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Living with O.D.D

Part 1

The definition of  ODD:

[Oppositional Defiance Disorder]: a child or teenager exhibiting a persistent, regular (occurring multiple times a day over a period lasting more than 6 months) pattern of  random outburst tantrums, argumentative with everyone over anything and everything in a raised voice, angry, hostile, and aggressive behavior toward all authoritative figures, spewing negativity in all forms, completely defiant, disobedient, refusing to comply with requests, purposely annoying others, provoking others, blames everyone for his/her mistakes or misbehavior, acts touchy and is annoyed easily by others, feels much anger and resentment, is spiteful & vindictive, has difficulty maintaining friendships, feels socially unaccepted, acts aggressively toward peers, has academic problems, and most importantly – has a serious lack of self-esteem. A child/teenager with ODD is deliberately destructive to other people’s property, lies often about big and little things, has tendencies and desires to steal from people they know and do not know often – shoplifting, feel entitled to the objects they steal and will justify their actions when confronted about the theft, will often break curfew, skip school, has run away from home (or attempted to or talks about it), may experiment with drugs and sex at a young age, and engages in physical fights often in public – school – home (attacking parents), threatens or attempts suicide.

Diagnosis:

What leads a professional to diagnosis this disorder is the severity and length of time the child has demonstrated these signs. Let’s face it, what child hasn’t shown some or all of these traits during their childhood? Many people see a child in this description as a troubled teen.  Most people will say all children have and they would be justified in saying so. These behaviors are normal for all children at different stages in their youth. But what makes ODD significant is the length of time and the severity of these behaviors.

The significant difference in this disorder and normal youth disobedience is that the child/teenager’s behaviors affect not just themselves and their parents, but also their peers, teachers, friends, grand parents, church members, and everyone that comes in contact with them in public – everyday over an extended period of 6 months to several years. Many people interviewed have stated that they can not stand to be around a child with ODD even though they love them and want to see them recover. Some people have even gone so far as to have said that they hate their child with this disorder. They feel as though they have failed miserably as a parent and some parents, sadly… simply give up 😦  A child with this behavior disorder is not uneducated or of low intelligence. Actually the opposite is true. I have discovered that this disorder is driven through high intelligence in a child with a serious lack of self-esteem.

What causes ODD?

Oppositional Defiance Disorder affects only a very small number of children/teenagers and often times it exists in a co-morbid state with another physiological disorder such as ADD/ADHD, Bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and depression/ anxiety.

Professionals have also linked the onset of ODD to a lack of supervision, lax – inconsistent,  or  harsh parenting (harsh discipline), abuse, neglect, an imbalance of serotonin in the brain, a strained family environment (a lot of arguing, yelling, and marital separations/divorce), and developmental delays in brain development. ODD is considered more of a “personality disorder” really and if addressed early enough can be corrected before a child reaches the teenager years. If treatment for ODD has not begun until the teenage years, there is still hope, but the treatment period may be a more lengthy and need much more time and effort.

I understand how you feel!

It’s very common for a parent with an ODD child to feel like a failure. They feel as though they are at the end of their rope, can’t take it anymore, and often feel like giving up.  And the saddest part is…some parents do give up. Some parents say they hate their children and they hear other people tell them they hate to be around the child also. Many of these children will end up out of the home on their own at an early age, in juvenile, or being packed off to live with someone else.  As a parent you will hear debasing comments from the child with ODD often. Please don’t allow the harsh things you hear from your child “stick” in your mind. Many times, these children don’t mean what they blurt out in an episode anyway.

It’s a challenge. You’ll cry because they have insulted you, lose your temper also from time to time, and want to react to the child in the same way they are acting toward you. You are not a failure though. Youth with Oppositional Defiance Disorder will use anything they can think of to hurt you and enjoy causing a rift in your marriage or home between all family members. If they know you have a weakness, they will exploit it. I promise you though, your child is not the spawn of evil and there is hope!  We must maintain our composure and when you implement a behavior  modification plan, you’ll be the one in control of this seemingly disrespected and destructive child.

What do I do?

If you think that you have a child that fits this description, behavior modification is the best and most effective approach. Therapy is helpful also (according to articles on-line.) Some professionals recommend a cocktail of medications, but there are many resources available to help parents that feel as though they have reached the end of their rope that will not have any medical side effects as such medications can/may/do have.

