Wow. That was an explosion.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by myfirstandlast, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. My son, 15, who had a great day Wednesday -- a happy day, a fun day -- woke up not feeling well this morning.

    He's missed too many days of school this term already, because of bronchitis a couple weeks ago, so I told him his options were to go to school or to go to urgent care. (He wanted to just go back to bed.)

    He got really upset. I mean, over the top, by about a billion miles.

    He started crying, saying he wanted his dad back. "Dad would never treat me like this."

    Then he went straight to, "It's YOUR fault. MURDERER!"

    My God. What happened? NO idea. I try to stay cool, repeat that he can either go to urgent care if he's sick, or go to school. A few minutes later we're in the car on the way to school. He goes on about how he's known for the last 3 and a half years that I killed his dad, but never had the guts to say it before. He can't be reasoned with. I shut down and deliver him quietly to school.

    Sure he's said things to hurt me before, but this ... absolutely floored me.

    I don't know who to talk to about it. He's been very resistant to counseling. (Dad didn't agree with him being in counseling; everything was MY fault, MY bad parenting.)

    Don't have any friends I can talk to about this. No one really gets what it's like, you know?

    He wants to go live with his dads' parents. That is the last place on earth I want him to live. If anyone on this planet put the idea in his head that I was to blame for his dad's suicide, it would be his grandmother. They despise me. He visits every other weekend, and we still go through "detox" when he comes home.

    I really don't think he would hurt himself, but when he has a total blow-up like this, without being provoked, I worry.

    Most of the time, he's social, always talking about his interests, acting like a member of the family, other than what I'd guess is 'normal' bickering with his little sister.

    Now he hates me, hates her because she's just like me, and has just been "playing" the good son role because he was afraid to confront me about killing his dad? Really?

    Going to try to find something local for family counseling, but if he won't go willingly, I don't know what I can possibly do to get him there.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Wow. They just keep digging until they find something that they know will hurt. *HUGS*. I hope the other kids aren't buying into it.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    WOW! I am so sorry. That had to hurt more than almost anything anyone could ever say to you. If his grandmother is filling his head with this then she needs to be out of his life, but refusing to let him visit her may cause even more problems. I know Wiz would have decided that I was trying to cover up soemthing rather than to shield him from a huge pack of lies.

    Therapy is a MUST. Also, was there an investigation? could you get the officer who investigated to speak to him, to answer his questions and show that it was NOT your fault and was NOT murder? I don't know if logic would help or not, but it might be worth trying.

    Could your son somehow feel that his father's death was his fault? That if he had been a better son, athlete, student, quieter, noisier, more involved with his dad, less demanding of his dad, etc... then his dad would still be alive? It is pretty natural for kids to feel like this when a parent dies, or so I have been told. This may feel so terrible that he is latching on to another person to blame, and the poison from his grandparents is just the excuse he needs.

    Whatever it is, I am SO SORRY. What he said was SO out of line and so unacceptable that I don't know how you didn't beat him. If he TRULY thought you were a murderer he would be a LOT less likely to be disrespectful or cause problems because he wouldn't feel safe around you if you got angry or upset. So I don't think he truly believes it, it is just somehow easier to try to believe than to deal with the truth. He also knows you will always love him no matter what he does
  4. No investigation. It was clear what had happened, and there was a long note. I won't say what it included, but it didn't mention me at all, and the kids were just mentioned at the end, make sure _____ gets this of mine, and tell them I died of a heart attack instead. Of course no one was willing to lie to the kids for the rest of their lives.

    I just can't imagine him sitting on these thoughts for 3+ years. We've had lots of good times, and of course other fights, where nothing remotely like this ever came out. There were no recent life-changing events; it is not the anniversary of his death or his birthday or anything, I had been remarried for more than a year when it happened and things are stable between my husband and I. It's just inexplicable.

    The kids were in therapy before and after their dad's death, dealing with the divorce and other stuff. Haven't been going in a while. Neither of them seemed to be getting anything out of it after a while, just going thru the motions.

    I have no idea what he's going to be like when I get home from work. :/

    Sometimes he's still mad. Sometimes he acts like nothing happened, and if I don't also act like nothing happened, we're right back at blow-up stage.

