Mom to Mom

Somebody please help me...I am desperate now. (sorry, kind of long)
January 1, 2013 at 2:48 AM

I am the mother of a 16yo DD and a 15yo DS. My DD was always a gifted child; she skipped a few grades, participated in the gifted and talented program and graduated high school early. I was so proud of her and she went off to college in Texas, our home where she lives with my mother, who teaches at the same university. I know she is on the right track and she will be fine.

My problem is my son. He suffers from severe mental illness and has since he was three. I've struggled with his problems for twelve years and tried to get him some help, but everywhere I went I met with slammed doors, slapped hands, and blistering criticism and judgment before and after hearing No over and over. My son wasn't violent at first, but he became violent over time. When he was younger, it was easy to pick him up and put him where I wanted him, easy to restrain him, easy to manage least at first. At first, he just threw tantrums, but then he graduated to self-harming and then to harming others. Cutting, eating glass, hearing voices tell him to drink the cleaning supplies I kept in the kitchen and jump from the window on the second floor of the house. I locked up all dangerous substances before getting rid of them altogether. I had to hire a maid service to come out every week simply because I couldn't have any cleaning solution in the house at any time.

My son became extremely violent when he reached his teens. Without medication and no means to get help, I suffered silently with no hope of relief. Things reached a feverish pitch when my son turned on me in a fit of rage and beat me nearly to death almost two years ago. He went to jail, to juvenile detention, and then he was sent back home with me. This was the beginning of a nightmare, the stuff Lifetime movies are based on. I spent the next year trying to force a 6'2" 265 lb 15yo to take medication and often spent my time locked in my room while my son raged outside at the door, trying to kick it in and often slept with the dresser against the door just to keep him from coming in and killing me in my sleep.

My son hurt the dogs; one of the puppies died and the other suffered permanent brain damage. He destroyed my house, my furniture, my things. It got to the point where I couldn't reprimand, admonish or correct him without sending him into a rage. No school would accept him, forcing him to stay at home all day and because I couldn't leave him alone, I was forced to stay home as well. My son ran off teachers, caseworkers, my friends, boyfriends, anyone that threatened my attention to him. I lost jobs, had to quit school because of this. My son was everywhere I went and everywhere I turned and I was so miserable, I slipped into a deep depression. I could feel myself descending into lunacy and despair as I spent my days in bed--sleeping was the only way I could get a "break" from him--and spent my nights awake. I didn't get much sleep, for I had to stay awake to make sure he didn't try to kill me in my sleep.

I became so depressed I actually thought about taking my child's life, just to put him out of his misery and mine. I started to cry when I realized what I was thinking; how can a parent do such a thing? I went online and looked up some useful information and wrote down what I found. That very night, my son went off and started punching the wall in my room and when I tried to stop him, he turned and started punching me. I was able to get him out of my room and I crushed some Clonidine(R), a sedative, about 0.4mg, put it in a drink and gave it to him and he fell asleep. The very next day, I went to the courthouse and waited in the hall for the judge to come out of chambers. When she came out, I damn near pounced on her and quickly relayed my tale of woe. She moved heaven and earth for me and in three days I signed the papers and my son was removed from my house--not without injury to me.

When they took him to a group home, they searched his things and found a gun--I don't know where he got it; I don't keep guns in the house, not with a mentally ill child--in his backpack. I shudder to think what could have happened if I hadn't gone to the courthouse to get him out of the house.

Now as I look back at it all, I know I made the right decision; I hate that he had to go to jail to get treatment. I suffered serious debilitating injuries at the hands of my son. He destroyed everything around him and endangered himself and others. He needed help and is getting it now.

So why do I feel so crappy? Why do I feel like I threw him away? I know it's a little out of taste, but I wonder if  Adam Lanza's mother ever felt this way, helpless and hopeless? I wonder if there are other mothers out there like me, who suffer in silence because there is nowhere to turn?

I relinquished custody of my son to the state because I could no longer manage him at home. I could get no help for him and I told them he could not return home, ever. So he was sent to a group home. So why do I feel like I just buried my child? I literally feel as though my son is dead and I can't help but cry and wonder and think that maybe I shouldn't have given up on him. But I think about how he came so close to killing me and I know him being gone is for the best. Why do I feel like my decision was so selfish? Is it really selfish of me to want to be and feel safe in my own home? Why does it feel like I made a mistake?


  • skymama10
    January 2, 2013 at 9:40 AM
    You did the right thing. You really did but are you going to visit him?
  • k1kelley
    January 2, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    This most definitely!

