Am I Losing My Mind? Please Help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pippi747, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. pippi747

    pippi747 New Member

    Hi, I am new to the board. I am in a very tough place and I found this board and thought that someone here would understand me and have some insight from a been there done that standpoint. I wasn't even going to post because I noticed that tons of you have it way tougher than myself and I already feel like all of this is in my head and that I am the one that needs help. But here goes anyway. This is liable to be long and rambly as I don't even know how to put it all down.

    I will start by saying that I have always loved children. I always thought I wanted to work with kids when I got older. That was before I had my first daughter. I got pregnant with her within one month of being with her father and only later found out that he has major anger issues and has definite mood swings. He also acts as if the rules don't apply to him. He taught my daughter to cuss at the age of two. The past summer, he got her 15 year old cousin drunk and him and my daughter tied him up and drew on him. He cuts her loose with lighters so she can set sticks on fire and thinks everything she does is hilarious. Fortunately she only sees him 1 week per year.

    Back to my daughter. I had a tough pregnancy with her due to the fighting with her father and by the time she was born, I was emotionally detached from the whole thing. As a baby, I loved her but something never felt right. It just felt off. I didn't feel the intense feelings that most people say they feel when their child was born. As time went on, I grew in love with her and did everything mothers do with their children. We played and laughed and things were ok. Shortly after two, all that changed. As her personality grew, so did my dislike for her. It intensified. When she would do something wrong, I would try every punishment in the book and she would look at me as if unphased. Almost like, you can't bother me. Never any tears or remorse for the misbehavior. She would look at you defiantly as if asking, "What else do you got?" (Even my new toddler at 22 months will say I'm sorry if she feels like she did something wrong). I was abused as a kid and will admit that I lost my temper a few times and went too far because nothing seemed to get through to her.

    I very clearly remember a time as a three year old when she threatened a guy I was with. I was in the laundry mat and they were eating in the car. She was kicking his seat repeatedly. He told her to stop and finally said he was telling me. He said she then leaned as close as she could and said in a way too adult voice, "You will not tell. I will tell my mom you are lying and she will believe me and not you. I will kill you if you tell." He was scared and said that she was going to kill me in my sleep one day.

    As she has gotten older, I have caught myself feeling that the emotions she feels are put on and meant to get her way in things. She is 9 now. Last year she was complaining about her feet hurting. I felt like she just wanted attention but I didn't want to ignore a potential problem so I took her in for an exam. She was sent for xrays and I overheard her talking to the xray tech. She was talking in this nauseus syrupy sweet voice to the xray tech. Before I knew it the lady had given her "Free" copies of her xrays even though they were sending the report electronically to the doctor. When I asked her about it she said that she always pretends she is 2 when she is with people so they will give her what she wants.

    It always feels like everything is about her. She has been in trouble this week and was punished this morning by doing some yard work. This evening I was wanting to go out to eat and she said that we were going out to eat because of what a good job she did during her punishment. It is always about her in some way or another. She also acts as if rules do not apply to her.

    Daily routine is something that is completely foreign to her. We have had the same daily routine for the last 3 years and she still has to be reminded what to do. I have to remind her to make her bed, brush her hair and teeth. I have to remind her to feed her rabbit. As far as the rabbit goes, she has tried to starve it on multiple occasions. The last time, she was going out there every morning and telling me that the rabbit was fine. When I went out there the food dish was bone dry and as I questioned her about it, I asked her if she was tired of taking care of it. She said yes and so I asked if she was just trying to get rid of the rabbit and she looked at the floor guiltily. I have also witnessed her punching our dog violently one time because he got in the way of something she was looking at. She punched him repeatedly and didn't know we were watching out of the window. If he hadn't been so big she would have hurt him.

    She lies at the drop of the hat and would prefer to lie over the truth. She manipulates people into giving her her way. She is in third grade now and I am pretty sure that not many children want a bunch to do with her. She has some friends I think but can't be sure. She has cost me several friendships because people don't want her around their kids. Either she gets too rough with them or tells them stuff that their parents don't want their kids to know. When she was in kindergarten the school she went to rated her social skills and all of the marks were abysmal. The teacher hated her and said that there was something wrong with her. She is the only adult that has felt simlarly. All the other adults in her life think she is wonderful and perfect. She has everyone wrapped around her finger. Her papa is usually not a fool or dummy and he even says she is perfect. I don't know why I am the only one that sees it. Everone else (outside of my husband and I) tells her she is an angel.

    She is also obsessed with boys. She tells everyone she has a boyfriend and even told her teenage babysitter (who doesn't date at all) that she would "hook her up". She got caught kissing a boy behind the school this year and in preschool was trading kisses for candy. I tell her she is too young to date and I have heard her tell her grandmother that I am unfair and that she can do what she wants to and if she wants to date she will.

    She is my first child and I have always just thought I was broken because I didn't love my child and that I was just a bad mother because I had a bad background. Now that I have had a second and it feels totally different, I know it can't be just me as a parent.

    Anyone have any suggestions? What could this be? Is it just me? I took her to a counselor and she manipulated the counselor and the counselor said there was nothing wrong with her. Please help. Anyone have similar experience to share.

