My Living H.............

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wakeupcall, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    If it weren't for all of you...I know I couldn't do this at all. I'm still not sure I can. I just wrote in my journal the events of the last three hours since difficult child got home from school. husband is out of town....something he seldom does, but he DOES have to make a living. I'm not sure I can continue to be the mother of my difficult child any longer. When we are alone...omg, it's pure...ummmmm, heck. He must hate me for NO child would treat their mother the way he treats me. I even did several mini videos from my phone just to show husband, difficult child, myself, and anyone else who would listen the pure heck it is for hours on end. I try talking softly, but that's hard to do when he's totally destroying the house, swinging at the dogs, locking me out of the house, breaking the overhead garage door, throwing food, etc.

    With a warning or two I told him he would NOT be enjoying the band festivities after rehearsal on Friday if he could not treat me with respect. Did that stop him? NOT! He just doesn't care. And he's beginning to wear me down where I don't care either.:givingup:

    Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Vent away, Pamela. I remember I sat at my keyboard at this very bb one night, in tears, with-the door locked, while my difficult child kicked at the door, yelled and screamed and broke things (after bruising and kicking me) and I was at my wit's end.
    The only thing I can suggest is that you hold to your threat about not allowing him to go to band festivities on Friday. You must follow through on your word. But you must get him during a calm moment and explain to him exactly what respect means. I had to imitate my son's voice, use the same words and intonations, repeatedly and in front of our child psychiatric and husband several times b4 he "got it." When you say he has to treat you with-respect, it's possible he has no idea what that word means. Sounds strange, I know, but since he's already been diagnosis'd with-several disorders, you know that something in his brain isn't working right so you have to explain it to him in very, very simplistic terms. I would suggest having your husband home while you explain it, or if he can't be there, have a friend, minister or someone else there. Also, if he behaves better around other people, have someone stay with-you Fri. night while he's missing out on the festivities or you will have h*ll to pay. I've found that my difficult child behaves better with-other people around, and that when he's grounded, I'm often just punishing myself.
    Good luck!
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    It breaks my heart to read this because I know you truly love him. I hope he knocks it off long enough to remember that he loves you too. {{{Hugs}}}.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Pamela, your difficult child has a diagnosis of mood disorder just like two of mine. Mine were not in control of their behavior until we got their medications straightened out. Honestly, I don't believe your difficult child's behavior is about hating you or not treating you with respect. I strongly suspect he needs to have a medication overhaul.

    When was the last time he saw his psychiatrist? When was the last time the psychiatrist made any medication chanages? My son recently completed 6 weeks in a day treatment program at a local psychiatric hospital. The first day he went to the program, his attending psychiatrist discontinued Focalin XR. The third day the psychiatrist added a second mood stabilizer (J was already on Lamictal). Two weeks later the psychiatrist added the atypical antipsychotic Seroquel, and when it kicked in, we suddenly saw J's depression and oppositional behavior melt away. I'm not saying all is rosy, but J made a tremendous amount of progress by going to a day treatment program.

    I don't think you have to continue to live this way. I think your difficult child -- in fact, your whole family -- needs more intensive help than you're currently getting. Is a day treatment program a possibility? Or inpatient? Or a more therapeutic school setting than he's currently in? I think you need to research your options and find a program that will make a difference in your difficult child's life.

    Hugs going out to you tonight.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Uh, as one who has a traveling husband, and knows all to well the despair of being alone with a child who is out of control. I have taken the mini videos myself...
    and as one who just this week, broke down in my car!!!
    I am with you sister!!!
    Yes this place is my sanity some months, I mean days...
    Hang in there... even though nothing ever is perfect! We all know that, even though some on the outside may lead you to believe that. You will have your better days.
  6. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    been there done that with the destruction etc. We used to say that nothing, nothing even the nuclear option would have altered my son's behavior. We could have made any threat we wanted to while he was in the midst of a rage and it wouldn't haven't helped. Even having the police come didn't do ay good. So after a while we learned that that threats actually only made the situation worse. And I don't think threats of behavior etc when he was in an ok mood would have kept him from raging.

    I echo what Smallworld has to say. It was mostly getting my son's medications right (for him a combo of Risperdal and Lamictal) that finally turned the tide. Plus I learned not to inflame the situation whenever he would start to get in one of his silly moods which could so quicky turn destructive. I was marveling the other day how far we have come with him.

    I hope that you can find some answers with a good psychiatrist, cause you are right, it is incredibly debilitating to live the way you are.

