At What Point is it OK to Throw in the Towel with a difficult child ?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I mean, if my child had cancer and I was fighting for life-saving surgery, my answer would be NEVER - a parent should NEVER GIVE UP.

    And if that was the case and you fought the good fight and got your child that treatment, the whole family would be weeping with new hope and gratitude. You would be so grateful to your higher power and feel so proud that you had saved your child....even if you had suffered tremendous personal and/or financial hardships.

    But with a difficult child....whatever treatment I earn by fighting tooth-and-nail for is likely to earn me resentment, threats and "F.U. Mom!"

    I would question myself endlessly...wondering whether I had done the right thing...and forever wonder whether the outcome was worth the cost to my own well-being.

    Right now, I am pretty well out of options for difficult child's treatment. The state's CYA policies are "air-tight"....with one agency passing the buck to another so that nobody is responsible or accountable.

    I am tired of the stupid.

    Because Idiot Caseworker is leaving, the team needs to have a meeting to discuss treatment goals - AGAIN. Didn't we just have a bunch of meetings to discuss goals? Yes - but now we might need new goals. And what makes absolutely no sense to me is that regardless of the goals, the services offered remain the same. Still a behavior person and maybe some Integrated Listening Systems (ILS).

    Although Idiot Caseworker says they *might* be able to get us some parenting classes.

    Great! (NOT!)

    When is it OK to quit?
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I really don't have an answer for you but do have plenty of hugs. Have you consulted a lawyer? Can she go to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? Wish I had some wise warrior advice but I don't. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}}
  3. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering the same thing myself Daisy! When is it enough?? My difficult child refuses to respond to any of the treatments that I've fought to get for him! He simply refuses. I know he has a lot of factors with his past history, etc, but what more can I do??? Seriously?? I've done pretty much EVERYTHING I can do. It's to the point where this is affecting me physically and mentally!! He hates me and resents me for trying to get him help. He thinks if he can come home it will all be ok but we've tried that road before and it ended up UGLY! I don't know how much more I can take. It kills me to even think of giving up on him because I know what a good person he is deep down inside and I LOVE him so much but if he doesn't want to help himself what can I do??

    I'm so sorry you're going through this as well! ((((((((HUGS))))))))))
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Uhhhhmmmmm... I don't think anyone has a specific appointment with destiny, to give up. But when you have HAD IT...

    I just dealt with it until husband made up his mind. And I wanted to give up long before that. But... I wasn't ready to give up on husband and Jett, so I had to wait.

    You have a slightly different situation, of course, but the same in many ways. Honestly, I wouldn't blame you for throwing in the towel!

    Is husband on the same page as you are? Would he support her NOT COMING BACK?!
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    First, big hugs.

    It is my personal opinion that we should be able to legally kick our kids out at 16, if for nothing else other than to teach them what REAL life is like, allow them to fend for themselves, suffer a little.

    When is the right time to quit? IMVHO, it's time to quit when caring for them, worrying about them, hovering over them, and crying over them causes you to become physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually exhausted, to become ill, when YOU'RE life begins to spin out of control and you cannot function anymore like your normal self. And only you know when that time is.

    I think we as parents will always, till the end of time, wonder if the choices we made on our kids' behalf were the best. But we must remember that we can only do our best and if we've done our best to no avail, well then, it's okay to say, "You know, I just don't know what else to do, so I'm quitting". And that can be temporary in some cases. At 16, I don't know how temporary that would be for you = by the time she's ready for your intervention she may be well over the legal age of 18 and you wouldn't have a say anyway at that point. However, always keep in mind that if you're not taking care of yourself FIRST, you're useless to take care of anyone else...self preservation and all that.

