Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by asldogs, May 26, 2011.
This is heartbreaking, ASL.
Just wanted to lend support.
Please know my post was written with good intentions. You sound like you have a good plan and a high level of detachment to execute it.
I do know that one thing the label ASPD tends to dissipate, the anger toward the difficult child. At least it did for me. In my case, it was a parent. A completely different dynamic, I know. But, once it sunk in, I knew that it wasn't me that was a problem (As the ASPD parent lead me to believe all those years). Now, you know you are not the problem, and can take measures to protect yourself.
Hoping your plan goes as smooth as possible.
Well, you all were absolutely correct in your warnings and predictions. I was out of town working all day today and came home to find evidence of uninvited company, a bit of a mess, dogs locked up in crate and.... here it is... bottles of booze gone. The last time I left the house when my son was out, I locked of the house. I think I already posted of how he and buddy got in through unlatched window. I told him then, no one allowed in the house without me home. That has always been the rule. I found the cap to what looks like a flask. I suspected drinking and went to look and my bottle of gin and bottle of vodka. Well, I only drink beer and wine and only have the bottles for company. I never drink from them and it has been forever since I picked them up. I thought they seemed a little low, since they are not drank from on any kind of regular basis. but I didn't know. Well, now I do. Today both bottles are gone and a few bottles of beer, too. Damn it!! I sent an email to my cop friend that is planning to come by tomorrow to escort out, if necessary. When my son came home, I told him, "What you did this afternoon confirms the reason you are moving out tomorrow. What you did is illegal and if you were not moving out tomorrow, I would be calling the police." I also have a fear that this buddy's family has no clue and there is no true plan for Rob to move in with them. It's going to be ugly tomorrow, isn't i? I wish I could have you all over here to support and advise me.
So how did the eviction work out? I worry, given everything you've posted, and what I know from experience, that it might've been a bad scene.
Well, it all went down quietly... no eruptions. All day was much easier than I ever anticipated. He quietly and slowly "packed" and went through his things deciding which to take with him and which to risk mom throwing out. I told him whatever he left behind I would decide whether to throw it out or store it in the garage loft. He asked me to save his electric guitar. I agreed. The police officer came over and talked with him about all the legalities of what he did and what he can not do once he moves out. Tried giving him a pep talk about being a man and being responsible. That little lecture went in one ear and out the other... even with mine. The cop was good, though. He was not overly macho strict but he was very direct about the laws for an 18 year old. My son walked out following the cop out the front door. he wasn't angry, no tears, just a calm controlled demeanor the whole time. I looked into his room and see he really didn't pack for permanency. I get the feeling he thinks this is just a 2 week vacation. I couldn't address his room today, yet. I am sad. I feel a loss. I do worry about future encounters. I left a note for 3 of the closest neighbors about what transpired today and asked them to call the police if they notice him returning trying to get in. I have a very funny ironic story to tell you all: I left this evening around 7 for dinner. I went through the house checking to make sure all the windows were latched and the house all locked up tight. I left through the automatic garage door opener, rushing under it before it closes, as the remote control has been broken for about a month. left the notes in the neighbors mail boxes and a friend drove us to the restaurant. Guess what? Can you guess where I'm going with this scenerio? About 10 pm my friend drives me home and as I start to get out of the car, I remember I don't have any keys with me, which usually is not an issue since with three dogs and a small town mentality, I rarely lock the house up. Well, yeah, I locked myself out of my home... with notes to neighbors to call the police if they notice any unusual behavior outside my house. My friend and I laughed at the irony of the situation. This is something my son will NEVER know. So I had to call the local small town locksmith and I got in within an hour and $86.00.
Your son's calmness is very striking, as it's SO outside the norm in this situation. I suppose the presence of the cop (an excellent call on your part) curbed what might have happened. Still, it strikes me as the calm before the storm, and I suspect you're right that he expects this to be a brief ouster which you'll retract in short order. The next month should be interesting. One thing I've noticed about late-teen (18 or over) difficult children being shown out of the house is that they never really believe it'll last, and they fully expect to return and resume their former reign of theft/terror as if somehow it's their entitlement to live at home as long as they like, which is usually a lifetime.
Keep an eye out for possible vengeful behaviors on his part. His calmness worries me--like he's expecting the last laugh. Despite what others have said here, I regard the diagnosis of ASPD as a really serious, unignorable fact: such people are very vengeful and hold grudges hard and long, and can't bear to just "take it" without getting some sort of satisfaction in reply. Be alert.
I forgot to ask: does your son have any history of criminality/drug dealing? When my sister and I threw her difficult child out of the house, he immediately moved into a local no-tell motel and set up shop for drug dealing, as well as heavy drug-taking. He made it clear that, if she was going to put him out, he would simply deal drugs to stay ahead of the bills, and this is what made her immediately relent and let him back in the house (which frustrated me to high heaven). She just couldn't bear to see him setting himself up for arrest and probable conviction and incarceration--and he knew it, so this was the card he played.
