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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 16 yo son, "typical," and a 13 yo with atypical Autism.
I am divorced since Jan '12, and their dad has primary custody. (I was depressed/over-medicated/financially not able to fight for custody)

Our divorce was caused in large part in that ex and I had polar opposite views on how to raise the kids. I lost. Oh, and his affair.

I have 2x month weekend visitation, half of holidays and vaca.
I pay child support. Ex and I don't speak unless we have to discuss kids.

So, 16 has never had respect for me as a parent. It has gotten worse as he got older. He's 6'2, 240, and narcissistic (like dad.) As long as I give him his way, he is civil to me. He various from civil to completely charming with everyone else.

But if I tell him no for any reason, there is cussing (**** you, piss off)physical intimidation (putting his face 5" from mine to scream) and some pushing/shoving.

13 w Autism is picking up these behaviors. Gets angry and cusses me, has hit me, kicked me. He has less of a filter than 16, so his physical aggression has been more frequent.

Sat night, I told 16 he could not go to a friends house. Discussed my feelings about his attitude w/me, his cussing and phys intimidation. He was calm briefly while he tried to change my mind, but when he realized I was decided, he lost it. Went to his room, crying/furious.

13 yo then gave me trouble at dinner, was not what he wanted. So he cussed. I know his dad does not put up with that at the table, so I warned him, then took his plate and sent him to bed to calm down (same room as 16.) Thought 16 would come out and go somewhere else. Instead, screaming match ensued. 13 came out and had finger-mark bruises on his face where 16 had clamped his hand over his mouth and squeezed. Bruises remained today 24 hours later.

I had deputy come out to talk to 16. 16 was smug and dismissive of deputy. I have had deputy, wrestling coach, and boy scout leaders talk to him in the past. No effect (except anger at me for embarrassing him, from both him and his dad.)
Deputy says I have 1 year to press charges. I took pictures.

16 is often babysitter for 13, though I am supposed to be first called, and I am only 3 miles away.

16 recently argued with me that he was going to give 13 another pill (Vyvanse, for ADD) because he was throwing a fit. I told him he had just had his dose within the hour, and he continued to argue and insist he was going to give him more "because he obviously needs it." So I am concerned that during babysitting (ex has 16 administer meds to 13) he may overdose him if 13 is being difficult.

13 is not an elopement risk at this time. But i have been looking into locator bracelets, and ex and 16 both do not want 13 to wear one because it draws attention to his differentness (like anyone wouldn't figure out that he's different. Give me a break.) 16 threatened that if I put one on 13, it would get "lost."

I am feeling that I should press charges. If something happens to 13 through violence, negligence, or overdose, I won't be able to live with myself. But I am afraid because I don't know what the consequences could be. I know 16 could be arrested, may face jail time. That's going to affect his career/college opportunities, but I've warned him about that and he persists.

ex and 16 have decided that the answer is for 16 not to visit me anymore. Fine. I have told him that if he can't be respectful, he can't visit me, but up till now him not visiting me has been an inconvenience for ex's plans with his fiancee. so, he visits, is sweet, gets what he wants, then morphs into the monster. So, his not visiting will make 13's and my visits calmer, but I don't know what happens at ex's when ex isn't there. 13 has had unexplained small bruises, and has told me 16 hits him.

I am more concerned about whether the court would decide 13 or 16 needs to go into foster care. Situation is not ideal, clearly, but ex is fairly decent father in other areas. I don't think foster care should be necessary. I do know I can't take custody of 16; he is out of my control. I might be able to take custody of 13, but it does scare me. I haven't had them full time ever, and I have some issues. I live with my mom because the divorce left me with not enough to live on. He is getting big (already taller than me) and he is, as I said, somewhat physical sometimes. I will do my best if that is what needs to happen, but I doubt my abilities.

I just don't want 16 to be able to babysit 13 anymore, I don't think it's wise. I never did, but I am stronger now and ready to do what i have to in order to protect 13.

If anyone has had experience with domestic violence/juvenile relations, esp in VA, could you please school me on what I'm getting myself/us into, and what the best way to proceed would be? I would rather have counseling for 16 (had it for a while--my insistence,anger issues--, but after d finalized, ex decided 16 was fine and did not need it anymore.) But I am most concerned that 16 not be able to babysit 13 anymore. Is there a way that ex can be ordered not to allow 16 to babysit 13, without the possibility that foster care will be on the table?

