My Mommy heart is hurting

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by CCRidr2, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. CCRidr2

    CCRidr2 Sheena-Warrior Momma

    Ok, so I have been wondering if difficult child even <u>has</u> a conscience. He is able to mimic the concept pretty well but the sincerity in the emotion surrounding it is missing from his eyes and his voice. He'll say "sorry" when caught doing something wrong but turns right around and does it again a few hours later or the next day. It is always the same things over and over. While still adding new stuff to the mix and doing those over and over, as well.

    He gets caught stealing from us, his sister and brother, and (over the summer) from the store. We now "pat him down" before leaving any store we take him into. He lies to us about even the smallest things even when he is told that this is not an issue where he will be in trouble, we just want to know what happened. (how did you get that cut, has anyone seen the flashlight) He lies to us and his teachers (<u>very convincingly</u>) even when faced with the evidence of wrongdoing! (like someone saw him, cameras caught him)

    It's almost as if he doesn't care that there are consequences for his actions! He's going to be 10 in a few months and I have to keep an eye on him like I do the 2 yo I babysit for. We know that he is at least 2-3 years behind emotionally than a "normal" 10 yo but his acting out is almost as defiant at a teenager with total disregard for what may happen.

    Empathy is also a problem. He does things to others, destroys their things, steals from them, lies, screams the most awful things at his "friends" but heaven forbid anyone should do the same to him! It's an all out war! A couple weeks ago, he came in the house fighting mad and ready to cry because his "friend" was calling him names. When the whole story came out, he was the one that started it by calling them names because they wouldn't follow <u>his</u> rules for a game they were playing. Trying to explain the "Treat others as you want to be treated" concept to him is impossible! I get "but I was nice to them earlier". He just doesn't get that if you treat others like dirt, they are going to do the same to you.

    He will scream at me and give me attitude when I ask him about something (homework, chores, etc.) and not understand why I get upset. Over the past year husband has finally seen what how difficult child treats me when he is not present, he lurks around corners and listens when difficult child thinks he is gone. When difficult child, who likes to play us against each other anyway, started getting caught at it by husband he would say that "Mom was being mean" or "I didn't do anything" and of course husband would come back with "I heard everything you said". That got his attention for about a week. Now he does it right in front of husband regardless of the consequences. Even husband, the most patient man I know, lost his cool last night.

    I am at a loss, now and so is husband. He finally agreed to let me take him to a psychiatrist or therapist, which has been a battle since the first time I mentioned it. husband has been going through an internal struggle blaming himself for things that difficult child does. (is it genetics, did we not pay enough attention to him in younger years, is there something we could have, should have done, etc) Last night I think he finally gave up and figured out that none of that (minus genetics) is our fault, although I sometimes think the same things. It was a sad moment for him, the same one I had 4 years ago, when you realize you have no control. He is such a strong man and to see him defeated last night broke my heart! I know the pain his heart is in right now and I just want to make it better, but I knew he would come to the realization of the situation himself eventually. I just didn't know that it would hurt me so much to see him come to it.

    My Mommy heart hurts for my baby but it hurts for my other 2, as well, because they suffer too. They try to be the good big sis/bro and keep him out of trouble by warning him when he is about to do something that they know he will get in trouble for but difficult child doesn't see it that way. He only sees them telling him what to do and does it anyway (sometimes just to spite them or me). They are trying to help him "get it", and when he rebuffs them it hurts their feelings. "I tried to tell him, Mom, but he wouldn't listen." (while shaking their heads sadly)

    Any suggestions on the best way to go about finding the right psychiatrist/therapist or combo of docs to best suit his needs and ours? Any help and/or prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulders.
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. Honestly, your son so reminded me of my daughter at that age. I actually sewed up the pockets of any clothing she had so things couldn't be put in them in. Her backpack was a clear plastic. Any purses were see through. She verbally abused her friends. Sadly, if she opened her mouth, it was a lie.

