Update on difficult child, sd testing, and my mom

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child called last night and he was in the "blame mom" mood. He seemed to be saying that if I don't have things straightened out financially when he's released, then he isn't going to be happy. I don't like it either, but what happened to kids that would preefer to be home even if money is tight? He is blaming me for all of it- never mind his restitution, court cases, staying home from school, etc. Then he said "if he'd known that if I couldn't make things be the way they used to be when he gets out, he might have chosen to go to foster care instead of accepting a Department of Juvenile Justice sentence". (I could still strangle {figure of speach ONLY} the PO and GAL for telling him this sentence was my fault.) We agreed to talk more about this at visitation. I'd prefer to be covering it in family therapy, but as difficult child figured out, Lord only knows when/if that will ever start.

    I asked him why he wanted to come home so bad if he felt the way he did. That frustrated him more, of course. But really, he seemed to have this attitude that he was going to be he** to deal with if I couldn't give him the lifestyle he used to have. Well, he can forget that. The parole officer is expecting him to start looking for a job the first summer he's home and difficult child needs to realize, his childhood is over. And it isn't my fault- I can't get it back for him.

    Also, now he says he needs medications and doesn't want to try coming off them while he's in there because if he "loses it", he could end up with a longer sentence or other guys making his life miserable. I see his point, however, if he doesn't try it now, he'll either be on medications all his life or have to try coming off them out in the community while he's subject to be sentneced right back into incarceration. He said they should have tried this while he was in a psychiatric hospital. I agree, but I couldn't make that happen. He says that I could. How do I reason with him if he won't believe me?

    They are actually doing some testing for his IEP re-evaluation and apparently, it's a lot more than he'd get in his home sd. They have a high;y educated school psychiatric instead of a "ed spec" like the regular sd so I guess that's why this is a lot more thorough. She called this morning and I can tell that her attitude is to reveal some things abouit difficult child, not try to get the sd out of providing anything. That's good-- the "counselor" assigned to difficult child at the Department of Juvenile Justice school did not seem to get it at all. I don't know what kind of counselor she is though. It wasn't the guidance counselor.

    My mom- well, I used to think the biggest problems were that she is remarkably self-centered and completely unable to consider others' feelings and somewhat hard of hearing. But I have emailed her and updated her twice about difficult child, the bare basics- no details, and she emails back sayuing "I'm happy to hear XYZ" or whatever, but I didn't say "XYZ", I said "ABC". She is highly educated, although as an older adult and her friend helped her accomplish that educational work. I'm starting to think she really has some sort of learning disability, not just a personality problem. She has anxiety/panic problems but I think something else must be wrong.

    This also made me aware that in the past, when difficult child would show attitude or say certain things, I would wonder if he's delusional because I think I subconsciously was concerned that he was like my mother and had an inability to add things up better, in a seemingly more rational way. I wonder if I jumped the gun on that and how much is difficult child's immaturity or "blame game" and how much is something he can't help. I hope the profs involved now can answer some of those questions. I guess all of us warrior moms battle that though.

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'd be tempted to lay your financial facts out in front of difficult child. Put it on paper. Income if I work x hours, y hours, z hours.

    Expenses, no matter how many hours I work.

    Let him look at it, and tell him if he can't live with your reality, maybe you needs to discuss other options.

    My initial thought, anyway.

    My difficult child has a disconnect somewhere in his language processing. He substitutes words for other words with very different meanings. (compartment = apartment) We actually just smile about it and go on, but it makes it hard for him for others to understand him.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great revelation about your mom, and the possible connection with-difficult child's behavior.
    I'd try some conversational experiments, for ex, just look out the window and say something about a bird, but phrase it so that he can take it in two diff ways. I've done that with-my son. It's very interesting.
    I agree with-Shari, to lay out the finances on the table.
    Then maybe tell difficult child that you plan to do xyz to make money, and you'd like to hear what he plans to do to make money. Something unemotional.
    I'm sorry about the medication issue. Sigh.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'll try the experimental conversation. Although, if it isn't just typical teen moodiness/blaming due to not wanting to take repsonsibility, it is reflecting a mood disorder, I think, because it is intermittent. The last couple of weeks before this, difficult child was telling me that he wanted to pay me back some money since I'd been haviing to pay so much for all he'd done. He has been very congenial and sweet for the most part. Maybe he just had a bad day.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmm. That's a tough one.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Why do you suppose that he is worrying about money now? It seems like he would have so many other, more immediate, issues to be focusing on.

    I'm not sure about your relationship with your Mom but I think I would print copies of what you expressed and what she reponded. Tossing it in a file can't hurt anything and IF she has an issue with miscommunication it is conceivable that she "could" negatively impact your future or difficult children without evil intent.

    What type of medication is difficult child expected to trial? Does he know the side effects of the specific medication? It sounds like his anxiety has him coming and going. I'm sorry. DDD
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He (actually both of us) tend to reflect on how things were right before difficult child went in, to try to deal with what we can so he doesn't come home and we end up right baack where we were. In Department of Juvenile Justice, they want the kids to focus on this- at least the therapist does. his grades are good and so is behavior, so I think he is also concentrating on what is going on there.

    difficult child is on MS's now- although one he is not really supposed to be on but the psychiatrist added it back in anyway. We are all in agreement that difficult child should be gradually taken off while he's in there since the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis is questionable.

