It's Getting Really Old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Two weeks ago difficult child tells the therapist that no one here at home loves him. No one. No me. Not husband. Not easy child. Not his grandparents. Not his aunts or uncles. No one. If those are his feelings, they are what they are. Feelings are not right or wrong. They just are. Okay. So, I've been trying to spend extra time with him, doing the things that he likes to do.

    I understand that if these are really his feelings that it will take a long time to get him to feel otherwise. But, if I have to hear every single day over the next few weeks and months "but you don't love me" every time I do something with him, to him, or for him, I am going to lose my mind! Everything that I do for him he says that I do because it's something that I "have to do", not because I want to do it.

    A good example: He lost his jacket. Don't ask me how he lost it becuse even he can't seem to answer that questions. But he lost it and needed a new one. So, last week I take him coat shopping. Just him and me. He was happy. He saw a really nice coat. It was more than I had planned on spending, but I bought it for him because it was a relly good coat, he'll have it for a few seasons so it's not like I'll get one seaon out of it and then it will be too small, and when I buy him clothes he's not one of these kids that will only wear name brands. He pretty much wears what I buy him, as long as it's something that I think he will like. Plus, it was heavier than the jacke that he lost, so it will be warmer for him when he's standing at the bus stop. So I thought it was okay for him to have it. Great! He's happy, right? Wrong!! Apparently, in his mind I bought him the coat because he needed a new coat, not because I wanted him to have a coat. I told him that if I really didn't love him I would not have spent all of the money that I did on a coat, and that I would have just bought him some crappy coat. Nope. Not good enough for him. I don't do anything for him out of love. I do it so that people won't think I'm a bad mother.

    This is getting really old.
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    What does therapist say to do about this? Are you to challenge his weird thinking every time? Stop doing things for him for a period of time so he knows the least amount you "have" to do then when you act normal again he might appreciate you more? (Make sure you talk to therapist about that first. Don't want it to back fire on you.) Are they going to hash it out in therapy?

    That would get very old very fast.
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I sent an e-mail to the therapist the day after he makes this announcement, basically telling him that I think it's party an attention thing and what am I supposed to do now? He has yet to get back to me about it, and I'm not pleased, to say the very least. Seriously, I don't know what I'm supposed to say to him when he says to me that I don't love him. We've said that it's not true, that we do love him. I've tried the tactic of "that must make you feel really sad to feel that way, but it's something that we're working on so that you can see that you truly are loved". I don't know if he says it because it's how he really feels, or if he says it because he thinks that it will get him attetnion.

    If it's an attention thing, fine. I have been trying my best to spend time with him, but even that causes issues. He'll ask me to do something, like play cards. He loves to play cards. So, many times I tell him that we'll do it after dinner. He's happy with that answer. So, after dinner when I've cleaned everything up and am ready to play with him he decides that he doesn't want to do it. But then, later when it's time to go to bed he's having fits because I didn't play cards with him like I said I would.

    This is something that he does, and it's something that we've brought up with the therapist. Basically, he wants me to be at his beck and call. When he wants me he expects me to drop everything and spend time with him. Sorry, but that just doesn't work. It's unrealistic, but he refuses to see that. Again, he wants what he wants when he wants it. Nothing less will do.

    It happened again this morning. He took a book out of the school library on French cooking. I asked him to come and look through the book with me so that I had an idea what he was looking at trying to make so that I know what I need to have in the house. He threw the book on the kitchen table and said, "Look through it yourself." I tried to remind him that the idea was that this was something that we do together because we both like to cook and it's something that we can share. Apparently, it's not the moment that he wanted my attention, so it's not important to him. But later, when I don't have what he wants in the house, I'm sure that I'm going to hear about how I didn't sit and go through the book with him.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS)))) I was wondering what therapist had to say as well. in my opinion difficult child needs to do some serious therapy work in this area. He is stuck in a negative, and continues to CONSTANTLY draw on the negative, and therefore, no matter what you do or say, you will never be able to "change" his mind. difficult child needs to work this out on his own, hopefully with the guidance of therapist. Does therapist understand your position and has he been told of all the things you do do out of love and not necessity? (not that you should have to defend your love for your child, but we're trying to get through to a difficult child here.

