Bothered me so much I can't sleep (long)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Big Bad Kitty, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Apologies in advance if this skips around. I am very distraught.

    The other day Tink had the biggest meltdown I have seen to date. The neighbor boy was over and they were playing (he is 4). I tried to gently remind her on several occasions that if he did something wrong, come tell me, because she would yell at him as though she were in charge. Well, that didn't set well with her and I got a lot of "MOM!!" At one point she shared some candy with him, then they sat down to draw. Tink wanted to show "B" how she drew a person. Well B seemed to think that she was telling him what to do (by the way, B is a major difficult child too) and he kept telling her "no, I can do it". Well she got mad and took his candy away. He came and told me and I went to rectify the situation. I told her to give him his candy back. She said no. This went back & forth about 3 times.

    *It's always at times like this where I feel inadequate and put on the spot. I think to myself, OK, "give him back his candy or..." Or WHAT? Or he has to go home? Right, without his candy. no fair to him. Or I'll pin you down and remove it from your front pocket?*

    So I saw her bag of makeup and I grabbed it. I told her to give it back and she could have the bag back. She threw such a fit. Grabbed the bag and we wound up in a tug of war. I finally wrestled it from her and she screams "FINE!" and throws the candy at him. At that point I do send him home, and she says "Are you KIDDING ME?" At this point B went home and I locked myself in my room while she had her tantrum.

    When she was ready to talk she knocked on my door. I asked her what it felt like in her body when she got mad. She told me that it feels like there is a bug inside her that "gets" her she she is mad, and she can't make it go away. Armed with that information, I tried something new the next day when she had her fit. I calmly asked her if the bug was back. She stopped in mid-fit and hung her head down and nodded.

    Of course, that only worked once. Yesterday I tried the same thing and she told me to shut up about the stupid bug.

    Now what is REALLY distressing me was today's event. We were at the pool from 5-7. Her friend that we carpool with was there (they have only played once all summer). So she played with her friend at the pool. When it was time to go, she asked if K could come over. I told her no. She was SO persistent. Silly me tried to explain my reasons, which of course meant that I was engaging. She had a comeback for every. single. thing. I will say that she kept her temper pretty well under control, and eventually we left.

    While walking back, we talked about a couple other things, and then she says to me in a very calm voice "Now about K, I don't mean that I don't like you or anything, but I just feel like I want to kill you so I can be with K". I was dumbfounded. If she were having her fit and yelling like a lunatic as she always does, I think I could have handled that. She may have still been ticked, but she said it so matter-of-factly.

    I am trying to take this one day at a time, but I shudder to think what she could be like in her teens if I don't fix this. But CAN I even fix this? Will I spend the next however many years trying this medication and that medication, getting this diagnosis and that diagnosis, and all the while she is just going to be who she is no matter what? I can't even get a neuropsychologist to look at her. All I have is the psychiatrist, and while he insists she is not on the spectrum, he is not giving me much else except the old "ADHD/ODD" and here go see an Occupational Therapist (OT) because of her sensory issues.

    How scared should I be that she feels like she wants to kill me? Do I take this less seriously because she is 7 and will still cuddle with me? This kid not only zaps all my strength and energy from me, but her abuse and attitude is slowly eroding any faith in myself that I am a good parent. And this is not a pity me thing, I am serious. I second guess myself constantly. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing too much, other times I feel like I can never do enough. She has serious "no matter how much I give her it is never EVER enough" issues. Is she just a freaking brat? I don't want to hit her. What the heck do you DO when the kid is SEVEN and abusive?

    If you stuck with me this long, bless your heart.
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    You just got a good glimpse at how powerful AND overwhelming her anger is. While it s*cks and hurts to witness it and to be the brunt of it, it's good information to have. She's letting you know how intense her frustration and anger becomes. Isn't she on Abilify? I just talked to one person - albeit an adult - who was in a constant rage on that medication. I definitely think a medication check/change/tweak is in order.

    As far as the candy...taking her bag was engaging her at her level. I would have instead sent her to sit on the couch until she gave the candy back or something like that. IOW, you don't get to have any fun until you give the candy back and meanwhile your friend is still here and still playing. She probably would have thrown a fit, but stay calm and be consistent. I know my kiddo would never rage as hard in front of a playmate.

    I used to *hate* it when my mom said, "Because I'm the mom and I said so." But, I have to admit that I use it all. the. time. I learned early on that my kids thought *everything* was up for negotiation because I allowed it by engaging and listening to their reasons, etc. And it got really old really fast. Now, it's 'Because I'm the mom and I said so.' Period.

