(I'm New) and I don't want to be around my child anymore

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by vmc123, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. vmc123

    vmc123 New Member

    I have a 12 year old son, who was diagnosis'd with BiPolar (BP) and ADHD years ago. We have been through tons of medication changes and have had many ups and downs (more downs then ups) We'd tried every form of discipline; time outs, spanking, taking away his electronics, grounding from friends, along with patience and understanding, but nothing works. The whole family suffers from his antics, and it's tearing us apart. Everyone is resentful for what he is putting us through. We love him so much and he continues to hurt us so bad. Now, I just don't want to be in the same room with him. I feel like the worst parent ever!!!!!
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to our corner of the world. I'm sorry things are so difficult. I'm sure you are not the worst parent ever (for sure not according to my kids, I hold that title-lol). I know how frustrating it can be going through the medication roller coaster and not feeling as though anything is helping. My 13 year old difficult child has bipolar and we have also tried many medications. He is currently on a mix of medications that is helping, of course, he is still a difficult child.

    We often tend to ask a lot of questions for those new to our site so we can be of more help.

    *Who diagnosed your son?
    *Has he ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation? These evaluations can give us some good insight into our kiddos.
    *How is he doing at school? It's not unusual for our difficult children to do well in one environment and not in another. (Of course, my difficult child struggles in most environments.)

    One book that we recommend reading is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It offers some great ideas when dealing with kids like ours.

    Another thing that is super important is finding time to take care of yourself which I know is easier said than done. We're better able to take care of our kiddos when we are feeling better. That looks different for a lot of us. For me exercising and reading are ways to take care of me.

    Again, welcome, you have found a very soft, supportive place to land.

    When you have time, create a signature that tells about you and your family (sort of like mine on the below this). Hugs!
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just deleted your other thread since it was a duplicate that way everyone can respond to the same thread:) by the way, there are many times I don't want to be around my difficult child! You are so not alone. Hugs.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hi vmc, and welcome. You're not alone in this, I've wanted to run away from home a number of times. You're here, still reaching out for help, so you can't possibly be the worst parent, no matter what your kid(s) tell you!
    I found The Explosive Child more than worth the money, but I did check it out from the library before deciding I needed my own copy (I bought the Kindle version).
    It's a long, rough road, but there is hope. Hang in there and take care of yourself. While you do have to carve out some time with every kid, you need to carve out time for yourself, too.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

  6. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    I could have written this myself, word for word, and my son is only 6. There are a lot of parents here in our shoes, and a wealth of great advice. I'm glad you found your way here. :notalone:
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board, vmc123.
  8. I know exactly how you feel!I came across this board yesterday after my 14 year old difficult child and I got in a knock down drag out practically in my kitchen. Everything she said was mean and hateful and spoken with such loathing in her voice. I have never felt so angry. I slapped her in the face for speaking to me that way...and I'm not one that spanks my kids. I reached my breaking point, and it scared me. I know it scared her. My other two saw the whole thing. I feel like the worst parent ever too..no one I talk to understands. They all say it's just teen issues. This stuff was going on when she was 10, it just has gotten worse. Hope you get some help on here vmc, I feel you. :notalone:
  9. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Sorry things are so hard.
  10. Star*

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


    Hi ya! You know - If you were in a situation where your kid wasn't your kid and you were forced to help a person over and over and over that behaved like your child did with seeminly no results day after day? WHO WOULD want to be around that person? God knows I've stepped away from other people in my life that I've tried to help over and over, and were continually needy and didn't take my help - and they weren't even family- but here - you have a little person that is YOUR responsibility, and well let's face it, anything you could do? You HAVE done, and nothing's worked.

