Intro - Hello

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DianaBilly, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. LookingForPeace

    LookingForPeace New Member

    I am a First Timer on this forum. I have read so many posts similar to our situation. We admitted our 16yo adopted son (E) to an all boys boarding school for juvenile delinquents. He was on a path that would lead him to jail and we didn’t want that to happen. He has been there 1 year.

    For Christmas we picked up E and he spent 5 consecutive days with us at a rental property. His school does not allow him to come home until he graduates the program. Our oldest son (17yo) refused to join us and our (13yo) daughter chose to come along. It had been 12mo since she had seen her brother.

    E created chaos in our home for years. He lied, stole, manipulated, ran away, threatened suicide, cut himself, etc. The past 12mo with him gone has been...a relief, wonderful, fun!

    E is scheduled to graduate HS in 5mo. We are crossing our fingers he will enter the marines. He wants to come home for a month or two before shipping out. We are ALL very hesitant about having him back in the home.

    Over Christmas he was still telling silly lies, he used my phone to search porn, and got onto my social media account and friended a person he knows, but I don’t. This may not seem like a big deal but of course this is how it all started and snow balled into uncontrollable behavior. Obviously he hasn’t changed, he just hasn’t had access to these privileges.

    I want to limit his stay to 10 days. He can come home and see family/friends and then he needs to leave. How do I tell him this? His birth parents abandoned him and now we are basically doing the same thing. We are all just so exhausted from the turmoil he causes. I’m not sure how to set up boundaries and be emotionally unattached. I should say I know how to do this but as his Mom this feels so wrong. Bleh!

    Thanks for listening!
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Welcome DB

    I am happy you found us and sad for your need to be here.

    Your gut is telling you your son is gong to go off the deep end when he gets out of school. Go with your gut. Put a plan in place to protect yourself and your other children. I have leaned when I ignore my gut things go very very wrong.

    You have done time to figure this out. Seek some guidance and put a good plan into place.

    Big hug to you.
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  3. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Hi DB. I just wanted to say sorry for all of this. I have a few friends with difficult adopted teens who also struggle with how they can enforce boundaries, and get the kids the treatment they need, in light of the abandonment issue.

    If it provides some perspective or is any consolation — parents making those decisions for their difficult biological children can also fear that their kids will feel abandoned; biological children can use the abandonment idea to emotionally manipulate; and the only thing you can do is to make the best choice you can knowing you are not abandoning him even though it might implicate those feelings in him.

    I don’t have any answers but I can appreciate how uniquely hard this position must be.
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  4. LookingForPeace

    LookingForPeace New Member

    Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, you’re right, I need to put a plan in place. Our children at home are scared of their brother and angry that he could do/say such hurtful things.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    welcome diana

    my son now 29 is also adopted.

    this is what jumps out to me:

    your other kids deserve a voice and your protection.

    you deserve the same.

    your son is responsible for his actions and their consequences.

    you have not abandoned your son. and standing up for yourself and family is not to abandon him.

    i succumbed to pressure to accept my son back at age 19. i am unsure if i did the right thing.

    your son's history and that of my own son are real and cannot be reversed or compensated for by our sacrifice or suffering. this is your son's real life. it is his to understand, to accept and to live.

    that is what each of our lives are about. to come to terms with what has come before and to live our best life.

    we as parents seem programmed to try to short circuit this process by inserting our own understanding, hard-learned truths, and efforts to protect.. to no avail.

    this is what this site exists for: to help us understand this quandary and to understand we are not alone.

  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi. You said you adopted him. I adopted many kids but two older ones and especially one had Reactive Attachment Disorder.

    It's very common in non infant adopted kids, especially if they were tossed around a lot very young or in orphanages and they tend to learn not to trust anyone early on. They become focused on their own survival and not willing to care about others...they are both afraid and unfamiliar with nurturing at an early age whenost babies get it. So they are different.

    Some experts feel the hardwiring in their brains change and they can be aloof, uncaring to dangerous. It is a spectrum. Often it is misdiagnosed. Lies (crazy ones even when caught), refusal to follow rules,hyperness, acting unloving/being unloving or just faking love to get something, sometimes sexual acting out, eating disorders, food hoarding, drugs, anger, just general negative behavior (some not so serious and sometimes very serious) are red flags. There are many.