Every strategy for being let back into the house is different, I suppose, but this is one of them: watch me go desperately go down the tubes, and it'll all be *your fault* unless you let me back in. If he's likely to attempt this gambit, be ready for it. It's not uncommon.
I was talking with a psychology professor friend of mine yesterday after my son moved out.... he was puzzled by the former past behavior of acts of compassion and breaking down in tears showing and communicating remorse. My son has always done challenging, some serious, some not so, behaviors but he was able to talk about it showing remorse and learning from the experience. The question arose, can an under 18 year old be diagnosed conduct disorder but react humanely from bad choices and still later at 18 transition into an ASPD? He has only been fitting the ASPD profile in the recent 6-8 months....prior to that he reacted very differently and appropriately with his bad decisions. Any thoughts about that from you folks?
The theft and drastic change in personality leads me directly to drugs. When difficult child 2 was using hard, he would have fit the criteria for ASPD to someone who just saw his behaviors, but didn't know him. He was 15, stealing, and running away all the time. Was put into foster care and ran from there. Was put into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and ran away 3 times, stealing a car the last time to do so. They couldn't keep a hold on him until they put him in a lockdown Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He was aggressive, angry, and didn't care about anything or anyone but himself. He stole from anyone. Addiction changes a person completely. He's no longer using hard drugs - although he readily admits that he smokes a lot of pot - but he's been living in the same place for longer than he's been in one spot for almost 4 years and he has a job. He came over this morning at 8:15 to take the garbage out for me. His mom and I expected him to be in prison by now. (He's also bipolar, in denial and refuses medications.)
More of my family members are addicts than aren't, too, so I may tend to think of drugs first...but when you first posted that was my first thought.
I would agree about drug use, I think it changes everything and if your son is using drugs it is hard to have any kind of clear diagnosis. If he is not then I really wonder if you are missing something because a lot of signs are there.
My son could fit a lot of the criteria for ASPD but as a child I saw very clear signs of empathy and remorse and I still see some of those signs now and then, although I think he shows them even less to me these days than other people. It is those signs of empathy and remorse that make me think he is not ASPD. I do think if your son has displayed those in the past, and even currently then the diagnosis of ASPD is at least questionable. Like I have said in other posts I am not convinced that at this age a diagnosis of ASPD is all that helpful..... I do agree however that recognizing that his behavior at this point is not your fault or your responsibility.
This is most likely drug behavior as prior to the 8 months or so he did show empathy and compassion at least at times. Though those I have known who have ASPD would sometimes pretend to empathize, faking it really well most of the time. It was always a ploy to get something though. But the most likely reason is drug use. Even alcohol use can cause this type of change. You were NOT living iwth your son, you were living iwth an addict/alcoholic. Until he hits his own bottom, which will be a LONG time after you think he should hit bottom, and he decides to turn it around, he won't be your son. Addiction takes over every single facet of a person and they become notihg but a walking mass of addiction. It is all there is in t he world for them.
Treating him as though he has ASPD is the best you can do for now. Don't let him in, call if you have any signs of a break-in, and take care of yourself. Do not let him back in for any reason. If he does come in for a few min or an hour and own't go, call the police. In many areas if he spends the night at your home he would be considered a tenant even if he pays nothing. So you would haave to do a full eviction on him again, which would be really hard.
I would be less hesitant about slapping him with ASPD if he hadn't been adopted at such a late age. Early chaotic lives and multiple caregivers and having no real home base for so many years does lead to ASPD or disorders that have the same exact criteria (Reactive Attachment Disorder, Conduct Disorder). Those are buzz words for ASPD in younger children.
My child who molested all my younger kids (without us suspecting a thing) was a GREAT actor. He could charm, cry, act remorseful and, in the background, scare my little ones into silence while he performed atrocities. When he had to leave, per our insistence to social services, he cried, but they were tears for himself. He'd liked the material comforts we'd given him and the freedom and knew his gig was up. But he had acted like a normal kid in front of all adults for three years. One thing he had never done was truly attach to us or anyone else. He couldn't.
I find it interesting that your son's adoption profile was the best of the children you read about. So was R's. He was said to be cognitively slow a bit (I think he is actually a faker and brilliant), with NO behavioral problems at all. He was listed as compassionate, helpful, and gentle and he loved to help his foster mother of five years with her day care kids (I'm sure he did. He confessed once in rehab that he'd molested them.) But he fooled every psychiatrist and his social workers. His ex-foster mom of five years was also shocked. At first she didn't even believe us. So everyone thought that he was a great child so we were optimistic when we adopted him.
