Yes or No to Respite.........

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hanging-On, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    I have been told that I can use Respite for 4-hours on Saturday. Although when I have called for it, I've been told the person is on vacation, out of town, can't do it this weekend, etc. (But that's another issue).

    I'm conflicted and need some advice please. I've been told a million times that difficult child is good, mannerly, respectful, nice, helpful, sweet, etc. when he's at school and camp........BUT, when he's home with easy child and me... he's the total opposite. He's mean, ODD, in-my-face disrespectful, lazy and does none of his chores or helps out, refuses to do anything I ask and says F.U.B., calls me B***H ALL the time, answers F.U.B to everything I say or ask, calls easy child names or is in his face with threats and cussing, hits and punches me, follows me around attacking verbally and physically attacking me when he's mad or doesn't get his way (even after I have walked away and told him to go calm down and to leave me alone), constantly throws open my door when I retreat to my room (no locks on door...dump house), constantly advances toward me and won't leave me alone when I'm tired or injured and need peace and quite and to sit down, etc. You get the ugly picture.

    So, I've been told to send him to respite for the break, but I'm conflicted inside. To me sending him to respite for 4 hours of swimming, ice skating, biking riding, movies, etc. is REWARDING his abuse to me and easy child. I think he has to EARN it, like a privilege, because rewarding him is just reinforcing the abuse towards us.

    Also one thing I'm starting to do again since he's been home is tell him that I WILL ignore him if he treats us badly. If he wants attention, then he will get it when he treats us nicely. I've also told easy child do to this. Ignore him when bad behavior or abuse, and reward with attention of good behavior. I mean matter what has to be done....easy child and I will do the laundry as a "family", easy child and I will do the yard work as a "family", easy child and I will sit and read a book as a "family", easy child and I will set the table as a "family", etc. And I will send difficult child outside to ride his bike or whatever, but he won't be allowed to do the "family" stuff. I did this last weekend, and he went out for about 20 mins and then came in and ASKED for a family chore to do.....I told him to pull the weeds, and he did. So, it seems the message is getting across slowly.

    So, unearned respite which rewards abuse....or NO Respite, unless earned with good loving behavior toward easy child and I. Thoughts.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that the respite is a reward for you and easy child, far more than it is for difficult child. I don't really see the respite as "rewarding" difficult child for poor behaviour, but rather taking you all out of a familiar and destrictive environment. If difficult child has something constructive to do with his time it can only help him. And I'm sure that the 4-hour break will do you and your easy child a world of good.

    I say Go for it.

  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Respite has little to nothing to do with your difficult child. It's about time for you to recharge; reconnect with the remainder of your family. difficult child can go off & be his charming self all he wants ~ you get peace & quiet.
  4. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Thanks for the replies. I'm trying to figure out why it makes me so mad though, and why I just won't make the respite appointment. If I can figure that out, and come to terms with what the REAL issue is for me, then I can fix it. It's like he can act anyway he wants with us, and then go have FUN. He just skates free all the time. No sorry, no accountability, no consequences, no punishment, no guilt or conscience, no nothing negative for him. But for me and easy child, we carry the sadness, the heartbreak, the hurt feelings, the extra workload, the repair work of broken things or the hard emotional labor of throwing away something important to us because it's now broken, the elimination of what we want to do because he'd ruin it or not allow it to begin with, the hidding our stuff so it won't get broken or stolen, etc. I mean, respite PAYS for difficult child to do all that fun stuff...not me. Who pays for me and easy child to go do one. And with difficult child in the family again my work hours have decreased because I get to work late, or have to leave early, or difficult child has appointments, etc. So less hours, less money. So no money for easy child and I do something fun. So we are forced to stay home and do chores to get something done before difficult child comes home, because once he's home, it takes 4 times longer to do anything. This whole thing just pisses me off so much I could spit. Gosh I hate feeling this way. I just want to be my easy going, live and let live person again.........but I just don't know where it is right now. And I'm just trying to hold it all together, and TRYING not to react to his ****. Some days are harder than others though....sigh.
  5. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    But he is not skating free...

    He seems to be slowly getting that his behavior is not rewarded by you or easy child. Rest bit is about you and easy child not about difficult child at all. Rest bit is about being able to have 4 hours of peace and quiet to regroup and recharge. It drains difficult child to do these physical activities and slows him down, makes him tired and more likely to leave you be (unless it's a trigger like it is for Big B, too tired means lots of rage filled tirades until he exhausts himself and crashes for the night).

    I say try it first, perhaps it will help you work out why it bothers you so much. Don't get me wrong I do see your point as well. You make a valid emotional point, I acknowledge that 100%
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I definitely say yes to respite. We may be losing ours soon and I can hardly deal with the fact we may not have it anymore. As others have said, respite is for you and easy child. husband, easy child/difficult child, and I get that chance to recharge. When we used to get only a couple of hours of respite we often ended up napping; sometimes we would go out for lunch. I've always like it when difficult child likes going to respite because it gives him a chance to enjoy himself and I don't end up feeling horrible that he feels terrible. It allows me to enjoy my respite more. My difficult child, even though he likes where he goes to respite now, still would prefer to be home, however, for the health of our family we take it when we can get it.
  7. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Yes to respite -- you and easy child need it. Maybe let difficult child subtly know that you and easy child are preparing for a break (from him), making plans for a movie night at home, snacks, "what do you want for dinner Saturday," (not overtly) etc.

