Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Steely, May 13, 2011.

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  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I have read most of your posts and received some of my own from you.
    Although we at this board welcome any and all input, i have noticed your posts to be very negative and judgmental.
    Please introduce yourself, with a signature, and tell us who you, where you are coming from, and what you know about mental Illness. I think this will help us all receive any insight you might have in a better mindset.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't know a lot of details, but I believe Mrsammler has a nephew difficult child (late teen/young adult, I believe). His nephew's mother is his sister, and, unfortunately, he thinks she has allowed a lot of his difficult child nephew's problems to snowball into even bigger ones.
    Hopefully he'll stop in and fill in the blanks, but that's all I recall.
  3. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    That's about the size of it. I'll take a hiatus from posting--no desire to offend.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    He had an intro thread a while ago. He moved to go live iwth his sister when her son (difficult child) was out of control. Mom was very much an enabler who gave in to whatever he wanted. difficult child broke laws, walls, anything around when he was mad. He was hurting his mom and I think a sister. Not totally sure there was a sister, but the rest is accurate. He went in with physical discipline, making difficult child back down physically, etc... and seems to feel that our Ross Greene Explosive Child methods work to create difficult children, not to help them. He has advocated corporal punishment as something that helped control his nephew and he thinks it would be helpful with our difficult children also.

    He left his sister's home after over a year of living there because she did not back him up in any kind of discipline or boundaries with her son and mrsammler got fed up with her crying over what difficult child did/said and then giving difficult child what he wanted anyway.

    I do agree he can seem very judgemental. It is pretty easy when you step in with a teen difficult child to say that the parents messed it up and caused it, just as it is to think that letting them have anything at all is coddling them. Esp if you are not the parent. I give him credit for moving in a trying hard to help. He also seems to think that all difficult children are on their way to being sociopaths (has said this).
  5. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Some of this is incorrect: I don't advocate the use of corporal punishment and never used it with my own children. I did say that my nephew difficult child was so utterly out of control that he assaulted me on several occasions and I had to defend myself physically, which I did--this isn't "advocating corporal punishment." This is self-defense when assaulted. And yes, I did say that when a teenage kid physically attacks a parent or other adult, I can see the efficacy of a good hard slap or, if difficult child is male and strong, "decking" him in reply to the attack. But that's what anyone should do when attacked by a teenager or adult--i.e., I'm not proclaiming a policy of corporal punishment, but rather one of reasonable self-defense. I really don't understand some of the accounts I read here of teen difficult children barrelling through the house, raging, breaking things, menacing or striking family members, etc, and parental response seems to be simply "wait it out" and clean up the mess afterward. (I saw this all too frequently during my stint in my sister's home, and how unproductive this is as a response to physical rampages.) It seems clear to me that *anyone* behaving that way in a private home deserves "a firm hand" in response and bodily removal from the premises, by whatever means necessary. So the portrait of me as advocating corporal punishment is inaccurate--I advocate self defense in the face of physical assault, of course, regardless of who's doing the assaulting, and in defense of one's belongings and property. I have *never* used or advocated corporal punishment.

    Regarding sociopathy, I have said repeatedly in this forum that I recognize many causalities for CD and that the majority of them do not culminate in sociopathy. Via a ton of study on the subject, I do believe that, where other etiologies are not at work--i.e., where there's no medical or psychiatric issue diagnosed and no Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), etc--a teen in full-on ODD & CD seems headed directly toward sociopathy at 18. I've heard and read any number of psychologists who deal with difficult children say the same thing, on the internet and elsewhere. It's not an esoteric position and it's not my coinage.

    I guess I should add that while the totality of my experience with a difficult child was that 15 months of co-residence with one at 17-19, it was nevertheless a ton of observation and very direct and intimate experience, and of course I had seen the difficult child growing up via various holiday and summer visits and the like over the years, so I could see the "backstory" (of privileged pampering and enablement and zero consequences other than yelling) behind his transition into full-on ODD/CD difficult child in his teens. That certainly doesn't place my experience of a difficult child on par with that of parents here, and I know and respect that, but it's not like I'm merely armchair quarterbacking here either--my experience of difficult child over 15 months was pretty intense and long enough to arrive at some fundamental conclusions/observations.

    I will try hard to post with less apparent judgment--I agree that that can be a drag for everyone concerned. Sincere apologies for that. I do find this forum very interesting and instructive in helping me sort out the (very troubling) experience that I had with difficult child.
    Lasted edited by : May 14, 2011
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks for the clarification. I couldn't recall the whole story.

