attachment issues? I don't know what to do anymore

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FeelingBeat, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. FeelingBeat

    FeelingBeat New Member

    I love my child but i am at the breaking point. i know that by turning to a forum like this i am not truly done and i am still searching for a fix but i don't know what to do anymore. I text my ex regularly and say I can't do this I'm done, then within an hour I'm on the computer searching for solutions to my problems. I think my child has an attachment disorder. She has been diagnosed with all sorts of things from anxiety, add, to oppositional defiance etc. Every doctor I take her to tags another diagnosis. However I think they are all symptoms of the attachment issues. My ex and I were not bad parents, we were simply young parents with a lot against us doing what we could to provide a life for our family. We found out I was pregnant the day after my ex cashed his $20,000 student loan and began a 2 year program. So as soon as my daughter was 6 months old and could go into a full time daycare I went back to work. Then with a newly diagnosed son with autism I would come home spend hours reading about it, therapy, designing his program while her father tried to play with them and finish his school work. A few years later we moved, we split up and to be honest i don't think things have really been settled for her. Her dad has remarried and we were doing 50/50 custody until a month ago when he said he couldn't anymore. She was breaking him and his wife up and ruining the family. Since she has been here she has been really good on weeks I don't have the other kids but then she is constantly fighting for attention the weeks they are here, and even if she gets it she fights for more and goes so hard at it she pushed everyone away. We have talks she says she can't fix any of this her life is over she has no future. I try to plan on us working on things together making goals working through stuff but we never get that far because she destroys everything before we get a chance. My best friend has offered to take her for an undetermined amount of time to give us a break and try her approach with her (they are vegan, home schooled, live in the country whereas we are in the city don't follow any diets have a very busy life from school to work to activities etc) so we will see. In the meantime I am going to use this time to 1. have a break take a breather and try to restore my boyfriend and I and the other kids back to some kind of normal, then dive into the parenting courses and programs. I know there is a way to break through to her I just haven't found it. She wants me to so bad I can see how bad she is hurting me. Am i making the wrong decision? If it is attachment issues am i just going to make them worse by sending her away? She gets pleasure out of hurting me and everyone in my family and i don't know how to cope.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I have a few questions for you.

    Has she ever seen a neuropsychologist or had a total assessment by a battery of testers from a university?

    How old is she?
    Was your pregnancy normal and alcohol and drug free? (It's ok to admit it if it was not because this could be part of the reason she may have issues). You also don't have to answer any of these questions if you don't want to.

    Was she cuddled and held a lot as an infant?

    Did she ever have one stable caregiver who was always there for her ?

    Has s he ever been exposed to corporal punishment or any sort of abuse? Did she SEE abuse?

    It is really devastating that her father is choosing his wife and new family over seeing her. If she has any attachment issues, that won't help her. Also, I'm not convinced sending her to a friends house will be good for her attachment either. I know you are stressed and need a break or help, but is sending her to yet another caregiver good for attachment? I don't think so, but you have to do what you have to do. I have adopted children so know a bit about attachment disorders and they happen when a very young child has many caregivers and no one stable parent figure and learns there is nobody he/she can trust. It usually starts in infancy. I do think a stable place to live is important. What other children come to visit you? Are they your other children?

    I am also not convinced th at having a boyfriend is a good thing for her. It's just one more new person she has to adjust too and, no, I don't care how good with her he is. But again you have to live too. I think professional help for all of you would help a lot more than trying to do it yourself or use your friend to send her away yet again, even if it's to a good place. She will not feel she belongs anywhere or to anybody.

    I raised kids with attachment disorder. It is not pretty. It needs to be addressed early and with intensity and with a psychologist who has a clear understanding of attachment (most do not) and you will need to probably make many lifestyle changes. If not, the results can be two attachment disordered children, who were older adoptees, do not have happy endings.

    You can't undo the past. but you can try to reverse things so she has a better prognosis for the future. You came here so it seems you do want to change the way things are for this child. I wish you all the luck in the world. Don't wait. The earlier she gets help, the better the outcome. She almost sounds suicidal and you can't blame her...she needs to feel that at least one stable person loves her to death and her father has just thrown her out...JMO but I think this is way beyond what sort of diet she is eating. She needs professional help. All of you do for her sake. Will your boyfriend join you in therapy if he lives with you?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is a key question. If she hasn't had a comprehensive evaluation (6-10 hours of appointments across multiple days), it would be a good thing to do.

    From what you describe, she is not likely to have full-blown Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). She may or may not have attachment issues. Some kids are not neurotypical, and do not "attach" the same way. There is no question she has issues and challenges.

    It's tough to get all the details into a first post, so hope you don't mind more questions. Sounds like you have at least 2 kids - maybe more? And that the autistic brother is older than this girl? How old are the kids?

    I'm just another parent with challenging kids... so this is just something to think about. Consider what you describe of her behavior. Difficulties transitioning between two homes. Very needy, very demanding. She could very well have developmental challenges and/or mental illness.
  4. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    :welcomecat: Welcome, FeelingBeat. I think most of the parents here have reached a breaking point. Probably multiple times. I think SWOT and Insane have done a terrific job of asking you questions.

    I only want to add one small idea. The kids with the worst behaviors need your love the most. Everyone's love language is different. Ask yourself when your daughter is most relaxed spending time with you. Carve out time in your day to have that time with her.