Justin Home Visit - I feel Strange - Unclear

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DavidH, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    :faint: Hello everyone, I have been busy with work which is a good thing for me... So thought I would put into words how the visit went with Justin for the weekend from Residential Treatment Center (RTC). See if I can make more sense of it.. as I am very confused about my feelings of the visit.

    First I took my Mom to go to family day, the plan was we spend all day at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and bring Justin home after family day so he can have more time with me. His idea, and I was fine with it.

    Now last month I also took Mom on family day and afterwards she expressed concern Justin paid no attention to her and she said she felt like he did not love her or "need" her like he has in the past, and she seemed very depressed about it. I simply told her she needed to understand he is not this little boy anymore he is maturing and growing but I know he will always be close to her but not her little boy any longer.

    Well this visit was worse - she wanted to go so I took her, with in an hour of us arriving she had gone into my car and just sat. I, once they started to get us ready for lunch had to go out to the car and find her and let her know lunch was being served she should come in to eat.

    I asked her why she was in the car all she said was I am cold and wanted to warm up, well now I know my mom and her "self pity" moments and thsi was one of them. But I let it alone and said nothing.

    She did the same thing (go into car) a couple of more times during the visit at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and I simply let it go.

    As far as Justin he was a little more stand offish this time, he however did even come to me and say, since I am going to have 27 hour pass I want to hang out with everyone this time, that is why I am not sitting next to you the whole time, I told him he can do what he wants that is fine.

    We left Residential Treatment Center (RTC) at 3pm and I had to stop off at one of my stores since the owner came to town and he needed to go over a few things with me and really I think he wanted to meet Justin aswell, during my 1.5 hours with the owner my mom took Justin to walmart and bought things Justin wanted - which I feel should not of been bought... movies ect...

    Came home and he was very excited about seeing his dog, and wanted to watch movies did not want to go out to eat but wanted to eat at home. So he wanted to eat my pinto beans and cornbread something easy - well I said ok and I asked him to make the cornbread he was busy setting up the dvd player and I could tell he did not want to help out, he said I do not know how, I said Justin it is the same you have made in the past pour out the box and add one egg and some milk, he did it acting like it was a huge chore, but being very respectful - I had to tell him each step even something so little as ok now get the milk and an egg, he even asked what he was sapose to measure the milk out in!!! uggg
    He did it as instructed but left the box on the counter and bowl on the counter... I just finished it up and put it in the oven.

    Then just hung out him and I and we both feel asleep at 9pm ...

    6AM he comes into my room to see if I was awake, and of course I was.. darn sleep!! (or lack of) ...

    He wanted breakfast at home even though I offered to go to iHop as I did not want to cook, (I was just worn out from being at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) it was windy as all get out and got very cold and they still made up all stay outside.)

    He wanted to go look at guitar's and this Gander mountain sports store, I said fine we will but remember I am just looking not buying. He was fine with it.

    I even stopped at my moms and invited he to go, she still in same self pity mood, said no... SHE NEVER turns down going to stores with me, and for sure if Justin is with me!!! I just said ok ... and left.

    We get to the sports store and he goes to hiking boots and I know he wants some new ones but his main thinng is name brand that some of the other boys have... I mean the ones over 150.00! I simply said I am not buying anymore boots for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) you have what you have and your feet are growing too fast to spend that kind of money on them no matter how good they are or how long they will last, he accepted it and did not give me a problem.

    Got to the guitar center, and it was neat whatching him go through each of them - he got help from a guy there that gave me lots of info as well, Justin was unclear if he wanted electric or a regular one, well after trying out a number of them of both kinds, he decided he was more into a regular guitar... now the whole time I was going back in forth in my mind I was not buying and he was not asking me to buy... but he found one that was ok price at 200.00 - and I kept saying to myself... this kid has wanted one for a couple of years now, and he has been doing so well at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) maybe it is ok if I go ahead and get one, (even though he was not asking me too) so he was sitting there and really liked the one and said this would be the one I would get when I get it.. I just told the guy at sotre to get one in box and I will take it.. .. Justin did not seem surprised or elated as he normally would of been... and I never once got a "Thank You" - however that is not why I did it... I did it simply because I felt he deserved something and just because I love him and wanted him to have something I have said no on for two years at least.

