Monday, October 11, 2010

Decisions, Decisions, decisions..

I hate to make decisions and I have one to make that is over the top. See, I have to decide if sending my son to live with his father would be a good thing or not. Son and I have been in therapy to try and make life better for each of us but it doesn’t seem to be helping.

We are back to fighting over EVERYTHING. I instruct him to do something, like homework and he refuses to do it. Then when I punish him, he gets upset that he is punished but doesn’t change his behaviors. So I yell, which he doesn’t like anymore than I like to yell. He is very oppositional with me; he thinks he is equal to me or even above me in the hierarchy in the household.

At the last therapy session I told her that I was done with him. I cannot be this person; I don’t want to be this person. I am stressed and angry all the time when I am home with him. Everything involving him is annoying to me. I cannot stand my child. What mother doesn’t love her child unconditionally? Ok. I love him, I just don’t want to be around him.

I am tired of everything being difficult with him. I want to want to be with him and do fun things. That can’t be done when he is grounded or when I can’t stand to be with him because of the power struggles.

Tonight in session, when we were arguing over our perceptions of how things went this week, I said again that I don’t want to do this and can arrange for him to live with his father, that I am ready to file the papers with the courts to transfer him to his fathers care. Vickie said that it might be time for me to do that. With the way things are in the home it cannot be a healthy place for either of us.

She tried to reassure me that there is no shame in sending him to live with his father; lots of single moms are doing it nowadays. She said there are even custody arrangements where each parent had the child for a year. Of course, they live in the same school district and since we don’t even live in the same state that probably wouldn’t work for our situation.

What I am going to have to learn to deal with is feeling like a failure as a mom. But is it really failure when I have done EVERYTHING I possibly can to make this work?

Son says he doesn’t want our life to be like this and he doesn’t want a mean mom. This is what he is calling me. I am a mean mom when he doesn’t do what he is told to do, like get ready for school or homework. But he also doesn’t put the work into changing his behaviors; he doesn’t take responsibility for his part in this family. He wants to play a different part in this family than is acceptable.

He thinks that he should be in charge. He thinks I should be punished for things as well. He thinks he is in charge in the house. How did I let that happen? And how can I get the power back? How can I get back into the alpha spot?

I don’t want to loose my son but I fear that if I don’t send him away, I will.

I emailed his father with a brief explanation of our situation, telling him that I was just seeing what options are available to me and asked if him taking Son was an option. He said yes. I think I fell out of my chair when I read his response. The best part of the email was that he didn’t gloat and didn’t disparage my parenting skills. He said he would let me have as much visitation as I wanted, that he would make arrangements to change Son’s Medicaid benefits to MD. I was shocked!

The biggest problem I have with sending Son to live with his father is that he doesn’t believe in the Aspergers Diagnosis. When Son is there, he doesn’t use the interventions that we do here at home. He doesn’t have the patience with Son that is necessary. I don’t see him working with the school as closely as I do. I also am afraid that the school he will be in won’t give him the individualized attention that he gets here. And that son’s academic performance will suffer do to his father’s lackadaisical attitude.

So, decision time. Does he stay or does he go? This is not a decision that I am going to make quickly and I hope I don’t make it just because I am angry with Son. This decision has to be made as being the best for Son. It has to be made because I love him and want the best for him. My hatred of his behaviors can’t be a factor in my decision. My ability to deal with his behaviors is definitely a factor. This decision has to be made logically and without feeling. This is a decision that I will be making with as much help as I can get.

I have made an appointment with my old therapist to talk about this. I am hoping that she might have some other ideas for handling things. Or if she doesn’t have any suggestions, I hope that she can direct me to make the best decision.

My agency also has a licensed psychologist on staff and I talked with him about the situation. He has met Son on a couple of occasions. He also doesn’t feel that Son is Aspergers. But he also admits that it maybe hard to diagnose in the brief meetings he had with Son. I told Dr. Bruce about the CHOP report and he offered to read through it and see if he can make a suggestion.

He told me a story about his son growing up, with a lot of the same behaviors as I described of Son. He said they made the decision to put his son on medication for ADHD. He described the wonderful changes in his son and their home life. Based on what I told him, he said he would recommend medication for Son. He said the medications they have available now are fairly safe and can be taken only on school days without any major side effects.

At this point, I am considering consulting with the Dr that diagnosed Son with Aspergers to see what he might recommend due to the change in our situation since our last visit with him. I would provide the AS Dr with the CHOP report, a report from our current therapist and also with information about what’s been going on in the home. Worst case scenario would be that the Dr prescribes medication for Son, I pay the co-pays for the visit and Rx and it doesn’t help. Best case, it works and our home life becomes bearable again.

So I have a plan of action that I just need to put into action.


  1. it is good you are xeeking informed counsel on that plan...get all the facts...and it still comes down to making a decision...and not an easy one...

  2. I am truly sorry you are going through this. I wish I could say something that would help but this is all you.
    I will say good luck!

  3. I think you are making some good decisions so far!! I have seen many kids helped by taking meds. Like you said if they don't work can just take him off of them. old is your son?

  4. Wow, that is some heavy stuff to weigh on your mind. I cannot give advice on something like this without knowing every detail. I am sure that you will make the right choice.

  5. I think trying medication before sending him off is a wise decision. I wouldn't want you to do it and then regret it, because there may have been some other avenues to explore (like meds) first.

  6. wow, i mean WOW. I probably already know this but how old is Son?


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