In the next few articles, I will share with you our journey through raising a teenager with Oppositional Defiance Disorder and the things that have worked for us and the things that have failed miserably. We are 1 year into this journey and have made huge massive amazing large life changing significant progress that I hope will bring hope to other parents or authority figures out there that are dealing with this commonly undiagnosed disorder.

Here are some on-line resources for further reading:

What Are You Looking At?

Yesterday, after school, we attended a football parent meeting. It was a mandatory meeting for all players in all grades of the High School and was very informative. Since we have 3 boys attending (1 played last year & 2 will play in the Fall) we never thought a thing about attending.

It was a good meeting – very informative. I’m new to this whole kid playing sports thing because X & Z never played any sports in the past, but Y who came to live with us a year ago has played sports his whole life. All I knew of sports from last season was the endless shuttling of kids from one place to the next, sitting in the stands and washing uniforms. Y moved in with us in the spring and just joined right in with the existing football team, so we missed any and all parental information meetings last season. Shoot, we never received any communications from the coaches or anyone else except Y. This year is different.

Anyway, after the meeting was a “cook out” which consisted of hot dogs wrapped in aluminum foil, tiny bags of chips, water, and cookies. There was no seating, so we all just stood around and ate off paper plates and looked around at the other people, kids, coaches, etc. interacting or just standing around like we were.

I noticed several “clicks” or grouping of people who must have known each other from the previous years. My husband hasn’t lived here long, so knew no one really, but I have lived here my whole life. I went to this school. I saw a few people who I knew. And surprisingly something happened.

Memories!

Since hitting my head a while back and losing a ton of memories, I get super happy when some return! They were pretty happy memories too. I remembered the wings/halls of the school (which classes were where) and began to remember some happy, funny, or eventful events that occurred 🙂

I guess I was kind of zoning out after a few minutes because I suddenly realized my husband was talking to me. Listening intently, I tried to catch up on his conversation when I noticed over his shoulder that a group of women standing behind him were staring at us. There were 4 women in this group. The one in the front was covering her mouth and she spoke to the other ladies as she cut her eyes toward us. At several times our eyes met and locked on each other as she continued to talk to the other ladies. She would slant her eyes our way, nod in our direction and point with her elbow. Basically, she did everything except point a finger at us.

I looked back at my husband who thought I was upset about something and was refusing to look at him as he spoke to me. He walked away from me for a minute. I looked him over to see if he had toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoe or his fly was open. Nope. Nothing there to see. I found no reason they’d be staring at him, so I examined myself. I’m always dressed modestly, so I had no body parts playing peek-a-boo, no spilled ketchup running down my shirt, nothing on my face, and my hair wasn’t sticking up in an odd Something About Mary way.

My husband came back to where I stood and we spoke for a little longer. I glanced over his should a few more times and then it hit me! Bad memories…Not my memories though. I thought about the horrible stories about kids making fun of other kids, bullying and such 😦 I’ll admit that when I was in school I had my fair share of insecurities, but I was never bullied at this school over them. In fact, at this school, every kid is just…a kid. There were a few small “clicks”, but not very many and even the people in those groups were nice to the other kids. It really is a great school as far as that goes. Everyone is accepted.

I tried to tell myself that I was inventing something that wasn’t there. But…I just couldn’t shake the feeling that there truly was 😦

It was at that time that I lost my temper and knew that I needed to exit the facility in order not to embarrass my children. Afterall, X is going into his senior year and I don’t want to ruin that for him. You see, when I lose my temper (which is an extremely very rare occasion), people part from me like the parting of the Red Sea. I am not very pretty when I blow up which is why I have managed my anger very well through behavior modification. I pray and leave the situation quickly.

After much prayer last night, I found peace. I’ve decided that I will be seeing these women on a regular basis now and that I need to at least find out their names. As the school year goes along, I will also find out why they were staring at us also. I’m just blunt like that 🙂

