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Author Topic: How do you deal with the violence and the threats?  (Read 63 times)
Jmom2boys

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
What is your relationship status with them: under 18 living at home causing havoc for all family members
Posts: 5


« on: July 09, 2020, 12:20:47 PM »

My 17 yr old son is living at home with us (husband/dad, myself and 16 yr old brother) and things are awful. The absolutely vile things he spews (I won't even share) are one thing, it is the violence, threat of violence and threat of suicide that are causing our family to break down. I can't decide if he is using it for lack of a better way of dealing with things, or if he is trying to manipulate us.

Just some examples: Things really started about 2 years ago when he started grade 10. He was dating a girl and would think she was leaving him and desperately needed to go to her even if it was midnight on a school night. I would try to talk him through it and started to block the door. That is when he decided to grab me and toss me aside to gain access. (I don't stand in front of him anymore)

Things have escalated. We now have holes in almost every door in our house. Holes in the drywall. That is despite getting a heavy bag to try and give him an alternative. He recently broke his hand very badly to the point where in may never function properly.

I won't get into all the violence, too long to write, don't feel comfortable in sharing it all right now, but suffice it to say, things are bad.

He threatens to do things to us. We have installed locks on our bedroom door and our other son's bedroom door.

He threatens suicide, often when he is told no.

Last night, he wanted the car after work. I told him I would discuss it with him when he got home. When he got home, I told him no, his brother needed to practice driving (trying for his licence next week). He got very angry, spewed horrid things at me. I left with younger brother. He told dad he was going to kill himself if he didn't get the car, that he had made plans and they were very important.

When I got home, he had been crying heavy. He apologized to me but in the same breath told me he was going to kill himself because of me. He left the house and dad drove him to a friend's house. My other son came downstairs and asked why son 1 had a sharp kitchen knife in the bathroom.

He came home a few hours later, like nothing had happened.

So, how do I deal with this? Is this manipulation? A lot of this seems like threats when he doesn't get his way, when he perceives to be treated unfairly.

How can I ever say no and not be scared of him?
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Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
Sancho

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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2020, 03:40:02 AM »

I also have a hole in every door in the house and numerous walls. Dd has threatened me verbally and it is so, so scary. Somehow there is a strength and anger that comes from nowhere!
My dd problem is exacerbated by substance abuse. At first I didn't realise this but now I know the pattern of use, withdrawal (usually with at least verbal abuse), sleep then starts over again.
I'm glad you have locks on the doors. After a long time of this, it eventuated that the police were called. They were very good at calming things etc - and I felt really empowered that there were other people involved.
Thank you for posting. I know I can't really be of much help to you, but it does help knowing someone else is experiencing the same dreadful situation. Take care.
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Swimmy55
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2020, 09:58:36 AM »

Thanks  and welcome.  You can click on my name ( or anyone here) and get  our back stories.  I, too had a violent BPD son and I was a single mother trying to wrangle him.

 I am not sure what state ( if you live in the US) you are in, but one thought is to call the mental health crisis team during  the next violent outburst.  I've had to do this a few times . They would send a team of 2 people out ( or two people with a policeman if necessary) and talk to / evaluate him to see if he needs hospitalization.  Since he is a minor, they can come out on your call, they don't need his permission to come out. 
I'll collect my thoughts more and write another post.

 
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Naughty Nibbler
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 11:00:00 AM »

Hi  Jmom2boys - Welcome!

I'm sorry about the problems you are having with your son.  I can't imagine how difficult it is for the whole family.

Just a few questions:
1. Is your son getting any counseling and/or treatment?
2. Has he had any training on how to manage his emotions?
3. Have you ever set boundaries and actually enforced them?

If you son is currently getting help, I'm wondering if he is getting the right kind of help?  He is 17 and your window of opportunity is about to close. Enforcing boundaries isn't easy, and can involve behaviors getting worse, before becoming better.

If his abusive behavior has been ongoing, I'm wondering why he has been given the privledge of driving?

