MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers

(479 Posts)
MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 10:12:41

I am starting this thread in the hope that it will become a safe space for those of us strugging with very challenging teenage behaviour.

I'm hoping that it will be a support thread, rather than descend as so many threads do into a "criticism of the parents". Those of us in this situation know that it is pretty much impossible to just "tell them to stop" or to "ground them", and taking away phones, money and gadgets leads to lying stealing and running away sad.

Sadly it seems cannabis is at the bottom of an awful lot of these children's problems, and I'm hoping we can talk about that here without having to defend ourselves against the "cannabis does no harm" brigade. So if anyone tries to turn it into an argument about whether cannabis is addictive or harmful, could you please just ignore them and hope they go away - or start another thread which I can hide where they can argue away happily.

Anyway, sign in if you are interested. I'll be back later.

Witchety Sun 28-Oct-12 10:20:12

I'll sign in but although I've got 3 teens, the troubled one is now a dream

That's cos of you Mary though I doubt you know how much your advice really helped my family!

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 10:28:52

Thanks Witchety smile. I must say, I'm doing much better with ds2.

It's great when they grow up, isn't it? I'm getting short glimpses now of the child ds1 used to be, hidden in the grouchy horrible person he has been for the last five years.

Witchety Sun 28-Oct-12 10:31:58

I'm enjoying my teens now. Can't believe I said that!

Went to rock bottom to get where we are now tho, and no drugs involved. Just bad influences from 'friends'

brighterfuture Sun 28-Oct-12 10:38:45

Thanks Maryz . Its really so helpful to talk about this with other parents who've been through the same thing. Parenting a teen who can't see how they are self destructing is so stressful...

Another one who has come through out of the dark side. smile

Smug, ignorant, mummies who come on here and bleat their moral superiority really give me the RAGE. You were lucky, dear, that's all.

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 11:36:27

Yes, it's horrible how simplistic some people's views can be until they are actually put in the position of having to deal with it.

And I agree, the worst thing (worse than the violence, the arguments, the constant fear that something awful will happen) is having to stand by and watch someone you love destroy themselves and their lives. It's horrible. And for a long time I couldn't talk about it in real life.

I felt so ashamed that I couldn't help him. And my experiences were so far removed from other parents. They were worrying about university places and going mad if their children weren't home by midnight. I was worrying every day about whether ds would kill himself, or even worse kill someone else.

Oh and "it must be the parents" mentality.

No, sometimes it's the child (and their friendship group).

All DH, I, Police, SS, Schoo(s)l, Child Psych and our extended family could do was pick up the pieces until DD grew up enough to see what damage she was doing. 3 years on, she's amazing and I'm very proud of her.

I nearly lost my job and what was left of my sanity. There was NOTHING I could do to make it stop. God alone knows how much we tried sad

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 11:49:18

Jaysus, stop me going back to brighter's thread [mutter].

It's too early for a dingdong.

I lurked and left wink

brighterfuture Sun 28-Oct-12 12:47:01

I'm outa there too .
The worst is not being able to share my traumas with friends locally as I want to protect my ds and his siblings from judgements and rumours. That's why I looked to MN to share what i'm going through..... Everything is peaceful now , just had a lovely lunch with 5 teens laughing and joking smile. Jeez its like living with jeckyl and hyde.

Schlock Sun 28-Oct-12 12:48:50

I learned to stop talking about the misadventures of my own troubled teen (15, girl) a while back because I couldn't stand being judged any more.

Don't let the ignorant shut you up Schlock , you need support and deserve to get it.

I know I did and still do my very very best for my DC. If the professionals couldn't think of one thing that my family should have done to change things, narrow minded idiots have not a hope in hell of making me feel bad or guilty.

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 13:27:52

I have decided that I am no longer going to be ashamed of what ds1 does.

I have decided it isn't my fault. I have done my best, and even if (like all parents) I have made some wrong decisions I did the best I could at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but looking back is a waste of emotional energy that I can ill afford hmm.

I too have had to face parents turning their backs on me in the school car park, people talking behind my back, my younger children being teased and ostracised for being ds1's siblings. I have lost count of the number of people who have told me my son is a waste of space and I should just kick him out.

But I also have very good friends who have stuck by me and been unbelievably supportive (even though I assume some of them are absolutely horror-struck, they have never said anything negative about ds, and have supported me 100%). Without them I couldn't have survived.

So I decided about two years ago to stop hiding things and pretending things were ok. I have been for counselling, and have realised that I can't change him, but I can change how I react to what he does, and although life isn't easy it is at least manageable.

And on the plus side - he is still here, we are still a family (dysfunctional as it may be grin).

It's funny, but since I was always so open about what was going on, no-one has ever really been horrible to me about DD.

<Disclaimer - In RL I am, erm, vair assertive despite my hideous anxiety disorder>

In fact, one of my colleagues has been going through a really rough time with her DD recently and is mighty relieved to have me around for non-judgey chats.

I refuse to be ashamed, dammit, and anyone who thinks I should is welcome to come round here and attempt to convince me wink

xxDebstarxx Sun 28-Oct-12 13:51:29

I so need this thread thank you. I had started thinking I was the only one who had a teenager who refused to do what they were asked. Everyone else I know has dream teenagers who get up for school when asked, eats what they are given, clean their rooms and speak politely at all times [rollseyes]

My son on the other hand refuses to get up, refuses to go to school, moans about the food I cook, refuses to clean his room and occasionally grunts at me.

My other son is not a dream but does do a bit better on all counts.

I am trying to resign myself to being a good enough mum rather than the super mums who live near me!

Witchety Sun 28-Oct-12 15:45:37

My daughter left to live with her friend. A month before her exams. Didn't attend her exams!! All those years of getting her through school to fall at the last hurdle!!

Worst thing for me was her teacher ringing me 'to check you are ok, I feel for you' he made me cry! But now I see him as he's ds teacher too, and we both laugh at her antics! She called the head a c u n t once, and along with her head of year, we can laugh. Her school was very very supportive. And took care of me too. I'm forever grateful to them.

Dd is now in college and back home....

Alameda Sun 28-Oct-12 15:51:28

what a good idea, I had a very troubled, very unhappy teen, now 20 and trying to make her way in life having missed huge chunks of formative time through hospitalisation and all that surrounds it

just wanted to add my best wishes smile

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Sun 28-Oct-12 15:56:41

Signing in. DD is 13 and not tooooooo bad at the moment.

But you never know.


Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sun 28-Oct-12 16:45:28

Dd is 16, with OCD and anxieties. Last year was horrible...self harming, talking about killing herself, running away.
However, hormones have calmed down, she is dealing with OcD better and life is so much better.
I feel strange not having to worry too much iyswim.

I am very open about what we have been through, I refuse to feel ashamed or guilty. Dh however thinks differently. Should be kept within the family. Guess which one of us is having therapy? Him.
And school were fantastic.

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 16:48:22

It's the worry and anxiety that get to me, I think. The fact that I'm afraid to relax, ever, in case some disaster strikes and I should have (somehow) prevented it.

And of course I can't prevent it. I can just almost kill myself trying to anticipate and prevent every possible permutation and combination of what might happen.

It's exhausting. So I have (pretty much) stepped off the rollercoaster and am trying the "what will be will be" approach.

amillionyears Sun 28-Oct-12 16:56:44

Good thread MaryZcary.

Lilka Sun 28-Oct-12 17:06:12

I really relate to the anxiety and waiting for the shit to hit the fan constantly. I have one difficult teen (but nowhere near as difficult as your DS1 or many others) and one who was extremely difficult teen but is now a mostly healthy and functioning adult. But I don't have much hope that my DD2 can make it to where DD1 is, they are just so different

DD2 has shut herself in her room. Well, sort of shut, her door is broken after a shouting/hitting/kicking/breaking things episode last night. It has a hole in it, and a hinge is pretty busted. My ear drums have a metaphorical hole in them after being sworn at, screamed at and threatened for several hours straight. The worst bit was comforting DS, who was really upset and saying how scared he is when she gets like this. That's the thing that really hurts the most. This is not fair on him

I also hate not having any money to do nice things for all of them because I have to spend on replacing doors, phones and other things she breaks . New door and new plates now needed. Or maybe no new door, I'll think about it

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 17:09:55

I stopped fixing things Lilka.

I have odd posters covering holes in walls. And two doors that don't shut.

The punch bag is getting the worst of it at the moment, which is great.

It's hard to protect younger ones sad, but I've found that my younger two aren't bothered if I'm not. Whereas when I used to get upset and take it personally they were very bothered by it.

Now I just sigh and say "he's off again, stay out of his way" and we do. I pretend not to be worried - and funnily enough since I started to pretend to be not worried I'm not as worried any more confused.

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sun 28-Oct-12 17:11:43

Lilka...I really felt for my ds too when dd kicked off. She once punched his arm when he had a broken collarbone sad
he has had to put up with a lot. We can't go on holiday as a family anymore, so ds and dh are off to Oz on Xmas Day.

I will go wild while he is away (reference to last night's thread!)

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Sun 28-Oct-12 17:12:52

MaryZ..... I have so much respect for you.

Lilka Sun 28-Oct-12 17:39:17

Agreed Mrsrobert!

I didn't even think about covering up holes with posters etc, but that's a good idea. I just can't stand holes, such a constant reminder of it. But it's so pointless fixing things that will be broken again in a week

It's very rare for her to go for DS. It's me usually if anyone. At times in the past I have had bruises down my arms and been thinking 'oh god if anyone sees they'll be thinking my (non-existant) partner is bashing me around'. And they'd be way more sympathetic if that was the case. It's such a horribly common attitude - if your partner hits you, it's his/her fault, but if your child whacks you, it's your fault

stickyj Sun 28-Oct-12 17:45:50

My DS1 is now put "in a box in my head". Because I can't deal with him any more. He uses drugs, lies, steals from me, has just got done for drink driving and has had his finger on the self destruct button for years.

Yes, I feel guilty. Yes, I always wonder what I could have done to change things. Yes, the others, all three of them have suffered and yes, I shouldn't have stuck up for him all the times I did.

BUT my Dad died, he came to the funeral. He had a one day "amnesty" from me, his stepdad who brought him up from 12 weeks, his Dad and his siblings. I hugged him and he was ok for a while.

he then went out to the "shop". He came back obviously high, to me and those who could tell.

He has broken my heart so many times.....I have texted him so many times and told him this, he doesn't seem to get it. Well, he does but just chooses to ignore it. On my birthday I got a txt at 2am, wishing me a Happy Birthday. I know that he txted me then because he never sleeps, cos he's high/drunk and just can't.

Whatever has happened, he is still my son but the love I feel for him is in that box with him, the box in my mind. I love him but I don't like him for the havoc, distress and the the way he has totally fucked up my other kids and me. he has virtually destroyed my relationship with his stepdad, my DH, because I have always tried to love him whilst defending his crappy behaviour, even tho I knew it to be so wrong.

It is hard to lose a child and I will just have to wait for him to grow out of it or die. That is my reality...I dread the phone ringing because one day I know, I just know, that I will have to identify my son's body.

Because I didn't have him here for Xmas and he was on his own...guilty mum

Because I didn't buy him food and left him to starve...guilty mum (although he always seems to find money for drugs)

Because I should have stopped him earlier and put my foot down...guilty mum.

I have three other kids, they are fine. That keeps me going, they are doing fine, great in fact and three out of four is not too bad.

BUT he's my son and I miss him. I gave birth to him and I miss him. sad

BitchyHen Sun 28-Oct-12 18:14:25

Hi, just signing in to tell you parents what a fantastic job you are doing. DD1 is just your average stroppy teenager(atm).

However I work as a TA in a Pupil Referral Unit for 14 to 16 year olds and supportive parents make all the difference in my job.

I think cannabis is at the root of many behavioural issues for the teens I work with. It can be very difficult for us to deal with kids who are suffering extreme mood swings, or sleeping it off during lessons. I can only imagine what it must be like to live with that.

I have a great deal of respect for you all.

xxDebstarxx Sun 28-Oct-12 18:27:53

Ooops I hope I haven't butted in on this thread...I posted earlier without reading the thread properly. My son hasn't taken cannabis or any other drug as far as I know...he is an extremely troubled teen and I do get grief from other parents who would never let their children be like him.

xxDebstarxx Sun 28-Oct-12 18:35:00

Oh god I hope I didn't sound smug then saying he hasn't taking drugs ... just hasn't got to that point yet as far as I know...he practically hibernates and refuses to do anything.

Lilka Sun 28-Oct-12 18:36:41

Oh no this is a thread for parents of any troubled teens not just teens taking drugs, Debstar. At least i hope so, because my DD doesn't do dope either

Lilka Sun 28-Oct-12 18:39:52

I'm definitely not being smug either. There but for the grace of God, and I certainly don't think I'm going to be able stop her if she decides to do it

Ineedalife Sun 28-Oct-12 18:45:18

Hi all, can I sign in too. I am usually to be found on the SN children board but do venture over here sometimes.

My troubled teen was 24 this week and things between us are relatively good ATM.

TBH, I am hardly seeing her as I am not looking after her Dd anymore. This is good for us but I do miss seeing DGD.

We still have concerns over her debts, she owes the preschool I work in a lot of money which is embarrassing. And now she has left work and gone to uni so the debts are only going to get bigger.

Luckily middle Dd is a dream teen and is now residential at 6th form college monday to friday so is very pleasant at the weekends.

Dd3 is worrying me now though as she rapidly approaches puberty. She has Aspergers and is demand avoidant already, so I am feeling a bit sick about how she is going to be as a teen.

Have bought myself a book about PDA so I can prepare myself with some new strategies in case the current ones stop working. She has no empathy and is similar in many ways to Dd1 which I find scary.

Anyway have rambled enough, I am really glad you started this thread Maryz and will keep popping back from time to time.

xxDebstarxx Sun 28-Oct-12 18:50:36

Thanks Lilka

I just had one of my awful panicky moments then silly I know but cos I know how awful it feels to be judged by the smug parents who have perfect children I didn't want to sound like one of them if that makes sense.

flow4 Sun 28-Oct-12 20:19:20

Yup, signing in too.

DS1 is much better since he went back to college... He's doing a course he wants to do, and he has to be up and out early most mornings, so he can't smoke week during the week smile But every time I get a phonecall from a 'withheld' number, I still expect it to be the police or other trouble sad

Thank god I also have a DS2 who is (so far) charming, high-achieving, polite and generally delightful, or I would certainly have believed I was a Bad Mother.

I can't stand those folk (often but not always ones who don't actually have a teenager hmm ) who come along and tell you that if only you would just do what they would do, and then you wouldn't have any problems at all. If we have any of those on your support thread, MaryZ, am I allowed to just tell them to fuck off?!

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 20:38:17

Yes, flow, do feel free to tell the smug ones to fuck off. But xx, parents like you are very welcome, as long as you can stand to be here - you might find it all a bit scary.

Ineed, I have found the combination of Aspergers and teenage hormones to be an awful one sad. If I were you I wouldn't worry too much about school or results, but concentrate on helping her to be happy if you can. Does your older dd have AS as well? Because trying to talk to ds about money is absolutely impossible - he just sees things he wants, he has no concept of saving and depriving himself of one thing in order to get another more important thing in the future.

sticky, you have had a shitty time, but I forbid you to feel guilty <stamps feet> In fact, guilt and remorse and regret are banned on this thread. We are all starting from today, as we are now, and looking upwards and onwards [hopeful]

flow4 Sun 28-Oct-12 20:48:00

Oh xx, I just realise it may have sounded like I was implying I wanted to tell you to fuck off blush... 'Twasn't you at all: I had just been reading brighter's sadly derailed thread angry sad

Ineedalife Sun 28-Oct-12 20:56:34

Yes maryz, I believe Dd1 does have AS and possibly ADHD too. She was seen by various proffs from age 4-10 but of course "girls dont have aspergers do they", she was eventually discharged with no dx and I was told it was my parenting style which was the problem.

When Dd3 was dx'ed last year when she was 9 it made me all the more certain that Dd1 is on the spectrum.
She is absolutely useless with money and will not accept help from anyone. Tbf I dont think she even realises she needs help a lot of the time.
By luck she never got involved with drugs but she did have a baby at 19 which was a nightmare.
She has a good partner now and DGD's dad takes some responsibility. She is soo clever and can be lovely but I cant live with her anymore and even short holidays are very difficult.

I shouldnt moan, many people are worse off than me but as I said earlier I am a little scared about what is to come with Dd3. Maybe I will get it right this timesmile

flow4 Sun 28-Oct-12 21:15:16

Mary, regarding AS teenagers and money... There is hope...

My friend's AS DS is now 20, and started living independently just over a year ago. There were some really hairy times before he left home - e.g. melt-down because he had lost his money and couldn't understand why he couldn't just take the food shopping money instead. And there have been a couple of sad ones since - e.g. he got hundreds of pounds out of his bank account and told a stranger in the local park, who promptly (we assume) picked his pocket. sad

But he is learning to budget, and more, he is learning to save. In fact, I'd say his AS 'meticulousness' and his 'passions' seem to have actually worked in his favour: firstly, he started to learn about saving because he developed a strong interest in an expensive hobby: he needed equipment that he couldn't possibly buy without saving. Then, after he left home, support staff 'reinforced' the budgeting skills that my friend had showed him, so he learnt how to do a budget breakdown of his income and expenditure, and he now draws up and sticks to a tight budget. He knows exactly what he has to spend on food, bills, etc., and has worked out he has to choose between spending and saving his (fairly small) surplus. Impressively, this summer he saved for his first-ever independent holiday (overland travel); and because that went well, he is now saving for an overseas holiday next summer. His confidence has grown massively in the past year. smile

knittedslippersx3 Sun 28-Oct-12 21:28:31

Can I join? Dd(16) had a breakdown last year, very low and refused to go to school. She completely lost interest in life and felt she was not worthy of anything and had absolutely no self esteem. Got back on track and been great for months but now having a wobble again. No drugs involved so I know I'm lucky that way.

Lilka Sun 28-Oct-12 21:38:46

She's out of her room, stopped raging, but very tense and avoiding eye contact. I am walking on eggshells

chicken4 Sun 28-Oct-12 21:39:22

nothing like as brave as Maryz, have namechanged in embarrassed manner. Oldest dc has battled against cannabis for a number of years, whilst it has eroded her drive and ambition. She was a talented sportswomen, got badly injured at about the same time as they start partying and started on the dope. Like others it is scary to see the blocked numbers appear, the middle of the night phone calls that don't leave a message (it's the cops folks)
thought we had sort of moved on a bit, finally found a HE course to accept her, and a vocational one with thought of a job at the end, but of course away from home is back smoking, on the dope, missing lectures, not cooking, losing weight.
was home this weekend and it was heartbreaking, she is struggling but may well get kicked off course.........
have other "normal" kids as well, but my god folk do judge sad

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 21:49:51

I'm not brave chicken smile. I'm just coping the best way for me. And being out in the open is helping me.

Cannabis is the curse of the struggling teen in my opinion. It may just be "a bit of fun" for some of them, but for those with SN, those struggling at school, the depressed ones or those with other mh issues, the unhappy ones it becomes an escape. A way of dulling life and enabling them to opt out and give up.

I'm sorry about your dd sad. ds1 has just gone back to college after nearly four years out of education and is really struggling, falling back on the joints to "help him sleep" hmm.

knitted, has your dd seen the gp? Would it be worth going down the anti-depressant route? I know gps are reluctant to prescribe for teens, but I honestly believe that if ds's depression had been taken seriously earlier he might not have started on the self-medicating.

Ineed, ds1 was diagnosed when he was almost 9 - 10 years ago now. At the time I posted on mumsnet about it and there was no-one on mumsnet with a child with AS shock. We were lucky to get a diagnosis, but we mostly got it because he was threatening suicide - even after the diagnosis his behaviour at school was considered to be attitude rather than SN.

I hope he learns to manage money Flow. He is maturing (very, very slowly), so maybe by the time he gets to about 30 he might manage to pay rent hmm

Signing in here too.

Mine are DD1 20 DS1 19 DD2 18 and DS2 15. DS1 has been my most troublesome teen, but the girls have encountered other types of hell too.. anorexia, self harm..

DS1 has smashed my home up, stolen (lots) from us , lied, smokes weed, been arrested....

His worst years were 12-17. He still smokes weed but now has a full time job, pays rent and is gradually becoming a lovely young man. He's not perfect (weed, overdraft!) but compared to where he was a few years ago he is an angel. His is finally on top of his anger problems and mostly is a loving son, fantastic brother and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Just wish he would stop the weed.

My eldest DD1 developed anorexia ( 6 stone at 5 ft 9) after a hellish first year at University.. on the mend now (yr 3) but still has some difficulties. Her younger sister also had eating problems tho not to the same degree, and self harm, depression but has also come out the other side and is happily in her first term at University now.

Youngest son has autism and learning disability and is a bloody BREEZE in comparison grin

I'm not sure how I have got through the last few years..sometimes everyone was in crisis at the same time... but we DID... and I think MN is one of the best resources for support. Many a time I would have gone under had it not been for the wise ladies here!

We can all get through it..

MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 22:59:15

Do you know, I'm finding it simultaneously fantastic and sad that there are so many of us in this boat.

Fantastic, because it is great to be able to talk about it.

Sad that so many kids are struggling so badly.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Sun 28-Oct-12 23:02:54

thumbs up for this thread

I shall lurk, because we are ok here

for now

but mary has given me many pearls of wisdom (and the occasional reality check) when I have been pulling my hair out re. wilfull 17yo dd

knittedslippersx3 Sun 28-Oct-12 23:05:47

Medusa -I have read some of your past posts/threads and think you're a great mum.
Mary - Saw the doctor last year and she was referred but not prescribed anything. The school are being brilliant in supporting her and she is seeing school counsellor after half term. If things get worse or don't get back on track the doctor is my next step.
It is sad that there are so many kids struggling but at least they have us mums fighting their corner!

strictlovingmum Sun 28-Oct-12 23:32:11

Signing in too, flow4 and Mary thank you both for support when I needed the most, without judgment and all that bullshit, this was about the only place where I could really say how I was feeling at the time.
Things are brighter, DS is doing well, has a lovely girlfriend he passed all his AS and he's full steam ahead for A2 set for uni next year, no more weed and I hope it stays that way, I got my boy back but with a superhuman effort on all our part.
I still keep an hawk eye on him, but one day at the time it will take time for the emotional bruising to diminish and for trust to fully establish.
Love you ladiessmile

Brightspark1 Sun 28-Oct-12 23:51:30

Signing in. I've been off MN for a while as I have been trying to live more in RL ( with some success). But you've tempted me back MaryZ, you and Flow did a lot to keep me vaguely sane when things were at my worst. I don't need judgy comments, I'm more than capable of judging myself.
DD has been discharged from CAMHS this week, which is wonderful and scary at the same time. DD is working hard for college ( against a lot of prejudice and obstruction from the college) She is retaking a couple of GCSE modules, and our relationship is improving. But she's still not home sad

brighterfuture Mon 29-Oct-12 07:06:32

Signing in before I head off to work. My thread got a bit sidetracked, it was kind of annoyingly entertaining but not much help.

I have 3 ds16 ds14 dd8. Ds16 has always been a challenge. He's bright but has trouble with authority , struggled at school to fit in with peers, I suspect he's ADHD though he never got diagnosed.

For the last 2 years ds1 has developed a serious dope habit. He also takes Mdma , ketamine and acid. He loses it frequently and completely , smashing things up , shouting, crying, self harming. If he's having a bad day the tiniest thing can set him off. Sometimes he's a sweet loving, caring boy. We have sought help for him but he's just not interested. He's still at school just

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 07:57:16

Please help me. I'm crying . Daughter 14. Found bottle of vodka empty in her room. She's smoking. Found stolen goods in her room. We had physical fight yesterday . I wanted to take a knife to her throat. I ran out the house. She didn't come home last night. Can't ring her don't want her back. I despise her.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 08:42:31

Ok, first of all, calm down, you don't hate her, really you don't, you just hate what she is doing.

And secondly we have all been there.

You need to take a deep breath and figure out where you are. Try to look at it from positives and negatives - the negatives are obvious, but is she going to school? What is she like generally? Is she happy, what are her friends like.

I think the number one guideline for dealing with really difficult teens is to try very hard not to get emotionally involved. So try not to show that you are upset, angry etc. Calm down and deal with her as though she is a badly behaved lodger - that way you deal with the behaviour pragmatically, rather than trying to make her feel guilty, which seldom works.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 08:45:35

strict and bright, it's nice to hear some good news smile

knitted, I have changed my tune completely about medicating teens. I think a lot of teenage depression is dismissed as "just hormones". If our kids had a physical illness we wouldn't think twice about medication and treatment but because we have been brought up to be slightly ashamed of mh issues, we are reluctant to medicate for depression. I now believe a short-term, doctor prescribed, controlled course of a-d's or antianxiolytics might save a fair few teenagers from self-medicating with alcohol, nicotine or drugs.

brighter, your family sounds like mine a few years ago. ds1 is now a lot steadier - still using an awful lot of dope, but not so up and down, so although I worry, life is calmer.

flow4 Mon 29-Oct-12 09:09:44

doinmummy, I know you probably don't believe maryZ when she says we've all been there, but we have (lots and lots of us anyway)... The early teens are really hard when you've got a 'challenging' child - I think because it's all such a shock: they're not sweet and innocent any more, you're losing your 'baby', and it hurts.

Also, at 14 you have all the responsibility but none of the power. You feel like you should be able to stop them, and the law says you have 'parental responsibility', but it's totally meaningless: they do more or less what they want until they learn some self control, and there is nothing you can do about it. You feel like you're failing and that's horrible: it made me terrified and panicky, and sometimes that turned into anger: how dare he behave like that when I'd always done the best for him? I think I did hate my son, but I still loved him too, and that was massively confusing and upsetting - it was a real roller-coaster of emotions for a couple of years.

MaryZ is right about trying to create some emotional distance - I can absolutely see it would be the best way to be - but I have never been very good at it. (And I kept thinking that if he was "just an annoying lodger" I'd've f*cking thrown him out long ago!) My tactic has been to look after myself. I couldn't stop my DS from being horrible and doing dreadful things, and that made me feel bad, but I could sort of 'balance it out' by doing some nice things that made me feel good... And that really helped me deal with all the awful stuff.

Can you do something nice to distract yourself today, doin? Just for a couple of hours? Go for a swim or a coffee with a friend or a walk, or something else you enjoy doing... Come back after lunch, and hopefully you'll feel a bit better, and you can take it from there...

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 10:31:58

I don't want my daughter to come back. I can't take her taunting me and shoving me about. She tried to take my bag off me and I hit her. I want to physically hurt her badly and can't trust myself not to.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 10:35:49

Have you any other adult in the house, doin?

You need to be the adult here. You need to sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of what is bothering you. Two lists in fact, one of things you can control and one of things you can't.

You need a no violence rule, and to call the police if she hits or hurts you.

Can you get any help from her school? At least go to your gp and look for an appointment with CAHMS or ring social services. You need some real life help with this.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 10:43:45

Rejected twice by cahms and family mediation. I am alone and scared of what I'll do to her. She follows me taunting me. She grabbed my bag off me.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 10:45:26

Then call the police. Seriously, do.

I only had to do it once with ds.

Keep your valuables locked up, don't engage, try very hard NOT to react and just walk away.

Is it just the two of you? Is there anyone in real life you can ask for help or intervention, or even somewhere she can go for a few days so you get a break?

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 10:46:05

SS don't want to know

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 10:47:25

If you really get to the end of your tether you can call ss and tell them you won't have her back. The result won't be nice, but they will have to step in.

If she is violent, then the police will help. It takes persistence but they will.

You sound pretty desperate atm, so you need to talk to someone. What about friends and family?

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 10:56:20

Police, friends and family have talked to her. She doesn't care. I sent her to her fathers but she came back. I want to hurt her so she's not safe here.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 11:15:37

doin, I have seen lots of your threads about your dd

things are escalating in a very scary way

call SS and tell them what you have told us before something goes very badly wrong

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 11:21:01

Tell ss or the police that.

Seriously, if you feel you are going to hurt her you need to tell someone.

With me, it's always been the other way around - I've been afraid he is going to hurt me.

Ungratefulchild Mon 29-Oct-12 11:22:34

Oh how lovely to see this thread, very timely for me. I have this morning made an appointment with a counsellor as I'm really not coping at the moment.

Ds1 is 19, smokes weed (has done for years and years), takes other 'party' drugs and drinks alcohol. All to excess. He is a very clever, talented and handsome boy but has totally mucked up his education. He is currently in college doing an HND but is in severe danger of getting chucked out. He's still in bed as I write and should be there!

He is very aggressive after the drug taking and my house is full of holes and broken doors. He loses stuff constantly because he is so out of his face. He has had several accidents while under the influence. He recently managed to get a temporary job in a shop for over Christmas and started on Saturday. However on Friday he stayed out all night, came home at 10.00am and went to bed. He was supposed to do a 4 hour induction shift from 12. He did manage to get there but only after I shouted at him for two hours and dropped him off and dealt with the horrific verbal abuse.

I can't sleep, I can't relax ever. I keep imagining identifying his body after something has gone horribly wrong. I think he may be depressed? (was very suicidal a couple of weeks ago but was on a comedown) and he is certainly anxious. His behaviour is very self sabotaging.

There is no one I can speak to in real life. My partner is not his dad (we have been together since he was 2) but finds it hard to be supportive. He wants me to chuck him out. I can't do it, even although recently I've found myself threatening it a bit.

flow4 Mon 29-Oct-12 11:52:20

doin, so sorry things are so bad sad

You sound like you are at the very end of your tether.

I have experienced the taunting and being followed around and having things snatched too. It is terrible and frightening and infuriating.

I have also experienced being 'rejected' by CAMHS and counselling and social services, because DS didn't reach their thresholds. It makes you feel desperate because you need help but you can't get it.

You can take some control in this situation, doin, really you can. You need some space and distance from her, urgently. You can't control what she does, but you can control what you do.

You have some choices...

I also think you should phone social services and tell them what you have told us. It might not be enough to get their help, but it might be.

Is there anywhere you can go for a day or two? Your DD is 14 and she will be fine over night on her own, but if you want to make sure she has some 'backup', tell someone in your family or 'phone SS and tell them you are going away and why.

If you feel unsafe, or she hurts you, or you are scared you will hurt her call the police. Seriously. I dialled 999 three times with my son. The third time I had him arrested. It was terrible, but it was less terrible than the way things had been. And he has not been physically threatening to me since.

Is your DD back home? If not, then make the most of the breathing space you have now. Do something to help you relax. That is the first step. If you are panicking, you won't deal with things well.

Things are really bad now, doin, but they will get better.

xxDebstarxx Mon 29-Oct-12 12:07:26

flow I didn't think you meant me but I do know what you mean about those sort of parents

doin bug the hell out of the ss, police and whoever else you can think of until they got so fed up of you ringing that they do something to help, just to stop the phone calls. Ring every hour on the hour if need be.

signing in to please DS2 12 nearly 13. Started secondary school all gone down hill.

He has always been challenging and i have suspected ADHD, but the school said no.
Now since moving up he is hard work, school always on phone, lies alot to me and even friends, can be nasty, mean and voilent towards sibblings.
But on the other hand can be lovely, a laugh and just my son.

School have asked me to go to GP and get CAHMS so have made appointment. This school have now mentioned ADHD, where as primary school said no way.