The Adventure of Identity

Last night I stopped at a local drug store to purchase some cold and flu medicine. I had picked up a cold or flu back a few days ago and couldn’t seem to shake it on my own. I really hate being sick and a head cold or the flu is the worst! I walk around like a zombie, head weighing 70 pounds or more, and dragging my feet everywhere I go.  Plus, I’m just not “with it” when my head is full of unmentionable grossities. I forget where I put things more often than usual & find myself searching for common items for hours. (Like the can opener which somehow ends up inside the refrigerator & the dish rag which somehow ends up in the bathroom.)
For this round of cold/flu, I misplaced something very valuable: my drivers license! So, back to my original story.
Last night I went to a local drug store to buy some cold/flu medicine. I was specifically looking for theraflu, but the drugstore was sold out of that brand. Lucky for me, they had 2 boxes left of their store brand version though. My youngest son and I looked around the store for some ginger tea & came up empty handed, so we proceeded to the checkout counter. The lovely lady behind the register said, “I need to see some ID.” Puzzled I replied, “Huh? For theraflu??” She turned her computer screen around so that it was facing me and pointed to it as she read: is your customer 40? Then she said, “It’s asking me if you are 40 yrs old and I don’t think you are. I need to see your ID.” Frustrated, I left the store to go look in my car for my drivers license. My son and I looked high and low for my license: in my purse, in the various compartments inside the car, in the floor boards, under the seats, everywhere – but came up empty handed! Almost in tears from the pressure in my head & the frustration of the crazy notion that one must look 40 to buy theraflu, I drove back home. My son was very sweet and concerned for me and my health. Once we arrived back home, he helped me search the house. Unfortunately, by the end of the day we came up empty handed.

This morning, I wake up with a mission. Get the kids to school then get a duplicate made of my license at the DMV. I discover a DMV location very close to the house, so I went there first. A sign on the door read Closed. Another motorist in the parking lot tells me that the location is used for DUI reinstatement only. Since I’ve never had a DUI, I left to find another location.
At the second location, which was only about 5 miles away, the parking lot was void and there was a sign on the door that read: This location closed today October 12th for training. So, I leave.
I remembered that I may need a copy of my birth certificate to prove identity for the DMV to issue me a duplicate license. I went to the main health department. There, on the door to the certificates office, was a sign that read: Closed for lunch from 11:30 to 12:30. It was 11:32!!
I just need some cold medicine!
I called my brother to see if he could help me. Wrong number. I found another number for him and called it. Disconnected. I remembered speaking to my cousin about 3 weeks – a month ago & she mentioned she had spoke to him. She did not have a good number for him either, but like an angel she offered to help me! 🙂
We went to a local Mart and browsed through the cold medicine aisle. (By the way, she looks way younger than I do and always has.) We discovered that none of our local stores carry theraflu anymore, so we ended up buying Alka Seltzer cold and flu. When we got to the register, she didn’t even get carded!! :-/
She and I were able to spend a little time together and then I took her and her daughters home.
By this time, it’s 3:00. I figured I have 1 more shot at making it to the DMV today. I drove East to another location. The parking lot was void of cars and there was a huge sign on the door that read: This and all other satellite offices closed today, October 12th for training. 😦

ugh…

The search at home for my drivers license continues!!

Pool Adventure at Blah-Mart

This summer has been hot hot hot! (Most days the temperature has been 99 degrees or higher!)

This article is not one to complain about the shoes that have melted or the fact that ice melts in coolers in a short period of time.  I’m not complaining about the humidity or the pass-out factor of 99% during the middle of the day. Nah, not me. You see, I remember all too vividly the rain in 2009 & 2010. Someone somewhere prayed for it to rain & it did rain…it flooded.

So, back to this summer, as a result of the heat we have gravitated toward water most weekends, holidays, or whenever possible.  Our choice destination has been a lake more often than not, as a means to cool down. This summer, my youngest son and I have learned to swim and we feel much more confident in the water. Move over Olympians, momma doesn’t need floaties anymore! One day, after coming back from the lake, Nick had an idea to buy a pool. Fireworks went off, Joy resounded, the angels sang as my excitement soared into the heavens, laaaa LA!!

We didn’t buy one immediately, rather, we discussed it and shopped around several known lowered priced stores to price check them. Several days later, of all places we could have shopped, we landed at a certain mass retailer that I have very little respect for: Blah-Mart. I always bad mouth this particular retailer, but since Nick wanted to shop there, I relented. We didn’t buy the smallest pool or the biggest pool. We picked a modest pool: 12′ X 36″ above ground Blah-Mart special. We purchased it late on a Saturday night and two different employees leaned in close to us at different times and places in the store,  saying “SAVE YOUR RECEIPT”. Happy and excited, we got up early on Sunday morning to prep the yard and assemble the pool. It was already hot & humid that morning at 8am and by just taking the pool parts out of the box, we were drenched in sweat. This pool was going to be so appreciated…we thought.

We took the liner out of the box and began to spread it out on the ground. It had grass on the bottom of it. We opened it up and were knocked backwards by the rotten, molded, wet algae infested stench! Someone with no ethics had used this pool and returned it to the store! Parts were missing, the liner was nasty, we were soaked in sweat, and we were seriously ticked that the massive retailer sold us this gross product. Who returns a pool used? Who takes time to empty, partly dry off a liner, neatly pack the frames into a box and then returns it?  Who does that? Gross!!!!! A tad bit frustrated and angry, we piled the pool pieces in the truck and took off to return the pool.

