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"You hate me, right? You wish I was different?"
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bigsis144




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 3:04 pm
It's like a stab in the heart to hear DS11 accuse me of "hating" him when he:
- calls me "mentally ill" for removing him from the room when he couldn't leave a sibling alone (verbal taunting turned into shoving and punching)
- laughs while he teases and frightens his toddler sister constantly despite her crying and telling him to stop
- unapologetically kicks and punches his younger siblings when he's annoyed with them
- tells his ADHD brother (DS8) that he is "stupid" and "clumsy" and "bad"
- puts on intimidating displays like cursing or brandishing a knife (I do treat any threat of violence as if he were deadly serious, though I am so far convinced he is doing it for attention/intimidation and to express how much he wants someone to "shut up"/do what he wants)
- he proudly calls himself a "psychopath" and says "well, I'm a bad boy. If I do bad things, that's exactly how I'm supposed to be."

BECAUSE YES!!! I DO WISH HE WAS DIFFERENT!!!
Would anyone in their right mind ask for this l’chatchila?????

There's this voice in my head that says that in order have him understand that his mother unconditionally loves him (which I do!!!), I must be able to absorb all of his negativity without flinching or snapping, and just Nurture his Heart and Focus on the Positive and Appreciate His Strengths blahblahblahblahblah

(And maybe maybe I could do that if he was an only child - he has certainly expressed hundreds of times that he wishes he was... I do make sure to spend 1:1 time with him every day, though when he turns it into a rant about his principal is a b*tch for making the kids wear uniforms 🤯 I just can’t. I have to leave after a certain amount of empathetic listening.)

But (a) my first priority is to keep everyone in my house safe, even if that means I have to immediately and explicitly deal with his cruel/violent behavior

and

(b) I. am. human.
I have needs and I have feelings, and I cannot be an endless well of selfless positivity and support, right?

-------

I feel like the worst mom in the world no matter what I do. I want him to feel that his sensory and emotional needs are respected; no, I’m a doormat. I have to talk to the broken terrified boy inside of him; no, I'm an enabler. He only has one mother and I have to love him unconditionally; no, he only has one mother and I had better teach him right from wrong.

*sigh*

————

Any wisdom would be appreciated (please be gentle), but my greatest reassurance would be from people who were “difficult” kids — be that non-neurotypical, defiant, depressed, etc. — who hated their parents or felt like “bad kids” who turned out okay as adults.

In hindsight, do you forgive them? Feel bad for them? Disagree with their methods while understanding that they were trying their best? 😔

————————————————
P.S. I’m not talking about getting him therapy/meds/evaluation for PANDAS whatever on this thread. Assume I have tried everything over the past nearly 12 years and it hasn’t worked.
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amother




Dahlia
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 4:04 pm
Hug Hug

I don’t have time to respond at length but I just want you to know that I’ve learned from my own experience and from speaking to a lot of parents with such kids for a lot of these children, the self loathing is part of their neurology, and mostly not based on reality. Due to their high arousal state they suffer from Intrusive thoughts and paranoid type thoughts and they are exquisitely attuned to changes in your mood, your subliminal reactions, etc, to an extent that it’s not even fair to expect you to be able to control. I am NOT saying that how you react doesn’t make a difference, or that you should stop trying, or anything like that. I am saying that this isn’t your fault. Not because I know you and you’re a perfect mother, but because he would be saying/thinking/feeling this no matter how unconditionally you loved him. Let go of the guilt.
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amother




Ecru
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 4:09 pm
I’m so scared for you. You need to send him away.
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bigsis144




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 4:10 pm
amother [ Dahlia ] wrote:
Hug Hug

I don’t have time to respond at length but I just want you to know that I’ve learned from my own experience and from speaking to a lot of parents with such kids for a lot of these children, the self loathing is part of their neurology, and mostly not based on reality. Due to their high arousal state they suffer from Intrusive thoughts and paranoid type thoughts and they are exquisitely attuned to changes in your mood, your subliminal reactions, etc, to an extent that it’s not even fair to expect you to be able to control. I am NOT saying that how you react doesn’t make a difference, or that you should stop trying, or anything like that. I am saying that this isn’t your fault. Not because I know you and you’re a perfect mother, but because he would be saying/thinking/feeling this no matter how unconditionally you loved him. Let go of the guilt.