    She's too young yet to have much insight into what causes all these feelings and her reactions. Once she gets to that point, you can really work with identifying the feelings and then learn tools to cope and to choose better behavior. Right now she's just reacting, but she probably can't really tell you why exactly. I know you are shocked and upset by her admission today. But, that is a very important piece of information to have. So, it was a good thing, too, that she said it, Know what I mean??

  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    {{{Hugs}}} Two things that help often (but not always!) when Duckie goes to this particularly bad place is:
    -Not explain myself. It just gives fuel to her fire. "It's not a good day" will suffice.
    -I use very low emotion when dealing with her. Anger, fear, frustration, even sarcasm just makes her more upset. Plus, pushing my emotions out of the way helps me think more clearly during the crisis.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Frankly, I would say good-bye to this Psychiatrist (did she do any testing?) and take her to a neuropsychologist. There is no way to predict how bad it will get later on. It's best to be as positive of the diagnosis. as you can be. I vote for an intensive evaluation while she is still young...a second opinion. Psychiatrists aren't all that great at diagnosis spectrum disorders.
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Heather, I agree that taking the bad was on her level. This is where I second guess myself. Before I took the bag, I KNEW that if I told her to go to her room or sit on the couch or something, she would say no. That was the mood she was in. And then I would be faced with "I said, get on the couch! Now do it or I'll..." Or I'll what? Drag her? I know better than to get physical. So I saw the bag as an opportunity and I acted on it. Yeah, her admission is good info to have. Now what to do with it?

    TM, I have made it my life's mission to keep absolutely deadpan when talking to Tink during one of her rages. Note I said mission: I am not there yet.

    MWM, I did take her to a neuropsychologist. He said that she was not "bad" enough to be evaluated.
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    While I'm not knowledgable enough to speak directly about mood disorders and such, I, like Heather, think that her comment to you on the walk home was a good thing. It gave you glimpse inside your daughter. It allowed you see how great her rage can be and what her thought processing can be.

    I would make sure this incident is reported to her therapist/psychiatrist. I would also make sure that I at least write down on my calander each and every time she rages. That way, next time you visit the psychiatrist, you can outline how many times in the last 30 days, and to what degree, Tink has been raging.

    Hugs, I know those words musht have been really tough to hear.

  7. Christy

    Christy New Member

    What a stessful situation. I know how you feel, our playdates often go something like that. It's like trying to diffuse a bomb and you are so afraid that you will touch the wrong wires! It is always easier to figure out what you could have done after the fact so don't beat yourself up.

    I am sure you are feeling many emotions about the, "I wish you were dead" comment but I think she was probably still angry and trying to get you upset. Keep a record of behaviors including things like this and go back to the psychiatrist or another psychiatrist and ask for evaluations and answers.

    It seems bleak to picture the future with the way things are going at the moment but I will say that now with a diagnosis for our son (his is BiPolar (BP) along with the ADHD), I do not feel as much anger towards him when he acts so outrageous and I don't blame myself as much for not being a more effective parent. I am able to think more along the lines of, "what can we do to help him overcome some off these behaviors? How can we structure his environment to prevent some of the behaviors? What medication adjustments need to be made to help elimainagte some of the behaviors? What behavioral intervention might help? It still gets personal at times and I still want him to be responsible for his behaviors but I have more empathy for him because I have a better undersatnding of his disorder. Hope this makes sense.

    Sorry for the stressful, hurtful experience.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My son has said that, BBK. Afterward, he always says he meant he was really, really mad, and we have told him not ever to say or think things about killing people. It is very hard not to take it personally. But after all, they are just kids.

    I tried something new the next day when she had her fit. I calmly asked her if the bug was back. She stopped in mid-fit and hung her head down and nodded.

    GREAT!!! A good start.

    Of course, that only worked once. Yesterday I tried the same thing and she told me to shut up about the stupid bug.

    ROFL! I really laughed out loud at that. So typical.

  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    BBK, you been hiding. Welcome back (well, kinda...wish all the difficult child troubles magically disappeared and gfgness never brought you back here...)
    The bag thing - don't beat yourself up. What I see that was a real positive in that situation is that you thought thru your options before you acted. Best action to have taken? No. But you knew what attempting a time out would bring on, and that wasn't a reasonable option, either (keeping in mind you also have a 4 year old difficult child standing at your feet that wants his candy, and the last thing you need to bring on is a second meltdown from a second difficult child). Guess what I'm saying is, I'm not sure what you could have done differently, other than giving the 4yo a "backup" handful of candy, which then could be construed by Tink to be a success in her eyes, cause she just got more candy... Anyway, point is, its good you thought about it before you did it, even if it didn't work out.
    in my humble opinion, telling you about the bug and wanting to kill you, even tho its scarey that its so matter of fact, is priceless. Its info and insight as to what's going on in her body, what she feels when this happens. Hopefully, eventually, she can learn to recognize those feelings in advance and prevent the meltdown altogether, but the first step to doing that is to identify, name, and acknowledge what's going on within themselves. Recognizing it and telling you about it is a really big step, I think.
    I so wish I could answer that question - what do I do when.... Million dollar question, right there. I'd be rich if I had that answer.
    Hugs, BBK.
  10. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    I'm not sure you made the wrong decision in taking her bag. You went over your other options and none of them were good. The only think I might suggest next time is to tell her you will take the bag (or some other valued object) if she doesn't give the candy back calmly. If she still refuses, then take it. It seems to be the only thing that worked for my difficult child at that age. And to me, it's worth the risk of meltdown, becuase hurting other people and stealing are in our Basket A.