    Sorry so long and rambly. I had to get all this out, it has been simmering for 9 years and I feel so terrible because I am starting to think I hate her. :(
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so sorry you are going through this with your daughter, it is a really sad and unfortunate story. I'm glad you found us and I know others will be along to share their insight and their support with you. I have no experience with this myself, but I have read similar things on this board before. Since it's the weekend, sometimes there is less traffic through here, but hang in there, you're not alone anymore and you don't have to hold those feelings in anymore, this is a safe place for you to vent and share and get feedback and understanding and compassion. You've had a tough time pippi, my heart goes out to you, I can't imagine how difficult this is for you. I would venture a guess that all your instincts are right on and that your daughter is a good manipulator. Welcome to our little odd corner of the world, I wish you didn't have to find us, but I'm glad you did. HUGS to you. Others will be along.................
  3. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Hi and welcome. My heart goes out to you reading the post. There is nothing wrong with you... we all do the best we can... our kids can be tough. Others will have more experience and thoughts to share. I know you said you took her to a counselor. What type? One with experirence with young children? You might want to consider a pysch who has experience with kids... often they can cut through the manipulation.

    I wish I had more to offer. I just wanted to say that this is a great place to get support and ideas and no one will judge.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She has had a very unstable early life which can lead to attachment problems. These kids learn not to trust adults and learn to take care of #1. It is a comon problem, but a serious one. You had ambivalent feelings toward her...that matters to a developing child. Also in my opinion three was too young to bring a new honey into her can date without including her in it. in my opinion it is best to do just that. It's confusing to a young child and just one more adult who comes and goes. Another reason not to trust adults and to go into herself, taking care of herself only without being able to care for others.

    Has she seen you or your ex with other partners a lot, kissing, sleeping in the same room, etc? I don't think young kids should have to deal with their parents lovers...I don't think it's healthy. What has she been exposed to? Kids that age need their caregivers to be consistent and stable or they are going to lack attachment, which is very hard to correct. I don't know if you bring guys home or if ex brings women home in front of this child, but if so consider that this is only making things worse.

    Here is a post about attachment problems: This is mostly about adopted kids, but it applies to biological kids who did not get their emotioinal needs met even if they were biological so it can apply to any child with a chaotic past. If you can handle it, please read the whole thing. LIkely you knew nothing about attachment (most of us don't), but sounds like your daughter had very inconsistent caregiving in those important first three years, through no fault of your own, since you did not know and hub was useless.

    I really think you both need serious counseling. Her behavior is in my opinion an obvious reaction to her early years. You can both do better. I have had an unattached child and hurting an animal is not a good sign for an adjusted child. She needs help NOW. It could be that your other child was related to differently because in my opinion the older one acts like a child who is unattached...and that can turn inoto criminal behavior. Please help her. Find an attachment therapist.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there. You are not alone and please dont feel you will be judged here. Anything we say will come from either that been there done that place as you said or because we have similar issues, experience with friends or relatives with similar issues or just have learned a few things because when you have a really tough child, even if it is not from the same reason or diagnosis or situation or tend to talk more and relate more and get to know that person because friends like that are few and far between. It is hard to find friends who get it.

    I have an idea for you to investigate....and it could be only a part of things (especially if bio dad has a mental health issue that she may have inherited....others here know more about those kinds of things and will ask you questions and make suggestions about that kind of thing).... It is called Reactive Attachment Disorder and the hard thing when looking up information on it is that you come across information about the most scary and difficult to treat end of the spectrum...which is often kids who experienced extreme abuse and neglect from the years birth through three. But as I said it is a spectrum and there are variations. I personally believe that our innate genetic make up contributes a great deal to how resilient we are so some kids can experience the very same thing as others but end up OK because maybe their inborn temperament is just designed that way.

    Anyway, what you went through when pregnant and early on??? You went into survival mode I would guess. (of course I dont really know, just seems like how many of us would get through what you had to go through). By the way, even very healthy and supported new moms often do not feel bonded early on, that is not so strange. But for you, maybe you had to detach overall from life to be able to cope? And certainly your baby was a strong tie to someone who was hurting you emotionally.

    Anyway, attachment disorder results sometimes when that very early bonding time is disrupted in some way. Sometimes through no intentional abuse kind of thing, as in your case. Sometimes it is because the parent is ill, or the child is ill or in pain and it can't be fixed. That cycle of infant has pain or is hungry or uncomfortable/mom comforts/baby feels safe and well is how we all learn to connect with people. The interruption in that can result in someone being totally unable to love or attach or on a milder having an insecure ability or lack of trust, or many combinations of this.

    I mention it because some of the things you say she does do fall on the symptom lists (and probably on other mental health or even neurological disorder symptom lists) but put together with that you say you felt the bond was not typical on a consistent basis, this might be something to explore. Please understand this is not about blame, it will do no good for you to beat yourself up about this. My mom had many issues with depression and anxiety when my sister and I were young and I had a hard time with certain areas of relationships, was really a needy child. I do not blame my mother at all. I was well cared for by relatives but passed around and always worried mom would have to leave again. We are very close now. It is a different thing I realize but the point is, we all do the best we can. I have made many mistakes and said some awful things to my son. We all have issues, but how we look at things now, and how we deal with them from this point on is what matters. You would not be here if you did not care. You obviously overcame a lot.

