At Wit's End

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MockTertl, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. MockTertl

    MockTertl At Wit's End...

    My daughter is 20 now - at 16 she became a danger to her younger
    sisters, refused help and my resources were tapped so I had to send
    her to live with her dad who made things worse for her. She is back
    home now because she is not welcome in anyone else's home with her
    daily crises and inability to control herself. She was diagnosed with
    ODD and depression in 2000. My pregnancy was horrendous, breast
    feeding her was a horrific experience, she was a inconsolable baby,
    was told not to return to the school she attended kindergarten in,
    suffered night terrors and I had to learn to bear hug and restrain her
    as she got older to prevent her from hurting herself and others.
    Before she was big/heavy enough I had to remove her from a booster
    seat as it was safer than her unrestraining herself while the car was
    in motion. I had to use the child locks to prevent her from opening
    the doors while I was driving and sometimes she would get violent
    while I was behind the wheel, kicking, hitting and screaming at me.
    To this day I never know what will set her off, nor do her sisters.
    We walk on eggshells - the simplest things can become crises.
    Recently she pushed her boyfriend over the edge so far he felt it
    necessary to exit a moving car with her driving and the ambulance and
    police had to be called. I told her he was no longer welcome to stay
    in my home. Personally I feel it is horrible for one person to push
    someone else so far over the edge they feel they have to endanger
    their life to get away and equally as bad that one actually follows
    through with it! I told her that she should concentrate on getting
    the help she needs to be less chaotic and angry and he should work on
    the help he needs, whatever it is, before they consider embarking on a
    relationship. This happened Christmas Day. Since then she has been
    moping, not showered and blew up at me over a dish that clattered on
    the counter yesterday. I have been keeping my contact with her and
    words very minimal as I do not know what might set her off, or what I
    can say that won't be construed as a confrontation by her causing her
    to yell and scream - since she'll do this even if I don't say
    anything. Being 20 I can't force her to stay here but I did make it
    clear my expectation is for her to get counseling as soon as she is
    added to medicaid. I'm not sure how to approach her, what to say
    anymore. My hope is that as these explosions/crises occur I can vent
    here and receive some constructive assistance in what responses I
    should return with. For instance, when she blows up in a rampage as
    she has recently and breaks doors and slams and storms and screams:
    should I call the police to have them remove her until she is calm? I
    can't financially afford the damage she does and she terribly upsets
    her sisters with this behavior.
  2. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    She is 20 so she needs to live on her own.

    ODD as a diagnose is not useful in any way so lets forget that. Here in Europe all regards it as the normal teenage process and the professionals are really worried if a teenager are not fulfilling all the criteria for ODD. I think that she is too old to suffer from ODD.

    That leaves depression. I guess that she is not medicated, but who have told you that she is depressed?

    Anyway the answer is to set her up for a independent adult life. Does she have a job? If not see this Job Corps link.

    Before calling the police, talk with the officers at your local station. I have seen horror stories about teens being shot because they acted up in a way which made the police officers believe that they were treaten. They need to know what they are called out to.

    You have come to the right message board. The parents here have been through hell and can tell you their stories.

    I pray that you can find a strategy to have her move out and begin a meaningful adult life.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You may want to post on Parent Emeritus for parents of adult children. But right now I can tell you it sounds as if there is much more wrong with her, way beyond ODD and depression. I also think she needs a psychiatrist, not a counselor. Her behavior is not normal and I don't think she can act normal right now. She's too sick.
    I have a few questions:
    How was her very early development? Did she cuddle? Did play normally with other kids? Did she do well in school?
    You say she had night terrors. Is anyone on her family tree diagnosed with mood disorders? Frankly, she sounds far more bipolar than depressed to me. That behavior is way out there for depression and ODD, I agree, is not a useful diagnosis, especially not at her age. Is there any schizophrenia in your family? Is there a history of substance abuse (this problem is common with mood disorders). Does she ever say she hears things in her head? Does she ever see things that aren't there? Has she ever been in a hospital (I think a hospital is a good place for her right now) and did she see a Psychiatrist? I think she needs a Psychiatrist, not a counselor. I can't see what a counselor can do. Since she is 20 and dangerous you can try to commit her for being a danger to others. If this were my child, that's what I'd do. I doubt if she's in the frame of mind to understand just how much she needs help. If she has been like this all her life she likely suffers from a serious mental illness and she isn't going to be able to live alone without getting into some sort of trouble because of her illness. At the same time, she can't live with you if somebody can get hurt. Also, we can't tell you how to answer anyone when the person is mentally ill. She will probably explode unpredictably regardless of how good your answers are. If you get her into a hospital, then you can plan where she can live afterward--maybe there is assisted housing or a group home. Did she have a psychiatrist when she was young? You may want to give more history. But the bottom line is, she needs help and it is dangerous to have her live with you because of her illness. I wouldn't risk it. Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  4. MockTertl

    MockTertl At Wit's End...

