Reality check please

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by slsh, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999


    thank you refuses to do *anything* that staff can/will do for him, from buying toothpaste/toothbrush/shampoo to figuring out train/bus schedules so that I can have a clue in advance as to when I have to pick him up. He flat out said to me last night, "Why should I have to do it when case manager will?". I told him that the whole point of this was for him to learn how to do this stuff, which was met with "I already know how to do it and will do it when I have to" along with the threat that if I ask staff and CM to force him to do it, he won't and he just won't come home anymore. Fine.

    I had talked with supervisor at the home last night first, to find out if my son was even coming home (not). Discovered that my son isn't wearing socks, brushing teeth, washing hair, or doing anything unless it's absolutely mandatory. Staff cannot/will not throw him in shower (at 6'3" 250 pounds, I can't blame them) Super's opinion is that thank you needs more structure and disciplined setting but at same time needs to be out of institutional setting where everyone does stuff for him. His gut tells him that thank you will eventually get it but only after a few more logical consequences hit home. He was there at arrest and down at police station - in his opinion, it was a bit of a wake up call for thank you.

    thank you bought a new laptop yesterday (I'm sure to spend down his SSI funds). Bought socks. No shampoo, no toothbrush/paste. He refuses to see a problem here.

    So thank you and I regurgitated it all once again. Bottom line, he's majorly ticked because he was "sent away" for violence and he's not violent any more, so he should be home now.

    I don't know if I've been too submerged in his thinking lately, but this actually kind of makes sense. I think? Does it?

    on the other hand, his thought processes make me absolutely nuts. He refuses to follow our home expectations, flat out, because he's not at home. But he will follow them if he's at home. I don't believe him for a second, which torques him because I don't "trust" him. Uhhh... yep. And no I didn't admit that to him.

    Take toothbrushing. I know it's a trivial thing but to me it defines the problem. This is not optional in my humble opinion. He refuses. Has refused at home in the past. Has taken one impressive swing at me over this issue that I still don't know how I dodged. I told him it's not fair that sibs are expected to do this but he's not willing to do this tiny tiny thing. I know, I know, his teeth, his problem, and quite frankly I haven't fought the battle since the swing, but on the other hand it's the *attitude* about the whole thing that has me extremely leery. Defiance for defiance's sake, period.

    And he absolutely refused to explore what will happen if he comes home and gets violent again. "I'm not that kid anymore." Well, that may be but I gotta tell you - there's no reassurance in that statement for me.

    I think it's pretty clear that this placement is not going to have the desired results, especially after talking with super last night. I think another Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement would be a step backward. But if he comes home and flips out... what then? What damage to the sibs, who have been blessedly happy and solidly stable for a good 2 years now?

    I know attitude is normal. The degree of attitude about really stupid stuff and his adamant refusal to meet my expectations in TLP bother me. Why should we take this huge leap of faith when he won't push himself one bit? Is the end of violence enough?

    Don't get me wrong, I don't expect him to be a easy child. I know I'm extremely gun-shy because I don't ever want to have to deal with the violence and threats again. But I do want this kid to be able to function and in spite of his grandiose assertions that he knows how to do it all, there's no doubt in my mind that he doesn't.

    We have a staffing on Wed and I'll be bringing all this up. I will also try to contact psychiatrist and therapist beforehand to get their take.

    I just don't know what to do anymore.
  2. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Oh Sue, :(

    I can only give my view but if thank you won't do these things at Residential Treatment Center (RTC), he probably won't do them at home. :( You know that though. :( I think I would tell the staff to stop doing for him. If he chooses to not do it then... well ... he chooses to not do it.

    It makes me think of that old saying "Necessity is the mother of invention".

    With my difficult child... it has surprised husband and I how much he will do for himself... since he was in an environment where he had too... and still is now.

    I would tell thank you... "You said you know how to do these things, but why should you if others are doing them for you? Well, others won't be anymore." I sure hope the staff gets on board with you on this.

