The struggle between nurturing and setting limits with verbally a abusive teenage son

Ava - posted on 03/06/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

4

0

1

Our son turned 18 today. For the last 4 years, he has been verbally, physically and mentally abusive whenever we set any kind of reasonable limit. (I know the names of every single police officer in this district! : ) Prior to that he was always conflictual, oppositionally defiant, and could never maintain healthy relationships. He has Aspergers, ADHD, and who knows what other neurological disorders, although we have had every psych test from multiple experts, and children’s neurosychology centers. We have partiicpated in counseling for years. We have sent him to Costa Rica twice becaue he wanted to go with the youth group in our church, although he really doesn’t care about God, but he wanted to go on the trip. We paid for him to go on a cruise with his friends and their parents. We have flown him out to the west coast several times (we live in the midwest) to visit his friends (of course staying with their parents.) We purchase nice gifts for him for Christmas and his birthdays (i.e. mini iPad, gift cards, etc.). We drive him places he needs to go, truly going out of our way on a regular basis. When we set limits, for instance when he wants to stay out till 4:00 a.m., and we say, no, that is not reasonable nor permissable, he goes ballistic, cussing us out, calling me a piece of sh__, a bit__, f__ing piece of crap. Also, texting me the same words. This goes on for a long long time. He already totalled one car we went way out of our way, and did a lot of research to purchase for him when he turned 17. He totalled it - drunk. We waited a long time but eventually, because of our schedules, we needed to get some kind of transportation for him to drive himself to work, because physlically we couldn’t get our family to where we all needed to go with the cars we had. He crashed that car also. My husband drove him all over the country so he could try out for The Voice. We are really trying our best! One time we found him and his friend drinking in his room. When we set limits and consequences, he attacks us, blames us, telling us that we are the worst parents ever. He goes around the house with a sharpie coloring himself out of all his pictures in our family. When he woke up from a minor surgery recently, of course I stayed with him the entire time, the nurse asked him who I was, and he called me by my first name, not “my mom.” That hurt. He does that often. Today he turned 18. He wanted Eric (his dad) to bring his balloons and other goodies to his high school and that he would take them to class and then with him when he had dinner with his friends. We had to leave them at the office for him to pick up later, which he knew. The school called us just before the office closed, to say, he never picked them up and the school was closed. So they are sitting in the school office for the weekend. We try so hard with keeping a balance between not being permissive nor too rigid. But when he gets so psychologically and emotionally abusive, my resilience wears down and I become weary and sad since I want my son to love me and to respect me. I’m sure others experience this struggle. How do you manage?

5 Comments

View replies by

Virginia - posted on 03/11/2015

21

0

1

Take his things place them on your front lawn and please tell him you are an adult now and you have to find your way. I will not be treated the way you treat me in my home, I had to take care you for 18 years that is the law. I have done so now it is your turn to take care yourself. If he tells you I have no place to go please give him a number to a shelter because he needs to grow up and take responsibility for the way he treats you and your husband. Be strong mom

Ava - posted on 03/07/2015

4

0

1

Virginia, thanks for the advice. No I didn’t take it hard. You are correct, and the counselor who our husband and I see for support has basically told us the same thing. I am sure we could have done better, maybe listened more, tried to be more empathetic, since that is what he complains about - that we don’t care about what he is going through. However he doesn’t open up to us. During his teen years when I asked him how his day went, he said “fine” and went to his room. It’s like he didn’t want us in his life. So I didn’t press. I just wonder if we’d had better skills, if we could have intercepted this pattern. Naturally when he would go into a rage and throw coke all over me when I set limits or consequences, it would escalate from there and I would “let him have it” verbally, how upset I was and that kind of behavior is not ok. In later years I would just walk away and lock myself in my bathroom until he calmed down. Thanks for the recommendation of the book. I’ll definitely purchase it.

Virginia - posted on 03/07/2015

21

0

1

I hope you do not take this sound advice to hard, but after reading your story I became very angry. It sounds to me like you and your husband have done all you can in his life to help him. It is time for both of you to pack his stuff and move him out of your home and life. His choices are his and his life is his as well. He is 18 years old and your job as a parent is over, do not get it twisted your job will never be over but he is now equal to you as a person of legal age with choices and struggles. He needs to find his way also I will recommend a book that help me to understand my adult children.

It is called when an Adult Child Breaks Your Heart written by: Joel Young MD, with Christine Adame

trust in your heart for you have given him the tools to do better...

Ava - posted on 03/07/2015

4

0

1

Thanks Marina, for taking time to respond. I was desperate last night! Yes my husband and I are thinkng through a strategic plan so as not to cause a scene in our neighborhood if used the “put his things on the front porch and change the lock” strategy. He would raise havic in the neighborhood, although we’re not completely opposed to that. Nevertheless, one way or the other, by the time he graduates from high school in two months, I’m thinking he definitely needs to be gone an on his own, I’m not sure I can handle much more of this.

Marina - posted on 03/06/2015

1

0

0

For your sanity turn on the tough love and push him out no child may stand up on his hind legs and slap his hardworking and loving parents in the face for not doing things he exactly wants. I know easier said than done, but the results are worth it. Stay strong.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms