8 year old hates me and my new life, boyfriend etc

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by GOSOX, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. GOSOX

    GOSOX New Member

    Merry Xmas....
    Ok.. a LONG synopsis, I wil; try and be brief.
    I left my husband of over 10 years 16 months ago.
    Currently we have split custody,.. they are with him Sun, Mon, Tes, wed and with me each Th and Fri and every other with-e.Ihave the children EVERY day 3-530.
    He lives in our old home and I in an apt.
    I work 3 jobs, he 1.
    He has stable hours, I do not. I work a reg full time job 7-230 , a small parttime job and work per diem.
    My daughter has always had a strong personaility. Independ, strong willed. Does not care what others think.
    She has now over the last 16 months escalated and is now hitting, pinching, yelling, profanity and last night hit and yelled and screamed so much and wanted to go her dad's with such passion ... I let her. She has brother, my son who is 6. All behavioral techniques work like textbook with him. Her.. not at all. He is easy going and even tries to protect me.
    I see a well known parenting educator.
    She, as well as I know she is ":censored2: "and wants it the way it was.
    It IS not however ok to hit and yell and curse at her mother.
    I know I need to adhere to new and different strategies with her but it is overwhelming.
    Like the pediatrician and the expert, I should not NOT see my boyfriend or work because she cant cope but I need some help.
    After the holidays SHe starts seeing her.
    I am at wits end.
    She hates and is miserable here.
    as stated, I have a boyfriend of a year, I see him one time a with-e when I have the kids and 1 time a week for about 15 minutes, no more than an hour when the kids are getting off the bus and then he leaves. She hates him and his children MOST times.. other times not...She is a joy at school, her dads, friends, NEVER with others.. just me.
    I feel on one end , let her stay at dad's, I just want to her happy and on the other miss her so much it aches.
    Need some tips or any advice.
    Its a doubleedged sword...
    Thank you.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    I'm afraid I have more questions than answers, but the information you provide will help us point you in the right direction.
    Has your daughter ever been evaluated by a child psychiatrist or neuropsychologist? If so, does she have a diagnosis? Is she on any medications?
    How did you and your daughter get along before you left your ex?
    How does she do in school, both academically and with peers?
    Does she have any sensory issues (for example, sensitivity to clothing tags/seams, loud noises, food textures)?
    Any speech or developmental delays?
    Any substance abuse or mental health issues in the family tree?

    If you haven't read The Explosive Child, you might want to get your hands on a copy ASAP. It has helped many of us parent our extra-challenging children.

    The board might be slower than normal because of the holiday, but others will be along to offer their welcome and support.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Smallworld asked all the questions I'd want to know about her treatment/evaluation issues.
    As a once divorced mother, I"ll share some words of wisdom. I think (in my opinion) you have introduced a boyfriend PLUS his kids into her life WAY too soon. You may hate your ex, but he's their father and they don't want to see you with somebody else PLUS his kids. I picked up on that early with my three kids and never introduced them to anyone, only dating when they were with my ex. They didn't even accept my dating three years later, when I married, and that was very difficult for husband. And me. And them. If she is difficult anyways, I'd take him out of the equation for now. She has loved her father all her life and will not so readily accept a boyfriend, even if he's terrific and you love him. I found that my kids were even worse when other children were involved...I totally cut it out. It's a lot to expect a teen to adjust to after losing an intact family. If husband is not dating or if he's dating, but not a woman with kids, she probably sees that as more acceptable. I"m sure she already feels chaotic and misplaced. Since YOU left (I did too) she probably sees you as the one who broke up the home and made her daddy sad (my kids felt that way about me) and that will also make her more sympathetic towards him. When I was going through it, I understood. Their Dad wasn't good to me, but they didn't see the bad side of him very often, and they loved him and to them I took away their stability. They understand now, but they're in their 20's. It took a long time and my youngest daughter got into drugs. I would look into possible recreational drug use with your daughter too.
    The other issues--answer Smallmom's questions and we can help you more. I'm having a quiet Christmas with my family so I could check in, but I think the board will be slow today. However, I'm sure you will get many more responses maybe later on or tomorrow.
  4. GOSOX

    GOSOX New Member

    Ok.. no developmental issues. A joy with teachers, peers and friends and Brownies.
    Straight A student except for Math.
    No medications.
    Familial hx includes gparents diagnosis with alcholism, depression.
    no no evaluation yet, however will see her pediatrician this week.
    Smart child. Loves to knit. Loves animals. Popular.
    No outbursts ever with anyone but me, NEVER at school.
    Loves school and her friends.

