Trouble on the homefront

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 2manypets, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. 2manypets

    2manypets New Member

    I am always fighting with my son. He is ADHD/ODD and I am Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), so we just don't get on well. I am on medications because it really does help my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but my husband is against medications for my son even though I'm the one that deals with him 23 out of 24 hours - and he's HYPER and WILD and IMPULSIVE and ARGUMENTATIVE. I'm just tired. So, so tired. I finally called my parents and had them come and pick him up because husband is on a business trip in China and I just couldn't handle it anymore. I needed a break! When husband called to talk to me and my DS I told him he was gone because I couldn't deal, and husband was really mad. I feel like I'm backed into a corner!! I'm the one always on call for the parenting and he expects miracles from me, and my son and I just don't get along. It always ends up with one or both of us yelling and one or both of us crying. I feel like we just spend the day arguing. I've upped my medications because all the arguing makes me feel more out of control and I find myself cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. I hate it!!!! If it wasn't for my parents coming and taking him for some time, I think I would be one of those moms that packs up and disappears forever!!!! What can I do??? I know there's no 'magic bullet', but something must be better than THIS! HELP!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    How does he act around husband? Are you sure it is just a personality clash? Are you seeing a therapist yourself to help with these issues if it really is just that? Maybe you need to "get away" for some ME time when husband is home for a few days. YOU go to your parents' and leave difficult child with husband. Sorry there are so many questions but there is just not enough information about your difficult child's specific behaviors and your specific issues with him. You might get more helpful suggestions if we had more information.

    Oh, and by the way, welcome to the "family".
  3. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Yes more information please. How old is your boy? If no medications. then what therapy is going on? Does he have friends. Do you ever enjoy him? If so when? More information and I bet you'll get lots of suggestions. I'm glad you are getting a break, this is a good move on your part! Hang in there, and welcome!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would also like more info. Your husband is getting me angry, maybe unjustly, but if he wants to deal with his son maybe he should get a job where he doesn't have to travel to China???? What right does he have to tell you NOT to take him to his grandparents for a break? Is husband normally a controlling person? And if YOU need medication, maybe your son does too? There is this thing called heredity...

    At any rate, are there any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of this child's genetic family tree? This is a biggie. If so, what? Is this son's biological father or a stepfather? Are there any siblings who have to deal with his behavior? How does he do in school and does he understand how to appropriately socialize with his same age peers? Did he have any developmental delays or early quirks (or quirks now?). Has he EVER been evaluated by a NeuroPsycsh?

    I know we have bombarded you with a lot and I am sorry. We just want to help and the more we know, the better we understand the situation. You may want to do a signature like I did below. That really helps us remember.
  5. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I think having your parents take him for you is the way to go when he is raging and you are at your wits end. You both need the break to regroup.
  6. 2manypets

    2manypets New Member

    My DS is 9. He has been in therapy, but we just moved, again, and we haven't found anyone suitable or with any time in their schedule for us yet. We have a history of anxiety disorders on my side (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), etc) and I don't know about husband. His mom died when he was young and his dad put him in foster care (needless to say, he's got his own issues). His dad moved out of the country and we don't know where he is. husband and DS get along better, because DS listens to husband. Don't know why. DS doesn't respect me at all, even though I have a good job, good education and run a farm, too. husband likes to do extreme sports and DS thinks he walks on water, but husband also has a hot temper and DS is definitely wary of that. I have had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) my whole life and started medications when Prozac came out all those years ago and it was a lifesaver. I am actually an easy going person, but I am still in therapy and take high doses of medications. DS is extremely ADHD and extremely Oppositional/Defiant. He doesn't have any friends at school. In fact, the only friends he has are related to us. He has 2 cousins who don't see him all the time and a little sister. His sister is TAG and is in a special school for artistic talent. She has MANY friends and is very social, and loves the animals and I find her easy to be with - she occasionally whines and such, but just normal kid stuff. She complies so easily and throws minimal fits - it's like they are not even related she's so easy. Half the time I forget she's even in the house cuz I'm dealing with DS. She doesn't horrify her classmates or embarrass herself, which DS does and I think it isolates him. I want him to have friends and get invited to places, but he is out of control mostly and he doesn't listen to ANYONE except his dad and grandpa (my dad). He has an aid in school that follows him around all day and he has a ton of modifications. I send him to Grandpa because DS listens to him more than me, though he doesn't always listen to dad or Grandpa, just more than me. I try hard to establish discipline, but it's always a fight. I try to be nurturing and he walks on me. I have to supervise him constantly around daughter because he's rough and impulsive. He doesn't purposely hurt her, but accidents happen when you can't control yourself. I have wanted to medicate DS for a long time because when he was younger and "easier" to control, he still had no friends and never got invited anywhere. Now that he's older it just gets harder. He's so smart and can already put together an engine at 9, but no one in school seems aware of any of his talents because he's so off the map. My Grandmother tried to commit suicide several times and my uncle was schizophrenic, so I know we have issues that need attention on our side. My mom has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), too, but not as bad as me. husband thinks medicating DS would take away from his personality and make him less creative (DS is creative and mechanical) but I feel like he's just being set up to be lonely! And we fight all the time, so it doesn't help at all. husband doesn't respect what I do because I only work part time and don't make as much money, but I do EVERYTHING at the house plus have the part time job. I'm just really tired. I sound so whiny in this post I'm almost embarrassed to put it. I'm NOT a quitter and I LOVE DS,but he's so so so so HARD!!!!! I have to go outside a lot when we are together because he ALWAYS ALWAYS says NO to me, no matter what. It drives me crazy. Everything is an argument or a negotiation. It's NEVER, "Sure mom." NEVER. I don't know if my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) makes this worse or not. I think I need to go to counseling WITH DS, like together. Almost like couples couseling for mom/son. Do they have that???
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, relax. This is not your fault.