    Who woudn't be at the end of their rope? I used to tell my therapist 'If Mother Theresa had to have raised MY son? She wouldn't have ever gotten on the cover of TIME magazine. He would have WORN. HER. OUT. and that is a fact. (and she's a saint) once I really realized what I had said? I didn't feel so like a bad parent, plus WHERE please tell me DO any of us get a hand book before hand to learn HOW to deal with anything even remotely like what we do every day? It doesn't exist. If it did? There would certainly be a cure, therapists would take one look at an ODD or BiPolar (BP) kid and say "ABRACADABRA - ALAKAZAM - take this pill and VOILA!" - no such thing exists. Does it? So even all these medical experts with all their knowledge and training and expertise have no clue -just trial and error just. like. us. (think about that)

    I came to realize that I didn't HATE my kid, I hated not being able to fix him, I hated not being able to understand getting even one step ahead. I hated mental illness, and I hated the fact that I was being outsmarted by a 9, 10, 11 year old and I HATED most of all - loosing my cool - almost constantly. I hated daily confrontations, I hated coming so close to feeling like I was going to reach out and 'touch' someone and then feeling guilt for it - that I started to hate myself and took THAT with me along with daily life and it's disappointments, and it was building into something called severe depression and even though I had been working with a therapist for a bad marriage? I realized I needed more therapy for my family dynamics. So before I got a second divorce before I was even married a second time? We got into family counseling. It saved us in more ways than I can tell you.

    I won't tell you it was perfect - nothing is. I WILL tell you our lives on a whole got much better. We started going - literally three times a week. Our difficult child went once a week, I went once a week and we all went as a family once a week. DF and I did effective communication workshops where you learn HOW to talk to a difficult child and that was beneficial 10x over -more than any other parenting class I think. We read a lot, and I recommend those types of books more than I do any other. If you can't talk to your kids - you aren't going to understand them, and they aren't going to talk to you if they don't think you understand them.

    I also got anger control coping skills, and so did my son. Sometimes you just have to learn to walk away, and when that's not possible - you HAVE to learn how to take YOUR time out and allow him the space to take his. EVEN when you want control - some times? You just have to let them walk out the door - and cool off. It's not what you would do with a regular behaviored kid - but you gotta ask yourself - what's regular in this house? Not much. And it's certainly better than escalating a situation. Learning how to de-escalate will save you a lot of problems. Getting a grip on learning HOW to do that was priceless for us - and I'll tell you - it doesn't work all the time. I still had my days where sadly - I know my neighbors will NEVER bother us or like I tell people - EVER come to our door to sell gift wrap for the 'band' or candy bars for the team. One rock lobbing, bird house, bird feeder knock-down drag out in our front yard? You wouldn't either. Not proud of it - but it was better than a trip to the ER that day, and no one was touched - just lots of out of control behavior we talked about later that could and should have been avoided. Which is now NOT a good topic for any family get together. Just a good story on HOW NOT to behave for others, but why therapy is so important for healing and learning how to move on from guilt and learning where to rebuild.

    This is not an easy life, but eventually? There are small signs that afford you smiles and appreciation of your sons accomplishments that no other Moms (save present company) would understand, and you'll know what those times are and you'll come to appreciate things more than you'll ever realize.

    Hang in there - you've found some great support and some awesome help and advice, and a ton of great people. (occasionaly a few humorous rock lobbers)

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome vmc.
    As you can see, you are in good company!
    I'm with-Star, especially the part about how I hate to be outsmarted by a kid.
    And I hate the yelling and blaming me for everything.
    Come back and answer some questions (I have the same questions everyone else does) and let's see what's going on. I am interested in his history, too.
  12. vmc123

    vmc123 New Member

    We've tried therapy, but he just sits there and refuses to talk. This is his way of getting what he wants, not to go. How do I handle this?
  13. vmc123

    vmc123 New Member

    I've read the book and others. Many say you have to learn how to talk to your child, and give them choices or walk away. Ok, my question is how does a person who has people around him walking on egg shells, suppose to function in the real world. How will he have a job, when he gets defensive when someone tells him what to do? Is his future domed from being successful?
  14. vmc123