    Words come easy to our difficult children, it is the actions and behaviors that are the most telling in my book. If thank you refuses to do these things in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), what assurance do you have that he will do them at home? :(

    That has probably been one of the hardest things for my difficult child to connect.... words and actions. I so wanted to believe the words... but the actions kept hitting me in the face. :faint:

    Just some thoughts...

  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Don't. even. think. about. it.

    I know what you're thinking, Sue.


    No. way. can. he. come. home. with. this. attitude.

    Here's a tidbit, similar baloney in a professional setting. It might lend some perspective.

    It was my first manager job. I had two staff who felt they should be promoted to loan officers but they couldn't- or wouldn't- do the detail work. So every night I was reviewing their work because they weren't responsible enough to do it themselves.

    They felt they were "above" following the rules.

    I told them I couldn't give them more responsibility until they proved to me that they not only knew the basics but would follow them. If they couldn't get all of the paperwork necessary for auditors, how on earth could I depend on them to make good loan decisions?

    Logical, right?

    Well, you'd a thunk a thunderbolt hit them on the head. And these were two mature non-difficult child women. sheesh.

    So they started dotting their "Is" and crossing their "Tourette's Syndrome" and I was thrilled to promote them both 6 months later.

    It's easy to administer that when they aren't our flesh and much harder when they are our kids.

    Hold your ground. You are right. thank you simply has to act civilized before he can be part of civilization. Part of acting civilized is dotting his Is and crossing his Tourette's Syndrome.

    Big hugs,
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member


    thank you has been shoving all his manipulative threats straight in everyones face to try and force his will. He is sabotaging this placement. Instead of taking the plan you gave him of "do X, Y, and Z and then we will talk about coming home" he has decided to be a mule and out wait everyone. He figures if he simply refuses to comply he can come home. Hmmmm....when has that ever worked for him? (He must have gotten an advance copy of the handbook that the jails give out on how to con your parents)

    If he comes home before he is ready it will be a replay of the SOS different verse.

    I feel for you.
  5. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I agree with the others - Unless thank you acts appropriately where he's at now, I really don't think he'll change when he gets home. As far as his personal hygiene goes, I understand your frustration!!! difficult child 1 will be 17 soon. We still have to tell him to shower, use deodorant, brush his teeth, and even to change his underwear!!! difficult child 1 just DOES NOT care about how he looks or smells.

    As far as difficult child 1's dental hygiene, even when we tell him to brush his teeth, most of the time he just walks into the bathroom, turns the faucet on and off, and leaves. This is his idea of taking care of his teeth:furious:. However, we believe the only way he'll ever decide to brush, is when he is either in extreme pain from tooth decay or when he has to pay for dental services himself. ( For this reason, we never got him braces. It would be like flushing our money down the toilet.) We've decided to let natural consequences take over...

    As far as thank you's level of defiance, I wish I had some good advice for you. Sadly enough, difficult child 1 is totally like this too - He only does what he wants to do, PERIOD. About three months ago, we added Abilify to the Trileptal. We're beginning to notice that while difficult child 1 still won't do what he doesn't want to do, his level of aggression when asked to do things he doesn't want to do has diminished a tiny bit. We're being optimistically hopeful...

    Well, sorry I really can't be of much help. I just really believe that allowing thank you to come home now wouldn't be a good idea. I also have some concerns over his past violence. If his level of defiance is so high, I wouldn't trust him not to get violent again. I hope the psychiatrist and therapist are able to shed some light on these issues.

    Thinking of you, WFEN
  6. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Sending you strenghth with this. You know in your heart that he is again trying to manipulate the situation right? This is not easy. But you have to stand strong. As much as I don't like the phrase it makes me think there needs to be a better way to say to him...."put up or shut up". I would never mean for you to say it like that. But it is the theory that if we don't see the behavior we can't know it exists.

    Sending many hugs.

  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I have no words of wisdom.
    difficult child has never had a cavity. It undermines my explanation of consequences. He also did not get braces for the same reason.
    I must say he is doing it now. Not sure how or why but not my problem if he isn't in my home.

