Yesterday's therapist appointment.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I was waiting to see how difficult child was going to be today- to see if he needed to be tdo'd or not. I remembered that yesterday at the end of his therapist appointment, therapist said we could speak a few mins to touch base. difficult child let it known that he wanted in the room, too. So, I left that up to therapist and therapist said that was fine. therapist told me that he wouldn't divulge anything difficult child had told him in confidence but that he thought we should have a family session the next meeting (2 weeks- he was already booked for next week). I knew based on my initial conversations with this therapist that this either meant that he was going to encourage difficult child to tell me something that I should know, but therapist wouldn't betray difficult child's confidence by telling me, or that difficult child was having a big issue with me and therapist was going to help him broach the subject and see if we could work thru it. I was a little worried, knowing I'd have to wait 2 weeks to find out what the issue is.

    Then today, I found that while difficult child was doing yardwork, he apparently got my keys out of my jacket pocket and went to the trunk of the car and got out a couple of items that were found by cops in his bedroom last night. I should have kept a closer eye on my keys, I know, but I found this out pretty quick. So, I told difficult child that I didn't want to call cops again, but that he knew I would so I am giving him one chance to give me those items back immediately. He did, then went back to blowing leaves.

    Then, later, he looked sullen and I talked to him and told him that I still love him and am willing to listen to whatever is going on with him. He told me he couldn't tell me because I would have him put in psychiatric hospital again. Eventually, he let me know that he's cutting again. He must still have something in his room that they didn't find last night because he showed me a fresh place on his arm.

    Based on our talk today and what I've heard and seen in him lately this is the way it appears to me: Similar to an addict that is blaming someone else for their using, I think difficult child somehow triess to justify what he's doing by blaming it on me- like if I would have handled something differently, he wouldn't feel the need to do this. But, I don't really think it is quite because he's intentionally trying to manipulate me, I think it's more that he can't see and accept responsibility for his own emotions and resulting actions.

    He might also have this in this head because I've been trying to get him to see that he needs to do his part- going to school, helping around house, doing what he's told, etc, in order for me to be able to do what I need to do- go to work, pay bills, etc. I tend to think he's looking at this like it's the same thing, but it isn't. I do need him to do his part as a contributing family member. I can't leave him unsupervised and go to work. I'm not refusing to go to work and then blaming it on being upset with difficult child- but I honestly think he's telling himself and me that right now.

    Is that dillusional thinking- or would that be a typical lack of understanding for a kid his age? Or is it a difficult child way of thinking- not necessarily dillusional?

    Also, I think there's more going on but I don't know what. At first, difficult child told me that he couldn't tell me what was bugging him but that he'd told his therapist. (I figured that was whta would come out at the family session.) Then, after difficult child told me he was still cutting, I ask if he'd told therapist and he said "no". So, I told him that if there's more going on, I wish he would tell me and that whatever he'd discussed with therapist couldn't be bad enough to require psychiatric hospital or therapist would have had to address it to keep difficult child safe. He then said "oh, no, there was nothing else I told therapist". So, maybe that's true, but I'm not sure.

    He's been polite, compliant, and respectful today. He's done anything I wanted (basic stuff- bring dirty clothes, take shower, help me in kitchen a second) without fussing or anything. But, obviously, something is really bugging this kid and he seems to be waivering between taking it out on himself and lashing out. I tend to think it is facing the real consequences- you know, the natural ones, from all this trouble he's been in. It has effected our lifestyle, his ability to have friends at school and in the neighborhood, his own self esteem, etc.

  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I think often our kids find themselves in a catch22 situation. They know they are wrong--somewhere inside. They know the thoughts they have to harm themselves, do drugs, act out, etc. aren't reasonable, but they still have the thoughts or impulses and can't control them for whatever reason, so to them, they are reasonable. My difficult child has often, after the fact, recognized the irrationality of his thinking, but during the moment to him it's perfectly rational. It's sad to see them wrestle with such powerful "demons." I'm not sure how much they can control and how much is controlled. It's such a tightrope to walk to raise these kids. Hugs. No answers, really, just some thoughts on the subject.
  3. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    What does tdo'd mean? I assume that it means admitted to the psychiatric hospital, but am not sure. I am no expert and really have no idea what to think about all of this, but I am concerned for you. I'm glad you were safe today and no violence came your way. If only mental health issue's were more clear cut....................
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    klmno, I think he's cutting today because he's upset that you called the police last night. That's not to say you shouldn't have -- you did the right thing -- but this is his maladaptive coping mechanism for dealing with a pretty traumatic event, even if he didn't show you he was upset by it last night.

    I'm not sure I completley understand your logic behind questioning whether this is delusional thinking. I will tell you this: Very few 13-year-olds accept responsibility for their own actions. It is age-appropriate and part of the maturation process, which is just beginning at that age. We as adults have years of experiences that shape our thinking; 13-year-olds just don't have that. Think about what you knew at age 13 and compare that to what you know now. Vast difference.

    I hope that helps somewhat.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, EW! I tried to answer some questions for both you and Mom to 3 on my "touching base" post.

    Mom to 3: tdo'd means getting a temporary detention order which means the police are taking a person to the psychiatric hospital for a hold and mental health evaluation. If it's an adult, there has to be a hearing within a certain amount of time- maybe 48 hours (maybe emergency hearing, I think). If it's a minor, a judge or magistrate can sign the order so the cops can transport the kid to the psychiatric hospital. The parent can then voluntarily sign to admit their child and that avoids a court hearing. If the parent is able to get the child to the ER on their own, without police involvement (transportation), the tdo is not needed. Parents only push for a tdo when they can't handle the child and get them to the ER without police help or when they don't know where the child is but they know there is potential for harm/danger to self or others and they need cops' help- as far as I know anyway.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You snuck in SW- I think you answered my question about what expectations there are for reasoning in a 13 yo.

    As far as last night, he's been arrested, handcuffed, tdo'd, and had cops called on him before. He has NEVER had either a cop go to his bedroom door, tell him to hit the floor/ground, or had tasers pointed at him, much less pointed at him while he's handuffed lying face down on a floor. If that didn't phase him, he would have to be in full blown mania. But you know- if that left a strong enough impression on him that he never points a knife at me or anyone else again, than so be it. Even though I know he has an illness, I try to work on it from all angles and I don't want it just dealt with as a discipline issue- as you all know- but a jolt into understanding that this isn't tolerable doesn't always hurt either.

    I don't know if it's typical for BiPolar (BP) or not, but with my son, there are shades of gray. Ie- he isn't always either stable, depressed or in full blown mania. It's becoming clear that there are times when he obviously isn't stable but it doesn't quite meet the definition of the extremes, I don't think- this is something to discuss with psychiatrist. And of course, how much has to do with reactions to medication changes?
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    It's hard for manster to make that connection as well. It's much easier to blame mom.

    You said something very profound. ".. similar to an addict". I have to wonder if that's what this is. We moms so easily become the codependent in these relationships. One thing I will say is that you seem to have striken the perfect balance between nurturing and detachment.

    Alanon is helping me detach from some things as a mom as well. I keep having to remind myself that I am powerless over so much of the gfgness. I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I can't change it. The only thing I can do is provide opportunities for learning life skills. I can show unconditional love. I can do the best I can do and the rest is up to God.

    I think you're doing great, KLMNO. You are facing very difficult challenges and tough decisions every day without much support and you are source of inspiration for me.


  8. Wishing

    Wishing New Member

    It sounds like there is something that needs to come out on his part or he wants your understanding of him where he is at right now.
    The part that struck me is where you are struggling to have him do his responsibilities so you could go to work easier. I think bc he is young I would spell it out step by step and you supevise him doing these tasks and you reward him for a job well done.This would be several times. I always think of (try to anyways) of my difficult child as 4 years younger than a neurotypical child. Their bodies make people think of them as older but once they open their mouth or you follow them around one day you see they need a lot of help being independent.
  9. compassion

    compassion Member

    Wishing, So true about their bodies trigger expectations of them being older. I do see my difficult child as being 4-6 years younger in many respects. That puts her 9-11 years old in a body that looks like a college student. Yes, so true lots of support to be independent,etc. I try not to compare. Her going on this ski trip, almost like a younger child going away to camp. i try to hav eralsitc expectations. compasson
  10. compassion

    compassion Member

    Yes, gray areas. She can cycle very quickly. I let guard Down. Klmno, do not be hard on yourself re better supervison. My difficult child is cunning and quick. Monday I had locked my purse in my car for a couple of minutes. She has a key to that cqr even though she sys she does not. She took 2 crdidt cards and a cell phone while I did a load of laundry. Denyed over and over she did not. I cancelled the cards immediately and suspended the cell service.
    I am so relaxed having her gone for a few days. Compassion
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks everyone!! It's amazing how comforting it can be just to know that others understand and see similar things in their kids sometimes.

    ML- I come from an extremely dysfunctional family. I try to keep check on things to "break that chain" and minimize dysfunctional tendencies that might be inadvertently "taught" or passed down to difficult child. But, I'm sure some are slipping by me!! I'm starting with a therapist for myself to review some of these things. This kind of thing seems like it was easier when the issue was an abusive husband (not difficult child's father- that was years before difficult child was born).

    Anyway, when it's an abusive husband it's hard, but the wife just has to worry about getting herself and kids (if there are any) out of the picture. (I've been in that situation-no kids- but I know there's more to it than that- I'm not trying to make light of it.) But When it's your kid starting violent threats (by actions) and losing his temper, I feel like I have to spend some time thinking about a plan to protect myself, but I also have to spend some time finding out and pursuing the best parental decisions for my son who is doing these things.

    Thank you for your kind words and support about that.

    I appreciate the other comments to- there is some food for thought here!!
  12. ML

    ML Guest

    I probably project a lot because of my history in dysfunctional relationships. I'm in recovery and tend to look at everything in those terms. Manster has addiction tendancies (the sugar) and I so often have to find that balance that you mention. Taking care of myself and being the best parent I can be. I am in awe of how well you are doing that and I'm glad you are going to get support for yourself. Right now my alanon is helping and it's cheaper than the therapist :) But at some point I'm sure I would benefit from some one on one.