I'm sorry this is so long. Thanks for your time and thoughts.
 

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Is there any way at all that you could talk to your ex and discuss your concerns? Could you seek the courts help in mandating that 16 year old is not alone with 13 year old?

I am not sure that pressing charges is going to help. IF the father was on board with you then maybe. But since the father is taking 16 year olds side, I fear that pressing charges will just inflame 16 year old against you more, blame you - not learn and take responsibility for his actions. It will be all your fault he didn't get into college, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, talking to ex is like peeing into a fan. He has his way, and it's the only way. He summarily dismisses my concerns/wishes, and basically divorced me so he would be able to raise them with out my interference. And as far as 16 is concerned, everything already is all my fault. If ex had been on board with me, we wouldn't be divorced. so much for that.

I'm going to go talk to social services tomorrow. Hoping I can get some good advice without getting a ball rolling that ends up running over all of us. But I have to do something. I can't let my kids kill each other.
Thanks for your response, Just her. I know it's an intense situation.
 

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I really feel for you. I had a pretty intense time with one of my sons and he started to get his younger one to side with him. Very intense. Hubby was on board with me but he travels so wasn't here to help, so I know how hard and concerning things like this can be.

I think going to social services is a good idea, if nothing else it will get documentation started.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I'm just really scared it's going to go from bad to worse. But it will do that anyway, if I don't do anything.

If I had known the kind of father he was going to be, I never would have let him anywhere near my uterus. My oldest son is the way he is because dad molded him this way. I'll never forgive him for that.
 

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I have a 16 yo son, "typical," and a 13 yo with atypical Autism.
I am divorced since Jan '12, and their dad has primary custody. (I was depressed/over-medicated/financially not able to fight for custody)

Our divorce was caused in large part in that ex and I had polar opposite views on how to raise the kids. I lost. Oh, and his affair.

I have 2x month weekend visitation, half of holidays and vaca.
I pay child support. Ex and I don't speak unless we have to discuss kids.

So, 16 has never had respect for me as a parent. It has gotten worse as he got older. He's 6'2, 240, and narcissistic (like dad.) As long as I give him his way, he is civil to me. He various from civil to completely charming with everyone else.

But if I tell him no for any reason, there is cussing (**** you, piss off)physical intimidation (putting his face 5" from mine to scream) and some pushing/shoving.

13 w Autism is picking up these behaviors. Gets angry and cusses me, has hit me, kicked me. He has less of a filter than 16, so his physical aggression has been more frequent.

Sat night, I told 16 he could not go to a friends house. Discussed my feelings about his attitude w/me, his cussing and phys intimidation. He was calm briefly while he tried to change my mind, but when he realized I was decided, he lost it. Went to his room, crying/furious.

13 yo then gave me trouble at dinner, was not what he wanted. So he cussed. I know his dad does not put up with that at the table, so I warned him, then took his plate and sent him to bed to calm down (same room as 16.) Thought 16 would come out and go somewhere else. Instead, screaming match ensued. 13 came out and had finger-mark bruises on his face where 16 had clamped his hand over his mouth and squeezed. Bruises remained today 24 hours later.

I had deputy come out to talk to 16. 16 was smug and dismissive of deputy. I have had deputy, wrestling coach, and boy scout leaders talk to him in the past. No effect (except anger at me for embarrassing him, from both him and his dad.)
Deputy says I have 1 year to press charges. I took pictures.

16 is often babysitter for 13, though I am supposed to be first called, and I am only 3 miles away.

16 recently argued with me that he was going to give 13 another pill (Vyvanse, for ADD) because he was throwing a fit. I told him he had just had his dose within the hour, and he continued to argue and insist he was going to give him more "because he obviously needs it." So I am concerned that during babysitting (ex has 16 administer meds to 13) he may overdose him if 13 is being difficult.

13 is not an elopement risk at this time. But i have been looking into locator bracelets, and ex and 16 both do not want 13 to wear one because it draws attention to his differentness (like anyone wouldn't figure out that he's different. Give me a break.) 16 threatened that if I put one on 13, it would get "lost."