    I will get that book it sounds super.

    I moved out 16 months ago. Our marriage was NO marriage.
    Lots of verbal fighting on front of children for many years.

    I began dating my boyfriend in Dec ( moved out in Aug) We introduced the children in April.( 4 months later)
    Prior to me dating ( again she did not meet him until April) she began with the tantrums and screaming and hitting in September of 06.

    I tend to agree at times with the boyfriend in the mix, however we DO NOT spend all our time with him.
    I work constantly and that also takes time away.
    Her latestrave is that I work too much.Whn I lived at home I was on a district schedule.... no working summers. I now work a lot.

    The children so many things with my X and my family.
    This I think has confused her as well.

    I do not see my family.
    That is the scoop.
    GO SOX
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I didn't say that you had the boyfriend around too much or that you shouldn't have one. Just, from my own experience, the kids even KNOWING about a boyfriend screwed them up, and these kids were "normal" kids before the divorce. I think that may have a lot to do with why your daughter is mad at you, plus the fact that, no matter what reason, you "broke up the home." I've walked in your shoes. The kids did not see things the way I did.
    I think it's a good idea to make boyfriend scarce. Work, well, can't do much about that. There were times I was sorry I divorced my ex. I wondered if it would have been better to have waited until the kids were eighteen. I was a total wreck when divorced because it seemed like the kids had turned on me and their behavior changed, and I was under a ton of stress. Even twelve years later and remarried, I look back and am not sure I did the right thing. Sure, I deserved to be happy, but I wasn't happy when my kids were unhappy and I had so much pressure. I do feel for ya from first hand experience.
    Are your Sox the Red Sox? Mine are the White Sox
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi and welcome,

    A lot of our kids are totally able to hold themselves together in school and then explode at home. You say she's not exploding around anyone but you - and by all accounts you sound guilty about enjoying a life you never had (first - knock that off) YOU have a right to be happy. That means you are an adult and you should be able to have some free time alone with just your kids. You work three jobs - I'm sure to make ends meet - and not to abandon them. Right now - I would guess that your daughter rages with you because YOU will put up with it. Let me rephrase that...Not that you tolerate this type of behavior - but with you she can scream, yell, throw, hit, break, and get "IT" out of her system and you WILL BE THERE FOR HER despite whatever comes along.

    18 months or so isnt' time enough to heal a child's heart from divorce and separation. And just because your son was able to adapt - doesn't mean your daughter has. Eventually yes, she should be able to accept the changes - but know that she may NEVER. Introducing a boyfriend - after almost 1 1/2 years - yeah okay. But she may feel that while she's at Dad's YOU (who have so little time) are spending it with THEM - and any time you spend with anyone but her at this point = treason in her mind.
    And why doesn't daddy dearest get the fallout? ((Shrug)) who knows. My x was abusive and cruel beyond words to my son - and yet I still think there is a score to be settled in his mind with biomoron. Some kids of divorce feel they are to blame. And yes, I'm sure you sat them down (you and x) and said "This is just not a loving home and while we love you both - Mom and Dad are not able to live under the same roof."

    I think your daughter is a very frustrated, angry little girl who isn't old enough to have those fantastic coping skills we learn as we all grow older to help us. It sounds like she's wanting to vent her frustrations - and she can't do it at Daddy's because then maybe he would never have her back, and she wants to be sure he is in the picture, so she comes to you and BLOWS her top - and then she's able to deal with the school, daddys, and life in general )or so she thinks.

    I'd get her to a psychologist after a good psychiatrist and FYI it will be great help to WRITE THIS OUT so you won't forget when you are in his office.

