My son is a bully!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by morningcuppa, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Hi I'm new here. I hope someone will have some words of wisdom or comfort as I'm feeling really fed up after yet another incident.

    I have two sons age 22 years and 16 years. We have had problems with the oldest one for yeras and he had a diagnosis of adhd at age 13. He did well on medications (ritalin)but refused to take them at age 15 and has been very difficult to live with.
    Tonight he asked for a ride to the next town as he was late. He's late for just about everything. He'd been listening to music and generally lazing around for at least 2 hours.
    I am tired as I was up at 5am and have a very demanding job so I said I'd take him to the station but did not feel up to a long drive. He tried to bully me into it but I stuck my ground (unusual for me). He sulked all the way to the station then slammed the car door. Why then do I feel I've comitted a crime by wanting to sit quietly! He can be so angry and recently he has punched holes in three doors and a plaster wall. His anger really scares me. At present he is all but ignoring his younger brother as he says he is always trying to copy his dress style. I think he is jealous really. The atmosphere is very strained all the time and we are treading on egg shells. I really want him out but do not think he is capable of managing alone. He's totally disorganised, always late, bedroom is a rubbish tip.

    I love him but do not like the person that he sometimes is. Other times he can be funny caring and charming. A real Jeckle and Hyde character.
    We always feel confused and don't know how to handle him. Confrontations usually result in damage to our home. My husband is abroad at the moment so I have to deal with this alone but he causes problems most of the time anyway so it's not just because his dad is away. I know I should stand up for myself but his is scary and when pumped full of adrenaline he is very strong. I don't think he would hurt me but it is horrible to witness him smashing things up.
    Younger son is a fairly normal teenager no angel but not a big problem.

    Any ideas anyone?
    Thanks x
  2. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Oh my! You sound like me. I could have written the whole post. My son is ditto that - he has abused drugs though. He used to take Ritilan for ADHD and refused to take it when he turned 15. He has been in and out of jail and rehabs for pot and pills. He has also knocked holes and walls and bullied me (manipulating). You have to put your foot down. How old is he? If he is an adult you do not have to put up with it. It is very hard. It has always been very hard with my son and still is. My son now is on probation - second time around - he thinks everyone did him dirty but it was his own self that did. I have a wonderful young son that is 17 - no drugs, etc. - he sees what happens to someone that does. We kicked our oldest son out. It is so hard. It is very stressful on the family. I have walked on eggshells too. My husband and my son used to get into fights. It is horrible. I am now waiting for my oldest son to say he has a problem and go into rehab that is available to him through voc rehab. I hope he will do it. Good Luck. I understand completly.
  3. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Thank you standswithcourage for your reply. I'm so sorry for your problems.
    I am not aware that my son takes drugs but cannot be completly sure. He is 22 years old. He drinks too much sometimes though. Of course everything is always someone elses fault never his. I know I have to be firmer with him and take back some life of my own. As you say with your son my son is also very manipulating. " You don't care about me etc" The more we do the more he wants. Other times he can be really wonderful and we are left wondering if we are going crazy and imagining it. Not the holes in the walls though thet are definately real!
    Good luck with your boy.
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Dreamer,
    I too can relate to the situation you're describing. My difficult child is awfully manipulative, and can be a bully too. Sweet as strawberry jam when everything's going his way or when he wants something, and then incredibly nasty when he realizes he's not goint to get it.

    It's never fun to feel that you're walking on eggshells. It's tense, and it's hard on you, and on the rest of your family. Thing is, no matter how gently you tiptoe, something, someday will set your difficult child off, and then you'll be dealing with the aggressive behaviour again anyway.

    You do need to stand up to your son, and yes, it's very hard. It can be scary and intimidating, especially when your son is fully grown and strong. At the same time, you need to be know that you're physically safe and that the situation won't escalate to a point where things get out of control.

    I don't think you did the wrong thing in just taking your son to the station. If he acts badly in return, then perhaps a natural consequence (finding his way back home from the station on the bus??) might be an option.

    I hope things settle down soon.

    All the best,
  5. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Thank you Trinity for your support. I thought I was the only one with a son who is such a pain in the neck. It is so true what you said. I keep thinking all is well for a short time and maybe he has grown up at last then something sets him off and he is smashing the place up and shouting at everyone. Yes like your lad he is all sweetness and light when he is getting his own way and a demon when he is not.
    At 22 it is time he started acting like a man instead of a spolied brat and I am determined to stand up to him.
    I saw from your sig that you consume lots of caffeine. I have been wondering about that recently. If it is a stimulant would it work in a similar way to ritalin? if so he is about to become a coffee addict! The only time life was settled was when he was taking ritalin. Not easy to get now he is an adult. We are in the UK.
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi, and welcome. Could you tell us more about your son? Is he still in school? If not, is he working a full-time job?

    Has he ever lived on his own?

