wasn't stable. That is how I define "difficult child" in my mind- any typical child will respond to consistent rewards and consequences but these difficult child's just don't seem to stay stable with any approach- thus you have this board full of warrior moms. LOL!

    So don't blame yourself- we've all been there, and now we are here! :)
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    been there done that as well. Many times. Sending soft and gentle hugs.