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I'm trapped in lockdown with a manipulative teenager

(114 Posts)
Dumbledorker Sun 12-Apr-20 12:46:58

He will be 15 in November. i cant even begin to describe or explain everything but long story short he refused to go to school, referred to CAMHS who say he has no mental illness and its all behavioural. They said they see clear child to parent abuse. I feel trapped, miserable, lost, embarrassed, just generally hate him so much and I hate myself for it.

I'm trying to get control of the situation and stand my ground as a parent but he accuses me of then being controlling.
I have changed the wifi password and said I will give it back once I start seeing some changes in how he treats me and respects me.
He says he won't respect me until I respect him.
I literally do everything for him.
I reward good behaviour and tell him how lovely the day has been when he has been pleasant.
This is usually when he wants something and so will be all sweet until he gets it and then its back to square one again.
I have redecorated his bedroom to the quality of basically every teenage boys dream.
Its now covered in food and stained carpets. There are dried bogies on the walls that he has wiped on there. He sleeps in his clothes that he wears the day before and he will stand and lecture me on how it isnt disgusting. He doesn't ever ever brush his teeth and his breath is putrid. He claims its not his teeth its a problem with his stomach and its proven by science that actually bad breath... etc etc etc
He refuses to wash his hands and pretends he has done them. He literally pees all over the toilet seat which I believe is on purpose. We had a wooden one that I had to replace because it warped at the back. He says its not him it's his sisters which is impossible for a girl to achieve. He stays on his ps4 all night and is currently sleeping all day . If I take away his electronics he will accuse me of secluding him from contact with his friends. He will then throw a rage and threaten to kill himself. He says the only way he will calm down is if I give him back his things. Then he goes upstairs and laughs with his friends on the headset.
He has sat in my bedroom in the dark for 2 hours before waiting for me to go to sleep so he can get his things back which I sometimes have to hide with me under my covers.
I've just told him not to put 20 buckets of hot water in the pool because I cant afford the gas to warm the taps or electric for the kettle. So he went outside and told his sisters he is sorry but mummy is being unfair and doesn't want us all to have fun.
He told his sister not to make me a coffee because she needs to join his rebellion to get the wifi back which his sisters aren't actually bothered about the wifi. I have put a pile of clothes on his bed to put away and I always find them in the wash basket mixed in to the bottom so I don't notice. He knows il have to wash them because his sister is incontinent and often there maybe wet pants or soiled sheets ready to be washed so I can't just pick them out and put them back in his room as they might smell.

I divorced from the girls dad 3 years ago so there is no male figure in his life. He's biological dad began to see him but doesn't live near and has a poorly daughter and his partner has a very bad heart condition. Both her and the child are on 12 weeks quarantine . Their home before this has to be completely free of germs and clean. He works and his partner works from home. They are genuinely lovely people but their personal and financial situation is in turmoil and so its very difficult to have him over to stay regular although they genuinely want him to stay its just not possible right now as any other time.

I just feel absolutely and completely exhausted. I don't know who can help right now.

I hate to say this but I get to the point that I just want the police or someone to take him away, put him in foster care or a place where he learns respect and to behave properly. I really don't like him right now and hate myself for it.

GreyGardens88 Sun 12-Apr-20 12:54:22

Sorry he does vile, is it legal to kick them out when they turn 16? That's what I would do, drive them to the middle of nowhere and just leave them

SnowdropFox Sun 12-Apr-20 13:00:20

Didn't want to read and run op but this sounds awful. If you don't get much traffic here, try the relationships board. There are often fellow frustrated parents of teens (and young adults who wont move out) so there will be lots of advice there for you. Good luck!

Whybirdwhy Sun 12-Apr-20 13:01:54

Yes, I’m afraid I would also absolutely expect him to move out next November. However that’s 18 months from now so doesn’t help in the meantime. I’m so sorry you are going through this, it sounds like he’ll on earth and every parents worst nightmare.

