Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Have I just forgotten him?

DS1 is struggling. Yes, he's a teenager and I did know it was coming...but I think I've turned a blind eye to a lot that's been going on. Sometimes my plate is just so full with RAD that I assumed he'd get through it. Of course, I ask him questions and try to stay close and available, but lately, he's been pushing away and I let him.
Today he came home from school with scratches on his neck. The story is really unimportant - he was hurt by a kid at school...but hazy is the fact that he started it. His anger is boiling over. When I tried asking about it and looking at it, I was told that I was being stupid and it's no big deal - definitely NOT a fight! Anything that ends in physical injury is a fight to me. I tried to talk, he interupted - because he is smarter than me. I was calm, but hurt. I cried. He eventually told me that he is a bad person because I'm a bad person and he has no one to look up to. He went on to say that he hates living here...hates the stress...hates living with people who constantly are in a state of awareness. There is no relaxation here. He said I'm a bad parent because I haven't been able to make them better.

I have let him down too.


  1. No, you have not let him down. I think this is a phase when kids blame their Moms for everything. I predict he will grow out of it (maybe take a few years!)

  2. Oh well THIS post makes me feel better, believe it or not :) My son recently wrote a tirade to a friend about how he HATES his life and HATES me and HATES living in our house and with our (his) family. LIFE SUCKS. I felt really, really bad.

    Then the next day I watched him giggle around the kitchen table and I remembered.

    HE IS 13. 13 is hell year. 12 qualifies and so does 14 :) You have NOT failed him - not! You are a GREAT mom. And yes, his life isnt "perfect" but neither is ANY life.

    When things are CALM (and only then) try to rebroach these topics with him again. What does he need to give him a break? Is school super stressful right now? Can putting a lock on his door help? What about a weekly ice cream date with mom or dad? I think what you will find is that there might be a SMALL grain of truth to some of his feelings but EVERYTHING is amplified about three thousand percent in teenagers, and particularly in the heat of the moment when they are looking to get out of trouble by blaming ANYONE (particularly mom) else

  3. I'm not sure this is totally a teenage issue. Much has been written about siblings who have to take more responsibility or who feel left out because of the attention given a sibling with a physical or developmental disability.

    Our 17 year old daughter has two older brothers with RAD and she feels she has grown up in a totally dysfunctional household. I can't say I disagree with her since so much of our money and emotional energy were drained by our RAD kids. She never felt she could even tell her best friends some of the things that went on in our house, and times that she wasn't able to have company because her brothers were so erratic or her parents were so exhausted. Currently one of her brothers has left home and has cut ties with our family. Not only does he not have any attachment to his parents, he doesn't have any attachment to his little sister and this hurts her. She is seeing a therapist to work through her pain.

    Her goal is currently to go away to college and get as far away from here as possible. She has two more years before that happens, and my husband and I are trying to focus more attention on her and do some traveling with just the three of us. In hind sight, I wish I had been able to make her childhood more normal (and there were more normal times than she wants to admit). But I don't know what I could have changed short of sending her brothers away.

    You are not a bad person or a bad parent, but you are in a bad situation where there are no easy answers. Perhaps you can give him more attention away from your other two children. He may also need therapy before he becomes more angry.

  4. Thanks guys- I feel a bit better this morning. He came down last night for his 'cuddle time' and I didn't expect that and honestly, I wasn't in the mood to sit sweetly with him. But, I did because he came down. As with any family of more than one child - it's tough to carve out individual time...but we do need to. However, I won't be working hard on that right this moment - because I'm more outraged at his overall disrespect. I can say that our house may not be the most huggy sweet and candy covered place - but I am respectful to everyone (even when consequencing). Mary you bring up a point that was mentioned yesterday. While he 'gets' RAD - he doesn't fully understand it. He said that if I died, they wouldn't care and at least he would. Then he muttered, they wouldn't care if I died either. I think that is a very painful realization for a child. Then again, he does little to nothing to build a relationship with them (other then him as controller, them as controlled). DH and I came to no great conclusions last night. His computer broke last night and this morning he left a note for his brother to "tell mom my computer is broken". HA.

  5. This is a tough one. My DS will be 12 in 2 months. He started Middle School this year. I do feel bad that I changed his life so much by bringing M here. It's hard. Real hard. I don't want to lose him because of her....if that makes sense. Anger? G has always had anger issues. M magnifies that now. I can't even tell him to take a shower without him getting pissed at me. Yeah, this household isn't too much fun these days. Whelp, if it helps (I know it always helps me), you are surely not alone in the situation.

  6. It's so easy to be more lax with "the other one" when as a parent you are dealing with another child or children who have serious issues. We're living that, too, but in our case, it's the younger that we have to be very careful not to "neglect" while we focus on dealing with the older's situation. We both work things out to spend time specifically with the younger and make sure she knows how proud we are of her for being reliable, respectful and resilient, even when things are awkward.

    So perhaps you need to schedule regular personal time just with DS1 to focus directly on him and he on you. Can't hurt... ;)

  7. He's screaming out for some one on one attention. He sees the devotion and commitment to the other kids that he once had and he also knows that they don't apprciate or really want it at the moment (because of their issues). He wants things the way they used to be and deep down I'll venture to guess that you probably have that thought once in while yourself. You know how hard you have worked on this and all the issues that have prevented healing so far, he sees it too. He is probably wondering "why" you keep at it? Maybe you sit down with him and tell him, flat out tell him everything. Also, has the family gone to family therapy to get some of this out into the open? Maybe its time? How much of this stuff does your husband participate in with the handling of issues? You seem to be alone alot in this, maybe you could use more of his help? DS1 is at a very selfish age right now and he is pissed things are not going his way (aka he is not getting the attention he once enjoyed) so maybe a little getaway for a day or two and DH could stay behind and handle things at home? Might help both you and DS1 with some things right now.