Ok, i've tried to stay calm and relatively brainless the past 6 days since I tend to over-think things many times. But I actually did have a couple of thoughts that I'd like to share as reminders, since many here remind me of these things at some critical times with difficult child. When difficult child first started having problems and exhibiting less-than-desirable behaviors, of course, I punished him- so did school, law, etc. It took over a year before he started saying things to me like "sometimes XXX is going on with me", "sometimes I fell like YYY", "I can't help it, but sometimes ZZZ". Of course, I listened and discussed the importance of letting psychiatrist know these things, which we did, then asked my biggest question "WHY didn't you tell me or psychiatrist or someone before now". difficult child just looked at me oddly and I remembered how much he had been punished while either I or someone at school or the judge had said things about him not focusing, not being quiet and listening when he should, not sitting down and behaving. We talked about it, but it was more than clear- first, the kid didn't know what was going on with him when things first went awry, much less know how to communicate it. Secondly, and more importantly, as long as he was getting punished for talking out of turn or snapping off with a frustrated and angry tone, etc., he was not about to tell anyone that he couldn't help it. I might not be conveying this in the best way, but something reminded me of it on vacation. My difficult child simply will not feel comfortable revealing that he had "no control" over an emotion, urge, etc., if he's been getting punished for the resulting behavior and given ultimatums and been made to fear what will happen if he doesn't control that behavior. IOW- as long as all he heard was that he better stop it or else, he was scared to death to tell anyone that he wasn't in control of it. I don't think he really understood the concept about getting help yet. Once I realized that, I knew that punishment was not the way to teach him how to manage that behaviior. Of course, he still needs and get punished sometimes- but his willingness to tell what is/was going on with him is invaluable in his treatment. He can't help it that he has this problem- he can learn to deal with it better- but he won't learn that through punishment alone. He had one bad "period" this vaacation and that was the first half of yesterday. He got in my purse and took the cell phone out without permission and got snotty when I asked him why (there were no calls or text messages sent or received). Then- he was caught sneaking with a bottle of antibacterial windex- now who does that and WHY?? I asked him what he was doing with it - he said "NOTHING" which drives me nuts. What does a 13yo boy want with it and why would he sneak it?? So, he lost his opportunity to go to the beach one more time before coming home for this attitude about things and for sneaking to begin with. Anyway- those were the bad moments- everything else was great. We shared many laughs that I will remember and I have the reminders of why I fight for my son, Know what I mean??? So, when we got home I asked him what was going on with him yesterday. I said it light-heartedly because all in all, it was successful. He told me that he "mal-functioned". I said "HUH"? He said "you know, Mom, when a robot's batteries are wearing down, the robot starts mal-functioning. I was tired- I was wearing down- I mal-functioned like I do sometimes". I told him "ok- fair enough". I worry-and I wonder- does the future hold a long-term confinement for him, or will some of my hopes and dreams for him be realized? And, I know at his age, now he needs to start thinking about his future and taking more responsibility for preparing for it or suffering the consequences if he blows opportunities. I'm not sure how to help put that weight on his shoulders. I don't want to just stress him out and make anxiety and pressure worse, but on the other hand, I don't want to just convey that his future is all a bowl of cherries without him understanding that this will take a conviction and work from him. Sorry- I guess I'm off on rambling now!!