    First of all, you have a lot of serious mental disorders in your family that are hereditary. Whether or not he will develop one, you don't know, but part of his difficult personality is likely tied to genetics. If husband's father put him in foster care, it's pretty much a cinch that HE was no peach either...again some problem going on there. And husband sounds like HE has issues as well. I actually think you and husband need counseling or you need family counseling. Your husband both needs to validate you and to respect you or your son will is not his nature to accept you when he sees is father not respecting you. It is insane that husband actually feels he is the better because he makes a good living when YOU are the one doing both a part-time job AND taking care of everything else as well. As for medication, that can be addressed in family therapy as well. Medication can REALLY help, depending on what is wrong and what is given. I must tell you, though, medication will not make your son have friends. Perhaps he is clueless regarding social skills. That is another matter (and possibly diagnosis) completely.

    Do you perceive your husband to be a good, hands on father and husband? I'm just curious. He sounds pretty hard-nosed and a bit cold to me. But I don't know him. Would he go with you to family counseling?

    You don't sound whiny AT ALL. You sound frustrated from dealing with an unsympathetic husband and a very difficult child who is getting worse...with his father refusing to get him the proper evaluation/help he may require. Anyone would be at wits end.

    One last question: Since I am an animal lover, is your son nice to the pets? Have you ever seen him trying to hurt them?
  8. Peace Please

    Peace Please New Member

    2manypets, I agree with MidwestMom. If your husband doesn't show respect for you, your DS won't either. You and your husband need to be a team when it comes to dealing with your DS, and put up a united front. I am the future step-mom of a boy who sounds a lot like your DS, and I have severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) also. I believe that having an anxiety disorder makes putting up with this kind of behavior more difficult, but I guess I'm biased. Before I agreed to marry my DF, I insisted that we put up a united front when it comes to his DS, especially since I am the one who spends time alone with LittlePeace a couple hours every day. My DF decides the punishments when he is home, and I decide the punishments when I am home alone with LittlePeace, but we both communicate what happened, why it deserved punishment, and what the punishment is. I completely understand sending your DS to his grandparent's house so you could have a break. I have found that a break every couple weeks makes a WORLD of difference. LittlePeace goes to his grandma's every other weekend. Grandma is one of the very few people Little will listen to.

    I also believe that you and your husband could benefit a lot with couples therapy. Sending hugs your way.
  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    You have your hands full. I'm so sorry about your husband, this makes difficult kids so hard to bear. Mine worked all the time and often opposite of me, nights when I was days, when I was raising our older son,now 23, and also ADHD. He was a handful especially after a full day of teaching emotionally disturbed kids. I had little opportunity for breaks as I took him with me to the school where I taught, so his 1 or 2 friends lived far away and so did relatives....I get it,the exhaustion. My husband was not oppositional but, just so easy going and he didn't really buy into the whole psychiatric. thing. Counseling did and does help us. I recommend taking him with you to your session where your counselor knows you and can advocate for you with him. (Sometimes a third party can reason with our husbands and kids better than we can). We have been married 25 years and, it has been work to stay together because both of our kids have been a lot of work at different stages. I won the medication battle because my husband saw how it helped our boy to be successful in school. Our son was able to get through high school without it because we started early and he learned some good coping skills. Also made friends because he wasn't so odd on his medications-quiet yes.

    Might I share a strategy I used with my son years ago when he was little? We had a jar called the"Sure I Will Jar". I kept a roll of nickles around (you might need dimes or quarters now??). Every time I asked him to do something and his response was "Sure I will", he got to put a nickle in. He could then use the money on a Saturday (you pick the time that works for you). I know that doing this may have issues for some people (Isn't it bribery? Should we reward like this? etc....), however it worked like a charm. He went from initial responses of no (about 100% at the beginning) to almost always saying sure I will in a pretty short time. We started when he was 4 years old and faded it out. From time to time we brought it back as needed. I still joke with him-"Do we need the sure I will jar?" He has fond memories about what he got to do with the money. He even was a saver to my surprize, I couldn't believe he had delay of gratification. Once he took me out for a hamburger-I'll never forget how proud of that he was. He loved using a little change machine to put his money in rolls and going to the bank to get "paper money". I got the idea from a class I took on teaching tough kids at our local university. I've never regretted it and I believe it helped my son stop and think before he belted out his usual nonthoughtful negation. Oh and decorating the jar and making it a big deal helped as well. We kept it up high because there were the times when he would forget and say "no", then change his mind and expect me to give him a nickle-a bit of a fit a few times-thought he might break the jar. ( You may have to warn your boy he will lose money for throwing a fit if he is prone to this-we didn't need to,but that is a possibility)