    Here are some things that worked for me. For theft: I did not ask questions. I didn't ask where it came from, how it was gotten, etc. I would simply say something to the effect that whatever she had taken needed to be returned to whomever. If not, I would find out the price and take that money from her savings. If she wouldn't tell me to whom to give the money, it was given to a charity of my choice. After awhile, she found it easier to return whatever the item was.

    The same basically for lying. If she lied, I would look at her, tell her what I THOUGHT had happened and tell her that, sadly, there was nothing she could say that was going to convince me I was wrong. If I later found out she was telling the truth (a very, very rare occasion), I would let her know that I was very happy that she had told the truth and give her a reward. I did not bother punishing the lie. It was an exercise in futility.

    For teaching empathy: Oddly, puppets worked even at ages 12 and 13. She would be her friend or me or whomever. I would be her. We would act out things I had seen happen -- both how she had behaved and what could have been differently. It did help her to visualize some of her behavior. Again, it was not done with any accusations, just a way to show her different ways to do the same things.

    Today, she does have empathy. The lies are few and far between and usually correctly within 12 hours. Theft has truly stopped. So, there is hope that he will "get" it. A lot of patience, a good therapist, possibly some medications and a great deal of luck are needed, but there is hope.

    by the way -- If you live near a Children's Hospital or a good teaching hospital, I'd recommend trying to get in there for testing, etc.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "but I was nice to them earlier"

    Oh, boy, does THAT sound familiar.

    Just from what you wrote, I would venture a guess that he WILL and IS developing a conscience, but he is delayed, so everything is delayed. My son is delayed, too, but you would never know it to look at him. You just have to live with-him for a few days. :}

    Like MeowBunny, husband is into rewarding difficult child for telling the truth. It aggravated me at first, because it was always some awful thing that he was covering up, and I felt like we were rewarding that, too, but husband made if very, very clear that it was telling the truth that counted, and he would still be punished, but not as severely. When I saw the results with-difficult child, I started doing it too.

    Also, like you, husband took forever to acknowledge that there was a problem. Must be a make pride thing. Whatever. But now that husband is finally on board, it makes a huge difference. Once you start visiting a therapist and husband is on the same page, you will start to get your sanity back.

    It's slow going and very hard to be patient.

    You've gotten some good ideas from MeowBunny. I'm sure other will be along to help. I just sort of muddled through it ... got referrals from teachers and the pediatrician, etc.
  4. MelissaH

    MelissaH New Member

    Oh my as with meowbunny's daughter, your son sounds exactly like mine about 3 years ago. Minus the stealing, at least to my knowledge. It was lie after lie after lie and he was always the victim when it came to friends, school, mom, dad, anything. He would do things that he knew were wrong or would hurt somebody and not give a :censored2:. For about a year and a half we, his parents, were not ready to go the medication route and tried behavior modification. And, while it worked somewhat we finally got to the point where we had no choice but to medicate, not only for our sanity but for his well-being. It was getting to the point where nobody wanted him around, not even family, and it could have started to have a serious effect on his self-esteem. Like you guys, my husband and I were racked with guilt. I thought we didn't pay enough attention to him, we let him watch too much TV, we didn't feed him the right food, whatever I could think to blame myself I did. Finally after years of agonizing I came to realize that it's not our fault and the best thing we can do is go full force with any and all resources to help our son deal with this. Both my husband and I attended parenting classes, to learn different methods of discipline and communication. Some worked and some didn't but we just kept trying until we found one that works for us. Another thing that, I think, is a HUGE factor in my son's success is ensuring that me and hubby are on the same page--ALWAYS! If there ever was something that we didn't agree on we never let our son see it. Also, we made sure that we have 100% communication with the school and ensure that our son knows that. At one point our son was coming home from school saying that everybody hates him and the teachers hated him and were mean to him and picked on him so we arranged a meeting with the teacher to address these issues. We made sure that my, my husband, any teachers in question, and our son was present and when it all came out that none of this was true it made our son see that no more can he pull the wool over our eyes.