This is helpful, thank you Hug

I have been in therapy for myself for a while now, and this is certainly something that I work on.

“Lo alecha ham’lacha ligmor” is my mantra.
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amother




Dahlia
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 4:19 pm
bigsis144 wrote:
This is helpful, thank you Hug

I have been in therapy for myself for a while now, and this is certainly something that I work on.

“Lo alecha ham’lacha ligmor” is my mantra.

Good.

I think falling into the guilt trap is the worse response because it ends up backfiring big time. We get angry at our kids for being so ungrateful and making us feel bad about ourselves and making us twist ourselves into impossible pretzels. And then it’s even harder to love them. Whereas if you tell yourself, it’s not me, it’s not him, it’s his illness, nobody is at fault, it washes over you and you move on.
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saw50st8




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 4:47 pm
bigsis144 wrote:
It's like a stab in the heart to hear DS11 accuse me of "hating" him when he:
- calls me "mentally ill" for removing him from the room when he couldn't leave a sibling alone (verbal taunting turned into shoving and punching)
- laughs while he teases and frightens his toddler sister constantly despite her crying and telling him to stop
- unapologetically kicks and punches his younger siblings when he's annoyed with them
- tells his ADHD brother (DS8) that he is "stupid" and "clumsy" and "bad"
- puts on intimidating displays like cursing or brandishing a knife (I do treat any threat of violence as if he were deadly serious, though I am so far convinced he is doing it for attention/intimidation and to express how much he wants someone to "shut up"/do what he wants)
- he proudly calls himself a "psychopath" and says "well, I'm a bad boy. If I do bad things, that's exactly how I'm supposed to be."

BECAUSE YES!!! I DO WISH HE WAS DIFFERENT!!!
Would anyone in their right mind ask for this l’chatchila?????

There's this voice in my head that says that in order have him understand that his mother unconditionally loves him (which I do!!!), I must be able to absorb all of his negativity without flinching or snapping, and just Nurture his Heart and Focus on the Positive and Appreciate His Strengths blahblahblahblahblah

(And maybe maybe I could do that if he was an only child - he has certainly expressed hundreds of times that he wishes he was... I do make sure to spend 1:1 time with him every day, though when he turns it into a rant about his principal is a b*tch for making the kids wear uniforms 🤯 I just can’t. I have to leave after a certain amount of empathetic listening.)

But (a) my first priority is to keep everyone in my house safe, even if that means I have to immediately and explicitly deal with his cruel/violent behavior

and

(b) I. am. human.
I have needs and I have feelings, and I cannot be an endless well of selfless positivity and support, right?

-------

I feel like the worst mom in the world no matter what I do. I want him to feel that his sensory and emotional needs are respected; no, I’m a doormat. I have to talk to the broken terrified boy inside of him; no, I'm an enabler. He only has one mother and I have to love him unconditionally; no, he only has one mother and I had better teach him right from wrong.

*sigh*

————

Any wisdom would be appreciated (please be gentle), but my greatest reassurance would be from people who were “difficult” kids — be that non-neurotypical, defiant, depressed, etc. — who hated their parents or felt like “bad kids” who turned out okay as adults.

In hindsight, do you forgive them? Feel bad for them? Disagree with their methods while understanding that they were trying their best? 😔

————————————————
P.S. I’m not talking about getting him therapy/meds/evaluation for PANDAS whatever on this thread. Assume I have tried everything over the past nearly 12 years and it hasn’t worked.


Hugs to both of you.

Keep in mind that a lot of the difficult things you mentioned are behavior. It isn't who he is. It would be helpful to remind both you and him of that. Behavior can be changed. He must be hurting so much inside to have all that aggression and take it out on everyone around him.

