The Cycle

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by New Leaf, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Chaos began to rear its ugly head in my home again about two months in to having my grands here. For those of you who are unfamiliar, I took in my three grands after they were removed from paternal grandparents home. Both of their parents are on the street, using meth and God only knows what else.
    Eldest grandson began to act out early on, it was quite scary and a flashback to his mother’s teen angst. Except that his rage came with a 6 foot 175 pound frame. I read up all I could on trauma affected children, ACE scale, have all three in therapy. He presented a front to his therapist and others. Began to slide at school, skipping classes, vaping and smoking pot heavily. He was defiant. Disrespectful. Fought constantly with his younger brother and was isolating in his room. I tried everything to stop the spiraling to no avail. We had scary episodes that ended up with the brothers fist fighting, multiple “shut the f up screaming matches” and eldest began to try to dominate and control my home. We were all walking on eggshells around his unpredictable temper. The worst episode occurred when he couldn’t get his way to go out one night and threw another glaring eyed, bull snorting, frenzied fit, which turned into him switching from raging about not be able to go, to a mission to kill his brother. He screamed for him, “Get over here now, I am going to punch you in your face!” Mortified, I managed to dial 911 (again) while brother bolted outside and hid. Luckily he recognized that he could not stand up to this episode. Then the craziness escalated with my eldest circling the house yelling that he was going to “put you in the ground if I find you”. Over and over again. Sister was chasing after him as was I, telling him to stop, but he was in a blind rage. The police finally came and ended up taking him to psychiatric Er. I got a call from the nurse, saying all they had was my number and a surprisingly calm, cooperative boy. They wondered why he was there at all. In between calls to CWS about safety issues with the siblings (again) that had culminated into this fiasco from hell, the worker gave a scenario that grandson would probably be admitted, remain there two days, team be gathered and safety meeting held. Then the psychiatrist called reporting that grandson was remorseful understood that what he did was wrong and the Dr felt that admitting him to the children’s psychiatric ward with far worse cases could be detrimental to my grand. I expressed my concern for our safety but the doctor stood his ground. So I picked him up. Grandson was flat effect, probably exhausted. Had to be prompted to apologize the next day.
    It was peaceful for a few days, then the cycle started over again. He started to smoke pot in his room, denied it, then posted a video of him smoking with the caption “daily routine”.
    There is much, much more that led me to a dark place of fear and angst.
    I know that my grandkids minds are ravaged from their unpredictable, frenzied, abusive upbringing. I know with therapy my grands can heal. I know they are all acting out, even reenacting a past they have no responsibility for. This is not their fault.
    I have wrestled with this in my mind over and over again, not wanting to have grandson leave.
    With his violence and drug use escalating, I had no choice.
    I cannot have an unsafe home.
    Early on when these behaviors started to emerge, I spoke with our social worker, therapists, guardian ad litum. They are familiar with this. It is evident with many foster children as they process their unpredictable violent past, constantly remaining high stressed in fright or flight mode. Survival.
    It is also characteristic that these children will create havoc, “poking the bear” if you will, to cause caregivers to send them away, as a sort of macabre control over a fate they sense. “You will make me leave anyway, so I might as well push your buttons into doing it”. It is also a way to avoid attachment because the people they love the most, hurt them deeply.
    Knowing all of this, kept me in the game. I tried and tried. When it got worse, I talked with the social worker who repeatedly told me If eldest was removed, they would move all three together. I later found out that was not true.
    And so, this weekend after prayer, the reality that my youngest grands were not safe, and neither was I, I pushed for eldest to be removed from my home.
    I say pushed because the social worker was quite reluctant. It has been a fiasco of misinformation. That, with the emotional storm brewing inside, the grief, the cycle repeating in my home some thirty years after dealing with my own two daughters downward spiral. I had to come to terms that I could not help my grandson. I had to protect his siblings.
    It was a horrible ordeal. I won’t go into details but the look he shot me as police escorted him out of my house is haunting me.
    That, coupled with the fact that the place that they took him to with the fabulous website touting therapy and glowing testimonies has been reduced to nothing more than a boys shelter.
    I am wrestling with myself over all of this. I have a fear that he may come to my home to retaliate. It may be unfounded, I don’t know, but I have seen a dark side of this boy that sends my imagination running. He was starting to turn his rage at me, pulling brother under his wing, triangulating. Brother started to manifest similar traits. Raging.
    I have ordered a body cam and cameras for my home. Just so I know if he breaks in. Body cam for my own record, if brother continues to act out. I feel that I have not been heard, not believed, perhaps ignored.
    I found out that eldest has been contacting his mother. I hope and pray that she will not “induct” him into her lifestyle, now associated with a gang and dealing drugs. When we questioned where grandson was getting money for daily pot smoking, younger brother let it slip
    “My Mom gives him money”
    They say God only allows what we can handle.
    I keep looking up skyward and saying “Lord, I am not that strong.”
    I am taking a break from work to recoup. I know the social worker wants grandson back in my home. At first I said if he gets therapy and there is a change of attitude. But, I don’t know guys. I want to know what his psychiatric evaluation says. His chameleon like mood and ability to fool therapists and psychiatrists makes me wonder.
    Much to think about.
    Thank you to anyone following along.
    I am so very, very sad. But, the house has settled down and that dark cloud that hovered over is gone.
    I miss my grandson, but not the behaviors and chaos.
    Tired Leaf
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I'm so sorry you cannot just have PEACE in your life. You have taken on SO MUCH. It has to be so hard. I do not have grandchildren but I am sure that I would love them all deeply as you do.