    One other God send were Legos, Connects and old electronics we bought at the thrift store (he had a real tool set by age nine)-my son is a mechanic now and I know this helped him keep his busy mind working. Our boy also found peace (though there was no peace in the house) with a drum set. He beat that thing to death. Now has a band he's played with since early high school. Just some ideas.
    Hugs and take care of your self.
  10. 2manypets

    2manypets New Member

    Thank you for the ideas. I will try the "Sure I will" jar and I think it will help to find couseling for me and DS, even if husband won't go. husband is distrustful of all that is mental health or counseling. We tried to go once and it was a disaster. He just kept asking the counselor what his qualifications were and how could he be an expert. I was a little mortified and won't try again. He can be a good, loving dad and has success with DS doing hands on activities like sports. They do a lot of sports together and often spend the entire weekends together on some adventure. He doesn't do much with daughter because she's not athletic, however. She does not seem to mind, though. She likes to paint and draw by herself a lot, but I wish they would do more together. She likes to ride and she and I go horseback riding, but husband isn't much for horses. He will go pet them and feed/water if I can't, but he won't spend his free time with them unless he HAS to.

    DS is great with animals, by the way. He never has done anything to harm one and he is really, really gentle and protective. He has his own dog and takes good care of him and they go out and play together all the time, mostly fetch with the "Chuck It" in the big pasture. He always makes time for the dog during the day other than the chore of feeding/watering. DS likes the horses as well, but he's more mistrustful of larger animals - he is not into riding them. I thought it would be good therapy for him, but he just hasn't made a good connection with one of our horses. If he shows more interest I would be willing to look and match him to a horse, but he's just not interested. DS did have a therapist he loved in the last town and she was great and he was easier when he saw her 2X a week, but we haven't found anything here yet and it's beginning to show. I really would like to go with him for a few sessions and work on our relationship.

    I know my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) makes this all harder. I like things to be predictable, and DS is not and it makes me really anxious. Many times I have to go sit outside or even lock myself in my bathroom for a break because I feel like I'm going insane. My therapist has given me Klonopin and that does help, but it makes me feel all gooshy and ineffective at the same time. My parents are lifesavers. If they weren't close by, I think I would be a mess. I am hoping DS will get in therapy and maybe feel like he wants medications to help him have more friends. It's just very sad for me that his life has to be so hard. I want to make it easier for him. husband suggested I homeschool him but I flat out refused and said I wouldn't quit my job and completely ruin my relationship with DS. I think homeschooling is great, but it's just not for me and DS. Too many issues!

    I will make a "sure I will" jar now and give an update at the end of the week. Thanks.
  11. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Well you seem very self aware and that is always good. Homeschooling a kid that makes you insane could not be a good idea-good on you for refusing this. I hope you can find a way to get the medications. you need and a counselor for your son. Are there state programs or could you get the $4.00 deal from Walmart?? I'm no expert here.
    Keep us posted and enjoy your horses,they must be a blessing,maybe your boy will come around and start to trust them, I've heard they have amazing power when all else fails! Hugs!
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome... I love the "sure I will" jar idea. (Won't work with mine, been there done that, but it's still a rockin' idea in my opinion.)

    About mental health, medications & husband's resistance - OK. His mom died when he was small, effectively abandoning him. His dad then actively abandoned him - foster care AND left the country. So he's got baggage.

    Let me tell you something... I used to be super-vocal about NOT MEDICATING MY CHILDREN INTO ZOMBIES. And then? I watched Concerta turn my easygoing boy into a psychotic freak of nature... And my PTSD-ridden daughter is refusing to take ANY medications because since 7 medications haven't worked (when she would cheek them and spit them out, of COURSE they wouldn't work), obviously NONE will work and she doesn't want to be experimented on.

    But when I went on Lexapro for a short time? It was like you described Prozac for you. I think it kept my marriage together in a way.

    So you know that I have taken them, and they worked (Wellbutrin made me psycho, Zoloft did NOTHING) - but I'm still anti-zombie kid. I do however know this... Stimulants for ADHD won't zombify... In fact, they can do exactly the opposite, and my kid is a perfect example.

    Now back to husband. He and DS get along well, right? Because they're both hands-on extreme people. But I'm curious - you say he does not respect you? What makes you say that? I've had that thought about my husband occasionally, too - but usually it's not about me as a person, it's about women in general. in my opinion, if husband's mom's death was the catalyst to effective orphaning... He might blame her. Not consciously. And there's really no way to know.

    So here's what I see. husband is getting a LONG LONG LONG break from DS, by dint of being across the world. When he gets back? Your turn for a break! If he does not like this? Your parents are a great resource from what you said.

    If I didn't get breaks from Onyxx, Jett and even husband? I think I'd be Lizzie Borden.