A worried mother

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AMother, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. AMother

    AMother New Member

    Hi all. I've been reading here for a while and I feel like it's time to share some of my reasons for coming here. My difficult child is my 12-years-old daughter. She's adopted, and was initially diagnosed as special needs in her birth country (a correctable heart issue) but when she came here it turned out that she was misdiagnosed and she's totally healthy. No delays or other issues, normal intelligence.
    A few months ago she started skipping school and spending time with kids who aren't exactly a positive influence. She started drinking and I'm afraid it's going to get worse and she'll get into drugs. Her attitude also changed for the worse. We tried consequences like taking away her gaming console and phone but it only seems to work for a while and then she's back at it.
    I would really appreciate any advice you guys can offer.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Have you had her evaluated for possible mental illness.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    How was she until now? How old was she when adopted? I am a serial adoptive mom. I had trouble with my kids who were adopted older as far as attachment issues. I adopted overseas., our daughter came to us as an infant. She was never in an orphanage. One older adoptee lived six years in an orphanage and has attachment issues.

    Your daughter actually sounds like lots of teens who rebel. My daughter did this too from age 12-19. It was hell, but she came out the other side. Keep her as close to you as you can and try to keep up good communication. Talk to her. Never stop talking. Good luck.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Any possible chance bio mom used alcohol during the pregnancy? Look up fetal alcohol effects, syndrome, etc. the children don't have to have the facial feature markers to be affected.

    We adopted out two granddaughters and it has had some bumpy rides when adolescence started. Teens and almost teens are difficult, but hard for adopted kids who may have some issues you might now be aware of.

  5. AMother

    AMother New Member

    We adopted J just a few days after her 2nd birthday. She was in an orphanage from birth till then, but it was a small orphanage with many caretakers, a large playroom full of toys, and an environment that didn't seem abusive or neglectful. We got a full medical assessment when we got home and the doctors found not evidence for prenatal alcohol or drug exposure. She was a very normal kid until now, no unusual behaviors except for age-appropriate tantrums which I guess don't qualify as unusual.

    We have an appointment with a therapist scheduled for next week. I'm pretty sure that the whole thing started when she met that group of friends, but go tell a 12-years-old to stay away from her friends when she is so extremely determined not to (we decided that if things get worse, we'll have her transferred to a different school).
    So, that's the story for now. We're still not sure where we're going with this. Hopefully the therapist will have some useful ideas.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are doing the right thing getting help. I didn't have luck keeping my daighter from her friends even after homeschooling her to keep her closer. She would leave the house through her window when we were sleeping and we didn't know until the cops brought her home for violating curfew. It is hard.

    Eventually the pot and alcohol ramped to ADHD drugs snorted, meth, cocaine, psychedelics and then downers to help her sleep. We thought it was just pot, not that pot is a good thing. But we thought she was mentally ill, but she isnt...she is a twelve years clean now. We had no idea her favorite drug was meth!!! She told us after she quit.

    I am glad you are getting help. This is so hard. Teens are very sneaky. I hope you get good advice. In general your kid sounds normal. My attachment disordered adopted kids were never normal kids...it is possible for adopted kids to be great. Three of my kids are loving, productive and wonderful. My one biological kid is a bigger problem!!
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  7. mcb1964

    mcb1964 New Member

    I had similar issues with my youngest son. His grades started tanking in 6th grade. He was smoking weed, drinking, and in general hanging with the bad kids.

    Many teachers and the admin staff at his school lectured me and felt like I wasn't doing enough to curb his behavior. In truth, he was banned from all electronics and grounded to the house after school with the instructions that he could win back his freedom, phone, TV, and gaming privileges once I got reports from his teachers that he was turning his grades around.

    Long story short: He did not turn his grades around and in fact, the GPA that earned him all of that went from .87 to .69 by the end of the school year. (What a brilliant idea my school district has in allowing middle school students to progress to the next grade even though they earned most Fs throughout. A hard thing to work against when you have a stubborn kid.)

    During the time where he was grounded during that period, I picked him up from school for an orthodontist appointment. I was about 10 minutes late in getting him. I dropped him off at the ortho and got a call that I needed to come pick him up because he was vomiting. When I loaded him into the back seat of the car and started driving him home, he began singing The Doors' 'Whiskey Bar'. So. In the 10 minutes between being released from school and me getting him, he got drunk as hell. (Insert huge sigh.)