    vmc123 New Member

    Thank you. I didn't realize there was a delay, so I wrote it again. Glad to be here with others who are in the same boat. It helps me not feel alone.
  15. vmc123

    vmc123 New Member

    Thank you for all the kind words and support. My son (12)started show symptoms at about age 4. He has been diagnosis'd by several physc. docs and has had a neurosphysc. evaluation, along with extensive educational testing. He has BiPolar (BP) ,Adhd and learn disabilities His medications are lamital, klonopin, effexor, guanfacine and geodon. We just started changing is medication by adding the klonopin for anxiety and reducing the guanfacine and effexor. I'm 40, my husband is 45. We have a easy child (daughter) who is 9, and is starting to have a lot of stress over what my BiPolar (BP) son is causing. I also have a step daughter (19) that lives at home. She's a great kid, but has a teenage attitude. The family resents his behavior and what is does to the family.

    He has had a lot of difficulties in school with his Learning Disability (LD). I moved him from public to a private christian school this year. He was starting middle school. He has been at the school since the beginning of March. Then, we had to move him because it was too hard for him. So, once again he had to change schools. The new school is like a learning center (ie. sylvan or hunnington) The have an actual school there, with about 15 kids from k-12. The atmosphere is like an old school house. Everyone is in the same room and divided up by grades. The work is fine for him (almost too easy) but I'm afraid his back talking and disrespect is going to get him kicked out. They have such a small school they can't tolerate those type of distractions. They aslo need the kids to have, at least, some independence with their work. But, my son has none. He will just sit there and goof off.

    I would say 95% of our home problems are around homework. Homework is hell, hell, hell!!! The stress of homework and him feeling overwhelmed get the arguments going. He will say, he can't do it or put question marks for the answers. When, we try to help him he argues and says he knows it, when he doesn't and runs away. I always loose my cool at that time. We all end fighting, yelling and crying. It's awful!!!! He has someone after school to help him with his homework but only for a hour and he can't get it all done during that time. So, it's the same cycle everyday and then afterwards we all are angry and frustrated. He has homework on the weekends, so we don't even get spared then. We call him the king of new starts, because we always try to start over and give him his previleges back. But, of course that's short lived.

    He has lost almost all of his neighborhood friends from fighting and lying. He has been disrespectful to our neighbors and they think he is a horrible kid and that has caused problems with our relationships. They feel this way even though they know his BiPolar (BP) and he is trying to do better. They just think his is a bad kid and we need to disipline him better. Don't they we have two there kids that have great behavior that we've raised.

    I don't know what more to do. I need help.
  16. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    I wonder this all the time! I feel like we set up this false reality for him, so that we can have some semblance of peace now and then, but wth happens when he's an adult??

    I mean sooner or later you're gonna have to accept 'no' as an answer, not 'soft' no, not maybe, not keep pushing until your boss changes his mind because you're just going to get yourself fired. You don't always get to 'choose' what you want to do, and people aren't always going to 'pick their battles' with you or 'choose their words carefully' in the real world.

    So then what? Is he gonna punch the waiter because they don't carry what he wants to eat? Chase someone with a tire iron because he didn't like something they said to him? Smash a vending machine AND a pay phone because each 'stole' his money? This is the way his (now completely absent) bio father slimes his way through life. If this is the future my difficult child has in store... I just don't even know... :badmood:
  17. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    We are struggling with many of the same issues. Here are some things that we are doing or have done that I think have helped. Take what makes sense to you and leave the rest.

    1. Therapy - for you not difficult child. Look for a therapist (therapist) who has a lot of experience treating or actively treats adolescents. She/he may have terrific advice for you and insights that other tdocs may lack. And you are right to be scared by your loss of control that resulted in physical violence. Moms are more likely to kill their children than dads. The one time I really saw my psychiatrist come on alert with me was the one time I told her my mildly psychotic thinking had switched from persistent thoughts about cutting off all my hair and then killing myself to ones about killing my kids. I *know* she was debating whether she needed to hospitalize me right then - whether I wanted to go or not.