Scared at what a cahms means, scared he will get worse, scared i am doing it all wrong

Lilka Mon 29-Oct-12 15:42:00

doin - I am sorry things are so hard right now. If you can't cope at all and think you might really hurt her, you must call ss again and tell them. If she tries to hurt you, call the police. Keeping you in my thoughts

Hi diet. Don't be scared of camhs, it doesn't mean that you have done anything wrong (you haven't), or that you are a failure. I hope you get some help for your son. I know what you mean about your child being lovely sometimes and really challenging others. My teen DD can have such lovely days or part days where she is calm and feeling safe and she can be so loving, but then we can have awful ones. Therapy has helped her with some of her issues, but things have been worse since she started college this September. I understand why, it's so frustrating seeing her slide backwards again though

Ungratefulchild - Counselling has really helped me several times over the years, I hope it goes well for you as well. I honestly encourage anyone who is really struggling to try and access some counselling. We spend so much time focussing on our children, and not enough looking after ourselves, and it's vital we have support and focus on ourselves as well

I have a love/hate relationship with half term, and this half term is not shaping up to be a good one. DD still unhappy and stressed, but back on speaking terms with me, indeed she's being very clingy and wants a lot of attention. "Mum, mum, mum...yes DD?.....Ummm" she has nothing to talk about, she just needs attention. I am just repeating in my head 'be therapeutic, be therapeutic, stay calm'. She's also binging on junk food.

She is so push-pull-push-pull. Really makes me feel on edge a lot of the time. Either she's clinging and wanting attention like this, or she's angry with me and tantruming. I really would love one of her good days right now, I'm only seeing little glimpses at the moment. I hope it's largely college stress and she can settle in a few months, we were doing really well in the summer

How I got DD taken into care

I phoned SS, refused to listen to any excuses and told them that I would not be responsible for my actions if she returned home today and as I had informed them of this they will be liable too. I told them that when the Police found her, they were NOT to return her home as I could not guarantee her safety.(I could easily have strangled her with my bare hands)

When the Police inevitably tried to return her to our house my DH and I told them frankly that we were besides ourselves with anger and could not guarantee her safety, we had already told SS this and if they left her here they will also be liable.The Police took one look at us and left, taking DD with them.

She was in care by 11pm that night. (OK she was out again 2 days later at our request.....) If she had stayed in out house at that time I know I would have hurt her.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 15:43:16

I don't know where she is. I sort of hope something bad happens to her.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 15:48:24

If I had her taken into care she would use it against me . It would make her worse. She loves playing the victim.

Lilka Mon 29-Oct-12 15:58:52

doin - what would help you the most? Forget her, what do you need? If you really need time and space from her, then consider it for your own sake. You really do sound at the end of your tether

Refuse to be the victim.

"Mum, you put me into care"

"Damn right I did or you wouldn't be standing here now"

"Oh, right........"

Lilka - Thanks for those kind words. I think if understood what a Cahms involved more i might not be so scared of it. The school have asked me to request one but no explanation of what it actually is.

TantrumsIsTheREALPumpkinKiller Mon 29-Oct-12 16:49:17

My DD really wanted to go into care last year as she thought she would be able to do as she pleased if she was in foster care.
After she ran away for the third time I told her she had to decide what she wanted to do because the police could not keep running around looking for her.
Theres no drugs involved so far with her problems that I know of. Theres a whole lot of other stuff though. It stops for a few months and then starts again.

Lilka Mon 29-Oct-12 17:01:43

Diet - So right now, are you going to the GP to request a referral for CAMHS? Your GP will fill in the referral paperwork if they agree, and someone from CAMHS will look and decide if you need an appointment with them. If so, you'll be put on the waiting list for the initial appointment. It can take a while depending on where you live

If you go to CAMHS - You'll be doing an initial appointment with CAMHS and then further assessment with them if appropriate. At your initial appointment you'll be talking about your son, and what his difficulties are, how they've developed and how this is impacting the family, and what you want to happen for him. Your son may or may not be present for it, or parts of it's. Then at the end, it should be decided what will happen next, and whether CAMHS should be providing assesments, or other supports. If you have assessments, depending on what assessments they do, they can identidy and diagnose things like autism, depression, ADHD and so on. Different CAMHS departments offer different services and have different approaches to it, but the initial bit should be similar for all. My DD has been dx'ed with complex PTSD and accessed some therapy through them among other things and other kids will have different things

See if the Young Minds website is helpful to you, they have good advice and explain it

Quality of support from CAMHS will vary depending on where you live, but it's worth trying to get an appointment, our CAMHS have really helped DD

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 17:25:51

I am a great believer in getting help from anyone or anything - so go to the gp, ask for help (counselling, anti-depressants, a referral, whatever) for yourself and at the same time accept any help for your child.

So if you are referred to CAHMS, go with enthusiasm, listen to what they have to say, accept the advice offered. Ditto parenting courses, or counselling, or intervention from the police liaison officer.

Accepting help is NOT (repeat not) a sign of being a bad parent or of failing. It is a sign of being a concerned responsible parent and of caring what happens to your whole family - you, your difficult child and the rest of your family.

There are people here (Katie is one) who have let ss take their children into care, and it has given the parent a break and the child an indication that the buck stops here, that they can only go so far and no further.

I'm in Ireland, where ss are even more stretched so unfortunately I couldn't get ss to take ds, otherwise I would have.

Again, it isn't something to be ashamed of - we all have to stop this guilt, as it is counterproductive.

I am currently waiting for an appointment for ds2 to see CAHMS for suspected ADHD - he is 14 and his problems so far have been put down to simple bad behaviour hmm. I'm hoping this will be a start of him getting some understanding in school.

Thank you for that explanation, it has told me what i feel the school should have instead of sending me to gp with no idea what i was asking for.

I will welcome any help, though atm i am not struggling at home too much but contstant trouble at school becomes very wearing.

I am seeing gp on friday so hopefully it will be the srart if some help

Every agency person I have ever met (and I have met them all) have said that asking for help is the sign of an excellent, concerned, effective, parent.

Even if they have no suggestions and are as baffled as the parents wink

And DD never went back into care, it was short, sharp, shock tactics. She discovered in her 2 days in care that the other kids actually had real issues and her parents large comfortable affluent home and lifestyle was actually not so bad after all......

So YY to what MaryZ said

teapot5 Mon 29-Oct-12 17:55:13

Hi all,

What a timely thread. I haven't been here for a few months as things were sort of ok(ish). My DD is a troubled one - she is not a bad child, deep down she wants to do well and is still a kind-hearted person. I'm not going to tell all the details but like many of you here we have been struggling. Her problems (depression, cannabis, alcohol, staying out etc..) gave me the whole cycle of self blame, despair, anger, acceptance, hope, despaire again, anger angain.. it goes on and on. On the whole I am learning to live with it and surviving. Unlike Maryz I'm not open to anybody about our problems thus it is a very lonely and difficult journey. So I'm joining in this thread xx

Schlock Mon 29-Oct-12 19:20:35

I'm dealing with come down tonight. Lucky me. SCREAM SHOUT YELL I FUCKING HATE YOU. That kind of thing.

I have zoned out.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 19:38:09

Police don't want to know. I phoned and said she's missing. They can't help as they said I've not spoken to her so can't tell th where she is.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 19:40:05

I've told her father he has to assume resppnsibilty for her but he's had a go at me saying its ally fault.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 19:49:51

Well don't listen to him. Unless of course he thinks you are so hopeless that he will volunteer to have her for a bit.

Do you know where she is? I presume she is sofa surfing - or alternatively has told a friend's mum that you are a right bitch and the mum is "looking after her".

Is it half term where you are?

Welcome teapot smile. I kept things quiet for a long time before I was brave enough to start talking about it.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 19:59:54

She sent a text to her father and said she's camping . I rang her phone but got message saying calls are barred.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 20:02:40

Her father doesn't want her. He has done a counselling course and now thinks he can solve anything but is not willing to help me. He wants me to take anti depressants and because I won't he says I'm failing DD . He is a heavy drinker and was violent to me.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 20:44:12

You know, if she has texted her dad you know she is ok (relatively anyway). If I were you I would take a breather and think about where you go from here.

Have a plan for tomorrow.

If you genuinely feel you can't have her back you need to call social services and tell them, absolutely, that you won't have her in the house. Make it clear.

At the same time text her dad and tell him what you have done. Then don't talk to him about it any more, unless you have a family crisis meeting with a neutral third party present.

Then call your gp and make an appointment. You may well be depressed, I don't know, but you could certainly do with some counselling.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 21:23:30

I would like it for me and daughter to " disappear" . No more upset. No more worry, no more anything

Brightspark1 Mon 29-Oct-12 22:09:35

doin , make a nuisance of yourself at SS ring every hour if necessary. Try parentline for telephone support 0800 0808 2222, they can be really helpful. maryz is right ask for help and accept any offered, go to your GP and get referred for counselling, it won't magically make things better but will be a safe space for you to dump all the feelings and emotions you are experiencing at the moment. You sound exhausted and at the end of your tether.
Ignore your XP's unhelpful comments, his violent behaviour in the past must have contributed to your daughter's present troubles.
I have been in a similar situation, my DD was depressed which expressed itself as violence, both to herself and to me, which apparently is a not uncommon way for teenage depression to manifest itself. She couldn't cope at home, and we couldn't cope either, she has been in care for 6 months now. I miss her and desperately want her home, but at the time we had no choice. The time away has helped us to rebuild our relationship.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 22:41:10

Thank you for your replies. What a sad situation for all of us. I wish I had never had her. I haven't heard from her now on in 36 hours. I will take all her stuff to her fathers tomorrow. He says by reacting this way I make her feel unwanted. I don't care how it makes her feel.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 22:42:31

Well, that isn't going to happen, sorry (though I do understand the wish for the world just to stop).

So you do have to do something. I think you should start with your gp, as although you say you don't want anti-d's (and I don't want to diagnose you online) you do sound very depressed to me.

At least you recognise you need help; go and see your gp, they will make the call to ss if you tell them you are afraid you will hurt her.

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 00:12:53

doin, I think your last post sounds a bit stronger. Are you feeling a bit stronger?

Taking her stuff to her dad's tomorrow sounds like a really good idea. It is v stressful to have an Ex around undermining you and usually a real disadvantage, but in this particular situation it might be an advantage. You can say to him "Yes, everything you say is right: I'm a crap mum, so I'm handing over to you now. Bye."

It is important, though, that you don't actually believe the bit about being a crap mum! You are not a crap mum: I have seen some of your previous posts. It's clear that you are usually very caring, thoughtful, supportive and loving towards your DD. You have just reached breaking point. You need rest and help, and you need to find your strength and resilience again.

I'm another person who has had counselling and found it really helped. Ask your GP to refer you. But meantime, talk to a friend, or give Parentline a ring on 0808 800 2222 - they're open 7am-midnight.

And by the way, your mental health is a different issue: if you are depressed, then that is all the more reason you need support; and if you're not, you may be soon, if you don't get it. Your Ex is trying to use it against you, and he's effectively saying "You're depressed and not coping, but I'm still not going to help". What a dick! Don't let him make you feel bad...

By the way, I threw my son out twice earlier this year, because he had behaved so badly and I was so angry with him. I'll tell you about it sometime if you like. But you are not the only one who's felt like she couldn't stand living with her teen any more...

You can get through this. You are stronger than you think.

doinmummy Tue 30-Oct-12 00:13:58

I would like to have joint counselling with daughter but she would not go. Maybe give her ultimatum - counselling or she can't come home. I feel as if history is repeating itself, she shoves me about just like her father used to.

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 00:48:48

I wanted joint counselling too, but DS wouldn't either. With hindsight, I think it's better to have your own - helps you get your own feelings straight if you have your 'own time'... You can move on to something together later, maybe, when you're stronger.

Don't do an ultimatum though. It won't work. She needs to choose counselling voluntarily - you can't force her.

Don't let history repeat itself. Call 999 the next time she hurts you or threatens you or frightens you. Seriously. You have a right to feel safe.

amillionyears Tue 30-Oct-12 07:57:00

doin, I think you need to put yourself first.
We have to look after ourselves, to be able to look after others.

If we are not right,we are not in the best situation physically and emotionally to care for others.

I didnt know whether to write on this thread or not,as havent had the same problems as others.
Feel free to tell me to go away if you want me too.
tbh, I may not have anything more that is useful to say.

MaryZcary Tue 30-Oct-12 09:15:42

I agree with the advice of "help yourself first". My lightbulb moment was the day I realised that I couldn't change him but I could change myself and the way I reacted to him.

I went for counselling - he wouldn't come - but it helped get my own mind straight, to work out what I could do, what I couldn't control but could put up with, and finally what was totally unacceptable and to have a plan for that.

Interestingly, as I got my head straight and coped better, his behaviour also improved, I'm not sure why.

amillion, all views on this thread are welcome - sometimes when we are in the middle of things we can't see the wood for the trees and a wide range of opinions (as long as they aren't "blame the parents" judgy grin) are welcome, imo.

merlottits Tue 30-Oct-12 10:07:18

Thanks for this thread.

I've got a very difficult 15 year old DS and I'm sick to the back teeth with people (including my own family) asking me if I've "taken away his pocket money" or "grounded him". We are so far down that road those things are meaningless.

He is currently failing (quite dramatically) his GCSEs and doesn't care a jot. He swears at teachers and me and DH and does what he likes most of the time. He has no fear.

He's a liar and a thief.

I feel ashamed and frustrated and totally helpless. I physically can't MAKE him study or be nice.

Sadly it's nice to know others are in the same boat.

merlottits Tue 30-Oct-12 10:14:24

Do you want to know the irony? For those of you who feel that it may be your parenting that may have caused it...
I will have to name-change after this...
My DH and I, up until recently, presented seminars on parenting shock
We did them together looking at the role of mums and dads and the differences in parenting boys and girls.

We can't even parent our 15 year old. We have two other lovely children.

It's not necessarily to do with parenting, sometimes it is about the child themselves.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Tue 30-Oct-12 10:19:08

amen to that, merlot

strictlovingmum Tue 30-Oct-12 10:50:48

Couldn't agree more merlottits
Blaming the blame, constantly asking yourself Where did I go so wrong?
What did I do or didn't do to make him/her this way?
All counter productive, it is much better to avoid this type of soul searching, instead try and concentrate on the situation presenting.
As for judging, that usually came from friends and family members with much younger DC's in our case, well give it another few years, some of them with hoiked-up pants to their armpits may indeed find themselves in the same boat. As I said before, people on these threads here on MN were my rock, I could not face judgment in RL it was not helpful and it was only intended for inferior few to feel better about themselves, so I came here insteadwink
Troubled teens, family life turned upside down has no boundary, it does not discriminate, cuts trough all sections regardless of status, education, salary you are on and all the rest of it,
"We thought DS will never experiment with drugs, he knows better then that, we know better then that, we are raising our children on the right path, how wrong we were.sad
How little we understood todays teen culture, drug culture and power IT/IN crowd, none of our children, mine or yours are immune to it, sadly.

MaryZcary Tue 30-Oct-12 11:17:07

Don't namechange merlot.

I'm running a one-woman campaign to get people to talk about this in real life.

Since I started talking I have realised that I'm not alone - others have also gone through it. People I thought had perfect family lives are like the proverbial swan - swimming along serenely on the surface, while their legs scrabble like mad under the water.

I have discovered that the most seemingly well-behaved children have dropped out of college, thumped their parents, stolen, lied and done awful things. But their parents are too ashamed to admit it.

It is an invisible problem, which ties into the assumption of "out of control child must equal bad parent".

Obviously there are some appalling parents who treat their children badly and have caused their children major issues. But most of them aren't (probably) posting here.

I have been accused of everything from being a control-freak to giving ds too much freedom confused, by professionals, by the school, by the psychologist and by the police. I think what they really mean is "I don't know what you could do, but I do know what you are doing is wrong" - which isn't exactly helpful hmm.

Ungratefulchild Tue 30-Oct-12 11:58:46

It is very comforting (but sad) to know that others are experiencing the same difficulties.

I would just like to make clear that my name does not refer to my son at all but to myself (my parents are of the stately home variety).

I am exhausted today. He has gone to college after a lot of effort from me. Well he's out of the house anyway which is good (for me). His bike has disappeared. He went to pick it up last night but returned (in the early hours) without it, said he forgot to bring it home. Minor stuff on the scale of things but bloody hell it is tiring.

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 12:11:17

Make that a two-woman campaign, Mary. >links arms and stands in line< smile

I agree, don't name change merlot. I have also worked in social care, children's services and community support services for 15+ years. I have a good reputation and an enhanced CRB cert, and people pay me to train their staff and advise them. I understand (and am careful) about who knows what at work, and most colleagues know very little.

But one of the best consoling things about 'coming out' is that you get to hear the experiences that other people have had, so you realise much more quickly that it isn't just you.

Since I started talking more openly about what I was going through with DS1, I have discovered 2 friends who were being hit/dealing with violence and nasty abuse from their children, and more who have dealt with theft and arrests and drug use. But many of them had never told anyone. (I don't tend to tell people who don't have teens tho', especially ones with shiny perfect 8-12yos, cos too often they think it could never happen to their families! hmm )

Pretty much every time I tell someone, they say "Welllll, I'm having/I had terrible trouble with my DC too..."

So... We're not crap parents and our DCs aren't total freaks - though they may be unusually 'challenging'. But all these problems are much more widespread than we think.

Abra1d Tue 30-Oct-12 12:22:05

I am currently looking after my niece, 16, who has dropped out of school and has been self-harming. She is with me for three weeks, then back to another aunt in Yorkshire. She has come all the way over from Australia because her mother and father are at their wits' end with her. She won't even speak to her father (my brother) any more.

As far as I can tell, she has fallen out with all her immediate family. She has always been a difficult person, though, not a formerly sweet-natured girl who 'turned'. In that respect she is perhaps different from some of the teenagers described on this thread. I think some people are just born that way and there's not much you can do to stop the 'difficult' personality expressing itself. All you can do is try and limit how it affects everyone else and hope you can stop them from doing the potentially very damaging things they might otherwise do if they weren't shown some love and attention and limits.

My niece is very intelligent but very lazy. She is supposed to be going back onto a fashion course in a year's time, back in Sydney. I keep kicking her out of the house with me to visit design museums and galleries so she doesn't vegetate completely.

In our village an apparently 'perfect' 16-year-old committed suicide last week. As others have said, trouble teenager-hood affects all kinds of families.

xxDebstarxx Tue 30-Oct-12 13:10:39

Out of interest does anyone know if there is a legal requirement for teenagers to take GCSEs. I know it's my responsibility to make sure my son receives an education (which I'm not achieving at the moment) but where does the law stand on taking exams?

doinmummy Tue 30-Oct-12 14:33:15

It has now been 48 hours since contact with daughter. I don't want to ask her father if he's heard from her as I don't want him having a go at me.

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 14:50:30

There are no legal requirement to take GCSEs xx. Google 'home education GCSEs to find lots of info and advice.

doin, can you text him? And are you still planning to take her stuff round to his place? Because you'll find out then anyway, so maybe don't need to ask.

willwegetthrough Tue 30-Oct-12 15:20:55

Abra1d - your DN sounds like my DD - I have always found her difficult and know I didn't deal with her behaviour in effective ways when she was a child. I think I was quite toxic. I can see it all now, and bitterly regret not seeking help for both of us when she was younger. Now referred to CAHMS, but is hardly engaging with it at all.

H wouldn't know emotions if they hit him in the face - just wants his dinner on the table and to be able to read his paper and watch TV. Very lonely.

Abra1d Tue 30-Oct-12 15:59:35

willweget There are some children who just are difficult and the 'normal' ways of treating their issues just won't work. It's tough for you if your husband isn't backing up what you're trying to do, very lonely, as you say.

willwegetthrough Tue 30-Oct-12 16:12:51

Thanks Abra1d - maybe she is just the person she is - totally different to me. She's an "only" too, so I don't have the comfort of having another "non- difficult" child. (Or the distress of having 2 difficult children I suppose - must try to look on the bright side).

Your DN is lucky to have you taking an interest - good luck.

xxDebstarxx Tue 30-Oct-12 16:21:17

thank you flow I will google that. I just need to know where I stand when I have yet another meeting with the school where they don't listen and blame me.

Abra1d Tue 30-Oct-12 16:25:10

Thank you, willweget. smile

MaryZcary Tue 30-Oct-12 16:29:21

I always wonder at schools who say to parents "It's your job to get him/her in here".

I mean, how on earth do they think we can do that? And do they think we want teenagers lounging around at home? A school-refuser is a genuine problem and parents need help to sort it out, not criticism ffs.

I have come to the conclusion that a lot of difficult teenagers are difficult because they are unhappy. The problem, of course, is that we can't make them happy.

It's why I don't worry about ds2, despite his problems. He is intrinsically happy and has loads of inner resources - when he is upset he can go away with his guitar, or his music, or his i-pod or even a book. ds1 has nothing, absolutely nothing that he can escape to - hence the involvement with drugs to dull reality sad.

And of course teenagers mostly don't want to admit to needing help, so once they are on a downward cycle it is very hard to stop.

xxDebstarxx Tue 30-Oct-12 16:55:45

OMG yes MaryZ that's so true. The school constantly blame me and if they'd only helped when my boy first starting refusing I'm sure things wouldn't be so bad now. Unfortunately they decided that my single parent status was the blame factor in the situation and there were absolutely no problems at school. It was up to me to get my boy to school despite the fact that he was taller and stronger than me. They told me to drag him out of bed and force him in the car to get him to school. I bet if I'd managed that they'd have reported me for abuse!!!

MaryZcary Tue 30-Oct-12 16:59:33

Yes exactly.

Like telling me to stop my son going out at night. Err, how? If I stand in the doorway he will just push past me. Should I push him back and have an actual fight?

I often used to deal with ds when he was in that kind of a mood, because I was afraid it would come to a physical fight with dh, and if that had happened I would have been in the ridiculous position of dh being removed from the house as being a danger to my children, when he was just trying to protect me from my child.

Fucking ridiculous.

piebald Tue 30-Oct-12 17:08:38

This is lovely to read-there is hope. Have had my ups and lots of downs with ds 2 and have occasionally posted (thanks for good advice Mary) but more often have not posted in fear of getting posts sending all the blame back my way, and while i know i have caused some of the problems being told it by people who do not know the full situation does not help

noteventhebestdrummer Tue 30-Oct-12 18:27:34

I like 'Shouting GROW at your carrots may not work'

The troubled kids are like that, they can't hear you. They just can't. So you may as well wait for them to hopefully grow out of their troubled selves and do damage limitation for the rest of the family.

DS actually told me recently that his neighbour drug dealer were not nice people. This had come as a revelation to him smile But he seems in a stable place these days which is a mega change from 2 years ago.

brighterfuture Tue 30-Oct-12 18:50:02

Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories here. Its such a revelation for me to see that I am not alone in parenting a troubled teen.

I had my dc before a lot of my friends so I haven't yet encountered other's who've suffered and struggled and also felt the blame/ shame that I have.

Most of my friend's dc are still young ,sweet and malleable envy and the other's all seem to have teens who occasionally don't do their homeowork or maybe tried smoking once !shock It's difficult to share that mine's hitting bongs at 6 in the morning sad

DebbieTitsMcGee Tue 30-Oct-12 20:04:36

My DC are only little but I often lurk on here as forewarned is forearmed, or something.

I think you are all amazing and I wish your DC could understand how much you love them and want them to be happy. I was a "troubled" teen myself and it breaks my heart to think my kids might ever feel like I did.

Increasingly I am feeling like we aren't good enough parents and it's only terrible twos we are trying to deal with. Do you think parenting courses are a good idea?

dooinmummy don't forget you can call the Samaritans any time for a listening ear. Hope things get better for you and DD soon.

DebbieTitsMcGee Tue 30-Oct-12 20:07:46

That sounded so patronising sad it really isn't meant to.

MaryZcary Tue 30-Oct-12 20:14:59

It's ok, you didn't come across as patronising at all smile

In some ways terrible twos are harder, because it's quite a shock to find that your adorable baby has a mind of its own grin. And yes, I think parenting courses are fantastic and everyone should do them, especially the ones that go over a few weeks where you get to talk with another group of parents, discuss issues, go away and try different things and then come back to discuss how it went.

It's great to see how other parents deal with things - and I discovered two things on every parenting course I ever did. Firstly that ds1 was a tad harder to manage than other children (which was a comfort) and secondly that, considering everything, I was doing bloody well! I also found that it made me think much more about how I related to my other children, instead of constantly worrying only about ds.

merlottits Tue 30-Oct-12 20:20:32

Everyone, from my parents to my work colleagues ask me why I don't just MAKE my DS do his homework. He has the ability to wilfully sit and stare at a blank piece of paper for 1-2 hours, refusing to involve himself. This is after withdrawing PC, mobile, money, freedom etc.

You can't make someone learn something. I actually thought I would be able to do this as a parent. Sometimes you have to admit defeat.

My DD1 is completely different. Bright, high achieving, hard-working.
What makes one child so different from another?

I do see glimpses of the man he could become. I hope this is a 'phase' or just old-fashioned immaturity.

The shame is the hardest for me. All my friends and acquaintances have high-achieving children. I know that makes me sound superficial. People ask me what he's doing and I just don't know what to say. I try so hard not to act like I'm ashamed but it has slipped out... Bugger it's had eh?

DebbieTitsMcGee Tue 30-Oct-12 20:28:20

Thanks MaryZ!

I will ask at the children's centre about courses.

Sometimes my DD seems so angry and distant from me already sad but then I always had a v poor relationship with my dad till I was in my 20s and we are pretty close now, so it's never too late I suppose.

I'm also trying to sort out my own "issues" as best I can, like you say you can't always control what older children do but you can control how you react...wish me luck! I generally like teenagers and they me (friends kids etc) but no doubt having my own will put paid to all that smile

DebbieTitsMcGee Tue 30-Oct-12 20:35:00

merlottits my mum despaired of me, I went from Oxbridge hopeful to dropout within a year. I was a bit lost till my late 20s, but now I compare pretty well to her friends's kids so maybe he will be a late bloomer too.

daisydoodoo Tue 30-Oct-12 20:52:12

Can I join? Ds1 is 15 and failing at life. He's a bright boy predicted a's at gcse but just received a letter from school requesting fees for resits as he's already at too low a level to pass and only just started yr 11.
He lies constantly, I'm not even sure he knows he's lying if that makes sense? He literally can not tell the truth, even when I make it clear that I know exactly where's he's been or who with.
He smokes and lies about money.
Runs up huge bills on iTunes Xbox mobile etc. He's now on payg no iTunes and no Xbox live.

I know my problems are small compared to a lot here but it's making everyone's lives hell, he's so awful to husband siblings and already put his 10 yr old brother in hospital by kicking him in his kidneys and ds2 couldn't wee.

teapot5 Tue 30-Oct-12 21:09:35

Confession - I used to be one of those parents who think 'not my DC. Those things (drugs, MH issue etc) won't happen'. I simply got puzzled, horrified and didn't know what to say when some of my friends had problems with their teens.

Merlott - I,too, feel ashamed from time to time. I think it's only natural. It's particularly hard when you are surrounded by people with high acheiving DCs (my situation is similar). But I'm beginning to accept and 'allow' me to have these feelings.

Flow said in another thread something really useful - this may not have been her exact word, but something like 'it's (when your DC is giving you a hard time i.e. abusive, violent ete, like a hurricane. Rather than trying to stop it think about how to survive it'. In extremely difficult situations with DD, I remember this (if I'm relatively calm) which helps a lot.

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 21:28:27

Wow, how wonderful that you remember that teapot! It was something a friend said to me, one of the first times I dared to 'confess' to having problems with DS1 (because I'd heard they'd had similar problems with their DD). He said "Difficult teens are like hurricanes. When a hurricane warning sounds, you don't think 'oh, how can I stop this hurricane?' - you batten down the hatches and make sure you and your loved ones are safe, and wait for the storm to pass". Wise man. And it has given me a lot of comfort, too smile

The idea that we should be able to 'make' our teens to go to school, or stay in at night (or do anything they don't want to do) is utterly ridiculous. The first time it happened I just failed: I grounded DS over something or other and he just laughed at me, picked up his shoes and climbed out of the window. sad But as I carried on trying, bad situations just got worse: each of the three times my DS lost control so badly that I had to call 999 were Monday mornings when I was trying to get him up for school. If I had that time again, I think maybe I'd have told the school how impossible it was; but I didn't want to be judged, or to feel like I was utterly powerless, so I kept trying to achieve the impossible sad

brighterfuture Tue 30-Oct-12 21:39:19

I really like the hurricane analogy flow.. i'm going to remember that too.

MaryZcary Tue 30-Oct-12 21:45:55

Welcome daisy smile

We need a variety of parents here, not just ones whose children are really awful, we need a few "pretty awful but not as bad as yours" too. The whole rainbow that is teenage life grin. You do need a "no violence under any circumstances" rule, though. It is one thing that I know I should have done earlier. Violence sort of crept in, I should have called the police earlier and made it an absolute no-no.

I agree we can't make them do anything, but the one thing we can do is stop them being violent against people. I can ignore the holes in walls, doors off hinges, but it was the day he attacked ds2 I realised that there was still, just about, a line I wasn't going to let him cross.

I think the hurricane analogy is very true. Life is much more peaceful since we went from actively fighting to waiting for him to grow up (which, touch wood, he seems to be doing very, very slowly).

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 22:19:28

I agree with you about the 'no violence' rule, Maryz. I also think it's linked to not being able to 'make' them... What I said to DS after I had had him arrested (the 3rd 999 call) was "I can't control you. You need to control yourself... And if you don't, I'm going to call in reinforcements".

Ghouule Tue 30-Oct-12 22:38:22

"do damage limitation for the rest of the family"

This is a challenge in itself.

teapot5 Tue 30-Oct-12 22:41:54

Thank you for sharing your friend's wise words, Flow. It's been really helpful. Nothing as good as the hurricane analogy, but when I'm expecting a hard time with DD I say to myself 'fasten your seatbelt'. I know it seems a bit silly to smile to my own jokes, but at least this makes me relax a bit.

Yes, Mary, 'no violence allowed'. However in practical terms I'm still not sure how to effectively prevent or stop it. This is another difficult thing to admit for most people that you are scared of your own DCs. It is extremely distressing and intimidating when they are verbally (and/or physically) confrontational. When they are in such a state it's hard to remain calm, but I guess they (teem) themselves are scared of something and reacts like a scared dog barks. Also when they can sense the other person's fear the intimidation escalates.

MaryZcary Tue 30-Oct-12 22:45:29

You have to call 999 teapot, you really do.

You will probably only have to do it once (I only did it once, after that he hit things not people).

Interestingly, Ghouule, I have found that my younger children are never upset as long as I am not. It doesn't seem to bother them too much what ds1 does or says - they just stay out of his way and are very clear in their belief that he is ill and troubled rather than deliberately violent (to them he is possibly mad, certainly sad, but never bad, to use the analogy). But the times they have seem me break down and cry, or be openly scared or emotionally involved have been the times that have upset and worried them.

Since I have decided to not get emotionally involved (or at least pretend I'm not) in his behaviour, they are much less affected by it.

signing in

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 23:38:16

You really do have to call 999, teapot. You probably can't prevent or stop it. I was very slow to accept this: it took at months and months of me being scared of DS. I suppose most of his violence had been directed towards walls and doors and other things, but there were also a couple of occasions when I had to 'fight him off' - one horrible one where he broke my necklace pulling it off my neck... But I 'tolerated' it, because it felt 'wrong' to call the police on my own child: it felt like failure, and I was afraid of being judged, and of social services being involved, and of what would happen to DS...

