New and Feeling Guilty

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JKF, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Hi, I'm new to your forum and I have to say I am thrilled to have found it!

    My 17 y/o son is having major problems. He has been diagnosed with ODD, Depression, Mood Disorder and ADHD. He has a serious addiction to electronics/computers/video games and he's also a compulsive liar and thief. He was in a group home for approximately 4 years and was just discharged to me and my husband in May. Things were great for the first two weeks or so (the "honeymoon" period) but have rapidly gone down hill since.

    In the 8 weeks since he's been home he's been expelled from school for theft of a teacher's wallet, stole $680 in cash from his uncle, stole an IPhone from the clinician at the partial hospital program he's attending and has progressively started defying every rule/expectation we have for him at home. When told no, he throws fits, screams, curses, etc. At times my husband and I, along with our 10 y/o have actually chosen to stay outside in the yard while he has his fits. It's much more peaceful out there than staying inside and listening to him scream at the top of his lungs and throw furniture around in his room. He's also very resentful of his 10 y/o brother and "plays" rough with him. I've seen bruises and I know they are coming from him. We can't leave him alone for even a second without him going through our things looking for something to take. I can't even shower unless my husband is home to "watch" him. Our home life has become a living hell!

    Yesterday I received a call from the clinician at the partial hospital program he's attending. She told me he expressed suicidal tendencies and said he didn't trust himself not to hurt himself or others. He was admitted into the hospital last night for observation. I feel guilty saying this but last night was the first peaceful night our family has had in 8 weeks. No screaming, yelling, or fear for any of us. I actually slept through the night for the first time in weeks!

    We have a meeting tomorrow morning at the hospital with his CMO workers and clinician to determine what the next steps will be. At this point I have asked that he be placed back into residential treatment since he's having such a hard time adjusting at home. I feel so guilty about this but he seriously can't function at home and is spiraling downward. I don't want him to hate me or think I'm abandoning him but he needs serious help and we just don't have the resources to do it at home.

    Anyway, that's my story and I'm glad to have found this site. It helps to know I'm not alone!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Welcome to the family. You have found an awesome place full of parents who have been there done that. What I see in what you shared so far could be two things. Please remember that this is only my opinion. It could be that he doesn't know HOW to function in a family unit that is unstructured compared to the place he was in. It could also be that he is already angry with you for "sending him away" and keeping his brother hence the way he treats brother. I agree that going back to placement might be the best place for him. Either that or intensive in-home therapy.

    Sorry you're going through this. You are NOT alone.
  3. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for the reply and warm welcome!!

    I agree that he is already very angry at being sent away and is definitely resentful of his little brother. He was living with his father and stepmother and they are the one's who initially sent him to residential but understandably he's angry at me as well.

    I know that 1). he's angry at me because he feels that I abandoned him and left him with his father and then his father sent him away. Unfortunately it's much more complicated then that but in his mind it's black and white with no in between. No matter how many times I try to explain the circumstances back then he just doesn't understand.
    2). he's extremely angry at his Bio Father and has many unresolved issues regarding their relationship.

    The whole time he was in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I tried to work as closely as possible with both him and his clinician in order to resolve these issues. I thought we had made significant progress but unfortunately I now see that these issues have not been resolved and we need to work much harder and address things on a much deeper level in order for him to get past this.

    Since he's been home we have tried intensive in home therapy. It hasn't worked at all. At first it seemed like it was working but then his behavior went right back to where it was and even worse. He tells the therapists what they want to hear and he knows how to manipulate the situation so that it looks like he's trying to resolve his issues when in reality he's not even close to doing that.

    The next step we took was the partial hospital program. He started last Friday and seemed to be doing well but then he stole the IPhone. Once he was confronted he denied it and went into a serious rage and was then hospitalized yesterday due to the suicide threat.

    The reason we have to consider residential again is because we can't leave him alone for even a second. He needs round the clock care and supervision and we don't have the resources to do that at home. I will be there every step of the way and work as hard as I need to with him to get the help he needs however at this point I feel that the only way to accomplish this is in an out of home setting. It's killing me because I love him so much and I want him to have an amazing life but until he's ready to address his issues and let go of the past that's not going to happen.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  4. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    You should not feel guilty or blame yourself. You are correct, you can not provide the help he needs at home, and you have the 10 yr old to consider. You are doing the best for him in a very difficult situation.
  5. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much! I know I shouldn't feel guilty but it's so hard. He's having such a hard time but underneath it all he's a sweet loving boy. He's just hurt and angry and doesn't know how to get better.

    He just called me from the hospital and we had a nice conversation. I explained to him that we need to work hard to get him better so he can live a happy life. I don't want him to end up in prison like his father. He totally agreed. I also mentioned that I thought it might be better if we worked on his problems outside of the home in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) so that he would be safe and receive the care he needs and he also agreed to that. That really surprised me. I was expecting a total freak out with tears and anger and lots of yelling. Maybe he finally realizes that he needs help and is ready to do it once and for all! I really hope that's the case! He's my "little boy" and I will be there every step of the way with him until he gets through this!
  6. Blessed Mama

    Blessed Mama New Member

    Hi there!

    I'm also new, and can relate to at least some of what you're dealing with. I keep feeling surprised again and again at how many of us there are who are dealing with similar situations with our beloved children. I've even seen my own words, that I've expressed, written in others posts here. For instance, when you said you want him to "have an amazing life". I said those same words to my daughter not too long ago, and have repeated them to friends when talking about her.

    Hang in there! I'm sorry you're going through this.
  7. katattak

    katattak New Member

    i feel your pain. Our 15 year old is currently in inpatient treatment. every word out of his mouth is a lie. he is super manipulative. he even has the audacity to lie to the police and counselors. Child's first 12 years were with his bio mom, who he thinks is the perfect mom. she is an addict, manipulative, and court has deemed no contact other then a 10 min supervised phone call once per week which she never makes. she once threw a wrench at him and cracked his skull, he STILL thinks it was an accident.
    At this point, i have gotten the best sleep with him in treatment. and i felt guilty about it. until i found out the lies he has told our neighbors and the teens and counselors at treatment!
    I am scared of him in our house, and seriously considering the state deeming him incorrigible so he can go to a boys home.
  8. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Sounds exactly like mine. Every single time he does something wrong he lies. He will look anyone straight in the face and say he didn't do it. It's very scary. Like he has no conscience or remorse! At this point we don't trust a single thing he tells us since he lies about everything! The scary thing for us is that when he's actually caught red handed he will continue to lie and if pushed that's when he freaks out and starts screaming and throwing things. We have tried everything we can to help him understand that it's best to tell the truth but nothing works! Very frustrating!
  9. Ellenm0m

    Ellenm0m New Member

    When we put my son into treatment my husband said "We have come to a point when we have to stop protecting him from the world and start protecting the world from him."