Things haven't changed much here....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by welcometowitsend, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Just a quick update on our situation with difficult child...

    husband and I went to see a counsellor last Wednesday and will see her again this Wednesday. She wants a few sessions with us before seeing us with difficult child (he's agreed to go to counselling because I told him I wouldn't discuss his abuse allegations any more unless it was in front of a counsellor). And of course easy child will have to be there at some point too. She has another family coming through the other side of a very similar situation and it's been 6 months.

    I need to ask her what kind of boundaries to set with difficult child. We have already agreed that we will not give him money, nor will I give the family he is staying with any money. husband wanted to give them money but I said no way - if they want to play rescuers then let them go ahead. He has a nice, warm, loving home to live in if he follows our rules. I also don't want to discuss his allegations against us unless it is in front of a counsellor. He went from accusing husband of physical abuse (because he's been restrained 3 times) to accusing both of us of physical, verbal, emotional and mental abuse. (Recap: He has to accuse us of abuse in order to get student welfare so he can live on his own).

    But I do want to see him, get together with him, talk to him. Right now I really miss difficult child. We used to have such a close relationship. He only wants to communicate via email right now and I'm trying to respect that but quite frankly I think he is being manipulative and cold about it. His sister would like to see him.

    I think it needs to be in a public place though. Maybe I will call him tonight and see if he wants to go out for dinner with us one night this week. The rule will be to have a superficial conversation about day to day stuff - nothing big. What do you think? Is it a start or should I wait to talk to the counsellor on Wednesday first?
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    I think it's a great start. I think it sends the message that he's still part of your family even though he is not living with you. You can take this a step further by inviting him to got with you to things he would normally go to if he were home - church, movies, school play, etc.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Do you have a plan for if he starts in on any of the things that you wont discuss? A way out without an argument/fight? That is the only thing I'd be worried about, but otherwise I think sincerely keeping your doors open that way (with the boundaries) is good for him and for you too....if he is so abused he would never want to come but since it is just that he is throwing you under the bus to get his money from student welfare, it seems he usually comes to see you when invited. Maybe keep your finger near the record button on your phone or an ipod or something.... to get audio if he starts anything???
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I do NOT think it is a great idea to meet him before you see the counselor. Not at ALL. You have to be prepared for this an you need to know what some of the pitfalls could be. It is entirely possible that he could accuse you or husband or even his sister of following him to a restroom or isolated area and harming him again away from cameras. All he would need to do is to mess up his hair/clothes and t could look much like one of you hurt him.

    At this point you MUST do everything to protect yourself. He has the 'recuers' to help him. You need the counselor and a good family court lawyer. NEVER meet someone accusing you of abuse with-o a witness or in a place that is not public. the witness needs to b someone you know so that if he lies about then you have proof that you were never alone with him to hurt him.

    Your son is 16 and wants freedom and to be supported by the state. You daughter is NOT wanting to be out of your home. If difficult child convinces a court that you have abused hm, then the court can take your daughter away also - and they probably will or will put very intrusive counselors and other personnel in your lives and a LOT of demands on you.

    A nice dinner out is just the message he needs right now. It is more like a reward for his behavior - gee, you moved out and are telling everyone we beat you, were verbally and emotionally and mentally abusive and now lets buy you a nice dinner! Good boy!!

    I know that isn't what you mean or intend to tell him, but meeting for a nice dinner just isn't the thing right now. He is jeopardizing your daughter's future with his false allegations. IF for no other reason than that, PLEASE do not meet him anywhere but the counselor, atty, or a dr office/hospital setting if there is an emergency. don't explain why you won't meet him, jsut let it be until you speak with the counselor. I know you miss him greatly, but you need guidance on how to handle this and someone to watch the situation and be able to prove that you didn't do anything to him during the meetings. At least for a while.
  5. Keista - Thank you for your reply. I am hoping that we can make a start somewhere and I do think this is a good place to start but like Susiestar I have some concerns and am not sure what type of interaction would be appropriate at this point. I just have no point of reference to go from - never been through this before.

    Buddy - I do need to speak to the counsellor about how to deal with the situation if he starts in on the 'issues'. The voice recorder is a good idea although I hate the thought that I need to do that with my own child. Know what I mean??

    Susie- I know you are right about everything you said. These are things husband and I have discussed - it just feels so wrong to feel that way about your own child, you know? We have fears about him wanting to come home, only to injure himself and then call the police and accuse us - as a way to 'prove' he is being abused. You are right that he could do that in public as well - that didn't occur to me.

    It has definitely been brought to mind that daughter could be taken from us by Children's Aid if difficult child convinces them he has been abused. I can't imagine what harm that would do to her. I am praying that if Children's Aid does get involved that they will interview and ask questions and not just yank her from us and then ask questions later. If they yank her it will be at least 5 days before I can get her back.