The website at the link below has some great articles that could be helpful:
https://www.empoweringparents.com/articles/

This additional link (withing the website below, has a list of articles about abuse & violent behavior:
https://www.empoweringparents.com/article-categories/child-behavior-problems/abusive-violent-behavior/

Below are excerpts from the the article at the link below. (Reading the entire article would be more helpful):  https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/when-kids-get-violent-theres-no-excuse-for-abuse/
When Kids Get Violent: “There’s No Excuse for Abuse”
Kids often use violence to deal with frustration, disappointment, and anger. It’s how they solve these problems. And they do it because it actually works. Their violence and threats of violence actually get them what they want. And it’s how they gain power in the home.

When the violent child hears the word “no” and feels frustrated and powerless, he hits someone or something. To diffuse the situation, or out of fear, the parents give in and don’t require him to comply. Striking out gives the child a sense of power and control in a world where, as a young adult, he has little of either.

If kids are gaining power by being violent, the first thing that you have to do is take away the power by not tolerating the violence. Violence is a seductive shortcut to power. And once it works, it’s hard to get kids to accept more productive ways of gaining influence, such as through working, learning, and building life skills.

Many times, parents need a comprehensive behavioral program to manage this problem. And they may need the help of professionals.

Hold Kids Accountable and Give Consequences. . .

Here is an outline of this very helpful article. I would be worthwhile to go to the link, at the bottom of this summary, to read the entire article:
Hold Kids Accountable and Give Consequences

1. Use Consequences, Not Punishments
3. Make Consequences Task Oriented
3. Make Consequences Time-Specific
4. Make Consequences Related to the Original Behavior
5. Consequences Are About Learning
6. Don’t Cancel Special Events as a Consequence
7. What to Do When Consequences Don’t Work
8. What to Do When Your Child Says: “I don’t care.”
9. Use Rewards as Well as Consequences
10. Create a Menu of Rewards and Consequences

Go to this link to read the entire article.  It will be worth your time:
https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-give-kids-consequences-that-work/   

Should I Call the Police on My Child?

Make a Plan if You’re Considering Calling the Police
It’s important to have a plan in place for exactly the circumstances in which you will call the police. A plan helps you make the decision calmly and reduces the likelihood of things spinning out of control.. .

For Which Behavior Should I Call the Police?
Call the police when safety is an issue or when the behavior crosses the line and becomes criminal. This includes when your child is breaking things (significant property damage) or hurting or threatening to hurt others.
For example, if your child grabs a book and throws it across the room, I don’t think you call the police. Hold him accountable with an appropriate consequence, but minor damage is not worth calling the police.

But if he punches holes in the wall, smashes furniture, or does more serious damage to your home or property, I think you tell him:

“Next time you lose control like that, I’m going to call the police.”

And if he does it again, you follow through. That’s when you make the call.

To put it another way, I think you should consider calling the police when you see a pattern of behavior that’s unsafe and threatening to others.

Make it clear to your child that calling the police is the consequence for his abusive, destructive, or criminal behavior. Make it clear that his choices determine whether or not the police show up. And, if the police are called, then he has the opportunity to learn from that consequence and to make a better choice next time.

Go to the link below to read the entire article:
https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/should-i-call-the-police-on-my-child/
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Jmom2boys

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
What is your relationship status with them: under 18 living at home causing havoc for all family members
Posts: 5


« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 01:23:11 PM »

Again, thank you everyone for the replies. It does help to know we are not the only ones out there experiencing this. Our circle of friends are very sympathetic but have no idea what to do to help us.

I feel I need to preface this. We are in Canada. That means universal health care but it also means wait times. We have been demanding to see a psychiatrist first from his family doctor in Sept of 2019 when he was 16. She  said that the wait time was over a year. At that time he was already seeing an addictions counselor through a separate program (due to
 self-medicating?) which had access to a youth psychiatrist but that person had left the position and they were desperately trying to find someone new so we waited. In Feb of 2020 we finally got him in to a psychiatrist who started to try to diagnose just as we went into lockdown so he has only met my son once in person. That said, over the past 4 months, they have fine tuned meds and diagnosis to Cluster B Irregularites/emotional dysfunction but are reluctant to call it anything else at this point.