    Has anyone asked difficult child what he thinks parental love is supposed to look like? For all we know, he's got some crazy concept about parental love in his head. It could even be a concept that in no rational way could be called love, but it is difficult child's concept. It could also be something seeming ridiculous like you lost your temper with him 2 or3 years ago, said something you "shouldn't have" to him ONCE, and he's stuck on that as defining the fact that you "don't love him".

    ((((HUGS)))) I hope you figure it out soon because it does get old and VERY tiring.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    What he told the therapist on the day that he first said it was that he feels unloved because no one spends any time with him. Thus, the various attempts to try to spend more time with him and do things that he likes to do. But one thing that I have said to the therapist and to difficult child, is that he makes it very hard. I have NO desire to spend time with someone who goes out of his way to aggravate me. When someone is rude and disrespectful to me I don't want to do anything special with that person, be it husband, easy child, or difficult child. I think that is something that everyone can undertand, but difficult child's feeling is that no matter how he behaves, good or bad, I have to stop what I'm doing and spend time with him when he's ready to for me.

    See why I think it's an attention thing?
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I want to share with you what I did when difficult child 1 went through this "phase". I gave up trying to convince him and reason with him. I had him write down all the ways he expects me to show him I love him. I "explained" that I am doing what I think I should do to show womeone that I love them. I guess if it's not showing you that I love you, I must be doing something wrong so please tell me how to show you I love you. Then I took difficult child 1's list with me to the therapist (some of them were outrageous and others I was already doing). It gave the therapist an idea of difficult child 1's thinking. It also gave me a WRITTEN guideline to hold HIM to.

    I know, this sounds corny but it worked well with difficult child 1. I have a feeling if I ever have to try this tactic with difficult child 2, he won't be able to come up with a list because he will really think about it and realize I am already doing it all.

  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    {{{HUGS}}} That would be grating. Like you said, it is what it is, either he is feeling it or it is attention, but getting that pattern out of him... you may really have to detach. My difficult child says such disrespectful sounding things sometimes I have literally learned to sing little songs in my head to tune him out. I try to "hear" what the behavior is saying...I am frustrated, I am sad, I am angry, I am nervous, etc. If he is anxious/depressed, his thinking may be really distorted. I wonder if a more cogntive based therapy might help for that one thing...replacing thoughts with more accurate thoughts in a systematic way. He wont believe it and he is not expected to at first. Would be interesting to see if therapist could list the distortions and help him correct them then get him to practice saying the right thing over and over for the next several weeks, months, however long it takes. He might need a cue from those in his environment that is pre-agreed on to do his "positive thinking" or whatever they will call it... Just a wild thought. It actually works for ME to do that when I am thinking gloom and doom. Learned it years ago in therapy. but I was trying to think of a way to mix that with what we use for teaching kids new skills.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    My difficult child feels this way, too...

    In her case, it is definitely the personality disorder. We had a family therapy session just the other night and she (once again) explained to the therapist how nobody in the family loves her and we only do things for her because we are legally obligated. I finally lost it - screaming at her that she was right....I do all these things for her because I have absolutely no other ideas on how I might spend my time or my money. And all this therapy is just for fun! Isn't it great? (Not my finest hour, but just get to that point with these kids.)

    In your child's case...I would wonder if these feelings are a "symptom" rather than anything else. If he genuinely is unable to feel loving connections with people, that's a problem that should be further explored...

    Meanwhile, it's so hard to hear how you are "unloving".

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm with-Daisy on this one ... sarcasm and anger get the best of me. And then I throw it back. "Oh, you didn't play cards with-me after dinner when you begged me and then you changed your mind? You don't love ME!" Again, not our finest moments but at least my kid got the point. It's a two-way street, and not just feeling needy.
    I think yours will need more therapy. I'm not a dr but personality disorder does come to mind.
    Interesting about the 5 languages of Love, but I wonder if that would work? But if you show it to him, it seems that he'll just find another argument against all 5.
    Many hugs, and I'm sending strength, too.
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    It's funny that you mentioned personality disorder, because the therapist has said on several occasions that he thinks that difficult child fits the profile for obsessive compulsive personality disorder more than anything else. I've asked the psychiatrist about it, but he says that is something that is not diagnosed in children; only in adults. When I asked him why he said it was because in children their personalities are still developing. It's definately something to keep in mind.