    Really, big giant hugs - it's not easy to let go and not for one minute do I think any parent would let go without a lot of forethought and agony.
    Lasted edited by : May 30, 2014
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That is the most perfect response to this question. I couldn't agree more!
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I think it's different for everyone. I was pretty much done by the time thank you hit 16, but I had the luxury of him being in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I will say, as "done" as I was, it was impossible for me not to get sucked back into his stuff when he started making some really dumb decisions. You see them heading for a fall and I think it's impossible to *not* try to intervene, especially at 16/17, when they're still your responsibility. Not that 18 and older was much easier... I had to learn to not ask questions (like "how are you?") because the answers always just ripped my heart out.

    The bottom line though is they are going to do what they are going to do at this age, and there's just not a darn thing you can do about it. You try to minimize the impact on the rest of the family, you try to ensure she's safe... but you're dealing with- a kid who thinks she knows it all, has it all under control. She doesn't, of course, but I sure never found a way to get thank you to accept that concept. Street living showed him the light (kinda) but... gosh, that was a wicked hard lesson for him, and I still think it's only through sheer dumb luck that he survived. And it was a horrible couple of years there for husband and I, worrying about him, not knowing what he was doing but sure that it was nothing good, not knowing where he was for months at a time... agony.

    Those last few years of "childhood" were by far the hardest. Noncompliant kid and your hands are tied.

    Hang in there.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You must mean they want you to TEACH the parenting classes, along with classes how to survive the system.....uggggg

    I dont know the answer to your question. I think even if we end up having to not be in control of all of the decisions we can still want good things and parent our children through prayer and love from afar. I wont know if and until I get to your point. I am watching and listening to all of you carefully though. Truly heartbreaking.
  9. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I think it varies case by case. IF you mean done period with no involvement then you must wait till they are of legal age to be on their own OR be willing to sign away parental rights to the state. If you mean done as in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) with imput and support then anytime things get unbearable at home or if other people are at risk for harm both emotional or physical. -RM
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I mean "Done" as in done fighting for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement...
    done thinking that the system will help...
    done expecting a therapist to care just a little bit...
    done with meeting and phone calls and appointments and conferences...

    Done with hope.

    And just waiting for the inevitable "final showdown" whatever form that comes.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    LOL, Buddy! THAT is truly hilarious....
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thank you everyone for understanding. It's nice to feel like I am not alone in my frustration...
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DF....After Cory's came out of his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and they tried him in a therapeutic foster home which was an entire joke - he lasted a week because the guy was a molester - then they transferred him to a fairly good group home but Cory blew that by running, well I was done. He came home and I just quit. I suggested things to him like he might want to consider adult high school or his GED but I wasnt begging. I didnt buy him anything new again. He needed clothes? Goodwill. Shoes? if we couldnt find any at goodwill then it was the cheapest place I could find. No more nice stuff. I made him walk everywhere he could possibly walk. I shut off all mental health. If he wasnt interested, neither was I. I basically treated him like someone I didnt know very well and didnt particularly like.
  14. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I think it depends on the family and what the family needs and what the family can do. Each situation is different. Its a hard choice you have before you. Get a lawyer, fight tooth and nail, the hardship that would put on your family and then IF you get the services ...... it might work or it might not.

    What does difficult child say in all this? She is part of the family. If the option is very bluntly put to her will she even admit she needs help some of the time? Or is it all gfgness?

    Maybe you could get the lawyer, fight tooth and nail, for services that would wait for her to hit bottom and want to change. If that is never then its never. If its 22 or 42 then it'll be there. If that is an option could be discussed with a lawyer.

    Or it might be to much for your family to go through. Only you can decide that, but I'll be here supporting any decision you make.
  15. seriously

    seriously New Member

    I think you have worked very hard to help your daughter. I think there is absolutely a point where parents in your situation not only can but perhaps should release their child "into the wild" so to speak. Besides the positive effect on other family members, there are some lessons that can only be learned the hard way by many difficult child's and maybe the sooner they learn those lessons (thinks like "gee I don't like being homeless in the winter") the sooner they will find a positive path. It is scary to do, been there done that, but sometimes I believe it is the right thing to do. But only you and your spouse can decide when you have reached that point.