    I don't know how old your son was when you adopted him, the circumstances of why he was put up for adoption, or if he has attachment disorder or not, but you may want to read up on it and see if it resonates.

    If it does, you will much more deeply understand him. It won't change him, but it could change how you see or treat him. DNA also is big and in play here. He has 50percent his bithfather and 50 percent his birth others genetics and environment can only change so much.

    If you don't want him home due to his behavior, you are taking care of yourself and the others, not abandoning him. Many kids and adult kids are sadly so off the rails that they can not live in a family setting. But they are still loved and not forgotten.

    One my kids was way too dangerous to live in a family and killed two dogs and molested my littles (all whom were adopted, but my infant adoted kids are just normal kids and he hurt them. He left and we never could risk him back).

    Attachment disorder can be much milder where they just don't attach to us in a parent/child way and they act out angrily and have a diminished conscience. All of this happened before you met him and is not your fault, if he has this, but if the other kids fear him I wouldn't let him back home for even a day. Does he hurt or steal? You need to protect the girl. You can keep seeing him in crowded public places where he can't steal or harm. Or use the internet in your house for porn.

    I don't know if this helped or if he was adopted as an infant, which tends to cause close attachment, or older....and if he was neglected or abused or both. I just am very in touch with the adoption world and was in a huge, frank,supportive adopted group for a very long time and older adopted kids or those that came from orphanages or foster care tended to have a very rocky road (along with their parents).

    You know your son best and you are a much better judge of whether or not he will be okay at home for ten days. I just wanted to throw out possible insight into your son, if it applies and that is something only you know if you read about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). My infant adopted kids are very bonded...we are incredibly close. They are great kids, now adults. The two we adopted older have many challenges. Huge difference. I thought love would cure all. Wow. It can't.

    At any rate, you didn't ask for nor do you need a lecture so I will step down now. I hope it works out, whatever you decide and that the Marines is good for him. One of my Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) son's would have excelled in the military. The other would have been thrown out because he wouldn't have followed rules. He didn't do rules. He was the molester.

    Love and hugs.i am not usually up so late but I worked until 12:30 am. So I saw this and had to respond.

    Take what you need and leave the rest :) We don't judge.
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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  7. LookingForPeace

    LookingForPeace New Member

    We adopted all 3 of our children as young toddlers from Russia. They had been placed in an orphanage since birth. They came home at 18, 16, 14 months of age.

    I have researched Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Psychologist thinks he has Anti Social Personality Disorder. We have not had a confirmed diagnosis. He exhibits both Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and ASPD characteristics.

    He exhibits no feelings. His response is the same if you show him picture of puppies or accident scene. His expression is the same if he opens a pair a socks or tickets to an NFL game. Zero excitement about anything. Yet, he is the life of the party with his friends. So is he faking it with them or us? You can’t have a conversation with him. He either talks non stop about what he wants to talk about or he talks over you, ignores you if it’s a topic he’s not interested in.

    I always thought he was oblivious to everything. I’ve come to realize he notices everything so he can plan and scheme. He has narcissistic traits.

    It’s just so crazy that he’s 17 and he’s making life so much harder than it needs to be. I don’t know if I can do 10 days. We will have to go back to locking everything up, encrypted passwords, locking bedroom doors, etc. He thinks he’s changed and we should all welcome him with open arms.
  8. LookingForPeace

    LookingForPeace New Member

    Does your son still live with you? How did it go when he came back home at 19?

    Thank you for your thoughts!
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    in my opinion you are not obligated to do this. Ten days is a long time. If you have to lock everything up because he may steal...that is no way to live. Not even for ten days.

    On an adoption site some parents(not experts, but an interesting thread) were surmising that RADis just like ASPD. The symptoms are the same. Lack of boundaries, people are not important, good actors, and willingness to hurt others physically, emotionally, financially, some of that, all of that etc

    At least the other two are okay Russia is known for horrible orphanages, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. If I wanted to adopt today it would be an infant from a country with foster homes, like Korea. One of my sweet kids is from that situation. Her foster mom carried her on her back and my daughter was with her until she came to us. She easily attached to us. Two others did too. Then there was the six year old from an asian orphanage and the 11 year old from foster care who were both very damaged.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    my son off and on lived in a rental house we have. he was there until a week or two ago. but for more than 4 years he was on his own couch surfing for the most part.

