No good, very bad, horrible day...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by seriously, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Started Monday night with difficult child 2 at 11:30 pm when he returned from his evening internship with a local theatre company.

    He stormed in and announced that he was NOT going to his specialist appointment the next day. It's 100 miles away with a non-psychiatric specialist and has to be made 3 months in advance most of the time. Failure to show or give adequate notice results in our paying about $200 for the missed appointment instead of our $15 copay. Not to mention that he is on immune-suppressing medications rxd by this specialist and quarterly appts are absolutely necessary to monitor his condition and response to treatment.

    So it is a non-negotiable item - and he knows it after all these years.

    I asked him to please stop shouting. I know you will all be surprised to hear that his reaction was to...shout some more after getting in my face. I reminded him this was against our house rules and that set him off on a rant about our house rules.

    I ignored and went back to tending the laundry.

    He came to the laundry room door and continued to rant about the doctor's appointment. I finally told him it was non-negotiable, that we would have to pay a $200 fee if he didn't show and he was responsible for taking care of his health by going to these kinds of appointments.

    Then he demanded that I promise that he could have unlimited Xbox time when we got back. I refused to do this for several reasons, not least because we never know how long these appointments will take and if we hit rush hour traffic coming back it can take 3 hours instead of 1 1/2. Plus he was attempting to intimidate me into doing what he wanted and that meant he was not going to get what he wanted.

    He repeated his demand for Xbox time and I ignored him. When I went to leave the room he blocked the doorway and refused to let me out until I promised him Xbox time.

    I stood there and calmly repeated my request that he please move and let me by and he continued to rant at me. I took a couple steps back and told him he was violating house rules by blocking me and then I turned around and went out through the back door. He laughed and shouted at me to go ahead and go out the door he still wasn't going to the doctor.

    I ignored him and by the time I got back in the house through the master bedroom slider to the patio he had gone in his room - slamming the door of course.

    In the morning I went and started waking him up an 1 1/2 before we had to leave. He refused to get up and growled at me repeatedly. I tried again 30 minutes later - same result.

    I finally went in with 20 minutes left and informed him that his choices were to get up and go to the appointment or stay home. In which case he would be paying for the missed appointment fee of $200 and lose his Xbox for at least a week.

    He was up 10 minutes later.

    But he was impossible all day.

    He refused to eat before we left and refused to take anything along to eat. He informed me I would be stopping to buy him some real food from Jack in the Box and to get him some real food for lunch too.

    I said I would not be buying him any food and he needed to eat breakfast here and make himself something to take.

    Things went downhill from there but we got to the appointment only 15 minutes late. I refused to buy him anything on the way or once we got there. I refused to buy him anything after the appointment. He spent the whole ride repeatedly putting his feet on the dashboard, the seat, the door - and I repeatedly asked him to put his feet on the floor. I pulled over a couple times until he did so but he would then wait a little while and do it again.

    When we got back to the car I started eating the lunch I brought (seated in the back seat) and he went back to demanding that I buy him food. When I ignored him he lay across the front seats and put his feet on the steering wheel and started rotating it back and forth with his feet. I asked him to stop and he said he wouldn't and I couldn't make him.

    So I got out, took my lunch and told him I would be upstairs eating. when I came back to the car 45 minutes later he was calmer and so was I. I offered him a hard boiled egg which he took but then started ranting again about my buying him food and how I was starving him.

    I told him I was going back upstairs to find wet wipes to clean the steering wheel where he had put his feet on it and left again. I got really, really ****** while I was searching for wet wipes to buy (there were none) so I stopped at a little cafe at the medical center and had an ice cream.

    When I got back to the car 30 minutes later he was quiet. Wanted to know why I had been gone so long and I told him I had needed some time to cool down.

    Got in the car, turned the key and - nothing. The battery was dead.

    Turned out that he had turned on the lights while he was messing around with the steering wheel and stuff and the car had been sitting there like that for more than 2 hours.

    So I left again and went to call parking services to jump the car.

    He ranted much of the drive home and I stopped the car twice. The second time he agreed to move to the back seat. By the time we got home at 8 pm (we had left at 11 am) I was so exhausted I could barely drive. I went straight to bed and rested for an hour (thank heavens for my wife who was up and dealt with difficult child 2).

