Newly Diagnosed and Freaking Out

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MissesVirginia, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. MissesVirginia

    MissesVirginia New Member

    Newbie mom here. What is "difficult child," please?

    I have 4 great kids; 3 adopted, all born to drug addicted/boozing moms. Each has their own set of challenges.

    My son, now 13, first attempted to kill his then 2-year-old sister by dousing her with lighter fluid and trying to set her on fire. He was 6 or so at the time. He made two other less scary (but very real) attempts when she was 4. He has pulled knives on me, and when he was 10, pulverized his older brother twice who outweighed him by over 100 lbs.

    Now, he is 13, bigger, stronger, angrier.

    He has been diagnosed with conduct disorder and some other scary mental health problems. He completely lacks the ability to empathize and cannot decipher social cues and norms.

    Of late, he has expressed the desire to kill and torture people and (more) animals to see what it feels like. This is all matter-of-fact, no bravado, no threats. Just expressing his thoughts and intents.

    I am a single mom already struggling with two kids who have serious chronic medical conditions, one of which that needs round the clock monitoring.

    I am scared, having been counseled to never leave my son alone with another my girls because he is fully capable of exploding one day and acting out these "thoughts that come from his head."

    I am just so overwhelmed, scared, and would love to hear from other parents whose children may have had anti-social behavior on this level - did therapy and medications work? I need hope. but so far, have little.

    Thank you to anyone who replies. I will check back soon as I can!
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    It is a very dangerous and volatile situation.
    Your first priority is the safety of your other children. They have a right to live a life where they are not terrified of their home.
    He should be supervised 24/7 around children and pets.

    How does he do in school?
    What sort of problems does he have there?

    My thoughts are residential placement before he does something that will put him in the juvenile justice system.

    Can adoptive services help? They knew and you knew that a child born of drug addiction can and do have a lot of problems. Is there something in place for services? It would seem you need a lot of intervention both from your difficult child(gift from god) standpoint and your other children. Respite, safety, and treatment are all part of a good plan for your family.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome. There are people here who will know exactly what you are going through. In the meantime, browse around the site for more information on a broad level. Reading other posts will give you some background in a lot of areas.

    difficult child means Gift From God, the child that brought you to the site. It's the best way of thinking of that child because a lot of us would be tempted to use labels that would have the site censor in overdrive!

    If you have a look through the FAQ/Board help, you will find some useful threads.

    Again, welcome.

  4. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    I am adding my support. This sounds like a tough and exhausting situation. Is respite care available? Keep asking.

    Sending hugs your way!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As most here know, I adopted a very dangerous child (I actually adopted four children, but he was the most seriously disturbed). After three years of him living with us, two dead dogs, little fires in our carpeting etc. I found out he'd been having sex (not just molesting) but forcing the two young kids to have sex with him the entire time he'd lived with us. We had no clue (yes, I feel like an idiot, but he acted like an angel to adults). I refused to subject my other kids to that danger a minute after I found out and me and hub called CPS, reported it, and asked for his removal. He went to Residential Treatment Center (RTC). From the updates we got, he was not better there. We relinquished our parental rights. Our other kids were PTSD because of him.

    Children have a right to be safe in their own home in my opinion. If it is possible to help him, in my opinion it's best to do it outside the home. My difficult child didn't try to kill the kids--he just had sex with them :whiteflag:. It is 100% your call, but I'd find out-of-home placement for him. You have no idea what he will do or what he may have done that you don't know about. We all think our other kids will tell us if they are molested because we tell them that we'll believe them and that they MUST tell us, but kids are so ashamed when they are molested they rarely do tell us. If the do, they don't tell the whole story until the dangerous kid is gone because they are terrified of him. And what if he DOES kill them?