    There are some good sites and there are therapies that can help. Sometimes therapists and psychologists who are not trained specifically in this area can try to help, but may do more damage because they dont catch on to how kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (that is the short hand abbreviation for reactive attachment disorder, sometimes if a kid does have that diagnosis (diagnosis) they are called radishes,lol) Anyway, typical therapists, social workers, teachers, etc...may fall for the sweetie pie manipulation that is done and the blame all goes to the parenting and discipline You get told to do a bunch of sticker charts and other such typical parenting strategies and often these things do NOTHING and even make things worse. It takes specialized therapists to work on attachment.

    I like the information on this site: because though it started by a couple of moms who adopted babies from china who had attachment symptoms, it is much more broad in scope now. They have a yahoo group much like this that you can join too and you can get a TON of information on different therapies that work and dont work as well as daily parenting ideas that are often not the kinds of ideas that most of our family or friends would suggest. (I often use the example, since my son has insecure attachment, of my being the only one who could do things for him when he was little, and as time went on, I learned to do time in instead of time out because they often do things to push us away. They need to be near us more, see that we are in charge and they dont have to orchestrate the world on their own....many of their tough guy threats etc. are because they deep down think they need to be in control of everything, it gets very twisted up). There are many ideas like this. There are children who can't be reached. But there are many, especially when helped young, who can be helped.

    check out the symptom list and do some research on your own. Do not let yourself get too scared about if she is going to be a mass murderer some day at this point... promise? Trust me, there are many of us here who know that our kids could tip to that side of things, even if not calculated kinds of is a scary thought. But it does no good right now except to motivate us to do all we can to see if our kids are the ones who can be helped. She doesn't have the typical history of someone who is on the severe end but she does show some very challenging symptoms so whatever this ends up being called, I hope you can find someone to help.

    Others will post ideas about assessment and different kinds of professionals etc.... I'll leave that to them since I am sure you probably have had quite enough of me by now....

    I want you to know, I view finding out about things like this as hopeful, because it gives us a place to start working on things. But it is still sad and scary and I get that. I went through lots of attachment therapy with my son. We still work on things and just this year I was touched that my fifteen year old kid wanted me for the first time to stay with him and hold his hand while he got his blood drawn. I have waited a long time for him to want me to be his comfort! I'm so glad you are here. Please know I really do care.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Buddy. You said it better than me. Your post is exactly what I meant.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Pippi747. No, it is not all in your head. I totally understand when you said that it is always about her.
    She has been through a lot, and she's got genetics working against her. She may need medications, and I am also intrigued by the others mentioning Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
    Have you had her evaluated by a neuropsychologist? Has she gone to therapy at all?
    How old is she now? I was trying to figure it out from your post but missed it somehow.

    I guess all I can say at this point is what people tell me to do ... take care of yourself. Find time each day to do something you love, all by yourself or with your own friends. Read a magazine, sip your special coffee, write in a journal, play with-the dogs, go for a walk ... you get the idea. It is SO important!

    I'm glad you found us but sorry you had to.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Pippi's daughter is 9, Terry.
    Congratulations for having had the courage to come here and share your story honestly. I do think there is probably something in the attachment thing (though no-one here can, obviously, know for sure from afar and never even having seen your daughter). My adopted son, who also had an unstable early life, with my divorce from his adopted father and three changes of country, was a lot more difficult and unstable two years ago, one year ago, than he is now. I think some at least of this change is to do with stability and better attachment between us. He also lied more and was more manipulative than he was - though he still lies sometimes and can be manipulative sometimes.
    It is very hard to feel that your own daughter is alien and frightening to you. If there were some kind of therapy you could do together... NOT because it is your "fault" but because that is perhaps somewhere where you both need to work. If you feel you are starting to hate her, that is a prophecy she WILL fulfil... And obviously the more hateful her behaviour (seen by you), the more your tendency to feel this way... It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. I sincerely hope you can find someone who could help you with attachment therapy if you decide that is appropriate.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Could be Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), could be emerging Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).....either way, it sounds bad. Both disorders do present like you describe; where the mom sees it all, yet the child is a princess to the rest of the world.

    Finding a therapist that deals with children like this is vital. Do you live near a major city?

    Two things that you did not mention that she does but very very often go along with everything you described....hurting other children and false sexual allegations. Please do not allow her to be alone with your husband or younger daughter.

    You are not losing your mind!
  10. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Pippi welcome to the board. I usually post on the substance abuse board, but often come here to see how people are doing and if I can contribute in anyway. Your post got my heart. First of all mom's know. We are the ones to see things first. Just because other's dont doesn't mean a thing-noone else is more connected or observant. While I think Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) could be an issue, I also think you should not ignore the hereditary issue. Bipolar disorder has at least a 50% chance of being passed on and her bio-dad sounds like he has some major mental health issues. You also don't know all that goes on when she is with him. Who knows what she sees there. Animal abuse is huge. I would get those animals to a safer place and get the stress of that out of your life. One of the indicators of bipolar (and also Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)) is this overly sexual thing you describe. That said-this is also an indicator of possible sex abuse. 1 in 3 girls (yes this is the statistic I have been given over and over as we have met with pros. for my daughter!) are sexually abused so I don't think it is an easy thing to shrug of. Children see and hear way too much sexually charged stuff on TV and the internet. The sexual acting out in elementary school as well as puberty are coming on younger and younger. (I'm a teacher and I have seen a definite change here).

