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MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers - Part 2 here's to a peaceful 2013

(811 Posts)
Maryz Tue 01-Jan-13 15:57:49

This is a continuation of this thread which I set up as a safe space for struggling parents of challenging teenagers.

This is meant to be a welcoming thread, where everyone can come and moan, whinge, bash ideas off each other and support each other as we face a new year and new challenges

Newbies in particular - come and join in. When ds1 started going off the rails I felt very lonely as there was no-one in real life I could talk to. Being able to be open and honest on here has helped me cope over the last few years.

Many of us have extremely challenging teenagers, some are involved in alcohol and drugs, some are violent, some are struggling with depression, anxiety and various SN. This thread isn't here to judge people and tell them how to parent or to simplify and minimise their difficulties.

So if you think we should simply tell them to come home and night, and take their phones away if they don't, you are probably in the wrong place. Also if you think a few joints or a couple of pills are harmless, go and start a thread about it somewhere else.

The mantra of this thread is - don't look back, guilt is a wasted emotion. You are where you are now, carry on from here. You may not be able to change them, but you can change how you react to their behaviour, so pick your battles, take a step back and try not be too emotionally involved, and FFS, be nice to yourself.

So here goes: here's to a calm, peaceful and positive 2013.

LauraShigihara Wed 30-Jan-13 19:34:34

The funny thing is with my two boys, DS1 is absolutely adamant that his little brother won't turn out like him. He would never swear in front of him or watch anything unsuitable and was terribly protective of him. He talks about how he would be heartbroken if DS2 got involved in drugs or drink. It's so frustrating that he can see how wrong his life is but won't take the steps to put it right.

It's as if he has written himself off at twenty five.

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 19:36:36

Shall we add absolute lack of feelings of self-worth to the unhappiness that is endemic in these kids Laura?

It's so sad.

MuchBrighterNow Wed 30-Jan-13 19:39:25

Sorry to read on the just ask Chris thread that you are having a tough day Maryz You are so not a crap parent ... it's just a bit of a thankless , impossible task sometimes.

Midwife I have read how much you have given in support to try to help your Ds. I am sorry he is seemingly so unwilling to help himself. It must be so frustrating and heartbreaking. I suppose at least if he goes back inside you and your DD will know where he is sad

Just had a tricky family meal with a clearly stoned Ds alternatively lying with his head on the table, repeatedly punching his brother in an annoying manner to get my attention, (even though he had it ), calling everyone morons and shouting abuse in an aggressive manner at DD's excited chattering. On top of that he hates the food we eat...He's like an ill mannered toddler with the bite of a pitbull angry

Honestly I don't know why he wants to be at home , he so obviously hates it here.

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 19:41:10

Thanks MuchBrighter. I should have posted it here.

In fact I might copy it. I need a bit of hand-holding tonight [self-pitying emoticon].

ds cooks for himself these days. Life is much easier that way (though the cost of the food is horrific).

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 19:42:36

This is what I posted on the other thread:

"Today I told ds2 quietly and calmly that I didn't want to be a mother any more, that I was crap at it and was quitting. I then calmly and quietly locked myself into my room and burst into tears."

For anyone who thinks I cope well sad. I just pretend to cope, most of the time.

Feckers. You can't live with them, and you aren't allowed to kill them, and no matter how you try you can't stop loving them hmm.

MuchBrighterNow Wed 30-Jan-13 19:49:40

Feckers. You can't live with them, and you aren't allowed to kill them, and no matter how you try you can't stop loving them That sums it up brilliantly smile

Midwife99 Wed 30-Jan-13 19:53:58

Yes Laura & Maryz you know exactly what I mean. DS1 (aged 20 at Uni) has successfully disengaged & won't let DS2 affect him. He just sighs, says "What a knob" & gets on with his successful life. He has the right idea I guess!!