    Alcohol exposure in utero can cause fetal alcohol affects/syndrome in which the kids do not understand right from wrong. It sounds like there is more to this with him and we don't know his history, but if it were me, after what we went through here, I'd want him to get help elsewhere, the sooner the better. There is no way to watch him 24/7. It's impossible. (((Hugs)))
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I am so very sorry for the pain you and your family have experienced.
    I think MW mom has made excellent points.
    Surely, your other children have a right to safety. I would do whatever you can to make sure this child stays in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). See about "adoption aftercare services." In the mean time, I would watch your children 24/7...but would shout from the rooftops that you want and need LONG TERM residential services have a crisis sitiuation. Depending on the severity of it all and your personal situation, I would even consider terminating your adoption. (I forgot the legal term for this). Consider hiring an attorney. This is beyond tragic. However, it would only be made worse not to help those innocent other children. And they will likely know in their sub conscious that real efforts were not made to protect them if this boy stays in the home. You have an obligation to keep him away. I have an adopted with different issues. Therapy and medication has made some improvements, over many many years. It has been a long, very tiring and very difficult road for our entire family and continues to be a challenge. There has been some progress, but it has been only in small increments. Please keep in mind, that our child, does NOT have the severerity or the dangerously impacting diagnosis that this child has. My heart goes out to you. As MW mentioned, your child could be suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)...and this could lead to a severe form of Conduct Disorder. Please consider re-reading what MW has to seems she had a similar experience.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 8, 2009
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sorry. I had a long post and lost it. So this may not seem as well thought out.

    First, WELCOME!!! Great bigs hugs of welcome!!! You are truly at a place with other parents who have actually gone through similar things!

    My son was also very violent for many years. He tried suicide at 6 and 7. Then moved to various attempts on Jessie's life. She is almost 4 years younger and was teh target of most of his aggression. Our son thank you is 4 years younger than Jess and was rarely the target of the violence. He was a boy. That is all teh explanation we have.

    Wiz was sent to a long term psychiatric hospital less than a week after I found him trying to kill Jessie int he middle of the night. He was on medications, we didn't let him be in the same room with her without an adult. The CAT actually woke me up and lead me into Jessie's room. She wasn't crying out because it wasn't new. And be/c Wiz told Jess that if she made any noise he would kill thank you. In gruesome ways. Wiz was 12 then, in 6th grade.

    I went and got alarms to put on doors so he couldn't get out of his room at night, or into her room. During the day Jessie had to wear a personal alarm on a lanyard around her neck. It was horrible.

    The psychiatric hospital wanted to send him home 6 weeks later because he didn't do any acting out while he was there. I got mad. And cried. And brainstormed here. I decided to go to a therapy session and push all his buttons until he exploded and let it all out. It worked. So much came gushing out, it was terrifying. It also broke my heart. Mostly for Jessie at that point.

    At least we then knew why she was having panic attacks and severe anxiety problems.

    They were able to help us. Wiz now lives with my parents about 15 minutes away from us. He came back home for about 18mos. Then he started attacking me and I had the sheriff remove him. Refused flat out to let him live here. I had to go in front of a judge and tell him all of what went on.

    My parents were able to get through. He is now what I consider a success story. But he may always need some kind of help.

    You have 2 medically fragile children. Get him out of the house. NOW. Make calls TODAY. Tell Child Services (whatever they are called there), the psychiatrist (psychiatrist), the therapist (therapist), and the pediatrician and specialists who care for the other children.

    You may NEED the help of the other children's doctors to find a placement. It isn't easy. But start calling. If you have health insurance, call the behavioral services or mental health number and tell them the situation. Beg if you have to. You won't meet those people anyway! Just get every name of every person you talk to , even if tehy just transfer your call. Take notes on a pad of paper and keep track of them. Every person who refuses you help can later be held accountable.

    I am scared for you. I know you know it is terribly dangerous. Make the calls. It is sad, but you may have to threaten to go back on his adoption. Check your adoption agreement. It may have provisions for what to do if you need this kind of care.

    You are a very very special woman to open your home and heart to these children. I know you have done all you can for them. I know you love ALL of them with every part of your being. You are their "real" mom. But sadly the 13yo is just not capable of living within a family setting safely. Physical violence is the FIRST concern.