    We drive home and he wanted to stop my Grammy and play some playstation with her, I said fine and I just dropped him off at her house and did not even get out of my car. He went in and I went home and laid down to try and nap. about an hour and a half later he comes home. And wants to watch Saw 4 . We did and then got up to leave for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) ... no problems.

    He is fine on the drive and as normal right at ten to 15 mins before we get there he does his, I hate it here lets just rive back home dad and never come back stuff.. I just laugh it off and tell him he is being silly... and express how well he is doing and just to keep it up, your closer to home now than you were and if you keep going like you are you will be home sooner than later... He gets checked in and I leave...

    I am not happy, or sad I am blank... in a way I could not wait to drop him off (I feel horrible about that thought and feeling) I almost feel used by him. I do not know what it is... I almost feel like he was what he was in the past, but in a very respectful way... he got his way on everything during this visit... I do not know what it is...

    And now of course my mom is being a little dink... she calls me monday eve knowing I am at work still and is rude to me asking me why I have not looked at a car she wanted me to look at for her. I simply said I have no time I have been working all day and I am 130 miles from home right now. Clearly she is still mad and I just do not care

  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    You know, David....and take this with a grain of salt because I have never experienced a child in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)...but when I read your post, I read "approaching normal teen".

    He didn't WANT to make cornbread, but he did.

    He WANTED the boots you said no to, and he handled it.

    The guitar? A thanks would have been nice, but there's plenty of teen boys who would forget.

    His visits home have been special treats for you. They've gone well and you end the day happy/satisfied/grateful. Those aren't generally the feelings you end every typical day with. I don't mean that your days are blue and unhappy, they just aren't feelings you're identifying at the end of a typical day with a typical teen. YOu just don't crawl in bed at night every night going "what a wonderful day this was, my kid didn't argue, he didn't fuss, he didn't hit me" etc etc etc. Typical people crawl in bed at the end of a typical day and think "I'm tired. I need to pay the water bill tomorrow."

    So I may be WAY off base here, and I hope others will come along with more ideas, but that's my .02. Maybe there's some "typical-ness" heading to your house.

    And sorry about ma. What a bummer that she can't see her relationship changing with her grandson AS IT SHOULD BE. Hopefully she gets on board soon.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Yeah, I have to pretty much agree. The "honeymoon" is over, and Justin is a "typical teen" (typical teen). Nothing you said about him sounded bad. Just very typical for a boy his age. Everything from not wanting to make the cornbread to lack of appreciation for the guitar, even to trying to schmooze dear old dad into whipping the car around and going back home. Any kid would try any of these things.

    Justin has grown tremendously since going into Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Often, our kids will go way above and beyond anyone's expectations (the honeymoon) and eventually settle into themselves. We don't always like how they act (even though we always love them).

    With all due respect to your mom (and all moms everywhere), shame on her for acting as she did. Your son may be acting like a typical teen, but his actions are far and wide more mature than your mom's. Sitting in the car? What a way to put your son on the spot! I would not tell her that she should not come with you to family day anymore, as I see that she is a big part of Justin's life, but she needs to be on board and understand that he is growing. He is maturing.