He never did miss us. We heard that he talked about wanting to go home (to us), but when he told he couldn't, he was just angry that he had to be in a lock up. ASPD's are very good at acting charming. They are great con artists. Some are dangerous, like R. was. Some suppress their urges to do physical harm, but harm people in other ways. Drugs could be a factor, however, although they can make a child act like a wild child with a mood disorder, I'm not sure they make one mimic ASPD.
You may be interested in this link. I found it after R. left our house and I couldn't stop reading the posts. It is a support board for people who have ASPD and they pretty much expose who they really are. Here it is:
Hope you are feeling great today. Good time to give a trusted neighbor a spare key too.
It has been two days since my son moved out. I still feel so sad... it feels like being in mourning. I've lost who he was prior to 8 months ago and I mourn who he is becoming now. I mourn our relationship will probably never be the same again. It feels permanent to me, but suspect he thinks it's only a few weeks. I keep wanting to go into his room to clear it out and make it into a home office which desperately need. But each time I open the door, I just can't seem to do it, yet.
I kept looking for signs of any drug or alcohol use but never saw any evidence until this last week before he moved out. I wonder if there is some type of new pill kids can get a hold of that is a subtle high without any obvious symptoms or behaviors? He never has any money, so if he was using a drug, he paid for it in some other way.
An interesting side story: the police officer friend who talked with my son on move out day, made a deal with us that he needed to make sure his buddy's family called me by today. I told the the officer I didn't have any information about who this family is or a contact number. Well, the mother called me last night at 10pm while I was in bed reading, I didn't recognize the number and decided to let them leave a voice mail message. I found the message to be quite interesting. Female deep slow tone voice: "I am _____mother and he said I am suppose to get a hold of you for some reason...so... call me back, I guess... bye." She obviously had no interest in talking to me but felt obligated to call. I don't understand how this family can take in an 18 year old, his 2 storage tubs of stuff, guitar and skate board and not be curious to talk to his parent. Even if my son painted a nasty picture of who I am, wouldn't you want to at least touch base with the parent? I have not called her back. I have the number now in case of emergency, so I don't really have anything to say to her. Whatever I would tell her about what these two have been up to, she most likely would blame my son or deny they could have done that. Anyone have any insight to what, if anything, I should do about communicating with this family?
I would not communicate with the family unless there is an emergency. Usually these people have problems of their own or are crazy nice and are believing everything your son tells them about you. I went through this with my daughter. She told lots of people I put her and her newborn baby out on the street at 11:00 at night in a snowstorm. Of course the reality was I found out she was back in contact with her abuser and that she could not stay in my home if she chose to maintain a relationship with him, so she left. She has told people all kinds of crazy stories about how awful I am. It used to really bother me, but now I let it go. Also, those people who take these kids in usually find out what they're really like. He'll behave there for awhile, but will start pushing boundaries as soon as possible. These kids are masters at finding people they can manipulate.
You are in the midst of the hardest time right now, and it IS grief. You have lost someone you love, so of course you will feel bad. The last time Kat did this (and left the house looking like 20 crack addicts had been there) I spent the weekend cleaning up. I bought myself a birthday cake at the store and had cake and wine for dinner. It was so ridiculous it cheered me up. So do something to make yourself feel better and stay as busy as you can. Go to a movie, take a walk, read a book, call a friend, work, anything you can think of to keep the focus on YOU!
I just wanted to offer up many, many hugs. I have not been keeping tabs on your thread until today. I read all the posts and felt SO much compassion.
My sister passed away 3 years ago, and my dad died a couple of months ago, and it is just my mom, son and me. Like you, I feel a great need to have more family - so if I did not already have a child I can totally see myself adopting a child. You bonded with him, and had an amazing 7 years - and now this. I imagine your pain is deep - and that it causes the pain of losing your family members to re-surface as well.
I am currently struggling on what my son's diagnosis is - he is showing some extreme signs of darkness - I will just put it that way. It is sad, grievous, but most of all I find it so hard to grapple with the fact he used to be this adorable blond hair, blue eyed pumpkin that I read stories to every night. This child who was so loving, smart, funny, and such an amazing artist - is completely disappearing. It is heartbreaking. Coupled with losing my other family members, I really struggle - and I am sure you must feel exactly the same way.
It truly is a loss, something that you perhaps need some counseling for? I am glad that you know that you are not alone - because you are not. There is a whole group of people here who know and understand. Again, many, many hugs.