    Consider how he will feel in 10 or however many years when he is able to really know how he hurt his siblings. If he inflicts serious pain or lasting damage, what will the guilt do to HIM? How will that affect his life?? Will he be suicidal at the thought that he hurt someone who loved him so much?

    I know he may never be able to reach that level of functioning. But he MIGHT. It is no service to him to leave him open to that crippling guilt.

    Wiz, my difficult child, still takes my hand and ever so gently rubs it. Or heats a rice bag (rice in a sock or cloth bag that is microwaved for heat therapy) and gently places it on my hand. My son, who does NOT kiss except on incredibly rare occasions, will kiss my injured hand. Before he went into the psychiatric hospital, he bent my left hand in such painful ways that it created nerve damage. Permanent nerve damage.

    So you have my opinions. I hope you find up as welcoming and supportive and soothing and friendly as I did. The various areas of the site have SOOOO much knowledge it is incredible. If you can't find something, ask someone.


  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Just wanted to offer my support. I am so sorry you are faced with this. I can't imagine what you are feeling. Susie and Midwest Mom gave excellent firsthand advice. I would contact social services and anyone else will listen. By fighting to get him into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), you could be saving his life as well as protecting others in your family.

    God bless,
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You have found a place that includes lots of experienced loving parents. I am sorry you are in the position you are in. I'm sure you believed that by providing a forever home for the children you would successfully bring love to youngsters who were deprived. Like the others I am assuming your difficult child is adopted BUT it really doesn't matter since you love all the children. The degree of danger in your home requires urgent emotionally painful action on your part.

    Based on your post your son has been diagnosed. What has been suggested to you other than "watch him like a hawk"? With the level of danger is it possible that you have avoided sharing with those outside your household in fear that you would be in jeopardy of losing the other children?

    Your post reads "intelligent" "informed" "loving". on the other hand I get the impression that you "know" what needs to be done but are not ready to accept the idea of his removal from your home. We will be here for you so you can
    share your feelings and perhaps get the support you need. Like the others
    I think urgent steps must be taken to separate him from the others. Hugs
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im not sure what state you are in but I would first contact his psychiatrist and his therapist if he has one and state adamantly that he has to be removed from the home for the safety of the other children. With his level of diagnosis and the acting out he has done, they have to know he is a danger to self and others. If this means you threatening to either terminate the adoption (if he is adopted) or place him in foster care if he is not, then you will have to do that. He is not safe around medically fragile children.

    I know this is hard to even consider. Placing kids outside the home can break your heart but sometimes its the most loving thing we can do for them. They need more treatment than we can give them inside our home.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hello again. I wanted to pop back in and see if you had replied. I am sure you are terribly busy though.

    I want to offer one more way to look at this.

    If your difficult child stays in the home he is going to hurt or kill someone. It will be heartbreaking for everyone.

    Since the owner of the womb he was abused in was drug and alcohol abusing (child abuse, clear and simple, in my opinion), your difficult child may not be ABLE to learn not to hurt other people. He might be, I don't have any way of knowing. But many children exposed to drugs and alcohol have at least Fetal Alcohol Effects (Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)), if not Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)). Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) has the same problems as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) pretty much, just not the genetic damage. At least in my understanding.

    Children with FAwhatever are brain damaged. Their brains are not ABLE to remember what they did, the results, if the behavior was good or bad. They are not bad, or even willfully doing the same things over and over maliciously. They simply cannot learn not to do them. It is heartbreaking.

    This means difficult child is very likely not able to learn not to hurt people, or to learn why not to act on his dangerous interests. You can see the extreme danger here.

    If he IS able to learn, then he may feel tremendous guilt if he hurts someone. As a parent, part of the reason we teach our children what not to do is so that they do not spend their lives feeling guilt over ways they hurt others. Guilt is powerful. It is effective. It can have tragic results.

    Just another way to think about this. You don't want him to possibly spend life depressed and possibly suicidal because he hurt his sibling(s) or you.

    Please let us know how things are going, when you can. Thanks!