The guilt is unbearable.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sarajane, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Sarajane

    Sarajane New Member

    Hello, my name is Sara. I am a single mother of a twelve year old boy (forgive me, I haven't learned all the shorthand on this site yet). I just joined this site tonight and obviously that must mean something is heavy on my heart. My son has been diagnosed for several years with ADHD, ODD and with a mood disorder. He has been seen by the very best Dr in our state as well as continual weekly counseling sessions. (currently on Depakoat sprinkles and vivoxin )Our problems are getting more and more difficult including continual outbursts, failing grades, physicial temper towards me, complete lack of authority, shouting obscenities at me, and tonight telling me I was a mistake( Something I have NEVER said to him). His Dad and him (we've been divorced for 11 years) have teamed up against me in every way. My son refers to me as "she or her" and often just as Sara. I am continually belittled know matter what i do or how nice I am. I have fallen into such a deep depression feeling like I have failed him because he sees my cry so much. Im feel like I have ruined his childhood by who Ive become. Im always sad and find it difficult to keep an upbeat household. I feel the cycle is so vicious but I just don't know how to fix it anymore. Anyways, sorry to bug ya'll with this. I guess I am looking for some hope in all of this failure. Maybe just a "hey, I feel ya" :)
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hey, I do feel ya.

    It's a long, hard road raising a difficult child (Gift from God - the child who brought you here). Do you do anything just for you? Whether a hobby, child free time with friends, or even a bubble bath? We really have to remind ourselves that we are just as important as our kids and we do have to nurture ourselves, too.

    It's late and my sleep medicine is kicking in, but I wanted to offer you a welcome. Others will come along in the morning with great advice and support for you.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Welcome to our little corner of the world. We are parents who understand - each of us has been there done that in one way or another. There is very little here that shocks me anymore.

    And as someone else has already pointed out - the guilt is not yours to own. difficult child may have an illness/emotional issues, whatever, but he still must learn to live in the world. His world includes you; you have every right to demand respect & compliance on difficult children part. You cannot make him love you - he will respect you.

    That is an attitude I had to take on with my tweedles who were placed with me 7 years ago now.

    As to your DEX, shame on him - he is playing childish games. Again, if he wants to do that with your difficult child & no co-parent with you, it may be time to invite him along to the therapy sessions or a session or two with the psychiatrist (psychiatrist).

    I'm sorry for your sore heart tonight & tomorrow is a new day. It doesn't have to continue like this day in & day out. What you're doing now isn't working - so you must come up with a new plan. Have your read The Explosive Child - comes highly recommended here & really does help you understand & sort this stuff out.

    by the way, I agree with having something that is truly yours alone. Since the tweedles have come to us I have taken up piano & more recently have added in watercolor painting. It's my hour each day that this household knows they cannot step interrupt. It's the most therapeutic time of day for me.

    Again, welcome. Your aching mother's heart will heal as you take back your home.

    Others will be along to ask you questions & help guide you with psychiatrist issues & such.


  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to a fellow Wisconsinite,

    I can so relate to what your struggles. I'm sorry you had to find us but you have found an incredibly supportive group-you are not alone anymore.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, I'm in Wisconsin too. If you PM me, I'm curious as to who you took your child to see. Was it U of W, Madison? Anyway, it's unfortunate that your hub is working against you. I'm wondering why your child is on Depakote sprinkles. Can he not swallow pills? What is his dosage? Hang in there!
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sara, welcome.

    Kids with mood disorders often need a combo of medications for true mood stabilization. That may mean two mood stabilizers plus an atypical antipsychotic. My son is on this type of medication combo and doing the best he's done in years. So it can happen with careful and consistent care from a child psychiatrist (psychiatrist).

    What kind of medication is Vivoxin? I looked it up and couldn't find it anywhere. Do you have the name and spelling right?

    Depakote works very well for mania, but doesn't do a whole lot for depression. So if your difficult child falls into the depressive end of a mood disorder, Depakote could be making him more irritable. It is also very important to get Depakote blood levels to see if your difficult child falls into the therapeutic window. Some kids do well on levels of 80 to 90, but others require as high as 100 to 125 for efficacy. Has the psychiatrist tested your difficult child's blood recently to see if he's taking a therpeutic dose of Depakote?

