So Tired of Defiance and Verbal Abuse

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Corrie, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Corrie

    Corrie New Member

    I feel totally defeated by my 13 year old son. He has always been difficult to deal with mentally, but when he was younger I could handle it. The last 2 years have been exhausting. Every day is a battle to get him up and to school. He has been suspended numerous times for disrespecting teachers. At home he goes into rages, punches holes through walls. He constantly picks at my husband, and 9 year old son, and mostly me. He calls me names, blames me for his behavior, he puts me down constantly, for example this morning he calls me dumb and an idiot and a horrible parent. His language is horrible. In the last 2 years I've had him to counselling, psychologists, family doctor, and we have had to call police when he goes into an uncontrollable rage. (He is a big and strong boy for his age. 180 lb. Quite athletic with hockey and biking.) We discipline, take away all privileges, ground him, nothing helps. I finally got him into a psychiatrist in early March and she diagnosis him with ADHD and ODD. She started him on Concerta which is helping a little. His behaviour at school has improved. His marks are improving. His outbursts aren't as often at home. He went from having rages everyday to maybe 1 or 2 per week. School mornings are the worst. He is so verbally abusive, especially to me. I've tried different tactics to handle it but nothing helps, and I just end up feeling so down. My husband is not his biological father, but has raised him since he was a year old. His bio father has little to do with him and just blames me for the behaviour issues. Says it is my fault because I spoiled him. Sorry to rant, but I have come to the conclusion that I need to voice my story with people who understand. My friends and my mom are great listeners but don't truly understand what I am going through. My husband is able to get on with his day , where as I get down and teary and feel like a total failure of a mother.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Corrie to our little corner of the world. Sorry you needed to find us but since you did I'm glad you found our soft place to land.

    I can totally relate to how the constant verbal abuse just wears one down. My difficult child has always been that way and still is. It is so draining. Most days I am able to let it roll off my shoulders, other days my rhino skin is worn thin and I just feel down.

    First off, know that his behavior is not your fault. You are not a failure. You know there is a problem and are taking steps to deal with it. It sounds like you have taken him to plenty of doctors. Is he still seeing a therapist? Have you ever taken him for a neuro-psychiatric exam? It can be very helpful when trying to get a complete picture of your child.

    I'm glad you are seeing some improvements with the medications but I know that those rages, even though fewer, take a lot out of you. I hope you are able to find some "me" time to refill your bucket so to speak. It could be reading a book, exercising, or just getting out of the house for a few hours. It is so important to take care of you.

    Again welcome and sending some gentle hugs your way.
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    You are not alone. I go through the same thing here at my house, except the school problems. The anger, rages, meltdown, name calling, and cursing are things that we deal with here, too. It is very draining. I spend alot of time listening when my two kids are playing together so that I can hear if (when) trouble starts and I tend to jump in before it breaks out into a physical fight between the two of them.

    Please understand that you are NOT a bad mother and none of this is your fault. From what you've written you have been on top of this from the time your son was young. You have tried to face this and have not buried your head in the sand about the problems that your son faces.

    How long has he been on the Concerta? Do you think that the dose is high enough? If he's anything like my son, he's growing by leaps and bounds and it's possible that the dose he's on is not high enough yet.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board, Corrie, but sorry you have to be here.

    I know that he doesn't live with his bio. dad, however sadly he is 50% of bio. dad's DNA, therefore if bio. has mental health issues, he could have inherited them. Does your ex have serious issues/mental health issue/ anger issues/abuse issues/substance abuse issues? There is also something called attachment disorder, and it happens when children have very chaotic early years without one solid caregiver to count on or very early abuse or seperation from one/both parents. Did this happen to your son? Any change that your son perhaps inherited a mood disorder rather than the ADHD/ODD? ODD is a pretty useless diagnosis, especially as kids get into their teens. It is more a description of behavior than the actual answer. And your son is pretty extreme for ADHD.

    He's an awfully big boy. Would he hurt the nine year old?

    I'm so sorry you have to go through this.
  5. Corrie

    Corrie New Member

    Thanks for support. He has never tried to hurt my 9 year old, in fact he is somewhat protective of him. They do argue but nothing more than usual sibling arguements.
    His bio father does have anger issues. My current husband of 10 years has played more of the father figure( supporting him in hockey, etc).
    He is not on his full dose of Concerta yet, the psychiatrist is weaning him up to it to try to reduce side effects. We meet with her again early April. I have noticed a difference just since we started the current dose( 27mg which was up from 18mg at the start). So I'm hoping the next dose will last longer. The psychiatrist mentioned Risperidone if rages were not improving with concerta. I am a nurse and with my own knowledge and that of a physician friend, I am very hesitant to start him on that. He already feels he is "fat" due to his size and weight gain is a factor with risperidone.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Get the Concerta going first. For many kids, the combination of a stimulant + an AP has a balancing effect on the appetite side-effects... the stims are appetite suppressants, and the APs are appetite stimulators. Combine that with his coming layers of growth spurts, and... if it's absolutely necessary, you may find that Risperidone helps.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there, I'm on my phone so won't type too much for now but I will say, I can relate to mornings being the worst.

    Over the years we've done a couple of things....

    1.before difficult child got up, he was given a dose of short acting ritalin to kick in faster so he had some impulse and behavior control in the morning. The concerta was given a half hour before school started.

    2. He went back on Clonidine which he had been on when younger. It helps so much with the verbal and physical aggression (for him, others have opposite responses of course)
    Once we saw it helped, he started on patches which are changed weekly which made it so medications were on board 24/7.

