Making progress? I'm not sure.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by cakewalk, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    It's going on five months since difficult child left the house. He's still at his aunt and uncle's place, living the good life. I've spoken with him periodically. His calls come when he needs a parent signature and that is all.

    His grades were mailed from the school in June, in which three of his classes fell 1 or 2 full letter grades from the time he left our home. I got a call from one of his teammate's father who told me my son smashed a mirror in his basement and didn't come forward about it. The father confronted him a week later, my son apologized, but offered no explanation. I asked my son about it a month later and he vehemently denied anything got damaged.

    I asked about counseling as I do at every opportunity since his aunt said he would "absolutely participate in counseling" if he was going to stay at their house. I was told by my sister that they would take care of it and I was not to be involved. He hadn't gone after four months, in fact, he stated, "Counselors are just in it for the money and don't do any good."

    Three weeks ago, my son called asking for signatures for his school sport and league sport. I met him, took the forms, and said, "You've had four months to take care of counseling, so has your aunt. Neither of you have done it. I'm still mom regardless of what you or your aunt think. I'll fill these forms out when I schedule your first appointment. If at anytime you refuse to go, I can't find you, or you aren't participating for any reason, I'll drive to the school and the league and tear up these forms and you will not play this sport in the fall or the spring. Questions?"

    He has attended three times so far. I pick him up and take him to each appointment. I have never spoken with the counselor, I could only go with his 20 years experience dealing with male teens. I can only hope that my son is getting the help he needs at this point.

    I've completely detached. I used to try to engage in conversation, hoping to hear those words, "Mom, I want to come home." Instead, I've heard, "I need..." I don't see him trying to have a relationship me, his brother, or his step-dad and my expectations have led to my own disappointments.

    Now I'm just the driver. I pick him up, sit in the waiting room, and drop him off. I speak when/if spoken to. Last week he got out of the car and slammed the door after a ride home in silence.

    Tomorrow's his next appointment. Oh boy. :anxious:
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Well, if it's any consolation, it took years for Rob to come around. I think you made a major breakthough for your own mental and emotional well-being when you came to the very true conclusion that your expectations led to your disappointments. I know it really helped me to have NO expectations; that way I wasn't disappointed and if anything good happened it was wonderful.

    You are doing well. Hang in there.

  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I have looked at this post a couple of times, and I wish I had better words of wisdom to offer. You are a much more patient woman than I am. I'm glad that you are able to let him understand that he has to "do to get" so far as his school docs go. Somehow, no matter what we did, it just came across as "no" when we said things like that to M. I guess we were just at the end of our rope, communications-wise.

    Suz gives very good advice, as far as being ok with lowering your expectations. I hope he will learn to at least understand which side his bread is buttered on...
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am very sorry. It is so painful when our kids treat us this way. You are doing all you can. I think insisting on counselling with a therapist YOU picked if he wants to participate in sports is an excellent strategy.

    I am glad you were able to detach so much. It still isn't fun to be around him, or even to think about him, but at least you are not being torn to shreds every day. The situation stinks.

    Do you have a relationship with your sister? It sounds like she is very enabling. This was what I feared when Wiz went to live with my parents. I am sorry that you have also had to detach from her. She is missing a wonderful person by treating you this way. maybe someday this will change.

    Hopefully you can find joy and fulfillment in other areas of your life. Sometimes I think our pcs' help keep us sane.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    You are doing great mom! I think it's great that you insisted he get counseling. You embody the qualities of a Warrior Mom. If they like us too much we aren't doing our job. Hang in there mom.
  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I too think you are doing a great job! I bet he knows you mean business too when you say you will go to the school and shred the forms if he doesn't go to counseling! You are really a great role model for all of us...
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Good job!. However I'd be one not to sign anything at all until he could show me the proper respect, keep is grades up, and see the counselor. He got what he wanted living with enabling aunt, the least the boy can do is show you respect and be polite when in your presence. But that's just me. Disrespect of a parent is something I simply cannot tolerate out of a child.

  8. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    Thanks! I WISH I had found this site two years ago. I would have done so much differently. It's your combined advice and ideas, along with Suz continuing to post the detachment link, that gave me the idea in the first place. And, yes, he knows I will do as I say. That's why he continued to run away to my sister's house. There are consequences for behavior in this home (and out of it.)

    My child needs counseling especially now. He's being rewarded and financially supported by my sister instead of having rules and consequences. They are quite the enablers, not to mention she and I don't get along and it's less about my son and more about her versus me.

    I can only hope that the counselor will see through any facade. I don't see an immediate relationship with my son (his aunt and uncle doesn't encourage it at all and he has all but forgotten his brother, my husband, and I), however, I do know that he needs to learn to cope, deal, and act responsibly as an adult and I only have legal say for 9 more months. Whatever happens, I am doing what I think is best for him.

    He's a talented, gifted athlete and his grades are important if he has a chance towards a dual athletic/acedemic scholarship. His sport is his ticket. He knows it. He and I have spent 11 lyears developing him to the player he is.

    We went to counseling today. He initiated conversation the entire drive. He conversed in the waiting room with me. He held the door for me today when I was called to the payment window. (Last week I heard the therapist chastise him for letting the door slam in my face!) On the way home, he was talkative and kind. In fact, we laughed a couple of times.

    Hours later he called for the first time in five months to share something with me without an ulterior motive. He called to tell me his ACT test scores just came and he improved his grade by five points. I told him, "I'm proud of you. Good job. But, mostly I'm proud of you for calling to share that with me."

    I'm not reading anymore into this than what it is, but if a handful of counseling sessions are morphing my son back to human being, I'll gladly continue down this road for the duration.
  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Cakewalk, this is the perfect example of expecting nothing and experiencing the miracle of good surprises. What a blessing to you and to your relationship today.

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Good to hear. :)

    And it may be that life at auntie's house isn't all it's cracked up to be. While he balked at rules and the like.........he still cares for all of you more deeply than he knows/wants to admit.........and kids don't realize that they also tend to crave the structure and dicipline as well.

    I hope it continues.

  11. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I thank you for sharing your story and for giving myself and others strength to sincerely tick a lock and continue to do the right thing and detach, detach, detach. Your not just walking the talking the talk, you are really walking the 'cake'walk. :tongue:

    You're an inspiration and rather humorous. I like the part where he morphs back into a human. The visual on that is bittersweet, but understandable. OOOOOOOH so understandable. :whiteflag:

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. - I mean you have GOT to LOVE the visual of YOU going to PAY the bill while he sits there and watches. :faint:
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I really enjoyed your update. It made me feel pretty good!
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What a great update! MAybe this therapist really does know what he is talking about. I am sorry that auntie is not trying to do what is best for him.