We piled it high into a shopping cart, liner wadded up and flowing over the edges, and wheeled it into the store…with our receipt. Even though Blah-Mart had sold us this atrocity, the manager had an ugly grimace on her face when we showed it to her. She was not believing we had just bought the pool at first. After looking at the receipt, determining we had only had it for a few short hours (over night), she came to the conclusion we must be telling the truth. I dislike Blah-Mart very much! Nick told the lady at the front desk and the assistant manager that he was not angry at them, but angry at the fact that the store sold us this nastiness that we could have contracted a disease from! We were both upset that they would even have it one their shelves to offer to the public. Long story short, they agreed to refund our money. We didn’t want a refund though, we wanted another pool. They were out of that size. They called to several other stores and the stores were all out (even though their computers reflected that the other stores had it in stock). I called a store about 18 miles away, close to where I grew up and BINGO, they had one for us!! We received store credit, plus a bonus $50 and were on our way across town to get another pool.

The day was heating up. It was noon time now and the Truck AC was blowing with all its might to keep the cab at a balmy 85 degrees. It was 101 degrees already at noon. We arrived at the other store, opened the pool packaging to verify we were not buying a used pool again, and were happy. We purchased the pool and a pool cover. The sour lady at the customer service desk began to crack through her evil facade and was smiling when we left as well. Nick has that effect on people. It’s pretty cool 🙂

We drove home, unpacked the pool, and began to assemble it in the heat. It was 104 degrees now at 2pm. After an hour and half, we were filling the pool with water! Drenched in sweat, stinky, frustrated, tired, yet relieved to finally have success – we got in the water around 4:30pm.  🙂  Ahhhhhh!!!

It was refreshing, cool, nice, gave much relief from the heat, brought smiles and laughter…and had a leaking liner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At this point, we were worn down, tired, and exhausted. We literally said, “oh well”. 😦

I no longer dislike Blah-Mart, I hate them. They pay their employees very little, have far too expensive health insurance, do not cover the necessities of medical care on their policies, keep their workers on food stamps or below poverty levels, treat the people that work for them with little to No dignity, yet offer a whopping 10% discount to their under paid peeps in hopes that they will spend their measly paychecks with them before they go home.

It used to be a decent company when its daddy was alive, but the children must have been spoiled brats that run it now!

Okay, I’m done. If you work for Blah-Mart and they are your bread and butter, I wish you better in life 🙂

If you are just a consumer, you have the right like I do, to dislike them and no longer shop there.

(The name of the company has been changed.)

Southern Prospective – soap box time!

Recently, I’ve been engaged in conversations about the “north & south”.  I don’t like this subject, but will politely answer & comment. Well…it starts off politely anyway.  What makes these conversations intense is usually the opinions that are thrown into the mix. Very few people can carry on a conversation on the subject of differences of northern and southern people and produce only facts.

I’m from Tennessee – born & bred. I (like other people) am proud to be from the south. I would never say the south is the best, the end all-be all, or even the most preferred place to live, but it’s home. I love it here, even though I can’t breathe through my nose for the mass amounts of pollen and my car is constantly covered in a yellow film. Even though we have high taxes and very few people correctly pronounce most of the English language. I still love it!!

East TN has become a melting pot of people from all over. Many folks from the western and northern states have moved here as well as people from other countries.  I’d venture to guess that the population is half native and half  “visitors”. Many native folks here have never been too far from home and are not able to travel or are afraid to leave these mountains. I personally haven’t travelled much, but I’ve been out of the state a few times. I’ve been very blessed to have met, worked with, and made friends a great deal of folks from all over the world while right here in Knoxville.

So, back to the “north & south” conversations…I commonly hear that:

  • Southern people are backwards.           Hmm, I try to visualize this so I don’t take offense.

I can honestly reply that I’ve never seen a southerner with their head screwed on backwards. They usually walk in a forward moving motion and many have not only been successful in life, but have led this country as presidents, congressmen, and senators.