I also am comming in late here but I have an adopted difficult child that sounds much like yours. Mine was always challenging and had temper tantrums but never hurt anyone else. He lied, stole, and disobeyed but had a certain waif-like innocence that was very endearing. He was compassionate to a fault and very kind. At 15 he was lead down a bad path by a kid who sold him a bbgun wich difficult child took to school to "show off". He was suspended for a year and sent to a special school for troubled kids. A dramatic change appeared in his personality the next year. He began punching my husband and became unbelievably defiant, sexually active, sneaking out at night, and refused to obey rules. When he turned 18 he was already in trouble with the law big time and verbally abusive on a daily basis towards me until one day right before Christmas he kicked me and broke my ribs as I sat on the floor painting woodwork. He then left home and set about telling horrible lies about us to strangers to play on their sympathies and lo and behold...they took him in. All of them did this without consulting me. Some finally called when they had enough of difficult child often expecting me to pay for all the food etc. they spent on him. Turns out my son was on drugs. He had started right around the time he became abusive towards my husband.
I do understand your sence of loss most of us parents here have experienced the same. I still get a pang when I look at a picture of my difficult child as a boy. I have walked a long and tiring road with my son. He almost destroyed my family and did destroy my health. All I can offer on the subject is that with detachment it becomes easier. The sadness is there deep down within the recesses of your soul but it is quiet. Almost as if it is a being that knows it is unwelcome in your daily thoughts yet trapped within.
Just like you will always miss your mother and father and sibling you will always miss the little boy you embraced as your own. I can promise you this... one day you will remember and you will smile...yes, even laugh at some of the sweet or silly memorys. This present time is only a part of your life's journey not the whole of it. Hopefully this path will eventually lead you to a good place. I wish you peace. -RM
Hello again everyone!
I have not been on for a few days and then had to figure out how to log back in with a new password. And to those of you sending me a private message, I just this morning figured out I even had a private email box. I am soooo lame with internet technology.
Anyway, I can't tell you all how helpful your comments have been and how very similar your experiences were to my current one now with my son, ROB. It has been one week and one day, since he left.
All has been very quiet and peaceful. About four days after he left, I went out of town for the day. ROB initiated a texting conversation that went like this:
R: Is my insurance card still good?
R: good, think I'm going to hospital
R: ankle fracture or broken
M: can you walk on it?
M: swollen badly?
R: a little
M: I suggest you stay off of it, elevate it, put ice on it and if not better by Monday, call doctor. You can now make your own appointments and get your own medications.
A couple hours later...
R: going to emergancy room. Gage's mom thinks swelling bad enough.
M: Keep me posted, I am out of town all day. Who taking you?
R: Gage's step-dad, gage, and gage's mom dropping me off.
M: they not stay with you?
R: no, they said they have errands
M: you can do this. you've done it before. lots of waiting. exray.
R: never been to hospial alone before
M; You can do it, be prepared for waiting
R: ****! I hate waitng.
M: worse than the ankle pain?
He kept me posted and told me he was sent home with crutches and a diagnosis of a sprain, no break.
I remember he "sprained" his ankle once before a few years ago with me. During a time after my father died and I was not giving him alot of emotional attention. He found ways to get my attention. Sitting with him for Emergency Room visit with ankle and a cutting incident discovered by his regular doctor. I am guessing this time it was, again, a way for him to reconnect with me just to make sure I still cared. I was proud of myself of how I dealt with the conversation and thankful I was out of town and couldn't run to his aid, even if I wanted, which I was tempted.
I have not heard back from him since then and am feeling I wish we could communicate a little more. Decided to send a text to him asking how the ankle is doing. No reply. Sent Gage a text asking if ROB's phone working? No reply. I discovered the phone number I *thought* was gage's mom's number is actually gage's number. When she called and left that weird voice mail message late one night, it was from her son's cell phone. So, I still don't know where ROB is living, don't have a parent phone number.
No replies has me a bit concerned. Should I let go and stop worrying? Should I call my cop friend back and ask him to assist in getting more info again?
I still have not cleared out his room, yet. Haven't even been able to open his bedroom door again yet.
No evidence of him trying to get back into the house.
ROOKIE MISTAKE -------(sorry about that dawg)
NEVER NEVER NEVER --------tell them you are out of town. Text him back - and say - I came home due to your broken ankle -or Have XXX staying at the house.......NEVER tell them you are out of town. This is like an invitation to raid their old place without permission - and an instant invitation to go to jail for 30 years depending on what time they break in. In SC - you can get 30 years in prison if you break into a house after 11:00 PM - even if it's your son into his OWN former home. FYI.
in my opinion? Yes, let it go. This is one of the hardest things, I know... especially if you're used to having daily contact with your difficult child. No replies probably means he got what he wanted out of you (concern, advice, whatever), and he's done. No reply may also be his way of punishing you ... "I'm hurt and you wouldn't even go to the ER with me so I'm not gonig to let you know how it worked out, I'm going to go silent and let you think something is wrong." been there done that so many times with both my girls.
Distract yourself, go to the movies or read a book or watch a trashy TV program. He'll contact you when he needs something again. No news is good news, and all that.
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