View Full Version : Desperate and in need of options
I've been here before, 15yr old son emerging from cutting, depression, ADD. Seeing Meds Dr as well as psychologist to talk to. (Also possibly future career as an working actor. He's in Drama program, and studying wtih NYC actors after school mon-thurs 1:30 to 5pm. and I am aware that this might be a part of his profile)
We also have a 13yr old son who's seen lots of trauma and showing signs of Adolecent crazy's also. But he's a pretty grounded guy. But I do watch.
Up till Sept we felt all was getting better, but since then I (more so than my husband) have felt that his bouts of Rage, when he's not able to get his way have been getting worse. Younger brother sported a bit of a shiner for a week or so.
2 Weeks ago when after bad behavior I refused to allow him to use the portable DVD player in his room, he spend almost 2 hrs screaming at me and my husband in our room. Would not leave our room and claimed he didn't give a s__it if we called 911, that he'd act like an angel the moment they arrived.
My husband has been great. In the past I've been the primary one to decide consequences. My husband and I got away for a long weekend and were able to remind ourselves that we were a couple were first and would end up together. He has been very good at running interference for me, and has really had better success at helping him improve grades.
But my real question / delima is that I'd be a liar if I said I felt safe here when he's in a rage, the same is true for the 13 yr old. Who knows he has permission to go to a close friend of mine to stay whenever he needs, no questions asked.
But I'm tired of saying to the older one " If you can't live by our rules you can't live here." I've come to grips with that truth and would honestly follow through, ( though it is breaking my heart daily )
BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FOLLOW UP IF I ACTUALLY HAVE TO
I can't imagine how much power my son would feel if the police showed up and said "he seems calm" take him to the doctor tomorrow.
Dr Bradley, can you give us some websites, resources, info? He might not need a year away, but I believe if he knows we have plans, that if he can control his behavoir, he will, Now if he really can't my heart aches for him, but we can't live with that either.
Any and all suggestions appreciated.
My husband may follow up with his view. We realize we see things a bit differently, and are aware that sometimes that is good, I'm sure the best answers are somewhere between. Thanks so much.
2 very tired parents
several days of my husband running inteference have made me more calm about current situation.
We've finally gotten to the point where we can discuss the pros and cons of our different styles with out anyone getting defensive ( I thank a long weekend away for that ) I am more inclined to say "No - and non-negotiable" my husband rants and raves, but when it comes down to it, has a hard time seeing them unhappy, so trys to find ways for him to earn things back. I'm seeing the benefit of his approach. but dread the day when he'll have to say no and stick to it.
In another post Dr B talks about watching to see if the raging is confined to home, using that as a clue to identifying medical problems vs maturity issues. That sums up where my head is right now. Our son has a wonderful reputation with our family friends, school and Drama school, and his many music teachers.
But when I'm in a screaming battle at home I'm thinking:
1) you never pull this anywhere else.....
2) I know you have a true gift for performing......
But then I look at him and he seems in real pain. And I think 'maybe I'm asking him to show control that he really doesn't have. Perhaps what he shows to the rest of the world is taking it's toll on him? I know he seems like he can't get out of the argument/fight without loosing face. I am almost always calm during these, and try to suggest ways to leave the discussion till morning. But sometimes I think the calmer I am, the more angry he gets...
The only thing I "know" is that I don't "know" anything for sure.
I guess I also "know" that If certain behaviors continue ( verbal abuse, physical abuse ) even if they are medical, or teen issues he will have to live somewhere else. That is why I am so anxious to get some information about what our options are.
I need him to know that as parents we have to make sure that all 4 members of the family get the best that we can manage.
I sure would appreciate some input from anyone who has had to look for schools or other options for a family member who just can not stay at home. Just because I believe it may be the best thing, doesn't mean it isn't ripping me up.