    Also all the superficial charm they do with others is FAKE (in my humble opinion). It's that superficial charm without emotion or connection that really underpins the whole illness. Whose to say they're having a great time when really they might feel nothing while having a good time and are conscious of that great emptiness.

    It's chilling sometimes (my 17 does it too -- makes me hypervigilant). Just recently at the 17's Residential Treatment Center (RTC) we were told "We wish we had ten others like him!" husband and I looked at each other and winced. Red flag.

    Just my 2cents. Focus on you and easy child and make some nice plans in earshot of difficult child. Popcorn, etc. Don't let him know it's chores. Don't do chores! Save some jobs for him and let him know it. I would think about making it a rule that no chores are to be done during respite, unless you or easy child feel like doing them.

    "Gosh I hate feeling this way. I just want to be my easy going, live and let live person again.........but I just don't know where it is right now."

    I know exactly how you feel. I think all of us do. You're doing a great job.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Respite is for *you*. It's *your* respite, not his. He gets 4 hours of "fun" (which in and of itself may not be a bad thing - our kids get so few opportunities to have successful social activities), and you get 4 hours of not being called (insert lovely phrase of the day) and used as a punching bag. TAKE IT!!!!

    in my humble opinion, you should never pass up an opportunity to get a break. Never ever ever. We never had the opportunity for respite, but if we had, and I had waited for difficult child to earn *my* time off... well, I'd still be waiting! :rofl:

    If it's fun and he wants to go, so much the better. That means one less fight.

    Again, I cannot stress this enough - the respite is yours, not his. Do this for yourself, please.
  9. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Thank you everyone. I really needed ya'lls advice. You guys are the only ones who can really relate and give advice and opinions because you've either lived my life right now, or are going through it at the same time. Out here in the world there's no one who really understands all the things in our lives that we must deal with and decide on. The pros and cons. The unexpected surprises for good or bad due to a decision we made.

    I just I called and left a message for the respite person this morning regarding this weekends respite. So hopefully they're doing it this weekend, and then I'm going to think of something for me and easy child to do away from the house.
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    :bigsmile: Yeah, Hanging-on!!!!

    :woohoo: I hope you have a lovely and relaxing time with- easy child. You will not regret this!
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Please do not take this the wrong way....I'm not trying to make negative comparisons...just trying to offer a different way of looking at this:

    Some years ago, my husband had the opportunity to make a supply delivery to the prison. When he went into the storehouse to unload his truck - he was STUNNED at the kinds of things that were available to the prisoners. Snack foods, candy bars, medical equipment, exercise equipment, televisions, movies, books. He came home and fumed about how the "working guy" had to pinch his pennies and do without while convicts got all these priviledges.

    I asked him whether he thought all the "priviledges" he was complaining about kept the prisoners occupied and entertained - thus making them easier to handle. And if so, why not let them have all the "priviledges" they can get...? After husband thought about it that way...the prison's "luxury items" didn't bother him so much.

    I think that's how you need to re-frame your thinking, too. Your child is not getting "priviledges" in the way you might reward someone for their behavior. He is being provided with entertainment to keep him occupied and under control so that YOU can have the REAL priviledge of getting a break.

    (No - I am not in any way saying that your child is the same as an inmate in prison. It's just an example...)

    Take your respite and ENJOY every minute. You deserve it!!!!
  12. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Daisyface, I wasn't was a good example. Thanks for sharing. When I put a thread out, I really want and need honest advice, opinions and thoughts because I'm ALWAYS and ONLY in my head and really need to get a different perspective.....know what I mean. I have no family to talk to, no husband, no boyfriend, no one. And the one "friend" I do have is really only a "fair weather friend", so I know what to expect there.
  13. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    And I guess what bothers me about this difficult child respite, is that easy child is the one who deserves to be taken out and given things and having fun, and playing with others. Not difficult child. I think that's what I've been mad about and fighting against the system about.

    You guys know and understand that living with a difficult child, we the family (easy child and I) are hostages and our lives are limited in such an extreme way that we have nothing for ourselves. No hobby, no sport, no fun dates, no quiet time, no friends (because you can't have them over, or go over there you isolate yourself due to the embarassement)........nothing.

    EVERYTHING is ALWAYS about difficult child, and what will or will not trigger him, what he can or can't handle or do, what he "allows" us to have or not have....etc. THIS is something that I'm really trying to figure to stop difficult child ALWAYS controlling our lives....but without a husband or boyfriend (or someone like that) where I can say to difficult child "since you choose to act that way, you don't earn what easy child and I are going to do ______(fill in the blank)". And then actually leave him home with the other person while easy child and I go do whatever it was. I think if he could see that, then he'd know that he's not in charge and that has behavior is only hurting him.....and not us...cause we'll still go to where ever we said we were going. But because I don't have that someone in our lives, if he wants to stop something or sabotage something, then he can and we are the ones losing out. We're his hostages. See what I mean.

    Any thoughts on how to change this when it's only me alone?
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Respite care isn't only for the caregivers of the mentally ill child. It's for caregivers, period. In the last two years of husband's life, when he was too sick and disabled to go anywhere on his own, we had respite care once a week. It got him someone to play chess or cards with, someone other than me, and even though I worked and he had a PCA during the week, it gave me a few hours on the weekends to get out of the house on my own.

    It wasn't for husband, though, it was for ME, so I got some time away from the sickroom on my own.