No, J isn't seeing his psychiatrist any more. He went to two sessions and on the second one he made it very clear that he didn't want to be there and felt it to be a waste of his time. The pdoc told me that unless J wants help he will be resistant to it at this age. It would be pointless to continue until J decides to make it worthwhile. The pdoc also has a Saturday group of teens run by teens with an adult overseeing things. I told him to sign J up for his next round and that I would find a way of getting J there. I never did hear back about when it started and J didn't want to go anyway. I told J it wasn't that people were telling him what to do, they were kids in the same position he's in and they can give ideas on how to handle stuff. You don't have to listen or follow their advice if you don't want to. But he still said no. So I told him that he would go by force (literally, I would carry him into the building and strap him to a chair, the pdoc said there were some that attended in that manner if required) if he didn't follow three house rules. One: no drugs or alcohol in the house, two: attend school (later amended to pass the courses as well), and three: be home by curfew. He's followed all three rules so far so I haven't pursued the teen group thing.
I did ask the school to test J's reading and they did, but they didn't volunteer to do any other tests to help understand the problem. It seems that a parent has to request the testing but if you don't know what to ask for you aren't shown the options. J can read well enough to get by, I've found. He may find it difficult but he told me about a book he read recently (!) in school called Monster. It's written as a script and J was able to tell me the plot line and how the main character felt as well as how J felt about the character, so he can read. It's almost like if it interests him to do so he will understand, if it isn't to his own best interests then he doesn't try to understand. That is a cornerstone of his personality - if he finds it valuable to know then he will know, if it is boring or uninteresting then he will discard all knowledge of it. Unfortunately school is designed to regurgitate facts whether they interest you or not, so I don't imagine he will ever be successful by school's standards.
I sometimes think there may be more going on sometimes than normal teenage angst as well. He really does think of himself in Godlike terms occasionally. But he always has thought very highly of himself, and has always been irritated by those of lesser intelligence. He learned extremely early how to manipulate people to get what he wants and has a natural charisma that attracts people to him, making it easier for them to be his pawns. But is that a mental illness or just a personality trait? That is the question I would like answered. What I want is a pdoc interested in sifting through all J's attributes to see if he is normal but extreme or if there is mental illness involved. Obviously a pdoc with experience in adolescence so that can be ruled out. It's something that I do consider when things get difficult, but then other times he seems like just a normal teenager and I think it's best to wait it out. Also, I still have a connection with J and as long as I do then I feel like there is hope for him to turn out just fine. After all, he talks about supporting anarchy and still is home by 830 pm. I think I'm just frustrated with all of it.
A Big Brother would be a good idea, but again J doesn't like anyone telling him what to do. He would see that as someone trying to control him or disapproving of his choices. J must be the boss in situations like that and although a BB is more to offer guidance, that is something J doesn't feel he needs unless he chooses it. Instead I have been patiently answering his questions when they come up, listening to his point of view, and not participating when he tries to shock me or pick a fight. J lives for shock value. If he can be extreme to the point of blowing your mind he will do it for fun to watch your reaction. If he doesn't get the shock factor then he gives up the activity.
And yeah, a therapist for me is something I have considered but not pursued. I would need someone of equal intelligence (not intended as an insult, but I won't tolerate a scatterbrain or airhead trying to give me advice), someone who understands Bipolar Disorder and won't force meds on me, and someone who can keep up to how fast my mind moves. That endeavor of finding someone seems exhausting most of the time so I give up the search early. Wait...that sounds arrogant of me...I wonder if I passed that on to J :)
Overall I find J to be a delightful person. He's energetic, amusing, interesting, charismatic, and keeps me on my toes. I get frustrated because I actually admire him for having enough confidence in himself to challenge authority. He behaves in a manner that reflects how I felt at 13 and I stand in wonder of it. I was afraid of the world, J embraces it with fervor.