I am feeling that I should press charges. If something happens to 13 through violence, negligence, or overdose, I won't be able to live with myself. But I am afraid because I don't know what the consequences could be. I know 16 could be arrested, may face jail time. That's going to affect his career/college opportunities, but I've warned him about that and he persists.

ex and 16 have decided that the answer is for 16 not to visit me anymore. Fine. I have told him that if he can't be respectful, he can't visit me, but up till now him not visiting me has been an inconvenience for ex's plans with his fiancee. so, he visits, is sweet, gets what he wants, then morphs into the monster. So, his not visiting will make 13's and my visits calmer, but I don't know what happens at ex's when ex isn't there. 13 has had unexplained small bruises, and has told me 16 hits him.

I am more concerned about whether the court would decide 13 or 16 needs to go into foster care. Situation is not ideal, clearly, but ex is fairly decent father in other areas. I don't think foster care should be necessary. I do know I can't take custody of 16; he is out of my control. I might be able to take custody of 13, but it does scare me. I haven't had them full time ever, and I have some issues. I live with my mom because the divorce left me with not enough to live on. He is getting big (already taller than me) and he is, as I said, somewhat physical sometimes. I will do my best if that is what needs to happen, but I doubt my abilities.

I just don't want 16 to be able to babysit 13 anymore, I don't think it's wise. I never did, but I am stronger now and ready to do what i have to in order to protect 13.

If anyone has had experience with domestic violence/juvenile relations, esp in VA, could you please school me on what I'm getting myself/us into, and what the best way to proceed would be? I would rather have counseling for 16 (had it for a while--my insistence,anger issues--, but after d finalized, ex decided 16 was fine and did not need it anymore.) But I am most concerned that 16 not be able to babysit 13 anymore. Is there a way that ex can be ordered not to allow 16 to babysit 13, without the possibility that foster care will be on the table?

I'm sorry this is so long. Thanks for your time and thoughts.
Your 13 year old who is not equipped to defend himself against the 16 year old is being abused by the 16 year old. You know about this and you have evidence. You also know that left to his own devices the 16 year old would overmedicate the 13 year old when left to care for him. You know that he is being left alone to care for him and you are not being called. This is unacceptable and falls into the category of neglect. If you wait to press charges on behalf of the defenseless 13 year old and he gets even more seriously injured than he has already then you are responsible for it. He's your kid, you need to protect him.

I've been in situations where I had to tell my older son it was him or the little ones, and I'd choose the little ones. It was over pot paraphernalia found in the house.

Do what you need to do. The truth will be exposed. Sure it will be a big hassle, but so is taking a 13 year old to the hospital and explaining why you knew about something but did nothing about it. A kid with disabilities deserves better. If you don't file charges on his behalf do you think anyone else will?

They say if you point one finger at someone else you have three fingers pointing back at yourself. They're your kids, this happened at your house. Do something about it.

I can only imagine what's happening at the dad's house. Oh, and by the way, don't leave them alone in the same room again. Give the 13 year old his own room, with a lock on the door. If you only have one bedroom for the kids, too bad, the 16 year old lost his privilege to have any private space, he's dangerous. He gets to sleep on the sofa.

And OMG the size of him, I can't imagine having my face squeezed so hard it would leave handprints. I have a 13 year old on the spectrum this post makes me want to vomit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, I did it. I contacted social services, reported to CPS, pressed charges with Juv Dom Rel court, requested svces for older son from Juv dom rel court, made 8 motions to amend custody order:
Requested:
*16 not to be able to babysit 13
*16 not to be able to dispense meds to 13
*16 not to be left unsupervised more than 5 hours at a stretch until he's 18
*13 to wear locator device (16 had told me he would make sure it went missing..)
*couple other things.

Worst week of my life. Worse than d day, telling the kids about separation. F*g sucks. Hearing will be in March. Hatin my life, and want to get drunk. Not my style, though. Missing my old boyfriend. Where is that shoulder he promised me? Damn.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No, they aren't in counseling. 16 was for a while (I pressed for it, because I and his teachers saw anger issues. Dad refused. Then I started emailing him requests about it, and then he realized there was a paper trail, so he reluctantly obliged, but as soon as the ink was wet on the d decree, he told him he's fine and he doesn't have to go anymore. So, 16 has not been in it in 2 yrs. But my request to Juv Dom Rel court will likely get him anger control classes, at minimum. And because I pressed charges, if court orders it, Dad will have to cooperate. So theres that.

My chest hurts.
 

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I am really sorry for your anguish, but you are doing the right thing!!! Hang in there, I am sure it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, just keep reminding yourself - you are doing the right thing, you are protecting your son, you are being a good mother.
 

