Yes, I'm back

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wakeupcall, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I've been gone awhile. I felt that I had absolutely nothing to offer this group and a rest from responding at all might do me good. I don't think much of anything does me any good. Despite some family issues, I'm back here again with the hope of getting a few words of wisdom from my friends. I have no other friends.

    difficult child is almost thirteen (7th grade) and I was prepared for normal teen stuff, but this is going beyond that. I dunno, as bad as I wanted him when we adopted him at birth, perhaps he belongs somewhere else where the family can be a happy one. My difficult child has gone to therapy almost nonstop since he was four. Currently he's not was doing no good and we were wasting $$ and insurance. Now I'm threatening to take him to the therapist once again, but I won't really because nothing changes. All WE get out if it is a sounding board for me.

    With difficult child as long as we are spending money on him, or entertaining him, or he's fully medicated (of course he can't be medicated 24/7) etc. he's a nice child. Deviate from that and hold onto your hat. He's particularly horrendous to me (I know, I know, I've told you this before), but when does he start realizing that no mother has to live with her child treating her this way? I know you all understand and husband says he understands, but you and I both know he doesn't really get it. He jumped on his bed (yes, I told you he's almost thirteen) and broke it to smithereens. I finallyl got him to pack his own lunch and this morning he pounded his sandwich so hard he obliterated the bread, so he just took the bread off to throw it away and I told him he was eating it. He stuffed it into the sandwich bag and said he'd throw it away at school then. He has no regard for money. He goes around the house pounding on the walls despite us asking over and over to stop doing that. (We just spent $5k having the house painted.) difficult child taunts me, he incessantly torments the dogs, makes faces at me, tells me NO!, laughs in my face....DAILY! He'll eventually tell me he's sorry, but when is that no longer good enough? He's medicated to the max and I'm on anti-depressants. Still for him, there's those hours that he can't be medicated. His Focalin XR lasts a maximum of 4 (in reality it lasts 3 1/2 hrs) hours, he takes it twice a day, he can have a regular Focalin as needed which lasts 2 hours max, but then he can't sleep and by the end of the day HE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF MY FACE, so I seldom give him the regular Focalin. He's also taking Abilify (dreadfully expensive) and Lithobid. I think he's on plenty of medications and I don't want him to be a zombie, but I also want a little respect and peace in this house. husband has just had it with him and when he's home from work it's nonstop yelling. This isn't helpng difficult child and it's making me ready to run away.

    I feel better just being able to vent here. If anyone has ANY suggestions, please speak up. I have bloodshot eyes from crying so, actually I just plain look like h e double-hockey sticks. Tired....just plain tired.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Wakeup, you sound exhausted ... {{{hugs}}} so sorry we have to welcome you back (no, I mean--you know what I mean! :) )
    I also know what you mean about not having any friends. We've had to be very careful about whom we tell about difficult child so that rumors don't fly through the hallways at school. Not to mention, that one of my best friends has no kids and will never "get it." (She ticks me off, actually. :( )

    Gosh, your son does sound out of control.

    One thing I noticed about your note is that you said it was nonstop yelling. I would put a stop to that immediately. It takes too much energy from your and your husband.

    If your difficult child jumped on his own bed and smashed it, he simply gets a mattress. No yelling. Natural consquences. (by the way, don't clear the bed out of his rm until he's away at school or he'll go after you, most likely.) If it was your bed, put a lock on your bedroom door. Bolt it if necessary. You need a place of utter peace and aloneness. No exceptions.

    So sorry he's on so many medications. I'm wondering if they are interracting poorly with-one another. Is the same dr doing all the prescribing?
    How often has your son been in the psychiatric hospital? Were they able to stabilize him?

    Welcome back.
  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Hi Terry

    difficult child has never been in the hospital for any reason. The same Dr is prescribing all the medications. Thank goodness we have an appointment. on Wed. next week. difficult child has always had a queen size bed. We bought him a twin. The consequence of a mattress on the floor sounded good to me when he did it, but he thought it would be LOTS of a twin bed was more of a consequence. I no longer fact, most of the time it's dead silence from me. I canNOT get husband to calm down....he frustrates him to no end and yet he has NO idea how bad it is when he's not home. I'm just at the end of my rope here. What's that "Flight or fight" syndrom? I'm tired of the fight, so guess what that leaves?

    Thanks so much for the welcome back. by the way, husband still (4 weeks today) has a swollen collarbone. Go figure. He says to me..."I've been to THREE doctors, what do I do now?" I have no answer to that.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gosh, so sorry about husband's collarbone. I suspect his low-grade pain contributes to his inability to calm down with-difficult child. Any little thing will set you off when you're in chronic pain. And difficult child's behavior is not little!
    I'm glad you're not yelling. That's a positive step.