    I wonder if they ever get it completely. If our only choice is to keep them out of our homes because they can not or will not adapt to the outside world.
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm not as familiar with your situation as others but there was so much in your post that I recognized as going on in my house. The statement "I'm not that person anymore"...yep, heard it many times around here. Not about violence but about stealing or messing with other people's stuff no matter how trivial.

    Defiance for defiance sake? Got a lot of that too. Grandiose assertions? We're overflowing with those. Honestly, I've gotten to the point with my difficult child that he's put himself in this position. He'll be 18 in March but won't graduate hs till December. My original plan was to get him through school and find a group home where he could have some independance but still get the lifeskills he'll need to be on his own. Now though, his attitude is so bad, I am hoping to find a home after he's 18. He's defiant, snotty and self-important to the point that I'm done. I'm not going to throw him on the street but if he refuses to take advantage of the assistance offered him because he already "knows how to do all of that", then that's his problem. As parents, loved ones, caregivers and team member of these difficult child's, we can only do so much. If they refuse to participate in their own lives, we can't do it for them. If they refuse to believe that actions speak louder than words, it's their problem. My son isn't allowed in the homes of a couple of our friends because he's stolen from them. It wasn't anything big like their tv or computer but he still stole. He just doesn't get it. "I said I was sorry" or "I don't do that anymore" just doesn't cut it and he can't or won't understand. He complains about his "aides" that go to class with him but refuses to do what he needs to do to not have them there. Not my problem.

    For your situation, in my humble opinion, if he isn't doing what he needs to do, I would NOT let him come home. If he isn't even willing to brush his teeth or wash his hair, why should he be willing to be non-violent? Even without the violence I wouldn't let him come home. His basic day-to-day attitude is enough to show me that he wants things on his terms and to heck with normal expectations of members of society. If you have to find another placement, so be it. He's had all kind of tools put before him to help him live independantly and he refuses to even look at them. You've done all you can, now it's up to him. Again, just my two cents worth.

    Sending hugs and support.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Sue, keep in mind, you upped the ante.

    Your last phone call (or a recent one anyway) with him "wasn't even fun anymore" because you refused to engage with him. Now, even if this petty lack of hygiene (which is not really petty, I mean eww) and "why should I do it if they can do it for me" is something that has gone on for some time, he will use it if he knows it bugs you. He has to top you somehow. So if he knows that this is a major bone of contention with you, even if by logic you are right, he is going to stand his ground.

    Teenagers really annoy me sometimes.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    thank you may no longer be violent (while in placement) but he IS still being very manipulative and non compliant. Which could lead right straight back into violence if he were to come back home.

    No, I most certainly wouldn't have him come home.

    At the staff meeting I'd try to find out just how many things you can have the staff STOP doing for thank you. I'd make it as many things as possible. thank you needs a major Reality Check. And it's time for everyone to see just how much thank you CAN and WILL do for himself if forced.

    If thank you wants to run around with poor hygiene, his problem, not yours, not staff's. I'm sure it won't be long before the other residents start giving him honest feedback on it. lol If there are consequences for not doing this stuff, let him have them.

    At this age I didn't care if Travis brushed his teeth, but a daily shower and shampoo was required. Food was my hold over him then, and now. Wanna eat, then hit the bathroom. I did the sniff inspection. Worked wonders. lol

    Sometimes you have to force them to grow up, Sue. Take it from someone who had to be forced.

  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Oh Sue,

    I agree with the others. There is no proof that he would not be violent if he came home. Kanga is never violent when in the psychiatric hospital or at school but is unbelievably violent at home - even just 12 hours after being "stabilized" by a psychiatric hospital.

    I think thank you needs the reality check of doing for himself at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/group home.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I wonder what would happen if thank you came home, continued his lack of hygeine, and one of his sibs said something. Either a mean taunt or a polite request that he bathe. Sibs trigger each other like nobody else.

    I don't believe he would be nonviolent at home. Just don't.

    I agree with asking the staff to do as little as is absolutely possible for him. He is just not ready to come home, and may never be with this attitude.

    So sorry. Hugs