I don’t have have much knowledge of CAMHS/social services but you say they see clear signs that you are being abused by your son. What advice or assistance have they offered regarding this? You have two other dependants to care for (alone) and you clearly deserve some support or respite.

Whybirdwhy Sun 12-Apr-20 13:02:44

*hell not he’ll obviously

Dumbledorker Sun 12-Apr-20 13:05:12

He says himself he can't wait to be 16 to go live elsewhere. I had to take him out of school to home educate because he refused to go but insisted he would work at home. He's done nothing.

I took him to an open day at college. Just so he could get a feel for where he is heading to, something to look forward to. He wants to be a joiner and so I told him to concentrate everything on maths and English at least so that he wouldn't have to take it alongside joinery when he goes to college. He's done nothing.
The thing is he is so so polite and nice to people. If I was to tell parents that this was how he was they wouldn't believe me.. he doesnt smoke he isn't bothered about drinking on the park with friends. His few friends he has a the geeky type at school. He isn't one to kick off in class and wouldn't bully anyone. He is Happy to sit and play on his ps4 or go swimming with a couple of friends or to the youth club on a Thursday.
Its literally just towards me. He will not listen to anything I say and refuses to take care of himself. Then has these massive outbursts that result in threats of suicide..

duletty Sun 12-Apr-20 13:08:49

Can you self refer to social services? This sounds horrendous and will severely be impacting on your own mental health.

SnowdropFox Sun 12-Apr-20 13:10:28

Is he perhaps putting all his anger from leaving his (I assume) dad. Have you had a frank conversation about that with him? You split when he was 12 so maybe better able to articulate his feelings?
To be honest I'd stop washing his clothes, making his meals and letting him on his ps4 all the time. If he's moving out he needs to learn to do these things on his own and what better than than now since he wont respect you for doing it. If you take that route it's going to be hellish but you cant go on the way you are. His sisters may start to pick up on the same behaviour.

sadpapercourtesan Sun 12-Apr-20 13:11:31

I would remove everything he owns apart from his bed and basic clothes. If he whinges, ignore. If he says you're cutting him off from his friends - well yes, that's the idea. Ignore. You need to toughen up. Give him a short list of basic requirements - clean his teeth twice a day, shower once a day, clean the disgusting ordure from the walls and hoover carpet weekly. No swearing at you, no property damage, no nasty comments. He can earn back his privileges and the amenties you paid for, gradually, by behaving like a human being.

If he escalates, smashes anything up or hurts you physically, call 999.

Dumbledorker Sun 12-Apr-20 13:13:09

@Whybirdwhy the Councillor said to refer to some place called Rosalie Rylee (not sure on spelling) but they are more for behavioral. She was going to ring me again this week too so il see what she suggests about the threats of suicide etc.

What worries me is social services seeing it as a safeguarding issue and removing the girls from my care to their dads and leaving him with me.

Hes currently telling his sisters not to worry because he will eventually figure out the wifi password.

The girls aren't even bothered. They play with dolls and go on the trampoline. Hes never usually nice to them . Only when he's mad at me like he tries to keep them on his side.

Davespecifico Sun 12-Apr-20 13:15:09

It all sounds dreadful for you: such a lot to bear. I don’t know what you ought to do in the long term although I can see you definitely need CAMHS help, and even the police if he’s doing anything dangerous.

I’m wondering if during lockdown you should damage limit by actually relaxing all your rules, just for your sanity. Allow everything and say nothing. Leave his room as it is and leave him to his electronics. Obviously he’ll still leave the toilet in a foul state, no matter what you say, but I presume that’s pretty much the only communal area he impinges on.

Best wishes and I hope you can eventually find a solution to this.

missyB1 Sun 12-Apr-20 13:16:42

Were you receiving support from any professionals? There may be organisations that you could get in touch with who will support you and signpost you to other help. I’m sorry I don’t have those details but someone else might.
You shouldn’t have to deal with this abuse on your own, domestic abuse isn’t all about partners it can be anyone in the household.