    I think you need to give yourself a break. You obviously were pushed to this decision. You never would have done it otherwise. You have to keep yourself and your home safe. That is paramount here. You have to keep the other children safe too. It would not have ended well. Something bad would have happened.

    You've been around this enough to know what can happen. This isn't your first rodeo.

    So glad that you have cameras around to protect your home. I do hope that your grandson gets some help and comes to the realization that certain behaviors will not be tolerated. Period. Boundaries.

    I don't think you are being cold or uncaring. You are doing what YOU need to do to survive.

    I pray that something good comes out of all of this for you. I know that God gives us too much to handle at times. I think that he knows what our limits truly are though and that sometimes we just have to put our trust in Him.

    You deserve peace.

  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you RN, I am devastated to say the least. I have come to think that my eldest grandson spiraled out of control because he could. No man in my household to keep him in check. He has been through way too much, is self medicating and acting out violently, repeating patterns he has grown up with. It’s hard. But the truth is, I can’t have him bullying his siblings, it is retraumatizing them, and we are all not safe. That is first and foremost. He is unresponsive, unremorseful and defiant. I wish I could get through to him. I pray that he wakes up and chooses better. It is a nightmare for all of us.
    Thank you for your kindness.
  4. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to you. You're right - it is not their fault for what they have seen and lived through. It must be absolutely heartbreaking to see your grandchild exhibiting these behaviors (and frightening, too).

    I applaud you for protecting yourself and the other grandchildren. Good for you. Unfortunately they "system" doesn't always think about the people living with the uncontrollable teens.

    Yesterday I was given a nugget of advice: "Remember, you control what you tolerate... you teach others what behaviors you accept."

    I'm sure we've all heard this a million times before, including myself, but yesterday it made it around a corner of my brain and stayed there for me to think on. I can't change my daughter, but I do have control over my reaction to some of her reprehensible behaviors. Not only is it helpful to my own mental/physical health, but it also is a reminder to her what is an acceptable way to interact with people (including myself).

    I started to blame myself a bit after thinking on this, like I've allowed some of these behaviors to pass here and there, and I should have modeled a different response to her. But I've let that go.

    Maybe focus on the fact that you are keeping them safe from these outbursts AND you are also showing the oldest what you tolerate. You love him, but you can't tolerate those abusive outbursts. Hopefully that will sink in as he forms his behavior sets/personalities.

    Anyway, my thoughts for now. Much love.
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  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    New Leaf. I am so very sorry. I can guess how hard is this kind of thing. I've lived something similar, but when my son was far older. This is indeed heart-wrenching.
    Was it a vulnerable and sad look, bereft? Or was it a threatening and defiant look?
    This is telling New Leaf.

    The thing is this: When each of us comes to this point we have already been traumatized repeatedly. Chronically. In my own experience it's hard to know if the trauma we feel is appropriate to the current potential perpetrator (in this case your grandson) or if our fears are residual, from past traumatic episodes. With some distance you will have the opportunity to process all of this, to determine the extent of threat you feel from your grandson. And room for the other two kids to speak, too.
    How could he not have a dark side? He has lived the dark side. He will have to revisit it. If it had been only him, that would be one thing. But there are two more kids at risk. And you are at risk.

    This is the first step in many to come. The important thing is for you to rest, and mend, and then you can regroup. You had to do this. For him, and for the other kids and yourself. He needed this limit. How could you keep him here being violent and threatening? This was one, necessary step.

    What his mother does you have already seen, is beyond your control. As is so much else.

    While you are our superhero, you are not a Superhero. You can't defy gravity. You can't negate the past. You can't make what's real, disappear. You're a grandma. No more. It's time to rest. To be prepared for what comes next.