I had to do it more than once - but only three times. The third time I had him arrested, and he was warned for assault and criminal damage. It was a grim thing to do, and it made DS very angry with me for a while, but it was not as grim as the way we had been living. And he did not lose control and hurt me ever again - after more than a year of violence and abuse.

The police were really good, BTW. And said they get very many calls from parents with violent teens. I absolutely do not regret doing it.

amillionyears Wed 31-Oct-12 06:43:44

merlottits, I hope you dont mind me asking something.
To be able to sit and start at a blank piece of paper for 1-2 hours, implies that he has a lot of willpower or something, I dont know what.
He appears to have a lot of inner resources of something.

Do you think that deep down he is very angry or upset or got a lot of teenage defiance against you or something.

Did he suddenly become like that,or chooses to mix with a different crowd nowadays?

Perhaps this thread is not really the place for me to post this.

flow4 Wed 31-Oct-12 08:12:25

It's an interesting question, I think. My DS would also be capable of sitting and staring at a blank bit of paper for 2 hours (although it's a long time since I could've 'made' him sit that long and not just climb out the window and go and do something else). Or doing 2 days' punishment in school because he argued about the first. Or going without pocket money for 3 months... Or any number of other 'avoidance' techniques that get him into more trouble, and take up more energy than the thing he's trying to avoid ... hmm

I have sometimes wondered from the 'challenging teens' I know in real life whether they actually have extra energy and (as you say) 'inner resources', compared with other children - but are struggling to use them constructively within the relatively narrow worlds of school and home. My DS is the most difficult teenager I know; but he also has more bloody-minded determination, loyalty, sense of justice and potential heroism than any other teen I know. In dramatic crises of the house-burning-down, kittens-stuck-up-trees, child-falls-in-canal type, he is great... But of course we don't get major crises very often, and when we do, we don't generally ask teenagers to help... So he (and others like him) are left with a lot of unexpended energy, and therefore frustration.

Personally, I think a lot of the 'troubled teens' start out angry at how useless the world makes them feel, or bored out of their minds. Almost all of the ones I know who've gone really off track have then gone on to create further problems for themselves by smoking skunk and taking other drugs.

For me, one of the biggest frustrations of the past two years is that although I can see DS had all that potential, and that he really badly needs something to engage him, there is nothing I could do about it. By the time I worked out what would help, he was already alienated, so he wasn't volunteering for anything, and I can't 'make' him. I really feel I wouldn't have had all the problems I did have, if he could have left school at 14 and started work then, and 'headed off' his sense of uselessness... As it is, it feels like maybe (just maybe) he is growing up a bit and beginning to work it out for himself...

xxDebstarxx Wed 31-Oct-12 08:30:42

Merlottis and Flow you are both so right. My eldest is so stubborn and can go days without speaking to people rather than do something he would rather not do. I've been told to take away his xbox, laptop and telly but I've tried that and he just sleeps instead. He sleeps for days and gets up in the night to get supplies so he can avoid speaking to me. It breaks my heart that my lovely little boy has changed so much. All I can do is let him know I love him and will keep him safe. He has suicidal thoughts and is supposed to be seen by CAMHS but after two appointments they seem to have forgotten about him despite my endless phone calls to remind them we exist!!!!

DebbieTitsMcGee Wed 31-Oct-12 08:31:41

flow4 I totally agree about being allowed to leave school and work. I wanted to leave at 16 but parents said no, after A levels. Hated sixth form, waited till they went on holiday and quit.

At my Saturday job I was happy, occupied, useful. At school I felt patronised, bored and worthless.

Im hoping my DC will have out of school interests, will certainly do my best to encourage it.

MaryZcary Wed 31-Oct-12 09:20:39

ds2 could also stare at paper for hours.

Hence the (finally) being assessed for ADHD - he is usually over-active, but when he zones out he listens to music in his head and can sit for hours doing that. It's his escape when he is in trouble in class.

ds1 could determinedly avoid doing any sort of schoolwork, but he was different.

I agree about being allowed to leave school. And it's even worse here, kids have to stay in academic schools until they are 18 - doing seven subjects including English, Irish, a European language and Maths - a nightmare for children with issues.

Added to which schools use banning of extracurricular activities as punishment for bad behaviour in class. ds1 gave up sport after being dropped from sports teams as a punishment for bad behaviour - before that he was an exceptionally good athlete, was fully occupied outside school hours and was physically fit and (more importantly) tired in the evenings, so slept well.

If they could leave school younger and either get physically exhausting jobs or move into things they are interested in, we might not get many of the disenchanted youths we seem to have nowadays sad.

And of course it is much harder to get them back into society once they have stepped off the treadmill than it would be to keep them there in the first place.

ds1 should have been allowed to leave school at 14 and work on a farm. Instead he deliberately got himself expelled at 15 and was out of proper education completely for two years, before going to a sort of training place for another two.

It's only now almost 4 years later that he has decided to go back to college.

xxDebstarxx Wed 31-Oct-12 09:32:22

I hate the one size fits all education system we have. Not all kids are academic and those that aren't need to be able to focus on other abilities. I wish the school system could be changed to help non academic children flourish instead of flounder.

MaryZcary Wed 31-Oct-12 09:40:13


I think the English system is improving - your children can leave after GCSE's and go to various "colleges" can't they?

Here it's the equivalent of the whole lot of them having to do A-levels. Which is setting up a fair proportion of them to fail miserably. And if you know you have to spend 6 hours a day, 5 days a week from the ages of 15 to 19 being an absolute failure where is the incentive to stay away from "escapes" such as alcohol, drugs, and the underclass of society with its antisocial behaviour.

And for some children it's not a huge step from there to addiction and criminal activities sad.

xxDebstarxx Wed 31-Oct-12 09:59:51

Yes children can leave after GCSEs and go to colleges so that is far better than the system you have to suffer.

Ghouule Wed 31-Oct-12 10:02:12

I was going to say what a great post this was
"flow4 Wed 31-Oct-12 08:12:25"
and then Mary posted and reinforced Flow's.
You both are so insightful. Thank you.

daisydoodoo Wed 31-Oct-12 10:31:39

For me it seemed ds1's behaviour came about as reaction to being bullied. He'd alwasy been a quite popular boy, plenty of friends and good social life. In yr 8 he was bullied and badly let down by two people he thought were very good friends (a friend he'd had since primary school was setting him up o be beaten up, spreading rumours about him that were untrue).
He then formed another friendship with a boy new to the area who then somehow managed to exclude the both of hem from other people, but the other boy managed to maintain other friends, he then to set about destroying anything good that was said about ds1, we found out he'd been telling the local boy that everyone wants to stay on the good side of, that ds1 had been messaging his girlfriend and flirting with her. ds1 was then beaten up badly by this boy, while so called frined stood by and watched.
He seems to have victim written all over him and has been a target for bullies and users. Its horrible to see how this has changed him from a happy go lucky boy into someone who hits out at his family.
He won;t listen to me or his dad. He continually seeks out situations that he knows will end badly. Hes horrible to girls, he will have 2 or 3 girlfriends but not actually be a boyfriend if that makes sense, in that he rarely sees them, will send a few texts, calls, arrange to meet a few times but then stop texting/calling/fail to meet up when arranged.
He has short term friendships as well, someone will appear new to us and be with him every day, but then disapear as quickly as he appearred to be replaced by someone else.

I know this probably sounds trivial, but it really is worrying and impacts greatly on family life, you just never know what mood hes going to be in. He can;t be trusted to be in the house alone, he has no sense of value for money or respect for other peoples belongings or money, he steals from his brother, they have to share a room and he destroys ds2's property, will punch him when hes asleep nd wake him up or turn the tv on. Constant fighting with his borther both verbally and physically. ds2 is a big boy for his age and more like a 14/15 yr old in size than a 10 yr old, but even so its not on and i make this clear.

as others have said, taking away the tv/xbox/phone etc doesnt make a difference as he will happily lay on his bed for hours staring at the top bunk or go to sleep.

I guess im not so much worried about ds1 anymore but more about the effect its having on his younger iblings especially ds2 who is beginnign to diaply signs of the same disrespectful attitude of ds1.

Its so hard because on hi good days he is a totally different person. I just want him to be happy and concentrate on his school work and getting into college or a job that he wants to do rather than being so angry with the whole world now that it will screw up his life for ever.

MaryZcary Wed 31-Oct-12 10:39:24

It is difficult to have to watch them being unhappy isn't it. Is there any possibility that your son is depressed? I don't suppose he is willing to talk to anyone about it [sigh].

I always say now that ds1 seems to be trying to live down to expectations - he seems to want to be the worst he can so that he can never be accused of trying and failing sad. He does the same with friends - there is a constantly changing group of "friends".

daisy, can you talk to your ds2 about it? I can talk to my younger children and express that I'm worried about ds1 and that I wish he wasn't so unhappy. They really don't want to be like him, so I'm lucky in that respect - even though every so often when I don't let ds2 do something he points out that at his age ds1 was drinking, taking drugs and running away for days on end. My reply is always "but you aren't and don't want to be like him", which is knows is true.

daisydoodoo Wed 31-Oct-12 11:05:01

thank you Maryz you are wise woman in deed. Sat here at work crying now as i know you're right. I think there is a huge possibility that ds1 is depressed, he would never admit it in a million years to anyone, he refused the counselling at school and camhs.

I do talk to ds2, but think i need to make much more of an effort to tell him bluntly that if he doesnt as he claims he doesnt want to be like his older brother hen he needs to look at what hes doing and also let him know that im not happy woth ds1's behaviour and that i am worried about him and worried about ds2 as well.

I tried to talk to ds1 last night, to tell him that depsite our fighting (verbal) and constant aggro (his words) and that sometimes as much as i don;t like him very much that i do still love him and will always be there for him, i got a resounding fuck off sad

MaryZcary Wed 31-Oct-12 14:50:56

You just have to keep trying.

The words do sink in, even if they are running away as you are talking, they really do.

Is there anyone at all who could talk him into a visit to the gp? Or a teenage advice centre of some kind?

I think depression in teens is a massively under-diagnosed and under-treated condition. It's all very well to say "we can't treat them if they won't come to us", but surely if they were refusing treatment for cancer they would be bollocked into it? Just because it's a mh issue, they are left to flounder.

willwegetthrough Wed 31-Oct-12 21:09:01

Getting them to talk to someone is so hard. DD saw CAHMS and just wouldn't engage - rolled her eyes and was rude, putting on a "hard" front. She left the session and when I found her, she was sobbing, but immediately went on the defensive, blaming me for "setting her up for that". She is so angry with me all the time.

gemblags1980 Wed 31-Oct-12 21:39:52

Just wanted to add my support and best wishes, you are all doing an amazing job, don't forget to look after your selfs too best wishes Gemma x

MaryZcary Wed 31-Oct-12 21:43:39

It's easier for them to have someone to blame.

ds1 didn't talk to me for three years sad. He hasn't hugged me since he was 2. But I love him and always will.

Thanks gem, appreciated smile

flow4 Wed 31-Oct-12 21:59:27

'Depression' is such a difficult word, because it means different things to different people, and takes different forms. I have also thought my DS1 might be depressed, but I'm not sure. What I do see in him, and in other children like him, is an issue with loss/abandonment/grief, which I think he then turns into anger.

Someone once said to me "unhappy boys 'act out' through anti-social behaviour, and unhappy girls 'act in' through self-half, eating disorders and depression". This is obviously a generalisation, but I think it captures something that's often true.

My DS feels the absence of his dad in his life very acutely, and has lost other important relationships too. For the last few years, he has also had 'short-term friends' (so it's interested to see other people saying the same about their DCs), and has not had the sort of close friendships he had when he was younger. I reckon he keeps things casual, because then if it doesn't work out, it hurts less.

He also does exactly what you describe, Maryz: "he seems to want to be the worst he can so that he can never be accused of trying and failing". He is terribly afraid of failure. We had a major breakthrough at the beginning of Sept where he pushed 'through the fear' and risked doing something he wasn't sure he'd succeed at, for the first time in many years... And when he did succeed, his self-confidence took such a leap... He is now back in college and re-engaged, and trying. I can't remember the last time he did that. smile

MaryZcary Wed 31-Oct-12 22:05:55

Yes, ds is also trying, which scares the living daylights out of me, because if he fails we are all screwed. And if I'm frightened, he must be fucking terrified.

ds was adopted, and feels abandoned. He also feels we are trying to impose our "middle class values" on him, whereas he suspects he comes from a more "working class" background. So he is rejecting us and our values, to add to his problems.

flow4 Wed 31-Oct-12 23:41:28

Oh blimey MaryZ, another layer of complexity to add to an already complex situation sad. (Funnily enough, my DS1 has also spent the last couple of years actively rejecting my 'middle class values').

My friend said something interesting about the fear... (She's wise, and a parent, and a former psychiatric nurse and youth worker...) If you fear failure so much that you never push through to success, then all you know is the fear and all the negative feelings associated with avoiding difficult situations and effort - you never feel the satisfaction and good feelings that follow. So you lose your motivation of knowing you'll feel good after trying. But worse, you also set up a sort of 'negative feedback loop', where every time you even begin to think about trying, you feel bad, and don't know about the good, so you pull even further away from trying... And you also never learn that failure doesn't feel as bad as you fear it will...

I don't know whether there's anything a parent can do about this. Though I do know that it helped my DS when I told him what my friend had said (all of that, above)... And not long after, he pushed on through and did something he'd been really afraid of doing...

doinmummy Thu 01-Nov-12 17:45:39

Hi me again. Haven't heard from dd since Sunday. Her dad text me . She has told him a pack of lies and he believes her. He was violent and controlling so is loving that things are like this. What do I go?

xxDebstarxx Thu 01-Nov-12 18:46:07

What do you want to happen? Is she staying with her dad now? Would you be happy for her to stay there?

Maybe you should go for some counselling by yourself and try and sort your feelings out. I don't know if that helps.

doinmummy Thu 01-Nov-12 18:48:57

She's not with her dad. I guess with friends. I have no numbers because they didn't transfer to my new phone . I feel numb and don't know what I wantsad. How could she make up lies about me.

mathanxiety Thu 01-Nov-12 18:57:50

I don't know if my older two were troubled as such but they went through the horrors dealing with their father (exH) and things could really have gone either way. I feel sometimes that it was only the grace of god that kept DD1 and DS in the company of good friends who were very positive in their lives and away from other sources of comfort or distraction. I know there were times I didn't deal very adequately with it all so it wasn't down to my parenting that they turned out ok (still working on it of course).

doinmummy Thu 01-Nov-12 19:37:44

I am at my wits end. Dd is manipulative. I think she's at her boyfriends. Should I contact his parents and tell them what's going on? ( theirs is the one number I do have) her dad told me she's depressed but she's fine as long as she gets her own way .

Maryz Thu 01-Nov-12 19:41:32

If I were you, knowing she is safe for the moment, I would concentrate on you.

Go and see your gp, try to get to talk to a counsellor, and decide where you want to go from here. It sounds as though you need a break from her, so leave her where she is for the moment.

I would contact social services, just to let them know she isn't at home, because at 14 you are still responsible for her. That way you are covered if anyone reports you to them - you will have already informed them.

I would ignore your ex for the moment - if he wants to get involved let him.

I wouldn't contact the boyfriend's parents, let social services do that - they have a duty to find out where she is. Also inform the school (is she on half term atm?) Is she going to school?

Get yourself sorted. Seriously, you want to be strong enough to cope properly if and when she decides to sort herself out.

doinmummy Thu 01-Nov-12 19:43:59

Thank you for replying Mary I feel so alone and out of my depth. I will call SS

Maryz Thu 01-Nov-12 19:53:18

You can't cope with this alone.

Stop expecting yourself to. I know you are angry with your ex for suggesting you are depressed, but I think it would be pretty impossible to cope with this type of thing without getting depressed, so I do think you need to find someone, anyone, in real life who will help you.

The worst has already happened - she has walked out. It can't get worse, so use this time to get yourself sorted out a bit.

Do you have a real life friend you can talk to? The advice I was given when I was going through the worst of it was, firstly, to go for a walk every day, for half an hour, by myself, and secondly to find a friend who would listen to me once a week. Not to try to solve my problems, but just to listen. I'm lucky to have such a friend, and just being able to pour out my woes to someone once a week enabled me to straighten out my thoughts a bit, and make my own plan of action (even if sometimes that plan was only just to do nothing).

Look after yourself. Seriously, you are just as important as she is, so put yourself first for once.

doinmummy Thu 01-Nov-12 20:20:14

I've found out where she is as per SS advice. Have text her but just got abuse back. I'll go to GP tomorrow. She is so angry with me.

Maryz Thu 01-Nov-12 20:23:16

Don't worry about that for the moment.

One step at a time. Sort out your own head first, because that's the only way you will make any sense of what she is thinking.

flow4 Thu 01-Nov-12 20:30:25

She might not actually be angry with you, doin. My DS was actually angry with his dad and with school, but he took out all his anger on me, because I was the person who was there, and because he knew I was likely to keep loving him even if he was horrible to me.

Brightspark1 Thu 01-Nov-12 21:59:15

It took over six months for DD to engage with CAMHS, even at the end (she is now discharged) she found it difficult to stay in a whole family session. It's not a quick fix by any means but they can eventually get results, rudeness and defensiveness doesn't phase them, they deal with it every day.
We are taking DD to see DS at uni this weekend, I veer between looking forwards to the family being together, but also a bit fearful in case it goes tits up , I think I need to try not to try too hard, if that makes sense.
It's awful that there are so many of us on this thread, but it's a relief to know that I'm not the only one to have more to worry about than uni applications and DofE etc. I've set the bar a little lower.
DD is still alive and she avoided getting a police record, I need to be happy with that.

Maryz Thu 01-Nov-12 22:05:25

Still alive and no criminal record is great as far as I am concerned.

Because it means their entire future is still full of possibilities.

Can't you tell my bar is quite low too blush, but we are all happier for it.

willwegetthrough Fri 02-Nov-12 08:52:34

It's good to know CAHMS persevered with your dd Brightspark1. Another appointment has been made for dd and she says she will go as long as she can take only her bf with her. Waiting to hear from them if that is ok. She is 18 in 6 months and sometimes I think I just have to get her there and then let her sort herself out - so tired of trying to be/do what she wants. I know it won't be a case of being able to just step away, but it gets me through the weeks to think like that.

Doinmummy - if SS know where your dd is and that she's ok, I'd spend this time really taking care of yourself.

Thanks to everyone for posting - it really helps to know there are others dealing with (and coming through) much more difficult situations than I am.

doinmummy Fri 02-Nov-12 10:48:10

Am now in text contact with DD but she is saying that I am not allowed to say things that set her off. Which means I have to let her do whatever she wants basically. She cannot come home if she thinks this is how it is going to be. I wish the school was open to maybe have a chat with pastoral manager.

Abra1d Fri 02-Nov-12 11:05:34

Doin your daughter sounds like my niece, who is here with us for three weeks, having dropped out of school, self-harmed, and broken off all contact with my brother, her father.

She is fine as long as nobody says anything 'that makes me angry'. She gets on well with me (probably thinks I am a pushover, tbh). I have tried to gently introduce the subject of her father and stepmother and whether any reconciliation can be attempted, but my efforts are rebutted. She refuses to see counsellors or psychiatrists, although her mother and father have tried to do this with her.

She is drifting, really. Although she still has plans to go back into education eventually, any talk of the future is met with a lack of interest. She lacks many social graces (I am sure your daughter does not have this particular issue, btw!) and that makes it hard for her to get along with people all the time (though she can be very kind to my daughter, who is two years younger).

My niece is essentially a nice girl so I am clinging to that for the time being. And to the fact that she is very intelligent and is still reading a lot. I just hope that a bit more maturity will make her see that my brother is not a bad person and she can still have a relationship with him. And that she needs to seize life by the horns and do something with herself.

For the moment we seem to be in a kind of limbo. But at least she is safe and, as far as I can tell, hasn't been self-harming while she's been here.

doinmummy Fri 02-Nov-12 11:19:26

How can I have her back unless she agrees to boundaries?

Maryz Fri 02-Nov-12 11:23:42

You can't.

And you need to tell social services so.

I suspect wherever she is staying have probably had enough of her, so she wants to come home with no rules. But she is 14, so she isn't old enough to dictate everything herself.

You need to get ss involved, you really do. You need to state, categorically, that you will not have her back unless ... and write up your own rules.

I would suggest:

1) an assigned social worker to mediate
2) agreed rules on curfews and going to school
3) no violence, no threats, no abuse - from either of you (just to make it fair and clearcut)
4) (possibly) attendance at counselling/CAHMS/whatever
5) what will happen if the above are broken

And you need to talk to the school. Put all this in a text message to her - you would love to have her back, but are worried about your relationship and therefore are seeking outside help. Then get that help.

ss will get involved if you tell them you are afraid you will hurt her. They have to.

doinmummy Fri 02-Nov-12 11:37:47

Thank you Mary. I will phone SS again. I have never felt so helpless its so helpful to have you pointing me in the right direction.

Maryz Fri 02-Nov-12 12:45:00

You need to take back some sort of power. Not necessarily over your daughter, it can just be power over yourself and your own life - making the decision to sort yourself out, to talk to someone, to realise that you are where you are, recriminations and guilt will get you nowhere, you have to go on from here.

Recognition that you have reached the bottom isn't always a bad thing - it gives you the incentive to start climbing up again.

And remember, you may not be able to change her (and you certainly can't change your ex) but you can change how you react and how you cope and what you are going to do next.

Chin up smile

doinmummy Fri 02-Nov-12 13:36:29

Thank you x I'm treating myself to a horse ride later. Seems odd to do something like that in the middle of the turmoil but it's what I want to do! I will seek counselling . You are right about sorting myself out, I know I have issues with people pleasing which obviously affects how I deal with DD

Abra1d Fri 02-Nov-12 13:53:14

Horse=perfect therapy.

doinmummy Fri 02-Nov-12 13:57:07

Not my own unfortunately . Very calming though.

noscat Fri 02-Nov-12 14:27:58

what a fabulous thread Maryz! I remember your kind words and handholding with my DD a while back. It makes such a difference to be able to vent to someone who will be non judgemental, and just to realise that you are not alone. My DD still has problems with drugs and alcohol, so we're not out of the woods yet, but time makes all the difference to a troubled teen, and I am 100% in agreement with Maryz that beating yourself up about what has happened is non productive and in fact destructive. Good luck everyone - there is light at the end of the tunnel, far away as it might appear at the moment.

febel Fri 02-Nov-12 18:04:48

I think a thread like this is a fab idea...esp if you don't have supportive friends. I'm lucky in that two of my friends have a teenagers who are VERY challenging and they has been a great support and help. However, another friend, who I previously thought I was close to and counted upon, I have grown away from a lot, as she judges me and my challenging teenager and is very superior over her 3 well behaved ones (little does she know one of them is not as well behaved as she thinks) As one of my other friends says, also in the same position as me, her time will come and her teenagers will rebel at some point.....

flow4 Fri 02-Nov-12 18:39:41

Horse riding is a great thing to do, doin! I hope you're having the same crisp weather we have atm, and you have a lovely time. smile

My son was away from home twice this year, once for 3 days and once for a week. The first time, I'm pretty sure he thought he was punishing/getting at me by staying away, and he also tried to tell me he would only come home if I did this and that. hmm

But he underestimated how angry and concerned and desperate I was, and was totally gobsmacked when I said he couldn't come home unless he agreed to do and not do certain things, including not being violent or stealing from me again. Finally he made the agreements I needed, but I still don't think he believed I was serious, because he broke the agreement after a few weeks.

The second time, I was much more wary, and had really mixed feelings about letting him come home at all. In the end, I drew up a written agreement, which he has (more or less) stuck to.

I found it very hard that my only options were 'kick him out' or 'hang on in there'. There is literally no-one/no-where else he can go to. If his dad had been around, I would definitely have sent DS there.

Brightspark1 Sun 04-Nov-12 21:50:12

Signing in after DH, DD and I going to see DS at uni. He is doing well, loves uni, and is working hard. The weekend was good, in parts. DS and DD argued which is rare. I think DS was embarrassed by DD smoking and her 'Chav talk' (his words), I tried to explain that it was part ofDD trying to fit in at where she is living, but he finds it difficult to understand. She told him to fuck off and stormed out of the restaurant, given her history of running away, our stress levels went sky high. I found her back at where we were staying, and we sat and talked. Six months ago, it would have ended up with her running away and/ or trashing the place and/ or attacking me. She told me she felt judged by DS, but did actually listen when I said his comments were clumsy but said out love. She then came down and actually apologised! They did patch things up.
Not exactly a relaxing weekend, but I felt that DD had made a real effort in managing her emotions, which is a significant step forward.
We dropped her back at the home, to my sadness andi think to DH's relief.
doin, you sound more positive, I hope you manage to get the counselling you need, carry on doing nice things for yourself, it does really help.

doinmummy Sun 04-Nov-12 22:30:38

FFS Dd apologised on Friday and came home. She has done her homework and asked if she could go to bf's house for a couple of hours. I stupidly agreed. Now she wont answer her phone or my texts reminding her that she promised to be home before ten.

I feel like packing an overnight bag and booking myself into a hotel.

flow4 Sun 04-Nov-12 23:41:40

doin, that is a really familiar situation - I've been there many, many times. It's really stressful.

Firstly, you weren't stupid to let her go to her boyfriend's. It was perfectly reasonable for you to say yes. It's her who is being stupid, not you.

She knows she's getting to you. She's game playing. You need to find a way to stop the game, or your stress levels will be sky-high. It's kind of like attention-seeking behaviour from toddlers: you need to ignore it, or it just goes on and on.

Whatever you decide to do, I would very strongly advise that you stop calling and texting her. It just keeps the game going.

So... You need to work out what you want to do that gives you back the control over your own actions and reactions in this situation. You can't control her, but you can control you. For as long as you chase and text and call, she is controlling your responses. You need to stop letting her. I know (from bitter experience) this is much easier said than done, but it's what you need to do, if you possibly can.

Decide what your practical options are. They probably include:

- Sitting up waiting for her.
- Going to bed.
- (Maybe? - ) locking her out and telling her to go to her dad's or stay at her boyfriend's.

And if booking yourself into a hotel is actually practical, it might not be a bad idea. Add it to the list smile

There may be other things buzzing round your head, like calling the police and throwing her out forever. But they're (probably) not practical; they're things that are tempting because she's playing games and you want her to stop and it's maddening, so it's easy to get 'pulled in'... Try and ignore them, and focus on the things you really can do.

Which of the options work best for you - i.e. which will make you feel better rather than worse? That is the one that will give you most control. Imagine she was not your DD but your lodger... What would you do then? That is probably the best thing to do now, too.

Bloody teenagers!
It is 'just a stage'. It will pass, honestly! smile

doinmummy Mon 05-Nov-12 00:12:31

Thanks for replying Flow. She told me she would be home by ten, then denies saying it when she eventually came home. I could scream with frustration.

I might write her a letter. I would happily lock her out but I have lodgers to consider and she would wake them up hammering on the door.

One of the few ways I can cope is by withdrawing from her- no cooking,washing,making packed lunch,no speaking, no telling her if I go out. I will seriously consider going to a hotel.

I am sure that I do love her but cannot dredge up any feelings apart from hate .

flow4 Mon 05-Nov-12 00:25:18

I know, my DS has done exactly the same. angry

Withdrawing is a way to protect yourself from exhaustion. It is exhausting dealing with the emotional roller-coaster of living with someone who is behaving like this.

I think the feelings of hatred are the flip-side of love. You feel so bad because you love her, and it is so upsetting and disappointing and infuriating. The feelings were overwhelming: I know that I felt betrayed by my son sad And it was also so painful that it actually felt like a bereavement - like my 'real' son, my sweet boy, had died sad

I am 9-12 months on from those feelings now. He seems to have grown up a lot in the last couple of months (fingers crossed) and he hasn't done anything terrible for a while. It will get better for you too.

With hindsight, I think the bad times are a 'natural' way of breaking the bonds between mother and child, so that they can leave home, and you can let them go. That doesn't stop it hurting, but at least it doesn't feel so personal...

doinmummy Mon 05-Nov-12 16:28:05

She refused to go to school today . She had to do some prep for gcse science ( even though she said she had no school work over half term ) I asked when it was for and she said she didn't know . This morning she text me and said she wasn't going to school and she would miss her science assessment. I could scream. She tells lies to suit herself. I was so mad I told her I was moving out and she can get on with things herself .

doinmummy Mon 05-Nov-12 22:51:46

I havent seen or spoken to daughter tonight. She's in her bedroom. Am i over reacting? I feel lost as to know what to do. Just fed up of being spoken to like dirt. I wish we could talk with some sort of referee.

May i join i have placed my backstory on a thread started by biffa88 my dds dont live with anymore i took the decsion when they were at there dads and packed the house up and left i felt and still do that a absent mum was better than dead one still have the after effects though i see my dd2. But had no contact with dd1 for two.years my mum who didnt belive me about most of the stuff i went through is supporting dd1 though dd1 lives at her best friends house she seems better behaved now did do college for nearly a yr but has a job now. My mum rarly speaks to me and when she does she never mentions dd1 she said dont contact her let her contact me i get all info from dd2. Am off ads now and not so stressed but do have flare ups if dd2 vists and raises her voice you all are so much braver and stronger then me.

flow4 Tue 06-Nov-12 08:21:50

I dunno about that stars... TBH I can't think of anything much braver than a mum leaving her kids because she thinks it's the best thing for them. Must hurt... sad

doinmummy Tue 06-Nov-12 08:55:57

I feel for you stars. What a difficult decision to make. Sometimes we can't do right for doing wrong. If only the children realise how much we love them. But they seem to think we are the enemy. If I had my time again I would never have had my daughter, it's just too painful all round.

Maryz Tue 06-Nov-12 09:04:26

Sorry, I wasn't around yesterday.

doin, I think you have to become a little more proactive in the way you deal with her. I think you need to make decisions when she isn't around about what you will put up with, and what you will do if she breaks agreements.

You are slipping back into feeling less angry, and so are letting things go. I do think you need a mediator, and I would have thought ss might help with this, if they assign a social worker to her. I think if you let things drift, you will be back in a few weeks where you were when you first posted on this thread - so furious you want to hurt her sad. And going back there won't help you or her.

Don't let the fact that she has apologised and is behaving marginally better deflect you from making long-term decisions for next time it goes really badly wrong. Continue to decide what you want, and follow it through.

stars, it sounds to me as though you made a very difficult decision in awful circumstances. I haven't read you other thread, but I will, but I would say to you what I say to everyone, including myself - don't let guilt about the past ruin your future. You are where you are now, just take things slowly and hopefully as your girls continue into adulthood they will realise why you did the things you did and your relationship will improve.

Flow, you have learned a lot [proud mentor emoticon] - I find myself reading and nodding along at all your posts grin.

flow4 Tue 06-Nov-12 10:10:58

Haha, yes Maryz grin You helped me through the shittiest times, as you have helped so many other. Let me hand some thanks to your [pround mentor emoticon]! grin

I have learned a lot, and knew a fair bit already... It can just be sooooo hard to actually remember it when you're nose-deep in chaos and anger and grief and confusion...