    Do you mind if I aak if you have a military background?
  7. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I did a 3-yr enlistment in the army loooooong ago but I am decidedly not an authoritarian fellow--the bookish, frowsy professor type, actually. My children would never stop laughing at a characterization of me as "military" or authoritarian.

    I'm very aware that my experience with difficult child very much impressed upon me the need, at least in that circumstance (and by extension, other circumstances similar to it, in my reckoning), to respond to a wildly amoral, violent, tantrum-prone difficult child with very stern "tough love" rather than lenience and relaxation of consequences. The most urgent need in that house was for the resumption of safety from violence and the destruction of property. That required a very firm and tough stand, and difficult child did not like having his never-ending party and reign of terror in that house brought to an end, so my account of that is more one of violent face-offs than long conversations. I know that that makes my posts appear to advocate authoritarian parenting, but this is really the consequence of the specific circumstance I was thrust into. And I am aware that, because what I did there "worked"--i.e., difficult child's reign of terror came to a sudden end and safety and order were restored, by dint of a very stern response to difficult child from me which essentially "called his bluff" and brought the violence to an end by replying to it with brute force--that I am inclined to regard it as a strategy of response that will *always* work with *any* difficult child, and I'm aware that that is faulty reasoning. That's part of why I'm here--to learn more than just my limited experience.
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Mrsammler.... I have to say it is hard to imagine you as a bookish frowsy professor type. LOL Thank you for sharing more about where you are coming from. I have to say it must have been incredibly frustrating to watch your sister abused by her son and to have to walk in and somehow bring some order and peace to the house... and it must have been very hard to watch your sister keep enabling her son.

    . I think the issue I have had with soe of your posts as well as some of the posts on another thread on collaborative parenting is the idea that one things works for all situations. That somehow one style of parenting will work for all kids. I think most of us here are pretty thoughtful parents and have tried many approaches to dealing with our difficult child kids... Fact is there is no one answer to raising difficult childs... if there was someone would have made millions. Kids are different and situations are different, and the problems and causes leading up to the situations are different. So I know I get a little testy when i feel someone is telling me but there is one answer, and if only you had done this ro would do this all would be solved.... Gee I have worked hard at trying to support my difficult child and to help him and I have also had to work hard at not buying into the old its all my fault because I am his mother idea out there in society.

    As to dealing with a difficult child physically... certainly there can be a place for that as you describe. In my situation, my son would come in and rage, and throw things etc... we certainly had to deal with that. He did not however attack me physically after he was about 8 years old... he learned to not do that. As he got into drugs and more issues as an adult he did threaten me a couple of times... and a part of me wanted to totally get in his face. However I knew that if I did that it would escalate and fact was he at that point was stronger than me and an escalation would mean I would probably get hurt.... so I would back down and so would he. If my husband had jumped in and gotten into it with him physically it also would have escalated and one of them would have gotten hurt. I know in that situation my son would not have backed down or stepped back so it would have been the wrong response by us. Now that is not to say that we should keep allowing that to go on in our home and in fact we did not..... the last time he threatened me I went to the police that day and had them at an agreed upon time and no tresspass him so he was out of the house. So I definitely took action, but I did not, could not take physical action. I believe many of the parents on this forum have done one thing or another and had the kids leave their homes because of their bad behavior. And I certainly believe in many situations that is absolutely the best thing to do.
  9. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    "I have to say it must have been incredibly frustrating to watch your sister abused by her son and to have to walk in and somehow bring some order and peace to the house... and it must have been very hard to watch your sister keep enabling her son."

    You have NO idea how frustrating this was. And shocking and profoundly disappointing and ultimately, when it not only didn't stop but persisted and clearly would never end--a policy of pampering and enabling so deeply ingrained that she just couldn't stop--a deal-breaker for me: I had to leave in disgust.

    Worst of all was the refusal to throw him out of the house even when he was stealing from his mother and brother (never from me), on heavy drugs every day, and then he assaulted me in front of my 4 children (who were visiting for spring break) and I had to fight him in a literally bloody brawl to get him out of the house, she relented and *let him back in* the next day. This was TOO MUCH and it clearly signaled that excusing and taking care of poor, beleaguered, misunderstood, low-self-esteem difficult child was more important to her than my or my visiting children's safety.
    Lasted edited by : May 14, 2011
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thank for opening up. I really appreciate that.

