Hi all, Im new to this forum. New and desperate. My SO has a 10 ¾ y.o. son who is out of control and intolerable to be around. I am so ashamed to say that I really think I hate this kid. His dad even says that. I dont know all the acronyms and dont want to use his name, so Ill call the child Johnny. I dont even know why Im writing this but maybe hearing that were not alone will help. And maybe somewhere in this forum there is some advice for help, because his dad and I are ready to give up. We dont know what to do anymore. His father and I are 37 and 38, respectively, so were not kids ourselves. We're both average, responsible, working adults and have been together 2 ½ years. We want to get married, but Im not sure I can commit to spending the rest of my life dealing with Johnny. There is a lot of history with this kid. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4 and has been taking Straterra since. (Apparently the stimulants cause tics and he cannot take them.) His mother essentially abandoned him and Johnny has lived with his dad full-time since 5 months. The mother lives in the same town as us, but never makes an effort to see Johnny anymore. His dad thinks its not an issue because Johnny has never had a real relationship with her, but I think it bothers him more than he ever admits. Im convinced there are abandonment issues. Part of the problem is that Dad has dealt with this alone for years, and in doing so, just let Johnny have his way. The kid knows no rules, limits or boundaries. He has no respect for authority whatsoever. To add to it, Grampa and Grandma live 2 blocks away. When Johnny doesnt like how things are at home, he runs to Grampa and Grandma, sometimes for days on end. They feel sorry for him and let him stay, and Dad doesnt argue because hes relieved to have some respite. Meanwhile, it just reinforces for Johnny that he runs his own life he even gets to pick where he lives! When I came into the picture, I immediately saw the problems. I told Dad that his son is troubled and needs help. We split over the summer because of Johnnys issues; I just couldnt handle how miserable this child made our lives. Dad and I got back together in August and I put my foot down I told Dad he needed to get his kid into counseling and start dealing with the behaviors and underlying issues. This was when he got worse. Dramatic changes in his life started happening he was expected to listen, be respectful, behave in school, follow rules, help around the house. He goes to counseling once a week. And of course, whos the bad guy? Me, because this all came about because of me. I did this all in the nicest, most loving way I could. I really WANT a good relationship with Johnny! I got him into band, signed him up at the Y (he loves to workout with me), got him on a basketball team, taken him on weekend getaways, got him involved with my nephews (who are great kids and I thought would be a good influence). I dont have children of my own. I will never be his mother, but I can be a really good, positive, fun influence in his life. Deep down I really do care. But he makes it so difficult. Its not even that he hates me or resents me, he likes being around me as long as hes getting his way. When hes not, he doesnt care who you are, he will make your life hell until he gets his way. At first we tried behavior charts and they worked for a couple weeks. Johnny was motivated to earn money (fake money toward a reward) when he was good, but didnt care about losing it when he was bad. The behavior charts quickly lost any effectiveness. When he doesnt get his way, its no-holds-barred. He doesnt care about anything, only getting his way. He argues about EVERYTHING I mean EVERYTHING! Literally, every single thing he is asked to do he argues or talks back. No is his favorite word, its his response to every request. He is defiant and just flat-out refuses to do as hes asked. No amount of rewards or punishments or threats matter at all. He is miserable all the time, he just complains about everything. Nothing seems to really make him happy (except basketball and swimming). Think of a happy-go-lucky, baseball-playing, smiling 10 y.o. the way kids that age are supposed to be. Carefree and having fun. Johnny has none of that. Johnny has reading and writing learning disabilities and hates reading. I have bought him so many books to encourage him to read (books at his level) and he refuses. All he wants to do is watch T.V. and play computer games. He has no friends. He started off the first couple weeks of school pretty good, but now its right back to business as usual. He talks back to teachers, tells them whatever, refuses to do school work he doesnt want to do, and is a general disruption to the classroom. He has anger management issues and no ability to resolve conflict. Last week, he cried in school over a conflict with a school mate. It cant be normal for an almost 11-y.o. kid to cry in school! I could go on and on. This kid is a psychological, behavioral, emotional, social and academic train wreck. He has no skills, no strengths, no friends nothing on which to build him up. I did enroll him in a YMCA basketball program and so far thats going well. He has never played sports and I was nervous how hed be on a team. But so far, so good. Im thrilled that at least he has one good thing in his life; one positive he can be praised for and be proud of. I want to get him into swimming lessons, but Im so sick of being stepped on by this kid. Im tired of putting effort and money into a kid who shows no appreciation in return and treats me like dirt. He is not physically violent yet. But I see it coming. He used to cry or just sit and refuse to move, now he gets in your face. When puberty hits, God help us all. Im actually scared of what will happen with him. Has anyone ever dealt with a child this severely disturbed? What do we do? The counseling is not working. She deals with him as just another ADHD child. We demanded a psychiatric evaluation and got a 30-minute paper test out of it. We meet with the psychiatrist to get the results next week, so well see what comes of that. Im not hopeful. They scheduled us for a 15-minute appointment. How can they possibly diagnose and get to know whats really going on with this kid in 15 minutes?! Dad and I are miserable, Johnny is miserable, and we cant go on like this. I am ready to give up on the love of my life because I cant stand his kid. Im not a quitter, I dont want to give up! PLEASE, if anyone has suggestions, I will listen to anything!