Have you tried the method in the Explosive Child? There's a facebook group called The B Team that is super helpful.
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amother




Electricblue
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 5:22 pm
One of my children had some of these behaviors and it was coming from feeling overwhelmed, angry, scared, and trapped.
He has minor developmental and social issues. When we sent him to private therapy and we were advised to switch his school. That was the key for us and since then, things have improved vastly. Medication might be something to try. It didn't do anything for us so we stopped. Implementing strategies from ""The explosive child" helped.
And I want to add that it is not you, it's him. But you might still have to come to terms with the fact that your wonderful parenting that works for your other kids is not a good fit for him.
If you have extra money, you can spend it on him. Get him a big brother, extracurricular lessons, therapy, a basketball hoop, a punching bag and gloves etc.
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amother




Peru
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 5:51 pm
I'm so so sorry. It's hard to believe sometimes the nisyonos sent to us. I don't have any advice but recently my sibling who was exceptionally difficult growing up and through young adulthood told me that our parents could not have done anything different and they have zero bad feelings about how they were treated. Happens to be my parents did work so hard to try to get this sibling the help they needed while also trying to keep the rest of us from becoming resentful though didn't always look like it was working. A lot of the time growing up I felt like this sib was ruining my life and ruined everything all the time. But they moved though it, function amazingly well now and, like I said, told me recently that no matter what my parents did, they were just a hard, unhappy, out of control kid. The Takeaway I had, is that all the hard work my parents put into this child, at the very least resulted in a good adult relationship. Because it could've been handled a lot worse. Wishing you all the best, because this challenge is so overwhelming. Oh and this sib and I are close now too. All I know is that you've got to take care of yourself, you are absolutely a person. When my kids or other people are making life too hard for me and I'm going to burst, I try to think of them as a tortured neshama looking for a tikun, needing to jump up against me for whatever reason. Doesn't necessarily help lol but changes my frame of mind for a bit.
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bigsis144




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 5:54 pm
I’ve read the Explosive Child many times over the years and yes, I’m a member of the B Team.

To use the lingo, I have plan C’d so much already (for example, for now, I try to keep him away from his siblings whenever possible, rather than deal with each individual stimulus and situation as it arises), and I try to collaboratively and proactively solve problems with him when he is not in fight-or-flight mode.

(Have I proven myself? I don’t need parent education anymore, I need hands-on support and a break!)

But things like “siblings existing” is a problem to him, and nothing that I can do anything about. He will not voluntarily remove himself to another room when he is annoyed, he has no interest in friends (unless they meet such specific criteria as to be nonexistent) or leaving the house for extra-curriculars… I have drilled and gone upstream and identified so many lagging skills (to use the CPS lingo), but now what?

He’s such a bitter and unhappy boy. It breaks my heart.
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amother




Valerian
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 6:18 pm
I am so sorry for the challenge you're facing. I would say every day tell him you love him and if there's any way you can give him something to do that he will be successful at, maybe it will build his self esteem.
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bigsis144




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 6:25 pm
amother [ Ecru ] wrote:
I’m so scared for you. You need to send him away.


Please, whoever keeps suggesting this on all my threads - what do you actually mean by this???

Name a school.

My child is 11.

This is a kid who is (not thriving, but at least) functional and safe at his current Jewish school, I’m not gonna send him to live with kids with severe autism or academic delays, or a bunch of juvenile delinquents who will teach him worse language and behavior.
There are no dorm yeshivas that I know of for this age, and I don’t think “military schools” take 11 year olds either?

Also, I don’t think this is a kid who can be “scared straight”. He will take such a severe break of contact as further abandonment and rejection (and I can’t blame him). This is a kid who refuses sleep away camp or even a weekend with his grandparents due to his anxiety and need for control over his life. (It’s paradoxical and frustrating - wouldn’t he crave a place away from his siblings, where he could just be himself and find activities and relationships that boost his self-esteem? But he cannot bear the uncertainty of possibly having annoying peers or unpleasant activities or foods he doesn’t like. Better the triggers he knows… and so we never get a break.)

(Lastly: btw, his psychiatrist has reported our household to Child Protective Services twice and they haven’t so much as given me a follow up phone call, let alone a house visit. So I guess we’re not really that serious a case 🤷🏻‍♀️. Thank you for your concern as to the safety of myself and my daughter, but I will need more than just exhortations to “send him away” to be convinced that that is the best course of action.)