    Fight or flight syndrome is a panic response with-humans and mammals. When confronted with-an enemy, instinctively, we either turn to fight it or flee. In nature, it's pretty cut and dried. If you're a tiny critter facing a T-rex. you flee. If you're evenly matched and your babies are endangered, you fight.
    But with-humans, it gets more complicated because our "enemies" are often family or employers. If we can't fight or flee, what do we do? Sometimes, our reactions don't match the situation.
    As adults, we can do an emotion-check when we're uptight. For ex., if your son is acting out, stand still and see if your heart is racing and your ears are ringing and if your breathing is shallow. Your body is going into fight-or-flight mode. You can make a choice to do deep breathing to calm down, or maybe just leave the room briefly, if your son is not a danger to himself. But you've got to confront him at some point to help HIM calm down.

    Does that help?
  5. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Then I guess that's not what it is. He's gone now, to school, but I still want to get into the car and be gone....period. I don't think it's a panic attack......but I don't know what it is. I told him this morning I've been doing this for TWELVE years and I'm so tired. There's never, ever any peace here unless he's getting to do exactly what he wants to do. He has no consideration for anyone other than himself. What's the definition of narcissistic? Is he too young for that diagnosis? He'll never be able to function in society if he remains like this. I think school goes okay, but when he gets home, bar the door! How will any employer tolerate his behavior? How will a wife tolerate his mouth? How can I not beat myself up for feeling like a rotten, horrible mother?

    Sorry for the whine.
  6. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Welcome back, Sory to hear you are feeling so burnt out. These kids will certainly drain you dry. I hope you can find an activity that gets you out of the house and gives you some enjoyment without difficult child involved. Even if you just start taking an after dinner walk, just leave difficult child and husband to themselves and try to recharge.
  7. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. My difficult child was on a tear last night and everyone in our house was miserable until we went to bed.

    Is it possible that the Focalin stimulant is making him more irritable and aggressive? Does he hold it together at school and save all his anger for home? My difficult child needs the stimulant for focus at school, but you give her too much and she is soooo angry at home.

    I hope you can get some answers from psychiatric dr. Is it time for lab work to see if he is at a theraputic level? Is he on a mood stabilizer?

    Offering you hugs and support. Can you get some respite from a friend or another family member to stay with difficult child? You need some peace.
  8. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the support. I'll talk to his psychiatrist next week. He's been on this Focalin for a very long time...the only thing that has seemed to help much.. except for Risperdal which we took him off because it caused terrible weight gain. (We sure didn't need any more problems!) He's also on Abilify and Lithobid. He holds it together at school for the most part, I think. He's in a special social development class with a male teacher. I don't think he'd tell me he was out of control unless it was really, really bad. Most of this behavior is at home....before school and after and all through the evening. Ya know, I'd handle it better if I knew there was an end to it some day. Ya know...then you can say to yourself....just three more years, just two more years, etc.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    If the medications aren't working then it's time for something else. Whether it's a drug withdrawal or a change of medications, then give it a try after talking to the doctor.

    I understand about husband's yelling. They feel like they are bullied in their own home. Our difficult child's make them feel impotent. They aren't able to be the father in the house as they want to be. They have no adult power or effectiveness. Our kids **** the life out of a room and a family.

    Instead of traditional therapy maybe anger management for your son.

    I tend to think we have to help our spouses grieve. They don't even realize how sad they are and how very disappointed. Hopefully your husband will get past it to accept that sometimes life throws us a curve ball and we have to deal with it. The challenge is how to balance effective parenting and utter frustration at a child that isn't able or won't change.

    You sound drained. Any chance for respite? Can you send difficult child to a grandparent for the weekend? Is there anyone who will take him so that the rest of you can recharge and maybe have a normal family life even if it's for a day. I always feel more capable of handling another go around with difficult child if I am rested.

    Do anything you can to break the intensity of difficult child's chaos. He thrives on it. Take care of the rest of you too.
    Have you read Dr. Riley's book. I can't remember the name. It has some helpful ways of dealing with difficult kids. I'll look up the name and send it to you. It's a bit of a tough love/ do to get sort of thing.
  10. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Oh Fran, it's good to hear your voice!

    Perhaps that's what difficult child needs....anger management. The only respite I get is when he's at school. (Summer was REAL fun since he didn't go to summer school this year!) We have no family (honest) and any friends we used to have are long gone.