    Kudos to you for holding it together. Don't feel guilty for feeling like you could not wait to get him back there. there are some weekends where I count the minutes until Tink goes to her father's house ;)
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    After reading your post and Shari's reply, I have to agree with her. His attitude, actions, and behaviors over the home visit were typical teen stuff. If I had a dollar for everytime I've had to remind the kids (both easy child and difficult child) to put the trash from some snack or something into the trash and not on the counter, I would be a rich woman (or at least I'd have a new outfit or two)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In regards to him not thanking you for the guitar, that's kinda teen stuff too. My teen easy child and my 12 year old difficult child are pretty appreciative kids, but I don't think it's a depressing situation when your teen boy forgets to say thank you. Perhaps a little reminder from you would have been a good lesson.

    Shari's right in that I don't go to bed everyday saying "what a wonderful day". Kids will be kids and life happens.

    The real issue is that you miss your boy. You look forward to visiting him and you look forward to spending time with him. He's not going to run into your arms with joy and then come home and clean the house! He's going to act morose from time to time, want to just chill and watch a movie sometime, complain about the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) when it's time to return, and he's going to buck you from time to time. That's called life.

    What you really have look at is the big picture. Sometimes we focus so closely on the corners, that we don't see the room. Your son is obviously making progress at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). You've said that yourself. He was not disrespectful to you or his grandmother. That's progress!

    Don't walk on eggshells when he's home. If there is a lesson to be taught, teach it. He needs to know that you will hold him to consequences and standards when this gig is over. He knows you love you. And, we know you do as well.

    All in all, you had a nice visit with your son. Take joy in the time you are able to spend with him, and have no rosey expectations. The reality of life is what he needs to grow and be successful in the future.

    In regards to you mom, ignore her pouting and don't let her words get you. She's obviously a tad high maintenance! Have confidence that you are growing during this time as well. You have stopped drinking and you are working and supporting a household. That's huge!

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What a wonderful visit! It really sounds like you have a typical teen or typical teen on your hand. Just because we get some of the gfgness tamed, doesn't mean that the normal stuff will go away.

    It is very good to have home visits like this. Instead of the Disneyland, cater to justin visits they could be.

    I think you handled your mom very well.

    It seems you truly are on your way to 'normal' life with a typical teen. I wish you luck!

    I would recommend a couple of books to help with the current situations.

    First, Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. Truly awesome. Will help with your mom, and ALL your relationships.

    Second, go to www.loveandlogic.com and look at their selection. You STILL going to be raising a teen. They ahve amazing help that WORKS! The orig. founder is joined in the practice by his son - who he RAISED using love and logic.

    HAve a good week!

  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    David, it sounds like you had a successful visit with Justin.
    I agree with the others, that his behaviour is typical teen. This is the sort of thing that we expect from "normal" kids, and it's great that Justin is behaving that way. It shows that he is growing and maturing, and that the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is working for him.

    As for feeling ready to take him back to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), there's nothing wrong with that either. You know that Justin is doing really well there, and you have been taking the opportunity to work on yourself and get yourself into a healthy place (Glad to hear that it's going so well, by the way). Having a visit home can be very stressful. When things are going well, you're holding your breath waiting for something to happen. It can be exhausting.

    With regard to your mother's behaviour, it sounds like she needs to grow up too, to match Justin's progress. Don't let her get to you.

    All the best,
  7. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    You know what.. I could not put my hands on it or wrap my mind around it this visit has had me feeling strange during and after it was over for a few days... but you all may be right on.... see I have never had "normal" life has always been "drama" and one thing after the next.. what now??? kinda thing... this will take some getting used to

  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Heck yeah it will! You've spent, how long now, 9 months? With Justin in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? Whever every visit ended with some sort of "big" emotion? And how much "big" emotion you had prior to Residential Treatment Center (RTC)...? We won't even go there...

  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    Hi there, how goes your life and sobriety? You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    While most of the visit sounded like typical teen - I would like to offer a read between the lines point of view.

    He's doing well - that is great. He has a TON of structure where he is and every minute is planned out. Down to shower, brush teeth, crafts, and bedtime. When you bring a child home from an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) visit and see progress it is a HUGE trap to get caught up in - Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is for your behavior and NOW.....DISNEYLAND - come home and we'll buy you stuff, allow certain behaviors to be slightly overlooked and for a change YOU get to be the "FUN" parent. It can be destructive and addictive.