    2. Family therapy - if possible find a therapist who has training in Functional Family Therapy or another specific format that focuses on families with mental illness or delinquent/troubled youth. There's a specific type that is designed for families of a person with Bipolar that may be offered in your area, probably through a university psychiatric department. You may also find this by contacting the closest program for homeless or at-risk youth. I cannot tell you how much this has helped us.

    3. If you haven't read Ross Green's The Explosive Child I strongly recommend you do so today. It does not offer panacea's but it does offered useful advice about how to pick and choose your battles and work with your child on more effective communication. If you read it some time in the past get it out and look at it again. It may make more sense to you now.

    4. If the medications have not made a significant difference I would look into getting a second opinion on his psychiatric treatment. I would also talk to his psychiatrist about what circumstances should result in his hospitalization for aggression or danger to self. It might be very helpful for him to have an inpatient stay where they can see his behavior in a highly structured setting. And, frankly, I would be concerned about starting my child on daily or regular doses of Klonopin due to the likelihood he will become dependent and possibly addicted to it. This is a risk with all the benzodiazepines and can happen very quickly.

    5. If the present school setting has no training in managing kids with mental illness then I doubt it will work out in the long run. We are getting ready to put our 15 yo son into a public school ED classroom and he is having many of the same behavior issues. I would return him to your local public school system and get an advocate to work with you on getting him the appropriate school placement given his behavioral and Learning Disability (LD) problems. If you have the $$ then you could look for a private school program that specializes in kids with Learning Disability (LD)'s and behavioral issues. You may still get a lot of benefit from having an educational consultant or advocate familiar with the programs in your area to help you even if you choose a private placement. That person should be able to direct you to school placements that are more likely to work.

    6. Somehow you and husband must stay calm and give yourself some breathing room. If your difficult child is like my difficult child, if I express criticism or anger toward him that is exactly what I get back. It becomes a vicious circle and he cannot break out of it on his own. He simply doesn't have the brain maturity to do that once his fight or flight gets activated. Some of my stock phrases have become:

    I will get back to you about that.
    I will talk it over with wife and get back to you.
    I need to take a break right now, I'm too upset to discuss this.
    I'm going for a walk and we can talk about it when I get back.
    I'd like you to take a break and go outside/for a walk because you are too upset to talk about this calmly.

    7. I work really hard to avoid arguments and to keep my verbal interactions brief. "No" is a complete sentence. You do not have to explain yourself or offer reasons or anything like that. This has been really hard for me. Chances are he has problems processing language and too many words just become another source of irritation. You have the right to change your mind or do things differently at any time. If you reverse course or change your expectations or consequences it's enough to say that you have changed your mind. Period. End of discussion. You are the adult, you have the maturity to make these decisions and you do not owe your children an explanation. If they crow - well you are the person with the maturity to see that this is a normal reaction with any kid. You understand that your child may think he has won the battle. You understand that this is not a war and you are able to take a longer perspective.

    8. Offering explanations of why you made a particular decision just turns into arguments with a difficult child because they simply do not have the maturity that matches their age. You wouldn't try to explain to a 6 year old why he can't play his Xbox for 5 hours. You would simply say No. Assume your difficult child is still operating at the concrete level of a much younger child when setting most limits and talking with him. I don't mean talk down to him, but rather to be simple and direct and do not try to justify yourself. You are the boss. Does your boss at work think he/she has to justify his decisions to you? No. Same concept.

    9. Assume that any interaction with your difficult child is going to take at least 15 minutes if you want him to do something or he wants something from you. If at all possible, do not put yourself and him into a position where there is a time crunch when you have reason to think there's going to be a problem.

