Interesting find!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by comatheart, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Guest

    My difficult child doens't talk to me. He doesn't talk to his dad or his therapist. I have no idea what goes through the kids head. All I know is that he's in a lot of trouble right now (shoplifting and lying) and no electronics to keep him busy.

    When he went out to mow the lawn this afternoon I noticed a green folder on his bedroom floor so I opened it up and it's page, after page, after page of amazing writing, drawings, poems, bubble charts even like you'd see in preparation for a research paper! DANG this kid is intelligent. I wish he'd use all these creative juices in a positive way.

    Would you mind helping me decipher what some of this stuff is/means??? At least your thoughts?

    There was a lot of dark, sad stuff. The bubble chart has him in a bubble in the middle, it says "ME" with arrows out to MANY other bubbles with arrows and bubbles going from those and so on. (I hope you can picture what I'm talking about here) One of them in particular concerns me.... It's "Thoughts of dying or getting revenge". He's blaming it on the devil. Like this:

    ME------->Devil ----------> Thoughts of dying or getting revenge
    ME -------------> Devil ------------> Stealing
    Me ----------> Devil ------------> Lying
    etc etc

    Then I have page after page of colorful illustrations of a devil and a character that I can only assume is him. The Devil controlling him with a remote control, the Devil beating him with a hammer etc. There's also several drawings with him and Mario (think Nintendo) as if he's a character in a game and none of this is real.

    On other pages in the folder there is some good stuff that he's picked up from the therapist. HE'S LISTENING!!! I am soooooo glad to see the money is going somewhere! lol One of the things they've been working on is: Stop, Drop, Control. Something to tell himself when he feels a burst of rage coming. He made a really nice poster out of it with colors and fancy letters and all.

    Then the next page is HUGE bold colorful letters:

    I have such mixed emotions after seeing all of this. First of all, I don't dare let him know that I saw them. I mean, I feel like I have a way to hear his voice and/or see what's inside his head. I want him to continue to get it out on paper. If I tell/show him that I saw these things he'll surely stop. Obviously it's stuff I want to take and show his Therapist though. (Is that wrong of me??) So I ran to the copy machine and copied them.

    What would you do?
    Lasted edited by : Aug 1, 2010
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You did exactly what I would have done.

    I agree with your concern. I don't see that he is necessarily blaming the devil, though. It could be that, but it could also be that he sees a dark side to himself and is blaming that, while trying to understand exactly what it is and why these things are happening.

    The first thing you describe sounds like a mind map, aka clustering. It's a very useful technique for drafting writing tasks, and for collecting your ideas on a particular topic.

    We found a book in easy child 2/difficult child 2's room with some very similar dark stuff. Unfortunately, we found it a few years too late, we found it about five years or more after she wrote it/drew it. She was also cutting at the time, and hiding it. Also very intelligent - sometimes I think it can add to the anxiety component, and the cutting is a novel (but unhealthy) way to cope with the emotional pain.

    I hope the therapist keeps your confidence.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree the therapist (therapist) should see them, now let's just hope this isn't a therapist who will tell him what you've brought him/her. That is what has happened with me in the past.

    As far as my opinion- it sounds like he might be depressed and feeling isolated, however more than anything it sounds like he is trying to sort out the good and bad in himself. My son used to talk a lot about trying to be good versus feeling tempted to do bad things when he was in elementary school until about 11-12yo. Unfortunately, my son ended up internalizing the wrong things. It's great that you already have your son in with what sounds like a good therapist who is helping him some. My biggest concern would be making sure that he isn't interpreting the talks about him getting into trouble and doing unacceptable things as everyone thinking he's just inherently "bad". That just sticks out to me though because of my personal situation with my son.

    He sounds very talented!!
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    You son sounds similar to mine in that he doesn't talk to me. I would have definitely looked at and read the folder. I am not sure about copying it and giving it to the therapist. I think it depends on the therapist and how much you trust him. In our case I would have emailed the therapist and asked him if he wanted to see them and if so could he keep it confidential. I think it is really important that your son not know that you read them. Just my thoughts on that... unless he left that folder out in a public area of the house in which case it is not unreasonable that you looked at it.

    As far as what it all means. it sounds like your son is trying to figure out why he does the things he does. He doesn't really know why he does and he feels badly that he does those things. Those feelings are a good sign I think although I also think that hopefully with therapy he can feel better about himself.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you did the right thing. I wouldn't confront him with it right now because this is obviously how he is "dealing". I agree with k, he sounds like he might be depressed. The feeling of isolation, the world being hard to navigate, and low feelings about one's self is classic depression.

    Obviously the therapist is going to have to be really sensitive about this information. difficult child is dealing with his emotions right now through art - which is a fabulous thing you don't want him to loose. I wouldn't be worried so much about the connections he is drawing but rather making sure he is in treatment with an eye on depression.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I *have* done what you did (guilt seeping in). My spectrum son does not talk much about what is inside of him and he had a journal. To say I was shocked at who he is and the beauty of his writing is the underestatement of the year. In his case, there was nothing scary, but I was surprised at how deep and contemplative he can be since he doesn't say much to us..probably it's easier for him to communicate in writing than words and this may be the case with your son.

    I think you did the right thing and should give it to his therapist. If our kids won't talk to us, how else can we know if they're in trouble other than to...well....for lack of a better
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Definitely let the therapist and psychiatrist see this.

    It is entirely possible that difficult child really does think he is being controlled externally by some other force (such as the devil). You'll want the docs to investigate whether your difficult child thinks he is getting messages or "signals" from this external force to do bad things.

    It's also possible that difficult child is simply trying to make excuses for himself. "The Devil made me do it" is a classic. My own difficult child used to try and use that one when she was younger...

    Either way, you did the right thing by making copies. Make sure the docs get to see everything.