  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The introduction of a new man is a major issue with kids..major.
    I waited four years before any of my kids met anyone that I even
    met for dinner. Then, it was casual since I really didn't care
    about the man more than as a companion. Six years after Ex and I
    split (and he had wife#2 for 5.5 years) I got together with husband and after a year we married. My male easy child called him Mr. X for a
    year. It wasn't because my son expected or even wanted me to get
    together with his biodad. He just was not comfortable thinking of me partnering with anyone.

    Chances are you are expecting things to be "logical". They never
    are for kids after a divorce. Sorry. DDD
  8. GOSOX

    GOSOX New Member

    Wow.. thanks so much for all of your replies.. you all have such great info and yes for sure I will be back on here.. more than likely tomorrow am as I just got home from work and need to have a pity party and then clean my apt.
    I think that having the boyfriend is an issue yes, but as another posteee ( poster?) wrote I do have a right to be happy.. and the guilt is KILLING me.. ... actually the parenting expert said.. the way I " correct or try and institute a rule" I actually " sound" guilty answering my daughter if that makes any sense at all.
    I many times say, " I'm sorry H.. you cant do that to Mommy." When ... in reality I need to phrase it all differently.

    I so understand what my own daughter is going thru.
    My Dad " left us" and he was an every other with-e dad for my whole life and now we barely stay in touch.
    I recall DREADING going to his home and like H.. calling my Mom to beg to go home. I was never allowed.
    Last night I let her.
    I just felt that she felt like I did 31 years ago at age 6.
    My dad also had his girlfriend ALWAYS there.. and I have been VERY careful with that as well because of it.
    ( guilt again... guilt guilt)
    But I for me could not have made a better choice.
    My marriage was a farce and all looked good on the outside .. while in... not speaking, swearing at one another etc.

    Again.. thank you all so much for these replies on a Christmas Day.
    They ALL mean more to me than you know.
    I will post again tomorrow when more time allows.
    and yes .. my SOX are the RED SOX:)

  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My Sox are the Red Sox as well (I was born in Boston and grew up in Connecticut).

    As others have indicated, it sounds to me as if your daughter is reacting to having her world turned upside down. Any change in behavior -- especially since it's been 16 months and it seems to be escalating rather than subsiding -- should be evaluated by a mental health professional. The yelling and screaming, aggression and profanity could be symptoms of a mood issue (anxiety, depression, etc). You need to have her evaluated not just to address the behavior but to discover the underlying cause behind the behavior.

    Some on the board may disagree with me, but I prefer child psychiatrists because they have a medical background and years of training. But you need to find one who isn't going to evaluate your daughter for 15 minutes and pull out a prescription pad. You need to locate one who will talk to you and your ex (preferably for an hour), talk to your daughter separately (preferably two one-hour sessions) and then meet again with you to discuss diagnostic impressions and treatment plan (I have three kids who see child psychiatrists, and this is how each evaluation was accomplished). Your pediatrician may be able to give you referrals. If you have any friends with special needs kids, they may be able to offer leads as well. When you call each psychiatrist initially, definitely ask HOW he/she conducts the evaluation.

    I'm so glad you found us. Please feel free to come back and ask any questions you might have. We're here for you.
  10. mom23gsfg

    mom23gsfg New Member

    sounds way too familiar to me, sounds like my life.my ex and i used to fight alot it even got physical way too many times. the strange part was before we split the kids seemed fine ,however when i got the courage to leave my kids all started acting up. hitting me, cursing me and refusing to listen to me.
    i started dating too soon afterwards and etc.
    what i didnt relize at the time i needed counseling myself.
    i ended up in a mental facility for tring to kill myself before i relized just how much i needed help and that was over 2 yrs after leaving my husband.i was hitting myself without even knowing i was doing it(i would have bruises on myself and not know how they got there)luckily one day one of my dear friends caught me doing this to myself.
    the doctor said i was reliving the past in my mind.and with hitting myself i was hitting back at him.
    as for the children, the counselor said my children where just starting what there dad had done and they thought they could get by with it because he had.and didnt really know it was wrong because id let him get by with it.
    as for dating heres some advice i wish someone would have told me ....think back to all the early times when your husband started treating you this way...if u see any of this out a man u are dating ..trust ur instincts and get rid of him!
    it is way too easy to fall into the old habit of letting someone mistreat you.
    you wouldnt believe how many jerks pick up on how vunerable u are and treat u the same bad way.
    my counselor also taught me before you can be truelly happy with anyone,you have to learn how to make urself happy first.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I 100% agree with seeing a Psychiatrist (with the MD).