    You must search for the right counselor. Someone who knows mental health issues well, I might suggest finding a psychologist as your counselor. They tend to know more than Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). We shopped for the right one. They are not created equal and you have to feel comfortable and most of all, you need to know they have skills. Share your concerns with her teacher next year. The school also has resources and if the school is good, you might access their psychologist to have her evaluated for intervention-perhaps as emotionally disturbed. This usually means that she has to exhibit these problems and have some delays in her learning.

    As for your feelings about your little girl, I hope you can develop some empathy for her. No child is born "evil". She has been delt a tough hand and some mental health issues have been triggered as a result. She did not ask for this. She is delayed in these skills and is coping the best she can. Children can feel when they are not acccepted-even when you love them, they still know that there is a rift. I highly recommend you go to NAMI and take their free courses to learn more. I learned a lot even after being a sp. ed teacher and the mother of kids with issues for years! It is free, they have lots of resources and there is peace in knowing you are not alone in anything you are dealing with. ((Hugs))
  11. chloedancer

    chloedancer New Member

    While my opinion is jaded, I do want to add that a psychologist definitely has more education and may know more, but a Master's level counselor who has obtained certifications or specializations can have more education and experience in a certain area.
    I hope that you are able to find some one who specializes in a family based approach, parent child interaction, or attachment based treatment. It seems that your daughter has had many experiences that could explain her symptoms, and there is a heredity concern also. As stressed as you are by the situation and behaviors, she is experiencing the same stressors and more with a much more limited amount of strategies and/or tools to cope. One thing you said in your post concerned me. In reference to discipline you said that you had gone too far in looking for something that worked. What are you looking for to know that something worked?
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi Pippi,

    Welcome to the board and the family. I'd like to start by saying I usually do not play in the General Forum, I'm mostly in the Water Cooler - because my children are grown and what I think I could offer here seems to be outdated advice because in so many years things have changed, medicines have come along that are different, and I don't have any little ones in school anymore. My "little one" is 21, and expecting a little one any day now. However your story so mimiced our life years ago I wanted to share some hindsight and insight with you as it pertained to our life. Our life? Was hell on earth. We got out, lived to tell about it, and have since moved on.

    So for as much as you may understand and share that knowledge? The abuses, misguided lessons (the cursing, the swearing, the thought processes, the lighter) any thing like that which Daddy NOT SO WONDERFUL (hence forth DN) taught his Daughter - and it doesn't matter if they had 2 months or 2 years together - she DID learn things at an age when her mind was a varitable sponge. Everything we hear, see, smell, touch - is stored in our minds like digital processing in a computer. We may not remember it - but it's there, for recall. Think about a smell that "takes you back" - digital recall. Think about a color that you see and you may say "Oh my Granny had a couch that exact same color" - digital recal. Well - our children remember behaviors that they got 'praise' for at an early age and it changed the mapping in their minds. Mapping is what makes up our character, our thought processes, or choices, our mannerisms.....who we our and how we react to situations. The things that DN taught your daughter ALTERED her thought processes from normal to NOT SO normal. (Sound Familiar? The not so normal?) yeah - and why is that? Well Some of it - NOT ALL OF IT - but some is genetic, and some is learned behavior. MOST of what your daughter is exhibiting right now? .....

    Well hang on to your hat......It's learned. It can be changed, altered, and started to be fixed. BUT it IS damaged. Changing the mapping in her mind? Do-able - but it takes YEARS of work. The work is MOSTLY going to fall to YOU and your husband - because right now? YOU have to admit things like - I am NOT parenting this child correctly. I am NOT reacting correctly to her outrageous behaviors. I am NOT calm and serene and non- reactive when she is trying to get all the attention......and why is that Pepper? Well - Because the instruction manual that should come with all damaged kids? Just doesn't. I mean who would think to write such a thing and pass it out and go - Well - Okay you got married, you had a baby, and the Daddy slick and clean went postal with a newborn, soooooo instead of the Dr. Spock version of How to raise your children - YOU get - Dat dah dahhh Dahhh. The Conduct disorders revised edition 2.0 - HOw to tame your mouth around a smart alek kid when what you'd really like to do is put your fist through a wall and scream like a banshee because you've BEEN a good, understanding parent for the last 12 weeks and nothing's NOTHING has worked? (yeah Barnes and Noble doesn't have that out yet - but I'm sure we could get several parents here to commit to at least a chapter or 2)