    I think the reason that your posts are frustrating to me is that they are very black and white, and based on what worked for you. So far I have not seen you bring into the equation the one and only reason our difficult children are difficult children - they all have some sort of mental illness. I believe if you look at all of our signatures you will see that for the most part our kids have a chemical imbalance in the brain, i.e. this is what makes them a difficult child.

    Some of our kids have been severely abused resulting in mental illness, some of our kids were born with Autism or other mental challenges, and some of our kids developed mental illnesses later in life. However none of us are here because our kids are just spoiled brats (although they act like it) there is more to their actions than simply being overindulged.

    I certainly do not feel like any one of us is asking you to take a hiatus from posting, however, I think you need to do some research here on the board about what mental illness is, how it affects the brain, and what certain mental illnesses can make a person feel or do. Our goal here is to get our kids to not act on these out of control feelings in their head, take their medication, get counseling, take responsibility for themselves in life, so on and so forth. That is what we are all about.

    If you look for instance at my signature - my kid has 4 different forms of mental illness. As a result of his past frequent out of control actions, I have developed severe anxiety and PTSD. His illnesses started manifesting at 3 years of age, and as a single Mom, I have done everything to get him the help he needs as well as be structured, disciplined, and firm. I can't say I was always the best parent, but I tried. And now my job as his parent is to detach from him, and let him accept his challenges and try to handle them on his own.

    So, that is all I wanted to offer. Take a few minutes to brush up on what mental illness can do to the brain, and then remember when we post about our out of control kids, that the illness is fueling their brain impulses. And unfortunately, when you see the posts about kids that are out of control, it means they have acted on their misfiring brains inclinations. Of course the parents here all give consequences for bad behavior, but maybe we don't post in the thread what those exact consequences were because it is already a given that will happen. We are more posting about our personal concern and trauma, not how we then grounded them for a month, or did this or that as a consequence.
  11. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    You are more than welcome to continue to post, Mrsammler. Just know that most of the parents on this board have stuggled with their child's mental illness issues - some for all the the child's life and some did not experience mental illness in a chld until the teen or young adult years .... but now these same parents struggle with ADULTs who happen to be their children.

    Gone are the days of the time out, the charts with the stickers, the looking for just that one thing their child could excel at ... that one thing that might pull that child into some semblance of accepted social behavior.

    They are still parents, but not of children any more. They are paernts of adults; adults who have real world rights, real world responsbilities and suffer - while we can only watch and pray - real world consequences.

    Just be educated as to what that means when you post, and you'll be fine. You'll find you'll have a lot of support in dealing with your very real struggles with your nephew. He is luckly to have an uncle who cares enough to try as you are trying. We are here for you, but we ask that you try to understand the nuances of what PE parents are up against.

  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sorry I got your details messed up. It can be hard to keep everyone's info straight, one reason that we all have sigs. I think that you were being an absolutely wonderful brother to go and help your sister and her children. I do think that there is a difference between a difficult child who is that way because he has a disability or mental illness and one who had parents who indulged and pampered them into gfgness. I have a cousin who was the indulged kind of difficult child and a boy who was raised as a cousin/brother who also was that way. The boy is my parents best friend's son. His mom gave him way too much freedom and ignored a TON of drug use and drinking, at one point giving him his own trailer next to hers for his "bedroom" as long as he got passing grades. the one time I was there (by then we lived in another state) I was shocked that his fridge was stocked with beer, he had a full bar of liquor, and a bin of pot sitting on a table with a clear cover over it. She NEVER went into that trailer but she had to know what was happening. I knew before I stepped in the place just from the smell. With my cousin her mother was seriously deranged and then developed cancer that spread to her brain. Her father eventually left and eventually got custody but she was already so wild that he could do very little. In many ways he overindulged her but in that case tightening the reins too much would have had her run away. So he worked carefully and slowly. Thankfully both are now much more settled and happy as adults because they were not truly difficult children - just cultured difficult children.

    A difficult child with mental illness may never change regardless of what a parent does. THis is incredibly hard, as I am sure you know. It is one reason that my brother is no longer in my life except on the very edge. I will ONLY see him if I have to go to court to help him get custody of his daughter. He is a really good parent, it is just as a brother and son that he is a real difficult child. His wife is far worse than he is and is dangerously neglectful. So I will go to court to help for my niece's sake.