Thankyou all for your kind words. I understand what you say Doin. My youngest understands why i couldnt bring here ( in that last week she began abusing me verbaley too and all ready had a rough summer with her) but shes ok she knows to call when in a mess etc (like this weekend my n my dp finisjed a 12 hour night shift. i got a call saying dad was on a brake with his wife and a friend she was staying over with on the sat got time muddled and she couldnt be there till tea time and she was poorly) so she would of being home alone for 8hours we got dressed and rushed over to her a four hour round trip and took her back to ours xh not impreesed i think but my dd2 needed me shes looking to move here for college thankyou again for your kindness you dont know how much it means to me

doinmummy Tue 06-Nov-12 12:20:20

I agree Mary, I have lost some of my anger . I swing from one emotion to another. I feel totally drained today. She has refused to attend school again today saying she won't go until this is sorted out. We are at stale mate.

bluerach36 Tue 06-Nov-12 12:33:19

Hooray!! Was going to put MaryZ into the search today but no need...the perfect thread at the perfect time!! Haven't posted for few months but so nice to see some familiar names...ladies who's thoughts and advice have really helped me when things have been almost unbearable.
Well DS2 now 15 and a bit and we're coming up to 2 years of shite now. Thought things were at rock bottom but on the way up just before the summer July taking class A drugs as well, asked to leave his pupil referral unit, violence, police, stealing....all the usual?! Then seemed to calm it down a bit...think the class A's possibly frightened him? Also found a girlfriend he was besotted with who doesn't approve of the drink/drugs.
But sadly deluded..again! Things really bad again after a breather in the Summer. ?? Back on other than weed, girlfriend on/off etc,etc.
Had to call the police for the third time last Friday...all got so out of control that was frightened DH would loose it...and he is the gentlest kindest man I know. Police wanted to know if we wanted to press charges for assault and criminal damage....have asked us before...we always say no. But this time all we wanted was for him to not come back...awful but true. We are so tired.
He was arrested anyway because it turned out that he was wanted for assaulting a local shop keeper earlier in the evening....drunk and out of it.
flow4 what happened and what were the repercussions from having your son arrested? The police are a little puzzled I think that we don't follow things through but my husband is adamant that this is the last time he will not press charges.
MaryZ how old is your son now? Do you think you have a light at the end of the tunnel yet? or at least a small flicker?! We keep saying "we can do this for another X years, keep calm and carry on. Our lovely boy will come back one day in some shape or form when he's older" but the time keeps rolling by..its all such a shame it has to be like this.
Sorry for rambling. Thanks again for posting Mary and Flow and all you other ladies out nice to know we are not alone!!

flow4 Tue 06-Nov-12 14:11:08

blue, sorry to hear things are grim for you too sad

You asked what happened when I had my son arrested...

Practically, it was all quite straight-forward: he was arrested, charged with assault and criminal damage, bailed to report to the Youth Offending Team (which was a way of getting a bit of support from them), we had a visit from them, he went to one session with them, he received a final warning, and that was it.

It might not be quite so straight-forward for your son - I don't know - because the assault was on someone else, and I think the victim now gets some say in what happens...? Also, what happens depends on the attitude of the young person. If they admit it and are sorry, the outcome is better for them. If they deny the offence, it will go to court. And I think that if they do not say they are sorry, they cannot have a final warning.

Emotionally, it was incredibly difficult at the time and for several months afterwards. It felt like a really big deal to me, and to him too - not something I ever imagined I'd do - but I couldn't see what else I could do, that would stop what he was doing. I was angry and desperate and scared. He was absolutely furious with me. He didn't come home for three days, and I didn't want him. I wasn't sure I ever wanted him home. I asked for help from a social worker friend, so that I could work out a practical way forward. I would have used a 'mediator' for the first meeting between us, but no-one was available, and in the end, I was able to be calm enough to handle it myself. But it would have been better with an independent person to do that for us.

I also went to my GP and asked for counselling, so I had someone to talk to throughout. It took several months for me to stop feeling I wanted him gone.

One thing that was good was that the attending police officers at the time were great. They were very calm and supportive. They were also clear that I had been the victim of domestic violence. I felt like they took it very seriously, and recognised how desperate I was.

One practical thing that didn't go so well was the time immediately after he was arrested and charged. I didn't think past the point of arrest at all, and I didn't think about what would happen. So I was completely taken by surprise when the police phoned me to say they releasing him to my care. I hadn't seen him for three days, and the last time I had seen him, he had assaulted me, smashed up lots of things, and waved a knife around, so I did not feel safe to have him home without support. No support was available. I refused to have him home. The desk sergeant was awful and judgemental, and called me an irresponsible parent. She also (outrageously) said something negative about me in front of my son, which left him with the impression the police thought I was 'making a fuss', and definitely made it more difficult for me over the next couple of weeks. sad (I did make a complaint about that, in the end).

The very best thing of all - the thing that made it all worthwhile - was that it stopped my DS from behaving like that. He had been kicking off and being aggressive and violent for many months, but after I had had him arrested, it never happened again. He got angry once, and began to lose control, but because he then knew that I would call the police, he kept control, and went out, instead of smashing things up.

Hope that helps somehow...

flow4 Tue 06-Nov-12 14:19:54

doin, she is manipulating you. You already know that. Don't let her get inside your head. You can't control her behaviour, but you can control yours.
Take the focus off her for a bit. What are you doing with your days? Have you called social services yet? Have you seen your GP to arrange counselling? And more importantly, did you manage to go for a ride the other day, as you planned? smile Are you managing to do nice things for yourself regularly?

doinmummy Tue 06-Nov-12 18:46:00

I did go for a ride flow. I'm paying for it now though, I can hardly walk. I loved it though. Came home today from work and ignored daughter . She came to my room and aggressively said she wanted to talk . I told her to say what was on her mind . She said she wasn't to blame for the situation. I said that's a shame because you ARE totally responsible, then refused to say any more apart from I will not tolerate her behaviour. She stormed out.

Received a text from her asking if we can sort it out. I again said there's nothing to sort out apart from your behaviour. I listed the things I expect from her and said I will call the police the minute she lays hands on me.

Had a reply from her saying" K"

I have s lady from YMCA coming tomorrow for a " chat" with us.

I went to the GP pretty useless. I asked for counselling but was told to try the school first. Same with SS who said until something happens they can't really do much.

mathanxiety Tue 06-Nov-12 19:00:23

Maybe you could say you are not interested in who is to 'blame' but rather what she thinks is going to happen to fix what has gone wrong? This will probably involve listening to her definition of what exactly it is that has gone wrong and maybe a good deal of tongue biting on your part. Try to keep her on track and away from the rut of blaming.

It's really easy and very tempting for someone who is set on scoring points to play the blame game (as your DD seems to be intent on doing) but you don't have to bat the ball right back to her and keep the silly game going.

flow4 Tue 06-Nov-12 19:06:20

Sounds like you are taking some steps to re-gain some control smile It also sounds like you are really angry, which isn't surprising. I hope the woman from the YMCA can help you talk to each other. It will help if you can both talk and listen... As a parent I think it often feels like you talk and DC don't actually listen, and presumably it feels the same to them hmm

Did you ask the GP for counselling for you or for your DD? If the GP suggested trying school, it sounds like you asked about DD, or that's what the GP thought...?

doinmummy Tue 06-Nov-12 19:06:56

She has just come home said sorry and burst into tears

doinmummy Tue 06-Nov-12 19:09:07

I asked for me . GP said see what the school can provide

Maryz Tue 06-Nov-12 19:09:21

Well now is the time to show here the list of what you expect.

Get her to write a list of what she expects.

Compare the two, and see how far apart you are. If it is miles apart and you can't negotiate, you need to make it clear to her what your absolute bottom line is, and the consequences of her crossing it.

Do it now, before it all drifts back to "normal".

Ask the GP for counselling for you not her. You need someone in real life to talk to, you really do.

Maryz Tue 06-Nov-12 19:10:19


Tell the gp the school won't provide counselling for you hmm. And that you want to be put on a waiting list, because you are falling to pieces.

doinmummy Tue 06-Nov-12 19:24:58

Good idea re the lists mary and agree to do it now while I'm still angry.

Will try a different GP at our practise .We have a couple of new ones who I won't be seeing again as they seem pretty clueless. I went to one about DD ages ago and was told that it's a social problem not a medical one .

Maryz Tue 06-Nov-12 19:25:53

It's a medical problem if you have a nervous breakdown.

I sat in front of my gp, burst into tears and sobbed for about 20 minutes. She took me seriously then grin

flow4 Tue 06-Nov-12 19:33:30

Yes, you really, really do need someone to talk about it all.

I think the GP thought you meant counselling for DD - I don't think there is any reason school would provide any for you...?

The list of what you expect is a really useful starting point. (I'm not sure whether you have texted it to her already? If not, now is the time to show it to her, like Maryz said). Beware having too many expectations - focus on the things that really matter to you. For me, these would be:
- No violence
- No stealing
- Sticking to agreements
- Letting me know where s/he is at night

I remember Maryz had another rule about always going to school/college, which I think is a really good idea (I can remember being quite envious of that one, because my DS had already dropped out hmm ).

You'll probably have others... Go for it! smile

Maryz Tue 06-Nov-12 19:37:26

Oh, yes, my rules were:

1. No violence
2. Tell us if you are going to be out all night
3. You must go to school/work most days

Originally No 2 was "be home at midnight" but that miserably failed. With your dd would have a good think about what you can enforce - can you enforce a curfew, or will you have to settle for

2. Be home or let me know you aren't coming home by 10 pm.

And maybe add:

4. Answer your phone when I ring you (or call back straight away if you miss the call). If you answer I promise not to nag.

I managed to ignore everything else - room, clothes, towels on the floor, mess in the kitchen. It nearly killed me, but made life much more pleasant. And once I started ignoring things, he started doing a bit more confused.

bluerach36 Wed 07-Nov-12 09:07:58

Ds didn't come home last night...dh tried to pick him up at 10, sposed to be home at 10 on school nights, but refused to say where he was...wanted to stay out later....dh got the usual abuse down the phone. Have rung and rung him this morning....just got text to say 'going to school'.

Feel like saying...balls, do what you bloody well like... but think we need to have some rules still???...even if he doesn't stick to them?? Coming in on time is one of p'raps three rules?!

And he's only 15...there have been nights when we have just gone to bed when he hasn't come home cos we're so knackered...which is wrong of us given his age?? But never know where to look for him either when he does this...his 'friends' are all so transient...don't know who they are let alone where they live?! I'll have social services banging on the door soon.....?

I'll get the usual "you don't care about me, you didn't even come looking for me!" later i expect..... but have long since stopped trying to fold a drunk/stoned 6ft 2" spitting machine into the car...!?

doinmummy I was, like you, at breaking point before the summer and went for counselling, not something I would have ever done before. It did really help me get some clarity about lots of things.

Do you work at all? I managed to get a referral free and very quickly via my occupational health for NHS....just a thought if waiting times are long. I hope you manage to get something the others said I'm sure it will help you.

doinmummy Wed 07-Nov-12 13:07:02

I'm also NHS Blue . I havent thought about Occy Health . I'll give them a call.

Brightspark1 Wed 07-Nov-12 19:02:40

I second occ health counselling, I work in the NHS too and found the occ health counsellor brilliant.
I don't understand why I manage to deal with challenging patients ( and staff) effectively in my professional life, but make a complete hash of it when dealing with DD when she is going off on one. I think it's because I'm too emotionally involved in the situation.
blueRach it's bloody difficult when you're dealing with a toddler in an adult body, gone are the days when you can just pick them up and remove them from a situation. DD is 6 inches taller and much heavier than me, so if she won't do something and won't talk or listen to me, I'm stuffed. Sigh

flow4 Thu 08-Nov-12 00:01:04

Ohhh, I don't work in the NHS, but I do work in social care. I wonder whether it's just a co-incidence that so many of us work in 'caring professions', or whether there is some odd dynamic going on? confused Like you Bright, I find it puzzling that I'm so competent at work and so discombobulated by DS1... I used to find it humiliating too, but I'm past the point of shame now hmm grin

blue, I also fought a long battle with DS about coming-in time, at the same age, and with the same 10pm 'curfew'. Like you I felt it was late enough for a school night, and like your DS, my DS consistently broke it, and stayed out outrageously late quite often, and sometimes didn't come home. It was one of our biggest points of conflict sad I didn't think to ask him "Well, if I was prepared to negotiate, what time would you say was reasonable to come in on a school night" for a very, very long time (I think probably because I felt like I was losing too much control any way, and that would lose me more)... But in the end I did, and was gob-smacked that his answer was just 10:30! Then when I agreed to the time he'd suggested, he stuck to it much more reliably - not 100% of the time, but much, much more often...

With hindsight, I think (a) there's something almost symbolic about coming-in time at this age (like always asking for food after they've brushed their teeth or refusing to wear a coat when they're younger grin ) and (b) there actually are a few teens that age whose parents do let them come in whenever they like, so it sort of 'whets the appetite' of those who aren't. With hindsight, I'd've negotiated with him sooner - especially since he wasn't actually ever asleep before about midnight hmm. Maybe worth a try? smile

Brightspark1 Thu 08-Nov-12 21:38:01

Dd home for a visit this evening, didn't go well, I can't put my finger on it but she was antsy and awkward ( nothing awful, she didn't turn on me or anything but she wasn't communicative, and seemed hell bent on trying to wind me up). The old gut churning feeling is back.
She has lost her memory stick with her college work on it, and still hasn't filled in the forms she needs for her college placement (she is supposed to have a key worker to support her, but she doesn't seem to do anything useful). The college have made it clear that they weren't keen on accepting her and are trying to convince her she isn't up to the course,
; this is just playing into their hands.
She also seems so lonely, having lost contact with all her old school friends and doesn't seem to have made any new ones, I think she is embarrassed about where she is living.
Sorry this is such a negative post, I just needed to offload.
Anyone got a spare magic wand?

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Thu 08-Nov-12 22:50:04

I remember when I was about 18 coming home up the road one night at about midnight, and finding my 16 year old brother sitting on next door's front wall.

I asked him what he was doing there (it was freezing) and he said "they want me in at midnight, so I'm bloody well going to sit here until at least 1 am".

And that was his attitude. If they said 11, he would come in at 12, if they said 12 he would refuse point blank to come in until 1.

Which is why my advice always is: don't lay down rules that you can't enforce. Obviously for "normal" teenagers (like my dd and ds2), you have rules, and bedtimes, and rewards and consequences and punishments. But for those kids who have gone beyond those rules, you need to have another way of dealing with it.

Counselling really helped me to see this. As did parenting classes.

So with a 15 year old who won't come in. Say "I expect you to be in or to have texted me by x o'clock. If you don't, I will go to bed and lock the door. When you come home, ring the bell."

If you have a consequence you can use (phone, xbox, whatever) use it. If you don't, just let them in, say nothing and go back to bed. Because rowing about it doesn't help.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Thu 08-Nov-12 22:52:18

Brightspark - your dd sounds like my ds. His expectations of himself have become so low that he almost seems to want to jeopardise any chances he gets sad

Can you contact the key worker?

Are there any old school friends who might agree to meet with her over Christmas, maybe? Could you give her something to look forward to?

Or is the novelty of living away maybe wearing off, and if you stick to your guns, remain calm and carry on, will she possibly think that life might be better if she came home [hopeful]?

flow4 Thu 08-Nov-12 23:23:44

Bright, no magic wand... Unless wine counts?!

Did you see the post I made a couple of months ago on someone else's thread about college? I described how my DS had hit rock-bottom college-wise, and what I thought was going on... If you didn't, you might find it interesting...

I also recognise the low expectations/'self-sabotage'/incompetence/yet-another-last-chance syndrome you and MaryZ describe. I think school does a lot of damage to some kids - they have so little self-belief and va-va-voom left by the time they leave (or even earlier, around 15/16), and it takes much longer than you'd imagine for them to recover... And some never do.

DS is transformed no, no, of course I'm not counting chickens by having found a course he actually wants to do. He is happy, he has had almost 100% attendance (he was genuinely sick one day, and went in the next, despite still being poorly), he has got up and out on time, he is doing assignments shock grin and he hasn't been horrible to me for weeks... D'you know, he said to me that yesterday was the first day ever in his whole life he'd enjoyed learning... OK, so he probably doesn't remember as far back as primary school, but what a miserable time he must have had at high school... When I look back, because he opted out of stuff and did that jeopardising chances thing, he probably had several years when he spent all day, every day doing things he didn't want to do... Or trying to get out of them...

Does your DD have anything she loves doing in her life? If not, can you help her find something?

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Thu 08-Nov-12 23:30:49

ds1 has just got 100% on a test shock.

Because he is doing something he wants to do.

still not counting chickens, but slightly hopeful

flow4 Thu 08-Nov-12 23:50:30

smile grin thanks wine grin

Shagmundfreud Fri 09-Nov-12 10:29:49

I'm going to slowly work through all the posts on this thread. And join it myself. You may have seen my other thread on this board about my 13 year old dd.

Feeling really battered and low this morning. Horrible, horrible scene last night. I lost my temper. sad Ended up in a physical tussle. DD on the floor, me practically sitting on her. All witnessed by my younger dc's, her were frightened and upset. I feel sick about it.

And over something so stupid - me asking her to switch her phone off/put it away while she was doing her homework. Her BBM was pinging every 3 minutes with messages. We'd agreed last week at some emotional expense (involved her screaming and shouting) that she won't use her phone/access facebook/go on Youtube while she does homework. She has a big problem with her concentration (which she herself would admit) and a track record of not completing/starting homework, so this is a fundamental thing. She's just started at a new school and needs to get on the right track. Regular homework time and supervision is really key at the moment.

It escalated from me asking her to put her phone away, her refusing and being rude, constant constant aggressive backchat, me raising my voice and shouting, her shouting back at me that my breath stinks and that I was spitting in her face while I was telling her off (and spitting a mouthful of water in my face to illustrate), her drawing my 7 year old (who has ASD) into it. Me taking my laptop away from her (she'd been doing her homework on it) and pushing her out of the kitchen. Her following me around the house, even into my bedroom, trying to pick arguments. In a situation where she is being asked to do something she doesn't want to comply with, her usual strategy is to launch a personal attack on me, which she did.

And I thought, she's not going to talk to me like that in front of my other children, and I went to confiscate her phone. Which was what resulted in the tussle. She then threw a bowl across the kitchen and broke it. Thank god DH arrived back from work at that point otherwise I don't know where it would have ended. I was on the verge of bundling the boys up and going somewhere in the car to get away from her. She smashed a door open and it flew into ds1, hurting his arm. They are scared of her. So am I. sad

I took the boys out and came back after an hour. All appeared to be reasonably calm. DH took charge of her, and the rest of the evening passed without much more stress, apart from her marching in to the room I use as my office at 9pm and turning the computer off when I was on it - she had decided she needed to do something on it, walked in told me 'get off, I'm using the computer' and when I said 'when I've finished' she reached around me and just turned it off. She also screamed at DH when he asked her to do something, can't remember what (pack her bag for the morning?) and woke the boys up, then went in and drew all over sleeping DS2's face with a green felt tip pen, which then went all over our only nice matching bed linen......

DH had to get her up this morning. It took half an hour of nagging as usual, and she slammed out of the house without talking to me.

I feel sick about it all.

She's 13. I don't know what happens as a parent when a child just point blank refuses to comply with reasonable requests. You feel like you're going into free fall. I keep having to pull back from thinking - 'well, just do what you want then' and stop parenting her in a responsible way. It's especially hard when you feel victimised by personal attacks. It's so distressing - DH has exactly the same expectations of her that I do, asks her to do the same things. She's not usually compliant with him but will eventually do it. But what he doesn't get is the vicious personal attacks that are so upsetting. She saves those for me. sad

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 09-Nov-12 10:36:57

Oh, I really feel for you Shag sad.

It is so, so difficult to keep cool and calm. But something shifted for me the day I realised that my emotional response wasn't actually helping at all - it was giving him an excuse to behave badly and blame me for it.

Counselling made me see that I couldn't change him, I could only change myself and how I react. And the realisation that he couldn't make me angry, or sad, or frustrated, it was my choice to put those thoughts away and deal with him pragmatically, was a real eyeopener.

I'm out now, but I'll be back later.

wannabestressfree Fri 09-Nov-12 11:02:47

Hi all. Am tentatively signing in as haven't been on for a while. I have a 15 year old DS who has been in hospital [psych] for over a year. We are slowly moving forward but he continues to be challenging. I am up and down to Birmingham from Kent twice a week to spend an hour and a half a visit with him.

When I look back now I can't believe things were so bad when he went in. I have no idea when he will come home or indeed if.........

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 09-Nov-12 12:25:20

I wannabe, I'm sorry I lost your thread when I was going through a bit of a bad patch blush. I'm sorry to hear you are still having to travel.

How is your own health? And your younger two?

wannabestressfree Fri 09-Nov-12 13:25:30

Its not too bad thanks am just constantly tired........:{
I have filed to have him discharged as the mental health commissioners have only 'found' another medium secure unit in London and I would like him downgraded. He has not been psychotic for nearly a year, is relatively incident free and is taking his meds. He hasn't been outside since his escape and I am worrying he is becoming institutionalised. Even social services don't get why he has to remain. His section is up for renewal and I have a managers hearing monday so will be making the case there............

Hi all i am back again. dS 2 age 12 going downhill at school again. Really do not know what to do. He is ok at home right now, but school is a constant drama. Today he has walked out of 3 lessons, i have had 2 phone calls. I am waiting for my gp to refer for cahms just interested in any any advice about school!

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 09-Nov-12 14:12:42

The only advice I can give you, diet, which will probably not be popular, is that your relationship with your son will long outlast your relationship with the school.

Looking back, I wish I had taken my son's side more - I thought I was doing my best for him by backing the school, but in the end all it did was make him hate me and be less likely to accept advice or help from me.

If your son is behaving like that at school at the age of 12, there must be a reason. Either he has issues (in my son's case, he has AS) or there is something going on at school. If you can find out why, you have a better chance of turning things around. If the school starts off being understanding, it's better than if they just take the "he has to behave or he's out" stance.

wannabe, will he come home if they downgrade him? Or is there a middle ground between secure unit and home? Because I can see it being hard to cope at home, for both you and him.

Thanks Maryz.
I have long thought he may have issues but so far nothing has been found.

The school have been good, last year was much worse, he appeared to be a bully. But we seem to have got over that thankfully.

This year it just appears he cannot concrntrate and as soon as he gets pulled up on it he walks. Silly things too like burning something with a bunson burner.
He is never going to enjoy school, i don't think the sit in class learning suits him at all.
Recently he was singled out for bring involved in a fight and turned out he had been stood watching not fighting. But cos he is known he got mentioned by the teacher. I did jump on this and said its unfair he may have been watching but do were 30 others and they were not pulled in.

Your advice that my relationship will long outlive school years has given me something to think about, you are of course right!
Good to get some input from others who have been there.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 09-Nov-12 14:27:00

I remember the day I picked ds up at school after yet another suspension and him saying to me "you know, Mum, if they found a body in the corridor they would arrest me first and ask questions later" and he was right. Every single thing that went wrong in the school was blamed on him in the end sad.

Has your son been investigated for ADHD? ds2 is currently being assessed and the school is convinced he will get a diagnosis. He has trouble concentrating and is incredibly impulsive - burning something with a Bunsen burner without thinking is just the type of thing he would do.

But the difference between ds1 and ds2 is that ds2 is very good at apologising, is obviously trying his best, and is generally a happy kid, so the school are understanding which helps. With ds1, they (and he) just wanted out and with hindsight I should have removed him earlier.

ADHD are my thiughts. He has just had a SEN assesment at school and it wasn't mentioned. Waiting for cahms and the teacher who told me to go to gp to request mentioned adhd too.
Can i ask when you did remove him and what did he do then?

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 09-Nov-12 14:49:49

Oh, he got himself expelled, by deliberately smoking dope in front of a teacher. He told me later he did it on purpose because he couldn't face one more day in there and he was desperate.

Unfortunately he was out of school completely (from 15) for a couple of years. He's now 18 and got a discretionary place in college, which he is enjoying. But it was an awful couple of years. With hindsight, I would have moved him to a non-academic school, if I could have found one.

I don't think school is a great place for many of these kids. I wrote a post ^ up there ^MaryZcary Wed 31-Oct-12 09:20:39 and we had a bit of a dscussion about it. It must be horrible to spend your entire childhood stuck in a school you hate sad. And as dd pointed out (she finds school easy), schools constantly reward children who find it easy to sit still and concentrate without trying, and constantly punish those who find it impossible, making no allowance for how hard they may be trying. Which must be soul-destroying for kids who simply can't (as opposed to won't) fit in.

I agree completely. My two other DC are great at school and ds2 compares himself to them, but he is not the same at all.

Just feel like there are no alternatives at the moment and know he hates being there

flow4 Fri 09-Nov-12 20:38:15

Yup, I too agree that schools are often soul-destroying. It's one of my bug bears and I bang on about it often. sad

I also agree that some kids, like ours, gain reputations - perhaps deserved - but they are then not treated fairly... angry

Maryz, my DS was once arrested put in isolation for pushing a younger child over in the corridor. He was adamant he hadn't. He said he had bumped into him accidentally, then helped him up and apologised. But he was told he could 'confess' and do the rest of the day locked up in isolation, or deny it and stay in there til he confessed. hmm He did the half-day.

Then he arrived the next morning and they told him he he had to do another day anyway. He walked out and came home, fuming. I tended to believe him, but by then I was battle weary wary, so I phoned to talk to the member of staff who had 'seen' him, to find out what had happened from someone else's POV.

It quickly became clear that this staff member had just jumped to conclusions. I asked him if he'd spoken to the younger child: he hadn't. I asked him if he'd spoken to any of the three friends who were with DS at the time: he hadn't. I asked him if he'd looked at the CCTV footage: he hadn't. He told me he didn't need to because he "knew what had happened". I pointed out that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and asked him to actually seek some evidence. He refused, again saying he "knew what had happened".

He then tried to intimidate me, telling me they would permanently exclude DS if he didn't 'confess' and do two days in isolation as punishment. I told him that of course I would fight permanent exclusion because I would go insane with DS at home all day, every day when there was actually no evidence that he'd done anything wrong. He told me my son had to report to isolation in the morning or I could consider him excluded, and that the conversation was over!

I went higher, to a deputy head who I'd found to be reasonable in the past, and explained the situation. I asked, and she arranged, for them to review the video and talk to the other children. Everything backed up my son's version of events. If he hadn't had a bloody-minded assertive mum to back him up, he would have ended up permanently excluded. angry

Oo, what a rant! I'm still angry about that, aren't I?! blush

diet... My son was excluded for two weeks in y9, because he and friends were playing with a lighter, setting fire to bits of paper, in the sports hall one break-time. Stupid sods.

He used to do a lot of walking out, too sad

Brightspark1 Fri 09-Nov-12 20:54:01

flow thanks for picking up on my post. The annoying thing is she started college really positively, and is working well (bearing in mind she was barely in school the previous year), she spent half term with my parents, and worked every day on her assignments. She was also keen to retake a couple of GCSE modules which would give her a C pass in Eng lit and maths. The course tutor keeps telling her the course is too hard for her and trying to persuade her to change to a lower level course (this was before any of her work was marked, which she did well in) . It seems they are hellbent on knocking what motivation and self belief she has managed to achieve. She has problems organising herself due to her dyspraxia, but they don't seem to grasp this.
She has refused to contact any of her old friends, just saying she has nothing in common with them anymore, I think there is more behind it, but she isn't saying anything. I think any attempt to organise anything on her behalf would end up in tears, at 16 , I can't organise her social life for her.
Trying to get her interested in something is something I have spent years trying to do, with not much success; but I'll keep trying.
wannabee Welcome to the thread! I have read your previous threads and remember some of your story. I so hope that DS gets placed nearer home,MIT sounds like DS has made small steps in the right direction, the idea that he has not been outside for so long is awful, it is likely to make him so more fearful of the world outside.I hope the meeting goes well. Let us know how it goes.

willwegetthrough Fri 09-Nov-12 23:11:54

The situations I'm reading about on here are so difficult - I hope everybody is able to find the right help for themselves and their DC. My own situation is not terrible by comparison, but of course seems overwhelming to me at times (I am a chronic worrier anyway).

DD will see cahms next week - I hope she will accept that they are there to help her. She too, is unhappy at school. She is now Year 13 and I've told her she doesn't have to finish her A levels if she doesn't want to, but I think she feels somehow "trapped" - can't see what else she would do if she doesn't finish them. I've told the school if she doesn't feel up to going in, then she won't be in. Much easier to do at her age than 14/15 though.

Flow well done you for fighting his corner, i think i will be doing more of that in the future.
Dd has been the problem tonight!! She is so loud constantly dhouting tonight! Year 7 and seen a change so trying to stamp that out all together now!

flow4 Sat 10-Nov-12 07:50:03

That sounds a bit rubbish, Bright sad Your DD needs college to be a positive experience and a fresh start, not a continuation of school. Is there any alternative - another college she could go to?

I know what you mean about trying, and failing, to get DCs interested in things. DS did lots of stuff when he was younger, but then nothing after he started high school sad I offered all sorts over the years - music lessons, activity weekends, scouts, archery, trial bikes, a lifeguard course, and more - but he couldn't or wouldn't do any of it. They seem to actively deprive themselves of nice experiences sad I kept hoping I'd find something that'd tempt him...

It's a real frustration, because we come here and remind each other how important - essential - it is to look after ourselves and do some enjoyable things to help us survive the stress of parenting... But our kids also need to do enjoyable things to help them survive the stress of school, I think, but don't... sad

flow4 Sat 10-Nov-12 08:12:04

Ha, I fell asleep answering Bright last night, so posted before I'd seen willwe and diet's posts...

They do get stuck, willwe... But it is a difficult one. Last year me DS made the wrong choice and started a course that wasn't for him... He stopped going, so from Easter to beginning of September he was doing nothing, and this was perhaps the worst time of all - things went very bad for a while - drugs, arrests, hanging around with very unsavoury characters, becoming coming very close to being an unsavoury character himself... I strongly believe they need something to do...

diet I do think fighting their corner is important, but it can be so hard, because they actually do bad stuff that you can't support, and you can see that their 'bad reputation' at school is to an extent deserved... But there also is, clearly, a lot of unfairness. For me, the most reliable 'sign' that there was something unfair going on was when DS was prepared to get into more trouble to argue his corner.

Also, I was absolutely clear about 'backing up the school' when he was younger: if he was in trouble there, he was in trouble with me too. But actually, I don't think that did anyone any favours, and eventually I learned that it was better to just leave the school to their own discipline...

Brightspark1 Sat 10-Nov-12 09:57:14

Morning flow, she did have a place at another college, but it was a long way from where she is staying, so she went there for the sake of expediency. Because she is a LAC, we had little choice but to go along with it. So I'm just trying to concentrate on buoying up her confidence and encouragement. But it's a fine line between encouragement and DD seeing my interest as nagging or interference, something she is extremely sensitive to, like most other teens.
It's hard enough to get the balance right with teens that don't have problems, I had to take a deep breath and step back with DS when he started 6th form, and just let him get on with it, it worked and he rose to the occasion, because he was genuinely interested in his subjects.
It's so much harder to help those for whom school just doesn't fit, especially when they have learning difficulties such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. DD often said she had to work twice as hard to get half as far, and I think the pressure got too much and she just gave up, despite being just as bright as DS and being at a supportive school.
Trying to resist the temptation to jump in and try and solve the situation is really hard, but there isn't an alternative. Learning to take responsibility for yourself is an essential part of growing up, some take a lot longer than others. Our role needs to be their advocate, a sounding board, and a there to provide hankies and an ear if it all goes tits up. Easy to say...