    You have embraced this child. You have not abandoned him. What you have done may have been the important positive turning point in his young life. I am sorry.
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  6. louise2350

    louise2350 Member

    So sorry for the way things are going for you. I do believe that the therapists and social workers do see a different side of your grandson and that he can easily fool and manipulate the professionals. Only you know the danger you are in having him there and I commend you in trying to help your grandchildren out this way and doing all you can for them. But, as you say, you must protect the other children and yourself. I hope there is a solution to all of this chaos and things get better for you. Take care.
  7. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Dear Tita. ... my mana'o and pule are with you, as I am following along and trying to digest these developments. Try to stay peaceful, to guard your heart and mind, to care for and heal yourself. You are not alone ... Imua.
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  8. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    He is copying his grandpa's behavior. I'm glad they are away from him.
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much.
    This is what I have been repeating to myself. “What you allow, will continue.”
    Yes, I am seeing his siblings relax a bit, even in these past few days. I hope my grandson will understand eventually, now he is angry with me. I am not sure when he will come to terms. His M.O. is to blame everyone else.

    No matter what the age, heart wrenching.

    It was a bit of both. He did not know he was going. He was warned several times by his therapist and myself that his behaviors were a safety issue for our home and he could possibly be removed. But, communication with our social worker has been strained and the “how” he was removed was traumatic. He ran away the first attempt. Nevertheless, I don’t think there is any good way to go about this. He looked at me as if I betrayed him.

    It is hard. But he has been menacing, looming. It is like a game to him.

    It will be a whole different dynamic. I feel myself relaxing a bit more each day. The kids as well. My younger grandson is letting his guard down. He is not acting so tough.
    This is true.Things were very dark for all of them. They all have so much to process. It has been rough life for all of them.

    Thank you Copa, yes it was necessary.

    I have much more to go. His siblings are a challenge at times, but not to this extent. I don’t know what will come with puberty. Ugh.
    I truly hope this will be a turning point, Copa. Last week he told me that he is too smart for school, he is going to live off grid and sell weed. How many of us here have heard similar? I wonder too how this generation is feeling about their future with all of this news of climate change and such. I know that affected me in the 70’s. Ozone depletion, nuclear power, Cold War. I remember feeling as a teen that adults had ruined the earth, I feared for my future.

    He can be very charming and endearing. He is handsome and knows how to use his good looks. He is bright as well. Knows what people want to hear. It’s his anger that reveals him. He is running with a rough crowd at school. It is not a good combo.
    Thank you so much for your thoughts. I am hoping that my grandson will understand that he is manifesting the bullying he witnessed growing up and want to change. For now, it seems to give him power. Which I suppose is a part of the process. He had no control over his life as a child. Now he feels empowered. He shall have to choose if that is the way he wishes to live.
    New Leaf
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  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you dear. It is interesting that we had these rolling thunderstorms come through as all of this came to be.
    It’s as if the elements were speaking the angst of it all.
    I am hoping that my grandson will one day understand my reasoning. For now, I know it just hurts. He is angry. He thought he could do anything in my home. He thought wrong.
    Thank you Kalahou.
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    To the t. His grandfather and his father are violent bullies. His uncles are brutal. They don’t discuss, they yell. Hit.
    My younger grandson says his brother is acting this way because he knows he won’t “get lickins.”
    That was his boundary with them. I told him that he would have to learn to self regulate. Self control. We started out okay, but the “honeymoon” stage is over. I do realize as well that therapy brings up painful memories and feelings they all tried to bury to be able to survive. This is probably a big part of his acting out. Reopened old wounds that never really healed. It is complicated and sad.
    But I have not given up hope for him.
    Thank you Crayola.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    He is at a choice point. He can choose to be better. Things are not destined to repeat themselves. You are giving him the opportunity to choose.

    I forget how old he is.

    Here on the mainland Native peoples have tribal councils. There are many benefits. A lot of support. Is there these kinds of resources where you are?
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for what you are going through and have gone through, dear Leafy. While none of this is their fault, it is your role and your strength to minimize the harm and offer them safe haven. You have done such good and continue to do what is right and what is good, for the younger ones and for your oldest as well. With time I hope he will see that...and want all the love and stability you have offered, for his siblings and for himself.
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    So. He sees your kindness as an opening, an opportunity to be dominant in the pack, to be his grandfather, his father, his uncles--over you and his siblings. You had no choice at all, New Leaf. How in the world could you have allowed this, for him, for you or for the other children?
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  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    He is 15, Copa. He can choose to be better. He likes to dominate, control. There are groups that meet but he says he does not want help.

    That is my role, Albie, thank you for stating this. I have oft said to him that he would feel horrible if he hurt his brother or sister in a rage. I’m not willing to wait for the “next time.” That’s what the social worker was saying, the next time it happens, removed. The last time was horrible enough and I could feel tension building up for another explosion. I hope he eventually sees that it was a necessary protection for all of us.

