I'm not sure what to do about this. I've had custody of my kids for years now. Their dad has visitation but lives on the other side of the state. He was convicted of abuse having to do with them although he still says the child and I both lied. Not really important except for the abuse cycle issue. Basically I have a almost 15 yr old who is attempting to use any reason or excuse to NOT go to school. I don't have ANY type of support from their father except a lot of arguing, excuses and mind games. He's a habitual liar and has delusions of grandeur. Tested during our many psych evals. Again not entirely important in and of itself. I moved away far enough that it would take some effort to see the kids for him. Approx 6 hours. He doesn't work and has a wife along with 6 other combined children aside from ours. All in all, it was the best for all involved. The specific child I am having problems with landed in the ER twice for suicidal thoughts/actions. Another one of our kids started cutting, that was when I decided I couldn't let him mess with their heads anymore. It's been a year and a half and things got a lot better.
Now though my oldest has been asking to live with his dad. He is a teen and completely irrational in his attempt at logic. Normal for a teen. I remember lol. About a week or so ago I told him to get off the phone with his gf and do homework and his chore. He ended up throwing a stool against the wall. Today I shut off his phone except calls to me and texting in our own personal family. He text me that if it affected his relationship with his girlfriend, he would kill me. No beating around the bush or anything. Just said it and demanded I turn it back on. When I got home from work tonight, I found a hole in my kitchen wall. He punched the wall. I KNOW all 3 of my kids are acting up because I am working 3 jobs to pay bills right now. I'm gone ALL the time! I don't have a choice right now though. I don't know what is best to do for him?
I know legally he could and WOULD be arrested based on the threat and the violence but his response tonight was, "I'm not going to bed if i'm just going to be woken up by the police." Sad and embarrassing part for me is the fact that I KNOW I am failing, and worse yet...I work with the police daily. All 3 of my jobs are often involved with legal procedures and I see and work with officers daily. I deal with youth and adults at work who do illegal things and threaten me yet my own child is doing it?! I'm doing incredible at work but I'm failing miserably at parenting right now. The lack of respect is so paramount that I can't hardly keep my cool most days. Add that with lack of sleep and over all stress... I don't know what to do... I need different view points and I'll take any advice or experience anyone has to offer.
Its late but I wanted to post a bit for you.
I would suggest family therapy for your household. The older kiddo (the one throwing things) needs help - immediately. Get the school involved, get a private therapist involved.
The child who is cutting - we had a thread about cutting last week, I *think* it was here in the tween/teen section.
I totally understand needing to work. I totally understand unsupervised kids but can you sign them up for a program. Afterschool clubs, girls/boys club, volunteer activity? Have someone stop over and 'check' on them, under the impression of dropping off snacks etc?
I will check in tomorrow and see if there is more feedback.
Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed
Seeking zen in 2014. Working on journaling and finding peace this year. Spending my free time taking J to swimteam
Oh Sweetpea BIG HUGS
I would not involve the police or the school. I would involve mental health professionals. Do you have medical insurance? medicaid? A threat to harm yourself or others should result in an involuntary commit to a mental health hospital. Usually it's a three day stabilization stay and then referrals to outpatient providers or a partial hospitalization / day program. What happened when he went to the ER in the past for suicide? Did you get any good referrals? I would consider your situation to qualify for family in crisis. Can you tell us what state you are in? It would help us know what direction to point you in with regard to services.
~Patti~ Momma to three girls and three boys , First mother to one girl
Certified, card carrying member of the IEP Binder Club
Thank you for the thoughts! I appreciate it. I'm going to look into therapy again. It's been a couple years since the last time we did any therapy. Otherwise we have done therapy off and on for about 7 yrs. I'm waiting for a call back from the school officer but I think I will go in today instead. I'm going to just go into work late and start hitting state offices asking for resources and see what I get. Sadly all the after school programs here cost money and I am embarrassed to say that even with a ft job and two pt jobs I'm barely making it right now. My youngest who was cutting has stopped now. It was huge reality check a year and a half ago before I finally moved so they didn't see their dad all the time. The mind games he played was just incredible. There is more to that story as well. That whole side of the family can be really unhealthy. I always feel like I'm going over board saying so many negative things about them and about my kids dad. I have to remember that I had to FIGHT for custody and I was granted sole physical and legal custody due to all their issues. We spent about 7 yrs in court processes over it and they pulled in all the mental health services for testing and interviewed as many people as possible. Thank you all again! it's amazing how much better I feel just knowing someone heard me and responded. I'm really tired and burnt from feeling alone so long.
I went in and talked to thew freshman assistant principle and the school truancy officer. The school said they will give me a referral for counseling if it looks like it may take awhile to get him in. I am waiting for lunch break to be over at the counseling place then i'll get the ball rolling on getting him in. I realized today that he has not taken his meds in 3-4 days now so I called his dr and the dr called the school who set aside some time for a meeting. They have all been really great for support. I have state medical for my kids in Oregon right now. The resources from the prior suicide problems can't help much now as that was in northern Oregon and I am in southern Oregon currently but it can help me get him services sooner! The assistant principle said I should have called the police as they may have detained him but probably not. He said they WOULD have taken him in for psychiatric testing though which I know he needs. He had a good point there. I have called the police in the past(2x's since he was10 for violence and truancy) but I feel as though I may have relied on that too much simply because there isn't a solid father figure. I don't want to over use that although now I think maybe I should have. Owell... I have told him that if he threatens or is violent at all, the police WILL be called. Sadly, I have a sneaking suspicion he will do it again tonight. He is wanting attention and I feel like crap knowing that what I have isn't what he is wanting/needing. We have gone this road before...just never this extreme. Thank you for your kind thoughts and I'm really glad I found this forum! I don't have friends or family here and I work so much that I doubt I will make friends anytime soon. It's nice to hear from people who are in the same single parenting boat. Thank you!
Look into Oregon Family Support Network, ofsn.org. I don't know whether your county has an active branch, but they are worth a try for support for living with high needs kids. Also for a referral to local resources.
I would agree with the folks above suggesting therapeutic intervention. But if you need to have the police involved to keep your family safe, that does not mean you are a failure. It means that you need help, and we all do at times.
Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)
I can't imagine being in your situation (my oldest is only nine) and I have no idea, other than getting mental health professionals involved, what I'd do. But the calling the police idea really worries me. I don't know if any good could come of it (maybe someone who's btdt can chime in?), but, as a former criminal defense attorney, I have seen it go badly. And generally once it does, the parent who called can't do anything to mitigate it or turn things around. Of course, if you feel like you're in danger, that's a whole 'nother story, but I would never want to call the police on my child. As far as I've seen the criminal justice system has never done anything to help a "perpetrator" which is the role he'd be cast in. Do you have experience with this sort of thing through your work? Maybe you have seen more than I have. But my impression is that the very last thing I'd ever want to do is send the police after my babies.
I hope the school and mental health types can help. I know it's got to be so scary for you. I think I may have had the girl version of what's going on with your son (though I don't know if its to the same degree), which didn't involve any violence but it did scare the crap out of my mother and things did really turn around for me before I was too old -- I'd say, by the time I was 20 or so it was clear that I was on a better track. So, it is possible to turn these things around.
Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.