    Wish there were somewhere he could go and cool off for a few days that wouldn't make things worse.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    What a mindboggling conversation. I am so sorry. I hope you find the right support person to help you weather this unexpected emotional storm. Obviously the idea originated somewhere. He could have overheard his Grandmother say that but meaning that she thought that if you had loved him more or supported him more then he would not have died. Of course there is no telling but from what I have read (thankfully, I have no experience in this area) most survivors either feel guilty or assign blame to someone else. Sending you supportive thoughts. If he has been harboring such frightening thoughts for that long it may be a positive thing that he finally expressed his fears. Hugs. DDD
  6. My gut feeling is that grandma may have said something, at some point, that DS-15 turned into more than it was. She might have said, in her own grief, that if I hadn't left, he would still be alive. Or that he couldn't take not being in the kids daily lives. Which, regardless of our personal feelings for each other, he was encouraged and enabled to do, getting a lot more parenting time than the usual every other weekend. No matter how bad we were for each other, I wish he was still in their lives.

    And my son wishes I had died instead of his dad. :/
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    My gut feeling says that he may feel that his issues contributed to his dad's suicide. I would try and find a new counselor who can help him. I'd also limit but not eliminate contact with gps.
  8. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member


    I have had many hateful things said to me. You must have been stunned when he called you a murderer.

    I think with the High-Functioning Autism (HFA) issues, he doesn't have the language skills to convey his agonizing feelings -- may not know how to identify feelings in the first place, just knows he's acutely uncomfortable. Also as JJJ said, may be feeling guilty himself. Also his age -- 15 -- all the teen years are notorious with our kids. Tumultuous feelings. He must be right on the edge 24/7, as you know, because if you don't act like everything's OK, he explodes -- but no language to convey how bad he's feeling.

    He doesn't wish you were dead instead of his dad. I think he's saying he wishes things were different. Calling you a murderer may be the best he's got. Maybe try something like "I'm not a murderer, your dad took his own life, I don't take the blame for that and it's not your fault either, you must be feeling very sad and angry" --- maybe give him some words to express his feelings and re-direct them away from you. If he says something that sounds distorted, maybe re-state his words with something more realistic and simple.

    Also the bronchitis -- so often I hear of mood changes following a big illness for people of any age. Especially with sensory issues -- illness can be really unsettling. I know myself when I get sick, I have to watch myself for depression/anxiety which may accompany or follow an illness. Did your son have to take any antibiotics or steroids for the bronchitis, or inhalers? You probably know this already but they can be activating.

    I'm so sorry for all your heartaches.

  9. I was a difficult child and I'd say awful things until something hit home. Sometimes I believed them when I was saying them, but not always. I spent years goading my parents, essentially throwing stuff out there until something stuck. Fortunately, they don't stay teens forever. Hard to say if your kid really believes what he said or not. There's a lot of current culture encouraging a tendency to try to find someone to blame for something, though. Maybe he's just being a jerk rather than really stewing about this for three years. Can't say from where I am, but you do have my sympathy. If my mother were alive today, I'd throw myself at her feet and beg for forgiveness. Good luck..
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This brings me back to all the things my gfgbro said when he was a teen. I wasn't an angel and said my share of hurtful things, but he was really world class. Often told me I was a waste of a human and he was going to kill me. Yelled things like every member of the family but great gma was worthless and deserved to burn in H*** and we couldn't die soon enough. But as soon as HE calmed down he couldn't understand why anyone else was upset or why there were things we didn't want to do with him because he had hurt us.

    It very much may be that his language skills are contributing - as barneysmom said. It may also be what Running said combined with what barneysmom said.

    I read in an article that often our kids want to control the environment. They would rather create chaos than let peace that they didn't create exist. It is because that gives them control even if it doesn't give them positive feedback or consequences. They get to decide what everyone else does and feels and that is how they can feel safe. To most of us that doesn't make a lot of sense, but to many kids it really does. I think your son may be using an incredibly hurtful, powerful way to do this.

    I am so sorry for your pain and anger.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, myfirstandlast.
    OMG, I am so sorry your son said that. He is really hurting.
    If he has seen the note, he knows what the deal is, but that doesn't help his feelings at all. Only a good therapist and time will help that.
    He clearly has no idea how deeply hurt suicidal people are and how hard it is to get to them b4 they do something drastic.
    I would keep a bit of a distance, and would not lay any guilt on him for what he said. He's got enough guilt already. You have to wear a thick coat of emotional armor for this one.
  12. Been talking to him a little. He doesn't want to talk about it, but I said, you can't say something like that and then just act like you didn't.