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I am really sorry for your anguish, but you are doing the right thing!!! Hang in there, I am sure it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, just keep reminding yourself - you are doing the right thing, you are protecting your son, you are being a good mother.
Thanks, I really needed to hear that. My family and everyone I talk to supports me. But my ex has always steered me wrong. I've come to see that the farther from what he wants me to do I go, the better choices I am making for myself and the kids. So he's now like a reverse- barometer. If he isn't going to like it, it's probably what I should do.
 

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Thanks, I really needed to hear that. My family and everyone I talk to supports me. But my ex has always steered me wrong. I've come to see that the farther from what he wants me to do I go, the better choices I am making for myself and the kids. So he's now like a reverse- barometer. If he isn't going to like it, it's probably what I should do.
This what you said in Bold is profound and true.


It's not the place to post stories, but I hope you won't mind this one:

"Tsze-kung asked Confucius, saying, 'What do you say of a man who is loved by all the people of his village?'

The Master replied, 'We may not because of that give our approval of him.'

'And what do you say of him who is hated by all the people of his village?'

The Master said, 'We may not for that conclude that he is bad."

"It is better than either of these cases that the good in the village love him, and the bad hate him."

My interpretation is... that if someone who enjoys doing wrong hates what you are doing, it's a medal of honour - like your reverse barometer - it says you must be doing something inconvenient to them... i.e. the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for the story. It's validating. I need validation. I allowed him for many years to convince me not to trust my mother instincts and my own very good training as a teacher. I did not get my Autistic son checked out till later and it took me a lot of counseling to realize that I was right, and to forgive myself for failing my sons this way. I am much stronger now, but I still need to hear that I'm doing the right thing. He texted me tonight that my older son got a card left on the front door from CPS, and that I am a horrible person. It is only because my friends and family are cheering me on that I can let that roll off my back. Thank you, so much.
 

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Nobody worth two cents screams and cusses at their mother. Someone that off-the-chain doesn't need to be supervising another human being, especially one with special needs. In an ideal world, his father would have squared him away. This is why God gives us parents instead of assigning us cops and judges. Even if my ex was a bat from hell, I wouldn't permit my son (or daughter) to dog cuss her or get in her face. As far as the physical abuse between siblings, guess it would depend on the size difference more than anything. Brothers are going to get physical, but your 16 year old sounds like a bratty child crammed into the body of a large, imposing man. He needs to get his head screwed on very straight quickly because he's apparently learning to use his size to intimidate people who appear weaker. Left unchecked, some cop or a martial arts expert is going to teach him the meaning of life.
 

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Thank you for the story. It's validating. I need validation. I allowed him for many years to convince me not to trust my mother instincts and my own very good training as a teacher. I did not get my Autistic son checked out till later and it took me a lot of counseling to realize that I was right, and to forgive myself for failing my sons this way. I am much stronger now, but I still need to hear that I'm doing the right thing. He texted me tonight that my older son got a card left on the front door from CPS, and that I am a horrible person. It is only because my friends and family are cheering me on that I can let that roll off my back. Thank you, so much.
You did the right thing. If his father can't nip this in the bud, let the authorities do it before he gets into major trouble. You are following a mother's instinct. You are protecting him from future trouble to the best of your ability.

It really irks me that a boy would behave like that to his mother. He'll hopefully come around and apologize one day. Take care of yourself.
 

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You made a huge mistake, in my opinion. Especially regarding the motions with the court. There is no way a faceless court and judge that doesn't know you can adequately raise your children. To me what you've done is far more likely to create years of animosity than to help.
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If she hadn't activated the authorities and the 16 year old ended up hurting or killing someone, everyone would be up in arms, saying she was irresponsible for not "doing something".
 

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If she hadn't activated the authorities and the 16 year old ended up hurting or killing someone, everyone would be up in arms, saying she was irresponsible for not "doing something".
16 and 13 yr old brothers fight. IMO it is a huge betrayal for a parent to call the police on their own kids for doing something that most brothers do.
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Brothers fight but most 13 year olds aren't 6'2, 240. The kid apparently repeatedly tries to physically intimidate his mother. If his teachers noticed a violent streak, there's a reason. This isn't a fight, it's a pattern. Mom's had to have cops and coaches talk to this kid to get his head screwed on properly.
Not sure what the domestic violence laws are like in his state, but in Tennessee, violence even between juvenile siblings applies. If the officer saw physical evidence (marks on the kid's face) and he could identify the primary aggressor, the assailant HAS to take a ride. Further, a kid who won't mind his parent is an "unruly" kid and the appropriate disposition is to take a ride and get the juvenile involved. We prefer not to wait until someone is dead. If this overgrown sprout feels free to intimate his own mother and his disabled younger sibling, do you doubt that he would feel free to use violence to solve his problems in the general public? Think he would treat his future wife any differently?
I don't believe I would have called the police on him, but then again, I would have whooped that butt soundly the very first time he cussed his mom or got in her face and I would have repeated the exercise each and every time it was necessary. By the time he was 16, all inclinations of such activity would have long departed his rather large frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you to all of you for your input, including Wilderness. I want to give you some more background, and tell you about a new development.