    Ask yourself if ANY of the things you did with Justin this weekend were things he NORMALLY does at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - and things that you KNOW (trips to wm, buying movies, a 200.00 guitar) They wouldn't do there - resist the temptation to do too. If you ask him to complete a task - he should do it. If he had been asked to cook or bake at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and walked away would the director have cleaned up the mess and finished? Nope - not likely.

    So be careful on that. It's VERY HARD to not want to leave your house and just BUY BUY BUY and go and do-----but my suggestion would be sit down the DAY before you go get him and write out a schedule - print a copy out and hand it to Justin and say "Okay here's OUR schedule" and stick to it as close as possible. Spontaneous entertainment is lethal. It's lethal because he already manipulated the situation at the music store. That could have been a GREAT GOAL for him to reach his next level. Instead now it confuses him and he may think - HUH I did ONLY this good and got a $200 guitar and presents from Grammy, i didn't have to clean up the cornbread - so I guess I won't have to do much more to get A LOT MORE.

    (Typical Teen yes - manipulative too)

    And one other HUGE thing - And I can ONLY tell you this now because a lovely friend bought me this book called How to Talk so your Kids Will listen and How to listen so your kids will talk. IT IS AMAZING - They should give parents one the day the kids or born - OR in high school as a required course to learn how to communicate.

    Let me see if you can pick out what it was - with a lesson

    You are on your way home from a much needed and wanted vacation. You've had time to relax, you saw some old friends and they spoiled you with dinners, shows - clothes. And now you are headed back to the real world...your world. The daily grind, up at this time, stress, do this, do that - and most of your job you aren't really in love with but it pays the bills. And sitting next to you on the plane is your best friend in the whole world - you respect and admire this persons opinion of you to the nth degree. You comment "I hate going back to work I wish we could keep on with the vacation, I'm having such a good time." and your friend looks at you and says....."David you are just silly."

    Now pretend the friend you admire most in the worlds says:

    "You know David sounds like you would love to stay on vacation - me too."

    Which would you rather hear out of your friend?

    What I am learning is if you minimize someone (anyone child adult) feelings you are making it as if their feelings don't count. Seems harmless enough to say "OH you shouldn't cry or that didn't hurt" but it's lethal.

    In Justin's mind - if you had said "Sounds like you would like to stay home." you are agreeing with him, not putting him down, and opening a door to have Justing tell you A LOT more about the camp or WHY he wanted to stay home. THAT in turn leads to you being able to help Justin set goals....like "Well you know I think if you keep doing as well as you are you will be home in no time to get that guitar you wanted."

    Believe me - I am NOT criticizing you because I'm only on chapter one and it's HARD to do the little lessons they have for parents but I've already tried this on Dude yesterday at our IEP meeting and the results were shocking to us both. (It's hard to get a rise out of Dude and I did just by validating how he feels and giving that emotion a name.

    I am pretty sure you can get the book through amazon here and help out the site - and it's not a huge book either - a paperback - easy reading.

    Hope this helps
    Glad you had some time with Justin.
  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I was wondering about you and Justin!

    One thing I'd like to point out here too is: wow! what a trip to normalcy!!! lol~! What a change it must have been to deal with apathy rather than belligerence!

    You're doing great! Justin's doing great!! That's something to shine on about. It's not going to always be "peanut butter cups and daffodils" every time you meet up.

    I'd like to point something out to you that may be happening with Gramma - she's probably not feeling too needed lately and that scares her. Here's her baby's baby acting nicely, behaving like a teenager (in a Brady Bunch sort of way - "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!" :laughing:) . It's been a huge adjustment for you and Justin, let her mourn the adjustment she's going through as well!

    Sounds like slow and steady is winning the race!

    Keep up the great work!