    And, hey, I love sports for relaxation. Belated congrats on the World Series
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Like smallworld mentioned, I was thinking depression, too. You've pretty much described to a 't' what I experienced with my son when he was 10. He started in June, 2001 right after coming home from a visit to his dad (we divorced when easy child was 2). In late September of that year I started dating someone who was rarely around my children and easy child went off the chart. To this day, my mother blames easy child's depression on the fact that I was dating someone and easy child didn't like him. It doesn't matter that it started BEFORE I started dating someone. It doesn't matter that I was doing everything I could to get him help while she systematically tried - and succeeded - in sabatoging my efforts. My dating someone may not have helped the situation, but his depression was NOT situational, it was clinical. IOW, he would have escalated whether or not I had brought someone else into my life. However, her supporting the fact that I had a right to happiness in my life may have helped. Instead, her reaction gave easy child a way to justify things instead of helping him cope with his depression. Kids don't become suicidal and parents don't consider Residential Treatment Center (RTC) just because there is a boyfriend. And that's where we were with my son.

    So, stop the guilt. Get her help as the others have suggested. Your pediatrician is not going to be able to handle this alone.
  13. GOSOX

    GOSOX New Member

    Thank you so much for the replies...
    I will for sure get her evaluation'd...
    I have a feeling that she might have a minor diagnosis of depression.
    Last year she had gained 10 lbs.. ( obesity in paternal side) so I am sure she was eating for comfort.
    Now however she has leveled off and no more weight gain.. I feel though it could be internalized.. my poor girl.
    I take them swimming once week to get them out and I am on of those parents that say "You are going outside until dinner."
    We ski a lot as well as skate.I think exercise is huge.

    yeah the guilt...
    I have to deal with it and throw it out the window... easier said than done.
    I know..I am seeing a therapist as well and I run a ton so that is good stress relief.
    Like I have discussed with numerous friends... it is a double edged sword.. you dont leave a bad marriage for while to " save the kids the heart ache" then you leave.. everyone hurts .. but was it worth it?? Abs&*(*$#@lutly

    Again thank you so much for all for your help.
    I sure needed a shoulder to lean on... holiday time can be difficult.
    You are all saints.

    GO Red Sox.. yes, we here in New England are happy right now with our Sox, Pats and Celtics:)

  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Go Sox,

    (I have to chuckle, old time board member here - and longer time sock snob) some would say I have sock issues but I say special socks for special feet. lol

    As I grow older I realize that I made some mistakes in raising my son. You define some however you want.

    Children with disorders like my son live to conquer. If they can divide and conquer? BONUS! If they can split parents and partners up? FULL TILT, bells, whistles, and then eventually - fallout from the actual split. It does happen, parents become overwhelmed.

    When you go to therapy - do you ask yourself "Am I going here because of MY shortcomings or am I coming here to validate that I am correct, there is really nothing wrong with me that maybe 3 or 4 visits tops will cure? I laugh now because I remember thinking to myself - okay in one month I will solve ALL my problems as to why I make the choices I do.

    It took more than a month for me to understand what I was even DOING. I never really thought about it - but ALL my boyfriends had been abusive in one way or another, lying, cheating, hitting. And I thought - MY GOSH I just attract them like moths to a flame. And then I met my now x - and realized that in picking a sociopath to marry - I had topped my own worst nightmare.

