therapist and I had a meeting today with just the two of us. He agrees that difficult child's behavior is unacceptable and that he could easily hurt someone, even accidentally. difficult child has an appointment with therapist Monday afternoon where we will explain to him why he has to see a psychiatrist. I predict that difficult child will be very angry about this decision. We'll try to get him to understand that this is because we care about what is happening to him. There is no doubt that difficult child has plenty to be angry about: husband was physically present but mentally absent (only a handful of times did he take difficult child somewhere for just the two of them). Now husband is completely absent. difficult child's best friend's father is currently in jail. This man is like a second father to difficult child and his estranged wife keeps locking him up for minor infractions of her protective order. (This time he saw her in Wal-Mart and left the store. That's it. She called the police a day later and they picked him up. She even told the police all he did was walk out of the store.) I cannot allow difficult child to see his friend at present due to the volatile nature of the strange wife. Add to this mix my new SO who is great with difficult child but admittedly not the boy's father. It's a lot to swallow. On a positive note, a couple of people have reminded me to reach out to difficult child even though he is a teenager. I remember when he was little, and I had trouble putting him to bed each night. He would hit me instead of hugging me good-night. I made changing that behavior a priority and eventually we found our way to a hug instead of a slug good-night.