Where do you get the strength to keep putting up with this?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by happysquid, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. happysquid

    happysquid New Member

    Hi. I'm fairly new and have only posted once before. I have a 17 year old son diagnosed 3 years ago with ADHD and ODD. He's not on any medications as he refuses to take them. He is not on drugs, he's been tested within the last month. We have been dealing with his bad behavior and non-compliance with simple requests and basic house rules for 5 years now. My husband and I have run out of patience. We've been to 5 shrinks/therapists over the last 5 years for various lengths of time. Our son refuses to work things out and talk with the therapists. Nothing is ever his fault and everything is a problem because of us, according to him. We do not know what else to do. My husband is ready to kick him out when he is 18 in a few months. Where do you get the strength to keep working at it and put up with this madness? I am only human and can only take so much abuse, especially from someone living under my roof. How much is enough and is it wrong to call it quits and let them figure things out on their own for our own sanity and well being? Any suggestions and words of wisdom are welcome. Thanks
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lots of us have thrown out our kids (I would post on Parent Emeritus rather than here...all those parents have kids over 18). But I did have a child who I had to make leave after eighteen so I'll try to answer the best I can.

    First of all, ADHD/ODD is a rather unusual, simplistic diagnosis for an older teen who is still unable to behave. Also, I don't care if you tested him once in the last month...I'll bet he is using drugs of some sort and has been for a long time. ADHD doesnt' cause that degree of defiance in teens and ODD is more a young child's diagnosis. I would take him for another opinion if he will go. Frankly, I'd lose the therapists and move on to a psychiatrist. Therapists in my opinion are often not very helpful, and are easy for our teens to fool.

    Does he know that if he doesn't try to get help and respect your rules that he is on borrowed time at your house?

    Again, I'd go to Parent Emeritus for some really good advice from experienced moms of older difficult children. It would also help to give us a history on your son, from infancy to now. Was he ever a nice, normal kid? Are there psychiatric problems on either side of his family tree? Can he relate to his same age peers? Any quirks? How was his early development and school career? Does he live with both biological parents? Any siblings?

    The more you tell us, the more we can give good support.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Hello and a warm welcome. This stuff is extremely painful. Over the years it has taken its toll and myself and marriage, but I do believe with great effort....I/ we have grown stronger.
    I think I personally have turned to my spiritual faith for guidance as well as have been forced to use good self care. I have periodically seen therapists for support.
    It'll be important for you and your husband to be on the same page for when your son turns 18. And by the way, there is no way you should tolerate abuse!
    You might attempt to draw up a contract and try one final time for him to abide by limits and boundaries. However, if he is unable, so be it. At 18, perhaps it is time for him to move out.
    Know in your heart that sincere efforts have been made on his behalf. It is up to him to want to make a change.
    Let go of your emotional attachment in having a positive outcome. It is up to your son and not to you.
    It is not wrong to call it quits. You can, if approriate, offer your son the gift of seeing a therapist.
    But in fact, you set a good example by refusing to allow someone who is abusive to remain in your home. Sometimes, enough is enough. And yes, sometimes they have to figure things out on their own.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Happysquid. (Funny name, by the way. Sort of like a Chinese restaurant. Or, a mom with-extra arms to strangle kids, lol!)

    I hear you.
    I am so sorry you've been to 5 doctors with-out a good diagnosis. I agree, ADHD and ODD are useless. You need a REAL diagnosis, such as, does your son have neurological issues, such as brain issues or autism spectrum disorder? Or chemical, such as bipolar? Or something else?
    It would be most helpful if he would take medications. Something just to take the edge off.
    I'm not beneath bribery. Does he play video games or watch TV? Take them away until he swallows the medication. We've had a few knock-downs about that but it is much, much better now, and our difficult child usually admits that the medications help him. Then he'll turn arrogant and think he knows it all and argue until he's blue in the face. (Or we are, or both.)
    How do we do it? Sometimes we don't. I know I've found myself in bed, crying, way too many times with-this kid. I've wasted entire days checking emails from teachers, turning in HIS assignments and going to mtngs because of him, when I could have been painting, writing, or at the very least, in a good mood.
    Our therapists tell us to be Happy Warriors. Prepare to do battle constantly, but don't actually scream or lop off the kid's head. Just stand strong and do not back down.
    We also put on Rhino Skin, so thick that nothing can hurt us, not the worst name in the book, not the foulest language, not the buttons that usually send us into orbit.
    We show up on the board to get support and strength, because so many parents of regular kids do not have a clue. (So many say, "I'd beat the @*$%*#@$ out of him," or "I'd send him away," or "Where's your husband?")
    I hear you!