so i guess it IS me... how can i stop it???

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-1999
so i guess it IS me... how can i stop it???
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 7:49am

we had DS10's case manager from the department of mental health at our house on Friday to discuss what our options are in dealing with DS10 and keeping our family stable. The poor guy ended up playing mediator too as things were getting heated. it is so OBVIOUS how frustrated DH is with this whole situation. I don't blame him and i totally understand. however, i don't have the skills and self confidence, nor do i have the experience to draw from that will guide me!!! in the family i was raised in, there was BLATANTLY OBVIOUS favoritism and none of us children were treated the same. i experienced one form of parenting but witnessed something else. no wonder i've got so many mixed messages!! (and DH came from a very consistent home.)

the slap in the face was that during our meeting, even though the case manager agreed with both of us, he confirmed for DH that he is not asking for much (3 simple rules) and reinforced how my lack of consistency was damaging to DS10 & our family relationship. as much as it hurt to hear, i know it's true. but what really ENRAGES me is that i have asked pretty much every service we have ever been involved with to HELP me with consistency. for whatever reason, whether it's my ADHD or some inner emotional hangup, I have NEVER been able to follow through with anything. i always take the easy way out. as far as parenting styles go, i am the poster child for Permissive. and I HATE it!!! more so than i can even express.... I am NOT the mother who i want to be but something is holding me back from being the way I DO want to be!!

DH has me spinning in circles too. He says he won't ever make me choose between him or the kids... but then last night he called himself a liar and said it I don't get this figured out he is leaving. he says he will be supportive and help guide me through this.... then he says he's done and I'm on my own figuring it out. He says how easy it is, even it I put in at least 5% each day every day - not 5% one day, 0% the next, 10% the next - that he will see and be happy with my progress/change. yet then again I must have to go from 0 - 100 because I've got a clock ticking.... he says he's gonna leave, then he says he could never leave.... I am so confused! so not only do I need to be able to relearn how to parent my children but I also have to focus and stress about my husband leaving.

DH was talking last night about how unhealthy my relationship is with DS10. I agree. I remember seeing how unhealthy my mother & sister's relationship was and I am reliving the same thing with DS10. DH was saying that he doesn't want DS5 to be in such an unhealthy home.... neither do I. I don't want any of us to be in such an unhealthy dynamic. DS10 requires so much more than the "average kid" due to his ADHD & PDD-NOS. you'd think that since I know this, I should be willing/able to compensate for it. Why can't I? I don't know if it's subconcious resentment towards his dad, exhaustion from advocating to get him help alone (nobody saw the problem but me) or if it's even fear of retaliation? when DS10 wasn't stable mentally he used to hit me. As screwy as it is, it's like part of me "protects" myself from setting him off by being so permissive. Yey I see the destruction it causes.

I don't know what to do anymore. I'm exhausted. I'm depressed. I'm overwhelmed. But I'm also determined and WANT to conquor this!!!!!!! however wanting isn't enough.

Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 10:23am

What services is your son getting?  OT, Pragmatic ST, cognitive behavioral therapy?  Is there a clear concise behavioral plan in place?  Most kids on the spectrum need consistency and often there is limited understanding of cause and effect.  Positive reinforcement goes much further than negative with spectrum kids. 

The regular parenting handbook does not work.  I think you need family counselling and that your husband needs to come to terms with your son's dx.   It sounds like you could benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy your self to change the way you think and react to your son.  I don't mean to be harsh, but you know there's a problem. you know you and DH are part of it.  Now 's the time to get help from professionals not a message board.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 11:05am

Are you in indiv. therapy?  Because at this point, I would think that is really the only solution if you feel that you need help following through as a parent.  It might be due to your childhood issues, it might be due to the ambivalence you get from your DH, but it's too big a problem for strangers on a message board to fix.  I would say that you have to understand that it's actually a benefit to children to have consistent rules at home--it's confusing to them (and I would imagine more so for a child with special needs, which I've never had to deal with) if the parent says "this is the rule" but some days they have to obey that rule & then some days they don't--couldn't you see how if they don't always have to obey the "rule", then they might as well try to get away with not obeying it because say if bedtime is 9:00, but yesterday you allowed him to stay up until 10:00 and nothing happened, well why should he go to bed tonight on time--how will he know when you are going to stick with the rule & when you aren't?  Kids actually thrive on consistent rules.  What do you think the worst thing that could happen would be if you set limits w/ DS?  that he won't like you?  You said that he doesn't hit you any more--if his previous hitting you traumatized you that badly that you are actually afraid of him, then another reason you should be talking with a therapist.

I also think it's unfair of DH to throw in the divorce card.  My ex used to do that every time we had an argument and of course if someone keeps saying that over & over, you know they are just blowing hot air, so he'd say "tomorrow I'm going to the lawyer to talk about divorce" and I'd say "go ahead."  I knew he wasn't meaning it & I wasn't going to cave into his threats.  But after a lot of therapy on my part and months of thinking about it, when I told him that I wanted a divorce, he knew I was serious.  I think your DH should be involved in counseling too so he can have his thoughts heard in a more productive setting.

You say that you've asked for help from the various agencies, but they can really only offer suggestions.  If they tell you that you should set limits with your son, unless someone is going to move in with you, it's really up to you to actually do it.  they can only give you advice.