    So how do you cope before your marriage falls apart, or you loose your sanity? And when I say that? I'm not being the least bit funny.....See I had this episode where we were driving down the road and I started laughing at this bumper sticker that said REAL MEN LOVE JESUS....EXCEPT.....IN MY demented state of stress? I thought it said REAL MEN LOVE CHEESES - (WOULD HAVE SWORN TO IT) AND began laughing so hysterically my fiance nearly pulled off the road to slap my face. I scared my son so badly he was on the verge of tears - he was like 15, maybe 16. You ever see people in a sanitarium laughing in a movie? Well - the psychiatrist told me that's the bodies LAST defense to stablize our brains before your cheeses really (vvvvvvrrrrrrrrt) slides off your cracker......and mine was going South fast. So what do you do about that? At that point our family had been in counseling for years......and it was the only thing that kept me sane (THE ONLY THING) because we had tried - out of home placements, medications - like up to that point around 64, and group homes, psychiatric hospitals, residential treatments, foster care.....outpatient....and family therapy. The kid didn't like therapy - but it's what worked the most - and I'm not sure if it worked the best because for him? He was obstinate - and willful - would not participate, but we made him go anyway. it was a pattern, a routine if you will that said - THIS IS WHAT IS NORMAL - and what is going on at home and in your life? IS NOT - but we went as a family , I went as a MOm and he went as a kid - so three times a week/ for nearly 15 years - we went. And a lot of that was to help ME figure out HOW to deal with MYSELF and HIM. I learned an enormous lot about HOW not to be a parent, a MOTHER, a friend, ......a better person - a to say NO......and stand up for myself. WHY I made poor choices in my life and how not to repeat them in relationships, jobs, and life. AND of all that - the most important - to be the best example I COULD BE for my son.

    The back side flip to that? Was at 17? We threw our son out of our home. He went to go live with the man that was more abusive in his life (my x) that anyone could ever have paid anyone to be. It broke my heart....but therapy had taught me to detach. My son lived in parks, was homeless, ate out of dumpsters......had no clothes, was dirty...and never asked me for a dime - once he called and asked for clothes for a job interview in 3 years. When it seemed he got himself straightenend out? We helped him out. When he needs it - truly needs help? We're there. When he tries for himself........and does things for himself and we see improvements on his behalf.....sure. But it's a give and take - and you have to realize that some times you have to do things for them for yourself - but do NOT make a habit out of it, and DO NOT do those things out of GUILT because of the past. GET RID OF THE WORD......SHOULD from your vocabulary - as in "OH when she was little I should have...." nope - it's a killer statement - and our kids while emotionally stunted....are not they figure things out in a room like (Snap) and prey on those things. Very clever about the baby talk and the Xray don't you think? Most 9 year olds don't have that cognitive thinking she's not dumb - she's just had her mapping changed to get by on her wits.....and she uses them like a honed blade. CHANGING that for good? Hard to do but not impossible and it WILL get worse before it gets better - but the benefit you have is that if you start the time shes 21/ MOST of what you teach her NOW.......MAY sink in and she'll use those her 20's.

    Otherwise - you're flirting with antisocial behaviors, which could possibly lead you to sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies. (this is what I was told) Conduct disorders left unchecked - can progress.

    I guess that's your gamble. I know my x - he's a psychopath/sociopath bipolar, drug abuser, womanizer, alcoholic - and well - I wanted to genetically give my son the benefit of the doubt.

    My son too - at age 3 - took ballbats to our hired help - and got "laughs" ----he too at age 2 was taught to curse and call women (his own Mother) FILTHY disgusting names..and got praised for it. Like I said our list goes on and on - and it's horrid, and vile. But I want you to understand something right now......something you said that caught my attention first and made me write you -

    DO NOT EVER - EVER minimalize the trauma that you and your daughter went through or compare it to anyones here or anywhere else. What she experienced, what you witnessed was horrible, awful, and unspeakable, by every stretch of anyones imagination. Your life, her life doesn't have to be a comparison to mine, or anyone's. There is no comparison. For what those people did to any child? I hope there is a moment of forgiveness for their souls - becuase if I wished them a deep dark hole for eternity? I'd be no better than the person that caused the pain. Sounds odd - but it's where I've managed to come full circle in therapy, and I'm okay being there. Trust me it didn't come easy, I don't want any reunions...and that person needs to stay away. However - what you and your little girl went through COST YOU - a life-time. There's no replacement in this world that will repay that. Stop waiting for it. Make your own new future with her. Do you like her? Nope. Why would you ? Look what she's become...a by product of a person who is unspeakably cruel. The best thing you can do at this point? Get into therapy.....get her into therapy.......LEARN how to talk to her, what to SAY to her, HOW TO PARENT her.....HOW TO SAY NO and mean it....HOW TO HAVE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION without guilt......and BECOME A DIFFERENT PARENT - that learns all over again - to like her kid. I promise - it's not easy but the kid inside there - the one that you carried? The one that got to know you 9 months before she knew ANYONE else and talked and listed to YOU all that time before knowing anyone else? WILL listen....eventually and that closeness can be there again. LOTS of hard work......but worth it. Even if it takes 2 years to undo every 1 year of abuse.....yup. And get a therapist you all like - a lot.

    Hope this helps......Here anytime you need me - or any of us.

    Oh and as far as being crazy? Well - like I said - if ya find yerself trying to push cheese back on yer cracker? Ya just may be in the club cracker brand of cheese pushers. Other than that? I don't think you can parent one of these kids and be sane. And with regards to the kid causing you to loose all your "FRIENDS" - let me tell you something about those "SO CALLED FRIENDS" ------thank the kid for cutting the weak ones from the herd - because a TRUE FRIEND would stick by you no matter WHAT......and I mean that. Nare -do -well friends - run at the first sign on trouble - and if they're going to take off for something as simple as a nine years old child? HEAVEN HELP YOU if you really needed some help like - MOVING, or natural disaster, or -----someone to drive you home from the hospital and "delicate" hemmhoroid surgery - Know what I mean?? I mean they'd yeah - thank her with a hug and kiss for that.....