    He has an appointment with the therapist tomorrow and I am so not looking forward to it. An hour of sitting there while difficult child explains all of the reasons that I don't love him. The therapist knows that his thinking is skewed. He told me so when this came up. Getting him to change his thinking is a whole other problem.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Bunny, the dr needs to change the course and direction of the conversation and DO some THERAPY. No more letting difficult child direct it. There is no teaching and learning going on.
    Just saying ...
    And if the dr doesn't do it on his/her own, you can say, "Well, certainly dr X knows that this isn't true and can right at this moment give you some new food for thought ..." and then you stare straight at the dr.
    This has to be intense discussion, not business as usual.
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I call BS.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Here I go, out on a limb again - this may not be relevant at all, but just in case...

    Any chance that he has some form of attachment issue? Not classical Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) - that wouldn't make sense, from what I saw on a quick scan of prior posts... But... a detachment that comes later, a secondary problem due to all the other problems, and the major challenges in trying to get those solved? We had that... the "nobody loves me" was, in a sense, a cry for attention. But... in fact, what he needed WAS attention. Major attention. The kind of attention he couldn't even begin to ask for. If you think this is even remotely a possibility, PM me and I'll send more details.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I call attention seeking and huge manipulation. He has you bending over backwards to cater to his whims. Poor little boy whimpers but nooooo body looves me..sniff sniff. And you rearrange your day to make sure you have time to console him that of course you love him, in fact you adore him and you will do whatever it takes to show him how much you love him. Havent you just done xy and z?

    I think I would just be matter of fact when he does this and pretty much ignore him. If he starts it, say something one time like, oh difficult child, you know that is just dumb, we love all you kids and playing this game isnt up for discussion anymore. Find another topic. If you continue to bring it up, I will not hear anything you say after you start talking so I advise you to think about that. And keep up your word.

    So if he starts whining about Oh nobody loves me and I want mommy to come play cards with me. Well you cant go play cards with him because you couldnt hear him. And If he asks you why you didnt come play cards...tell him you didnt hear him! You dont hear whiners and manipulators.
  15. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    The only thing that I can think that might be something like this was when my parents died. difficult child was 14 months old when I got the call that my parents were killed in a place crash while they were vacationing in Costa Rica. As you can imagine, I pretty much fell apart. To make matters worse, we were not sure if we were going to get their bodies back because the plane that they were in crashed into the side of an active volcano (really, we don't do anything small in my family) and the Costa Rican government did not want to send a recovery crew up there if it was dangerous to them. We understood that, but it was at least a week before their bodies were flown back to the USA. During that time, difficult child stayed with my in-laws for about two weeks. I went to see him as often as I could, but we were trying to make funeral arrangements, getting into their house to secure it, things like that. Plus, there were alot of issues with some of my family, so it was a very difficult time for me.

    I'll have to bring this up to the therapist and see what he thinks.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    OMG> I am so sorry about your parents. How tragic. {{Hugs}}
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Actually, that is true. Personality disorders, under the generally accepted practices, can only be diagnosed in adults (18 & older). That doesn't mean that they don't exist in children, just that it cannot be listed on their paperwork until they turn 18. I have seen psychiatrists list it as "emerging" on Axis 2 for 16/17 year olds but Bunny's difficult child is only 12 so I doubt that would be done.
  18. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm so sorry to hear about your parents, that had to be increadibly hard. I doubt that having difficult child cared for by his grandparents (whom he presumably had a relationship with) for a couple of weeks would cause Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). It usually takes months and months of broken caregiving or other trauma.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    JJJ - You're right, it isn't going to be Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). That is an extreme result from extreme circumstances early in life.

    But there are other forms of attachment issues - someone else used the term "insecure attachment", meaning not unattached, but not as well attached as would be healthy. Many people make it through life like this, but if you're a difficult child and life presents extra challenges... sometimes it takes extra effort to maintain and/or re-establish a healthy attachment. And the things it takes to do that, are counter-intuitive - definitely not what you would do for a typical teen with an attitude.
  20. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    That's what I thought, JJJ. And he was with his grandparents. I worked part time at that time and on the days that I worked who did difficult child stay with? My in-laws. It wasn't like I left him for two weeks with people who let him sit there. It's just the only thing that I could think of that would relate to Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

    He has an appointment with the therapist tonight. We'll see how it goes.