Therapist Visit - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wonderful Family, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. We have a parent meeting tomorrow night with difficult child's therapist. difficult child likes him; and while the therapist is learning the family dynamics still, he does at least "get" difficult child somewhat and I have hopes that he can help him-first one out of dozens. His goal right now appears to be helping difficult child get along better with Mom. The problem is, difficult child and I are not having major problems getting along. I "think" it's difficult child and two things - he's slipping and/or he's hiding behind a made-up problem/difficult child perception of reality.

    difficult child likes this guy; he talks to him about what has happened in the past " which is really important for him. difficult child's recollection though isn't always clear; especially the bad times. Like the time he was trying to choke easy child while I was driving, trying to stop difficult child AND keep him from jumping out of the car? (Can you imagine the position).

    What I see is difficult child possibly slipping; it's how it always starts. Monday night he was furious about something minor that had happened a few hours earlier. As I was walking down the hall a few hours later, difficult child was walking up behind me to hit my head with a pillow. It would have been funny except he was serious and had the horrible rage in his eyes. The last two weeks have been meltdowns that were almost comical (half-hearted) and things that he "didn't mean to do" (e.g., kicking easy child lightly as he walks past-but same irritation and anger brimming); all can be explained away; but there's too many things happening at the same time. difficult child is on top of the world if he gets what he wants right now; but snaps immediately if he doesn't. He wasn't doing this 4 weeks ago.

    difficult child has also been talking odd again. Everyone's bugging him; he wishes he could beat so and so up, but he knows he can't. Numerous off the wall comments over the last 2-3 weeks.

    I'm frustrated, tired; and really sick of being put into a defensive position. husband comes along and all of a sudden, professionals start cooing over him. Therapist didn't like it when I mentioned that difficult child thought husband had serious anger problems a few months back and needed therapy; now I'm the problem " doesn't this raise a red flag somewhere?

    On top of all this, husband doesn't always completely (want to?) believe me about what the kids say/do because they don't say these things to him or says they have to learn to figure it out themselves (uh " so easy child saying how he wished difficult child were a cousin sometimes doesn't mean he's having problems himself; or difficult child's really odd remarks are seen as 'exaggerated'-like I could make up some of his comments). So I'm left to watch difficult child's lovely red flags myself and try to catch him before he slides too far without 'driving at' difficult child and bring husband on board at the same time.

    I'm just really frustrated and tired. Even a (hopefully) still stable difficult child is a huge challenge.

    difficult child needs to learn how to manage himself when he gets where he is now; not focus on someone else.

    husband forgets that the only time we bicker over stupid stuff all the time only when difficult child is starting to go. The stress from sticking our fingers in the dike one leak at a time?

    How do I present the current difficult child to the therapist and husband without appearing defensive, making things up, or driving his problems? I'm really stuck. Good news - psychiatrist appointment in 2 weeks, so hopefully we'll know more if there is a real problem.)
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I experienced the same problem in the past. Sometimes it really is difficult child trying to put the focus on me, when in reality, he's the one that made the choices or got himself into a situation that I had nothing to do with. Other times, it is because the therapist feels most or all problems with kids are really due to ineffective parenting and the therapist is "steering" things into family therapy instead of dealing with a difficult child and a mood disorder. Now, I admit, I don't have a very positive opinion of many tdocs these days, so maybe others can give more "hopeful" advice to you.

    in my humble opinion, I think you should meet with the therapist alone and discuss your concerns.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    It does sound as if your difficult child may need a medication tweak.

    I've found it's helpful to keep a log of my kids' behaviors to present to the treating mental health professions in our life. This log is a simple description of date, time and behaviors with no editorializing on my part. In other words, I don't say, "difficult child is saying odd things." I do say, "difficult child told me he wants to fly off the roof with an umbrella as a parachute." I leave the interpretation up to the treating professional.

    Is tomorrow's meeting just with you and husband, or will difficult child be present? How often do you talk or meet alone with the therapist?
  4. The meeting tomorrow is husband and I alone; difficult child will not be around. It will be interesting to hear what he says. therapist works with primarily autistic kids; which difficult child has a lot of tendencies for; but never diagnosis'd. But he still definitely has the moods and BiPolar (BP) issues. Not sure of the real diagnosis.

    The log is good; I keep written notes about what he says; but I've never handed it over. I will do so tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

    medication tweak may be in store; I'm kind of glad we have a little time before the psychiatrist appointment so I can tell more. But the psychiatrist is available by cell if we need him.

    On the upside; difficult child listened to my "restrictions" with very minimal resistance. 2nd night in the row with him in bed now instead of 1:00 AM (if he takes medications at 5:00 or so - he's out by 9:00). He got back his cell phone and friend privileges tonight and friend had dinner here. difficult child was in a great mood tonight; but still very hyper. He's asleep because of his medications. I know lack of sleep can drive a lot; but the later sleep time has been going later and later too over the last few weeks.

    He was "kind of" doing this well last year at this time; and ended up breaking down and in psychiatric hospital; much to our surprise. We thought we knew the cycle.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I found keeping a log of what was going on VERY helpful with the docs. you can download mood charts and then customize them to fit you, or just use a notebook. Whatever works. But keep track of EVERYTHING.

    Then go sit down in a 1:1 session with the therapist and say, "Hey, I need you to deal with this. Not past stuff, not difficult child's twisted perceptions, but the reality of now, like how he tried to attack me as I was headed for the stairs. If he had hit me wrong with the pillow on the stairs I could have fallen. Then difficult child would REALLY be up a tree. Please help us."

    And see how he reacts. If he is willing to help he will, if not, then you will know. it may take going through old posts here from the last few weeks, or taking a few weeks to record things.

    When you are ready to talk to the therapist, condense your notes into what difficult child said/did, triggers, what you did, how your relationship is with him other times, include some fun/funny/happy things (if you can), and include husband's reluctance/refusal to see the problems because he isn't always there when they happen.

    You also might consider a nannycam. To record what goes on and let them SEE what he says/does.

    Sorry it is so rough. Often our difficult children only show us moms the problems because they KNOW we will always love them and fight for them and they just are not as sure about dads.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    To clarify, our husband's love our kids. No denying it. But our kids know they need help. They know their dads don't always believe it. They think dad will lose respect for them if they know all the problems. Esp our male difficult children, something about the father/son relationship.

    for example, when I was very little, my mom was called to the neighbor we were very close to on a 911 situation. when she got their my gfgbro was on their swing singing "My daddy doesn't love me" over and over. The dad in that house worked nights. Our families were VERY close, and lived only 1 house apart. My gfgbro thought that because my dad when to work every day an wasn't home all day like the other dad that our dad didn't love him. It took a LOT of years to work through that.

    I didn't mean our husband's don't love our kids, just that they have a very different relationship with them.