    I do think that an understanding of mental illness and how it and developmental delays and other illnesses can cause very difficult child behaviors. Seizures, for example, can cause any behavior you can think of. We had one past member who's son was given very heavy diagnosis's and went through almost every psychiatric medication alone and in combo with every ohter medication. Then the mom pushed for a series of EEG and learned he was having a LOT of seizures and they were causing his behaviors. She got him put on seizure medications and his difficult child ways all stopped. Each and every thing he did, including name calling, violence, breaking some laws, were ALL due to his brain having seizures. It is also a fact that most seizures cannot be seen on EEGs - at least eighty percent. It took a LOT of research and tenacity and advocating to get her son figured out and helped.

    I am glad you are here, and that you are willing to share your story with us. I don't think any of us want you to take a hiatus, more to have a bit more understanding and compassion for all of us. It is very true that there is NO one solution that will work for all of us. That is why there are so many diagnosis's, medications, types of therapy, etc... and why it takes so long to find what works with our kids. Understanding that may make it easier for you to "fit in" here and to be able to reach some understanding and level of peace iwth what you experienced. I am sure it was incredibly traumatic to see all that you saw and experience what you experienced while you were with your sister. And it was even worse for him to attack you in front of your children. Your sister is as mentally ill as her son and there really was almost no chance you could fix things for them. But your heart was in the right place and you were willing to walk the walk, to put your money and time where you mouth was. That, all by itself, makes you a hero in my book. And one of the reasons I am glad you have joined us. It can be helpful to hear from an extended family member who has lived with and tried to help a difficult child - so many times our families have no clue and think we are exaggerating or wrong or don't like our difficult child or something else equally wrong. Understanding you and how you felt, what you experienced, can help us reach our families and maybe even help us with our own difficult children.

    Again I am sorry I got things wrong when I wrote what I remembered of your history.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Just want to add that from here, it sounds like your nephew might be a bit more of a 'created' difficult child than a born one? I don't know.
    But that certainly isn't the case for a lot of us here.
    However, I do appreciate your perspective.
  14. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    SusieStar, absolutely no apology necessary--in fact, that obligation runs the other way, as I think we both know. But I really have learned a lot and, after disgorging my story here and having it met with so much understanding, am learning much more now. I am sorry for my prior judgmental tone--I can make the excuse of my prior experience with difficult child, but at the end of the day it wasn't helpful. And I am very, very grateful for all that I'm learning here. Really, it's not even so much any more about understanding my difficult child and my sister--it's more about seeing a much larger, international community of parents struggling with this dire and complicated problem.

    I used to check youtube every day for clips in which my family difficult child appeared (they did, sporadically, and they were appalling). I used to check the police blotter in the town where he lives, as well as his mother's town, to see if he had been recently arrested or cited by the police. But I have found, increasingly, that that's not good for me and not really what I'm about wrt the whole difficult child topic--he is what he is (quite evidently a sociopath, in my reckoning), but there are so many others who are like him but not like him, if that makes any sense--i.e., not consciously and knowing *evil*, heartless brats--and their parents' stories are heartbreaking, absorbing, and at times heartening and inspiring. I am grateful to all of you for sharing your experiences here. This has strangely and unexpectedly become a notable part of my life, even though I have no difficult child children. I'm here to listen and learn and, in the very limited circumstances where my experience might be helpful, to provide my own insights. Thanks for listening and tolerating. :)
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thank you for understanding!
    I think we all here seek to gain understanding as much as anything.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I actually believe in a lot of what Mr Sammler has to say. I really believe that the reason Cory, or any of my boys, never raised a hand to me was because they knew without a shadow of a doubt they would wake up dead as Cory put it. Corporal punishment? You bet. I didnt leave my house to drive the car without a switch in the car because with Cory and Jamie in the backseat they would fuss and feud the whole time. All I had to do was pick up the switch and wave it into the backseat and I would hit someone. Didnt matter who, they were always both at fault in some manner. They learned to shut up.

    Cory begged the cops to keep him in jail rather than send him home because he knew he was gonna get it worse here. The cops sent him home. They knew we would deal with him. They had seen Tony knock the heck out of him for stealing. They knew they could trust that we would punish him. Down here...they want us to punish. Not kill...punish. Cory will tell you he earned every whipping he ever got and probably needed a few he missed. We couldnt just talk to him. We couldnt time him out or send him to his room or ground him. He simply didnt do those. He left when we werent looking or when we were asleep or went to work. Those things were like games to him. We had to do immediate consequences that he could feel. I couldnt legally lock him up so all I was left with was corporal punishment.
  17. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Mrsammler, I welcome your participation here.