    If things are no better, you really owe it to yourself and your son to go back to the psychiatrist and ask for help. You may also need to take it to the next level by having your son placed in a day treatment program or inpatient at a local psychiatric hospital. You really can't accept that this is the best it's going to get.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart. I hope you are able to make some headway today.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Sarajane, welcome to our little corner of the world.
    I'm sorry to hear that your son chose to be mean to you. As far as being guilt ridden, you may have to move on from that mentality. Your son has a disorder where he isn't thinking very kindly. Add a dad who fuels his disdain of you and you have the typical bully/victim relationship. Don't be his victim.
    Did you do everything you know to help him? Do you spend your free time helping him grow up? What the heck do you need to feel guilty about?

    You should be holding your head up high with the knowledge that you have been a single parent of a very difficult child. You are a warrior. You have survived some awful, awful times. You continue to do good stuff for a very difficult and ungrateful child.

    Your son is in the throes of adolescence. He is going to be a miserable cuss for a while.

    My suggestion is let dad deal with your son while you work hard on yourself. If mom isn't healthy, no one is healthy. Get yourself help emotionally, physically or whatever. Give yourself time to recharge your batteries and for goodness sakes dump the guilt. It is like sitting in a rocking chair. Lots of energy used and getting nowhere. Make a plan that isn't guilt based but parent based. Set a goal and work towards it.

    I dumped the guilt when I realized I was letting it ruin everyone in the house. Do your best and feel good about your effort and don't let anyone, anyone make you feel bad about yourself. It's ok to feel sad about what your son's behaviors and failings are but no way should guilt be on your shoulders.

    I hate bullies and there were times when my son was a bully. We would confront nose to nose during that whole 11 to 15yr period. He had a choice to let me teach him to be an independent,law abiding, tax paying adult. If he wouldn't learn from me then strangers who didn't feel love like a mother does, would have to do the teaching. He did eventually go to residential treatment program for 2 yrs. He seldom confronts me without taking into consideration that I follow through on what I say. He isn't cured and is more difficult than average but nothing like early adolescence.

    When he said he hated me I told him that it wasn't my job for him to like me. It was my job to teach him how to be an adult in this world. If at 25, he is a decent adult I will have done my job. If he finds love in his heart for me that is simply gravy.

    Find yourself some help. Trust me, you are not alone anymore.
  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Welcome Sara, and fellow Wisconsinite....

    I am so sorry you are feeling all this. I believe it is what has brought everyone here.
    Although each child is different, so many are all so familiar. Been There done that so many times.
    There are so many experts here. Such great advice. I have been where you are, thinking is just nothing you can do. Looking for someone to tell you how to fix it.

    It DOES get better. You need to take care of YOU.
  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    does your son have an IEP at school. My difficult child is very bright, skipped a grade, but he will recieve failiing grades if not for the IEP. That itself was a difficult step, but well worth it.
  10. So Tired

    So Tired Member


    Welcome. I am also new to the forum, but have found so much support and comfort. I hope you find it here too! You may want to read some of the older posts - they have a lot of helpful info and insights.

    I totally understand the guilt part. My son is 18 and has been tormenting me for about the last 2 years. He will say any mean and horrible thing to engage me in a fight. At first I was unprepared. I would argue back and cry and just escalate the commotion. But through research and therapy and talking to others, I realized that I can not control him, only me, and that my actions were only making a bad situation worse. I learned to say "Don't talk to me that way, I don't like it" or "I won't talk to you when you are swearing at me" Then disconnect and walk away. Clean a drawer, do some wash, take a walk. Anything that keeps you busy and shows him you will not be sucked into his drama. (I have gotten more cupboards cleaned this way!!)

    Now of course his words still hurt. I may have a little "breakdown" after he leaves. It wounds you to the core to have the very same person who you spent so much time and effort on - loved so much - made easter baskets, sent packages to at camp, watched at school plays, held while he was sick, love and worry about every day - tell you he rejects you and your love. That it what is so heartbreaking. On the positive side, although we always fight in person, he will text message me alot. Some of our best communication is thru texting. I save and treasure these little triumphs --- little nuggets or what was and what could be...