    He still has his bad days but it is wayyyyyyyyyy more good days than bad days. He is now in grade 5 and all of grade 4 I didn't have to leave work once to go and get him however in grade 2 his suspensions added up to probably a couple months of missed school and while the suspensions did subside a bit in grade 3, there were still times that I would have to leave work to go and get him because he was out of control and nobody could get through to him.

    With the stealing thing, I love the idea of sewing pockets closed and nothing but clear bags. If I ever encounter episodes of stealing I will for sure use this method.

    I guess what I am saying is it all takes time...a long time but it is soooo worth it when he is starting to have more good days than bad. It also takes strength, commitment, and determination on your's and your husband's part. Your difficult child will try and try and try to break you down but as long as you stand your ground, you will get through it!

    Good luck and big hugs to you!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take him a neuropsychologist, if your asking where he should be seen. He sounds in my opinion beyond ADHD/ODD. But bipolar is in his family and needs to be checked out--it's hereditary. It's nobody's fault that he's the way he is, but he does need help and the sooner the better, not just for you but for him. He must be miserable underneath all of his behaviors. I would get another GOOD opinion before I medicated him. With the family history, any ADHD medication could make him even worse, and that's the last thing anyone needs.
  6. :sad:

    So sorry to hear of your struggles. I can relate to a lot of what you are experiencing. My difficult child shows no signs of empathy or remorse no matter how badly he has hurt someone. (and there have been some pretty severe times) It broke my heart every time it would happen. I didn't know how to deal with it and I certainly didn't know how to reach him as I would try to explain how badly he had hurt someone, I would get this blank look staring back at me. Despite the fact that this has been going on since my difficult child was about 5 yo, it was only on Monday after the P-doctor's new diagnosis of Asperger's that it began to make sense. With Asperger's, they don't feel empathy. This can present its own set of challenges as you can't teach empathy... only sympathy. At this point, I still don't know how to deal with it but knowing that helps me to at least understand it. My mommy's heart sends your mommy's heart a big hug. Good luck and hopefully you will find some solutions.

  7. CCRidr2

    CCRidr2 Sheena-Warrior Momma

    He just seems like a different kid nowadays. He doesn't care about getting in trouble at school, it used to take him weeks to start acting out. This year it started week one. His test scores have always been above grade level and this year they are down, the teacher isn't concerned because the are still within grade level but husband and I know better.

    He is also getting better at the lying. He can look you straight in the eye and tell you a big FAT lie without concern for what is going to happen when he is found out.

    We had parent/teacher conferences on Monday and I asked him 5 min before I walked out the door if he had been in trouble that day. He looked right at me and said that he had gotten in trouble for talking but that he wasn't the one talking. husband said "Mom is on her way to talk to her now, if you're not telling us the truth she is going to find out so you might as well just tell us now."
    "Nope it wasn't me" I asked the teacher, he said the same thing to her, and her reply? "I was looking right at you difficult child, I saw your lips moving."

    When I got home we went over grades and then I said, right as he thought I was about to let him go, "You didn't tell me the truth about the talking before I left did you?" He looks at me and with complete nonchalance says "Nope, I didn't". Like he was saying he didn't like what was for dinner!

    I had nothing to say to that! What do you say when they admit they were lying and they don't seem to care that you found out?
  8. prayerful