  7. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Ya know....the saying "I love you, but I can't live with you.."? That's just the way I feel with him. He's such a gorgeous child and I've given him my all day after day....I've tried my very hardest to make a difference, but... I dunno

    He saw his psychiatrist about a month ago, but she made no changes. I did tell her at that time that he was misbehaving, but I didn't think it was medication related, just BAD behavior. Maybe it is medication related. difficult child seems to hold it together (sorta) if husband is home. We just discussed this very thing at his therapist appointment. last night. Those appts. seem like such a waste of our time and money. I've NEVER thought therapy helped, but I never wanted to leave a stone unturned. I'm just so very tired of doing this.

    I wonder if I can get him to bed???????
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Perhaps he isn't stable enough to benefit from therapy right now?
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Pam, I agree with TM. My kids couldn't access therapy until their medications were straightened out. They're doing much better in therapy now.
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Pamela - a gentle hug. I'm so very sorry - I know it's incredibly frustrating and demoralizing to have to deal with this stuff, with no end and no reason.

    I am the queen of wimps. Destruction of property and, if I'm reading between the lines correctly, basically all out raging for hours on end meant a call to 911, transport to hospital, and admission.

    Please *please* remember that this behavior has absolutely nothing to do with you. I think there are several of us who have kids who target Mom more than Dad, but I don't believe it's personal. It has nothing to do with love or respect. It's just what it is. No comfort, I know.

    I think asking for concrete behaviors sometimes works better, at least with thank you. Asking him for respect would be like asking him for the meaning of life - it's too vague and too subjective (at least to our difficult children). Telling him not to touch things that don't belong to him is concrete. His things are in his room. They don't include door locks, garage openers, etc.

    Really, I have this mental image in my head of your evening that is very similar to some of the bad old days with thank you when he went from room to room, spreading destruction and chaos. It was almost sport for thank you. I'm just so sorry.

    I hear you about therapy. After 13 years of it with thank you, I'm still on the fence. On the one hand, he verbalizes very well what strategies he should be using (in a calm and cooperative mood, which is rare these days, LOL). on the other hand... he has thus far been pretty inconsistent in actually *using* those strategies. I guess I'm still holding out hope that reinforcement of what he's heard a gazillion times will eventually push him over to actually making use of it. But again, I just don't know.

    I hope you got him safely and peacefully to bed and you can take some moments to regroup. A gentle hug to you.
  11. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Neither of my kids has appeared to have benefitted very much from therapy--certainly not when stable. My youngest with Fetal alcohol I am not sure will benefit very from any cognitive approaches ever, while my oldest I dunno seems happy enough with his life that I don't know if he benefits either. We finally stopped a few months ago and not having the rounds of appointments seems to make life easier for all. Perhaps we will start up again some day but not soon.

    A new thread might be, who benefits under what circumstances from what kind of therapy.
  12. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member


    Gentle hug from me too. My son raged tonight right after I read your post. Thank goodness it only lasted ten minutes.:whiteflag:

    I have no words of advice...only wanted to tell you that I am thinking of you and your difficult child....

    Hang in there. It sounds like you are doing everything you can. I believe our difficult child's rage with us because it is a "safe place" because they know how much we love them and care for them.
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Not one person on this board doesn't believe in your love for your difficult child. However, we can hear - feel your level of exhaustion & frustration.

    It's not healthy to live with that level of emotion - day in , day out.

    Both kt & wm "seemed to enjoy" the freedom of a rage (wm) or meltdown (kt - she could & still does go 6 hours on occassion). There is a freedom of letting loose at that level. Are they aware - I think at some level. Can they control it - not past a certain point. I know that if I don't catch & redirect a meltdown from kt the crisis team will be called & possible ER visit is impending.

    Saying that, Residential Treatment Center (RTC) taught me something invaluable - something I had never considered. It used to be after all that emotion was spent, kt had been PRN'd & she was off to lala land I had the further task of cleaning up after the rage.

    Residential Treatment Center (RTC) taught me to put a stop to it. In fact, the day kt was discharged, I sat my little girl down with "da rules". It broke down respect - physical boundaries, verbal abuse, etc to a level that kt can & does understand. The team at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) & the home team helped me write it up for kt.

    The rule that really got to kt was that for every meltdown with a mess made & destruction she was in charge of cleaning up mess she creates. "That's not fair!"

    The last meltdown kt had, she was about to throw a stool - I reminded her that she'd have to pay for the stool & clean up any mess that the stool took out. kt put the stool down & went to throw something less destructive.

    I think kt is aware at some point in her meltdown & if I catch it early enough I can, at the very least, control a bit of the destruction & the number of ER visits. ER visits = popsicles, movies & long waits for psychiatric SWs to come in to evaluate. Too late then. kt's been coddled back into compliance.

    After saying all that (sorry rambling a bit this morning), would it help for you & husband to sit difficult child down & explain to him that he is responsible for cleaning up the entire mess he creates; that his allowance goes toward anything destroyed or in need of repair?

