Seriously Sick of this Saga

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Steely, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well, my son, once again is having a horrible time. And I feel so scared. I just don't know where to turn anymore.

    It seems, his whole life, everywhere I turned, was useless. No one ever seems to know how to "treat" difficult child, or what his real, complete, diagnosis is. And it seems no one particularly cares, because he is difficult to treat, let alone talk to. His grandparents, though they love him, are pretty much over him - and he them. His dad, who has been out of the picture his whole life - is now an enabling, dysfunctional presence in his life that does more harm than good. And I have stuck it out, and tried to be the one person in difficult children life that was a consistent positive force.

    I borrowed money from my parents to care for difficult child for the last 4 years, thinking that homeschooling him, and spending my whole day taking him to therapy, classes, and extra tutoring would be the thing for his success. Not.

    Now that he is 17, I have given up. I went back to work, full time, last month - and he is now floundering around on his own - in his difficult child never never land. He starts, supposedly, his GED classes next week - my one prior stipulation for him staying in our home.

    However, he is now taking over the house with his excessively, entitled, aggressive, behavior. He has decided to move into the living room, with his computer, and "live" there. I guess in an effort to assert his domination in a life where he feels he has no control? Who knows the psycho babble reason for it - but I am done. He shouts verbal abuse at me from the couch, refusing to move back into his room. He sleeps all day, plays his game all night - and now I am going crazy. No matter what consequence I lay down, he refuses to move from the living room. I know, in addition to many other adjectives for this, it is weird.

    So now, I am going to have to force his hand and follow up on my threat of him moving out. I guess, it is coming down to not seeing any other way. The whole thing is just too unhealthy for me - and for him. It seems too late for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - and living with someone else is obviously not an option. I am worried though, how am going to get him to move out, if he won't get off the couch?

    I am too tired to do this anymore. I am having all sorts of wonky thoughts and ideations go through my head...........and I know it is because I am literally on the edge of sanity with difficult child, my dad having cancer, and my new career. Thankfully my therapist, of 5 years, suggested we see each other on Sat - which she has never done before.

    Any advice, prayers, or help - much appreciated.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Willow, I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with this.
    Perhaps having your difficult child move out is the best option. It's time to put your needs first, so that you don't fall over the edge and you have the strength to take care of your family.

    Moving difficult child out of our house was the best thing we could have done for ourselves and for him. He still has a huge sense of entitlement and tries to bully the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff, but they set him straight each and every time. For the first time, he's starting to develop life skills and I finally have some hope for his future.

    Sending strength, positive thoughts and prayers your way.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am sure you are looking forward to Saturday!

    I have a question--if you can't get your son to move out of the LR, how are you going to get him to move out of the house?

    I'm not trying to make you even crazier, just wondering what your plan would be.

    Does he drive? Have you taken away the car and keys? Have you removed all but one pr of clothes and shoes from the house so he is forced to do his own laundry or walk around stinking?

    What about the computer network, i.e. modem or DSL? You should be able to disable it. That way you won't even have to talk to him about it ... just say, hey, I told you not to put your computer in the LR.

    There are more ways than one to skin a cat. I would quit talking and start doing.

    I would also treat myself to a massage and a chocolate malt. But that's only me.

  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Hmm. First of all I am sending you a huge HUG!!!

    When Adopted Dad kicked me out it was easy I was smaller and he was a guy, same with my Brother... But when it comes to Mommy... I think it is so much harder for some reason. Well I think I know the reason.

    Have you layed down the law??? Given him his final chance? To get off of the couch and shape up?
    If so I would make a plan... I am sure others have better ideas on how to do this... but I would think maybe sit him down and lay it all out.
    These are the facts, this is how it is going to be, you can not live here any more. I am willing or not willing to do this...
    What it will take to actually get him out, If you need a friend in the house??? Would he hurt you???
    Will your ex back you?

    I am sorry you are in this position... but sometimes once faced with reality our kids do well... I survived on my own!!!
    Maybe you can sit down and write out all of the options...
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Ok...if I am to understand this all correctly...he has moved all his belongings into your living room and is verbally abusing you when you ask him to move back into his bedroom.

    Is that correct?

    Would you be able to stand it if he lived acting the way he is but in his bedroom?