Flow i have been backing the school up and imposing sanctions at home too, but have recently thought that surely i am just making him miserable at home as well as school. So now i am trying to seperate the two a bit.
Not sure it will make alot of diffrence but thats how i am going to be for now. I shall still discuss any incidents at school with him but will not give an additional sanction at home!

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Sat 10-Nov-12 10:03:27

Things improved in this house when I stopped double punishments. If he was punished at school, I wouldn't punish him more at home.

It meant he was more likely to tell me what was happening at school, which was a real eye-opener as I hadn't realised how difficult he was finding it.

Thats what i am hoping for Maryz. Thank you both of you for all the advice, really helps as none of my freinds have children of this age yet so do not understand at all.

foxy6 Sun 11-Nov-12 23:36:44

hi all can I join in?
I have ds1 (16) ds2 (15) ds3 (13) dd (9) and ds4 (5).
my troublesome one is ds3 13. I have given up on school and took him out to home educate a month ago, after returning in September and him being suspended in the first 2 weeks and 2 meetings lined up about him. I just decided I couldn't do it any more, endless meetings and suggestions that make no difference. I have felt very let down by the primary and secondary schools that ds has been to as he has always been a handful and I've never found them to be very helpful. personal I think he has adhd and odd to some degree. but having only seen the ed psych once we got no where. his friends in school don't help and encourage the bad behaviour. he started smoking last year (just cigarettes) but I could so easily see it turning into other things as he gets older. he was nearly expelled last year, had spent plenty of time suspended or in the inclusion room. I feel less stressed now that we don't have school and his friend group there to worry about. I just hope we can make home education work as his behaviour isn't confined to school. we have regular refusal to do as told, near constant winding up and upsetting of his siblings, temper tantrums that have involved many broken things in the house and physical fights with his brothers. he has stolen for us when going out with his mates.
but all that said he is like a jeckle and Hyde as he has a very kind sweet,helpful, and generous side to him. he is very charming, very much your loveable rouge, we just don't see this side as much as we would like to.
I'm not ashamed to tell people what he gets up to and mostly find people are supportive, but there are a few that just make you feel like a bad parent and tell you what you should be doing ( as if I haven't already tried every trick in the book and failed) and now the ones who tell me I'm playing into his hands by taking him out of school ( even though it was something I had decided on before even talking to him).
I know I'm not a bad parent even though I do feel it most of the time, I have no trouble with the other 4 (yet) and was one of those who would probably blamed the parents before, but now I have more understanding all children are different and respond to things in a different way. what worked for the 4 of them doesn't work for the 5th. all parents with troublesome children need understanding and support not to be criticised.

flow4 Mon 12-Nov-12 09:46:45

Good grief foxy, five children?!

MN really does need a medal emoticon!

foxy6 Mon 12-Nov-12 10:20:04

I don't need a medal for 5 kids just for not having strangled ds3 lol

flow4 Mon 12-Nov-12 10:39:03

Haha! smile How is home ed going? I thought about that for my DS1 many times, but didn't, basically because I knew I would want to strangle him by 9:15 every morning, rather than just in the evenings! grin There was just no way I could have dealt with him without the respite school (mostly) provided...

foxy6 Mon 12-Nov-12 14:17:44

well we haven't been doing much home ed yet, i've been following advice from the other home educators and been giving him time to unschool. behavioural wise its not too much different but i feel less stressed and so does ds. i no longer have to worry every time the phone rings, is it the school? what's he done now? or when someone knocks on the door is it ds as he decided to walk home again. we are no longer having arguments about what happened in school and are relationship with ds is improving slowly.
its something i wish i had done earlier as we have had problems for a long time. primary school were no help when i would ask about what more can be done i would just get " he's young", "he's silly and immature" he'll grow out of it", in one breath and "you have to accompany him on school trips or he can't go"in another. i would see the teacher weekly for updates on his behaviour, the head even told me he was on an IEP, i didn't have a clue what she was on about and no he wasn't on one so she didn't even know what they were doing.he started on at the beginning of yr 6, during which he had lunch time suspensions and exclusion for 2 days for swearing at the head. nothing came of the IEP as he went to comp.
Comp started with high hopes they seemed to notice his behaviour, got us in touch with Barbados who come and worked with him and us for a while (until funding stopped). this helped as she made suggestions to the school about things they could do to help, all of which they already did but just hadn't implemented with ds, like a time out card for when he felt he was losing his temper, for him to leave the class and calm down. the school refered him to the ed psych, but them they seemed to lose interest in helping and every month someone else was bumped up on the ed psych list, until ds was suspended for 2 weeks while they decided if he was going to be kicked out. he was involved in and rampage around the school with another pupil that involved swearing at teachers, throwing chairs, banging on class doors disrupting the lessons, calling the caretaker out for a fight and ( although this is the only bit he still says didn't happen despite cctv) attempting to vandalise the caretakers motorbike. the other boy involved was kicked out but has returned upon appeal and they said they give ds a second chance as he has shown improvement in behaviour, personally i think its because i complained about them not seeming bothered any more and passing him by every time the ed psych visited. he has seen her since, and she made recommendations about structuring his free time ( like that's really going to work), encouraging him in drama as he has no problems with behaviour in this ( but the drama group ain't cool so he was going nowhere near it) and she did state that she felt he only attended school for the social aspect and unless they could engage him in learning they're sanctions wouldn't be effective ( something i already knew).
so here we are home schooling i want to get him to enjoy learning again as school has switched him off completely. i hope that without the stress of school he can learn to be calmer about things, well i hope. he's a red headed Aries so i don't know how much luck i'll have at calming him but i'm gonna try lol.

flow4 Mon 12-Nov-12 16:41:04

All sounds rather familiar... sad
How fantastic that at least THAT set of stresses are over with! grin

willwegetthrough Mon 12-Nov-12 20:13:03

Thanks flow -I'm hoping dd doesn't have too many difficult days - I can see it isn't good for her to be doing nothing for any length of time (don't see her going "off the rails", but self harm, pills etc are a possiblity - have had both in the last year), but if there is a day or so she just can't face, I'll go with it.

I really worry about what is going to happen to those that find school so difficult when 18 is the compulsory leaving age. 16 is hard enough and those 2 neither child nor adult years bring enough other problems.

flow4 Mon 12-Nov-12 21:10:23

Yes. Quite. DS2 will have to stay 'til 18. That would have been utterly unbearable for DS1, but I'm hoping it won't be as hard for him...

Ungratefulchild Tue 13-Nov-12 11:56:51

Well I've blown it big time this morning. He didn't go to college yesterday and needed to go today but wouldn't get up. He's been out all weekend and only came home at 2.30am. No contact from him but I knew he was okay as I texted his friend and he replied.

We've had a pretty good week actually because he started a part time job and actually went in for all of his shifts and did 2 days at college (out of 3) as well.

But this morning when he didn't get up I lost the rag. Shouted, pulled his duvet off everything that I know makes things worse. I just couldn't help it.

Had counselling last week but to be honest it was bloody useless. The counsellor ended up telling me all about her own son who died from an overdose and I spent the session being sympathetic to her.

daisydoodoo Tue 13-Nov-12 13:22:47

so pleased to see that people are finding support here. its so tough being a parent of a teen when they have issues. I don't have the support with friends as whether they are telling the truth or not the ones with teens all claim that they have no issues. So i feel that I have no one to talk to.

I finally got a response from his school and have a meeting with them tomorrow. Tbh im not holding out much hope of a positive response from them. Hes not disruptive at school he just doesnt work.

Is depression hereditry? I wonder if its my fault? Im diagnosed clinical depression (just about to start on ad's again) and wonder if its something ive done? I know that i have over reacted in the past and not given ds1 the benefit of the doubt, until proven innocent/guilty.

I feel as parent i just want to make it all better for my children and i get so frustrated that i cant do that for ds1.

ds1 (10) his behaviour is taking a turn for the worse, he shows a complete lack of respect for anyone and is often rude to adults (not school but family), hes become lazy. He still does his sports (rugby, football and lacrosse) but has quit several activities as they required more effort than turning up for training and matches, such as karate where he needed to practice at home for belt gradings. I did have a long chat with him where i thought id got through to him about how it really wouldnt be good to follow his borthers path and that in order to do what he wants to do in the future he will need a good educational and discipline record. He wants to join the marines, has done since he was 3 or 4.

I kind of feel that ive given up on ds1, hes already had forms to complete for resits of 4 gcses, but if hes not going to put the effort in hes not going to get better grades so why should i waste £50+ of money that i dont have spare to pay for the re sits?

Hes not going to get the grades he needs for college and without any gcses he wont be able to get a job or apprenticeship. Im not sure what kind of job he thinks he will get without any qualifications at 16 anyway. He doesnt either, he just seems to think everything will land in his lap.

daisydoodoo Tue 13-Nov-12 13:23:40

sorry ds2 is 10 not ds1. and who i was referring to in the paragraph on taking a turn for the worse.

flow4 Tue 13-Nov-12 22:51:22

daisy, depression is not your fault! Please don't feel guilty about the possibility that you might have passed it on to your DS. Some kinds of depression can run in families, but even if that's true in your case, you can't help it - any more than you can help what colour his hair or eyes are.

As well as the ADs, are you getting any other support? It sounds like you really need someone to talk to - have you got, or can you get, some counselling?

I really identify with that feeling of 'wanting to make it all better' and feeling awful because you can't. I think this is one of the most difficult things about being a parent of a teen - you feel very powerless sometimes. But I think that even when you can't stop them from making bad choices and messing up, what you say to them and the example you set for them personally does still make a difference: you have influence on the type of adult they grow up into, even if you can't change their behaviour now.

Ungrateful, most of us have lost it at one time or another. Don't beat yourself up over it, if it's not happening often. You already know it doesn't work or help, so you know you need to avoid a repeat if possible. I know it's easier said than done, but Maryz's advice to detach yourself emotionally is really good!

You're probably already aware that Monday/Tuesday mornings are particular 'flashpoints' after weekend excesses (I was with my DS), but is your DS himself aware of this? I found it helpful to point out the pattern to my DS (e.g. saying "Do you realise you haven't been able to get up any of the past four Mondays?" or "Have you noticed you feel terrible on Tuesdays if you've been out on Saturday night?") - it meant he was 'forewarned' that he wouldn't feel like getting up, and why; and in fact he has recently started to be more restrained on Saturdays because he can see for himself it makes a difference.

Your first counselling session sounds disappointing. But do still give it a go. I found it took a few weeks for me to start to feel the benefit. If your counsellor continues to be so unprofessional unhelpful, then maybe it's worth mentioning it to your GP? At our practice, there are two counsellors, and sometimes it's possible to 'swap' if you don't get on with one of them.

Blimey, it's hard sometimes, isn't it?!

daisydoodoo Wed 14-Nov-12 10:19:42

I dont have any other support. I have friends but don;t feel able to talk to them about the issues but hats my problem, i don;t talk. I keep thinking i must insist to the gp to refer me for counselling as well, but at his first hesitance to do so i back down.
My ex (the father of all my children) is supportive and we get on a lot better now we are divorced and no longer live together than we did married under the same roof. If anything hes harsher on ds1 than i would be. But we discuss it away from the children and present a united front.
I am trying to back off from ds1 and not be so involved, its hard though.

ungrateful- wow how unprofessional of the counsellor. That obviously was not helpful at all. Can you be referred to another one? It sounds like your ds tries to be 'good' and then the presssure gets to him? i of course could be talking out of my arse! one of the good things that comes out of a thread like this is that it helps us to know that we arent alone, and that even though there are varying degrees of misbehaviour amongst our teens, at least there is somewhere we can turn to to rant/scream and get it off our chests without feeling like we are being judged.

bluerach36 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:28:16

Hi ungrateful sounds like you've managed to get a duff counsellor.... but don't give up ...and don't waste your precious emotional energy trying to make it work with her!!! I had a similar experience but really clicked with the second lady. Its worth trying someone else.

My roller coaster is sadly at the bottom at the moment...went to Juvenile Court yesterday following DS's arrest 2 weeks ago...never ever thought I'd be inside a court let alone listening to them speak about my son?! had a minuscule breakdown before work last night...crying and crying, head bursting, snot bubbles, the lot!! But feel a bit better this morning! Just dropped him at school. Deep breath....and roll on another day. We CAN all do this!!! (can't we...??!!)

foxy6 there are so many similarities between your DS and mine...we too were stuck in the cycle of impact room (where they are supposed to reflect....surrounded by all the school's other 'problem' children??!)/inclusion/exclusion and finally permanent exclusion. They just seemed to want to wash their hands of him. He too can be such a funny, bright and lovely boy, loves animals, very perceptive to peoples moods (when calm) but can flip from day to day; hour to hour sometimes. Weed has just compounded everything over the past 2 yrs. He is now at a pupil referral unit and doing pretty well most of the time. I hope home education works for your DS.

We've been through all the tick box crap, CAMHS, etc etc to try to help DS. We finally saw a child psychiatrist privately in the summer after a couple of years of my family insisting something must be wrong with him...I have always been fairly sure there wasn't....and there isn't. He felt low self esteem and anger issues....surprise, surprise. I'm know many children's issues are complicated massively by Aspergers, ADHD and learning and mental health problems. But much as sometimes it would be so nice to hang a label on my son to explain his behaviour, and maybe lessen the blame and guilt I have, I think now that some children are just born like this. Its sad to read everyone's posts but so nice to know I'm not alone!

Evening all, its starting again!
Phone call from the school today DS2 involved in an incident. They have said he wasn't the one who started it or that involved but according to their statements he did hit this boy. DS2 apparently saying he didn't but head of year said he felt this was untrue. So 2 days in isolation.
Got home and DS2 swears he didn't hit anyone and says that his friends backed him up on this only the boy who got hit said otherwise. I know who the lad who def did hit this boy is.
So quedtion can i ask to see statements as i want to make sure that this isn't a case of cos he us known and was there has been named?

brighterfuture Wed 14-Nov-12 21:49:36

Traumatic week with ds1 16 walking out of school after a very unfair event.... after meetings with head etc where they admitted Ds had been unfairly treated... all back on the rails now just about

Ds 1 has been having a lot of situations lately where things have gone badly for him and any unfairness hits him especially hard at the moment. He has been smoking dope heavily and taking other drugs, talking of quitting school etc. but over the last 3 weeks had really made an effort and has been more pleasant and reasonable, joining in more with the family.

Tonight we were having a rare happy family meal when dd8 said she saw ds1 with his "bomb" just before dinner. She clearly means bong... so I request quietly to Dh to leave it till after we've eaten as I wanted for once a nice united meal.
Dh who was in a bad mood from work started goading ds1 saying how would he like it if he came to the meal drunk ? Implying that Ds was stoned. Ds immediately got very angry and defensive and threw his glass of water a DH which led to a lot of shouting a posturing...

I am so fed up. Its so not fair on my other Dc. Ds 1 has caused so much trauma , but lately he's really been making more effort. He even did 4 hours school detention today which normally he'd have skived off. It shows how bad its been that I am proud of him for doing a detention and willing to ignore the fact that he's hit a bong before supper sad

I'm furious at Dh for his shit timing and refusal to respect my request. He just loaded all of his annoyance onto one easy target Ds1. Why couldn't he have waited till after the meal to talk to Ds1 and spared our other dc yet another scene?

Just needed to off load really. I'm trying so hard to keep Ds1 together, sane and healthy whilst giving my other dc a normal family life. I'm really upset that Dh could just come along and sabotage a nice family moment.

flow4 Wed 14-Nov-12 22:40:23

Oh there is a lot of stress around at the mo, isn't there?! sad
Has anyone got any stress-busting treats/nice things lined up to help them cope? smile

Wishinglifeaway Thu 15-Nov-12 19:08:14

Hi this is my first post on here, but I've reading and following everyone else's practically mirrors my current situation, especially the last post of brighter, and I am so glad, if that's the correct word to use, that I stumbled across this thread. As a family, we are teetering on the edge.

Ds2 (15) has been declining dramatically since July this year. Ds1 (17) at college. It isn't a long time I know, but the the change in his personality etc. was dramatic. Everyone who knows him has described it as a massive U-turn, almost as if there's a loose wire and it's lost it's connection.

Without going into too much detail, we've had the abusiveness, some violence, staying out all weekend from 4pm on a Friday until 11pm the Sunday, the problems at school, smoking in our house, etc etc.

I've been following posters such as Maryz and Flow and have been grateful for their wisdom.

He has had some incidents in his past that may or may not have triggered this current behaviour, extremely low self esteem, and there may or may not be weed involved, but at the moment he vehemently denies it.

The last few months have been horrific, as stated by all you wonderful posters earlier, it's like walking on eggshells. The reason why I've decided to post now, is that like brighters earlier post, the doo doo hit the fan a mere half an hour ago in a very similar fashion. I made the really stupid mistake of actually thinking that maybe his smoking had stopped, (no tobacco smells), no "evidence" of other stuff being used, an actual conversation with him on Monday, and resuming his beloved rugby. I actually let my guard down and let out a long breath of air. How silly of me.

Should've gone to school for progress report today. Emailed school to say there's no point in myself and Dh sitting there to be told what we already know, that he is majorly under achieving, and then have to listen to the teachers wagging their fingers in our faces. We're doing our best to try and drag him back on track. He's classed as an urgent on CAMHS list. He said he would attend the college open night instead. Wow we thought. But no, used time from work got home and found he was in an "odd" mood.

To cut to the chase, he then decided to throw a major tantrum, the usual abuse , intimidation etc and said he didn't know why we were making him go, even though he said he wanted to go earlier in the week etc. Dh then threw a wobbler, he left work early, quickly followed by me, after Dh reaction.

I need some advice. I have told some friends about our situation with him, and I can tell they are like some of the earlier posters, with their advice - ground him, no phone (last phone bill was £138 for a month :-( ) no money, etc.and they would , in their words not mine, "lock him in his room". He's a 6ft 2nd row rugby payer, although he has lost over 2 stone since July. But we thought we would try a different tactic, lots of love, and trying to ignore some really bad stuff, there seemed to be a slight improvement... where have we gone wrong?

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Thu 15-Nov-12 19:52:03

Hi, sorry I haven't been around, I've been having a shitty time with ds2, so am avoiding all mention of teenagers atm. I'll come back later and have a read. Sorry you are all struggling.

Just to pick up your last paragraph there Wishing. It's unlikely you have done anything wrong. What would happen if you grounded him and took his phone etc? I suspect he would punch a hole in the wall and walk out sad, so I wouldn't threaten something you can't carry out.

ds1 has exams next week. Things were going beautifully, but he has assignments due and study to do. So he stayed home today to catch up, allegedly.

He went out before lunch and isn't back yet. I suspect he will rock up stoned at midnight sad. But I am gritting my teeth, because if he does fuck up at least he can't blame my interference.

It is so, so difficult [sigh]

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Thu 15-Nov-12 19:54:07

It's my birthday this weekend flow. And dh is having a party for me. But I suspect ds1 won't come sad so I don't feel like doing it at all.

and dh and dd are annoyed with me for not entering enthusiastically into the preparations, but I don't feel like celebrating.

Sorry, I'm usually pretty upbeat, but the last week has got to me. We are going down the CAHMS road with ds2 now.

brighterfuture Thu 15-Nov-12 20:45:21

Maryz I am so sorry you are having a shit time sad You seem such a wise grounded person. One day your Dc are going to look back and see what an amazing mum they have !

flow4 Thu 15-Nov-12 23:34:10

Oh Maryz sad I dread the thought of having to deal with TWO teens at once, and am hoping against hope that DS1 will out of his most difficult time before DS2 enters it. I don't know how you do it.

As for teeth gritting... I have literally lost two teeth due to gritting and grinding, and now have to wear a special mouth guard thingy at night, or I get headaches, and more will fall out sad

I know what you mean about birthdays. I have dreaded the last two or three for the same reason, and spent a good part of last year's actually sobbing and distraught, because DS1 was ignoring it totally and was being foul. It was the start of a few months when he was doing a lot of m-cat, and I think he felt guilty he had no money for a present because he'd spent it all on drugs, so his tactic was to ignore it for as long as poss and get defensive when he couldn't ignore it any longer.

He was better this year though... I hope your DS surprises you smile

bluerach36 Fri 16-Nov-12 08:43:16

So sorry things are rubbish for you at the minute MaryZ

I hope you have a lovely Birthday!!! You deserve it if only for all the wise words and kind support you have offered to others here. I know you have keep me from jumping under a bus (or pushing DS under one??!) many times over the last year.

Maybe he'll surprise you and come. And if not have a few wine's anyway and let everyone look after you for the day. You're allowed to feel pissed off if you want.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 16-Nov-12 09:53:55

Thanks everyone.

Well so far, he hasn't remembered it's my birthday (but then, dh was meant to remind him and has just admitted he didn't), he didn't get home until 2 am and is meant to be in work at 12, so we'll see if he goes.

I'm worried about his college work which is meant to be in next week, but which he hasn't started.

I just know saying anything will make it worse, so I'm gritting my teeth.

ds2 is very different from ds1. I think he has ADHD, but he is a happy kid, and I know in the end he will be ok. I'm just finding the whole thing stressful as it's seeing the same team we saw with ds1 and that ended so badly, I just feel sick every time I have to go out there sad. And they keep asking about ds1 which makes ds2 grit his teeth and glare a lot. He hates being compared to ds1.

Sorry, I'm not feeling very supportive to anyone else atm. So if anyone feels ignored and unsupported, please come back and repost on Monday, when I will be back to normal, I promise!

I'm considering starting an "it's my birthday and life is shit, so come and cheer me up" thread [self-indulgent] grin.

doinmummy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:47:00

Wishing you a Happy Stress Free Birthday Mary. You are so supportive of everyone. I hope things settle down for you x x x

Shagmundfreud Fri 16-Nov-12 10:55:07

Add my wishes for a lovely birthday to the others here. smile thanks

I spent my last birthday crying under the duvet because the kids were being so horrible. shock

Really having to struggle with my feelings at the moment. Spent all morning with a lump in my throat. DD is giving us such a hard time - over nothing. She is so aggressive and nasty when we try and get her up in the mornings - sniping at me, shouting over me. I gave her £5 today to get two course books she needs for school, and her response was to tell me to go away, she doesn't want the books (she really needs them), then to throw the sandwich I'd made for her out of her bag and stomp off to school - again - having eaten and drunk nothing. She'll go through the whole day without eating, and have her head on the desk by her last lesson. She won't drink to punish me for not giving her a bottle of coke in her lunch bag.

So sick of it.

Happy birthday for the wknd Maryz, i hope you get to enjoy your party, you certainly deserve to be able to relax and enjoy yourself. Lets hope DS1 does turn up and you can all have a good time!

willwegetthrough Fri 16-Nov-12 12:53:06

Maryz - hope all your family join in to give you a happy birthday.

Thinking of everyone going through these trials - "one day at a time" has become my mantra when I get out of bed, along with "detach, detach, detach" when dd is horrible (that one is down to you Maryz).

DD went to her appointment with the CAHMS counsellor and has agreed to another, so hopefully that will give her some outlet for her frustration at what she feels is her s**t life. Yesterday we talked a little about what she would like to do when she finishes school, but that ended up with me apparently knowing nothing and understanding nothing. I ate some chocolate.

teapot5 Fri 16-Nov-12 14:11:26

Hi Maryz. So sorry to hear that you are having shit time. I'm not having a great time either (understatement). But I just wanted to say that I (and many of us here) hope that you have a great birthday despite everything you are going through. xxxx

flow4 Fri 16-Nov-12 20:30:35

Happy birthday from me too Maryz. wine thanks I hope your DS1 remembers - but I hope you can enjoy your birthday, whether or not he does.

This too will pass... smile

Brightspark1 Fri 16-Nov-12 21:05:48

MaryZ thanks I'm going to put stern face on here, you started this support thread and there are a lot of posters her who are really grateful. But the idea is that we all support each other, you don't need to support all of us. If you're having a shit time, maybe it's your turn to let us support you even if it's just a case of offloading.
Have a great time this weekend wine wine

flow4 Fri 16-Nov-12 21:23:54

Hear hear, Bright smile
> Wags finger at Maryz <
> Pours M a glass of wine <

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 16-Nov-12 21:29:39

Oooh, errr, that told me smile.

<slugs wine>

It's funny, when things were really bad before I found it hard to talk about it, because I couldn't find anyone to talk to. Now I feel a bit guilty shoving my worries onto you lot - which is silly really, because the last thing I want anyone to think is that I have all the answers and that my life is all plain sailing now.

I think birthdays/Christmas/celebrations are difficult for many troubled families. It's when we should be at our happiest that we notice the holes in our family lives, if that makes sense?

I presume you all know that awful feeling of "it's all been going too well, the shit is bound to be just about to hit the fan". Kind of like you are an over-stretched elastic band, and something is about to snap.

That's how I feel - nothing really awful has happened ... yet. But I can't get rid of that horrible expectation.

<slugs more wine>

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 16-Nov-12 21:32:53

Just as a matter of interest, have any of your children got really upset after going to CAHMS? ds2 had his first visit on Monday, and was pretty chatty and friendly with the woman he talked to, but since then has been really upset - crying and not sleeping and he fell apart completely in school one day (luckily his friends have been very nice to him). I don't know whether it was talking to someone, or whether his medication (he is back on Roaccutane) is affecting him.

He's usually pretty happy. So I'm a bit confused.

Brightspark1 Sat 17-Nov-12 10:53:39

It's not plain sailing is it? At best it's one step forward two steps back, we carry on because there is no other option. I'm not surprised ds2 has reacted to his CAMHS appt, the apprehension and fear of the unknown must have taken its toll a bit. It's possible that he is usually happy because he puts all his negative feelings in a box , and at his visit that box was opened leaving him confused and upset. Given what he has observed from his brother, he may have taken on the role of being 'the happy one ', or is that cod psychology?
I'm off to do my Christmas shopping, any idea what to buy dd 16, who doesn't think she is worth being given gifts, who doesn't want clothes because she hates her body, and has no real interests? Answers on a postcard please

flow4 Sat 17-Nov-12 11:01:09

Don't feel guilty about 'shoving' your worries onto us, Maryz. You give the rest of us an opportunity to be helpful smile and I am sure you know it can be a great comfort to feel that, even if your own life is a total fucking disaster zone, you can be helpful to someone else. So come on, moan more Maryz... Don't deny us that small pleasure... grin

I'm afraid I can't tell you about any 'CAMHS reaction', cos DS1 had an assessment, and then we were told he didn't reach their thresholds... hmm I do know, though, that if I have something I have been avoiding thinking about, and then I have to confront it/get it out into the open, it can be very disturbing and upsetting, so your DS2's reaction sounds quite 'reasonable'.

fifietta Sat 17-Nov-12 14:25:57

I hope it's okay to muscle in on this thread. I started one about a week ago about my 14 year old DD who is very depressed and on ADs and received some kind, wise and hopeful words from Brightspark in particular.

The trouble is you can just never rest on your laurels. It seems that the minute things seem a little better or DD appears to be enjoying herself there is a sudden, unpredictable plummet (although it's not unpredictable now as it always happens) sometimes for no discernible reason, at other times because she has heard something she can't cope with...she doesn't tell me, but I snoop. Had to cancel an appointment this morning as something had happened with her and I later found a razor blade in her bed.

I was wondering, is it against mumsnet etiquette to mention particular local CAMHS services and to hear of others' experiences of them? It could help...

Brightspark1 Sun 18-Nov-12 08:34:53

fifietta welcome to the thread. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to discuss individual CAMHS services publicly, I'm not sure but I think it would contravene something or other. I'm happy to PM you again though.
I'm sorry you are still having a bad time. We are only now able to have razors in the house, I remember searching DD's bedroom and finding pencil sharpener blades under the mattress. Most of my kitchen knives are still in the loft where I had to put them out of her way. It didn't feel right searching and snooping, and I'm sure you hate it too, but it had to be done to keep her safe and it was something the ward were insistent on. Trouble is, it destroyed any trust DD had in us, and though she has more or less stopped self harming, we still haven't regained that trust.
Dealing with the unpredictability on a daily basis is completely draining, it's so easy just to give up on trying to plan anything as you never know when you will end up sitting in A&E for hours waiting for them to be stitched up and assessed. It might be worth discussing a plan of action with CAMHS where you have a letter saying that she is under their care, and in the event of her needing A&E treatment for self harm, she doesn't need to be admitted for assessment by the duty psychiatric service.
Make sure you get as much practical and emotional support as possible, it is exhausting and isolating coping with a teen who is depressed.

Hi All

Maryz I hope you had a lovely birthday and got a chance to relax and got spoilt by your family.

My DS2 is in isolation at school today yesterday and friday for the incident i described. Having looked into it more he has been put there for not stopping one boy assulting another. My DS had no actual involvement with the assult.
I think this is quite harsh, but the lady from the support unit investigated it a bit more for me and it was 2 days for that and one day for rudeness to a teacher.

This morning i recieved a letter telling me to attend a reintergration meeting today at 8.30am, which obviously i have missed as not told.

Spoke to head of year his reply was 'oh was that today', so appears he did not know either, even though meeting was with him.

Letters also state that isolation for 3 days due to involvment in assult ( not getting help) and one day for rudeness to staff ( so he is back in there tomorrow)

I feel the school have failed here on several counts:
1) 3 days for not stoppoing one boy do something to another ( schools version not DS) Would this happen if he was not on their radar already??
2) another day for an incident i know nothing about really and was only mentioned when i chased up the school.
3) lack of communication to myself and the support unit ( who i informed DS was in isolation)
4) Just all seems very heavy handed

On top of this i have emailed the school as DS had SEN report done, no major issues but he struggles with reading and writing at times. This report ( 4 weeks ago) made some suggestions for ideas to help. I have heard nothing, no action has been taken. So emailed to say what are you doing about this?

I am going into school in the morning, and will be pointing out the lack of communication at play here.

Has anyone ever said no their child is not going back into isolation?

4 days for what they say he has done seems mad and i was not informed of the 4th day until this morning.

I think i am prepared to take him home if they insist he has to attend isolation. But does anyone know where that will leave me?

Hope everyone else is ok, god its hard at times isn't it

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 14:52:28

What happened to the boy who actually did the assault?

I think I would be inclined to take him home if the original punishment was three days and they have now made it four. I would also ask for a specific meeting to discuss the support issues, and try to get a plan in place.

I wish I had stepped in and taken ds's side against the school more. He would still have been expelled in the end, but at least he wouldn't have blamed me. With ds2 I am taking the track of trying to find out what he can help, and what he can't behaviour wise (so trying to get them to realise that he isn't rocking his chair or humming on purpose, for example). My aim with him is to get through this with us retaining some sort of respect for each other; what happens with the school is of secondary importance to me ultimately.

I had a lovely birthday, by the way smile. ds1 turned up and was friendly and chatty and even gave me a hug shock.

Oh i am really pleased for you Maryz, thats fantastic to hear.There is hope amongst all these teens grin

The advice on here especially from you has made me think about standing up for him more, and this incident sounded odd from the start.

The boy who carried out the assult was excluded for 3 days i believe.

I really believe that any other child who hadn't raised the alarm for help wouldn't have been treated the same way as my ds, but i will never prove that!