    That's a good idea about my mom's communication. I don't know what I'm going to do if I feel the need to contact one of her doctors in the future- I don't even have a name, much less a signed consent form.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    He sounds like Kanga in a manic phase.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He does sound a bit manic...have they started the decrease? If so, I would have them stop it.

    I dont think he is going to understand family income dynamics. Cory was convinced for years that his measly little SSI check was enough to pay our entire months bills! AND live in the lap of luxury...lol. He thought we should have everything his little heart desired. Blah. He couldnt get it through his thick skull that it went for his portion of the bills and he got an allowance for the month. Just couldnt get that idea.

    Well he gets it now...lol.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No, they haven't started any decrease yet. They haven't even stopped the tegretol yet which he was already taken off of and not supposed to be on. It keeps him tired all the time and was only listed as a PRN while starting the seroquel (on top of lithobid) if the seroquel didn't help him. Even he is in agreement that the tegretol should be stopped since it was Department of Juvenile Justice psychiatrists that got that wrong.

    Anyway, I suspect he had a bad day due to changing to 9th grade classes, having to start a more hectic schedule with JROTC, and it being hot and so forth. He might be cycling, too, but it doesn't typically happen this time of year. I'm going to see if he stays in this frame of mind for a while or if it was just a cranky day.

    As far as stopping/trialing the remioval of medications, the head therapist of the place and I (and apparantly psychiatrist) are in agreement on trying it. I think it's 50/50 whether or not difficult child is BiPolar (BP) but it could help a great deal if it is "proven" (as much as possible) by Department of Juvenile Justice and all their disciplines, including sd, get on board with it. Do you have any idea how much I've had to deal with PO's (now parole officer), sd people, etc, acting like this is just one big excuse that they don't want to hear about or deal with? That would be fine except that they way our juvenile system works here, these are the people in control of our lives when difficult child is at home. If they aren't in agreement, it doesn't get appropriately addressed, as we saw with the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) issue. So, if he came out of Department of Juvenile Justice either off medications and no BiPolar (BP) diagnosis, or on medications and THEM saying he's BiPolar (BP), I would be ecstatic! What I keep stressing to them is if he isn't BiPolar (BP), then why do you have him on MS's? MS's won't cure "bad kid" syndrome. LOL!
  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The finance question could also be from talking to other kids.. the "keeping up with the Joneses" thing. Youngest always compared herself, from a material standpoint, to others (and came up short), and teens have a way of bragging about their "stuff." My parents are gonna buy me a car, I have this or that game system, these high-dollar shoes, yada yada yada. I tended to get pretty matter of fact about it, and just say "hey, you want it, get a job." I gave up trying to explain my finances, Youngest didn't get it. (She still doesn't, and I think there are some processing issues there).

    I think the blame mom thing is a pretty standard "cycle" ... I can only compare it to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but I know I had some phonecalls like that with Youngest sometimes, during that time. She ran hot and cold. Lots of time to think and dwell on these things.. and save them all up for the phonecall with mom.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thhis is the second "blame mom" conversation we've had since he's been incarcerated the past few months. Both times he was about to cry and sounded distraught. I also wonder if it could be just fighting the reality of the situation- that he pulled a knife on me and that's why he's in there. No matter what others said to him, the judge gave him this sentence because she was afraid of him doing agin or worse if she let him come home right now. I was afraid of it too, and even difficult child's defense attny told me that he was. When difficult child got on the stand and told the court that HE was concerned about it, what do you expect? (Not you all here- but difficult child)

    Still, it's obviously better for difficult child to be in there now for "preventative" measures than to be in there for killing me like that other boy in there.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Just to follow up on this- I visited difficult child today and he seemed fine. He said on Wed. he had gotten a charge because he was annoyed at another hyper kid and he threw an outdoor plastic chair and the chair hit the fence. Since the chair hit the fence, the initial write-up was for "destruction of property in a way that was a threat to security". I asked why he didn't tell me that on the phone Wed night and he said he couldn't bring himself to tell me that he'd been written up. My guess is that was what was behind the mood he was in. They talked to him on Thurs. and reduced his charge to "threw something". He got 1 hour of lock-up in isolation and 3 days without activities.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That makes sense. Things like that are going to happen. Its a no biggie in the scheme of things. He is going to have off hours/ days when he loses his cool and gets written up and gets in trouble. Just a fact of life. No one is good 100% of the time. LOL. Certainly not kids in Department of Juvenile Justice.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yeah, I didn't fuss at him for the charge or bring up the things he said to me on Wed. But, you know, why is it so common for a kid to get mad at Mom when they are really afraid of mom getting mad at them for something or when they are really just mad at themselves? Are these difficult child's delberately manipulative and sly enough to figure out that the best defense is a good offense? LOL!

    He's been locked up for almost 5 mos now and this is his first write-up, not counting his one explosion in the psychiatric hospital 4 mos ago, so he's done pretty well. And throwing a chair outside is nowhere as bad as it could have been.