    Stay strong Sara! We all know how hard it is and how much you have to go through. Sending (((Hugs))) your way!
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs to you, Sara. I understand the guilt thing very well. It's hard enough with the kids, but when you add the ex-hubby's comments into the mix...again, I understand.
  12. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member


    Welcome. I found this site a few months ago and log in at least twice a day. Before I found this site I had such horrible guilt and was so depressed I barely made it through the day. All I did was beat myself up. I was convinced that my son's challenges were because I was doing something wrong. The harder I tried and more energy I put into it, the more depressed I became. Then I started reading the comments\challenges\advice in this site and I realized something VERY empowering and healing...I (and my son) are NOT alone! I am not a bad mom, and he is not a bad kid. He has a disability that is not physically visable and he is trying his best to deal with it.

    I am sending you hugs and warm thoughts. You are NOT alone! I hope you continue to post here, even if it just means that we are able to give you the encouragement you need to make it through the day! Hang in there, we are standing right there next to you holding your hand and supporting you. Take it one day at a time!
  13. Vanilla

    Vanilla New Member

    Sarajane, please know how very "un-alone" you are. My difficult child is now 19, still lives at home, some days are ok, but when he is in a "brain lock" or perseveration on one thing, it's still hell. When he is focused on acquiring something (usually with a "loan" from me and husband), it does not matter how much we have done in the past, if we say "no" to his latest obsession, we are worthless, untrustworthy, selfish, and some less printable adjectives. He proceeds to bring out all his past injustices, including when I called the police when at age 17 he held a knife to me and his brother. Oh, but I "knew" he really wasn't going to "use" it, according to him. He gets particularly incensed when I tell him to borrow from his friends, because he always says how much more they are there for him then we, his parents, are. Really? I don't believe they provide a home, food, clothes, vehicle, etc. I think that would be my husband and I giving him all this. Bottom line, reject the guilt. You're doing what you can and you cannot succumb to the verbal abuse, because if it works it will only be repeated. Try and get your son the help he needs, but do NOT accept failure as a definition of your parenting. Hang tough, Vanilla in Arkansas
  14. looking4hope

    looking4hope New Member


    Welcome to the site! I was born in Iowa, and have cousins in Wisconsin, so I hope the cold, dreary weather isn't adding to the guilt and depression that you feel.

    I am also divorced, and for the first couple of years, my DEX did the same as yours. Everything was my fault (even though he left!!), and difficult child's behavior had to be because I was a horrible parent. He has, and continues, to threaten to take my son away, although we both know that the court's would never allow it (long story).

    Anyway, the breakthrough came when I insisted that DEX take the difficult child for two weeks in the summer, as per the court order. In the three years prior to that, DEX had never complied and I didn't argue. But I was tired and battle weary, and wanted to give DEX a taste of what I went through daily. Well, DEX came around during that time. I was getting multiple phone calls daily about how to handle difficult child's outbursts. I found out that DEX and his live-in hit difficult child from difficult child, and DEX admitted it, so I called CPS. They were hitting difficult child to try and control his behavior. Now DEX is on board, and agreed to have difficult child hospitalized, which helped immensely.

    I guess my advice is to finally tell your DEX that if he feels he can handle it better, let him do it for a while. Don't give up custody, just write an amendment that gives him primary custody for 15 to 30 days and see what happens. It worked for me, and it took less than a week!

    Also, you need to get some support. See if there's a group for parents through his counselor or psychiatrist. And if difficult child's medications aren't right, then admit him to a psychiatric hospital for an adjustment. Do not let him bully you! You have support here, too. We will all help you to develop a backbone. It's hard work, but we've all been there. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
  15. Sarajane

    Sarajane New Member

    I will be checking into the IEP at my sons school this week. Again, thank you so much.
  16. Sarajane

    Sarajane New Member

    I cant tell you how much I appreciate your message and your support. Thank you for all of your kind words.

  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I wanted to add my welcome... puberty... spring... exe's... medications... support... all of these things need to be tweaked, checked sometimes ignored!!!
    Come here ask questions, we are here for you. We understand, we do.
    Some of us have different situations, but we will try to understand or help in any way we can!!! Hang in there.