LauraShigihara Wed 30-Jan-13 19:57:37

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

LauraShigihara Wed 30-Jan-13 19:59:49

Anyway, we aren't crap mothers - they are crap at being our kids wink

starsandunicorns Wed 30-Jan-13 20:10:09

Hi to all i luke mostly but was on the last thread just wanted to say i heard last night that my dd1 passed her driving test i am proud but obv cant call her to say plus shes still doing college. I so far out of her life now that my own mother wont tell me updates so get them from dd2 shes still drinking drugs etc ( but no more police that i know) but hope shes turned a corner dd2 visted a week ago and had such a nice time.

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 20:11:27

Oh, yes <perks up> They are crap teenagers grin

ds2 is in the middle of exams and not coping too well with the ADHD meds he has just started. Added to which I have discovered we have to pay over €100 a month for them, which along with the cost of his roaccutane (about 60 a month) and the fish oils is putting us seriously in trouble.

And I have to pay another 120 for blood tests and 100 to see the specialist next week for him.

I can't afford him. Luckily I cried before I shouted it all at him along with "and you don't appreciate it".

You are very lucky with your NHS.

LauraShigihara Wed 30-Jan-13 20:12:15

Ah, well done to your daughter! Forgive me, I can't remember back to the other thread but I assume from what you said that she doesn't live with you? That must be tough.

cory Wed 30-Jan-13 20:18:34

Oh Maryz sad Big hug!

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 20:19:45

That's good news stars - I can understand that it is bittersweet for you sad. But if she is doing (relatively) well, there is hope for a future for you both, once she has had a bit of time to grow up [hopeful]

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 20:20:55

Thanks cory (and everyone else).

I guess we are entitled to self-pitying days!

LauraShigihara Wed 30-Jan-13 20:23:56

Goodness, that all sounds expensive Mary - what a worry on top of everything else. I can't imagine having to pay out for all those tests and medication - I take my hat off to you.

I shudder to think what we've spent trying to keep DS1 on the straight and narrow. We even moved to a new part of the country, taking on a very large new mortgage to give him a new drug-free environment <hollow laugh>

And I am now saving like crazy because when he is released he will have nowhere to live and I can't have him here long term. So we are doing without (on top of our ginormous mortgage) so the ungrateful little swine can have yet another new start at our expense. And he'll sit in that flat (paid for by me) drinking and taking drugs and then ring me to tell me how no one ever helped him with anything and he has always been on his own...

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 20:28:02


[wish I had bottle of wine emoticon]


This thread cheers me up in a rather convoluted and very weird way. Sorry grin.

starsandunicorns Wed 30-Jan-13 20:31:32

Thankyou yes it is bittersweet but me leaving was the best thing we are all still alive none are in prison and i dont have bruises but the mental scars are there still. I hope so Maryz my mum even said no contact till shes 25. I miss the little girl that had a massive smile and was always talking days long ago but they did exist. Miss dd2 lots but she has decided to move here for college we support her shame her dad wont even though she lives with him. Shes in yr 10 and doesnt want move due to yet plus dd2 cuddle parnter has moved up to boyfriend smile

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 20:34:44

Sometimes you can only do your best stars. At one stage I considered moving out (with ds2) and leaving ds1 and dh because I thought it would make him happy. If I had thought it was for the best I would have, even though it would really have hurt.

If you think about it, the teenage years are a very short part of their (and our) lives. They just seem very looooooooong while they are happening. I hope that I will have a future with ds1 when he stops hating everyone and everything and can remember that we used to be a happy family.

starsandunicorns Wed 30-Jan-13 20:46:56

Totaly understand that last bit Maryz dd1 never saw me and dd2 and her as a family unit at least she has my parents to help her ( they using any henerataince i was going to get) but i dont mind i just remind myself that dd1 dad when she moved in with him ( both dds same dad) he kicked her out after 5 weeks i had more go on and only cracked after 2:5 yrs of soild abuse. At least at the min she doesnt want dcs herself she still hates them :s i take that as a postive smile

flow4 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:36:13

Evening all. I've been working late, but I just wanted to pop in and say 'hello'. smile

Everyone seems very philosophical tonight. You (we?) are an amazing bunch, y'know. Anyone who was ever inclined to 'blame the parents' would be seriously confused by how thoughtful, and considered, and determined, and responsible we all are. I hope we shake up a few preconceptions!