    My thoughts on this would be to make a contract and stick with it. He doesnt have to like the contract but I would do something drastic like go in that house like a storm trooper and remove everything he owns and tell him that he can have X back when he can act civilly. If he gets abusive...get him in for a psychiatric hold. Or start the juvy papers going...whichever you prefer.

    If the computer is a problem...get rid of it. Padlock your stuff in your room so he cant access your computer. Take his and stick it at a friends.

    I know this will cause a blow out. I have been there but it will get him off your couch.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Oh , totally get the chocolate Malt. So very nice of your therapist to see you tomorrow.

    First of all, big gentle hugs. I know you are struggling. Secondly, many prayers for you AND your boy. This is hard for both of you.

    If you can't get him out, you might have to get the law involved. And you need to be okay with that before you call them. Because if you call them and then get weird about seeing your son being led out in cuffs and change your mind, you will never ever be taken seriously again.

    We are all behind you in your decision. You have to right to feel in control of your home. Draw strength from us as needed.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Since he's 17, the odds are the police aren't going to help you move him out unless he becomes physically violent. They'll talk to him about the verbal junk but they probably won't do much more than that.

    Does he ever leave the house for any reason without you? If so, that would be the time to start moving his stuff out. If you have to do it in front of him, please have another person with you for help. I'm afraid he will become violent and truly harm you. He sounds like he is totally out of control.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. No parent deserves this kind of misery. HUGS
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Others have given good ideas-just sending supportive hugs and prayers your way.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    When M was refusing to participate in anything other than his la la land life where he was Mr. Dominant, and everyone else was supposed to care about his anger, I took all of his stuff and threw it in the yard. I stomped on the connection for his PS2 until it broke (don't come back to me for it!). He got mad and took a glancing blow swing at husband, and I was ready with the phone and 911. Assault in progress. husband's lip was fat and bleeding, and M was arrested. That was the last he lived at our house.

    I'm sure that you would handle it with much more grace than I did. I didn't have you guys to back me up and give me strength then. Seriously, I like totoro's idea that you disconnect his internet access. I would also start boxing up everything in his room. "Oh, happy happy day! I get your bedroom back! I'm going to make a sewing (exercise; meditation; whatever) room! Isn't that cool? A little fresh paint and it will be as good as new!" Then I'd put the boxes on the porch or in the yard.

    It seems like a big part of the problem is that there is no communication going on whatsoever. It's drastic, but he'll start talking for sure. I agree, you can't live like that forever.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You may not be able to get him out of the house now, but at 18 you can legally tell him to leave. We had to do that with our daughter--it changed her life for the better, even though i cried for weeks. You can tell him that if he doesn't change his behavior he will leave at eighteen and start planning his departure. He can participate by getting a job, looking at apartment ads, etc...or he can choose not to participate and deal with it once he's out. Is he using drugs? At that age, when a kid starts acting up, it's the first thing I think of. My daughter did that, and it shocked us. We never dreamed our little girl would do drugs and we didn't know how bad it was until she quit and told us. Sleeping all day and staying up all night is what my daughter did--it's a red flag for drug abuse because they get high while we sleep, so we don't really see them doped up. At least that's how my daughter explained it. I'd spring a surprise at-home drug test at him, and, yes, I know that won't make you popular with him.
    Looking at his list of disabilities, I think it will be hard for him to live on his own, so you may want to look into assisted living or group homes (I have a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) and bipolar and the combination is staggering). But you can't allow him to cause mayhem at the house and still live there, even though he has challenges. You're trying to help him and he's acting abusive. Welcome to the board. This is a nice place.
  11. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    Also sending huge hugs!!! Kinda been there done that with mine, but not quite this extreme. My question is, if you've gone back to work full-time then you're not homeschooling your son. Therefore, he should be enrolled in a school, right? Is he attending? If not, are there truancy guidelines? Oh wait, now I remember, he's attending GED classes next week, or so he says. But what about the first half of the year? What if he doesn't really start?

    If there are no truancy issues, maybe you could still call your local police department or sheriff's department and ask for assistance. He's verbally abusing you and not doing anything that you ask. I know there's no reason to arrest him and you probably don't want to take the chance of pushing him to that point, but maybe someone would come over just to talk with him and tell him that the road he's travelling is NOT in his best interest. Maybe that would scare him, at least a little?

