Wow, so I was mattsmom27, then ages ago forgot login info so changed to mattsmom277. Then I have just been busy and unsure of what to post here, took a break I guess. Oddly, despite the eons since I've been here posting, I many times a week come to read the forums. So here I haven't posted forever, or updated at all, but I am still pretty/fairly up to date on most of you all. I'm finding myself missing the interaction so much. I see so many posts I've wanted to respond to, so I had my forgotten password taken care of to reset, now I can login again, and here I am ~~~~~~~~~~ I HAVE MISSED YOU ALL SOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An update on my difficult child: Matt (my difficult child) turned 16 just over a month ago. He was homeschooling for about a year with me and has been back in regular school since late December. He had only 22 in class days at reg. high school before semester end exams. I was stunned, he not only passed every single course, he was honors in them all. This from the kid who has the worst resistence to school I've ever seen!! He has a week left before his final exams for this semester. He is currently honors in all his classes again. He also added a new course just 3 weeks ago, giving himself in total a month to do an entire semester of work. This wasn't a simple course either, it was a law class! He is honors as well in this course and is actually ahead of other students in assignments despite 3 months missing the course. WOOT WOOT! He is going to spend his summer holidays attending summer school. He came home today and had arranged it all. I had no clue! He is taking 2 classes in a local high school as well as another course via correspondence which must be completed by mid August. So in summer alone, he is doing one course shy of an entire semester!!!! He has had NO problems at school. He used to be suspended so often that I didnt' think he'd have a shot at getting his high school credits. I'm so proud of him He is doing all these extra classes and ensuring he remains in the honor roll, to help him get into a world religions course at University. He's been working with his guidance counsellor to make sure he takes the right course to get accepted. He is hoping to work abroad doing outright in other countries, so plans to also take a minor in geography or some such thing that would help him understand different cultures and current problems affecting other countries. Unbelievable I have to tell you. He plans to also ensure he gets his teaching credentials after he is done, so that when he is ready to settle down somewhere and stop travelling to work, he can find a position teaching that he will enjoy. I am the proudest mama!!!! Behaviourally, no problems at school. He is finally treating my easy child (who turned 10 last Monday, unreal, I was already a very active member when she was only a baby!) like a big brother SHOULD treat a little sister. Yes, the same boy who tried to throw me down stairs to make me lose the pregnancy and also who tried to grab the car wheel to drive us into oncoming traffic to ensure I couldnt deliver a child! He has changed so much! We still have issues. He can be charming and funny and a joy to be around. Or he can turn disrespectful on a dime. Usually the "old Matt" surfaces around parenting issues. As in when he thinks he should be able to make all his own decisions and feels he should not have to listen to my requests or respect when I say no for something. He is still a absolute pig in his room. I have given up having meltdowns about his room but it stresses me beyond belief. He has learned to pick up around the house for himself, but his room? Only when I finally lose my cool and freak out, then he'll do a half butt job and the next day, I go in and do it properly. At least I guess he does part of it. Left to himself, his "cleaning" efforts would to him equal a spotless healthy environment for a space he is in most of the time (I call it his cave). I have got him FINALLY to do his own laundry. I just refused to do it anymore and told him that if he wants to smell, go for it. When he gets sick of smelling or kids at school comment, he'll decide to wash his clothes. Well no way he was going to smell! So he started that day and I refuse to ever clean his clothes again. Other than that, he does ZERO chores. I hate it. I am at the point that I realize in 2 years he's moving out and into his own place to go to University. I'm NOT fightingthe chore battle. I am just praising him for his wonderful efforts at school and thats about it. He has really no social life. Kind of turned from Mr.Popular to Mr.Hermit. BUT he is happy this way. He doesn't trust himself to make good choices with peers, and so he tends to socialize via the internet, telephone and while at school. Otherwise he's home doing school work, using his computer to socialize, or playing his xbox online. I guess I wish he'd have more friends, but I'm also glad that he realizes he has poor choice making