  7. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Hi Kathy
    Thanks for the welcome. Its good to know I am not alone. Yes my son is working. I am really proud of him for that. He has never lived on his own except when we went on holiday. When we came back the house was a tip. It was full of beer cans and no washing up had been done for a week! He also has a tendancy to leave the oven/iron/tv/hair dryer on when he goes out so we were quite relieved the house had not burned to the ground.

    He appears to have no sense of time whatsoever. All his friends complain about it. He will often keep people waiting for several hours but doesn't seem to notice. He can never get anywhere on time. Is this common in adhd does anyone know?
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Dreamer,

    Yes, I do use caffeine instead of other ADD medications such as Ritalin. When I tried Ritalin, I had terrible stomach cramps and other even less pleasant symptoms. I've also found that tea works for me much better than coffee does. My little easy child responds well to a very weak cuppa (1/2 hot water, 1/2 milk, with a tea bag sloshed in the cup for about 10 seconds). It settles him right down.

    On the other hand, my difficult child takes Concerta (similar to Ritalin), but he metabolizes it very quickly, so we top up with a cup of coffee in the afternoon, and it works very well for him. Tea doesn't seem to affect him one way or the other.

    A caution, though: Caffeine does work for some, but I have also heard horror stories from others about the effects of caffeine on their difficult children.

    It might be worth a try, but I'd suggest treating it like one of those food elimination trials that people do when they're trying to identify an allergy. Make sure that your son isn't having anything else with caffeine at the time (cola, chocolate, Red Bull, or whatever), and then try the tea or coffee. If you notice a positive difference, then you might have success.

    Good luck, and hope things settle down for you soon.
  9. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    If you hang out and read our stories, you will quickly realize you are far from alone.

    Welcome to Sorry your eldest is turning the family upside down.

    Drugs have already been mentioned, but you may want to check out this list from our archives about the common signs of drug abuse.
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi dreamer57

    You've found a great support site. Sorry you're difficult child is giving everyone such a hard time.

    Loosing track of time is an ADHD symptom. So is being unorganized.

  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Hi dreamer57 & welcome. I've sent you a personal message, please click on the flashing red piece of mail at the top of this page. :smile:
  12. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I will add my welcome as well. You will find this forum extremely beneficial to your sanity and well being.

    As far as the holes in walls and doors, I would be hiring a professional contractor to repair the damages and then hand sonny the bill. Payment required upon receipt. He might think twice the next time he has the urge to destroy YOUR property.

    When my daughter would rage my best response was to walk away. There isn't much satisfaction in raging at no one. I would literally turn my back and leave the room. Sometimes I would leave the house and go for a walk. Try it and see what his reaction is.

    Welcome aboard!
  13. KFld

    KFld New Member

    As others have said, there will be plenty of people along in this board who have gone through, or are still going through the same thing as you.

    You will find a great bunch of people here, all with very different opinions. Take what you like and leave the rest.

    My son is a 20 year old recovering heroin addict. He will be one year clean a week from today. Wooohooooo!!!! That is huge for him, and us, but we experienced so much pain along the way.

    My son also has adhd. Pretty much stopped taking legal medication when he was around 15-16, and went to self medicating. He hasn't lived home in 2 years now. He went from rehabs to soberhouses because we would not allow him to live home anymore once he started stealing from us. When he moved out, he left many holes in his bedroom walls.

    I feel for you because you are doing this on your own. My husband was not the greatest support emotionally at times when we were raising our son, but it was nice to have his physical presence in the house because I never felt threatened by my son.

    I hope you find some things here that can help you learn how to deal with him and take your life and your home back.

  14. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Thank you all for the warm welcomes.
    I feel so much better now. Hubby will be back in 2 weeks and it is great to have him around as he is very calm but we both feel stressed by the situation overall. My punishment for standing firm last night is that he didn't come home at all. Didn't call. He's probably with friends so I will enjoy the peace while it lasts.
    You are all so helpful give yourselves a big hug.

    (I have changed my screen name to morningcuppa by the way.)
  15. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Hi and welcome.
    You've got some work to do cuppa.
    Your difficult child sounds like my difficult child 1. I originally thought difficult child 1 had adhd. That's what they psychologist, psychiatrist, and a smathering of other docs said. We did the usual tx for the disorder including medications and behavioral therapy. He ended up getting in drugs with marijuana being his drug of choice. Between the drugs and the diagnosis, his diagnosis ended up changing to be bipolar. Bipolar could have been the diagnosis when he was younger but at that time they weren't diagnosing it.

    Anger is a manipulative tool as well as his intimidation. difficult child's don't like to be around people who don't put up with them. They are more afraid/dislike the people who put up boundries and don't let them get away their shenanigans. It took me a long time to understand and comprehend that. My mommy heart just wouldn't accept it.

    Al anon may be able to teach you some "tools" for setting boundries and learning "quick exit retreats" when your difficult child is raging. Al anon may be able to teach you how to recognize when you are being manipulated as well. As soon as you put some boundries in place and don't feed into his manipulation, you will see huge changes.

