ODD-Does it EVER get better??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by athisfeet, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. athisfeet

    athisfeet New Member

    Hi i am completely what seems to be computer illiterate. Looking to vent some frustrations about my 16 yo who without a doubt has odd. He has not been diagnosed officially due to many mess ups on my part along the way. Primarily denial.

    He has always been "different". Just from 2 years old strong willed and strong in body. Stubborn gazillions of time outs. By Kindergarten teachers were asking me to put him on medications but i angrily told them no! As a then single parent I was insulted and took it as a personal attack. Anyone who has been a single parent may be able to relate. Any how over the years of constant calls from school for bad behaviour over and over and over.

    I put him in private school in grade 2. He had to repeat the year as academically it was at a higher level than regular school system. Then he was kicked out for bad behaviour outbursts all the while he denied himself being the problem. Has almost always been extremely street smart and though i don't think stealing is much of a problem (though can't find my video camera at present) he has always had bad behaviour, not listening, worse listening when told no and is a pathological liar.

    He has constantly peed/pooped his pants even evidenced at 14- early 15. I had 1 other son when he was 4 (not with his bio dad) and noticed he was totally different. It's taken a long time to even acknowledge it is not my parenting style (tried everything from spanking to jelly fish parenting). With step dad on the scene things seems better for a little while. As his bio dad has visited with him probably less than 10 times in 16 years. But school behaviour continued he had changed schools 3 times over his life and each time hoping for a fresh start, problems continued to follow him. Moving to a new town with warning from old school about him now being in junior high he was in danger of possibly being kicked out of school.

    I homeschooled him for a year. What torture but at least no calls from school and more supervision. Put him back in which i now regret. He always had trouble keeping friends unless they were easily manipulated by him.Now a teen stronger in body will not cooperate.

    My husband insisted something was wrong with him after a long time of denial. i agreed and he put him on the children's hospital waiting list to be assessed. After much convincing (son's pediatrician is a quack) she gave us "permission" to put him on the list. As other avenues costed more money than we had this was our only hope. Though told it was over 1 year wait. Still have not heard back. Not a big fan of medication.

    My husband said something must be tried at least so finally at 14 yo i put him on strattera (suspected adhd as well) very little affect though he mentioned he could concentrate a little better at school. He complained of chills and he seemed so tired all the time i took him off of it. I guess my fear of medications though i am a nurse stopped me from experimenting with any more. and by then his cooperation with taking them was touch and go. Met wrong friends and has added smoking dope and alcohol to the mix.

    Cell phone was a big problem playing violent games and unsupervised chat caused us to take it away. after 3rd time buying a cellphone (bio dad wired him money) without permission husband took it away and he jumped him husband did not fight back but scuffled (had happened before and wanted to avoid accusations of child abuse) any how fiasco husband had a panic attack (which resembled heart attack) ambulance.

    Next day dear son went to an unstable parent of his friend and claimed child abuse! It has been a long process of children's aid which to date has resulted in us/me painfully saying shape up or ship out he has chosen to ship out as of late. He refused the counselling services and foster care option (since the home was too far away from dope toting friends) which is rarely offered to a 16 year old and prefers to now go stay with a friend whom undoubtedly he has corrupted the mind of the single dad he is now living with. CAS has counselled him on how to go about getting student welfare and they will soon be out of the picture.

    My son has created so many wedges with family my mom and sister pitting us against one another and many times myself vs husband cause of lies manipulation and twisting the truth especially.I am both venting and hoping that maybe someone who is sitting on the fence wondering maybe i am just not parenting properly would see that it is better to look into this stuff when they are young and will be more likely to follow treatment.

    I feel like we all lost out on a better family environment. Especially him. We do have peace in the home now, but i still have guilt and sadness that my little boy is out on his own. And despite all the pain disrespect lies manipulation control he has sent my way I love him dearly and hope he will one day acknowledge he has a problem and to allow himself to be treated. I get sad now seeing that people have had relief in their family of a 5 year old child with odd and regret not getting and pushing for the help that could have made our family very different.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    *hugs* for your hurting mommy heart. Yes, it can get better, but he'll have to want to get better and need the tools to help him at this point.
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    ((HUGS)) Let him be. Let him try to make a go of it on his own. If he succeeds - great!! If he doesn't and wants to come back home, hopefully he has learned something out of it. It is nothing you have done. You need to know that. You basically described my difficult child's life growing up only she also lit a fire in the bathroom in second grade and stole many, many, many times...