    3. Now, we don't do the early morn ritalin (since we have the Clonidine and other 24 hour medications) but we do it after the concerta wears off in the evening so he can participate in activities and have executive function in the evening.
    Luckily, it doesn't affect his sleeping or eating so we can do this.

    4. A year ago he started an AP that he finally didn't react badly to. So, he takes Zyprexa and he has decreased both verbal and physical aggression at least 75%

    Of course, there are many other therapeutic things we do- horse and animal therapy, social skills programs, young men's brain injury support group, independent living skills workers from home and a better school program, but my son has a clear diagnosis.

    I mostly wanted you to see some of the things tried for the morning issues.

    It's just a piece of the puzzle of course.
  8. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    My difficult child has the same diagnosis (ADHD and ODD). We experience the same things as you mention. Our difficult child is also on Concerta 27 mg and we added Intuniv when he was raging nearly every night. It helped with that tremendously. Our experience is that Concerta at higher doses makes him more aggressive.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Corrie. So sorry you are going through this. You are NOT a bad mom! He is a difficult child who has something going on with-her nervous system or his chemistry or both. And therapy can help, in addition to the medications.
    I agree with-the others, that Concerta helps keep the weight down, because most people don't want to eat until it wears off.
    Also, Buddy pointed out that taking the Concerta a bit earlier in the day helps. My husband gets up around 5:45 and gives my son his Concerta and usually by the time I see him, 20 min later, he is somewhat civilized.
    I know what you mean about your husband being able to go to work and shake it off, and then you're home in tears. I hear you! I work at home and some days I just go back to bed. So much for my marketing plan. :)
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. Don't forget to give your son compliments when he is calm and nice. Little things go a long way. "I really like your nice tone of voice today," or "Boy, it's fun to be around you when you're calm like this," really makes a difference. When I started doing that, my son got angrier and much, much later, he told me he thought I was being sarcastic. :( All those yrs and a lot of things to make up for, on both of our parts.
  11. Corrie

    Corrie New Member

    Uggh! So Cam had a fairly better week... He got 100% on a math quiz and he actually can sit and do the work now...he is very gifted in the way that he doesnt need to study, just listen in class and aces it...i praised him, so proud...
    Tonight I get home after working 12 hours and hes asks me to take him down to the store, nicely asks. I say sure, as soon as I am done packing my lunch for tomorrow. He instantly turn nasty, cursing, calling me names because I didn't drop everything and take him at that I then refused to take him and it has been a miserable evening since...Really I don't get how things can be so great and Bam! Instant change
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Is there any chance at all that your difficult child is an Aspie? Because... they think different, and tend to hit "overload" mode a lot more often than neurotypical kids. Take an Aspie and add... huge growth spurts and puberty, and... it gets worse before it gets better.

    But if he IS an Aspie, then there's a whole lot of approaches etc. that work better than "typical" parenting.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    My son does that same thing. He too is on the autism spectrum.

    I've found that there certainly are different ways that other parents may think are letting him off too easy. I'll share, it may not apply for you, but maybe out can help you think of what could help in your own situation.

    That is a predictable behavior for my son. I know once he has a plan, any interruption has to be handled carefully. Especially, for my son right now, if it involves food.

    So, first if he asks I try to minimize automatic no's. Like you, I would have said yes.

    Instead of a yes, but.....answer, if i really had something to do, I'd need to say ....I'm able to do that at X:00. And I'd stick to that.

    If my son tries to negotiate appropriately....for example he will ask for so many minutes sooner, I allow that, (so I plan ahead and offer a later time to begin with. ) Then he has some control.

    Control and choices are important to my son. I try to build in opportunities for appropriate chances, so he doesn't need to explode and bully as much.

    My son also has trouble with frustration tolerance, medications help that, maturity is helping and some therapies we do specifically work on brain flexibility.

    Much of managing scenes like this involves trying to avoid them....easier to do when a behavior happens over and over, or if any variety of behavior happens in a consistent situation (transitions are big for us).

    But, there are always times I don't see coming....

    Then, I often have the same automatic response you did....ok we are not doing X.

    That usually results in a much worse scene and it's not because he is spoiled and learned it would work, because I used to never give in, and it got worse.

    Stress gets him more stuck and escalated.

    So my response now is something that gives him an out. I will say that if he can show me for five minutes that he can calm down then we can go. Or some similar way out. All or none leads to fight or flight responses.

    I THEN have to ignore his automatic response to my offer of a way out, which never is what he means. He often says a negative thing but does the right thing. So he will say..I don't care or something much more disrespectful.

    If I reply, we are in a power struggle.

    I just stick to the solution offered, and wait till he has shifted out of that brain mode.

    Like your son, it can change in a second...either way (pos. or neg.). He can switch back and act as if nothing happened, and he thinks I'm in that place too.

    This will sound strange, but I have to think of it like with an animal. There's no point in my holding on to my resentment.

    Of course, sometimes I do, and we are working on his understanding how his behavior affects others, including people not wanting to do nice things for us even if we are sorry or switch into better behavior.

    But we are not there, so for now I have to do it like this.

    When we do get really stuck in a power struggle and when he is too escalated to really come down, especially if hyper-focused on something he wants, I offer a total do-over.

    None of this may help you, but I'm just sharing the good and the bad of what we go thru here.

    One last thing, I find that Q likes positive comments and praise, but in small doses. He used to not tolerate any praise. He still has strong reactions sabotaging whatever is going on.
    So, I'm more subtle and don't connect the next activity to it.
    "Great!" Or a high five. That's it.

    The trip out, I know it's a reward, but would not say it. Otherwise there's a high chance exactly what happened to you would happen here.