    I got out of that relationship - like you did. And I stayed single for a long time. I had interests but no one met my son. And the one fella I thought was sooo nice - ended up trying to kill me and was schizophrenic. He went to the psychiatric hospital - I went back to the psychiatrist. I remember saying "WHY do these men always find me?" and the doctor saying "They don't find you - you seek them out because you have no self esteem." I was furious. Me no self esteem? I had plenty - I can do anything! and thats when the psychiatrist said 'You my dear have self confidence' NOT the same as self esteem.

    When I learned the difference - I actually WANTED to keep going and learn about me, make me a better person, a better Mom, and what may have made me like I was. WHY did I allow those things to happen? I had a great child hood? BUT....I stayed in my marriage for 13 years, with a son for 5 1/2 the day I left.

    What I got out of therapy was that IF I continued to feel guilty or try to be my sons best friend to make up for no dad - it was worse on him. I did neither of us any favors. To this day when I hear parents out in public make requests of their children and then follow with OKAY? OKAY JONATHAN? OKAY? I want to scream!!!! Not all of us are born to parent - but we can learn to communicate in a healthy state with our children - and thus stop some behaviors BEFORE they start because we ARE the PARENTS.

    I did the same Okay okay Dude? think and now would like to kick myself. I learned that I'm the parent. I don't have to debate my request with a child - I say it - It's done. Not "Take out the trash after supper......OKAY?? I was GIVING him a choice and didn't even know it. I mean what IF he came back and said "NO mom - not okay, not taking it out tonight!" But then I say "Just take it out NOW." = OH boy NOW is a trigger word. When all along I could have avoided the whole thing by knowing to say "Dude, after dinner you can choose to take out the trash or put the laundry up." Or simply "Dude - take the trash out." No please, no okay - just DO IT. Be the parent.

    Also - know this - difficult child's can sniff out guilt like I can sniff out a good cup of coffee - when they smell it on you? YOU ARE SUNK. So get off the USS sinking ship and keep plugging away at things like reading books on how to effectively communicate with your kids. It's like someone handed us the manual to a talking to a child. You can ask your psychiatrist or google it. You won't regret it.

    And keep going = I am finally done after 11 years - and could probably still benefit from going to psychiatrist, but I did get some mad skillz to help myself and most days I'm okay.

    If getting out of an abusive marriage where children either become their father to their mates OR don't - aren't you glad you lessened the 50/50 chance a little?

    Searching out this board for help for your daughter - no guilt.

    You can do it - it will just take time and I promise when you are done - you'll be a better person for yourself and your kids for life - No guilt there either.

    Also ask your psychiatrist about positive affirmations.

  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi Gosox! Welcome to our little soft landing place. It would be really helpful for us if you could do a signature to go on the bottom of your posts. On the right side of the page there is a link in the Resources box. Thanks so much!

    As for advice about divorce, kids, boyfriends, I really have none. I haven't been there.

    For the rages and outbursts ONLY around you, been there. YOU get the joy and privilege of these horrible things because your daughter trusts your love for her. She holds it together everywhere else and falls apart all over you. It really stinks.

    My son did this for a long time. I had to really LOOK at his relationships with the others in his life, esp my husband and parents. He knew I would ALWAYS be there, would set limits to STOP him if it was humanly possible, and would leave no stone unturned to find help for him - medical, psychiatric, therapeautic, you name it. (I did refuse the exorcism, but we tried almost everything else we could find. And I am NOT joking.)

    Your daughter is a confused, scared young lady. A child psychiatrist who will spend TIME with you and will listen is a must. Many of us have luck with team or multi-disciplinary evaluations. Also, a Parent Input report (also in the Resources box!) will be a huge help to you and any medical/other professionals you consult. I don't know that we would have gotten halfway to where we are now with-o the report.

    The Explosive Child is a great book. Another resource I found very helpful was Parenting with Love and Logic. Many of us also use it. It teaches you HOW to let natural consequences teach your child, and it teaches HOW to communicate as a PARENT while strengthening the loving bond. The website is http://www.loveandlogic.com - I love it because it has a lot of FREE info, certainly enough to give you an idea of what it is all about. They have a relatively new book about parenting a special needs child with love and logic. The audio downloads are funny. I have been to a conference with Dr. Charles Fay Sr. and it was an amazing day. Well worth the $$$, and very entertaining. I learned a lot of useful tools that day!