  • Southern people are close minded.        Really? …all southerners?? I am open to discovering why we are close minded. My rebuttal is that there are closed minded people everywhere, not just in the south. Some people here are incorrectly labeled as close minded because they are hesitant to repeat mistakes. What just happened there? Did I just present an open mind?
  • Southern people speak funny.           People from all over the world speak with different dialects and there are places where you will hear a very think southern draw. Southern draws vary also. The southern draw of a Texan will vary from a Tennessean, just as a Georgia draw will vary from a Carolina draw.  Don’t at make us special?
  • Southern people are uneducated.         This may be true with a passing generation of miners, farmers, and people that physically worked their fingers to the bone from youth through adulthood many years past, but school is not an option in the South. But somehow, we have several of the best schools in the country according to the president of the US. Besides, if we are so uneducated, why did you move your whole family here? You must be a bad parent if you truly thought that and enrolled your children in our schools!!
  • Southern people are racist/prejudice.        There are racist people everywhere, not just in the south. Not everyone in the south is a racist.  I’m not!! Racism is not just white against black or black against white. People are prejudice in all forms everywhere on this planet! People that claim to be above reproach on the subject, accepting all people are prejudice in some form. Okay…I’ll admit. I have one prejudice: People from Ohio driving their RV through TN, changing lanes on the main Interstates right on top of other drivers, without looking or signally burn me up! But that’s pretty much it 🙂 I don’t dislike people from Ohio and actually have Ohio on my bucket list. One day, I’m going there with MY RV and I dare any of them to say anything or blow their horns, hee hee…not!

Rich against Poor

Sinners against Saints

Poor against Rich

Saints against Sinners

Baptist against Methodist 

Methodist against Baptist

Women against Men

Men against Women

Believer against Believer

Geeks against Goth

Skaters against Nerds

White against Mexicans

Mexicans against Whites

Black against Whites

White against Black

 Republican against Democrats

Democrats against Republicans

Non Alcoholics against Alcoholics

Drug addicts against the World

Lower Management against Upper Management

Upper Management against Lower Management

Customer Service against the Customers

Customers against the Stock Clerks

People against Mosquitoes – They just want to suck your blood 😦

Northern drivers against Southern Roadways

Southern drivers against more than 5 lanes of traffic

There are so many prejudices that they cannot all be listed. People harbor prejudices against one another for countless reasons and because a prejudice is chalked up to “opinion” it’s acceptable in some circles to have those opinions. That doesn’t make it right though. Let’s move on now.

  • People from the South are Hillbillies.       Well, we do live in the mountains and hills. I don’t care anymore, call us hillbilly if it makes your life better 🙂
  • Southerners are stubborn.        Isn’t that true everywhere you go? Surely this does not only apply to southerners.
  • People in the South walk around shirtless and barefoot.         Try to walk on asphalt barefoot and tell me how your feet feel. Kind of hot huh? Now, take off your shoes and walk on grass. Nice and cool huh? If you don’t leave your yard, why do you need shoes? Men do work with their shirts off, but don’t men in warmer climates do this? I saw people at the beach that were barefoot and shirtless. I even saw women that were topless and barefoot!  A person must wear shirt and shoes when in public though 🙂
  • Southern men spit.        Northern men do too!
  • Southern women need to be rescued.          Really? You’ve watched waaaay too many daytime talk shows. There are women everywhere that dream of  being “rescued in life”, not just in the South. There are also a great deal of women everywhere, not just in the south, that are hard-working and  independent, raising their family! They wouldn’t dream of being rescued.
  • Southern people are rude.          This one blows me away, seriously.  Why do people come from all over to be in the heart of our “southern hospitality” if we are so rude? Why did people in the north and western states label us with “southern hospitality?” Why did they start saying that?  Who coined that phrase? 
  • Southern women lie.         I’m pretty sure women and men every where lie. Not all women lie. I am sorry that you have that opinion. It’s sad.
  • Southern men don’t take responsibility for their children, stick around to raise them, or pay child support.              I searched on-line and discovered the 9 states that have the largest percentages of deadbeat dads with the largest arrears are: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Out of these 9 states, only 2 of those are southern states. Click here for the case study analysis.
There are more statements about southern people I have heard lately.  I’ve not spoken to just one westerner or northerner.  Sadly, I have spoken to many. I don’t bring the subject up, but somehow, it always ends up being brought into a conversation.
My thoughts are: People will always judge others by their own standards. If their opinions are that low of others, their opinions of themselves must be pretty low also.  It’s sad 😦
No matter where you are from, have you had a short positive or negative experience you can share about people from the northern, western, or southern states? Personally, I have had wonderful experiences in every state I’ve ventured into 🙂 People have great hearts everywhere I’ve been and I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people 🙂

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