    He was difficult all evening and refused his medications.

    Today is probably going to be a LOT of fun.
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    UGH. I would have just slept for hours. I am so sorry, that sounds like it was awful!! Kudos to you for being able to get out and leave to walk around.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Definitely a pat on the back for you for not feeding into his behavior and for standing your ground. KUDOS!! Do you have any idea what brought this on (not that difficult child's have a reason)? I sooo feel for you. I hope today is NOT a repeat. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}}
  4. seriously

    seriously New Member

    He is battling us over pretty much everything all day every day. Medical appointments are a particularly good thing for him to be oppositional about because he knows that they are often non-negotiable so, to some extent, he has us over a barrel.

    However, it's also because he's had a lot of medical procedures/interventions and I think anything that even hints that it's medical triggers anxiety and painful memories for him.

    He is so out of touch with his own behavior and it's affect on others.

    When we finally got home yesterday, he asked me if he could have his Xbox time. I was speechless. Then I said no, you broke house rules in a pretty big way last night, you were really difficult all day today. So you can't have Xbox time today.

    His reply "I only broke the house rules once last night."

    What do you mean? I asked

    He said (no kidding this is what he said) "I only yelled at you once last night and I didn't yell at you at all today."

    I reminded him that he had trapped me in the laundry room and he said you could leave through the other door (as if this excused his behavior).

    I shook my head and said that he had broken the house rules in several ways yesterday and today and he didn't get his Xbox time.

    He slammed out of the car and went inside to provoke more chaos.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Putting his feet on the steering wheel is dangerous. From this point on he needs to sit in the back for safety reasons. ANY attempt to touch the steering wheel or gear shift or other part of the driver's area should result in pulling over and calling 911 for help with a dangerous child. He is endangering not just his life and yours, but every single other person on the road with you. A lot of things like feet on the dashboard can be ignored (I often put a foot up there if mine are swelling/sore, but only on MY side and not where the driver could ever be caused a problem.) if they are on his side, but much of what you described him doing in the car is dangerous. ANY police officer would be far happier to help you after you pulled over because difficult child was being unsafe than to pick up the pieces of you, difficult child and others on the road. You have a responsibility to pull over and get help if he acts in any way that could be dangerous - and his behavior sounds like it is.

    I also STRONGLY recommend reading Parenting Teens with love and Logic. You can get it at the library, bookstores or online at . It has many strategies and things that would help you.

    I am sorry the day was so rough. You were a real trouper though, esp not to give in to the urge to throttle him for being so difficult child.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    No answers...just hugs. DDD
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    OMG, I think my difficult child has a twin.
    This sounds SO familiar! I am exhausted just from reading your note.

    He is so out of touch with his own behavior and it's affect on others.

    His reply "I only broke the house rules once last night."

    He said (no kidding this is what he said) "I only yelled at you once last night and I didn't yell at you at all today."

  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh heavens, seriously (or, seriously, seriously), your son is 15 and mine only 4 but I can recognise a lot of this... So hard. You behaved admirably - I would have lost it, I know I would (even though it does no good and makes things worse). I dont really have anything else to say other than I empathise and dont understand what makes our children this way (to be honest). Hugs.
  9. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Perhpas I wasn't clear. I would NEVER drive a car with him acting like that. The car was not on and did not have the keys in it. He was just sitting in the passenger side waiting for me to get in and being obnoxious, trying to maneuver me into buying him food after I had told him I wouldn't.

    My rule is that I won't drive when he is acting that way or is angry. If I'm driving I pull over immediately and refuse to start the car again until he has stopped. That's why I left for the better part of an hour - to wait him out rather than fight with him over this stuff. Right now, he eventually gives in and does what I tell him as long as I disengage from him and refuse to give him attention for this kind of stuff.

    That is when his mood is not too unstable. When his mood is unstable it is trickier and he's more unpredictable. There are days when he's barely a difficult child so it's clear to us that there are psychiatric issues underlying at least some of the problematic behaviors.

    Thanks for the book suggestion. I have it in my library and it has been very helpful with difficult child 2's twin sister. But difficult child 2 is so far over the top most of the time the strategies in that book are not real helpful. You really can't reason with him most of the time - he's just not capable of logic. He truly believed that he had only yelled at me once despite pretty obvious attempts at intimidation, swearing and shouting that lasted for about an hour. That's why we are now receiving wrap around services in conjunction with his being on probation for assaulting me.