    Welcome again,

  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I looked back and couldn't find your daughter's age, but had it in my mind as 8? Not sure where that came from, but I'm going with it.

    I'm sure she has internalized some things. Also, the outbursts you are seeing is probably the externalized part, too. Depression in kids looks different than what you would expect to see in an adult. Kids that age lack the insight to be able to verbalize what they are feeling. To them, they are just feeling all these things and don't know what they mean or what to do with them and it becomes overwhelming, as well as incredibly frustrating. According to our therapist, that function of the brain (insight) doesn't really develop until around 10-11 or sometimes older.

    I was the target for my son, too. And I know it's because he knew I loved him unconditionally. I was 'safe'. His dad's love while it may not be unconditional, has always felt like it came with strings attached. (We are still dealing with that and my son is now 16.) And Nana (my mom) was always his reprieve so he could go there to get away from it all. At first. That didn't last forever either.

    I don't want to get stuck on just one thing - depression. I think it's important to consider a lot of possibilities and to educate ourselves so that when psychiatrists start throwing out terminology we're not completely lost. I was just using depression as an example of how what we expect to see can look very different in a child than in an adult. And depression is something I'm intimately familiar with, as having fought with it myself as well as my 2 children - although with difficult child it's more of a secondary issue - so that's why I chose it.
  17. GOSOX

    GOSOX New Member

    I think that all of you have such a good point.
    I know that children for sure exhibit depression so much differently than adults.
    ( I as I sit here myself today having another pity party) ( I dont see my kids until tomorrow night and boyf gone until monday)
    I feel like I could run away but as my best friend said
    " everywhere you go there you are."

    I know that she does trust and love me to " explode" with me but I am feeling like I am not giving her the love and the trust when I have had to lock her brother and I in a bathroom while I run away from her.. I feel like i have to fix things for her .. I know that that is what parents get caught in a lot trying to fix it for them... I just wish I could be momre supportive you know?>

    Poeple have also said.. just try and hug her? Are they crazy? She is so tactile stimulant nuts that she might headbutt me!

    Anyhow.. that is where I am at today.
    I am also trying to get the apt in order so I can JUST focus on them and not laundry etc.. which it seems like when I am not paying attn things start to roll and escalate.
    I also understand that when they do certain behaviors they are saying " LISTEN TO ME".. maybe I am not listening well enough? ( here comes the guilt.. I know)

    AS for the marriage and relationship/
    Stayed in the marriage FAR TOO LONG.. emotionally abusive very much so...
    I was " out of the marriage" ( as woman tend to do) FAR before I left.
    I have a SUPER guy..so respectful and supportive I am amazed each day I am with him thatI never thought life could be like this.
    It has been 12 months and all is well.
    We still VERY much have our own space and do what we like to do.. we see the kids "together" one day of our with-e with the kids and then we kind of dont get them all together
    again for another 2 weeks.We also have very different friends and hobbies... no silly stuff either like drug and alcohol.. dont get me wrong a martini is ok but more than 1 I am a mess!

    One other thing to bring up.. my X is very close with MY family still. I am not very close with them.. he even took MY children to my parents home Xmas. He states that the children need to know that " they have aloving and suppportive family." I dont go there much at all ( to my rents as they have not been in agreement with my decision to leave)
    Can that be showing her support or confusing her? I dont know... just another monkey wrench I guess.
    Thanks again.. will check in later.
    Will work on my " signature thing" too.
    GO SOX

    That book is ordered and en rt.. ( the explosive child)
  18. GOSOX

    GOSOX New Member

    By the way.. what is the signature thing? Ic ant find it whatever it is...I will be back on later...
    Thanks again
    GO SOX
  19. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    At the top of the page go to 'My Stuff' and then 'My Profile'. You will find a section for you to type your info about your family like I have below this post.
  20. GOSOX

    GOSOX New Member

    Ok.. I did the profile thing, hope I did it right. My book just arrived.. I am going to start reading it.