    That old saying “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness” kept running through my head. That is exactly what was happening, Copa, he was mimicking, domineering. While I was driving he would try to reach over to honk the horn, he would road rage, I forbade that. He would move his toothbrush into my bathroom. A very subtle message. If I got up from my chair to get a glass of water, he would sit in it. It was a daily list of small hints that turned into yelling “get out of my room” “stop irritating me, I’m warning you”. He would bark orders to his brother or sister and insist they had to listen because he is the oldest. If they balked, he would scream at them, insult them, “shut the f up you clown.” Looming over his brother taunting him to fight. He refused to get up for school. I was late to work countless times. He said I was too old to meet his friends. But, I wasn’t too old to chauffeur him places. He refused to help and do chores which led to his siblings to do the same. He would start fights over it. The therapists said I should start a chore routine, I told them I was too busy putting out fires.
    He was getting increasingly belligerent, sullen, full of himself. Early on, I found bottles of pee in his room. Recently, I found a milk jug of it under his bed. His grandfather did the same.
    All of this with the violent episodes is unacceptable. He is choosing to act this way. I cannot keep him in the house. His siblings don’t have a chance to heal as long as he is here.
    I meet with a new therapist and the social worker to sign papers for more intense treatment. I am sure they will try to convince me to bring him back. Why else would I have to sign papers if I already signed him over to CWS? I am no longer his caregiver, or so they say. I am learning to be on my guard. The social worker has already played with my emotions, messed his removal up and is trying to blame me. I am very leery of this dilapidated, understaffed, overloaded foster care system. I get different answers from different workers. I need to write all of my concerns down and keep record and notes of everything. My worker has told me several times that I am the parent and if something happens to the kids I can be taken to court.
    Many people have told me that is absurd.
    So tomorrow when I go, I am going with a list of my own questions and concerns.
    Thank you everyone, your support and help is immeasurable.
    Ps, if only their biological parents were so throughly scrutinized!
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  16. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    Leafy i am so sorry that you have been put into this position. My son could also go into a horrible rage and then convince doctors that he was calm cool and collected. He was then sent back to me. It is frustrating and heartbreaking because you know he needs help he is not being given and because you are not being given the help you need to raise the other two. It sends him and his siblings the wrong message if he does not recieve repercussions for his actions. It was obviously clear to his siblings as they hid from him. Bless you for protecting ALL of your grandchildren.
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  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is bullying. And so not true.

    At 16 he can go to Job Corps.

    That is so, so intolerable moving his toothbrush to your bathroom. What was he thinking? He was the new husband, the man of the house? Did he want you to take your place with the kids? And your chair!!??

    This is so, so better he has this wake up call. I would tell him to his face exactly how what he did was unacceptable. If he can't engage in dialog and hear you, how what he did was unacceptable, what chance really would there be that he return?

    I don't care how he presents as cool, calm and collected with authorities. You took responsibility voluntarily. You will do so again, if and when he receives and responds to required services, and demonstrates such over time.

    As far as grandson choosing to not take part in available groups, too bad, so sad. That has consequences. To him, not to you.
  18. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I am very sorry to hear this news, Leafy, but you did the right thing. You had no other choice.

    You couldn’t allow your grandchildren to continue to believe that bigger, stronger people are allowed to bullying and intimidate smaller, weaker people without consequences.

    That they continue to think that this is a normal family structure and that they should emulate this behavior in their future relationships by either becoming a violent bully or a compliant, helpless victim.

    That they learn that kindness is not synonymous with weakness.

    That a person needs to stand up for themselves (without violence if at all possible) and if needed, get the authorities involved, do whatever it takes, so that they can be safe.

    That the cycle can be broken.

    Because what else would they do if they have never experienced another way?

    You had no other choice.
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  19. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Leafy, I'm sorry for what you've been through with this grandson. I think you did what was best for him, the other children, and yourself, but what a hard thing.
  20. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Hi New Leaf,

    I remember when you posted a while back about taking the grandkids in.. I was praying that they would fall into order and not give you major grief. I am so sorry about your oldest. You did the only thing you could do and the best thing for all of you. You did not have a choice, he had to be removed from your home. Living with an out of control rage disorder is NOT doable for anyone. You are getting older and this should be your golden time. I had to ask my daughter to leave years ago, she was testing me to see how far she could push me.. She controlled everything through her rages. They were so awful that I once took her to the police department because I did not know what else to do, I was told off by an officer for taking her there but in reality she was so out of control that I was just searching for help, any kind of help and that was the first thing that came to my mind. NEVER will I ever live with an out of control person in rages. NEVER. It took years off of my life and I did not know if or what she would do in the middle of the night. I did not sleep well but OH MY GOD when she left my sleep and health came back. My home felt like a home again and I promised I would never tolerate that kind of behavior. I am now 62 and no way could my nerves and health take it. My heart is with you as you try to make sense out of things that will not make sense. I am so sorry and you have my deepest respect.
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