    prayerful New Member

    I understand i had to got to the school today because my son : 11 years old diagnosis: adhd threaten another child to the child he would shot him and the police was called i have to go to a formal meeting tommorrow . The only advice i can give is not to give up on him / her but love and prayer in my situation i have just about given up , but i have to fight for him amd it's hard with all the negative that is envoled . my son does the things i thought you were righting about him ! have a question has he seen a behavior speacialist? has he been diagnosis with odd? if not take him to the doctor and get him seen that is the frist step becasue the school and others see you trying to do something ! don't wait to late before he does some thing then the school will get involved and you don't want that. :eek:. well i will be praying for you and your family this is hard to go through but aleast with this site we all know that we are not alone i thought so until i joined ! i hope things work it will get better just look for the positive in spite of it all and take time out for your self you need to be strong and your husband you don't need any added pressure or promblems :frown: i will keep you in my prayers.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion, if they are only 9 and changing so much, I'd do what I said in my first post. You need to have him re-evaluated. You truly don't want him to get progressively worse as he hits his teen years--maybe even getting into drugs. I don't want to scare you, but we've been there and it's not fun. I would want him tested all over again and intensively. He is not acting like a typical kid, he is not responding to discipline, chances are his early diagnosis has changed, and he needs a different sort of treatment than he is getting. Kids don't wake up and decide to ruin our days. When they act out, lie, steal etc. they are furious with rage, often due to mental illness and/or the frustrations that their life is--some have serious Learning Disability (LD)'s or undiagnosed disorders and have to cope in a world they don't "get." I wouldn't expect talking to him or just therapy to change him. I would seriously recommend a new evaluation and our long, tiring experience is that NeuroPsychs nail things the best. If he doesn't HAVE ADHD, those stimulants could be making him even worse. There are no blood tests to guarantee we have the right diagnosis. Second and third opinions, especially as they get older, are a good thing. They can shed light on our kids and change the course of their lives. I do wish you luck, whatever path you decide to take.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I also think it is time for a new evaluation. Neuropsychs are good, I have had good experiences with developmental pediatricians also. Just the way you describe your son makes me wonder about Aspergers, or some variation on that theme. It SOOO sounds like my son.

    You need a new evaluation as quickly as possible. If you are near a Children's Hospital or a university hospital you may find specialists there who can help you. If you are in Oklahoma, I can send you some resources.

    With bipolar on the family tree (biomom), this is something to rule out. Preferably before any other medications are tried, in my opinion. Many medications can make someone with bipolar unstable.

    There is hope, there is help, but it will take a lot of work from all of you. That was our experience anyway.

    First, cut yourself some slack and tell husband to do the same for himself. You need to be in top shape to advocate for your son, and beating yourself up, while perfectly normal, uses some of that energy you need for other things. It is NOT YOUR FAULT. Yes, we could all have done things differently, in a million ways. But so very few of those would help y
    our kids, and we can't redo them. So we need to focus forward on what WILL help.

    Go out and get The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It is a fairly easy read, and it is a whole new way of looking at the issues. It explains some of what may be going on, and it shows some new ways to handle things.

    If you don't already have it, buy or check out The Bipolar Child, by papalous (problem not spelled correctly). It will explain a lot about how bipolar presents in kids.

    This is a lot of info, and a good place to start. If you want to start getting records and info together for the professionals you will need to see (various docs, therapists, etc...) you can go to the General Archives forum of this site. The very first post put in the Archives is about a Parent Report. It shows a basic format. This will help you put everything together, and keep it together as you progress. You have to go to the last page, all the way at the bottom.



    ps. You are NOT alone, it is NOT your fault, you deserve some ice cream!
  11. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    I know how you feel. Sometimes there are days when I just want to do things for him -- be him for a few days so he can have a break at being himself. I just want him to have fun, be a kid and enjoy life and I know how much he struggles with himself. I wish I could take a lot of his misgivings away. But what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger and I really believe God doesn't make mistakes. Michael was given to me for a reason and I was blessed enough with the responsibility to help him make himself into a wonderful young man.

    Hang in there!
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm glad you were able to finally get husband to see the light.

    You've already gotten some good advice, but I wanted to send you some cyber (((hugs))) and let you know I'll say a prayer that you find a really good psychiatrist or neuropsychologist.

  13. stepmom47

    stepmom47 New Member

    Just wanted to chime in today:)
    My difficult child as of yesterday is now stealing other kids homework and turning it in as his own.
    No remorse.
    I felt like I was reading my own story when I was reading the original post for this thread:(

    So, Sad when I can't figure out what to do.....:sad:
    I have been hurting since July when he moved out.
    Like I failed him.......
    I have found that here I am not alone.
    Sorry all, having an emotional day:(

    ((Hugs from me too))