One thing after another

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LizzyTishy, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. LizzyTishy

    LizzyTishy New Member

    I'm really in a quandary with blended family problems. My husband's son, difficult child#2, causes such anxiety and stress when he is here on the weekends that I basically don't want him here at all anymore. I run a homeless shelter and believe me I’ve got enough stress already. I need serious downtime on the weekends to get ready for the next workweek but our “visitation” schedule changed a couple months ago because bio-mom says she can’t take it anymore. So now she makes him come over here every weekend instead of letting him come every other. Notice the verb usage because ironically, for years she has never missed an opportunity to tell her children what a horrible father they have and refused to give access in violation of the court-order. Now that difficult child 2 has hit the Terrible Twos again at 15 (only this time with a raging drug and behavior problem) she can’t wait to push him out the door on Friday. I’m not feeling really charitable in helping her out because she still is basically telling her boys that if she had any other choice she wouldn’t let dad see them but to save her own sanity she sends them our way. As you might imagine, we don’t get a whole lot of cooperation from them in terms of respect for our own house rules because of the message they get on a daily basis from bio-mom that their dad is not to be respected. Where all her venom comes from I don’t know. My husband paid more in child support for his children than I brought home from my FT job, without fail every week, called his children every single night, begged to have them come over each week when they were younger (and good gosh, he only lived 6 blocks away from biomom) but she is like a junkyard dog on this divorce and it hasn’t really changed much in the 7 years they’ve been separated. She has a lot of family MI and dual diagnosis history; her sister died of a drug overdose in her 40s, her mother has been inpatient on many, many occasions for mania and her brother has been unemployed most of his life and still lives at home at 50-something. Anyway… is just one thing after another with difficult child 2.

    My easy child 2 doesn't like difficult child 2 because he breaks every single rule of our house every time he is here (stays up after curfew bedtime, smokes on the back porch, speaks disrespectfully when he's not yelling vulgarly, stole money from my PC2s wallet, stole liquor from our cabinet, offered my easy child cigarettes in an attempt to gain complicity and my easy child 1 can't stand him because he has become somewhat of a social outcast at school (due to weirdness) and she doesn’t want to be associated with him. They are in the same grade. He begs to go along with her when she goes out with friends because all of his have abandoned him due to his narcissism, grandiose entitlement issues, mood swings, lack of social skills (standing too close, talking all the time in a stream of consciousness way) and generally poor disposition. She told me one time that, “After I leave he'll text whoever I'm with to ask if they'll come back and get him and he'll pay for gas or try to give them cigarettes as a bribe.” She's like, "He is so embarrassing, plus he always talks about inappropriate stuff and puts us at risk because he tries to steal stuff or smoke when we’re out.”

    Long story short-this all came to a head one year ago when difficult child 2 posted extremely threatening stuff about schoolmates on his MySpace. Of course, someone immediately turned him in to police and school officials were called in. He was expelled even though he felt justified in threatening to kill students who made fun of him because he is gay. We had never heard one word about any bullying at school before this. So, schools being what they are, I was very sympathetic to the bullying issues (but not of course to the death threat method of handling them!) and my husband and I were very vocal in our complaints about what we discovered was rampant homophobia that was very rarely dealt with by the school (and like so many of you have said here, we couldn’t even get info on whether the perpetrators were even reprimanded after we turned in Myspace blogs that identified the culprits). Since then it has been a down-hill slide.

    My difficult child 2 step-son started (or more likely, continued) drugs, smoking weed and cigs, drinking Robitussin, and cutting himself whenever he didn’t get his way. He has been in inpatient 3 times this year for the suicide threats but really, I think they are more "I'll fix you, you horrible people" and related to him being told no and he just literally loses it. After one particularly violent episode here (over not being able to go practice driving-because it was night and he only had his permit for like 2 weeks and because of medications he should never, ever drive, trust me I’ve been in the car with him and asked to walk home) husband had to physically subdue him and this was an out and out freak show with even his toes literally going around in circles he was so out of control. difficult child kept yelling that he was going to call DCFS on husband who was sitting on top of him to stop him (broken stuff everywhere). husband ended up calling the cops himself.

    Now tonight I find his seroquel tablet on the floor on the LR-which reminded me that I found a lexapro in the basement rec room last week, and another lexapro on the attic stairs the week before. Also last week, while husband and I were at difficult child 3’s chorus concert in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, my easy child 2 told me when we got home that difficult child 2 had gotten a bottle out of the liquor cabinet and sat down next to him to watch TV and drink from it. This is also a month after he stole money from my PC2s wallet (with difficult child 2’s friend watching who actually told my daughter what her stepbrother had done he thought it was so low). easy child 2 says, “Can’t you just not let him come here anymore?” And what with difficult child 1 just having lost his license until he’s 21 for three alcohol-related citations in 6 months, and difficult child 3 flunking three classes in Junior High in addition to being a chronic truant, I am about at the end of my step-mom rope. And they are only here 2 days a week! HELP!
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Seems to me he is a danger to your children. I realize your husband loves him. I realize his biomom is nuts. She sends him to you to get a break.

    However, when he is there you simply cannot leave anything unlocked. medications must be supervised to the point of checking the cheeks and under the tongue. ALL alcohol must be locked up, as should knives, scissors, anything sharp.