    I have struggled some with the appropriateness of posting here, and taken a couple of long breaks, due to discomfort with the board demographic. Specifically, I am (was) the only regular male poster in PE. In the four years since I first joined I can think of only one or two other guys who posted with any kind of regularity for a while.

    Still, I have returned because I do get a lot of value from the mother's perspectives. I am my difficult child's stepdad, and that has led to some conflict and issues in our family. Here, I can get a somewhat objective view of my relationship to difficult child, whether my attitudes and actions with respect to difficult child are motivated by lack of caring and empathy (are "negative and judgmental"); or by a sincere desire to help difficult child in the only way I believe to be truly effective (which is to completely cease any enabling type behavior and let her experience natural consequences) and to salvage wife's and my relationship with each other and our granddaughter.

    Men in general are less willing to open up and discuss things in a forum such as this one, but in my opinion we can add value to the board for members and lurkers alike (the latter being much more numerous and I suspect more evenly divided on gender lines). I would certainly like to see more participation by fathers, stepfathers, male caregivers, or really anyone with a contribution to make even if they are not a parent (e.g., educators, law enforcement, mental health professionals - people in the community who directly interact with or are affected by difficult children).
  18. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I agree, I disagree, I like you, I don't like you. Sigh. I'm adorable.......(oh don't wait for I'm not adorable - not coming.) lol. You know what? If we all had the same views? Vanilla life would be so Stepford. Well, unless one of those Stepford wives got a coupon for Hersheys syrup or something and went completely crazy one day. In all seriousness, sometimes while it's very interesting to know there are many perspectives on life, it's difficult to remember there are also an infinite number of opinions.

    Each person here has had a vast number of experiences that has shaped and molded them, their life, and how they see things. I've often told my sons and still do when there is a perplexing situation "Character is something we practice when we think no one is watching us, life happens, and not many people are going to remember what you said, but plenty of people will remember how you said it." All these things? Shape our lives, make us who we are, how we measure others against ourselves and how we temper their pain against our own. It's hard to be empathetic towards someone who is obviously sad and crying on a bench in the hospital for the loss of a child when you have never experienced that, but pass someone who is crying over the loss of a parent after having just lost one? And you can sympathize with them easier - you've experienced life. You know how it feels.

    I used to think that having so much tragedy, loss, and pain in my life and that of my sons was just an absolute ridiculous and hideous thing. If I were to write about it? I'm sure people would just sit and say "Wow you are making that up, no one has that much bad luck." Yet I used to think the same way, now I look at it like "How awesome has my life been that someone knew I was so tough and able to deal with so much that I survived it, and now I'm able to understand a little bit more of how other people feel, and not be afraid to say what I think or feel to help?" Pretty cool actually - and when you came to the board Mr. Sam - I saw someone who I believe was so frustrated and in just absolute SHOCK - it was like - YUP. I get it. You've known your sister longer, you love her - she shouldn't be treated like she is - PERIOD. She's the kids Mother. End of conversation.

    Then you start describing your nephew as a sociopath and I'm like - Woah, wait a minute - how do he sure? Maybe this kid needs a real diagnosis first - I mean he could be just the product of a broken home, he could be this he could be that - your sister could (and I'm not pointing fingers at all - understand that) but could have made the situation worse by enabling him because it doesn't sound to me like she stands up to him at all. Which doesn't necessarily make him a sociopath/psychopath - not that he isn't - but she isn't helping him - which again is a LOT of the frustration that I completely get - and I get it because my Mom finally had that talk with ME about MY son that I didn't want to have. (so yeah I got it good, and no my son is NOT his Father who is a real genetic mess) I'd like to call him Satan - but honestly that would almost be a compliment.

    So once my Mom gets done telling me HER side of 'this is how I feel" I honestly sat there and thought - OM - Mr. Sam - no kidding. It was like a flash - because a lot of the same fears and things that you have said here about your nephew? She said....too. So it's not that you don't have valid fears, or that you haven't read or that she didn't read. And I am not saying for sure that your nephew is or isn't. I have NO CLUE about his psychological make up, genetic background, yadda yadda. I just know that if I got out a book right now - and went down the list - of Simon and Garfunkles list of 25 top behaviors that are tell tale signs for psychotic killers - and you tested ME on any given PMDD day? (and I'm not making fun of this either because I really do have PMDD - I just don't know Simon or Garfunkle) I would probably hit 20 out of 25 and literally without Welbutrin and thearpy ? I probably could have physically hurt someone. The big BUT there being - I had therapy - and I have SSRI's. (and Midol and everyone leaves me alone, and i took a defensive driving course and lowered my insurance bill like $12.65 a year) which didn't help with the depression but anything financial makes a little help with the smiles.