Last edited by bigsis144 on Mon, Aug 16 2021, 6:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Pistachio
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 6:30 pm
OP, I’m so sorry for this struggle and so in awe of you for everything you’ve been through and how hard you’re working.

I grew up with a younger brother who was extremely defiant, unmedicated ADHD, violent, unpredictable, and mean-spirited.

I don’t know if he was self-loathing because he never told me about it. I only remember the bullying and high stress of living with him, and even then I’m sure there’s much I’ve blocked out.

My mother is a kind and sensitive person. I’m sure she tried everything she could with the knowledge that was available at the time. I don’t know why she didn’t get him medicated. For whatever reason it didn’t happen. Of course it wasn’t enough; nothing was.

I’m not mad at my mom. My upbringing was how it was meant to be and BH I have a peaceful and happy life now.

My brother got expelled from high school for selling marijuana, and didn’t do well in school.

BH, once he hit his 20s he mellowed down. Got into meditation, martial arts and fitness. He also had some issues with his shoulder and needed a few surgeries. I think all of this helped him mature.

He was never religious (I’m a BT) but was completely turned off from his Jewish experiences in Jewish schools as a kid, probably because of his behavioural problems.

He married a non-Jew and they have a little girl. Obviously I’m sad he didn’t marry Jewish. But I’m happy he got his life together, matured, and became a loving husband and father. He learned study techniques and got a degree in his 20s. He’s just finishing his schooling in his 30s and is working in a stable profession.

I’m not close with him because I live in a different country now and have done since he was a teenager. I missed his transformation and only saw it from afar. I’m really happy for him, but unfortunately can’t imagine a close emotional connection with him because of all the pain that happened growing up.

He has told me he is sorry and doesn’t even remember his childhood. It’s all a blur. I believe him. We have a friendly, cordial relationship and that’s working out fine.

He is very close with my parents and the siblings who stayed home.

I hope this account helps you. You are doing your best. Your son will hopefully see this one day.
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saw50st8




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 6:45 pm
bigsis144 wrote:
I’ve read the Explosive Child many times over the years and yes, I’m a member of the B Team.

To use the lingo, I have plan C’d so much already (for example, for now, I try to keep him away from his siblings whenever possible, rather than deal with each individual stimulus and situation as it arises), and I try to collaboratively and proactively solve problems with him when he is not in fight-or-flight mode.

(Have I proven myself? I don’t need parent education anymore, I need hands-on support and a break!)

But things like “siblings existing” is a problem to him, and nothing that I can do anything about. He will not voluntarily remove himself to another room when he is annoyed, he has no interest in friends (unless they meet such specific criteria as to be nonexistent) or leaving the house for extra-curriculars… I have drilled and gone upstream and identified so many lagging skills (to use the CPS lingo), but now what?

He’s such a bitter and unhappy boy. It breaks my heart.


I didn't mean to imply that you weren't already doing your best. You sound like an amazing mother.

There are actual therapeutic schools for kids like your son. I know a few kids who attend schools like that. I don't know where you live but in NJ, you can look at Sage https://www.sageday.com/. There are a few different types of these schools. I can put you in touch with some frum parents who send to these types of schools if you think that it would be helpful.

Most kids get placement through the local public school district into these schools.
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SafeAtLast




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 6:53 pm
amother [ Dahlia ] wrote:
Hug Hug

I don’t have time to respond at length but I just want you to know that I’ve learned from my own experience and from speaking to a lot of parents with such kids for a lot of these children, the self loathing is part of their neurology, and mostly not based on reality.