    I agree with everyone else, if he won't listen to you, then take away as many luxuries as possible. Make the alternative worse. He can do what you ask, sleep in his bedroom and keep some privileges, or stay in the living room with nothing. Why should he get to do what he wants if he's not doing his part?

    If he starts to fight you, you must call the police. As said before, by BBK I think, you'll lose all credibility if you don't. This part I really have done and it's hard but we're not having the daily arguments at all, not even weekly. My difficult child had a huge wakeup call. Good luck!!
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thanks you guys.........
    Well, I do not even know how to respond to all of the questions. Ummm.......well, I know he is not on drugs because he never leaves the house.
    At 17 he is not in truancy in Texas. However, I believe he can become emancipated, which is what I am looking at. Not sure all that that entails.

    How would I get him to move out? That is what I am so freaked out about. I have no friends that could help with this, but maybe the police could come and talk to him? Otherwise, it will get ugly.

    I just agreed to a transition of sorts with him, and he spent an hour in his room tonite, and then I will continue to add one more hour each night until he is completely back in his room. OMG, I want to scream that it has even come to this. I blame myself. I am just such a lightweight, and he knows it.

    MWM, yes with his deficits I am completely consumed with worry over him living on his own - but yet - I do not know of any assisted living situation that will help or house violent kids. I just am so lost, as he is. I only know this cannot go on.
  13. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Although he is 17 or 18 or 19, he is a 9yr old with a cranky miserable mouth and no life. It is impossible to toss him out without some sort of plan.
    Does he qualify for SSI? Can he be involved with a group home when he is 18. I don't know his level of disability but if qualifies he can get into the system.
    I'm sorry he is cruel to you and gives you so much pain.
  14. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    My fear of him becoming violent, because he has, is probably what causes my plan to have him move out to stagnate.

    You guys are right, I cannot go forward until I am ready to call the cops and stick to my decision. I guess I am finally coming to terms with that, and able to do that. However, I know myself well enough that I will not do it, until I can stick to the charges. I am getting there. Yet, I still feel so wimpy. I still remember when I could scoop him up and love him to Not even a remote possibility. Love means something else.

    I will possibly use the idea of cutting off the internet..........other than loosing you guys, there is not much that can be lost by that...........and boxing up his stuff. Although he has no friends, or any where else to go, unless I helped him. He is really a mess.

    How did I raise such a child? It makes me infinitely sad. I wanted such a different outcome.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A serious suggestion here, I don't know how far you can take it.

    You can't say anything to him, you can't give ultimatums, threaten or anything like that, until you can DO something without too much fuss.

    Forget about disconnecting the 'Net. Go to the top. Disconnect the household electricity.

    You need to plan this one a little bit ahead. You need to have warmth, cooking, lighting needs taken care of independent to electricity. But the Amish manage - so go Amish for a week.

    For us, we can disconnect the electricity by removing the fuses from the fuse box outside. If you can't access this, or are nervous about going near electricity, you can ask a neighbour to help, or you might even be able to go to the company you buy your electricity from, and ask them to disconnect you. If YOU are the account-holder, and especially if you warn them, he will not be able to get it reconnected. And if he does somehow, miraculously, manage to get it reconnected, then he is sufficiently savvy to get a place on his own.

    He will also be more inclined to leave, if you keep doing unpredictable things which severely hamper his chosen lifestyle.

    Another thing you can do - get all the food out of the house. Give it to a neighbour and take all your meals with that neighbour. Of course, no meals for him - he doesn't live there any more, not officially. You could even do this in concert with the electricity thing (especially if you cook with electricity). You would need to shut off the fridge and freezer anyway, if you cut off the electricity, so again - get a neighbour in sweet with you first, make sure they have freezer/fridge room. Prepare as if you are going away for three months' holiday. Clear out all your food, entirely. No tins, no packets, nothing. You could simply store non-perishables in a lock-up somewhere, or in boxes at the neighbour's.

    If he attacks you, call the police. But do not physically provoke him. That way, you will be entirely in the clear.