    Remind me sometime to tell you my story about the bubble container and the holy water think YOU've got the devils daughter? PFfffffffffffffft. Rock on ----------
    Best of Luck -
  13. pippi747

    pippi747 New Member

    Alright guys, first of all, thanks so much for taking the time to respond. This is the first time I have gotten to sit down and try to type down my thoughts and responses, but I have been reading and taking in all the info.

    When I had sat down to write all of that the word vomit just poured out. I missed a TON of info and just poured out all the bad. I forgot to say that I fought terribly hard to have my daughter. Her father wanted me to abort her and in fact, fought with me, cussed me, verbally abused me and took the car he had given me because I wouldn't consent to the abortion. I had just lost a child due to miscarriage 6 months prior and I wasn't about to abort this one. I left him at 3 months pregnant and didn't have any contact with him again until she was born. I didn't want the stress to affect her. I had a great support system in my mother and my best friend who I lived with throughout the pregnancy. We had a lot of fun and good memories during the pregnancy.

    When she was born, I think I was detached at the moment because I was induced and on a ton of drugs. Once I came down off my high and could actually move around, I did everything a loving mother would do for her child. I held her, slept with her, snuggled with her when she was eating, wore her when I worked around the house, shared a room with her etc. She was always engaged and attached and knew that everyone around her loved her to pieces.

    When I said I snapped and went too far, I meant there were 4 specific times that I got too angry when dealing with her and did/said things I regret. The 4th time, I made a pact to learn better parenting techniques than I was shown by my parents and from then on I got better every year. I am constantly learning/reading ways to be even better. In fact I am right now reading a book on using buddhist techniques in motherhood. I meditate, work out and try to eat healthy where my moods stay stable and I don't affect my child. Am I perfect? Hell no and sometimes I say things I shouldn't. But I certainly do try.

    All that being said, I don't think she has attachment issues. She has always been very loving and my mom even said that my daughter adored me more than any child she had ever seen. I do believe that isn't an act. I feel that she is attached. She has always been surrounded by love even if her father was teaching her inappropriate things. I know he loves her and just doesn't know better himself. He just has mental issues--I am thinking bipolar. He has violent mood swings. I am also diagnosis with bipolar and my biological father had bipolar. I am leaning more toward that diagnosis because of the grandiose self image, the inability to hold still and control herself when she is in a high etc. I have also asked her if she has mood swings and she said yes, but that could be another manipulation tool. If she thinks I think she has a problem, maybe she can get more out of me? She also cannot control herself when eating and will eat WAY too much because it tastes good. She doesn't have a filter. I try to filter for her but then she resents me for keeping the food from her and says I think she is fat.

    I do love my daughter and I realize that because I want the best for her, I just don't feel the same maternal warmth as I do with my second one and I absolutely despise/hate my oldest's behaviors. I spend most of my day practicing my breathing and trying not to trip her. I have to take many many time outs.

    recoveringenabler-Thanks so much for your vote of encouragement and your comment about "mother's instincts". I appreciated that.

    bigbear11-My daughter is currently on Medicaid and there is only one counseling group here in our area. She was just a children's counselor. I am about to move her over to my husband's insurance so that we can get her in for a psychiatric evaluation with a children's psychiatric in the practice I go to. Thanks for the non-judgement and advice!

    Midwestmom-Thanks for your response! Looking back I know that I shouldn't have dated while she was little and she did meet some of them. She didn't see me in bed with tons of new bfs though. I had two long term relationships that lasted over the course of 3 years and we did live together. I am currently married and have been with this man for 4 years. Her routine throughout those years was pretty consistent. She was either with myself, her grandmother or her father and she loved being at all locations. She was surrounded with love and attention. She was in daycare quite a bit around 4 because I was working and in school, but that didn't last long as after that I moved in with my mother and father so I could finish school. I looked at your link on attachment disorder and the treatment of such and I have got to say that Attachment therapy scares the **** out of me. Some of it looks more abusive than I have ever been with my daughter. Maybe I am misunderstanding something? I could never do some of that therapy to my kiddo no matter how much I dislike her :(

    Buddy-Thanks for your response as well! I wasn't clear in my first post, but I fought hard to keep her and make sure the pregnancy was healthy. I was excited to have her even though her father was a dick. I was young and lived with my best friend, but she was uber supportive. She helped me because she already had one and knew the ropes. I listed all the things that I spent my time doing with my daughter when she was born. I also was super sad when she had to go to daycare so I could work. I would go to daycare on any semi-holiday at lunch and spend time with her. As her personality developed around 2 was when I started not liking her. She became very irksome. I looked at the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) stuff and while she falls on some of the symptom lists, she was always a loving child as she was growing and developing. She was always surrounded by love. I snapped sometimes and got too angry but I always apologized and did better next time. I was just a young mother who had been taught poorly by being abused herself. When I started looking at attachment therapy, I was scared. I would never do most of those things that I saw them doing in attachment therapy. They would make my daughter mad and in my opinion would likely be more abusive than any of the mistakes I made when she was a little one.