I just find it hard to believe they can add a day for something else, and not even discuss.

I have asked for a seperate meeting ref support issues now ( thanks for that idea) , and have asked the lady who runs the support unit to attand as well. She has been great and even advised me that next year i should be aiming to get him onto college day release as it will suit him better.

I feel better just because i am doing something and hopefully showing DS that although i know he is not perfect ( far from it) i also know not everything is as bad as the school makes it seem.

brighterfuture Tue 20-Nov-12 20:48:14

Have just had the tuesday night come down verbal assault from Ds. He's kicked the bin over and thrown the clean washing everywhere. He's hit himself and woken his little sister up to yet more shouting. All because I offered to take him in late tomorrow morning as he has no lessons but requested that after school he comes home on the bus as I want him home and will not be able to go and get him if he misses it. Apparently he will do what he wants after school and if he doesn't come home then he will sort it out (basically meaning he will crash on a friends floor and then miss school the next day). I have apparently done nothing but nag him since he came in reality I have fed him , made him a nice pudding. Requested nothing from him at all and given him my computer to watch in his room....

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 20:52:32

I used to hate Mondays when ds was really bad, because Thursday and Friday were the big nights out, Saturday and Sunday were hangover days, and Monday was when the withdrawal shit hit the fan behaviour arrived.

ds has still not done his course work. Final day, tomorrow.

I don't know what to do.

But I'm certainly not going to make any sort of suggestion - I would get a reaction like yours Brighter.

I hope your meeting goes ok tomorrow Diet. Have you got anyone who could go with you and take notes? I used to come out feeling really frustrated and outnumbered.

brighterfuture Tue 20-Nov-12 21:12:38

My Ds goes to all night raves on Sat night which carry on through Sunday so he loses a whole nights sleep + whatever drugs he's had Tuesday is a bad day. Last week we had a meltdown on the same night I seem to recall.... I am sorry your Ds is shooting himself in the foot over his coursework Maryz I understand how frustrated and dissapointed you must feel . You are right to not say anything though ...I need to learn to keep my gob shut more not react !

maryz thats a great idea about taking someone, it hadn't occured to me, thank you.

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 23:32:53

So many new things for me to respond to...! smile

Maryz - I'm so glad about your DS1 coming to your birthday grin
I think I remember that he remembered it last year too (a card?)... So is that two years running now? smile

As for the coursework... I don't think there is anything you can do, is there? sad

brighter - Last year, I had those come-down outbursts from my DS1 every week, on Mon or Tues, depending on which night(s) he'd been out. They are horrible. The last one led to me calling 999. sad

He hasn't had any of those total freak-outs for a couple of months now, which I hope means he is telling me the truth about not taking m-cat any more and cutting down on the skunk. (See, I'm actually beginning to dare to hope!) He has been grumpy as hell Sun/Mon and today, and rude and argumentative, but he has kept his temper smile

diet - Your school's response sounds very familiar. It is a hard one. Many schools are not fair, and they do not communicate at all well with parents. But IMO our teens are also out of place and troublesome.

I think your decision to stand up for your DS more often is a sound one (like Maryz says, your relationship with him is more important and goes on longer) BUT I do have some words of caution...:

1) You will not win, and you will not get the school to change their action - I am 98% sure. Be clear that you are taking a stand for your DS - because you believe it's the right thing to do for him, and not because you expect to change anything. Detach yourself from any expectations about what the school will do, or you'll get angry/frustrated/upset.

2) Sanctions are often heavy-handed and/or unfair. It took me a long time to work out why: in the end I realised that school 'discipline' is about 'herd' or 'hive' well-being, not individual well-being: the school will act in what it sees as the best interest of the school as a whole, even if this is NOT in your child's best interests.

My DS once got 3 days for moving a bench from outside into a corridor because that was their bright idea of escaping the cold! hmm The friend who moved the bench with him got lunchtime detentions instead. hmm The head said the difference was a response to their different 'attitudes'.

Days do also get added at whim. Once, my DS got one day for smoking, then another day added for drawing cartoons after he'd finished the work he'd been given, then another day for saying that wasn't fair. hmm

3) 3 days in isolation for involvement in an assault is about what I would expect. My DS's school did not distinguish between the person punching and others present - they often operate a kind of 'collective punishment'.
(My DS was once excluded for 2 weeks for playing with a lighter in the sports hall, and for other 'acts of vandalism' that had happened in the same place the following week on a day when he was off sick. hmm angry The head and governors (I complained) were not even remotely interested in that fact (see 1 and 2)).

4) Communication with/from school is often shockingly bad, IMO. Nothing 'fixes' this problem IME, but a few things help:
- Find one person in the senior management team who will talk to you, and try to always deal with this individual, whenever there is a problem;
- Put things in writing, especially if you want to confirm something they have promised. After a meeting, email key points/agreed actions to your friendly management team member, and/or the head.
- If they get really bad and won't take your calls or answer your emails, re-send it asking for a prompt reply and CC your email to someone else - I used someone in the local education authority a few times. The school seems to want to be seen to be answering you! grin

Good luck!

Flow thank you for all that advice.
I have been in this morning and seen the head of year.

The three days for involvement in the assult have already been done so although i feel its harsh, i see no point in arguing that. Am also hoping DS had learnt something from it.

I have though raised the extra today, which i knew nothing about and it is due to teacher complaining about his attitude 5 weeks ago. I have made it clear the lack of communication is terrible over this. I also said that 5 weeks on is really to late to issue this isolation day. He agreed and DS is now in lessons today!

Whilst discussing this it came clear that this same teacher has been making DS sit outside the classroom for the last 5 weeks. I have asked the head of year to look at this, as i don't think that is acceptable. I have said if she refuses to have him in lessons then he can go to the support unit for her class, where at least he will be working. Its art which i know he will not take at option time, so would rather he did extra reading work in that time.

I do feel we have got somewhere today, not far but DS seems morr positive now

Oh and i shall follow that all up when i get home with an email, sound advice again.

I would just like to add the support on here is great and i really appriciate it

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Wed 21-Nov-12 10:04:45

It is difficult when they are having punishment added on to punishment onto punishment, isn't it? Flow's advice is good though - especially about the "herd" punishment rather than trying to improve things for an individual.

One day ds2 was in the ridiculous position of having a lunchtime and an after school detention, as well as being kept back by a teach at breaktime, all on the same day. So he went from 8.50 to 6 pm with no break and no food - not the best way to get a child with ADHD to be able to sit quietly and concentrate confused. And as far as I could see the only crime he had committed was fidgeting in class - which I know is annoying, but isn't something he does deliberately to wind up the teacher, and isn't exactly on the same scale as vandalism, bullying or smoking dope.

ds2 also has one teacher who has been refusing to teach him, and when I asked her what exactly he had been doing that she sent him outside every day, the only answer she had was that he was continually kicking his table leg.

I want to support the school, I really do, but they are grinding him down and he feels it doesn't matter what he does he is in trouble with someone.

diet, can your son give up a couple of subjects? I always felt that if ds1 had been allowed to pack in the two or three (out of 12) subjects that he had to do at 14 he could have spent the free time doing prep (thus freeing his evenings) and got on much better in the other 9 or 10.

maryz yes luckily he is already missing one lesson. Spanish. He isn't going to take it for gcse so he has the support u it doing extra english with him then. Art will go as well if she will not have in the room!

I am lucky that the support unit are good at his school, and they really like him too which helps!

renz Wed 21-Nov-12 19:19:33

Thank you MaryZcary for doing this, I am new here but it shows me that my DD's behaviour is within the range of "normal" teenage behaviour. Can i ask for general advice on the following

DD is not behaving terribly but she will not do as she is asked, ever, and if we try to give her refusals as a penalty for not doing what she has been asked to do she will "explode" and tonight has climbed out of her window for the second time. (only gone to friends - so no danger at this point)

She has a group of friends that are allowed to hang around the park at night in a town about 4 miles from our house,but we do not feel that at 14yrs that this is appropriate. There have also been rumours of her smoking (denied). Recently just joined Dof Edin Bronze but wont talk about/discuss what she is going to do to achieve it!
Stays up till 4am but doesnt see why its a problem and as another described on here falls asleep as soon as gets home from school. Have removed computer/ipad/switched off wifi but all a constant battle...

What do you feel is the best course of action??

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Wed 21-Nov-12 19:33:24

I can't really advise, renz (welcome to the thread btw) because I never found a punishment or an incentive that made ds behave confused.

What are you asking her to do that makes her so angry? I think if I were you I would try (!) first to compromise - tell her you want to sit down with her and work out rules that you are happy with and she is willing to obey. You then need to work out with your husband/partner the things you won't budge on and the things you can.

You might have to allow trips to the park if you collect her at a certain time, for example.

It's difficult - because I know some teens who behave when their phones/laptops/whatever are taken away. dd certainly does - even a thread means she sits and compromises. And she never blatantly goes against what we decide. But for other teens that simply doesn't work, and you get to the stage where they are being punished so much and for so long there is no incentive to behave.

At our worst I had three rules (and even those I couldn't always enforce) - no drugs in the house, no violence and he had to text if he wasn't coming home at night. He was 15 then - so obviously these were are unrealistic for "normal" kids.

Whatever you do decide are the rules - curfew/school/study etc., stick to only those rules and let other stuff go (bedrooms for example, really don't matter). Try very hard not to add in other stuff that isn't in the agreement.

Also, try at your meeting to say one good thing for every bad thing, and don't immediately undo the good that does. So if you say "I'm delighted you are doing DoE", don't then say "What are you going to do about it?"

If this works and you end up with a better line of communication you can then introduce other habits.

summer111 Wed 21-Nov-12 19:56:34

I'm also new to this thread and have a daughter of a similar age diagnosed with depression in June. It is so emotionally draining, I feel like I am walking on eggshells all the time. dd has superficially self harmed on a few occasions so we don't feel like we can go out and leave her at home in case she does something to harm herself - which means our lives are so much more restricted. dh was diagnosed with cancer a year ago which has been a huge trigger for her - I thought life was difficult with his diagnosis and ongoing treatments but believe me, the unpredictability of dd's illness is so much worse.
Just to add, CAMHS have been a great support to dd and us as a family.

renz Wed 21-Nov-12 19:58:13

thank you for your suggestions, make a lot of sense, I will try the discussion/compromise/agreement route. Hopefully we can agree a way forward that will work. Thanks again much appreciated

Maryz Wed 21-Nov-12 21:31:37

summer, depression and self-harm are so difficult to deal with sad. Do you have any support for you. I know it sounds silly, but counselling for me really helped me cope with ds's self-destructive behaviour. It made me work out what I could help with, and what I couldn't and stopped me lying awake at night pondering all the various "what-ifs"

I'm sorry about your dh - that's another stress for all of you.

I think most families are walking on a bit of a tightrope, and it only needs one thing - illness, like in yours and Cory's cases, SN, behavioural problems, school issues, anything at all really to knock us off that tightrope, at which stage things can spiral out of control very quickly.

Maryz Wed 21-Nov-12 21:33:50

By the way I'm sorry for the name changes - I'm usually Maryz, but have changed for Hallowe'en and to protest about early Christmas over-enthusiasts.

Is there anyone I have missed or ignored? I know I haven't been on here every day (and Flow in particular has been doing trojan work), but I hope no-one feels their posts have been missed. If you do, please post again. I know when things were at their worst for me just knowing someone was there to listen made things just about bearable.

Anyhoo, onwards and upwards smile

Doinmummy Thu 22-Nov-12 22:50:28

Hi it's me again < sigh> I started a thread about Dd refusing to go to school tomorrow as she has nothing to wear ( non uniform day) . I feel like she's black mailing me. I'm worried about her missing lessons. Had some good advice re making the day miserable for her by removing laptop etc. which I will do. I went back to GP and am waiting for counselling for myself. I feel wrung out.

flow4 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:26:59

Time for me to sigh now... Just had a visit from the police... sad There has been a burglary in our area, and because DS was arrested for burglary in the spring after he snuck into his ex-friend's house and stole their 'phone, he's on their list of suspects. sad

Thankfully it does seem to have been a one-off bit of unbelievably fking stupid awfuloff-his-head behaviour, and there have been no repeats...

At least they didn't arrest him this time, because he has a clear alibi... But this is I think our 4th visit from them. sad

It does make me wonder how long he'll be on their radar...

He's getting me self-aware though: he apologised to me after they left.

flow4 Fri 23-Nov-12 00:28:05

He's getting more self-aware...

I'm tired, sorry.

Maryz Fri 23-Nov-12 07:53:27

That's horrible Flow, especially late at night.

We had a visit from the drug squad recently. Funnily enough, dh was very shaken, I'm much more resigned these days. ds is top of their shit list atm. It reminds me of school inthat I'm sure he does a lot wrong, but not half as much as they think he does, iykwim.

Thank goodness he had an alibi.

willwegetthrough Fri 23-Nov-12 14:42:06

Still dipping into this thread for comfort (sorry!).

DD has been on a fairly even keel the last few days although the week started badly - she was very down. I spoke to mentor at school yesterday just to ask that she be given as much support as possible - she wants to get through her schooling (although hating it) given the work she's already put in. Mentor was nice enough but says dd has to WANT the support/help. I did understand - she puts up such a defensive barrier. She has some horrible marks on her arms at the moment - I hate to think of her feeling the need to do that to herself.

Thinking of everybody - hope you're all coping.

brighterfuture Fri 23-Nov-12 15:34:39

It really does give me some comfort to know that I am not alone in dealing with a difficult teen. It is so stressful parenting a child who wants to self destructt.

I Just stopped work to go into school to pick up Ds who was ill ( though seems ok to me)

I was Pulled into deputy heads because ds has had so many unauthorised absences and also missed 3 hours of detention so now he has 6 to do. He just doesn't get it that if he misses a lesson he'll have to do 2x the time in detention. Nearly all his free time now should be spent in detention so I very much doubt he will go.

Next On to the secretary who tells me he has failed to sign and hand in a form to enrol him for his baccalauriate exams and the closing date has passed so they can't print him off another !
I Have to plead/ cajole and beg and the find another teacher to get a different thing signed. All the while ds losing his temper because none of it is his fault of course and he's dying of illness and why can't we just go home!

Once home after a lot of hassle from me he found the form which I managed to scan and send off hopefully in time for him to be entered for the exam so his whole year wont have been a total waste of time !

I find him later in the garden smoking a bong - get this apparently its only got tobacco in and his lungs are full of mucus so he's smoking it to help him expell it !!!

He is so dissorganised I despair. He seems incapable of taking responsibility for anything but if I just let go he will be out on the street with all his druggy friends... maybe this is what he's aiming for.

He's nearly 17 but I am running around after him trying to make good as he sabotages is life. I so want to give in and let it all fall apart sad

willwegetthrough Fri 23-Nov-12 16:42:48

Brighter - you spend all those years feeling (and being) responsible for them and it is so hard to leave them to it. I've no doubt you will fret tonight, but then find the resolve to keep trying for your ds.

I see now I should probably have been tougher with dd long ago, and am frightened to try to be tough now (even if I've got it in me) in case she hurts herself really badly.

brighterfuture Fri 23-Nov-12 17:14:16

Willwe Its so much easier being responsible for a young child least they don't hate you for it ! I don't think we should blame ourselves for what we did or did not do. I am so sorry you are living with the worry that your dd will harm herself, it must be heartbreaking. My ds is always threatening to give up school, leave home etc's a form of emotional blackmail. When they are depressed and self harming you want to be loving and protect them so that they don't get even more depressed and so they get away with behaviour that in the normal scheme of things would never be tolerated.

Doinmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 18:34:15

Sending lots of strength( albeit a bit feeble) to those with children who harm themselves . What a worry.

flow4 Fri 23-Nov-12 19:14:30

It was a bit horrible, Maryz, though like you I am a bit hardened to it... And I would sooner a police visit late at night when DS2 is asleep, than early in the morning when he would inevitably be affected too...
The police were very polite and pleasant (they usually are) and apologised for bothering us, once they were satisfied he couldn't have been involved...

brighter and willwe, sometimes I think we should talk about the 'terrible teens' rather than the 'terrible twos' ! hmm

Doinmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:27:53

Give me a tantrumming 2 year old any day.

flow4 Fri 23-Nov-12 19:55:49

Yeah, me too. hmm

teapot5 Sun 25-Nov-12 00:23:25

yes, me too. It's SOOOOOOOO exhausting to have a teen who has a body of an adult and a mind of a 2 year old.

I need to remind myself - 'nothing stays the same' = meaning - they will change (eventually - they'd better!!!). At the same time like Maryz has mentioned many times 'detatch yourself'. I feel that nothing can change my DD unless she WANTS that change to happen. So the only way forward is to 'change the way I deal with things (I can't change the way I feel)'. But it's bloody hard, isn't it?

Wishinglifeaway Mon 26-Nov-12 16:18:46

I'm sorry I hadn't wished a you a Happy Birthday especially as you weren't having the best time sad computer promptly decided to not play ball, must be a teenager! hmm
So I'm wishing you a belated Birthday to Maryz thanks ....

I haven't been on for sometime and I'm just catching up with everyone else's threads. I'm so grateful for this thread, and that I feel I'm not the only parent going through it. Although, it's also so sad to think of all those messed up teenagers out there, along with their stressed out to the max parents.

Doinmummy Tue 27-Nov-12 20:57:57

Well you could have knocked me down with a feather! I worked a 12 hour shift at the weekend, came home to all the washing done and hanging up to dry, a spotless kitchen and an immaculate ,hoovered lounge. All done by my infuriating DD.

She's either an absolute nightmare or bloody perfect! Somewhere in between would be lovely grin

Lemonylemon Wed 28-Nov-12 10:57:35

Can I sneak on here and vent please? I don't do this in RL. I just want to say that I absolutely hate my son at the moment. He is a nasty, bad tempered, rude little bastard. OK, so those are the thoughts in my head and the ones that I cannot say.

Please don't flame me! I feel bad about the way I feel, but have been on the receiving end of his bloody awful moods for a couple of years now. He's supposed to be doing his GCSE's this year. I've got extra tuition for him, but one of the lessons he skips all the time. He just plays on his laptop all the time when he's supposed to be revising. Thinks I'm stupid. blah, blah, blah.....

Sorry, just venting.

Maryz Wed 28-Nov-12 11:03:48

They do that on purpose Doin. They are all nice for a few days, just so you get your hopes up and then they suddenly kick you in the teeth again [bitter].

Don't worry about saying that here Lemony. All of us have felt the same at times - we just can't say it in real life.

ds1 just called me a fucking bitch. I'm actually scared of him this morning for the first time in ages. So I'm going out. But I shouldn't have to. It's my house. It's him who should go.

So am I gutless or sensible? I don't know.

And I got a letter from the school about ds2 this morning.

Maryz Wed 28-Nov-12 11:04:17

Thanks for the thanks wishing smile

MrsBodger Wed 28-Nov-12 13:48:58

Just come across this thread - I'm another one with a problem teen who's grateful for so many people's advice on mn, especially Maryz. Sorry to hear you're having a bad day today - hope it gets better.

Doinmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 13:55:23

Maryz I feel the same ( fear) when dd kicks off. I think it's sensible to go out. It shouldn't be that way but can save a situation from getting worse.

1944girl Wed 28-Nov-12 21:58:45

I have just been recommended this thread by another mumsnetter.I have a 16 year old grandaughter living with me who is causing loads of problems.
I will come back as soon as I can as I must come off PC now as my son needs it for his photo business.
Hope to write soon.

Sodthemall Wed 28-Nov-12 22:15:25

Can I de-lurk, please? I haven't caught up with all this. Until I discovered Mumsnet I thought I was so ashamed and thought I was the only person in the world who had teenage children that are as foul as they are... I have 3, that each in their own delightful way, have been frighteningly awful. Am I the only person who locks their bedroom door for their own safety each night? I don't know, as a parent, how I got it so wrong. I would never have behaved as mine do to my parents. But, it's a long story, it's late, and I would like to de-lurk and say thank you to know I am not alone.

Doinmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 22:29:00

Def not alone sod . Come and join us. Plenty of advice and hand holding.

Brightspark1 Wed 28-Nov-12 22:32:04

sod join the club, except I have tried locking my own bedroom door for my own safety. sad
I have spent ages trying to work out what I did or didn't do or should have done to end up in a situation where I ended up being scared of my own DD. She isn't living with us at the moment as a result of where things ended up about six months ago. At the moment, she seems to have turned herself around and our relationship has improved a lot.
Tomorrow we have a progress review with SOcial services etc. I'm off to bed now but I expect I shall be back on in the middle of the night looking for someone to hold my hand. I want her back, but I find the idea really scary too. confused

Sodthemall Wed 28-Nov-12 22:55:30

Thanks so much, I really need to find the time in between mopping up the mud from the dogs, post monsoon rains, and just trying to calm down after yet another evening of son swearing, door slamming, telling me to f off, and basically being someone I can't believe I gave birth to. I appreciate the hand holding. Gosh, I need it. Bedroom door locked. Internet off in a mo. It's the only consequence I have, but it means I can't use it, and he may kick my door in to turn on the modem. Jeez. If people I work with, and know in real life, knew, they wouldn't believe it. I thought the fear of domestic violence was between husbands and wives, not with your 6ft+ 17 year old son.

Sorry, I'm tired. Dog's been sick about 6 times this evening, probably because he's eaten all the rubbish (homework, plastic yoghurt pots, pens, etc etc) that is left lying all over the front room. I do not have enough eyes in my head to watch all this, and I'm buggered if I'm going to tidy it up, but I do have the responsibility to ensure an animal does not come to harm because a teenager behaves like an arse.

Brightspark1 Thu 29-Nov-12 01:39:56

sod Have a brew . We put up with behaviour from our teens that if it were from our partners would be called domestic violence. It doesn't seem to be recognised at all, and there seems to be bugger all support or understanding in real life for parents in this position. In fact we are often blamed for causing the problem in a way that we wouldn't if it were our partners. Being in the position of having to call the police to deal with your child is awful, but I have had to do it in the past, on the advice of the MH services. At the time , we had no choice, but it felt like the ultimate admission of failure.
No one should have to live in fear in their own homes, it's not acceptable in anyway. Someone described teens as giant toddlers, the naughty step doesn't work when they are 6" taller than you does it?

brighterfuture Thu 29-Nov-12 06:42:47

Lilka... your post really resonates with me. I am sorry you have to live with this.

My house also has several broken doors and door frames. 2 glass panels kicked out. The table outside which I made and weighs a ton was overturned and broken ( his anger must have generated a hulk like strength) not to mention the fist indentations in walls ....

I also feel so sad for my 2 younger dc who have to live with his temper.

I just averted him kicking off this morning .... I am ashamed to say by being weak and advancing him 20 quid on his weekend earnings. He's already blown 30 since the weekend on fags and dope. My 2 ds go off really early to school and I just couldn't bear for my DD, still asleep, to be woken by his roaring sad .
I know he'll just spend it on more dope and so the cycle continues but in the moment I just wanted to spare the other dc and me yet another scene.... I am not usually such a push over but I am so tired ..... now I feel shit because I have just reinforced that being an angry arse gets results sad

I try, like Maryz to be calm and act normal and give him lots of empathy... like " I'm hearing that you need more money" etc... basically repeating back to him whatever he's shouting his woes are at the time... and not saying what I am really longing to say. .....saving it till later when he's calmed down and in a more reasonable mood. This works quite well as he feels heard and because I am not setting myself up in opposition to him it kind of deflates his argument.

I have to try to separate the child I love from the behaviour I hate. I am so very tired of trying to keep afloat someone who wants to sink.

brighterfuture Thu 29-Nov-12 06:48:52

Just posted and saw that there's lots of posts I hadn't yet seen, I think I opened on the wrong page... confused
thanks to all the other mums posting here. I'm finding it so supportive to hear your stories and know I am not alone. I hope we all have a calm day today

downgoesthefence Sun 02-Dec-12 22:59:51

MaryZ - I wonder if I could have some guidance, please.

DS2 is 16, in Year 11 at school. He has been using cannabis for about two years. He goes out with his mates maybe twice a week and they hang around in parks and I believe smoke dope. He's also started spending a lot of time in the bathroom and I think may be smoking cigarettes or dope in there. I've got a really useless sense of smell so can never detect anything.

He often leaves his phone around and there's usually some messages from him to his mates - drug speak about wanting to get mongulled and that he's just rolled a joint for a wake and bake etc.

I give him hardly any money (I've told him I'm not giving him money just to be spent on screwing his head up. He doesn't say anything to this) and he's not often out of the house, except to go to school. This 'wake and bake' message has made me wonder if he smokes on the way to school. I find rizla papers, tobacco and filters hidden in his room and tend to throw them away - never any drugs. He's doing okay at school and there's been no recent concerns raised about him and drugs at school.

Apart from this nonsense he's a really nce, kind lad - into sports and generally good company.

I know by others standards this isn't a big issue, but I'd really welcome some guidance from you on how to handle things to prevent things escalating.

Lilka Sun 02-Dec-12 23:04:14

Hope the people here had calm (or calmer than average) weekends

Brighter thanks - Things get broken quite often in our house as well. I've not replaced the door yet, it's not worth it and I'm trying to save as much money as possible for the next months at least. I hope today has been okay

We've had quite a good weekend and wonderful dat today smile She spent today playing with her niece (7 months). She adores her. She doesn't have a good grasp of baby care though, tried to feed her Dr Pepper when I wasn't looking. She tries, bless her smile

I take heart from the fact that she's better now than she used to be. She's always been challenging, from the first days I met her. She was an overexcited, vulnerable, anxious, scared, confused, exuberant, funny darling of an 8 year old. She bounded right up to me with a beautiful smile and nervous eyes and very tense muscles. I call her my Hedgehog. Prickly and defensive on the outside, and under that (very tough) shell, small and vulnerable. She likes being called her nickname, although she doesn't know why I picked it! And we've had tough times. I knew we would from the first description of her I ever read, which described a lively, lovely girl aged 7 who couldn't read or write a word, had a Learning Disability, complex PTSD and various behavioural problems. Had had an awful early life and was about to lose her foster family, her birth brothers and sisters and leave everything else she knew behind. Prearation and knowledge does not make it emotionally easier to live with mind. In fact, I have come across the attitude that since I chose this, I don't have a right to moan or ask for a bit of sympathy. But she's better now than she was. Her behaviour is challenging (volatile, and plenty of lying, shouting, swearing, hoarding and gorging food, some stealing and other things) and sometimes destructive to me, herself, the house and everything in it...but way better than it used to be.

So I'm not sure what the point of posting this is, except to remind myself that she's come far and so surely can make progress given more time. Late teens is a hard time for lots of parents, but as an adult we might see more improvements. And also that as hard as she is, and frustrated and upset and angry as I get, I wouldn't be without her, not for anything. Having good days like today makes me all weepy and happy and wanting to shout from the rooftops - or just post a pointless long and rambly post on mumsnet instead blush I remain HOPEFUL. For her, AND for everyone else on here - may we all see progress and things we didn't think possible in the months and years to come

flow4 Mon 03-Dec-12 09:33:16

Lilka, some children have so much to deal with in their early lives that I don't know how they survive at all. Finding new adoptive parents like you is how, I guess. smile

downgoes, you are right about the slang meaning of 'wake n bake'; but if he is getting up, going to school, doing OK, participating in sports, and not having violent mood swings, then I would say that he is probably using very little, or perhaps not even using at all. (I once caught my son on FB chat to a friend, who had asked him what he was up to, replying something like "Nothing much, just hanging out at Joe's having a spliff"... When he was in our sitting room doing his homework and digesting his tea! hmm )

But even if he's just boasting, it does show that he sees drugs as something desirable, so you're right to be concerned. There is unfortunately nothing much you can do about it, though, except:
- Make sure he has reliable information and isn't relying on what his mates tell him about drugs, and
- Try to keep him engaged in as many enjoyable/challenging things as possible. IME, kids get drawn into drugs because they are bored with school and haven't found anything else to engage them...

bright - loads of damage here too (one internal and one external door kicked through; one fanlight window broken; 4-5 punched holes in walls; countless bits of smashed crockery, including some special hand-made bits like our fruit bowl sad ; one smashed telephone; two washing baskets ripped apart (one rattan, one plastic)... And that's all I can remember).

Nothing damaged for a while now though. smile I used to think it was purely the skunk that gave him the rages - or at least, not having more the day after he'd had lots. But he is still smoking it, though far less - so there seems to be some kind of 'tolerance level'. Also, he was (I discover) taking a lot of M-CAT, and isn't any more - so perhaps the rages were connected to that, or to a combination of skunk and M-CAT...? That's a nasty drug, and no-one seems to know much about it yet...

Doinmummy Mon 03-Dec-12 19:58:42

Here we go again. Daughters BF has just run out in tears. Daughter has been talking and flirting with another boy on the phone in front of BF. I asked her what happened, she told me to fuck off. I went to comfort BF and he told me what she's done. This is not the first time . I've heard her do it before and told her then how cruel it is.

She stormed downstairs screaming at me to fuck off. I slapped her round the head( I know I know) and she hit me back.

I told her to get out and not come back. I'm disgusted with her. This is her all over, unfeeling, uncaring and selfish. Poor BF

kansasmum Mon 03-Dec-12 20:54:00

Just discovered this thread and am working through the posts.
I am at my wits end with my 16 yr old ddsad
She's in her first year of 6th form and has been skipping so many lessons. She has a crappy attitude both at home and school. She is so behind with one subject in particular I seriously doubt she can catch up. So here I am having sleepless nights worrying about her while she quite obviously couldn't give a crap.
On good days she is clever funny and just lovely but I can't remember the last time she was like that. Its all confrontation and argument - she tells me to F* off frequently when I talk to her about school.
We had meeting with Head of 6th form at my request and they have offered to set up all sorts of support and study skill sessions etc and her teachers want to help- but she doesn't give a toss. She told me she'd handed an essay in that was way overdue-she has about 5-6 to do to catch up now. Spoke to her teacher today who called me because she hadn't turned up AGAIN and she hasn't handed anything in. I have told her all evening to get on and write the damn essay but has she bothered -no.
I understand she finds her courses hard but it might be easier if she turned up!
I worry she will be kicked out and then what???
And what I am about to type breaks my heart: I love her but I really don't like her right now.

Have no idea what to do - have said I will support her choice if she chooses to leave 6th form and do an apprenticeship BUT she's not leaving til she has something set up- she has done NOTHING about finding an alternative.
Basically she is a lazy moody rude selfish cow. She takes responsibility for nothing and her room is a tip.

God what an essay......!
At my wits end and feel like throwing my hands up and saying "Get on wit it and if you f* up don't look to me to help." But I'm her mum.

Doinmummy Mon 03-Dec-12 21:42:07

Daughter has stripped off . Should I try to find her? I don't know if I can be bothered . sad

ShakenUpAgain Tue 04-Dec-12 05:39:10

I've namechanged, not sure why - possibly because I feel horribly judged often by my dd1(15)'s actions and I haven't posted on this thread because things had calmed down considerably lately but things have been escalating again recently with her self harming.

Last week she lost her temper and set fire to the bathroom - very scary but I managed to put the fire out before it took hold.

I woke up about half an hour ago to the doorbell. I sleep right at the top of the house so I wasn't sure if I had actually heard it or if I had been dreaming. Dh wasn't in bed with me and I heard a voice I didn't recognise so I got up to see what was going on - it was the ambulance service. She's taken another overdose (5th time). She doesn't take enough to do any real damage, but enough to cause alarm and be taken into hospital for obs.