Background:

*when 16 was 5, I told him to pick up his towel from the floor after his bath, and I left the room. I came back, it was still on the floor. I repeated, please pick it up and put it in the hamper. He argued with me. I stood firm, dad came in and asked what we were arguing about. I said, I told him to put his towel in the hamper, and he is arguing it with me. Dad said (to me: ) "Jesus Christ. It's a towel. Pick it up yourself." This has been how parenting has gone since 16 was about 4.

*Same age, 16 was trying to kick my dad in the groin. Dad came to me and said, your boy is trying to kick me in the nuts. I'm letting you know, if he does it, I'm gonna turn him over my knee. I told 16's dad (we were married at the time,) he said, if your dad ever lays a hand on 16, he'll never see him again. Did not say a word to 16 about trying to kick gdad in balls.

*16 first told me he hated me when he was 8. I know many kids do that, but in my family growing up, we were never allowed to be so disrespectful. I did smack his mouth once (when he said he hated me) and once (the first time he said f-u to me.) But dad has never given him any consequence for any disrespect he has shown me. He enables it by "rescuing" him from my custody whenever I have a rule 16 does not wish to follow.

Wilderness said "To me what you've done is far more likely to create years of animosity than to help."

The years of animosity are both behind us and in front of us. My ex never supporting me by requiring 16 to treat me with respect has damaged our relationship beyond help, to where now I am fearful of him at times. I love him, and he might love me a little, I don't know, but our relationship is pure power struggle and I do not have any power. I'm fearful of him getting worse with me and little brother. It's no longer about surface dysfunction. It's about safety now.

"16 and 13 yr old brothers fight. IMO it is a huge betrayal for a parent to call the police on their own kids for doing something that most brothers do."
I have a brother and sister. We hurt each other, accidentally, when we played rough as kids. But we never hurt each other out of anger, in fights, and lost control in anger. That is a whole different thing. Brothers may wrestle, but if you think fistfighting or leaving marks on someone is "normal," especially when 16 has a 8" height advantage and 70 lb weight advantage over 13, I think you might want to check your "normal" against other people's. It's not healthy, and I can't let it go on.

So, new development. Ex asked me which days I want the boys over winter break from school. I counted 16 days of break, texted which 8 I wanted. He had said I could have any; they had no plans to go anywhere, so no "blackout" days.

Then he found out I had called CPS. He now shows me in the custody order that it reads I get 6 pm c eve until 1 pm c day, and it does not specify that I get half of winter break. He has let me have half of winter break since we split 2009, but now he is angry and shows me that this is not something he has to give me per the order. So break is 16 days long, and I may only see 13 for 19 hours total over the next 16 days. Tell me that's not using the kids as pawns. Oh, and couldn't tell me this in text or over the phone. Made me show up to pick up 13, stand on the stoop in the rain (he is not allowing me in his house now,) and told me after I had talked to 13 last night and told him I was coming today. So now I have to text 13 that I can't get him till Tues 6pm. 13 will be very disappointed, and I don't want to say, "because Daddy won't let me," but I don't want him to think I don't want to get him, either.

I'm not that surprised, definitely not shocked. Exactly more of the same that I have been dealing with since 2009. Just numb, really.

I know I have done the right thing, and I plan to file a motion to change custody for winter/spring breaks so it will be in there that I get 1/2 of the days, not just 19 hours at Christmas. But it astounds me how evil one person can be. This is the guy I (mistakenly, obviously,) trusted to "do the right thing" by our kids in the separation agreement. The betrayal is beyond words. And I am like the Pavlovian dogs who, shocked and unable to move away from the shocks, just learn to lay down and accept the inevitable. I need to cry, and it won't come.
 
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