    when he came home at 19 it went well for a year or so. he went to college.he was happy in the coastal community where we lived. when i moved due to work he chose to follow and could not get his footing in the new community.

    we struggled until he left at 23 returning at 27.

    he is better but lives his life focused on marijuana.

    as a child he was very loving and largely tractable. he is becoming loving again. part of my pain is that our relationship was always good and strong. i think some of the struggle is growing up and away. as well as their dealing with their issues and histories.

    i am seeing that i do him no favors insulating him from the effects of his decisions and behavior.

    to me you clearly do not want him home. this seems to be a direct consequence of how he acts. whn he acts differently, like with friends, there is a different result.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Why are you wanting to punish yourself and your other kids by having him come back to your home for ANY length of time? I would simply tell him that it won't work out to have him come back to your home and that he needs to go straight into the military.

    He is NOT coming home to see you. He is coming home to see friends and to get back at you for locking him up for a year. He may not actually be planning to go into the military. You have no way of knowing what his true plans are. With ASPD and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), he may or may not do will in the military. It depends on how much control he has. Personally, the idea of him in our military scares me. He couldn't even live in a home and now he thinks he should have control of weapons? He isn't going to do well in the military.

    When he is kicked out of the military because he won't want to follow their rules (it isn't all running around shooting and killing), are you going to let him come back to your home? I strongly recommend that you do NOT. In fact, I recommend that you do not ever allow him to come and stay at your home. He will only steal from you and hurt you.

    He has not attached from you. He does not like you. He does not want to spend time with you. Why exactly are you thinking that it is a good idea to inflict him upon your household again? You gave him the best opportunities and the most love you could. Now it is time to realize that he just isn't wired this way. Let him go. Do NOT let him come home.

    Keep him away from your home for the other children. I am willing to bet that once he is away from your home and you are not allowing him to come back for any reason, they will tell you things. They will tell you things that he did to them that will flat out terrify you. They didn't tell you because he threatened them. They believed him. They won't tell until they are pretty sure he won't come back. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids can be that scary. So can ASPD people.

    If you cannot cut him out of your home for yourself, PLEASE do it for your other children. Tell the school to tell him that he cannot come home and he needs to change his military entrance date to reflect that as you will not be providing a place for him to live or a way for him to get home. You don't want him on your property in that time as it is not healthy for his siblings to see him at this time. You must do what is in their best interests as they are minors.

    You actually DO have to do what is in their best interests as they are minors and he will be an adult. Your protections is owed to your minor children first. He is a threat to them. What did he do to get sent to the school? Who will he take revenge on?

    I know I sound very dire, but this isn't a safe situation to be putting yourself or your children in. You won't have many legal protections over him as he will be an adult. He can even go and legally purchase a gun while he is at your home, at least if you live in most states where you only have to be 18. Do you want him to be in your home with a weapon? Alone with your other children with a weapon? You cannot take the weapon away from him because he is a legal adult with the constitutional right to bear arms. You can say that he cannot have it in your home, if you are aware that he has a weapon. You do have to take his word that he doesn't have a weapon. You cannot go and search his things because he is a legal adult who does not live with you.

    Why would you want to put your children in this kind of miserable situation in their own home? Even if your oldest comes home and behaves perfectly, his presence will trigger their PTSD in every way. It isn't like it was on vacation near his school. He will be in the home where he made them miserable for years. It will trigger all sorts of horrible memories (you only are aware of a fraction of what went on. It is the nature of parenting.) for them. If his sister couldn't handle seeing him away from the house, HOW can she handle seeing him near the house?

    You say he has no real feelings or connection to you. Your daughter is normal and is connected to you. Why would you stomp all over her traumatized heart in order to let him connect with friends and probably steal from all of you? If you let him come home, you are risking any progress your kids have made in dealing with what they went through living with him. You are putting his wants above their needs, which doesn't seem fair.
  12. LookingForPeace

    LookingForPeace New Member

    Much of what you say is true. I guess I’m still trying to grasp at hope that our family can be reunited.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Emotionally he was never a part of the family. Not to him. Now his siblings are afraid of him. There really isn't much you can do at his age or after what your other kids experienced to force a was never there.

    I am sorry. These kids can demolish our dreams. That is why we are here.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    He really wasn't part of your family. Not ever. That was only in your dreams and in your mind. I am so sorry about that. I know, very well, that it is a painful reality to have to face.