    Thanks for the sympathy. It's so hard to sit back and not take it personally or respond. Just wears me out - I think mostly because I never am sure he isn't going to flip on me and I will be facing an enraged out of control man.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think the X-box refusal should have been primarily due to the delays in returning home, which were directly related to difficult child's behaviour. if he hadn't been misbehaving, you would nlt have had to pull over. if the battery had not been flattened you would have been home hours earlier.

    Otherwise - well done, all the way. I only mention the natural consequences because it means you can duck out of being the bad guy, he has to learn that he produces his own consequences. While ever the kid can blame you for "being mean' he can avoid facing the results of his own behaviour.

    I do agree with you, I think knowing he had the medication appointment next day was pushing his anxiety up.

  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Absolutely! It's VERY exhausting dealing with this level of stress day in and day out, walking on eggshells because you never know which way thing will go and how far they will go. been there done that to a certain extent with both difficult child's here, and husband to an extent at one time.

    I'm sending positive vibes, rattling beads, heartfelt prayers that his medications get straightened out very, very soon.
  12. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    So sorry that you had to go through all of this! I identified with a couple of things!!!!

    You were a brave dad! Well done!

    I truely hope that he learned something from all of this and will be more willing next time? Do you think that it might help if the 2 of you have a chat to discuss a 'better' way to prepair for the next appointment? Or what or how he would like things to be for the next appointment? My son sometimes is more willing to go to appointments if I promise something nice afterwards, like having special ice cream together, or an outing the next day?

    Something I'm also wondering about: Did you talk to him about what happened BEFORE he got home that evening? You say that he started screaming when he came home? Usually when my son does that, something or some one has upset him terribly ...

  13. seriously

    seriously New Member

    The medical appointments are not something that I will reward him for - they are just a part of his life.

    Rewards work fine when your child doesn't have life-long serious chronic illnesses. When you are talking many, many appointments with many different doctors over many years - rewards eventually backfire because they send the wrong message. The reward he gets for going and taking his medications, etc is good health - or at least better than he would otherwise have. And, sadly, having to go see doctors and take medications and undergo invasive procedures is a "normal" part of life for him and we have to treat it that way as a general rule.

    It's not that we don't acknowledge that he's gotten the short of the health stick in this life. But if you make too big a deal of things - then they are harder to do, not easier.

    That is a tough lesson to understand when you are first learning the ropes as the parent of a child with a serious chronic illness. The idea is that you show confidence in the child's ability to handle whatever he has to handle, reassuring him that he can handle things by your show of confidence. It's a fine line to walk but if you keep in mind that your child will be an adult and still coping with these things - that's the person you are raising, if you know what I mean.

    But you have a good point. If he will talk about it perhaps there is something that would make it easier for him next time that can be done ahead of time.

    One of the biggest barriers to this with my son is that despite the fact that he's 15 functionally he's more like 10. And he often doesn't know what will make it easier or can't convey that information.

    He has been agitated like this every night around 11pm for the past couple of weeks. Every night it's something different. It's because he's anticipating the next day and, in a very mal-adaptive way, is trying to make sure that he's going to get what he wants the next day by bringing it up and forcing us to agree that he will get it.

    Since his perception of his behavior and the effect it has on others is so distorted, he doesn't see that doing this is backfiring. and you can't explain it to him - because, in his eyes, he's not doing anything "wrong" and isn't being intimidating or threatening or shouting - you get the picture.

    In this case, he was trying to make sure he was going to get his Xbox time and he decided the only way to ensure he got it was to refuse to go to the appointment.

    Things are very black/white with him and he won't or can't usually attempt to negotiate or even ask for what he wants. Instead he starts with shouting and intimidation.

    Thanks for the input.

    Jean - thanks for the beads and drums. I'm sure it will all work out somehow - I just don't know what it will look like.
  14. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    Oh wow. These behaviors are so similar to what I see so often. I am seriously in awe at those of you who are able to remain so composed during these things. Granted we are somewhat new to this I have not mastered that. I think you did a great job handling it. You are a such strong person and good parent.