    I hope my comments on attachment therapy don't offend anyone, but from what I saw it scared me. Maybe I need a different explanation?

    TerryJ2-She went to therapy but the counselor thought she was perfect. I need to go have her tested by a neuropsychologist or psychiatric when I get the insurance switched. Thanks for the pointer on spending time on myself!

    Malika-Thanks so much! I am going to look into a psychiatric evaluation when I can get one done, but attachment therapy scares me! Hopefully my local psychiatric will not suggest any of that! I am glad that your son is doing better now!

    JJJ-I am leaning toward emerging Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). But I think she stays in the manic realm more than the depressed realm. She is gregarious and thinks she is the best at everything. She runs friends off by her aggressiveness etc. I need to have her screened and tell the doctor what I am thinking. Thanks for the pointer on not being alone with my husband. I work and my husband is retired so often she is alone with him. I am going to have to find somewhere for her to be other than home. I had worried about that, because I know my husband would never, but I could see in the next few years her getting mad at him and burying him somehow. Thanks for voicing this so I realized it wasn't all in my head. I don't trust her even though I know my husband is golden and wouldn't do anything. We often leave her with the little one in the living room and sometimes I will hear the baby cry or something and my oldest will say she fell down. She says she loves her soooo much. Does the hurting other children and the false sexual allegations also go with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

    exhausted-I have been paranoid about potential sexual abuse, but my oldest daughter and I have been talking about this since she was 2. I was sexually abused and too scared to tell my mom because the guy said I would get in trouble and my mom would be mad at me. So I started talking slowly with my daughter as soon as she could talk. She always knew that no one was ever to touch her there and if they did she should tell me. I even told her that they might say she would get into trouble but they were lying and that they said that because they knew they would get into trouble. From my knowledge, she has only been alone with 3 adult males in her life. I don't even let her go to slumber parties because I don't trust other fathers. This is not to say that all my paranoia has kept her safe, but I have certainly tried and I always ask her if anyone behaved inappropriately and she always says no mom and rolls her eyes. As far as shopping around, we live in a small town and pretty much a one stop shop. I can drive an hour east or west and get to a bigger city. I was going to try my local psychiatric office which has a children's psychiatric once I have her insurance changed. Thanks for the pointer about talking to her teacher. Her regular doctor had diagnosis her with ADHD but the medicine didn't do any good, which led me to finding research that sometimes emerging Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is misdiagnosed as ADHD. So perhaps that is something. I do try to have empathy, but she exhausts me so much!!! Also, thanks to you for being one of the brave ones that teach! You guys do an amazing job when given so little.

    Chloedancer-In looking for something that worked, I am talking about a discipline actually helping to change the behavior. Nothing works. Right now we have a combo of extra exercise, removing electronics and yard work that get doled out for misbehavior. I am not much on spanking and it doesn't do anything but teach them to hit.

    Star*-Wow thanks for your response! All of the things you mentioned, I am working on. I am especially working on the calm and serene parenting. The more she gets a rise out of us the more she does it, so I am attempting to do the calm and serene thing. Oh yea and I would love to hear the story about the bubble container and holy water story. I have a good one. It is called the flood the daycare story. Oldest daughter was 2 and in daycare. They had those mini toilets and she would wait until she was in the bathroom alone. She would lift the seat and cram her butt into the bottom of the toilet then cram the seat over he shoulders so she was stuck. She then would reach what ever she could to the lever and would flush repeatedly so the water would spill over into the floor. It took five teachers to get her unstuck all while she was laughing maniacally. This is just one of the many "events" that are typical.

    Any other insights comments you have would be great! I am struggling over here. Sometimes it takes the whole day of saying just "x" more hours and you can put her to bed or just "x" more years until she likely wants to move out with her father. She just makes me feel so :mad: and sometimes I am scared I can't do it anymore.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    How about a different take on attachment?
    My difficult child was relatively securely attached in the early years. He does not and never has had a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).
    BUT. Things happened in his early school years (long story) that resulted in detachment.
    As a result... we ended up learning about insecure attachment.

    Ignore Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). It really is extreme, and requires childhood to be such that attachment never formed.
    Try insecure attachment... not so much in terms of the therapies, although you may get some ideas, but in terms of understanding where she may be coming from. Just in case it fits PART of the picture.

    From what you write, I don't think attachment is the only or even the biggest issue, but it might be one part of the puzzle.

    Some form of MI may be at work, especially given the family history.
    Sexual abuse can't be ruled out, at least not at this point.
    And there may be... other things.

    Has she ever been evaluated by an Occupational Therapist (OT) for sensory and motor skills issues? Either one of these is a huge impact, and can multiply almost exponentially when they start school.

    Your difficult child may be like many of "our" difficult children... no one "killer" diagnosis, but rather, "alphabet soup" (as DaisyFace so nicely put it recently.)
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh sweetie ....remember we can only respond from what little we share with eachother! No offense ever taken if ideas don't apply. No way we can have the full picture till you know us better. And I tried to warn you the online sites don't reflect the spectrum well. There are some therapies that are not in as much general favor people used to do alot. We never did any of the holding-rage reduction ideas or junpimg jacks for long times etc. Bit I dont condemn some of those things. there are kids.out.there who are very broken and have no ability to connect and it can be desperate to try to get them to not kill and abuse animals and people. I don't know enough about that to judge.