Sigh....... I thought night feedings were tough :)
12-13-2004, 06:04 PM
I thinks it's time for a high "Pow-Wow", or a conference between the shrinks, your son and you guys to discuss these issues. First, perhaps meet with the meds person to see if adjustments are needed. The family should go in as a unit to discuss what each sees.
Next, meet together with the therapist to address whether you guys live safely together. Outplacing your son is a huge decision that the family should make together. Be very clear to your son that you love him like crazy, and do not want him to leave, but that you guys must find a way to live together. Make him part of that discussion and let the therapist help you guys sort this out. Don't go in with residential treatment brochures in hand, but rather talk about the overall issue. Be sure to tell the therapist that you and your husband seem to have differing styles of interacting with your son. This can be a big factor in the problems you are seeing.
Keep us posted.
We do have an apptointment this week but I think you are right, we need to visit both Doctors as a group. It is possible that having a calm discussion in front of a 3rd party will be what makes him realize that it could really happen, and however we can prevent it if possible, Med chg, setting goals, more therapy sessions we will be happy to tackle any and all of it to keep us all together.
I really appreciate the your perspective and I will go into those meetings feeling stronger, as well as sharing your response with my husband who will I'm sure feel the same way, your word goes a long way in our house !!!
Hi Dr Bradley,
It's so strange to read what I posted. We are still having issues, it just all seems to blend together. I know I should keep a journal, but honestly I'm so tired of all the drama, that to log it nightly feels like it would just knock all the wind out of me.
I've had several discussions with my therapist about the idea of boarding school. As I discussed it, I felt like I was getting a peek at heaven. ( that reaction was so strong that I'm really trying to understand if I'm just looking for relief or it really would be a good idea.)
I wish I hadn't said to him in the past "If you can't live by our rules, you'll have to live somewhere else." and always mid-crisis.
What I'm realizing is that a small boarding school not too far from home might really be a good answer for him as well as the rest of the family. And something he might value quite a bit.
We are going to see his Dr's alone, before his next visits, and I plan to meet with his guidance councelor at school. So we can see if a regular small boarding school would be appropiate.
My gut says, he's not at risk the wqy he was with the cutting, and violent anger. We still see a lot of rage, but I do see more control under the surface. Either meds, growing out of it or most likely some of both. So I think he might actually benefit from the experience.
What are your feelings about a family deciding on boarding school as a better alternative to the family dynamic. This will be difficult financially ( I've been looking at tuitions ) by my in-laws have often said they'd would help in any way we needed. I also think that using some of the money we've set aside for his collage is not a bad idea, I think he may need it more now.
We will get some pretty important facts from his Doctors, but I wanted to know if you've seen this more often as helping or hurting. ( It is emotionally difficult to seriously consider but I'm trying to keep too much of our emotions out of the decision making)
Thanks ( over and over )
01-27-2005, 12:45 PM
Boarding school for a troubled teen is a huge decision that only can be advised by those who truly know your situation (your therapists). But I can speak generally about what I've seen.
In my experience it is the exception where things really improve by sending a kid away. Yes, it certainly gets quieter, and a teen visiting home on holidays will seem more respectful than one living in the house, but often those things are illusions.
Removing a difficult kid from his family usually justs puts those conflicts (and growth possiblities) on hold, and too often they never really get resolved, leaving kids with holes in their emotional development that can haunt them later in life in their adult relationships.
So proceed very carefully and weigh this all out with your experts. Generally speaking, the kids who flourish at away schools are kids who already have resolved those parent issues, and are ready to move out on their own.
Please keep us posted as to what you decide, and how things work out.
Dr Bradley thank you for providing a place to write about what we are going through. I always felt better sharing and seeing that others are trying to cope with similar issues.
But to come and read my own words about our promlems last yr is a real "eye-opener". We are in a MUCH better place. Everything I read here and in your book is true.
Don't give up on finding the right mediation!!!
And if there is there a few trips back to tough times while fine tuning dosages..... Don't give up.
Hang in and realize it can be a gift to see for sure that you have a sick child not a malicous one.
Many many thanks
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