SittingAround1 Sun 12-Apr-20 13:18:20

This sounds awful for you.
Have you asked him why he behaves like this?
I'd sit down calmly and say what he is doing is unacceptable and until you see some improvement, no more washing his clothes or tidying up after him or wifi. Give him jobs to do around the house.

I agree with others you'll have to toughen up with him.

SittingAround1 Sun 12-Apr-20 13:19:47

Yes call the police if his behaviour gets too bad.

Pinkblueberry Sun 12-Apr-20 13:20:45

You’re situation sounds really tough OP, please don’t be hard on yourself. You talk about taking control, but unfortunately your son is 15, not 5 and quite a bit of this is out of your control - particularly the hygiene/ self care aspect. It sounds really tough but by this age, if he’s prepared to lose all his teeth by not brushing them so be it - it’s out of your control anyway, it’s not neglect on your part. Let it go. Let it be his problem, not yours.
Continue to control what you can, for example the WiFi, his electronics - he’s not entitled to them and he sure as anything doesn’t deserve these things. From what you’ve said there seems to be a power imbalance in terms of him not giving a shit what you think but you caring what he thinks - if he calls you controlling or unfair, if he slags you off to his sisters, so be it - you know it’s untrue. What’s true is that he’s being a horrible shit - and he’s not bothered. He already doesn’t think very highly of you (not your fault), so what difference does it make if he says x y and x about you? Water off a duck’s back if you can.
If someone like that, even if (maybe especially if) it was my son was giving me any kind of lecture about respect I would be laughing in his face. You know this is all manipulation of the cruelest kind, especially suicide threats. You deserve better. He’s not a little child anymore, he’s not got mental health issues. He’s simply being cruel. I wouldn’t waste anymore time being nice - he’s too old for positive praise and gold stars - it’s not going to get you anywhere anyway.
I’m sorry you’re in this situation flowers

StVincent Sun 12-Apr-20 13:22:49

I’d sell his PS4 because it’s a ridiculously treaty toy for someone who is making your life a misery - and he’s clearly gaining kudos from his “friends” on there egging him on to be a little twat frankly. Or remove it to someone else’s house and he has to earn it back over a month of solid improvement.

StVincent Sun 12-Apr-20 13:28:13

You’re in an unusual situation where you actually have him home all the time and so he’s very dependent on you. This is kind of an (admittedly shit) opportunity to get some kind of normality back into his behaviour.

Agree with PP you sound like you take what he says about you v seriously. Teenagers just have strong emotions and spout off. If you know you’re not being unkind etc then it’s fine. Check in on here or with a friend or relative (in private) if you want backing up.

Were you in a controlling relationship before? You sound scarred somehow.

Herpesfreesince03 Sun 12-Apr-20 13:29:48

Do you find you give in to him a lot op? You say he started refusing school, so you gave up and let him stay at home. Except he doesn’t want to work at home either, so has been allowed to do nothing. You say he threatens suicide when you take his electronics, so you give them back and then he’s laughing with his mates online. He puts his clean washing in with dirty clothes, so you wash them again. I think you need to put up it foot down and start demanding respect. He’s not a little child anymore. The clothes washing would stop for a start. He washes them himself or they don’t get washed. Get social services/the local authorities involved with his schooling, he NEEDS to be doing something. As for the electronics, they’d be going in the bin. This is probably what’s causing most of the problems. He’s been sucked into the fake world of games consoles and now he’s neglecting every single other aspect of his life in favour of his xbox. I started noticing this issue with my daughter a couple weeks into the lockdown with my daughter, she started getting sucked into her iPhone, sitting in her room and withdrawing from family life. I gave her one warning about her use of it, which she ignored. So I took it off her and threw it in the wheelie bin. Then emptied every bin in the house of top of it to stop me from caving and taking it back out. No way will I allow my children to disrespect me in any way. Stop being a doormat op and take back control