    Now I'm looking at the kid and he's not the reason I joined this forum (waving hi! I'll get to my story later!) and he's 20 years old. He is a nice human being, helpful around the house and generally nice to have around and so I continue to allow him to live here. However, he won't go to college and has been unemployed for almost a year now. He is an alcoholic and I'm just getting to the point where I'm helping him at least own that he has substance abuse problems.

    When all this started with both my sons, I asked my family doctor, an older gentleman with 5 adult kids, what I should do. He regaled me with tales of his own kids and their issues as they were growing up, and they were equally to worse as bad to what I was going through at the time. He said, "All you can do is to let them know that you love them and you'll still be on the other side when they come through their problems. From experience, if you try to force them to make the right decisions, they'll just get sneaky on you, so try to keep the lines of communication open". It was pretty good advice.

    Looking at the issues my own siblings and I have gone through, the issues my kids have, I have nothing but support to offer. My parents couldn't figure it out. I couldn't figure it out. My Stanford graduate doctor could not figure it out. So. I keep letting them know that I love them more than anything and I'll still be here no matter what with my fingers crossed that they figure it out like most of my brothers and I did.
  8. AMother

    AMother New Member

    Thank you all so much. I'm doing what I can to keep thechannels of communication open. Yesterday we actually had a long, calm conversation for the first time in a long while (unfortunately, later on daughter went back to her angry attitude). We wanted to talk about her behavior, but the conversation quickly steered to the issue of adoption. She never talked about it much in the past. I'm glad she's talking about it more, but she seems to be worried about offending us.... she said she wants to visit her birth country and we said we'll take her during spring break. She seemed surprised we had a positive reaction. It worries me that she thinks we won't take it well.
    She came in after curfew yesterday night and it was clear that she was drinking, sigh...

    mcb1964, your post basically described my worst fear - that we're looking at a life-long issue. What ifshe never makes it out of this rut? It can be seen as normal teenage rebellion, but what if a few years from now she's 17, 19, 21 and still in the same situation?
    That therapist appointment cannot come soon enough!
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    • Teen rebellion, while not easy or a good sign, is not uncommon either. Most do grow out of it and mature unless there is drug addiction. you are doing your best to prevent that. All you can do is your best.
  10. mcb1964

    mcb1964 New Member

    "mcb1964, your post basically described my worst fear - that we're looking at a life-long issue. What ifshe never makes it out of this rut? It can be seen as normal teenage rebellion, but what if a few years from now she's 17, 19, 21 and still in the same situation?
    That therapist appointment cannot come soon enough!"

    I totally understand. My oldest son is homeless and on drugs. We have a restraining order out on him to keep him away from our house both our safety and our sanity. I see him around and ask if he's ready to get help, either psychological or rehab and he shrugs and says, "No. Not yet. I'm happy being out here and not ready to stop using". (Side note: this child was the wimpiest kid in many respects---had a job and had to quit because "my wrists! so much pain! I can't dooooooooooo it!" When I'd tell him to walk because I'm not the chauffeur, "My FEET! I can't walk far because it HUUUUURTTTTTSSSSS!" and so I am bewildered as to how this child is living out on the streets and happy about it.) I also keep going there in my mind---"What if he's 50 and still on the streets? What if this is actually his lifestyle choice permanently?"

    I hope you take some comfort in this..

    My doctor's 5 kids were 100% a pain in the butt. They all came of age in the 70s and early 80s when the drugs were weed, acid/mushrooms, quaaludes and cocaine. Two of them dropped out of high school (one of them went to college and is now a nurse practitioner). They all turned out reasonably okay, with one of them employed by him in his office as the office manager.

    I come from a large family. There are 12 of us among three different parents (it's complicated...lol). All but 3 had our issues, including me. I didn't graduate high school but went on to college and earned my bachelor's degree later in life. Five of my siblings and I (so half of us) were drug addicts or alcoholics. Of all of us, only two remain problematic, but even those two are employed and living okay lives.

    I say all that to let you (and me!) know that the odds are ever in our favor that they will figure it out eventually. It's the pain they cause while figuring it out that's hard to take. But we're moms. We're tough. We can do this. (Please say we can do this! lol)

    Hang in there and I will too.
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