    You need to think about protecting your children from him AND from his influences on them. It will be very difficult for your husband and you and the marriage. But the kids didn'task for this, and don't deserve it. Maybe husband could take them to a relatives house for the visits, and stay with them?

    Or he could help you be very very vigilant and watch difficult child 2 every minute he is at your home. No leaving him home with the other kids and no adults. An adult ALWAYS in the room, etc..?

    I am so sorry.

  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Susie said everything I was thinking when I was reading your post. This is an unsafe environment for your kids and their protection and well-being has got to come first.

    What a sad situation.

  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Welcome to the board.

    Wow have you got your hands full. Gentle hugs, you found a safe, soft place to land.

    I am gathering that your kids and your step-kids (the highschool aged ones) all go to school together? Same school? Wow, your kids never get a break from the difficult children, do they?

    What is your husband's take on all this? His 15YO may be a pain to everyone, but he is obviously going through something. Has rehab ever been addressed? To me it sounds like you might not get a whole lot of cooperation from bio-mom, and quite possibly she may have a heavy hand in whatever his issues are.

    Pull up a chair, here's a cup of coffee. Welcome to our little corner of the web. Lots of good people here. Hope we can help you get through this.
  5. Sondar

    Sondar New Member

    Wow, you have a real dilemma. Under the best of circumstances having some combination of three teen difficult children every weekend would be more than a handful (figuring the 19-yr-old is away at school?). Locking up the liquor cabinet is a given, I would do that with your own PCs around.

    I do have one thought I wanted to throw out to you, that you described the boys' mother with anger. Do you think your feelings for her and her treatment of your husband and you have an influence on the way you see these boys? Honestly, reading your description of difficult child 2 I feel pain for him. A 15-yr-old with a learners permit for 2 weeks would normally not be good driver, for example.

    {{hugs}} If you don't want your steps there, bottom line, you and husband have to work out another arrangement, primarily with his involvement.
  6. LizzyTishy

    LizzyTishy New Member

    Does anyone have experience with Seroquel and its effects? difficult child 2 acts very strangely within 15 minutes of taking the pill-hands flutter about, loses train of thought when talking but talks constantly and verbalizes EVERY thought that comes in his head no matter how fragmented, pees about 5 times an hour, smacks lips, can’t sit still or twists and rotates thumbs and feet if told to sit, etc. That is why I mentioned that he should never, ever drive--I am nervous with him walking too close to the china cabinet much less getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. To me, his ability to even follow a conversation is questionable.

    To watch this medication reaction is very hard—because usually unless we all steer clear there is a major blow up within the hour of taking the medication. Atleast that is the way it is for the evening pill. I think he is taking 300mg. That is what it says on the pill. His biomom only sends enough pills for the 2 days (no bottle). Which concerns me, too because I don’t like the pills in the plastic bag and now that I’ve found them on the floor and he’s never mentioned that he dropped and lost his ration it is obvious that he is not real clear on the need for him to take it regularly without fail. husband says he will now watch him very carefully to check for swallowing.

    My other concern is that if he has the physical reaction from the night time pill what is he like from the morning one and what happens when he gets behind the wheel of the Driver's Ed car with a bunch of innocent kids?

    I know he is deeply troubled. But I also feel like the rest of the family is held hostage by this one person.
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Lizzy, this forum is primarily for parents with kids who are over 18. You will get wonderful advice here, of course, but I'm going to move your thread to the General forum which tends to have a wider reading audience.

  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Lizzy, my son is on Seroquel. Although he takes a large dose (800 mg), he has none of the side effects you're describing. He did have similar side effects on Risperdal, Seroquel's cousin, which is why we discontinued that medication.

    Do you know how long he's been on Seroquel? Do you know his entire daily dose?

    Side effects to any atypical antipsychotic (including Seroquel) include:
    Dystonic reactions: Involuntary muscle contractions that cause uncontrolled and alarming movements of the face, neck, tongue and back and an uncontrolled rolling of the eyes.
    Akathisia: A feeling of internal and external restlessness. The patient may be incapable of sitting still and may feel a sensation of discomfort akin to anxiety or agitation.
    Akinesia: Stiffness and diminished sponataneity of gestures, phsycial movement and speech.
    Tardive dyskinesia: "Late-appearing" abnormal movements characterized by involuntary facial grimacing, lip-smacking, chewing and sucking movement, cheek puffing and wormlike movements of the tongue and fingers and toes. TD is not painful, but it is disfiguring.

    Any side effect described above should be reported to the prescribing psychiatrist ASAP. TD in particular can be permanent if not addressed promptly.

    I also want to address the medication combo this difficult child is taking. If he truly has BiPolar (BP), he's on a medication mix that might be making things worse instead of better. Most BPers require a first-line mood stabilizer or two (Lithium, Depakote, Lamictal, Tegretol, Trileptal) plus an atypical antipsychotic. Antidepressants like Wellbutrin and Lexapro can destabilize an adolescent with BiPolar (BP) very quickly. Even with a mood stabilizer on board, lots of kids with BiPolar (BP) can't tolerate one, let alone two, antidepressants.

    It sounds to me as if this difficult child needs a complete evaluation with a new psychiatrist well-versed in mood disorders.