"You can't live with them, and you aren't allowed to kill them, and no matter how you try you can't stop loving them " grin

Ironically, last summer I was on the verge of kicking DS1 out, and I thought I had stopped loving him. Then two of his 'associates' (one local dealer and one local psycho) went on the rampage and stabbed two lads DS1's age, killing one of them sad sad It could soooo easily have been DS1. It frightened me witless. And I realised I did love him, despite everything.

It didn't soften DS2's attitude towards him though. Unlike most of your kids, DS2 doesn't admire or like his brother: he thinks he's a dickhead (well, he often is) and mostly hates him. That makes me sad, because we have no other close family, and one day they'll each be all the family the other has. For now though, at least it means DS2 is less likely to follow in DS1's footsteps...

njaw Thu 31-Jan-13 22:45:28

Absolutely love the "Can't live with them... " statement, soooo true.

Any ideas on today's issue? After waiting 3 months to get a TAHMS appointment (my local authorities triage for CAHMS), they cancelled on me when it snowed. They then write to me with an appointment for 6 weeks time. I call them every hour on the hour to tell them that we are highly unlikely to make 6 weeks without intervention as he's weeks away from permanent exclusion. My badgering pays off and today they call to tell me I have an appointment tomorrow on a cancellation.

OT - The whole thing REALLY irritates me, was reading a front page piece in the Mail - that'll teach me not to pick up a paper in Starbucks! It was about the number of violent incidents in schools with kids getting excluded. Some jumped up idiot MP complaining about how its down to parents. NOOOOOO! It's down to cutting the systems that protect vulnerable kids so parents are left alone when they most need support! angry Rant over.

DS2 is pretty annoyed we are going to TAHMS, he's had a really good week - bless the lil thing, he's fallen in love and realised that if he gets expelled, its going to take him away from her. He's never been good at talking to strangers, he gets all flustered. As far as he's concerned, he's "fixed" and no amount of reasoning (hahahaa.. oh I lost myself in the moment of actually believing I could reason with him) will get him to understand it might not be that easy.

How did you get your little ray of sunshine to engage with the pro's? If at all?

flow4 Thu 31-Jan-13 23:18:03

I never had much problem getting DS1 to engage - he was generally very charming; but it was more of a challenge to get the pros to engage with him...

Ed pysch after 30 mins - "What an interesting young man! I'm sure he'll grow out of it. Bye".

GP (following self-harming and angry outbursts) after 12 mins - "Well, I don't think he has a problem, and he says it was a one-off, but I'll refer you just in case. Bye".

CAHMS psychologist after 30 mins - "You have a much better relationship than most mothers and sons. DS is very articulate and self-aware, isn't he? He certainly doesn't reach our threshold for intervention. Bye".

Independent counsellor after 2 x 2hrs - "Well DS and I have decided he doesn't need counselling. Bye".

Drugs counsellor (admittedly second hand opinion via DS himself hmm ) - "She says I don't have a drugs problem, you're just worried I have a drugs problem. (No, I didn't tell her about the money I've stolen from you). I don't have to go back..."

The only person who came close to getting honest, real engagement with DS was a no-nonsense YOT team police officer, who asked him difficult questions and didn't let him off the hook, and got him to acknowledge he was behaving like an arse... But sadly she also told me he didn't meet their threshold for further support...

A youth worker took him out a dozen or more times when he was 12/13... But then DS got mugged when he was in the YW's care (when he went to get a burger!) and the guy felt so embarrassed and guilty that he never came back again... hmm

Really, when I list it all like this, we've been pretty unsupported... sad

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 23:22:56

flow, are you talking about your son or mine?

I could have written that post shock

Except with ds we also had one psych who listened to us and tried to talk to him properly and ds walked out after ten minutes [sigh]. Everyone else thought he was wonderful and I was a control freak.

He was so convincing - but then if he was on Jeremy Kyle he would pass the lie detector, because he absolutely believes himself.

njaw Thu 31-Jan-13 23:26:23

Oh hell Flow, how the heck have you managed? Did you get any support yourself?

I suppose I am still at the naieve stage where I'm clinging onto the hope there might just be a magic answer?

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