  16. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    My son eventually lived in the living room, sleeping on the sofa. It was after we moved and his bedroom was too far away from where other people were. Considering that his father and I were the only live people he had contact with, he just wanted to be where he could see what was going on all the time. Once his father started working out of town and then left completely, he only had me. It's pretty lonely when you have no friends and your only live human contact is with your mother but you just. can't. leave. the. house.

    Of course he stayed up all night and slept during the day. That's what most teens would do if their lives were such that they didn't have to get up in the morning to go to school or jobs. That's how their internal clocks are set. What we found out was that there is an amazing number of teens out there who live that way. I was grateful he knew people on line that he could consider his friends. Eventually he moved out and met some of them who are now some of his real life friends.

    Once he got off the antidepressant, the anger was pretty much frustration triggered. Unfortunately being unable to leave the house and have friends and a life is pretty frustrating. And, even more unfortunately, that anger was targeted at me. But his choices were him or me. I don't think he would have survived more self hatred and loathing so I learned to not internalize his anger.

    You know, he use to envy me because I went to grocery store. He couldn't do that. He hated himself for his shortcomings. And hated me for my freedom.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sara, that sounds close to hikikomori, I do think this is exaggerated by the tendency of teens to switch body clocks to a night-day cycle instead of day-night.

    Hikikomori is much more extreme, perhaps because of the social overlay you get in Japan, with parents enabling it far more, due to their fear of being shamed by it getting known that they have such a child under their roof.

    I do think a part of it is also their determination to control their own environment, to the extent that they then begin to insist that the rest of the household should revolve around them.

    If you want/need to reclaim what should be community property/space, you need to have the clout to do so, some way of enforcing your orders.

  18. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Everyone has given you some interesting perspectives to consider. I hate to bring up your difficult child's medications, but I will. Paxil can cause episodes of strange and disinhibited behavior (I know because it happened to my daughter). At the very least, it could be causing the grandiose and aggressive behavior that you're seeing in your difficult child. It can help with depression (as it did with my daughter), but bad side effects and instability at the same time. I'd recomend asking his psychiatrist about this possibility and instead consider an atypical antipsychotic (like Seroquel) for anxiety and depression.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'll add to smallworld. If he has no friends, no social skills, and never leaves the house, he could also be on the autism spectrum. Under those conditions, medicating him to make him better won't work. Maybe you can get a new evaluation from a neuropsychologist. The disability label can get him services at eighteen. It just isn't the norm for even bipolar kids to have no friends or stay in the house day and night. Most of them have outbursts of thrillseeking with buddies (often not in a good way), but bipolar doesn't make you a loner. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often does as the kids have no understanding how to act in the world, with others, etc. A NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is close to Aspergers Syndrome, but that diagnosis. won't get services. And people with NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) may have trouble making friends, but they do try. Rather than trying to figure it out yourself, you may want to give a neuropsychologist evaluation one more try. That's the best way to get him help as an adult. He could be lashing out because of anger and frustration at his limitations. Or he could have co-morbid problems, but I'd want to have to looked at one more time, while he's still seventeen. There must be someplace he belongs, but the label IS important. Good luck.
  20. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    My difficult child was exactly like this! We took all this crazy verbal and physical abuse forever! We counted down the years until he was 18, he did really poorly in school, and couldn't hold down a menial job due to the "Why should I?" stance he always took. When he finally did graduate all heck broke loose as his way of supporting himself was to steal from us, sell our things and con everyone we know out of money. This is a very abridged version- but...I went to the police station and got a restraining order. Your son does leave the house right? Does he call you and threaten you, screaming and cursing at you? Go there when he is out, and they will give you a restraining order right that minute on an emergency basis. In a few days you go to court, tell a judge what is going on in your house, and it will be permanant. Ok, you can remove it when you need to. My son was in a sorry state. We gave him numbers of homeless shelters. Of course you dodn't want to do this, but he will never change his ways on his own if things have gotten this far out of hand. He needs to see what it's like to be on his own, and only then can he truly appreciate all you do for him. My son was forced that instant to do all for himself, still it was/is a slow process. He is 20, a carpenter, and pays his own bills, but never lived here again. There is still some problems, but the goal here is to have the child do for himself. -You can do this, there is lots of good ideas here- you will be happy and not regret whatever you decide to do.-Alyssa