He isn’t imagining it. OP is admitting that she wishes he were different.
Kids feel these things.
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amother




NeonGreen
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 6:55 pm
The first thing I want to say in reading this account is that you are so amazing, a true superstar. I hope you are telling yourself that every day!
It gives me a lot of perspective thinking about my kids’ “normal” bad behaviour. I have a different family member who is unbelievably challenging though, so while it is cliche, we all have our pekelach.
It sounds like you are an educated person, a knowledgeable person, and have tried so many things. I would just encourage you to keep trying. Every failed attempt is one step closer to the one that will work - really! While it is not the same, growing up I had a cousin who was a very very sad child. Not violent, not aggressive just completely self-hating, thinking she was worthless, pitiful and sad. Her parents tried so many interventions for her and so many interventions failed…and then one day they tried one and it worked. She became a bit more self-confident, a bit more self-loving and it was the beginning of a beautiful emergence. Now as an adult she still supports that organization and publicizes that program, as well as feeling tremendous gratitude to her parents for all they tried. She is truly a different person. Again a different situation, but just an example that so many things can fail…until the one that succeeds.
Depending on your resources, please keep trying a variety of things. If you have the money, programs like woodworking or martial arts (even 1 on 1 if that works better for him) and when you don’t have money, see if an organization can send a volunteer big brother, or have him volunteer at an animal shelter (some people who are angry at people bond very well with animals). All these are suggestions from a random stranger - you know your son best, but just keep trying.
And if he asks you the question in the title of his post, tell him; “No. I hate some of your behaviours (I don’t usually like the word hate but I think it is accurate here and so important to be honest or he will be more resentful), and I think you do to. You, I always love. Maybe we could discuss things you feel might help you?”. Of course this is best saved for a time he is reflective or dejected not worked up and angry, but I think the first 2 sentences are always applicable.
Giving you much chizzuk. You are incredible!
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amother




Ecru
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 7:04 pm
bigsis144 wrote:
Please, whoever keeps suggesting this on all my threads - what do you actually mean by this???

Name a school.

My child is 11.

This is a kid who is (not thriving, but at least) functional and safe at his current Jewish school, I’m not gonna send him to live with kids with severe autism or academic delays, or a bunch of juvenile delinquents who will teach him worse language and behavior.
There are no dorm yeshivas that I know of for this age, and I don’t think “military schools” take 11 year olds either?

Also, I don’t think this is a kid who can be “scared straight”. He will take such a severe break of contact as further abandonment and rejection (and I can’t blame him). This is a kid who refuses sleep away camp or even a weekend with his grandparents due to his anxiety and need for control over his life. (It’s paradoxical and frustrating - wouldn’t he crave a place away from his siblings, where he could just be himself and find activities and relationships that boost his self-esteem? But he cannot bear the uncertainty of possibly having annoying peers or unpleasant activities or foods he doesn’t like. Better the triggers he knows… and so we never get a break.)

(Lastly: btw, his psychiatrist has reported our household to Child Protective Services twice and they haven’t so much as given me a follow up phone call, let alone a house visit. So I guess we’re not really that serious a case 🤷🏻‍♀️. Thank you for your concern as to the safety of myself and my daughter, but I will need more than just exhortations to “send him away” to be convinced that that is the best course of action.)


A military school or wilderness program or a treatment facility. I’m worried for your safety.
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amother




Ultramarine
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 7:09 pm
There are therapeutic schools that frum kids have gone to. I don't know names or locations but I think it's been discussed here. In this situation I would personally look into it because this is hurting everyone in the family.
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amother




Latte
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 7:20 pm
You are doing your best. But as that child who was self hating and still does not have a great self esteem. does he get along with any of your other kids. Maybe have him control a situation with that kid. Or have him control something in the house that it’s domain and no one can step in. I know you’ve tried everything just trying to help. Hatzlacha
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bigsis144




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 7:26 pm
SafeAtLast wrote:
He isn’t imagining it. OP is admitting that she wishes he were different.
Kids feel these things.


God I wish I was as perfect as you think I should be.
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amother




Dahlia
 

Post Mon, Aug 16 2021, 7:33 pm
SafeAtLast wrote:
He isn’t imagining it. OP is admitting that she wishes he were different.
Kids feel these things.
Kids feel it if the parent consistently acts that way. If that is all a kid picks up based on subliminal cues, and chooses not to focus on all the times his mother is extremely patient and loving with him despite his extremely challenging behavior, that isn’t typical. If you have such a kid, you know.
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