    Enjoy your peace.....believe me, you never know how long it will last......
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    The thing with these types of kids is that it will not get better unless they want it to get better, especially at his age. At this point I would just make sure that he knows that you love him and will always be there for him. Don't blame yourself for his problems. They are not your fault.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Most oldtimers here don't believe that ODD is a stand alone diagnosis. In fact it rarely is. There is almost always something else underlying it and causing the ODD behavior. Could be a mood disorder or high functioning autism or a host of other things.

    Did your son have a very unstable time in his infancy or toddlerhood? Was he at any time shuffled around from caregivers?
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am SO sorry that things have gotten to this point. Evaluations and medication and therapy might have helped or might not. ODD does get better but only when the underlying cause is treated - can be anything from food allergies to mental illness to a personality disorder. By the teen years treatment depends on the child's willingness to work on the problems. At this point, the evaluations and waiting list are a moot point. They are not going to happen because he is "happy" at his friend's house. The single dad will wise up at some point and see he has been used and duped and his son has also.

    Sadly, sometimes we get all the evaluations and accommodations and help that anyone could ask for and it doesn't make any difference in the results. The real world WILL impose rules on him in ways a parent cannot. At this point it is your son's CHOICES that are at fault, and the cause is sort of irrelevant because anything you ask for/suggest/want will result in him doing the opposite. Sadly this never works to get them into healthy habits - don't you wish "I want you to go smoke weed and meth and crack and heroin" would make him go and avoid drugs and eat organic foods and make healthy choices? If only it were that easy.

    Are YOU seeing a therapist? Was he violent at home when he didn't get his way? Physically or verbally? You would benefit from working through this with a therapist and possibly from counselling from a domestic violence center. Parents CAN be abused - and from the sound of it both you and your husband were. This needs special treatment - please, PLEASE seek it out. It is SO HARD to admit your child abused you, but if you are able to work through that you will be stronger and HAPPIER than you ever dreamed you can be. My son abused us very badly, esp my daughter and I. Getting help wasn't easy but it was one of the best things for us.

    I am very sure that at NO time did you wake up and ask yourself "How can I mess my kid up the most today?". Work on forgiving yourself for your mistakes and being the parent your younger child needs you to be. You did the best you could with what you had and knew - and when you knew/had better you did better. That is ALL that you can demand from yourself - and it is okay to forgive yourself for mistakes. When your son was in kindergarten there was a LOT in the news about entire towns who put every boy or evey child of a single parent on medication for adhd or whatever. So it wasn't entirely nuts to think that the school was wanting to medicate him simply to make him fit the mold. Now you likely know it might have helped, but you will NEVER be sure. Don't torture yourself over it - there are a LOT of people who have done everything humanly possible in the way of testing, medications, therapies, placements, etc... and they STILL have kids who are behaving like your son.

    PLEASE work to be gentle with yourself, to let go of the guilt as much as possible. Those of us who did everything in the way of testing and have kids who still are difficult children doing difficult child things also torture ourselves thinking we could have/ should have done something to make this different. It is HARD to realize we just are not that powerful. It isn't up to us to change this, and largely we did not create or cause it. If we could have made it better for our kids, we would have. But we couldn't, and you couldn't either.

    A therapist can really help with this. You can learn to detach and let him be responsible for his own choices and life. it isn't easy, but it is possible. You CAN have a happy life, and come to be at peace with yourself. REad up on detachment here as it will help. The Serentiy Prayer is also very helpful (God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.). As your child is using drugs (using alcohol almost always goes with that), check out some AlAnon and/or NarcAnon meetings. The support you get there will be incredible and eye opening. Addiction is a family problem and this is one good way to begin to heal from it. Even though he isn't living iwth you, attending meetings can help you come to peace with the past and the future. It can also help you to be a better parent to your younger child. It may even be helpful for your younger child to attend AlaTeen meetings - meetings for kid with a family member who is hooked on a substance. Your younger child can learn that it isn't/wasn't his fault, and that he doesn't have to make those choices and can choose to not continue the patterns of behavior that come from addiction in the family.

    LOTS of hugs. In many ways what you are dealing with is harder than what many of us are dealing with. You are at the point where all you can do is watch from the sidelines - and that is HARD.