    In the end, I always tell kt it's her choice to step off the edge into a rage or ask for help. She knows the physical signs of her teetering on the brink; I can see the level of anxiety building. husband & I are working with kt, as family, to get her to recognize & ask for help - make healthy safe choices. In the end that is the best.

    I'm wondering if you & your husband can help your difficult child to recognize some of these symptoms? Start using self calming skills. AND this is where the therapy can come into play. This is where a difficult child gets to practice & have many "redos" to walk out of a session on a successful note - knowing he/she can do that skill.

    Pamela - you love your son. Not one parent here doubts that. You hate the outward signs of his disorders/illness. Especially since they are directed toward you (same here).

    Don't ever take that personally - in the end, you will become his closest confidante. I truly believe that.

    I hope that you've had some rest now & that the coming day is peaceful & safe.

  14. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I got up at 4:00 am for some peace this morning. difficult child raged for a total of three hours and I was exhausted last night, but awoke and couldn't get back to sleep.

    What is it that triggers one of these episodes when husband is gone? I tried to diffuse it with ignoring his remarks, speaking softly....all the STUFF one does to head it off, but I could see it escalating. I honestly feel like he'd be better off without me. When he had calmed I asked him to try to explain how he was feeling and all he says is that he can't stop. I can't leave the house and let him go...he'd destroy everything, hang the dogs, etc. Last evening he was wielding a butter knife in my face (caught on tape) and I had accidentally broken a plate and he just loved picking up those broken pieces of plate and waving it in the dogs' faces. I don't think he meant it maliciously really, but how does one know? What constitues a rage? Am I reading more (or less) into it than it really is? I've never had experience with anything like this before we adopted him. And omg........

    I'm a wreck. I feel like husband will come home in the morning (Fri) and once again look at me like, "I can't go away for one freakin' day without mayhem here." If he only knew.

    Before that, we have yet another day. Pray it isn't like last night.:sad-very:
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Pamela J, you are the most polite venting member I have ever read. :laughing:
    I'm sure there is fury and frustration under the calm controlled demeanor. You have done everything possible and you will continue to do so but in between, you need to have frequent breaks from the intensity, a plan for the next time it happens and support in place for yourself.

    Hugs,I know how much you want things to be different. It's not clear if we make a difference but you have to believe they will do better with love than not.
    Don't let him undermine your confidence or your sense of yourself.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I ditto what Fran said.
  17. GinAndTonic

    GinAndTonic New Member

    I hope today goes better, PamelaJ.
  18. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I wish over the years I KNEW what triggered the immediate (seemingly) rages of a child when his father was away. I could have DF run to the market- and in a matter of 20 minutes - difficult child was picking and escalating. We figured it was because he cut the weakest parent from the herd. LOL. Not really - but you know there is something about them that allows them to go one on one - or even 10 on one in some cases - but one on one with Mom has always seemed (I guess in his brain) as a fight he could win because....I learned not to fight back (detach) and when you do that I think in their little brains - since they LIVE to win -we become more of a challenge to "win" than if we would just argue and put them in the mind frame they are comfortable with. difficult child lived to be in a chaotic environment, lives still to win at anything.

    In fact to this day and he's 17 - all I have to do is forget my communication skills and say something joking like - If he tossed a piece of crumpled up paper towards a wastebasket - and missed - and I said "Ohhh swish" - he would come unhinged and take it personally like I was putting him down instead of taking it like I was joking -

    I swear to heaven on high - it's like living 24-7 with a male who got a super duper dose of teenage PMS and likes to be ugly and creepy all day.

    Sorry for your hurt - YOU KNOW - you ARE a GREAT Mom.

  19. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Boy, was I wiped today! Just plain worn out. difficult child has acted better since he got home from school. We went for pizza...thought that might entertain him a little and husband gets home from his business trip in the morning. I've called difficult child's medication psychiatrist and she'll call me back tomorrow, so maybe she'll have some ideas as to what we can do medication-wise, if anything.

    Fran, I had to chuckle when you said I was a polite venting member.!! Hehehe....I was polite because I was so bumbed out I couldn't even yell, scream and cry. Anyone in my family will tell you that I'm the most even-tempered person they know....but I swear, this boy is going to do me in.

    Star, my difficult child ALWAYS has to win, no matter what. He has to have the last word, too. I try very hard to detach and I can do it for a pretty long time, but eventually I blow!

    I truly don't know what I'd do without all of you. I have no other friends, my daughter gets tired of hearing it, and I feel like I'm such a person-with-no-backbone in husband's eyes. Thanks for being here, dear friends.
  20. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending some gentle hugs your way.