Isadora2007 Sun 12-Apr-20 13:32:18

So the divorce 3 years ago was from the girls dad but not his. He is 15 and I’m assuming has experienced an initial family separating (you from his dad) then both you and his dad have gone on to have more children- his dads one is very unwell and you have more than one... okay so that’s another huge upheaval- new relationships and new siblings over what was likely very formative periods of his life. What lesson or message do you think he may have taken from this-

People leave me
I’m not good enough
Other people are more important than me
What or who is constant in my life?
Who is going to prioritise me?

These are just my musings on this- and given you actually state you “hate him so much” and seem to expend a lot of effort looking for power struggles and fighting With him I can’t say I’m surprised your relationship is broken.

I don’t think you want to fix it though. You’ve got your new children so hey, just wait till he moves out and forget you ever had a son?

Or... stop and draw a line and sit down to say to your son this is a new start. We move on from today and start to listen to each other and cooperate and respect each other- not waiting for the other to respect first. You are the only constant in his life and he needs to know you love him- you may hate his actions and his behaviours but you need to love him. Or he will be broken and you will be failing him.

Dumbledorker Sun 12-Apr-20 13:37:47

Thankyou everyone for your help. Hes currently stood at the bottom of my bed droning on and repeating himself about how unfair I am being and how controlling im being. He will follow me around the house now while I make some dinner and not leave me alone. He will purposely get in my way. He keeps repeating about how he neeeeeeeeds to talk to his friends and how I'm being cruel because he can't go see them because there is currently a deadly virus in the world and I'm isolating him.
I told him yesterday if he wants to earn some money he can paint our backyard fence. £3 per panel so £50 in all and he can do 3 panels in an hour so basic wage.
Hes asked for the £50 upfront for stuff to buy on his ps4 🙄

Yodasdog Sun 12-Apr-20 13:40:04

Social Worker here. I don’t see how we would see this as a safeguarding issue in respect of the girls, unless of course he is violent to you or them? We would be far more likely to move him. I have had to do exactly this last week for a very similar situation.
You need support, please self refer.

Borderterrierpuppy Sun 12-Apr-20 13:41:15

Has he always been a bit like this? He sounds very like my 9 yr old who has just been diagnosed ASD with a pathological demand avoidant profile. Just because CAMHS have assessed him does not necessarily mean they got it right.
Is the go interested, could he be depressed/ anxious and masking his feelings?
Bigs hugs xx

sadpapercourtesan Sun 12-Apr-20 13:41:34

He knows perfectly well he's being a massive arsehole, OP. You need to IGNORE the attention-seeking, and say NO when he tries to bend or change the terms. He has no actual power in this situation. Everything he has comes from you, and can be taken away. If he turns dangerous, call the police (a scare and a proper bollocking would do him no end of good).

I disagree with the pp who said his personal hygiene is his own business. Being clean and not stinking is something we do out of courtesy for others as well as for our own health and self-respect.

Stop listening to his nonsense, stop questioning yourself and stand up to him, calmly and firmly. You hold all the cards here.

Borderterrierpuppy Sun 12-Apr-20 13:41:36

Gp

Pinkblueberry Sun 12-Apr-20 13:44:06

Or... stop and draw a line and sit down to say to your son this is a new start. We move on from today and start to listen to each other and cooperate and respect each other- not waiting for the other to respect first. You are the only constant in his life and he needs to know you love him- you may hate his actions and his behaviours but you need to love him. Or he will be broken and you will be failing him.

Typical armchair psychology at its best, without providing any real practical advice... ‘just have a chat and agree to respect each other’... hmm you’re not failing your son OP. - it sounds like you’ve gone above and beyond to try and get the best out of him. I don’t doubt that although you hate him for his behaviour you still love him. Don’t be guilt tripped - not by him or anyone else.

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