    My daughter was seeing a psychologist when we relocated who preached that the Bible and God would take care of everything - she was fired for doing this to many people she was entrusted to counsel. Being born an extremely difficult child I tried every route imaginable to help her - from structure to nutrition to behavior management until we found a clinic that took the time to discuss everything I had been through with her since pregnancy. Our economy is in the pits and it seems she is never able to stay employed anywhere for long as she won't get along with the people she works with. I am currently living in the middle of nowhere and the closest jobs are over an hour away and she has no transportation as she is giving her car to her boyfriend (another one of her manipulation tactics that is only going to hurt her - she's good at this). She IS extremely manipulative and it's not always easy for me to recognize when she is pulling this - until after the fact. I am on good terms with the local police who have had to deal with her before when she lived at home. Getting an apartment is not easy as she will have to have a stable job, security deposit and the first months rent - certainly not something I can help her with. In giving her car to her boyfriend (they own it jointly) who lives 120 miles east of us she is basically leaving herself stranded since I can't sacrifice my financial position to secure hers. She has applied with agencies for work and not heard anything and now will have no way to get to any work. She is not welcome to live with her dad, grandmother, aunt or her boyfriends relatives as he has no home either. I feel stuck with this explosive individual who has no coping skills and cannot undergo changes of any type without turning them into crises. I still am unsure as to whether she will stay here or will abandon ship and stay somewhere with her boyfriend when she drives in there to give him the car. She's my daughter and I am terrified of getting a call she is dead from making another bad decision. How many people have to tell her the same thing and for how long before she straightens up? She was diagnosed with depression but decided she wouldn't take her medications on her own, and I couldn't force her to take them. When she did take them she was a different person.
  5. MockTertl

    MockTertl At Wit's End...

    Yes, she was diagnosed and on medicine. I can't commit her - I have tried unsuccessfully to go this route - after 24 hours the committed are free to walk. When she was under the care of a licensed and competent psychiatrist and on medicine she was doing better with coping and getting along - not perfect, but manageable. I am afraid bipolar may be an issue, but I'm not a licensed dr. I am trying to get her on medicaid with her sisters and pray she won't do anything stupid before I can get her somewhere for help. In her relatively rare lucid moments she knows she needs help and is not happy. She will be placing a financial strain on me (as well as already emotional and financial) as she won't have transportation to get to where she needs help - it will be up to me and as it has in the past, it will become detrimental to the financial well being of me and her sisters. I have already been under threat of foreclosure this year for falling behind in mortgage as she constantly joepardizes my ability to get work done to pay the bills, she emotionally drains and strains me and I am constantly wondering what will set her off next and is it safe to leave her home with her sisters. I feel so stuck between a rock and a hard place living in the middle of nowhere. :sad-very:
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It is not healthy for anyone to have someone in the home who is like a ticking time bomb. You never know when she is going to explode.

    When she rages, request police to take her to the nearest ER for an evaluation. If she is indeed a danger to herself and/or others, the doctor can place her on a hold order to a mental health hospital. Because she is over 18, you can not admit her without her willingness. The doctor can if she meets criteria of being out of control and dangerous.

    If you can get her to voluntarily seek medical help that would be best. If she will cooperate with evaluations to diagnose what is going on, that would be the easiest route for all involved.

    I recently gave my 18 yr old easy child the very icy cold shoulder with, "You will not ask anything of me until you can be nice to me for one month." It took her several months but it did eventually work. Her mouth is returning so I think I need to pull that tactic out again.

    You need to be rock solid with your daughter. Enough already! You will not put up with her meanness or rages any longer. Any illness she may have is not an excuse. She can get help. If medications will help her feel better than go for it. She has to take the responsibility of getting that help. She is never going to feel good about herself waiting for others to make her feel good. Will never happen.

    Each eggshell you and the other kids tread on is only enabling her, sending the message that she is still in control, adding strength to her rages. I know it is easier with little kids and not as dangerous, but when my kids were smaller and would behave in a way that I was tempted to lay out those egg shells, I stopped myself. I sent the message that I would do what I wanted and their tantrums would not stop me. Your daughter may have gotten into the habit of raging because she knows it works for her - it keeps you on those eggshells. It will be a very difficult habit to break especially because it is subconscious. It may very well be beyond her control so she may need medications to help and lots of counseling to figure out triggers to avoid.

    I hope she can find it in her to accept help in forms of evaluations, possible medications, and counseling.
  7. MockTertl

    MockTertl At Wit's End...

    As a baby she was inconsolable. Didn't cuddle, breast feeding was a nightmare. She was always crying, screaming, kicking, rigid. Difficult from pregnancy on. My mom has dementia, my mom's brother was just diagnosed recently with bipolar disorder, my uncle had depression and schizophrenia and my dad suffered from depression (how the hell did I escape all this?).
    Her kindergarten told me to NEVER bring her back to the school, in grade school she would wet her pants so I would have to pick her up.
    She doesn't use drugs but will drink alcohol if given the opportunity - I don't drink and there's none in my house. When she was living with a boyfriend a couple years back she drank a lot and keeps telling me she can't wait until she's 21 and can drink legally.
    I keep looking for a solution to help her .... Unfortunately committing her seems an impossible task - Thankfully I have some numbers I can call tomorrow to see if there's anyway I can do this so she can get the help she needs before it's too late.
  8. MockTertl

    MockTertl At Wit's End...

    Just a new note: I am a single mom left to struggle with this almost in its entirety. Her father has anger issues and only feeds her fire when the two of them are together. He is an alcoholic and abusive which is reason for our not being married any longer. She was subjected to witness his abuse against me since she was born up to the age of 14. Which I'm sure didn't help her growth or coping skills any. Regardless of her dad, I was still the main caregiver and structure provider, it fell on me to get her in for evaluations and I had seen many many doctors since she was 2 to find out what was wrong with her.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would post this on Parent Emiterus. Those are the parents who are dealing with grown kids who are still problem children. This forum is for parents of minor kids and most don't have difficult children who are as old as your daughter. I have one and I made her leave when she wouldn't get help, but I think she was more able to fend for herself than your daughter. She was using drugs and needed motivation to quit. With bipolar, schizophrenia, substance abuse and depression on the family tree, plus her early problems, she really needs tons of help and it's sad that it can be so hard to get it. If your ex abused you, is there a chance he abused her too? Yeesh, she doesn't need that on top of everything else. I hope you go pick the brains on the other forum. It's different dealing with a grown child who won't get help. Sometimes you need to get tough. Good luck.