    You might want to really research this site as it has lots of information on other diagnosis as well.

    Because damage is occuring to your property, your difficult child should be held accountable for his actions. If he's not paying for the repairs, he should be. You are under no obligation legally to house or feed him. Standing your ground will show difficult child that he cannot continue what he does.

    Don't worry about the verbal tirade either, it's a front and your difficult child knows it. Just don't feed into it. Your difficult child will either apologize in a few days or react as if nothing happened.

    It's time to are not his friend, you are his mother. He has an obligation to honor you not treat you like a doormat.
  16. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    Thanks Sunnyflorida for the words of wisdom. Great stuff. Everything you said is just how my son is. Hubby and I both had doubts about the adhd diagnosis but it was the best fit. We did wonder about bipolar as he is very up and down.
    It's such a shame bacause when he is on the up track he is a real charmer and I really believe he has a soft centre. The outside shell is hard to get through though.

    I think I'll have I'm not a dorrmat tatooed on my forehead. Backwards so I can read it in the mirror!
    This is a great site.
  17. morningcuppa

    morningcuppa New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: morningcuppa</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    I think I'll have I'm not a dorrmat tatooed on my forehead. Backwards so I can read it in the mirror!
    This is a great site.


    Of course it would help if I spelt "doormat" correctly wouldn't it?

    He just called me and very politely asked if I would collect him from the station. I did but made him wait 5 mins for me.
  18. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi there cuppa.

    Well, I'm going to tell you what I honestly think, and you might love it or you might hate it.

    I think it is time for your dear boy to spread his wings and leave the nest. Well, maybe it is. I think it is time to put him to the test.

    What you and husband need to do is come up with rules for him to live by. Rules that are non-negotiable. Include rent and paying you for taxi service. Include housework. Include a curfew that you find acceptable. Definitely include speaking to his parents with respect. And include a no drinking or drug clause. Then, sit down with your son. Tell him that if he wants to keep living in your home, here are the rules of the house. Tell him that you understand that he is a grownup, but he is a grownup living in YOUR house, and while he is in YOUR house he will obide by YOUR rules or he will be asked to leave.

    If he agrees, hand him a copy of the rules and have him sign them. Keep that in a safe place. If he breaks a rule, ask him to leave. If he does not leave, or if he becomes violent, call the police and have him removed.

    If he does not agree to your terms, ask him to leave. He's a big boy.

    That will solve your problem, one way or the other.
  19. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm with BBK. He's too old to be living at home and paying a fair share. You don't have to spend it -- you can put it into a special account for when he is ready to move out or education or his wedding (when the time comes). Whatever.

    He should also be paying for any damages he causes.

    My daughter was a bully to me. For a long time, I let her be. I finally decided this was stupid. I had a right to feel my home was my sanctuary, not a place where I cowered in my room while my child pretty much did what she wanted. I waited until she was in a good mood and gave her my rules and stated the exact consequences for breaking them -- anywhere from a money fine to calling the police. It took about 6 months but she began to see I meant it. I didn't back down. I did call the police when she stole from me or got violent. It was hard but it has paid off. She is not always a charmer, but she is always a person I can tolerate having in MY home (even though reminders are occasionally needed).

    I'll tell you one thing that created more problems than not was when I behaved in a passive-aggressive manner such us picking her up late when I didn't want to pick her up. Underneath, I'd be resentful that I was there at all and she'd be angry that I was late. It created more problems in the long run. I found it was much better to just tell her I was too upset, tired, whatever to pick her up and she'd have to find her own way home. Yes, she'd be angry but after a few times of having to come home on her own and no response to her tirades other than "I'm sorry you feel that way," she began leaving the house in a much more civil manner.

    You are most definitely not alone and your son is most definitely not the only bratty bully with mental issues. There are several here and many, many more with parents who haven't found this site. Welcome! You'll love most of the support here (and probably hate some of the advice given but listen to it carefully, anyway).
  20. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with BBK. That was the reason that I asked if your son was still in school.

    The only reason I can see for a 22 year old to be still living at home would be if he was going to school. In your case, especially if he is treating you disrespectfully and damaging your home with his outbursts, he needs to find another place to live.

    I think it is time for the little birdie to fly the nest. If you aren't ready to do that, then at least opt for BBK's idea of setting down guidelines and sticking to them.

    Your son is treating you like this because he can get away with it. I speak from experience here. We finally had to make our difficult child leave our home when she was 20 (that was the second time ~ the first time we foolishly believed her story that she wanted to change her life and then we found drugs and alcohol hidden in her room). It took tough love to do it but it was the best things we could have done. Our difficult child is living on her own, working, paying her own bills, and has gone back to college full time. Best of all, she treats us lovingly and respectfully when we are with her. I never thought that would happen during the dark years.