    10. I will tell you now that, unless things magically change, one of you is probably going to have to cut back on your work hours because the older difficult child gets the more serious the trouble he will get into. Not getting along with the neighborhood kids will turn into fights and possibly more if you are not around to supervise. You cannot expect that this child is going to be able to handle independence the way a easy child might do. Once he ages out of after school care you will be up a creek unless you have a strong parental figure to supervise him in your absence. I know this will make you feel angry and worried about finances. But this was the deal when you decided to have kids. When you had them you were making a commitment for better or worse that goes way beyond anything you made to your spouse on your wedding day. And you get to exercise your maturity here by accepting the bad with the good and just dealing with it. Grouch all you like to your therapist. Do not grouch or blame your kid.

    11. Find a way to spend at least 15 minutes every day or 30 minutes 4 times a week, preferably on a schedule, doing something that your child wants to do. You need to do this with each of your children. Even if all you do is sit together while he/she reads to you or draws while you look on or play cards - whatever, give them your undivided attention while they direct the show. This will help everyone feel more connected and trusting. Remember that longer perspective when you think to yourself - I don't have the time. You do have the time. It is a matter of choice and you have the maturity to make that choice.

    When I write a long post like this filled with "shoulds" of a sort I always feel like I "should" apologize for telling someone else what to do when I so often feel like a miserable failure at doing these things. But it is like writing a letter to myself - I remind myself of what has worked, of why I am committed to this hard work despite the uncertain outcome, and I find that I have to step back and take a longer perspective on my own life in the process of the writing.

    So I hope you will forgive the length and not feel overwhelmed. Our family is a work in progress and I know that I have not come to accept or learn these things overnight (try years - sometimes many years.).

    I can't promise you that it will all be alright. I can tell you that I have worked as hard at parenting as I do because I want to be able to look myself in the mirror when I am old and know that I did my best and did not give up because things were hard. And doing your best may include sending your child to residential treatment or abandoning them to the State - because life is complicated and your best efforts may include knowing when to acknowledge that protecting yourself and your other children must take priority.

    Hugs for all of us.

  18. vmc123

    vmc123 New Member

    Thank you for all the great advice. I think you are suggesting some really great things.

    I do have a specific parenting question for a situation that just happened. I need some advice. My son continues to fight over homework and it's a constant battle. So, finally my husband and I just gave up on trying to get him to study and let him take responsibilty for it. He has already lost his priveleges for being rude to our adult neighbor and a couple of other incidents. So, this is what we told him--- If he passes his test on Monday, do his his homework and be respectfully on Tuesday will will give him all of his things back. He was excited and said she could do it and be better than ever. Then, about 30min. later he takes his sister's DS and hides, while he plays it. Of course, he gets caught and we ask him why and was it really worth it. His reply is you know I couldn't do it anyway. He continues on with how much his life sucks. Now, what? Take his stuff away for another day? At this rate he will never get anything back. What should I do??????
  19. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Oh dear. Rookie mistake. You never give everything back all at once. been there done that.

    You give one thing back that is easy to take away again and if possible you give it back for a set amount of time. And you tie it to something that the kid is at least 50-75% likely to be able to do. Otherwise you end up with just what you've got - he figures it's impossible so why bother to fight his impulse to do something he is pretty sure you won't want him to do and that will lose him the priviledge.

    And it's pretty much a waste of breath to ask why. They usually don't know or won't say why. And really, does it matter? The point is that they did something you don't want them to do. So there needs to be a consequence.

    You need to think longer term than just next Tuesday. You need to think increments. And he has not lost anywhere near everything let me tell you. Does he still have his door? My son doesn't. Does he still get to go to the store and buy gum etc? My son doesn't. Does he get any spending money at all or anything nice done for him? Does he have special clothes he likes that he doesn't need in order to have something to wear every day? Does he have a clock radio that plays music or cds? Does he get to stay home instead of going with you everywhere? Yup, there's probably still lots you can take away. Not that you want to go there - just saying.