    SO......I think what the collective soul is possible trying to impune on you dear one - is that you do have many things to contribute to the board, and it's the absolute of this community that you take mucho help0 away from it. It would be fantastic in my mind - that you found something/anything here - that you could take to your sister - and she would get help that helped your nephew- I don't care what he is - he could be a flippin kangaroo for all I care, but as long as he is a mentally healthy one? Bounce! Dig? You picking up what I'm laying down Daddy o? See - I'm not so worried about the lable - as much as I am the fix. You are a huge help to your sister - but she's got to realize there IS a problem, she does NOT deserve to be treated like she is - and the longer she accepts being treated like she is? The worse it makes it for her son.

    If she loves him? She's got to do something about herself and how he treats her - plain and simple. If you love her? I'd flat out tell her that....and hand her the number to a domestic violence shelter and offer to take her and sit wtih her at meetings. She's not ready for therapy - but she needs to talk to someone about what is happening to her - cause it's bad, what you describe is really bad an the only way to fix it? Is to fix her - and at this point I doubt with as bad as you describe him - there is a fix for him immediately - but at least we could help her and the long run? She could help him. Whatever is going on in that house? You're a better man than most to give a care - and for that? Whatever your tone - your family should appreciate you for that. There and here.

    Hugs -
  19. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Star, I really appreciate all that you say here. As for my sister, here's the current sitch: she set him up in an apartment in a city 80 miles from home, pays all his bills, and pretends he's in college at a community college there. He was, but then he dropped out (presumably having scarcely attended classes, from what I've heard), and she keeps paying his bills, and I guess that's kind of a solution, in that it keeps him out of her house, but it's certainly not teaching him anything but that she will cover all his expenses, including spending money, regardless of his conduct (which, as far as I know from YouTube clips and the like, is unchanged) and that is a prescription for a lifetime of paying his way unless she can summon the nerve to cut him off. But I would imagine that the unspoken understanding between them is that he'll stay away as long she pays all of his bills, but will come home and raise hell, as of old, if she ever cuts him off. So she's essentially being held financially hostage by him.

    As for my amateur diagnosis of his sociopathy, we can amicably disagree on this, but I'm understandably in a far better position to know than you are. I read EVERYTHING I could find on the topic--Cleckley, Hare, online articles, etc--in '10, including every article on the topic in Psychiatric Times, and he seemed to fit *every* diagnostic indicator in great, unambiguous abundance. I took no delight in arriving at this conclusion about him, but it was helpful in practical terms, as it clarified and simplified my responses to him--i.e., zero interest in his ongoing excuses, manipulations, lies, emotional exploitation and transparently bogus appeals to sympathy, and so on. My orientation became entirely one of protecting family members and property from him, with little interest in what he had to say or complain about it. And that was useful--it eliminated distractions. There are times when "calling a spade a spade" is very useful in practical terms, however unsympathetic it might seem to others.

    But I will add, very sincerely, that I don't pretend that everyone else's difficult child situation is similar to the one that I contended with. I have learned that in this forum. Many contexts and many valid responses, of which mine was only one--but it was effective, at least within that limited context. YMMV, and that's cool with me.
  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I've appreciated your insight more than once.

    Sometimes I think it can be more difficult to deal with a difficult child that is not your own child. Because you also have to deal with the parents as well and if they're in denial or whatever.......well, it's just plain frustrating as all hades. I know, I've got a sis practicing burying her head in the sand and a niece who could desperately use therapy, a psychiatrist, and probably medications going untreated and unhelped because sis seems to believe that if she pretends hard enough there is no problem, then it will go away on it's own. I had her talked into a psychiatric evaluation, which she did, then her husband found out........and of course HIS child could not possibly have anything back to the head in the sand. Frustrating to say the very least. I've had the violent nephew scenerio too, unfortunately. That same nephew is now serving life. Would the outcome had been different with proper treatment? Well we'll never know the answer to that one.
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