    He says that is how he honestly feels. He took back the part about calling me a murderer, said that he didn't think it was "intentional" but still feels that I am responsible for his dad's suicide.

    Okay. That's not more than I can deal with. We went to grief counseling for about a year after he died, and that all seemed to go well. No, I don't believe that he feels like he is to blame. You'd have to know his dad. Everything, ev-er-y-thing, was someone else's fault. Like if he lost his job because I didn't wake him up on time, that was my fault, not his. Anything in life that happened to him, someone else was to blame. Usually me. It was an unhealthy relationship and it had to end. His son is just like him, in so many ways it can be hard to cope with.

    He has bronchitis again. He wouldn't go to the urgent care yesterday because I scared him when I said that they will probably want to take blood; his sister and I have both been there this month and they took blood samples to check since we'd been sick for a while. He's got a huge fear of needles and that was probably the spark that set him off. He's on another antibiotic, an inhaler, and some other stuff, and he's at his grandma's for the weekend. I've tried to cut back on those visits and it was met with HUGE drama, from both of them.

    Going to look at the counseling options in our area. Already warned him up front about it. He's not pleased, but ... oh well. Stuff needs to get talked about, out in the open, and resolved.
  13. He will never see the note. I'm going to keep it until the kids are both adults, then destroy it. In the note, written months before he died (he'd been thinking about it and/or planning it quite a while) he goes on about who he did blame. It wasn't me, it for sure wasn't the kids, and it won't bring him back.

    Also I know that this person he named is NOT really to blame, either. He was deeply depressed and would not seek help. Wouldn't have accepted if it were offered. I already went through my personal H-e-l-l thinking that I should have done more, might have done something differently, could have made a difference. I know better, now, but it's a painful consequence of being a suicide loss survivor. My son will learn this too, with time, I hope ... it was no one's fault.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If he says things like this, then he can't unring the bel. And saying things like this are a clear signpost that counselling is needed. You can't launch an attack and then say, "Oh, I've changed my mind," when the bombs have been released form the bomb bay and are falling.

    And if you go on a bombing raid (to keep the analogy going) you can't then claim you're really a pacifist who hasn't got a care in the world. No, whatever you do or say has consequences. And in tis case, consequences means counselling. He has to accept this.

    With the blood draws (if/when tey are ever necessary) - have you tried emla cream on him? That helped us big time with difficult child 3. We also explained the physics of it - a blood draw is easier by far, because you're taking OUT a little bit. It's when you have to inject something IN, to a space that doesn't have room for it (such as an im injection) that it really, really stings. But a good technician can slip a venepuncture in and you barely feel it. With emla - it should be possible for him to not feel it at all. And sometimes it is necessary.

    We went through similar health issues with difficult child 3, which turned out to be purely anxiety and stress, to an extreme level. Counselling was not enough help, because counselling can't fix anxiety when every day feels like severe trauma (which is how it seemed to difficult child 3). We finally had to change his environment.

    With your difficult child's relationship with grandparents, it does sound unhealthy. Could you give them more contact, but all of it supervised? Grandma is undoubtedly grieving too, probably not in a healthy way, and fixating on her grandson as a replacement for his dad. Everything he does that reminds her of her dead son, she possibly encourages in grandson. And it would be very easy, and understandable (for someone like her), for her to say she wishes the wrong parent had died, or that it is your fault, if you hadn't left him. Your late husband was very much into always blaming others; where did he learn this?

    As a last resort, could you enlist the help of the police who would have attended? There would be case notes. Maybe they could talk to your son and help him understand, as an impartial witness from outside the situation and also experts in this area, that this is not a blame issue? It's no good your saying, it; in your son's mind you would tell him anything to stop him accusing you. But the cop(s) who attended the scene (and they would have had to attend) - that might help. Or if he says it again, tell him it is his duty to report such concerns to the police. Then drive him there. I know he has since said you didn't do it deliberately - but he till said it. You can't say these things and back out, as I said before. There are always consequences, and if you say X, the consequences are Y, even if you try to say, "I meant to say Z! I take it back!"

    Another analogy - you're a contestant in a TV game show. You press the buzzer, give your answer but stumble over it, first saying a different word. You knew the right answer but your words tripped. The consequences - you lose that point, because your first answer is what stands.

    He needs to learn - once something is said, those words are out there and the consequences of those words must be dealt with. And refusing counselling at that point just doesn't wash.