As for calling for help, we had one particularly bad event where we did call the police. He was taken and charged. It has been a long road to get back to where we are now after that. We have been told that here, if you call for intervention, the police that respond have a choice of taking him to the hospital or the youth lock up. Problem is, at the hospital they have to wait with him until he is taken in which can take hours, so they often just take these issues to lock up unless there was serious threats of self harm. This was what an officer told us directly. Not what they are supposed to do, but it is the reality. I appreciated the officer's candor.

As for the questions:
Yes he is in counselling and now on Latuda after other various meds. Unfortunately counseling has been online for the past while which is rather ineffective. We are looking at starting in person appointments again where his counselor will be continuing DBT.

Boundaries.... yes we have been trying to set and enforce. Most of the time he will follow them but if impulses kick in, insecurities, perceived unfairness, etc, the boundaries go out the window and we don't stand in front of him. We are trying...

As for the car... it is our one carrot for him. We can get a lot of compliance with the promise of driving the car for a few hours in the afternoon or evening.

I should state, he can be abusive, but he can be an amazing, loving, wonderful kid too as I am sure people here can understand. We really try to praise the good and give privileges when we can rather than just punish. You get more flies with honey...

Those look to be some amazing links. I will definitely take a look at them.  Thank you.




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Naughty Nibbler
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2020, 03:46:43 PM »

Quote from: Jmom2boys
We are in Canada. That means universal health care but it also means wait times. We have been demanding to see a psychiatrist first from his family doctor in Sept of 2019 when he was 16. She  said that the wait time was over a year. At that time he was already seeing an addictions counselor through a separate program (due to
 self-medicating?) which had access to a youth psychiatrist but that person had left the position and they were desperately trying to find someone new so we waited. In Feb of 2020 we finally got him in to a psychiatrist who started to try to diagnose just as we went into lockdown so he has only met my son once in person. That said, over the past 4 months, they have fine tuned meds and diagnosis to Cluster B Irregularites/emotional dysfunction but are reluctant to call it anything else at this point

Hi again Jmom2boys:
Thanks for sharing additional information.  It sheds more light on the situation.  I'm sorry you are having a tough time getting treatment for your son.  That has to be very frustrating and exhausting for you.

Quote from: Jmom2boys
Yes he is in counselling and now on Latuda after other various meds. Unfortunately counseling has been online for the past while which is rather ineffective. We are looking at starting in person appointments again where his counselor will be continuing DBT.

Have you read any book on DBT?  If you haven't, you might consider it.  It can help if you understand the elements of it and can help coach your son periodically.  Also, if you are interested, there are various online sources where you can get free worksheets for various DBT exercises.  If you are interested, I can post a few links.  It would help him to stay in tune with DBT practices.  One important exercise for him would be to develop two important lists for himself.  One would be "Distress Tolerance Activities" and another would be, "Ways to Improve the Moment". 

An example of something to do, when he is angry could be to have a punching bag to hit or maybe hitting tennis balls or something similar.  Sometimes, music can help elevate a mood & having specific playlists of music to listen to can help.  I recently made myself several playlists, i.e. Angry, Sad, Anxious, Spirit Filler, etc.

Just throwing out some ideas.  It helps to have something prepared in advance, that a person can look at to help direct them to some coping tools.

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Jmom2boys

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Child
What is your relationship status with them: under 18 living at home causing havoc for all family members
Posts: 5


« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2020, 06:08:06 PM »

I just started reading the walking on egg shells book.

Again, it has only been since last week that I had this epiphany that it could be BPD so just starting my investigation.

We hung a heavy bag in the basement about 6 months ago. Now he has destroyed his hand it will be awhile before he can hit it again.
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