    I personally do not believe in the value of homework most of the time. Doing a report or rough draft of an essay is one thing. Doing math problems over and over is another. There's lots of research that says that homework is of minimal value to most kids. To our kids and families it can be destructive. So I would talk to the school about reducing or eliminating his homework for now. If it's that small they should be able to adapt to that request. So what if he falls "behind"? It's a temporary thing while he learns to manage his impulsivity and emotions better. That is an absolutely valid goal in my opinion and it's really not hard for him to catch up once he has better mastery of his emotions.

    If they won't work with you on this then you will have to decide how best to proceed. I have been known to do my son's homework for him when he had a teacher who was completely unwilling to bend on this and was assigning 45 math problems a night, much of it make work. Or to point out to my son that half the problems had the answers in the back of the book.

    I would pick something that you can reward today in a small but meaningful way. Maybe he gets to go to pick a movie to watch. Or he gets to decide what you are having for dinner. He gets to go to bed 15 or 30 minutes later (but not if bedtime is already a battleground).

    What do you want from him? I say civility. If you can get him to do that every day even for a little while you will have made a huge breakthrough that will carry over to lots of places besides home.

    You can measure civility in lots of ways. No foul language if that's a problem. Or no shouting. No picking fights with anyone. No threats, no threatening behavior, no hurtful words. Pick just one and be consistent for a few hours in reminding him of his agreement and the reward. And you must be prepared to take away the reward if he screws up. However you are completely free to wait a couple hours and let him try again. There really are no rules in that sense. Tell him everyone comes with a reset button and gets do-overs. Within limits.

    The things for which there can be no reset or do-over at our house are violence, stealing, threatening, taking revenge, hurting animals, property destruction.

    Don't nag. Use the lift of an eyebrow, clearing the throat, turning your back to him as reminders. If he doesn't get these then he is having problems with understanding non-verbal communication or he doesn't care enough yet.

    You can also practice selective deafness for some things. If you don't hear him mutter bad things under his breath (or even said out loud as long as they're not to your face or to a sibling in your hearing) you don't have to punish them right? We all get to grumble sometimes. What we don't get to do is be defiant.

    The first time he bursts out with the wrong thing, say "would you like to try that again?" You *want* him to be successful OK?

    Both my kids have language processing issues. I have started writing things down for them that I know are going to be triggering and it has made a big difference, especially with my daughter. Keep it simple. A list of chores - not too many - with a time limit on getting them done. It also helps if you have a kid who doesn't get non-verbal signals well.

    And do not fall for the "I don't know what you mean" line. They do know. They know what it means to be civil and polite. They know what a clean room looks like. They know what the toilet looks like when it's not dirty. They almost always know. So you look at them and you raise your eyebrow, maybe you say "Seriously?" and then you go back to what you were doing. If you really think they don't know how to clean the toilet then you should tell them - when you get to this chore come get me and we'll do it together. And then do it.

    The final piece of wisdom I will share came to me from an old Special Education teacher who was doing home/hospital with my son. "You have to inspect what you expect." I had never thought of it that way but it is absolutely true. If you do not hold them to a standard then you are not doing them any favors. And the only way to hold them to a standard is to inspect. Even when you are pretty sure they did a good job. That gives you a chance to say "good job" and quietly walk away.

    Good luck,

  20. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Wow-that is it isn't it? You hit it on the nail. Thank you.The struggle is to keep our confidence and the "family self-esteem" in tact so we don't develop trauma behaviors or depression! And when they are older, it is up to them, we become more and more powerless.
    I also agree that as they get older the trouble is worse and you will find your job interupted. I teach school during the day and my husband works nights so someone can be" on duty." I did have to give up singing in a choir because we had no supporvision for her that night (just try to find supporvision for a 16 year ol from hell). Can't wait to start again now that she is not home on week days.
    Thank you for the clarity and reminders-you may be talking to yourself, but to me as well! Need to hear it.