Dh has gone with her, we have another dd(13) in the house so one of us has to stay put.

I'm pretty sure I know what it's about this time - her ex boyfriend posted a picture yesterday on facebook of him with another girl and she's trying to get his attention despite them both having moved on (officially).

Don't know why I'm posting really other than getting it down in writing because it's 5.40am and I'm wired and worried.

flow4 Tue 04-Dec-12 07:59:05

Oh Shaken, I'm sorry. What a stressful time for you.

I don't have much experience of a child self-harming like that. My DS did it only once. It made me extremely angry - essentially my reaction was "How DARE you do this?"

After that, he settled on less direct forms of self harm like smoking, taking drugs and getting himself into trouble. Someone once said that boys tend to 'act out' and be anti-social, while girls tend to 'act in' and self-harm or become depressed. It's a generalisation, but I think there's a lot of truth in it.

After a while, I found my indignation was still there, but much weaker... Exhaustion and stress and anger muted it. How do you feel about your DD's behaviour?

Kansas, I think you are right that you are going to have to let her get on and make her own mistakes. Around this age, they have to learn to take control of their own behaviour. The difficult thing is, she'll probably then need your help! hmm smile

doin, it's a bit of a mess, isn't it? You were going to get some help... Have you done that?

Doinmummy Tue 04-Dec-12 08:12:51

I'm still waiting for counselling . Could be up to 8 months according to GP. Daughter didn't come home last night.

flow4 Tue 04-Dec-12 08:38:32

I think you need to go back to the GP. Tell her/him what happened last night. You need more RL support, doin.

Meanwhile, remember Maryz's mantra: "detach, detach, detach". Don't get involved in her relationship with her boyfriend - really, it won't help anyone - because you are already so angry with her, you won't be able to be constructive. When she calls you a bitch, don't rise to it. Definitely don't follow her - walk away.

I know it's easier said than done. I know they know how to push your buttons. But a situation where you are both hitting each other is deeply unhealthy. It's bad for you both. You really need to do something about it. You can't tackle her out-of-control behaviour while yours is out-of-control too. sad

If nothing else, phone Parentline now: 0808 800 2222. It really sounds like you need someone to talk to about all this.

It must be making you so unhappy, doin. Please do something about it.

Schlock Tue 04-Dec-12 09:12:20

How do you feel about your DD's behaviour?

Tricky one. I swing from angry to frustrated to upset to hopeless. I managed two years of it before ending up on ADs.

The self harm - I'm confused by it because I thought most self harmers did it furtively but she practically revels in it. She regularly doesn't make any attempt to cover cuts/scratches (although denies doing it if anyone asks her openly) and as far as I know she's always told me or her dad when she's taken too many tablets. She then kicks off at the hospital which is what she's done this morning. She refused bloods (usual for her, makes me question if she ever took any tablets at all), ripped off the monitors and is now home because they decided not to force her to stay the six hours as she was disturbing seriously ill children. I have to go to work now and leave her in the house alone, all I can do is text her ever so often to make sure that she's ok.

Last night (early hours) she took 6 propranolol tablets, 40mg each that she has been prescribed for anxiety, that's 240mg. This is the maximum dose given to adults for blood pressure conditions iirc, not that I've ever told her that! She ups what she takes every time but has started refusing (again) to see CAMHS. I'm not entirely sure if it's safe to leave her at home this morning but I don't know what else I can do. A colleague of mine was sacked not too long ago, I've used up all my annual leave and am at my maximum sick days before disciplinary is instigated as I've had to take so much time off already because of her behaviour.

Sorry not to be supporting others on here this morning, I'll come back later but I don't feel that I'm really in the best place to advise because if I knew the answers then presumably I wouldn't be in this position myself confused

flow4 Tue 04-Dec-12 09:56:59

I think it's absolutely fine to come here to get support without giving any. We all do it. There will be another time when you will realise you feel strong enough to advise another poster, and then you'll 'give back' :-)

Have you told work anything? I had to in the end, because DS was excluded. They were much more supportive than I expected.

Doinmummy Tue 04-Dec-12 13:26:07

Daughter has not gone to school today. I'm going to see head of year later.

Sitting at work trying not to cry.

raskolnikov Tue 04-Dec-12 13:44:03

Hi everyone (sorry this is long)

I'm not sure if this is the place for this as my DS1 is 20 now, but the issues have been going on for several years and MN has helped me before.

Ex and I split up 5 years ago and of course my 3 DCs have been affected by it to a greater or lesser extent in different ways. DS1 is very similar to his Dad and has always looked up to him. He left me for OW who is 15 years younger than him (I am 5 years older) and my DS has been in and on/off relationship with a girl for all of that time. She is a year older than my DS. The problem is that he seems to think its ok to maintain relationships with other girls while he is seeing her. They split up for a few months and he spends some time without a GF, and then they get back together and I realise that he's seeing someone else too. We are on about the 6th or 7th episode of this happening. Apparently he is now seeing a 16 yr old girl who lives nearby (his GF lives 100 miles away) and is a friend of my DS2s GF. He's met her family already. There have been occasions where he's tried to bring another GF home overnight shortly after the original GF has stayed. Of course as soon as I realised the plan I told him it was never going to happen and explained that this behaviour was unacceptable. So he hasn't had anyone staying now for several months, until last weekend when GF1 stayed. The next morning my DS2 told me about the other girl.

To my mind this reflects his Dad's attitude to women but I'm at a loss to see how to explain how completely unacceptable it is. He seems to have no respect for his GF at all, and was astonished when I said he appeared to be sleeping with 2 or more girls at once and that my DS2 and DD thought he had several GFs on the go. He says they are just friends of course.

The fact that this keeps happening over and over again amazes me - the GF keeps taking him back and wants to settle down with him. She's very wealthy and attractive so keeps him hooked (he's materialistic and narcissistic). How on earth do I get him to a place where he has a normal one on one relationship?

hadagutsfull Tue 04-Dec-12 14:22:29

I have been lurking on this thread for a while now, feeling sympathy for all those who've posted and taking comfort that I'm not the only one - I hope that doesn't sound selfish!

Am at home from work today off sick. Just had a call from Deputy Head regarding DS's latest antics. Apparently the same Deputy caught him trying to truant from a lesson yesterday but had a chat with him and sent him on his way - didn't report it or log it in any way, tried the reasonable approach. Fast forward to this morning and DS left the school site after registration and returned again about 30 minutes later with some younger boys. Again he was sent on his way, which shows that - despite what he says - not all the teachers are on his back! The call home (the latest in a long line) was to keep me informed and also to let me know that they don't want to exclude him but he's pushing it that way.

This sounds petty to what a lot of you have/are going through, sorry, but there's a lot of back history too. I know that he's smoked weed in the past and suspect that he still sometimes does. He's mentioned that a lot of kids in school take Mcat but I don't know if has although he says not. He does have major mood swings at times. He's hanging around with boys that I would prefer him not to and just doesn't seem to be able to shape up and take control of his future. He wants to apply to a particular company when he leaves school (which could be next year and he'll still only be 15 - August bday) and KNOWS that he needs to get 5 GCSEs to even be considered. He is very capable but just coasts along doing the bare minimum. If he would only give a little bit more effort he could do so much better.

How can I make him see sense? I don't think he really does want to spend his days hanging around on street corners smoking weed but sometimes I think that's where he'll end up. Other times he can be great - we spent a lovely day together on Sunday, shopping and then having a meal. DH is working ridiculously long hours at the moment and is like a bear with a sore head so I try to avoid mentioning anything to him because it just all erupts into a major row, but nothing ever gets resolved. It's just like going round and round in the same old circle.

I find myself being suspicious of DS all the time. When he's angry and being bloody awful I don't like him, when he's out I'm wondering who he's with and what he's doing, and when he's nice I'm wondering what's coming next! These teenage years are awful. I grieve for my lovely little boy and just wonder what the future will bring. This has gone on a bit hasn't it, sorry! Should post little and often ...

thriftychic Tue 04-Dec-12 16:24:35

can i join this thread ?
its ds2 that i have a problem with. He is 13 now and things started to get hairy when he started high school . Its his aggresive behaviour that causes the worst problems .
had to ask a neighbour to just come into my house this morning , so embarassing but it was the only thing that wouldve stopped ds2 in his tracks . he had been grabbing me and slamming me against the walls with his fist in my face and i was scared sad so shouted to the neighbour as i saw him getting out of his car.
ds2 has recently been diagnosed AS . to everyone else he seems perfectly normal , they wouldnt imagine how abusive he can be and i am struggling to know what is Aspergers behaviour and what isnt . tbh today i just feel like hes pure evil sad

MaryChristmaZEverybody Tue 04-Dec-12 16:43:15

Hey, everyone.

Sorry I haven't been around. I'm currently dealing with ds2's behaviour deteriorating - but I do see a real difference with him in that I know he loves me, and he himself is worried about his mood swings and behaviour, and doesn't like being in trouble, so I'm hopeful I will be able to work with him to sort it out. It's exam year for him, so he is under a lot of pressure sad.

I haven't time to read back through everyone's posts as I'm just heading out for taxi duty, but I'll be here tonight and have a good read. Sometimes, though, it helps just to write it all down to clarify your thoughts even though none of us can really come up with much in the way of "answers", if that makes sense.

I've decided that flow is me, as every time she writes a post I think "I was just going to say that" grin.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Tue 04-Dec-12 16:45:15

And now I have to go quickly, as I've just got a phone call to come and collect ds as apparently there has been an "incident" today. FFS, an incident, can't they just tell me what he did?

I think I'll home school him.

I'm just taking a 5 minute breather before I go as I'm afraid I'll crash the car

flow4 Tue 04-Dec-12 16:46:49

thrifty, that is so hard. I have a friend whose son has AS, and he experienced nasty violence from him too. My friend said exactly the same thing about not knowing what was AS and what was 'just' teenage behaviour. His DS grew taller than his dad, my friend, and the violence got worse. Once he broke his rib. My friend struggled on, but things got very desperate.

I would say, AS or not, if you are on the receiving end of any violence, or any threat of violence, CALL 999.

hadaguts and raskol, I think people will have lots of opinions and advice about your situations, but your posts are a bit 'buried' here. I think you should start your own thread - just click on 'start a new thread' on the main 'Teenagers' page, and cut and paste when you've written here into a new box smile

Doin, it's really hard having to go to work and pretend everything is 'normal' when you're really upset. Can you get to see the GP after work, or phone Parentline, and maybe take a day off if you need to do? You really do sound like you need some support...

flow4 Tue 04-Dec-12 16:57:38

Oh Maryz, bloody hell! I really, really hated the 'incident' phone calls. For me, they included DS1 playing with fire in the sports hall, breaking someone's nose, having his cheekbone broken, running away, being part of a group of 12 year olds who were all caught groping each other in music hmm... and countless other things... But when the phone rang I never quite knew whether to be ready for an ambulance or the police... sad

Can you really home school DS2? I think I might choose to do this with my DS1, if I had my time with him again...

hadagutsfull Tue 04-Dec-12 17:45:17

flow have taken your advice and started a new thread. Hope to get some advice/sympathy/suggestions!

Maryz I hope it's nothing too serious. DS's school call the most trivial things 'serious incidents' in my opinion.

Thanks to both of you for your advice and words of wisdom in this thread - it's really given me food for thought.

Doinmummy Tue 04-Dec-12 19:10:15

Hope the ' incident' was nothing seriousMaryz . I too dread the ' call from the school' it could be anything from murder to a broken bloody fingernail.

I too think flow is Maryz in disguise. I'm grateful to both of you for reading and replying.

Went to the school today as daughter didn't go in. We are being referred to a new 'Family Service' although I was told we might not fit the criteria. I have also self referred for counselling for me via work .

thriftychic Tue 04-Dec-12 19:13:31

maryz , hope it wasnt anything too awful sad i also dread the school phoning although ds2 is much worse at home .
school phoned 3 times last week , wouldnt participate in construction lesson , refused to do PE unless the teacher put him with another group who werent crayon munchers (his words) then removed him to isolation room (kicking off) and then to check a note that they thought was forged , it was .
flow , what happened with your friends son ? did things ever get better ? ds2 is also taller than me and dh , although not difficult as i am only 5ft 1 . dh did actually manage to get ds2 in the car and drove him round to the police station a few weeks back , ds2 told them we keep him locked up and the police seemed more interested in interrogating dh than ds2 . they contacted school , camhs and social services .
whilst they were at the station another policeman came to see me at home as it was me that ds2 had been abusive to . He wanted to know if i wanted ds2 arrested but i just couldnt do that. needless to say the whole incident made no difference to ds2 behaviour . dh had thought the police might warn him of the severity of his actions and put the frightners on a bit but it didnt work out like that.
i am scared that myself or ds1 will get hurt though . there have been a few near misses.

flow4 Tue 04-Dec-12 19:58:20

thrifty, things did get better for my friend and his son in the end, but things got very bad first. Eventually, his son was prescribed medication to help him manage his anger, and they had support from CAMHS, a support worker from social services, and 4 days/nights per month respite. There were still occasional incidents, but not as many. They were working towards the lad living independently when he was 18.5 or 19.

When my friend's DS turned 18, he became more challenging again, and 'discovered' alcohol... One day there was a major argument, and my friend threw his son out, and phoned social services to say he had done that, and was not having him back. He came under some pressure to keep him at home since there was no independent living accommodation available at that point, and my friend needed to be very strong, but he was very desperate. The lad was housed in warden-controlled B&B accommodation for 5-6 weeks, and then housed in his own (Housing Association owned) flat. He has now been living independently for almost 2 years, and really loves it. smile

As for the police, I think you need to call them at the time you are injured or feel threatened. If you do, they will take you seriously IME, and they will deal with the incident constructively. I called 999 three times, and the third time I had DS arrested. sad It was one of the most awful times of my life, but it did stop his violence entirely.

Doin, I'm really glad you self-referred to counselling. I always forget about workplace support, though quite a few employers offer it. I work for a local council, and we can self-refer to counselling AND there is a telephone helpline you can call 24/7 (I think). Have you called Parentline? Were they helpful?

P.S. I'm not Maryz, honest! grin

Doinmummy Tue 04-Dec-12 21:17:24

I have called parent line and had a weekly telephone chat with someone , she was a sweet lady but a bit wishy washy so not much help.

Have just had a chat with daughters father who up til now has been useless ( telling DD I like playing the victim), he said he spoke to her today on the phone and she shouted and swore at him . He said ( finally) we need to sit her down together and talk to her as a united front. Not before bloody time. I've been suggesting this for years.

flow4 Tue 04-Dec-12 22:35:22

That sounds like progress. It'll probably be a bit stressful, if you have wanted to do it for years... Can you clear the air with him first, before you sit down together with DD?

Brightspark1 Tue 04-Dec-12 22:42:11

Just checking in really, feeling pretty shit at the moment after last week's social service review, will try and post but the words wont come.
thrifty, flow is right, you will need to call the police when DS is violent towards you, difficult though it is.
schlocK, I do feel for you, having spent many nights in A&E after DD's overdoses and self harming and then going to work afterwards and pretend to be normal. DD has mostly stopped SH, so there can be an end, but it only happened when she made her mind up, neither CAMHS nor I could do anything til then. She used anything she could get her hands on and her arms are a mess. All you can do is keep on supporting her, and get support for yourself too; it's even more important to look after yourself, even if it's going for a coffee with a friend. thanks

Doinmummy Tue 04-Dec-12 22:53:45

flow DD father is now a counseller ( ironic after the fact that he was violent , controlling and abusive to me). We get on reasonably ok now but he still hasn't totally lost his need to put me down. He thinks he has all the answers so I will be interested to see how our talk withDD goes. Better than him doing nothing though.

Can I join this thread please, I've got a 13 year old son I'm at the end of my tether with. It's just one battle after another. I've lost count of the amount of times I've had people say, just ground him, take away his phone etc, just be firm. Ok is that before or after he has punched me, or kicked a door or pushed his younger sisters over.

I'm so weary, he had ADHD, that's seen as the parents fault. He doesn't give a shit about school or his mates or his family.

flow4 Thu 06-Dec-12 19:34:54

Ghosts, if you read back through this thread, you'll see lots of parents saying they've tried everything, and nothing works. IMO, the hardest part of having a 'troubled' teenager is realising you can't control them any more - they have to learn to control themselves. You guide them in that, but you can't make them.

One of the things you do need to do, though, is to establish your 'bottom line' - what you absolutely will not tolerate. For me, that very definitely includes not being hit. You and your other DC need to be safe and feel safe (and actually, I suspect that even the violent/angry teens themselves need to feel that their parent(s) will stop them from going too far).

The trouble is, once they get bigger/stronger than you, their violence is very frightening, and you can't actually stop them. So IME you need to call in 'reinforcements' to keep yourself safe. I think you need to 'draw a line' - don't tolerate him hitting you or his siblings (doors are another matter) - tell him that if he does it again, you will call the police. And then do.

brighterfuture Fri 07-Dec-12 08:23:10

I so nearly called the police yeaterday. Ds was violent for 2nd day running hitting Dh and smashing /throwing things. He woke my dd 8 up first thing in the morning to see him raging and hitting his dad. It was st Nicholas and we had hid some chocolate in her slipper but instead of enjoying that she hid under my bed covers crying.

My fear over calling the police is that where we live is remote. My fear is once they know of my son then he will be known/ targeted by them for ever more. I need however to draw a line for him. In between his rages he lies on the floor howling and also hits himself. To be honest I'm not sure if he needs arresting or sectioning. Later when he's calmed down he's all contrite.

I fear for the adult he's turning into. What about his future partners or Dc. Will he grow out of this or will his future family suffer from this dv? I know its my role as a parent to sort this out now.

I know its super important that he gets the message that this behaviour is completely unacceptable. Is calling the police the best way to drive this home ?

What are other peoples experiences of calling the police. Did they come quickly? Did they take the child away? Was there any followup .. Positive or negative repercussions ?

I am at my wits end, not good today, feel like ending it all, at least my kids would be better off somewhere else and not with me. I can't control my son, I feel as if people are blaming me. Ds just will not get out of bed and this morning was hell on earth as he just could not see that I just cannot be in two places at once, he refuses to get up to catch a bus, he refuses to get ready on time so I can take him before I drop the others off. He told me that he expects me to drop dd2 and 3 aged 5 and 2 in the playground by themselves at 820 then come back for him. His lack of understanding and maturity and empathy and care for others is staggering.

I lost it this morning, we were all late, I ranted raved told him I was putting him in care, I called him names ( I know, I feel bad) , the school have said its my responsibility to get my kids to school on time but when you have one 13 year old boy refusing to get up and gets aggressive when you do try. I found out that the mum of the boy who used to give him a lift stopped it as he refused to communicate with the boy over lifts, and he was always making them late again cos he refused to get up in time.

I've rowed with my mum who kept on and on about how I should just be firm and give him the cold flannel treatment. She just hasn't got a clue. I'm useless and crap, oh and his dad gives no support too,

I hate my ds, that's what a bad person I am

brighterfuture Fri 07-Dec-12 13:23:45

ghosts i am so sorry your ds's behaviour is so challenging at the moment.

It must be incredibly difficult looking out for the needs of your younger dc when he is being such an arse. What would happen if tomorrow you just ignored him and went out and didn't bother coming back to wake him or get him up ?

Is his behaviour attention seeking ? and how would he react if you just completely backed off from getting involved, denying him the attention he's getting ( not long term solution but just to give yourself a break). I know my ds would much rather have negative attention than none.

Could you leave him safely in the house but maybe turn the main power trip off when you leave so he can't watch screens etc. Its a long shot but a change in your predictive pattern of behaviour might make him think a bit. Phone the school and tell them that you are having difficulties and that if he is late or doesn't turn up that its not from lack of effort on your part.

Another tactic could be ,if he gets pocket money, to link it to him getting up and out , maybe 1 or 2 quid a day for a successful morning. Maybe after a day of shocking him by completely ignoring him you could suggest this , that way you can praise and reward his good behviour in a very immediate way.

I know its easy for me to make suggestions and maybe they are not workable in your situation but I see how at the end of yout tether you. Remind yourself that you are a good mum and this is not your fault. We have all said things we later regret.

Please ignore all annoying ,get a grip type advice as its usless and judgemental and not what you need at the moment.

Thank you brighter, I am feeling a little calmer now even if I am still very down. Ds is home from school, walked in , ignored me and went straight upstairs and on his Xbox where he will be until the early hours,

I haven't got the energy to fight tonight, I'm going to leave him too it, my other three girls need me too. I like your suggestions and I may try the pound a day incentive.

I think if I can make sure the girls get to school on time them at least then the education people get involved then at least they can see I am able to cope with them.

I know ds is upset with his dad. Neither he or his sister know whether they are coming or going as he wants them on different days due to work commitments and frequently let's them down which he never used to do. He always had the time to go places with them but he never does things with them now and the kids know it.

Thanks also flow4, I have called the police before on ds twice. Once when he punched me and again when he smashed loads of stuff in the house. They were great the first time, not so helpful second time. It did shock him though.

Also my ds is not open to negotiation, he just doesn't see things the way we do, he refuses to discuss ways forward. It is literally like banging your head against a wall.

thriftychic Fri 07-Dec-12 19:28:49

ghosts , we possibly have the same son shock
i cant give you any advice , im sorry , as i am struggling with the same stuff .
sending you a big hug and some thanks

flow4 Fri 07-Dec-12 19:55:08

Ghosts, if your DS won't get up and go to school, you can't make him. Don't listen to anyone who says you can. I did, and it caused major, dangerous conflict. 2 of the 3 occasions when I had to call 999 were mornings when I was trying desperately to get him up.

I did the 'paying him to go to school' thing too. It worked for quite a long time - over a year. I paid £2/day if he attended, and I didn't give him any other money during term-time. (In the holidays I paid him for doing jobs instead)>

brighter, you asked what happens when you call the police. Have a look at these threads, where a few people (including me) share their experiences.

(There are some other threads as well - you can try searching for 'arrested', '999', etc.)

IME, the first couple of times I called 999, the police attended, talked to DS, and went away without taking any further action. The third time, they arrested him because I asked them to. I don't think they would have done if I hadn't. My DS hasn't been violent with me since the time I had him arrested: several months down the line, I think it was definitely the best thing to do.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Tue 11-Dec-12 23:02:37

Hi all.

Sorry, my broadband has been iffy and kept logging me out.

Firstly, thankfully, ds2 wasn't responsible for the drama in school, he seems to be doing ok and we have his assessment for ADHD on Monday.

Secondly, can I reiterate my advice to everyone at the beginning of this thread. You simply have to have a "no violence" rule, especially if you have younger children in the house. That means no violence against people - if they want to punch pillows or put fists through the wall of their bedroom you may have to ignore that. But violence against people must be unacceptable always.

Ghosts and thrifty, my son has Asperger's, and my biggest challenge has been working out which behaviour is AS (or ADHD, which I suspect he also has) and which is normal teenage stroppyness. As dd says, is he mad, sad or bad? And I think that's a good way of looking at these kids.

I know mad isn't a PC term, but it rhymes with the other two grin. ds's madness would be related to his fixed ideas about things, his determination to do things his way etc. He is also sad and a lot of these kids suffer from depression and anxiety which affects the way they behave - and they hit out most at the people they are sure will put up with it, i.e. us. But they can also be bad in that they can learn to control some of their behaviour.

You need a bottom line. A line that they cannot cross (for me it was simply drugs in the house and violence; I gave up on pretty much everything else).

As well as that you need to do what flow is saying - disengage, disengage.

Believe it or not, they can't make you feel depressed, inadequate, responsible, guilty.

And I will get cross if I hear anyone saying "they would be better without me". They wouldn't. I take my hat off to people like Brightspark - her dd isn't living at home, but she is still involved; she is still fighting. It isn't a matter of handing them over to someone else and their problems being solved. If that was the case we would all do it. There would be some wonderful children's home somewhere (a bit like Tracey Beaker) where all our difficult children would go, discover that actually they weren't difficult and that once away from their troublesome parents they would rediscover themselves and become enthusiastic members of society.

Bullshit. Every one of us knows, deep in our hearts, that if we give up on our kids so will society. If we chuck them on the street that is where they will stay.

Underneath their violent, self-centred, pig-ignorant surface is an anxious, unhappy child who won't admit to being there. But they do grow up. And the ones who do well are the ones whose parents hang in there.

Apply the 2/3rds rule - children with problems are often mentally 2/3rds their chronological age. So a 13 year old with ADHD is more like an 8 year old in an adult body. We all have to mark time until they grow up, which will be later than other kids.

Remember, most parents can offer bribes/rewards and threaten punishment/removal of privileges. If you have a child who responds to this (two of mine do), that is great. Read a few books, talk to the school, issue punishment/reward, fix them and good luck to you.

If, despite your best efforts, your child doesn't respond to this, you have to find another way. Sometimes that way simply involves taking a step back, making sure the rest of the family has an acceptable quality of life, and filling in time until they either grow out of it (which most of them do) or leave home.

At my worst, I feared that ds would either kill himself or someone else. My greatest day was the day I realised that I couldn't actually physically stop him doing either, and spending every minute of my day trying to control him and worrying about him wouldn't change it. And even if he did, then he would either be dead or in jail, and again nothing I did could stop it. Because once I realised that I stopped fighting things I couldn't change, and started changing little things I could.

Like rebuilding my relationship with dd and ds2. Like accepting the two minutes a week that ds1 was civilised, rather than resenting the millions of minutes he was horrible.

So, to summarise. No violence. Take a step back. You didn't cause this, you can't fix it. You can only manage life as it is. Keep a diary of the good days and bad days and you may find there are actually a few good days shock.

When it comes to school remember that your relationship with your child will continue long after they have left school. So, realistically, academic success is irrelevant at the moment. Talk to your child if you can. Make them believe you are on their side

And ffs look after yourself (and your other children). Otherwise, long after your kids have grown out of this you will still be a gibbering wreck - and you need to protect yourself.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Tue 11-Dec-12 23:02:50

That was an essay blush. Sorry.

brighterfuture Wed 12-Dec-12 06:50:35

thanks maryz Your wise words were just what I needed. I so want to just shut the door on my Ds. I can hardly bear to speak to him. You are so right he is just a messed up unhappy child.

I need to detach from my anger at his behaviour, my fears for his future, my guilt for the impact his behaviour is having on the family.

I have taken on board the , no violence , no drugs and school attendance as my key requests to him. He's still drug taking, he's occasionally violent and he is going to school but the attendance is not great.

I know he went out side early this morning and hit a bong when everyone was asleep. He left the window wide open ( making the house freezing) , the curtains had fallen off the wall and a lamp had been trodden on. I could see this as a total lack of respect or a tragic cry for help.

He sees it as no big deal ... he just had a cigarette hmm I didn't even bother having a go at him it's so pointless, he'd only start shouting and swearing at mesad angry .I knew if he kicked off I'd never get him to school. My other ds really doesn't need a morning scene, he's already very depressed at the moment.

I am trying so hard to hold it all together but inside I'm breaking apart with the stress of it all.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Wed 12-Dec-12 09:25:12

I was like that brighter. I let myself fall apart, and doing so didn't change him one bit.

If you think about it, you can't stop your ds having the joint. You can't stop him opening the window (and in fact you could see it as good that he went outside and didn't have it in his room [frantically clutching at straws emoticon]).

ds1 got so stressed at school that only smoking dope before he went in made it bearable. Of course, he could have gone to the gp and taken a more legal version of an anti-anxiolytic hmm but he was never going to do that.

You can't enforce a no-drugs rule. You can try to enforce a no drugs in the house rule, by asking him calmly to go outside to smoke.

And your priorities were right this morning - having a row after the act is a waste of time. Supporting your other son, and getting them to school is a success in itself.

You say "I need to detach from my anger at his behaviour, my fears for his future, my guilt for the impact his behaviour is having on the family." Yes you do. And only you can control your anger and your fear. You can decide to STOP allowing yourself to be overtaken by those emotions, it is simply too exhausting. You can minimise the impact on the rest of the family. When I stopped getting upset, my younger two did too. I realised that it was me upsetting them, not ds1. They could (and did) ignore almost all of what he did, but my emotions, my anger and sadness, and of course all the rows had a massive effect on them (for which I, of course, still feel guilty hmm).

ScottOfTheArseAntics Wed 12-Dec-12 14:51:15

Hello all I am so glad to have found this thread. I have a friend who is really struggling with their teenage son's behavior and I know this person would never have heard of mumsnet so I will be sending them a link to this thread. It will be very reassuring as I know they feel pressured by the advice and comments they are getting from people around them who have never been through this kind of thing. I have not been through it but I have been around mumsnet long enough to know not to pass comment!

Just a quick question though. When you say that a no violence rule is essential, how would you then go about 'enforcing' that rule? Physical violence is one of the worst aspects of my friends situation and they have no idea how to handle it.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Wed 12-Dec-12 15:08:10

You have to call the police Scott.

Because if you fight back, it escalates. In particular, in my house I had to make sure dh didn't intervene, because if he had, ds would have claimed assault and I might have been in the ridiculous position of having to get dh to leave confused.

Calling 999 sounds extreme, but if the child is under 16 they will deal with it very compassionately, with a warning and possible JLO intervention. If the child is over about 16, it becomes more difficult as the parent has to decide whether to prosecute or not. And interestingly, most of us have only had to do it once or twice - the teenager knowing that you will do it is often enough to make them hit a wall rather than a parent sad.

But you have to stop violence, no matter what it takes. You have to have that final line in the sand, because it is no more acceptable to have a teenager beat up a parent than to have a man beat up his wife/partner, or vice versa. It is unacceptable for younger children to have to live with that.

Violence against things isn't quite so bad.

ScottOfTheArseAntics Wed 12-Dec-12 17:55:40

Thanks for the response Mary. I hear what you are saying. It will no doubt be a relief for my friend to hear it too.

teapot5 Wed 12-Dec-12 20:06:29

I was letting out my stress and frustration here and deleted it by mistake. DD (18) has been sort of ok for a while, but I think she is on drugs - no hard proof though. Just found out that she sneaked out in middle of the night for a couple of hours (she hasn't got a boyfriend). She's been rude (calling me names etc), repeating the same demand over and over (two years old with an adult body - scary). Thank godness that she didn't kick off or smash things up (so maybe she is slightly more 'mature'). I know I should be there for her, love her etc.. But things are SO MUCH BETTER when she is not around. On a positive side like some mums here I started to detach myself emotionally so her nasty name calling and verbal abuse don't hurt me much, but it's exhausting - to keep sending a 'moral' message (because if I don't nobody will). I just felt I'm allowed to vent here.

flow4 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:40:16

Evenin' all smile

Good to see you, Maryz. Glad things are a bit calmer for you this week smile

brighter, it sounds like you are wiser than I was at that stage. Refusing to argue so you and your younger son get a peaceful morning (and so DS1 doesn't have an excuse to skip school) is sensible!

teapot, my DS did that repeating thing too. It's soooooooo infuriating. He used to follow me around to do it too, so it wasn't even possible to walk away. A couple of times he literally barricaded me into my own bedroom so he could keep doing it. A couple of times I left the house to avoid it. You have to develop super-human patience, and you're right, it is exhausting.