    In case you have not already checked out or had contact with these SC resources, here's some links. I know you have done a lot of advocacy for your daughter so you probably know all about these. But I know that there have been times when I thought I had explored every possible option only to have some stranger come along and say "do you know about?" and tell me about a program I had never heard of.
  16. keista

    keista New Member

    Well, it sounds as if you have exhausted all possible options already, so maybe you are "DONE" simply by default.

    Before I even got to Janet's post, I was thinking along the same lines as she did with Cory. Legally, you must meet her basic needs until she is 18. But that is it. Otherwise, treat her as if she's renting a room from you. Even "basic" house rules are useless with her because there's nothing you can really consequence her with, so if she thinks she knows it all, let her prove it and let life's natural consequences teach her her lessons.

    I would, however, research local laws or consult with an attorney regarding your real responsibilities. IOW if she damages personal property can you be held responsible, will you get in trouble if she simply refuses scheduled medical appointments, etc. If necessary try to find protections or legal outs for you and husband if the need should arise.

  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Keista, I think you're right, except...

    Should DF, her hubs, and son have to put up with abuse from difficult child?

    I don't think it's right.

    DF... have you contacted any DV places?
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think it is OK when in your heart/brain/soul believe it to be OK. Hugs. DDD
  19. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    DF-This whole just sucks. I believe you will know it when it happens. Mine was when I was watching tv and I had been watching a movie for an hour and a commerical came on, i couldn't remember what I had been watching for an hour, just absolutely no clue. I have lived in this city most of my life and I couldn't figure out how to get to my church. Couldn't read a book, I could read the words but I couldn't tell you what I had read. The stress of parenting difficult child, had left me unable to function. I knew before it happened that i couldn't raise her at that moment, but I kept on and it could have dearly cost me. She has been in fostercare for over a year. I truly thought that she would be home sooner. She lives a few blocks from me and comes home whenever I want her too. I have her every Friday till Monday, and I think she'll be coming home soon. Scary but I am much stronger than I was, and she has had time to mature a little bit. I know that I am not that person that she was hitting on and hurting. I pray I can stay strong, i know how it can get out of control quickly. I have an abandonment charge on my record, there are different degrees and it states the reason why she was locked out. I never plan on working at a daycare or school, just dont have the desire or patience, so for me to take her to the police station and have her put in fostercare was the beginning of a better life for us both. She is in excelled classes and is getting all B's, her attendance is good, and she's on the basketball team and she is also an office attendant. She is doing things I never thought I would see. She's still throwing tantrums at time, but does stop sooner and apologize. I don't mean to be so long winded, but I do think that Fostercare might be a good option. Would she stay? i thought it was the most horrible thing, but it was a necessity. I might never have been okay again, if I had not been able to have this time. It had been so long that life had had any normalcy I didn't even really know how good it could be. You won't be a horrible person if you let her be taken care of by someone else. I used to worry about that, it got to the point I did not care in the least. I could go home in my house and be happy, play with my dog without the threat of something hitting me or hurting me mental, physically emotionally. You deserve that and so does the rest of your family. Many hugs, and prayers coming your'e way.
  20. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I have no clue - being a former difficult child, have to say I just "DO NOT" understand difficult child's in todays day and age. I could not WAIT to get out of Dodge, and when I went, I never looked back. I could not wrap my head around someone who is miserable at home, doesn't want to be there, is miserable, makes everyone else miserable, but does nothing to change the situation. And I was only a year older than your difficult child when I took off.

    Maybe it is her Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) that makes her like this, or the power knowing your hands are tied because of her age. All I have to say is that she is in for a rude awakening eventually. My leaving was the best thing that ever happened to my family and myself, unfortunately, my mother never forgave me for going. Had I been compliant my life would have been a heck of a lot easier LOL