skills when choosing friends. He told me when he hits University he's looking forward THEN to making friends with students who want to put studying as a priority and who are not the partying type etc. I think in many ways this has been a healthy decision for him. It certainly took away his previous tantrums and rages. We really don't argue (except when i blow up about his bedroom). He gets mouthy as I mentioned above, and he now goes to his room. I want to scream when he walks away with no excusing himself, when I'm speaking to him about something. but I know now that its his way of coping with conflict. He goes to his room until his anger subsides and ALWAYS later on, when he's ready, comes to sit with me and asks me to talk. YAY!!!!!! He learned SOMETHING in the therapy sessions, in my trying to help him find coping skills. All in all, I'm proud of him and although I wish he'd grow up in terms of responsabilty (cleaning up, contributing to household, maybe a JOB, learn to respect me as a mother figure on a more consistent basis etc) I really have watched this angry ball of fury raging at the world who was on a path to some pretty frightening places turn into a young man who needs to learn real world stuff, but who has become an excellent student. He has goals that are well thought out and is doing everything ON HIS OWN to find out how to reach them and to implement what he needs to in order to achieve them. He has learned coping skills that are going to really help him reign in his ingrained temper. He has in many ways begun to show a level of respect towards me, other adults in his life, that I never imagined I'd ever see him demonstrate. He smiles most of the time. He spent most of his life uncomfortable making eye contact with ANYONE, and now has conversations with his eyes facing everyone. He has went from no self esteem and hating himself, to loving himself and his self esteem has flourished. He never could be praised for anything. Not even a simple "good job Matt". He now grins like any other proud teenager when I tell him hes done something well or that I'm proud of him. He even allows me now to share his accomplishments with others where his entire life he would NEVER let me tell anybody ANYTHING about him without a major meltdown. He just seems HAPPY! I finally got to the bottom of my health issues, and along with some other yucky diagnosis's, I have finally been diagnosed with MS. Jessica is not wanting to hear much, asking just the odd question here and there. She is imagining such bad stuff and I can't get her to talk to me, not even to eliviate her needless fears, let alone to explain what it means or may bring. Matt has been the opposite. He's read up on it, researched it quite a bit. He has asked me to take off the mask I use round the kids, when his sister isn't around. He asked me to please be honest when I feel unwell. He's been helpful to me when I need some help getting around, or to come out when i must shop, just in case i can't make it back home or something. He has told me when he gets angry and goes to his room to cool down, he does this because he read how quickly stress can lead to a flare in MS symptoms. I remember when he could not view the world in terms of anybody but himself. Again, he makes me proud. So things are not perfect with Matt. But this is for the most part now a very happy, balanced home. It is also the most stress free it has been since Matt was about 10 months old (thats about the time he stopped being that easy type baby and began having issues that only escalated more and more through the years). Other than the odd blow up (brief) about his nasty pigsty cave/bedroom, I don't recall the last time voices were raised in anger in my home. Before it was constant, umpteen times a day. I certainly see issues with Matt that keep in firmly in the difficult child category. However there are parts of him that are pure easy child. I see more and more of it as time goes by. So theres my update on Matt. I will most definitly post more about myself and about easy child, my fiance (Yes, FIANCE!! I'm getting married in spring 2011 (been together 4 1/2 years) and all the other good stuff. I'm so glad to be able to post again. I'm so glad I kept up reading all the forums to know how you are all doing!!!!!! I won't feel out in the dark for the most part when I respond to posts. Heck, new people who were after my time, well they will wonder how this woman who just pops up knows the background when I respond in their threads lol. Can't wait to catch up more and more with you all. I love that you are all here when us off/on old timers decide we can't stand the distance and must jump back in. I can never express the support and caring and lifesaving advice and hope that I found here with you all. Looking back, it wasn't anybody in my "real life" that helped me like that. it was this board, all of you here. In a nutshell : HONEYYYYYYYY's ........... I'M HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! M.