Scott, I'm another one who says you have to call the police to enforce the 'no violence rule'. I did it 3 times. The third time I had my DS arrested and charged. He was never violent towards me again.

brighter and teapot, don't beat yourselves up about feeling so negative towards your DCs. I think many of us have felt the same. I definitely have. I remember coming across this thread back in April and being so relieved that someone else had said what I was thinking. I think it's very hard to feel loving towards someone who is behaving so horribly (and quite right too). And I also think that when we "detach, detach" in order to cope and protect ourselves from all the bad stuff (grief, feeling hurt, angry, etc.), we unfortunately cut ourselves off from the good stuff at the same time (feeling love).

The good news is that I think some of the good emotions come back, once the awful behaviour subsides. smile Back in April I said "I am myself struggling with the feeling that I don't love my son any more: I used to love him very much, but he has been so horrible for so long that I can't feel that love any more". I am now 8 months on from that, and 3 months on from my DS's last bit of really outrageous behaviour, and I can feel some of my positive feelings for him beginning to come back. smile

And do you know what? He came into my bedroom to talk to me the other night... He was in a very good, relaxed mood and we had a bit of a giggle together for the first time in about two years. smile He was quite chatty, and suddenly, out of the blue, he said "I've missed you". shock Which nearly made me cry, because I have exactly felt like my real DS has gone missing or been abducted, and I have missed the boy I used to love terribly. It felt like an announcement that he has now come back.

One chicken... Two chickens... Cluck cluck... Three...

I hope I don't sound self-satisfied or smug. What I'm trying to say is, There is some hope...

teapot5 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:40:37

Hi flow. Thanks for your message. I feel as if I'm walking the same path, flow. I stopped beating myself up (well most of the time) and can almost see her as if I'm the third party (which helps not to be dragged into a futile battle). Also I have some positive moments with her- then get let down. It's frustrating and dissapointing especially after things seemed a bit more positive. It really is 'two steps forward three steps back' at times. But I guess two years ago 'positive moments' never existed, and I'm still here. It's just hard to keep that balance of hope/expectation and here & now/living for the moment (not to expect/think about what will (or not) happen...

MaryChristmaZEverybody Wed 12-Dec-12 22:54:04

I agree with that teapot - I'm afraid to hope, because I feel I am tempting fate. But like flow, I am gradually realising that the old ds is still in there - it's still very buried, but it is there, whereas I thought it was gone forever.

So I'm very quietly hopeful.

Three years ago, I was sure he would be dead or on the streets (or in prison). But he is in college, working part time, and buying Christmas presents shock.

So even though he still smokes dope (an awful lot, and possibly other stuff), we still have the fear of police arriving on our doorstep, he barely talks to us and struggles socially, things are sooooo much better. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Brightspark1 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:58:39

Good to see you back maryz , yes you're right, I am still fighting, I am still trying to rebuild my relationship with DD, I refuse to give up hope or give up on DD, and no - the missing her doesn't get any easier. I read on some threads that some posters are exhausted enough, scared enough and desperate enough to want their DCs to leave the home and be taken into care. I know I was and I realise that it was the right thing to do at the time ( the only thing) DD couldn't cope with being at home anymore than we could cope with her. I still feel I have failed her, though I know that it isn't helpful to feel like that. Having a teen in care brings its own problems, every small decision involves a raft of people involved, the review meetings are led by an independent officer who doesn't know us or DD or her background, and it is hie that makes all the decisions.Parental responsibilty seems to be meaningless, as our wishes aren't even discussed. She is given a bursary to stay at college, clothes allowance, toiletry allowance, pocket money and a phone allowance ... Oh and a laptop because she is doing well at college. It feels as though she is being bribed to stay in care confused . I would have her home in a heartbeat, and it's difficult to tell her that without putting her under pressure. But I do what everyone does on this thread ... Just keeping on going and grabbing every thread of hope with both hands.

flow4 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:19:14

Yes, hope is such a dangerous feeling, isn't it?

Just as an aside... You know the Pandora's Box story? Pandora was given a box/jar by the god Zeus, and told not to look inside. Inevitably she did, and so unwittingly released its contents: all the evils and torments in the world: hatred, pestilence, war, famine, envy, fear... sad She slammed the lid back on, but it was too late... Or was it? At the bottom, all by itself, the only thing left, was hope.

The most common interpretation of this story is that hope was left to humans to help them cope with all the evils of this world... But some say that hope was left to punish humans, because hope is the greatest evil and torment of all...

I have felt like Pandora with my DS1, over the years...

Sorry, waxing a bit lyrical here blush hmm grin...

Watching with interest and sympathy. I am a teacher in the early years of my career at an inner city secondary . I have 2 young kids and am slightly dreading their teenage years as I have seen what goes on at school. I do really feel for parents at their wits end, who have school (and worse) on the phone on a weekly basis.

teapot5 Wed 12-Dec-12 23:58:03

Yes, I know the Pandora's box story. ummm. Hope - we all need it, don't we? I think 'hope' is good, but 'expectation' can be dangerous...

If I allow myself to be a little bit phylosophical (or soppy?) all the things happening with DD and us made me to learn to 'accept' (i.e. I accept 'I'm angry', 'DD's behaviour is shit', etc..). It doesn't mean I like them, but just to accept. I tried so hard to 'change' things and her. I can't!! I just can't! It was liberating to understand that I can't.

Sorry, too. I go on and on.... I'd better stop...:P

MaryChristmaZEverybody Thu 13-Dec-12 00:05:18

Thanks for the understanding Melange smile

teapot/flow, it's the old mantra, isn't it -

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

I'm not sure about the God bit - like Pandora and her bittersweet hope hmm it's a bit ott for me and frankly I have trouble believing in a God who has made ds1 as unhappy as he is.

But the first bit is right.

Interestingly, in our house I have dd who wants to do occupational therapy or SN teaching, and work with children with problems, especially autism. And ds2 who is the most compassionate 14 year old boy you could meet, with a huge amount of empathy for ds1, and for everyone else.

So ds1 has made them what they are, and I suspect both will leave a mark on the world because of that.

And I know I am a better person - more stressed, depressed, unhappy at times, but better and nicer because of ds1.

Swings and roundabouts, maybe [hopeful]

[philosophical emoticon]

teapot5 Thu 13-Dec-12 00:22:12

hugs and xxx (allow me to be soppy) - it's Christmas time, isn't it?

flow4 Thu 13-Dec-12 06:28:23

I didn't have any kind of religious upbringing, maryz, so I didn't know this prayer... IMO, like many other bits of religious writing, it's a frustrating mix of useful truth and unhelpful nonsense and guilt-tripping. But what you are both saying about acceptance is true IME too... Maybe we're onto something... Zen and the Art of Raising Teenagers?!

Brightspark1 Thu 13-Dec-12 08:03:37

Any religious faith I had (wishy washy Cof E) has been knocked out of me by the last two years courtesy of some parents at church who told their DCs not to have anything to do with DD when she came out of hospital and the idea that some higher being thought it was a good idea to put DD and us through hell for the past two years. I agree that acceptance othings I cannot change is the key! But I'm not sure I always have the wisdom to know the difference. Maybe NeitZsche's idea that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger is nearer the mark. You get through things somehow and you come out battered bruised and with a lot of grey hair, but you are still standing, still fighting and eventually you come out the other side. DD wants to be a nurse, her experiences will make her a better one, more compassionate and less judgemental than those who have swanned through life with nothing more to worry about than. Having a bad hair day.
We're all getting very philosophical aren't we? Maybe because it's that time of year.

Brightspark1 Thu 13-Dec-12 08:05:07

Sorry for typos and random punctuation , blame the iPad !

Shagmundfreud Thu 13-Dec-12 10:46:05

"I am a teacher in the early years of my career at an inner city secondary "

I've had teachers on the phone in exasperation about dd arguing with them in class. Experienced teachers at her inner city school. Perversely I find it comforting in the sense that it brings it home to me that it's not just the way I handle her which results in conflict at home, it's the fact that dd is VERY oppositional.

I find myself saying 'just don't engage with her!'

I feel very sorry for her teachers. But at least they've got the option of detention, which is more than I've got!

Sorry I'm late to this thread - I said I would like a support thread and then buggered off for a while... blush

I have a troubled teenager who has turned into a troubled twentyager. Everything solution you can come up with (bar sending him to live on a desert island until he is forty), we have attempted but he has gone his own way regardless.

We are now at the point along the line where we have accepted that he has to be his own man, even if that means his life is a slow-motion car crash.

And, like the wise MaryZ, I try to stay very positive and look at the fact that he is still part of our lives and is fairly healthy despite the drink and drugs as an enormous achievement.

He is currently being dealt with by the full force of the law for his latest (non family-related) transgression , which is quite nice as we a) don't have to have deal with the fall-out, and b) we know where he will be for Christmas, ie eating dinner with the other inmates. See how positive I am? wink

MaryChristmaZEverybody Sat 15-Dec-12 23:18:05

Evening all. Welcome back Laura, sorry about your son sad. I remember two Christmases ago feeling ds might be safer in jail than on the streets, but it's still tough when it actually happens. I hope you manage to have a worry-free Christmas, even if it isn't exactly as you would like it to be.

I also found myself telling teachers how to talk to ds1, but sadly a lot of them ignored it. Now I'm doing the same with ds2 - if they are straight with him, and tell him what they expect, he usually conforms. If they are all wishy-washy, and let him away with things, it rapidly goes downhill - and if they are sarcastic and belittling he gets very angry so it excallates. I wish they would keep to short instructions and immediate consequences, but a lot of teachers don't seem to be able to do that. They want to dish out long-drawn-out lectures confused

Thanks for the support Melange smile

flow4 Sun 16-Dec-12 11:22:49

That how to talk to them thing is interesting, MaryZ. I'd say the same is/was true for my DS1 too...

Is everyone having a quietish weekend? >crossed fingers emoticon<

Brightspark1 Sun 16-Dec-12 20:49:50

Oh yeah, it's quiet here alright. DD was supposed to come home to day for a roast dinner, and to ice the Christmas cake and help decorate the tree. But she 'forgot' and arranged to go out with friends, I suspect she went off the idea when she found out her brother wasn't home until tomorrow. There seems to be no support to help her to return home. I just don't know what I can do about it, every month away takes her further away. I would gladly trade this peace and quiet to have her back. Sorry everyone... Feeling a bit sorry for myself today sad

flow4 Sun 16-Dec-12 21:06:53

Oh bright sad
I can barely imagine how painful it must be to want your daughter home, and not to be able to make that happen sad
> HUG <

Brightspark1 Sun 16-Dec-12 21:33:48

Thanks. It's been over six months now and I still can't get used to it, I have gone through counselling and I've thrown myself into work, but it still not getting any easier, it's like a wound that won't heal over.
It's not like I've forgotten what led up to her going into care, the self harm, running away, the violent outbursts, the binging and the trashing the house, and the visits from the police. All the things that you and everyone else on this thread are struggling with, lurching from one crisis to the next while hanging onto what's left of your sanity. Yet we keep going, grabbing onto every thread of hope and celebrating even the tiniest inprovement, learning not to expect too much but riding out each incident until some day in the future.
So I suppose we keep on keeping on.

flow4 Sun 16-Dec-12 21:43:11

I doubt you can 'go through' counselling when it comes to something like this - you need ongoing support. It is a real problem that it seems usual for people only to be allowed 6 weeks on the NHS. sad

Have you told your DD what you're feeling? Would it be possible to say (or have you already) "I've been thinking - I'd really like you home. How do you feel about that?"

MaryChristmaZEverybody Sun 16-Dec-12 22:23:39

It must be particularly hard at this time of year, Brightspark sad. But the fact that she is happy and has friends is a good thing, when you look back to the fights and the violence of a year ago.

I think you have to continue to look at the good points of the way things have turned out. You can see her, be civilised, you even miss her (and I bet she misses you). Six months must seem such a long time, but if it means you and she have a relationship for the rest of your lives, that six months, or even a year or two, is a very short time in a lifetime.

Yep, keep on keeping on smile

Brightspark1 Sun 16-Dec-12 22:31:12

The general feeing is that no pressure should be put on DD regarding coming home as Now she is 16, if it all went wrong she would not have the chance to return to where she is. Also , because she is doing well, going to college , being discharged from CAMHS etc, no one wants to rock the boat. I suppose I'm scared to ask DD in case I don't like the answer. I wouldn't expect or want it to happen immediately, just to feel that she will return home within the next few months. The only thing I've said is to tell her that this is her home, and she can come any time.
As for counselling, I did get more than my allotted 6 weeks, but it felt like groundhog day, just turning over the same stuff without getting any nearer any feeling of acceptance. I'm not even sure I want to accept it in some ways, it would feel like I'm giving up. and that is the last thing I want to do.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Sun 16-Dec-12 22:37:11

You are not giving up. You have made a structured decision, it is working out well, it is a success.

And I think they are probably right, because it would be unlikely that she would move home and it all go smoothly. If she is happy where she is, why rock the boat, because in two years time when she is 18 you might be desperate for her to be able to move out - I know ds would love to have somewhere else to go.

And you know, it will be easier when she is 18, because then it won't be unusual for her to live away from home. And that isn't too far away, so at least there is a time limit on your guilt.

For me, it was easier when ds turned 18, because he was no longer the only kid out of school, drinking at the weekends, staying out all night. Other people's children are doing the same things, so I no longer feel guilty.

I hope you are feeling better today Brightspark - you have such a lot on your plate, I'm not surprised you feel so sad at times. Your DD definitely sounds as if she is maturing though and your reminder to her that your home is still her's, is so wonderful, generous and supportive.

Thanks MaryZ - DS1 will be 'banged-up' for quite some time, by the looks of things so we will have to get used to it. We have been through all the anguish over it and now are fairly stoic. It sounds horribly unmotherly but it is quite hopeful to see him so upset by it - everything slides off him like a Teflon coating normally and this is the first time he has actually said 'I wish I had listened to you'. I nearly asked the wardens, who is this and where is my son?

He is having some counselling in there, which he has always refused to engage with in the past so maybe something is changing.

I strongly believe there is some Asperger's mixed up in his bad behaviour - several of the younger members of the family have had a diagnosis, including my youngest, and most of the symptoms fit DS1. Throw drugs and drink into the mix and you have the potential for the extreme behaviour that he exhibits.

It's sad but strangely reassuring to see such a number of families going through the same mess that we have. We have been so obsessed with keeping alid on it all for such a long time, so other people wouldn't judge him (so that when he grew out of it, he could leave all that shitty behaviour behind with no damage done) that it still feels incrediblely disloyal mentioning all this confused

flow4 Mon 17-Dec-12 19:45:59

I can absolutely see the logic of not 'pushing' DD about coming home. You have seen things improve so much for her. You may find that once she is 18 (or even 17) and 'independent' of you, and the pressure is off almost completely, then things will improve further. Sooo hard for you tho', Bright. You are so very, very obviously not 'giving up', tho' it probably would have been easier for if you had. Your love for you DD shines through. smile

It's really hard for you too Laura. I understand the feeling of relief at seeing your DS upset - I get this too - it is a sign that they have some remaining morality, even when they don't show it so all your hard work hasn't been in vain.

Incidentally, I have an acquaintance who has children about 15-20 years older than mine. Before I even had my DCs, her eldest had been sent to prison for armed robbery, for holding up a PO with a toy gun when he was stoned. shock It was very shocking, because I didn't know enough at the time to realise that teenagers from even the most 'respectable' families can go badly off the rails. He did 4 years in prison. He has now been out for over a decade, and has lived an entirely respectable life ever since, working full time in a responsible public sector job, getting married, and last year, having a baby. smile

MaryChristmaZEverybody Tue 18-Dec-12 09:05:36

Well, they have just confirmed an ADHD diagnosis for ds2, so we are on the merry-go-round again hmm

The difference is that he is willing to accept help - he wants to do well and likes us, so I'm hoping for an easier road.

Off to the SN boards to enquire about medication [sigh]


MaryChristmaZEverybody Tue 18-Dec-12 09:08:02

Sorry, Laura, I ignored your post.

ds1 has AS too - and the mixture of AS, oppositional behaviour, trouble at school, drugs and mixing with a cohort of, erm, interesting characters who bolster up his anti-family, anti-establishment obsessions is a disaster.

I have no idea how he isn't in jail yet - the police are certainly following him around atm as they are convinced he is dealing. I'm not sure they are right - he is hopelessly disorganised, so I can't imagine he would be a successful dealer, but if he is I'm sure they will catch him (and if i discover he is, that's the end of him living here).

flow4 Tue 18-Dec-12 09:21:43

I'm sorry to hear about your DS2 MaryZ. Or maybe I'm not... confused grin Like you say, it means he'll get support that he is willing to accept, which should take you all on a very different path from the one you're travelling with DS1 - a much more positive one.

Oh I really hope DS1 isn't dealing. sad

(BTW, if you haven't seen it already, take a look at the 'Violent Daughter' thread... I reckon she could do with your advice and support, if you have any energy to spare today smile )

MaryChristmaZEverybody Tue 18-Dec-12 09:33:47

Thanks flow.

ds2 sees diagnosis as a good thing, but I'm a little worried it will now become an excuse for doing fuck all hmm. The doctor was very funny yesterday. He mentioned a non-medication treatment route, and when ds2 asked what that meant he said "getting your act together".

I'll have a look at the other thread in a bit (I have a leaking toilet and a plumber here atm). But these days I just repeat your advice, so I'm pretty much redundant!

We do seem to have scared all the "just ground him/it's the parents' fault" posters away from the teenager boards these days, don't we grin

brighterfuture Tue 18-Dec-12 11:11:30

Hi Maryz I supose in a way its a good thing that you have clarity on the diagnosis for Ds2 . At least now he can get the help he needs. I am glad he's cooperating ...that should make it easier for you to support him smile

I really relate to the keeping quiet to protect your ds Laura . I do the same in the hope that when if he grows out of this he will not have the whole community thinking badly of him.

We have just been called into school this morning because of all Ds's constantly taking time off. He's no longer allowed to go on the school trip he was looking forward to. I think it's good he has consequences for his actions but am fearful he'll just use it as an excuse to hate the teachers even more...

School suggested they have heard rumours Ds is dealing. Could be true but he's never got any money and is also so disorganised. I told the school I think it's unlikely could be true. If he is I am sure he'll just end up owning money to dodgey types... sad

Yes we do seem to have scared away all the judgy mums grin

I have kept DS1's behaviour quiet for such a long time, that it has come as a massive shock to most of my friends grin .

The thing is, he is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - quiet, articulate, well-spoken and trustworthy when sober or un-stoned (is that a word? It should be wink) and violent, impulsive and aggressive when under the influence of anything. But, as we have kept the 'dark stuff' so well hidden, it has come out of the blue to many friends and family, who can't believe my lovely son is a guest of Her Majesty.

MaryZ I suppose now you will know with clarity exactly what you are up against and how to help DS2. Even if you are expecting it, it always comes as a shock when you get that final diagnosis, so I hope you are feeling okay.

You may say judgy - I say hopelessly naive wink

flow4 Tue 18-Dec-12 13:23:08

I have such mixed feelings about the keeping quiet/not keeping quiet issue... On the one hand, I needed to talk and don't know how/if I would have coped if I hadn't had people - here and in RL - to tell. Also, I think breaking the taboo is good for struggling parents generally: since I started telling people what was going on, I have had several other parents 'disclose' the dreadful things that are going on in their lives too. Generally, we all keep quiet, and so we all think we are the only ones going through all this... It must be a good thing, surely, if parents know they are 'not alone' and their kids are not uniquely difficult?!

But on the other hand, if I am honest, I think I probably have damaged my DS's 'reputation' somewhat. sad Particularly, I made the mistake of telling a neighbour (one I have known for over 20 years) some things - and it seems she has gossiped to other neighbours. I had a truly horrible experience a couple of weeks ago, when another neighbour had an attempted break-in, and jumped to the conclusion that my son was involved. He told my DS to 'watch his back' and told me that 'everyone knew' my son had burgled our house, and other people's. In fact, he did sneak into someone's house last summer (a girl he had known for years but recently fallen out with) and took her phone, and that is the sum total of his 'burgling'. One appalling, stupid, criminal action has turned him into a renowned house-breaker, partly because I was so stressed out by it I didn't keep my mouth shut, and voiced my fears as well as the 'facts'... And people are always inclined to think "there's no smoke without fire".

I can't help feeling that many people think my DS is worse than he actually is, because I am relatively open about the problems we have had. With hind-sight, I think I would have been more careful to distinguish between 'friends' and 'acquaintances', and made sure I only told things to real friends.

But then again, that would maintain the taboo... confused sad

(P.S. I think all the judgy/naive parents are hanging out on the 'revolting bedroom' thread at the mo! grin )

flow4 Tue 18-Dec-12 13:26:07

And then again, my DS does the 'Jekyll/Hyde' thing too, so he is probably simultaneously both better and worse than everyone thinks! confused

No wonder my stress levels are often a bit high!

MaryChristmaZEverybody Tue 18-Dec-12 16:06:12

My life improved the day I stopped covering up for ds's behaviour and started admitting I couldn't cope.

Though there are still people who believe that there is nothing wrong with ds, I'm just a control freak. But I no longer count them as my friends.

ratbagcatbag Wed 19-Dec-12 12:25:51

Am I allowed in? I don't even come close to the issues that you are all having, I think our issues are just normal levels of pubity hitting, but bloody hell it's still hard.

I generally until a few weeks ago had a lovely 14YO DSS, quite immature and fairly late in developing, although we've noticed more spots, muscualr growth, voice deepening etc, and now he's just a nightmare (by our standards) back chat constantly, sneering at people, the whole you can't make me do what you want.

We have an amazing relationship with his mum and step dad and very luckily all sing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to discipline etc, but just feeling frustrated by the change in him, schools going downhill, homework is none exsistent or poorly done and an incident at a club he attends last night ended up making another member cry because four boys (inlcunding DSS) all started being nasty and took it well too far. He has realised this, but it always seems that when he's backed into a corner, "sorry" is an easy option, and if you tell him that you normally get sneered at with "well I've said Sorry, now what do you want me to do".

Anyway, sorry for the rant and can understand if you guys kick me out, but argh!!!!

MaryChristmaZEverybody Wed 19-Dec-12 13:58:40

No, no kicking out here, everyone is welcome, even if just to give us all a bit of balance and a sense of persepective. I think the teenage years are hard for everyone because they are such a shock.

I'm about to start moaning about ds2 who has "normal" teenage behaviour and is driving me slowly dotty.

I am giving myself lots of "pick your battles" and "stay emotionally detached" and "you can't control his actions, but you can control your reaction" lectures though grin.

ratbagcatbag Wed 19-Dec-12 14:33:56

Hmmm, I keep the "pick your battles" at the very front of my mind at the moment, and keep thinking he will come out the other side, I'm just hoping its a week and not 4 years smile

I don't get it, and I'm not a million miles away from my teens (well afew, but not as many as his dad) I'm sure I wasn't quite that vile. Oh well can't even crack the wine open as pregnant!! grin

gardeningmama Thu 20-Dec-12 16:39:26

I was just scanning these posts and realising, just like ratbag, that I am a very lucky mum of teenage ds15 and dd11. However, I was scanning because I do have some issues with my ds and was wondering whether to start a new thread in teens or to post here.

Ds is getting quite depressed. There's a bit of history; with a loving but difficult dad with (undiagnosed) AS so lots of roller-coaster emotional years, lots of anger and sense of disappointment from dad etc etc. Ds has had these dips before, during yr6 - yr9 at times. Got in with a great group of friends in Yr10 and what with GCSE choices, seemed to find his feet and confidence over the last 18 months or so. Also years in local scouting group has helped with friendships and confidence building and exta-curricular activities.

I don't think there's anything in particular that has happened or is bothering him, just a "what's the point to anything" sort of attitude and a complete disenchantment with life. He assures me he won't "do anything stupid" but does emphasise that he can't imagine things getting any better, and he is a very deep thinker.

I wouldn't waste everybody's time and post at all if I didn't think this was a little bit more than just a few casual words from him. It's not serious (yet) but I simply don't know what to do. Any ideas from your experience would be really welcome. I'd like to re-direct him before his low mood gets even more entrenched than it is. Thanks. ps, tell me if I should re-post elsewhere smile

flow4 Thu 20-Dec-12 21:29:11

You're more than welcome here mama, but you will probably get more attention and useful replies if you do start your own thread smile

Brightspark1 Thu 20-Dec-12 22:19:03

maryz I hope your DS2 gets the support he needs following his diagnosis, ( and you!)
flow I know what you mean about the dilemma of who you disclose to and exactly what you say. I have been pleasantly surprised at the support I have got from unexpected places. That said, I can't bring myself to let it be known that DD was violent towards me, I know it's wrong, but I feel so ashamed about it. I fear people's judgement both of me and of DD. to the outside world she appears polite, kind and caring; at home it was a different story- Jekyll and Hyde again!
How are you all going to manage Christmas? I was looking forward to DD coming home but at the time gets nearer, I am feeling really apprehensive.

MaryChristmaZEverybody Fri 21-Dec-12 00:08:02

Hi garden, yes of course you are welcome, but I think we have frightened off a few parents of the more run-of-the-mill teenagers here, so you might get less scary advice if you start your own thread. But do feel free to come here and rant, that's why this thread is here grin

Having said that, my advice would be to take him to your gp. Have a chat with the gp first, then take him if he is willing to go. If he is depressed it is better to treat it before it takes over so much he becomes unwilling to accept treatment, which is what a lot of teens do. Also, have a look at moodgym which is a site set up for teenagers and is all about positive thinking and practising improving your mindset. If he is willing to talk about it, he might be willing to spend a few minutes a day on there.

Thanks Brightspark. But you know, you shouldn't be ashamed. You have done nothing wrong <kicks Bright up the arse, in a supportive manner>

Christmas will be fine for us. ds always behaves when my parents are around. Boxing day, now, might be another matter.

Doinmummy Fri 21-Dec-12 00:33:30

Hello All,
all quiet on the western front at the mo chez Doin . I have had a session with counsellor through work and already I feel better for looking after myself for once.

I wish you all a peaceful , stress free Christmas. Thank you for your support especially Maryz and Flow.

flow4 Fri 21-Dec-12 01:03:43

Hey, that's good Doin! smile

I am anxious about Christmas.

This time last year, DS had stolen my bank card and was on his way to blowing £800 on drugs and crap, but I hadn't discovered it yet sad He was having massive mood swings and violent/aggressive outbursts.

He is in a very different 'place' now, and swears he doesn't want to be "a dickhead like that" again... He has stopped taking m-cat, smokes less, and makes a reasonable effort to find cannabis that isn't skunk... And he hasn't stolen from me since Easter...

But I can't help worrying what temptations and opportunities he'll face this holiday, and whether he's going to give in to any of them...

gardeningmama Fri 21-Dec-12 09:38:18

Thank you all for your kind welcome. I will follow mary's advice and chat with gp, and maybe start a seperate thread. I know you all have bigger issues to attend to and I really hope you all have a peaceful and positive Christmas. Best festive wishes for 2013. smile

Brightspark1 Fri 21-Dec-12 21:42:34

maryz thanks for your supportive kick up the arse, I know you're right, I shouldn't feel the way I do but it's difficult to think any different. doin you sound much more positive! I hope things carry on improving for you. Welcome mama, I find the 'what's the point' negative attitude really hard to deal with, there doesn't seem to be an answer to it, except keeping channels of communication open.
Just hope all of you have an event free Christmas and a better New Year wink

MaryChristmaZEverybody Fri 21-Dec-12 21:47:19

Christmas is an anxious time.

And for me, it is very difficult as ds1's birthday is near Christmas and he really hates his birthday (he is adopted, so it might be related to that).

This is the first year since he was 13 that he hasn't been psychotic/violent/arrested/suspended/expelled from school (pick any of those, or more than one) around the time of his birthday.

If it is stressful for us, it must be more so for our kids who are already stressed and unhappy [trying to be understanding emoticon].

But the best way to deal with it is the old mantra - detach, be unemotionally supportive, only stress about what is occurring, not what might happen.

And stick to the old "well, the worst might happen but it hasn't yet, so let's not worry about it until it does" mantra.

<kicks self up the arse, hard>


juule Fri 21-Dec-12 23:31:49

"And stick to the old "well, the worst might happen but it hasn't yet, so let's not worry about it until it does" mantra."

Amen to that but really difficult to do at times.

Best wishes for an uneventful for all of us.

juule Fri 21-Dec-12 23:33:09

Uneventful christmas hmm

flow4 Sat 22-Dec-12 00:32:10

I hope you kicked yourself up the arse in a supportively hard way, Mary?! wink grin

brighterfuture Sat 22-Dec-12 16:47:40

"well, the worst might happen but it hasn't yet, so let's not worry about it until it does"

I need that tatooed onto my brain ! (Ds is off to an illegal rave to celebrate his 17th tonight with a pocket full of cash ) I am practising detachment, but am not very good at it yet...

I hope everyone has an uneventful and happy Christmas smile

flow4 Sat 22-Dec-12 17:48:51

This> "I hope everyone has an uneventful and happy Christmas".

I had a nice early Christmas prezzie last night: DS1 is off the police 'visit list'... This means we will no longer get a police visit automatically every time there is a burglary or other crime in the area, because they no longer suspect him of involvement in dodgy activity. smile It's an enormous relief.

sak62 Sat 22-Dec-12 18:52:41

Going thru same with my 14 year old daughter. Keep thinking it must be my fault, just taken her to her nans on the way she has thrown her mobile which she loves and smashed the rear view mirror. Verbal abuse throwing things banging her head when angry is this normal. If she does not get her own way or is told off this is the response, uncontrollable anger,verbal abuse. I was no angel as a teen but have we changed so much.

Toredig Thu 27-Dec-12 00:23:52

Exhausted. My 18 year old has broken me. I have 2 grown up boys & 3 grandchildren. My older boys have normal difficulties, which, of course I wish they didn't have, but I am out of my depth with S. i am an elderly single parent (58) & am too tired for this.
He is currently doing Unpaid Work - 150 hours - for stealing my car. He has borrowed money from Wonga. He lets boys into the house expressly against my wishes, so I am not in control of my own home (stuff gets damaged or stolen)
I had him arrested last week for being drunk and abusive.
He is not vile to me personally; but he lies, and drinks and takes drugs. I am about to move to a new house & don't want to take him because his bedroom is like a squat & I want to live in my new home & have a normal life.
I strongly suspect he is dyspraxic, & has trouble processing information (he has other indicators) but at the moment I don't care as I want to protect myself.
My parents live in the same small town & don't know any of this, & my sons don't know either as they have little babies, & my middle son is having a rotten time of his own.
He's just come in & gone straight upstairs. I assume he's drunk as he made such a racket, but I'm afraid of drink men. I hope he's asleep now.
My worst fears are that he'll:
A) die of drink or drugs
B) kill himself because he's so lost
C) end up in prison
I used to be a youth worker so perhaps I know too much
I also fear that
A) I'll die of a heart attack
B) get attacked by him
C) Get attacked by one of his mates
I know he's a lost boy, but I'm lost too

Isabeller Thu 27-Dec-12 00:41:18

Dear people, I do not have a difficult teenager but I caused a fair bit of worry when I was one and I wanted to say what a brilliant thread (I've read a lot of it but not everything).

I hope you won't mind me mentioning Alanon Family Groups as things have been said about alcohol and cannabis use. The way the 12 step for family members approach works might be worth a look. I particularly remember the idea that "their behaviour reflects on them, my behaviour reflects on me" whether about a drinking alcoholic or any other member of the family whose behaviour is unacceptable.