    So far the police have been involved, guidance counsellors at school, crisis hotline, Family Services (not Children's Aid - a different agency) and no one has accused us of abuse or even suggested that we have done anything wrong. That's not to say we shouldn't be on guard but they are all legally required to report us to Children's Aid. The police told us they had to report to Children's Aid regardless - that was 3 weeks ago and we haven't even gotten a phone call so I am guessing they are not concerned for daughter's safety. Not to say that can't change if difficult child keeps this up.

    I know what you mean by rewarding him for all his accusations. I am torn between 'rewarding' bad behaviour with a dinner out and wanting to try to maintain some sort of relationship. I just don't know what the right answer is there. I just don't know where the boundary is between being a loving parent that wants to maintain a relationship and work through this and being a doormat. Not in this situation, anyway.

    I guess I should definitely see the counsellor on Wednesday and ask her advice before I even consider suggesting a get together with him. I hate that it has to be this way with my own child. Making a list of questions for Wednesday. Ideas?
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I would not meet him. I would not invite him for dinner. I would not give him any chance or open door that could jeopardize you, your husband, or your daughter. He is accusing you of abuse because he wants to live on his own on the tax payers dime, so that he does not have to abide by your rules. The only place that I would agree to see him would be in the office of a counselor because you need to protect yourself. If he is able to say that you abused him you don't know what he will say after a meeting with you, even if it's in a public place like a restaurant.

    I may sound very cold, and I truly don't mean to. I just think that he's making unfounded accusations and you need to be careful where you step. I think that Susie is right on target with this.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WTW, I agree with what Susie and Bunny are telling you. I understand and empathize with your feelings, this is your child, you want to have a connection with him, but he is putting himself in a position of someone you cannot trust right now. He is only thinking of himself and his teenage desires for independence, he isn't seeing the big picture and the harm it can do to you or your other child. You have to think for him and make a decision that protects your family now. I know it's hard, I know how difficult it is to have to think that way, but you must. Later when this blows over and cooler heads prevail, you can resume making attempts to connect with him. At that point he may be more willing to be a part of your family again, but right now, he is asserting himself in a very negative and potentially hurtful way. He's too young to see all the ramifications which he would likely regret later if it did harm his sister and you and husband, but for now, he is an adversary. Take care of yourself. Prayers and warm wishes for you and your family as you wander through this new territory.
  8. You are all so right. It's just hard to admit to myself that I can't trust my own child not to try and hurt our family. Sad.

    I sure hope this all changes soon and he gets his head on straight.
  9. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    My husband and I were in a very, very similar situation, and our therapist suggested we "embrace" difficult child and shower him with love and acceptance (this after he made false accusations to CPS because we found his drug stash and his gig was up). CPS fully investigated, and exonerated us - I wanted to know how our 16 y/o could make such depraved accusations about his parents and get away with it. The therapist, as I said, wanted us to embrace him. This was happening while difficult child was always threatening to "emancipate" himself, as if it would scare us into backing off of his drug use and defiance. One night, when he came in high after curfew, disrespectful, he and husband were having an argument about his breaking the rules, etc. difficult child said he was going to emancipate himself legally. I couldn't take it anymore and told him to "emancipate himself through the front door...right now - we sure are gonna miss ya!"

    The little narcissist liar was shocked - shocked that we called his bluff! For once, husband was on the same page. difficult child never tried that again. All I can say is, we were betrayed and dishonored by our own son, and we had foolishly been crawling back to him, instead of the other way around. The therapist's well-meaning advice just seemed so counterintuitive to us, but we were inexperienced and thought the "professional" must know better, instead of trusting our instincts. It sends the wrong message - if difficult child isn't contrite, then I wouldn't meet him for dinner. It also tells your younger child that you're willing to capitulate to foolishness. My son was a victimizer who was adept at playing the victim. Once we put a stop to that, dumped the therapist, set and enforced rules, the game changed, but I'll tell you, I will never trust difficult child again in my life. If he can do what he did to his PARENTS and SISTER, he can do anything - without a conscience. We have a superficial relationship most of the time, and husband and I always assume if he's personable, he's playing us for something. What a shame, because we put our heart and soul into parenting and he just doesn't appreciate it.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The therapist isn't always wrong... we essentially did that with our difficult child (long story) and rebuilt the relationship.
    BUT. You have to know WHY the difficult child is behaving this way.
    Because ONLY if one of the core problems IS some level of "attachment disorder", will this approach work.
    It wasn't necessarily that way for your difficult child...

    I still wish kids came with customized manuals...
  11. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I agree with you Insane, but I'd have to say, in our case, SA was the crux of the situation. There were no attachment issues or behavior issues prior to his introduction to the world of drug/alcohol/peer influence. Absolutely, though, every family situation is unique.