    It was just not comfortable for our situation. There are many other types that just emphasize the parent doing the therapy with the child. Child life scripts/ stories that are made and read, cuddling, etc. We did "theraplay" a very systematic method ( not the typical thing called play therapy. My son does not do imaginative play so it wouldnt have worked anyway)...bonding games like putting lotion on eachother's owie's and had two therapists who video taped while the other guided bonding games. They were not all typical parent games we do because they targeted things he didn't have like awareness of my feeings etc. Lots of parenting strategiws as i said...things like time in instead of time out were done too. Anyway, she doesn't sound unattached is a range /spectrum and so just a thought if there is some degree.

    The reason I had said Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) maybe among other things is because her dad sounded like you were saying he had some form of mental illness and now that you clarify it sounds like your gut is saying the genetic predisposition may be there. Trust those instincts. You live it and see it. There are many kids here with some of those issues. Lots of hope if you can find a good doctor to help. Did anyone suggest the books The explosive child by Ross Greene or What Your Explosive Child is Trying ToTell You by Doug Riley? Lots of help for kids where typical parenting discipline doesn't work. They are cheap if you buy used online!

    So, do you have access to a neuropsychologist? They do great general evaluations that are more in depth than a typical psychologist. It may be helpful if your not finding the help or support you need up to now from the docs around you.

    Hugs... Dee
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Not all attachment therapy is goofy. A normal attachment therapist usually has sane and loving methods that help mother/child bond.

    In spite of her outward behavior, I would still not rule out insecure attachment. She had a lot of people watching her and three different men come and go (bio. dad and two long term boyfriends, and who knows if one sexually abused her). Kids don't usually tell, even if we talk to them about it in detail...this happened to my kids. They were too afraid of their abuser to tell us. Back to your daughter. Her early chaos doesn't mean she had full blown reactive attachment disorder. It is a spectrum. She can also have insecure attachment AND bipolar. Or neither.

    You were young and did the best you knew how. I would never condemn you. I do think you need to start evaluating her to see w hat, say, a neuropsychologist thinks...and be sure to share her entire background with him. It is better to be safe than sorry!!
  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi again Pippi. Well, it sounds like we all got on an "attachment roll" and that isn't the right avenue to be going down - you know best, you are on the ground! There could be something in "insecure attachment" as Insane Cdn and MWM said. Sounds like you are trying to be really honest and open with what is going on, for both you and your daughter. Parenting a child like this... well, no-one can understand unless they have done it themselves - and I wouldn't even say I have done it myself as my son is difficult and challenging but probably not to that degree. Though there's plenty of time for things to develop :anxious: Evaluations do sound very, very necessary at this point. You need to be taking things out of the arena of you alone dealing with it; professionals need to be involved and to acknowledge there is a problem. Hugs. Wish I knew something to get to the heart of the problem and start making it better for you, but I'm afraid I don't.
  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just sending you caring thoughts and gentle hugs as you travel down this difficult path.............
  19. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Pippi-you are doing the best you can. You reach out to others and look for answers. These kids are exhausting. Kids in general are and add a 2 year old (perfect or not),a child with difficultlies and it is just plumb horrid.

    I want you to know that many of us have felt that same thing of... it wont be too long until I can put them to bed or until they grow up. Heck, I just posted that myself. Very normal. Take what you can from the posts and keep us updated. On empathy-it ebs and flows as we gain ground (at times I understand and at times I think "This mental illness is just an excuse for her horrid behaviors and she needs to be accountable NOW!") We are all in this jouney together an noone takes the same transportation there. I like the meditation you are doing-not what I have done but I think it is so good. ((Hugs))
  20. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Not to scare you, but to give you time to prep for further things, but get all of her physical abuse, her lying, and her hyper-sexuality documented REALLY well. My daughter is similiar, although hasn't threatened to kill us, and she's on the autism spectrum, so she has a lot of social issues to put in there. Your daughter may be diagnosis'd with ODD (oppositional defiance disorder), which is a blanket term for "your kid lies and won't do a thing they're told", but to the extreme. But nobody with ODD has just ODD, they always have something else.

    But the warning, because of the lying, we lost our daughter to CPS for 5 weeks this spring. She was super stressed and didn't get enough attention from me for months because I was injured, she had a super bad day at school and came home and smacked herself enough to leave a large bruise on her cheek. Although she admitted to me she did it, and I could see the outline of her hand, by the time she got to school she said her Dad did it and the bruise was muddled enough you couldn't see her hand. They didn't believe a single word we said because my daughter is cute and believable. She's also hypersexual and it scares me. She's getting on medications as soon as we go to see the developmental pediatrician. in a few weeks. I fought with my husband about medications for at least a year, knowing we had done everything we could, but this was the tipping point. Eventually we were able to show them enough paperwork that they couldn't not believe us, but it still took too long to get her back. Our new social worker wants to drop the case now that everything is obvious, hopefully in the next few weeks.

    These kids that are cute and believable are wonderful manipulators. A good doctor or therapist should have listened to you enough to be able to cut through that.

    And I don't know where you're at, but it's been h*ll finding a doctor for her to see that's covered by my insurance, it too over a month, so start calling now.