    I DO think husband is terribly disappointed. Mostly I think it's because...well, I feel the same.....ya work and work and plan and plan and get therapy over and over and get him properly medicated (supposedly) and fight the get the message. Nothing has worked. Would he be better off without all the intervention? Would he be worse (Heaven forbid) if he'd not had all the intervention? When does one ever, ever, realize that maybe what we've done will help him? I told him this morning that I feel like he absolutely HATES me and it's now beginning to wear on me. That's when he says he's sorry and wants to hug. No thanks.
  11. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Fran, are you talking about THE DEFIANT CHILD, by Dr. Douglas Riley? I just went and got it out of my PARENTING library to REread. I'll do anything.....
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It definitley might be time to re-evaluate the medications, especially given his age and hormones kicking into gear. Another book I found helpful, although it's directed more at "normal" teen behavior and not necessarily difficult children, was "Yes, Your Teen is Crazy," by Michael Bradley. He even has a website where he answers questions. It's written with a sense of humor, which helped me immensely, even if, as I said, it isn't necessarily about teens on medications and with mental health issues. I still found much of his advice useful (and, it helped to LAUGH about it).

    Hang in there. I'm sorry you've had to come back, but glad, also that you have this place :)
  13. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    These kids of ours. I swear, sometimes I don't think we need to send in the marines. Just unleash our difficult children on them and they will be brought to their knees begging and pleading for mercy!

    I know when Son was put on a stimulant he was horrible. Normally, when he's having a "day" he's awful. Stims made him horrible. Boy, I put the breaks on that quick. I know that feeling of trying to make a comfortable and secure life for our children, and they are the ones that makes our homes such a unstable precarious place to be.

    Tormenting the dogs? A scary sign in my opinion.

    You sound so beaten down. My husband is a yeller too. When he starts that, it only adds to my frustration and stress. Plus, it just makes everything worse.

    You got some great advice here. I wish I could offer more.

    Gentle hugs.
  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    How hard it is! An endless circle of awful days. Write down the terrible things he has done. Show the list to psychiatrist and say, "I can't do this anymore - we need answers - what can we do? What services are there before he gets into trouble for domestic violence?"

    I wonder if a day treatment program would help? I would say time to re-evaluation and look at different medications.

    Stay strong - stay calm - pamper yourself - find an out for you to recharge - a hobby, a community organization, girl's night out with friends - anything for you to recharge.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry things are such a struggle right now. Everyone has given good advice. I really wish there was a way for you to get some respite. Sending gentle hugs your way.
  16. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    here we have a "family support orginization" for every county in the state. It's a state run suuport agency for parents of "difficult child's", you should call your county and inquire what services they provide for families with children who have behavior disorders. Also have you ever called the police on him? Do you think it would get his attention, I am not a big advocate fo doing this, but I have and it's not a miracle cure, but it may help difficult child realize you mean business. If he doesn't pack his lunch, or thows it away, he goes hungry! He needs to eat because he's on medications you say? well what will happen, he'll sick and hungry, maybe he'll learn or like my difficult child I maybe he won't but he never spent lunch $ on lunch anyways!

    13 is smack dab in the middle of puberty for most boys, so I am sure his hormones might be behind some of his irritability. I wish I had more advice.

    <<<HUGS>>> for your weary heart
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You said he's better on medications but he can't be medicated 24/7. So what medications is he on? Is there any chance he's getting rebound? Because that can happen with some stims with some kids. We had to change stims with both boys, because of rebound issues.

    What we noticed with rebound - it's as if all the symptoms that you've kept at bay all day, suddenly all pile up and hit all at once. We also found they were more emotional and sometimes teary. Not always - difficult child 1 would just get violent, including attacking his older sister with a screwdriver. One day on the way to school he was unmedicated and took a broken bottle to another kid.

    Getting the right medications as well as getting the dosage right - it can make a HUGE difference.

  18. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Ya know, I hate to play with medications since school has just started, but life doesn't just happen 2 1/2 months a year. I'll ask his doctor if perhaps his medications are too much now that he's older. Usually, can stims be just stopped or do they have to be weaned? He has bloodwork to be done next week, but I think that primarily checks the Lithium level. Can a mood stabilizer cause rebound? How about Abilify?

    You guys help so much...thanks!
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Stims can be just stopped, but do check with the doctor in case it's complicated in your son's case.

    But it mightn't be too much medications - it could be not enough. But - he's on lithium as well? Other things too? You would need to go carefully, there could be any one of a number of problems with medications.

    They used to say that kids with ADHD and on stims, would eventually grow out of the need for stims. We've found this to be a myth. However, as they've got older, easy child 2/difficult child and her cousin on stims have both been able to cut back, at least a little. The cousin only takes stims when she has an exam, but easy child 2/difficult child 2 needs her stims to be able to function, even if it IS only a low dose.

    The boys, on the other hand, have had to increase their stims to stop us wanting to kill them!

  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    The boys, on the other hand, have had to increase their stims to stop us wanting to kill them!

    been there done that!!! :)