    Quoting madisonsma08:

    Praying for you! I don't know what else to do or say other than I am sorry!

  • Roo1234
    by Roo1234
    January 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    The grief you feel is no different than if you had lost your child in another way.

    I think you should consider getting counseling to help you deal with the loss you feel.   The weight of what you have had to carry alone should not be wished on anyone.  Take some time to heal from this lifetime ordeal.  Find a support group.  You are not alone in what you have dealt with, or in what you feel.

    I am sorry for your loss.  While he may not be dead, he is lost to you and as a parent you are grieving not only the loss of his future, but the loss of his childhood, your life as you knew it, and the loss of time.

    Take care.

  • nlg2108
    by nlg2108
    January 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    The last thing you are is selfish. You are a brave, strong, loving mother that did everything in her power that you could and i admire you for all the years of dead ends you encountered. my prayers are with you as you begin healing and that your son will finally recieve the help you have been looking for.

  • Reallywow
    January 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM
    Bless your heart! I have no idea how you must be feeling. This has to be so hard for you. Try to remember you did what you had to do. Your son could have hurt many people. Prayers and hugs
  • DixieFlower
    January 2, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    I want you to know you aren't alone. My mom had to do the same thing with my middle sister. I was with her as she wrote the letter to the Juvinile Court judge basically begging for help with my sister. That she was willing to do whatever it took for my sister to get the help she needed. When my mom went to court she was told the only way my sister could get help was if my mom gave up her rights. It was a very hard thing for my mom. I could see the look in her eyes as well as the tears as she signed those papers.  Guilt is definately a resonable emotion at this time. None of us want to feel that we couldn't provide everything our children need. However, you needed to do this not just for you but for your son as well. It will work out.

  • triplets0718
    January 2, 2013 at 8:38 PM
    I did what you had to do for yourself and your son. I have a friend who is living through this now. She has 10yr old twins, and while they both have problems,one sounds like he is on the same path as your son. The system had failed her, but finally just after Thanksgivng they got the placement they were waiting for. Her son now lives in an institution where he receives the help he needs and can continue to receive schooling. Prays for you and your son, may you both receive the healing you need.
  • lazyd
    by lazyd
    January 2, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Your son is 15.  I feel this way about my 10yo son.  It is such a bad feeling to feel this way about your own child!!  My son isnt as big as your son.  He is small for his age, but that is cuz of genetics and the meds he is on, but he will hit puberty soon and grow bigger/taller.  I know he will become more violent.  My son is only 10 but threatens to kill himself and others that royally piss him off.  How is he going to handle the world cuz everyone and everything will make him so angry?  I love my son, but there are days when i want to send him away to someone who is better able to handle him.  Trust you me, you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings.  Please get into therapy. 

  • Eve-marie
    January 3, 2013 at 8:23 AM
    Your decision was sensible. Not selfish, sensible. You saved your life, his life, and if he is now locked away from the general public, you have saved the lives of others. You have sacrificed enough. Now thank God for life and take your life back. Maybe you should talk to a psychologist for a while, sort through the guilt and the loss, and move on. Good luck, mama.
  • Mommynay2
    January 3, 2013 at 10:21 PM
    Hi my ds is 11 he's been diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar he was also diagnosed with a conduct disorder. June 15, 2009 he was removed from my home. DCYF was concerned for mine and my dd safety. It took 2+ years and I got him back. I was fortunate he was put in a group home that really helped us. Honestly there are a few others but they aren't as helpful. A lot of times people get slighted. In the beginning when my ds was taken I had different feelings. I was angry at myself. I missed him. But honestly a part of me was relieved. I could sleep again, I could chill. Before I was on edge all the time. It was a process but I accepted that was how it had to be. I think you need to do what I did. Don't be angry at yourself. Your son has significant special needs, it impacted the whole family. You tried your best. My son had really bad anger problems. Now with the right medicine combination, a lot of intensive therapy, being trained to parent him and my daughter differently, things got better. I won't lie it can be hard parenting them. Just focus on you. With all that you have been through you need to heal. The people at therapeutic group homes are trained to handle children like your son. My ds needed to get on good medicine and needed a lot of attention from people who specialize in helping kids. I couldn't watch my ds 24/7 my whole family needed help. I think you did the right thing. Just accept you did as much as you could. Things can change but take this time to heal. I tortured myself for the longest time. I wouldn't want to see any others do the same that I did. Also I know it seems like you turned your back on him but you didn't. Message me when you want. Take care of you!

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