My Son the Bottle...


New Member

M has always been a master of telling you what you want to hear. Ironically, he's a terrible liar. But, over the years he's always been either resistant to saying how he feels or unable to (I'm not sure which) and instead he spits out what he knows is the "right" answer. The SW's & psychiatrists at the psychiatric hospital were suckers for this, by the way. I always had to explain to them that he was just regurgitating what they wanted to hear and that they could not take what he was saying at face value...I was quite amazed they couldn't figure that out for themselves.

Anyway, I guess this week I let my optimism get the best of me. M seemed to genuinely find things he liked about his new school and for the first day this week, I didn't have to have a defensive plan to get him out of bed to get ready. After a little gentle rousing, he got up and ready with no struggle. Things seemed to be falling into place. I BELIEVED what he was telling me...that he LIKED his new school.

Then, this afternoon I was resting on the couch with a headache and he and his little brother were in the kitchen whispering, trying not to disturb me...but let's be quiet can g'sfg really be! LOL So, I overheard the conversation I was obviously not supposed to.

M was asking C if he liked school. C, who absolutely LOVES his preschool, said, "YES!" and M, with such anger says, "Well I HATE school. Now do you STILL like school?" and C says, "YES!" (C being of few words LOL) and M says, "Well, I HATE it...don't you want to be like me? I HATE school. You're going to hate it too." :frown:

M bottles everything inside and I just don't know how to reach him. I don't know how to address this. The "voice" was so familiar that I felt fear inside me...I suddenly relived some of our worst rages...I'm almost afraid to bring it up. I'm not sure I want to risk going there. On the other hand, I don't want him to think it's OK to be a bottle his entire life. I tell him time and time again that it's OK to come to me about ANYTHING and he knows that he is never judged, punished, or anything about the things he speaks to me about.

M has one more day of school tomorrow, then two weeks off, and then his 3 week Summer Program starts there. I *think* he's looking forward to the Summer Program, but for all I know, he's just saying that.

M also has his first psychiatrist appointment post-discharge on Monday. He *says* he understands the importance of going and that he has no negative feels or issues with going and that he will go with no problems...but he's said that before and then that was where I had to call 911. Again, the master of telling you what you want to hear.

Any advice? Should I let him know I overheard the conversation? How much should I push the issue of the psychiatrist appointment on Monday to see if he'll talk about it? I am scared to death of that appointment....scared to death.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

While I wouldn't let on that you heard this conversation, I'd keep psychiatrist & therapist in the loop. Many times I contact therapist or psychiatrist before an appointment & leave them a message. When kt & I walk in the office I let them take the lead on any topics that need to be addressed then. It lets me off the hook.

Having said that, I bring kt's concerns up in a roundabout way during a conversation or quiet times. I let her take the lead, given her level of anxiety.

Maybe this will work with your difficult child - maybe not.


so sorry, I will pray for your appointment. on Monday, funny we will be going for an evaluation at a potential day program that day. If we last through the weekened that is.

The big/little brother element is always interesting isn't it, sigh..... My 16 y/o has put one too many things in my 10 y/o's already disturbed mind!



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I guess I would not bring up the conversation, and the only thing to do on Monday is to wait and hope that everything goes well. I would act as if you plan on it going well. I am hoping that it does!!!!


Active Member
I am so sorry Alison that you are panicking. I totally understand.

I guess, in my opinion, I would not let him know you heard the conversation. Could it be possible that difficult child was talking about "school" in general - and not the new school? Or could it be possible that he was trying to act the tough older brother?
Regardless, I would just let this ride, and see if he is able to work through this himself. I would, however, bring up the psychiatrist appointment this weekend to him in a fun, happy, way just to mentally prepare him for a positive visit, and open a door to him talking about any fears he may have. I might also do the same thing about his summer school, again, just to open the door to any conversations, and let him mentally prepare a hopefully positive image of the school.
Good luck - I betcha he will fine.......try to think positive! (I know - it is really hard!)


Alison, I don't know your son, but I interpret his conversation about hating school a little differently. If you ask my son if he hates school, he will answer an unqualified yes. If you ask him what he hates about school, he will tell you that he can't stand the work and the pressure and the boring classes. If you ask him if he hates his current school, he will say it's not bad as far as school goes. If you ask him what's not bad about his current school, he will tell you that the kids are fun and there aren't a lot of rules and some of the teachers are "cool" (he goes to a small progressive school).

I guess my point is that M may not be bottling his feelings or simply spitting out the right answer to the powers-that-be. I don't think you can jump to the conclusion that he hates his new school. He may hate the idea of school rather than a specific place. He may hate a part of a school program rather than the school in its entirety. He may hate the anxiety school causes him.

In terms of the psychiatrist, it took my son six months to buy into the need for weekly medication checks/psychotherapy (his psychiatrist does both). We simply asked the psychiatrist to build a relationship with our son and not worry about "therapy" until J started going more willingly. He still doesn't like going all that much, but he doesn't try to bolt out of the waiting room door any longer. in my humble opinion, M's reaction is not all that ususual. It can take a lot of time and patience for a relationship with a psychiatrist to work.

I don't think I'd talk to him about the conversation you overheard -- I think I'd just wait to see how he continues to do at his new school. And the psychiatrist, well, unfortunately, M may be willing at this point to go without incident, but his emotions take over at the time of the visit. If you read Ross Greene's Explosive Child, he talks about triggers that result in explosions and the cognitive skills deficits kids like ours have. If you haven't looked at the book recently, take another peek. It might give you a window into M's mind.

Good luck.


New Member
Our difficult child seems to get 'stuck' on an idea - usually a negative one - and will continue to say he hates something (like collaborative day program) even when things have improved and he has great days and good reports from him and from staff. Even though things went better for him after release from psychiatric hospital, he still would immediately go into the negative "hate" talk when discussing school. When reminded of the cool field trips - and fun challenges in p.e., he could admit that it wasn't so bad, but his initial immediate response would always still be negative.

Our difficult child is also extremely jealous of easy child sis that she doesn't have any problems in school - and she still attends regular class at the regular elementary school where difficult child was not successful. Could your difficult child be trying to get your easy child to 'hate' school, too, so that they might have that struggle in common? Just thinking out loud.


New Member
Hmmm...Jamie...your last paragraph could have a grain of truth to it. While M was in the psychiatric hospital, he often talked about how C would maybe someday come there too (as in be admitted). C always copies M and imitates him, and M is both annoyed by it and enjoys it.

"Stuck" is a word we use often in our home to describe M. Especially when he begins obsessing about something or a meltdown begins.

I casually asked him about school tonight over dinner...asked him if he liked school, hated school, or what and he said he liked school. husband asked him to rate his new school from 1-10 and he gave it a 7 (I had to laugh inside because my therapist, when talking about happiness and rating your happiness level from 1-10 says 7 is a significant level of I figured 7 is a significant level of dislike of school LMAO...but, I don't believe that...I think 7 is pretty darn good!).

M was all over the place today...we took a 15 minute trip to the grocery store and I thought I might rip my hair out! Jumping thought to thought, making annoying noises one after the other...My goodness...Thank heavens tomorrow is a new day! LOL

We'll be reaching 3 weeks on the Celexa on Monday...1 wk at the 20 mg a day dose...hard to report a difference while we're still in the post-discharge "honeymoon" stage. Should be interesting to see what next week brings!