    I've been there myself, and I can see how making her sit on the couch just wouldn't work. Pinning her down and taking the candy, well, I've had to do that and while it does get the candy back, it doesn't give difficult child the chance to make the right decision.

    I agree that it was great that she could verbalize her feelings like that. It helps to remember too, that killing and dead don't mean the same to a 7 year old that it does to a 12 year old. I think she was really telling you that she really didn't want you around, because then she could get her way. When difficult child would tell me that, I would try to explain the seriousness of what he said (unless it was in the middle of the meltdown, then I'd wait and talk to him about it later). I would never act like I was angry for him saying it. He hasn't threatened to kill me in awhile (although he does threaten little sister because he gets the reaction that he wants), and I don't think it's his medicine but maturity and more understanding of what death means.

  11. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Given the options, I think taking the bag was about the best you could do. As you said, any other consequences weren't happening. You went to her level in just grabbing it. As was said, the next time give her the choice, the candy returned or the makeup gone (permanently).

    As to her comment, I heard it and variations thereof many times. It wasn't that mine wanted to kill me or wanted me dead (there was no real concept that death was permanent), it was just "I want to do what I want and I resent you stopping me." I used to reply that I understood exactly how she felt but she was still stuck doing what I told her.

    Quit giving her reasons and letting her argue with you. Simply tell her what it is you want done, the consequence for not doing it and following through. Remember when you tried the flat effect and how much she didn't like it? Well, go back to it. Right now, she truly sees you as her equal. As much as you can, stick with the flat effect.

    Locking yourself in your room while she tantrums is ridiculous. She needs to be taken into her room, not you hiding. Right now, she truly has the upper hand. She wears you down and ultimately gets her way or forces you to come down to her level. I know, I was there many times. It honestly took me from age 7 to age 10 to get my home back from my child. It was three of the most difficult years I ever faced. I had to totally change my parenting. No arguing, no engaging. It wasn't easy and she fought it tooth and nail but I think it helped her in the long run. At least she didn't go the drug and drink route in her teens (a fear I truly had). As hard as it is, you need to get some control now or you are going to at least the fifth level of hell when she's older.

    One trick that worked for me was I when she started to melt down, I would let out a primal scream. The first time she stopped cold and asked me what was going on. I told her I was letting my mad worm lose so that it wouldn't explode inside of me. From then on, we would both let loose with the loudest scream we could get away with (sometimes totally silent because of location and time). It didn't always stop the meltdown but it certainly helped.

    Quit second guessing yourself. It is so easy to do that and then beat yourself up for not being perfect. Just do your best. Be as consistent as possible. If you give a consequence, make it stick (unless you decide it was truly unfair, then, when you've calmed down tell Tink you were angry and not thinking and the actual consequence is Y rather than X). Admit when you're wrong to yourself and to Tink (sometimes, anyway). Most importantly, let your mistakes go. If you would forgive your behavior in another, forgive yourself just as much. If you wouldn't, vow to never behave like that again and do your best to keep vow.

    In the meantime, ((((((((BBK))))))))
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Oh,'s so hard, isn't it? Miss KT told me once she could put a knife in my's just heartbreaking to hear. It sounds to me like her current medications aren't really helping her. Sending many hugs.
  13. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Yep, I had to take back my home from my daughter. And it's been that way again the last few days. I feel like crappola and she started with 4 year old stuff within an hour of easy child getting home. I try not to engage, but I'm human. I semi-lost it this morning and told her (because we don't have anything she wants to eat - I am so beyond tired of this argument...we have so much food in this house I have nowhere left to put it) and I told her she could either find something to eat or she could go hungry and it didn't matter to me which one she chose. No mom of the year award here, but she's been pushing and pushing and pushing and I just gave out. We've been having this same exact argument multiple times a day since Sunday. Amazingly, she's always found something to eat. Imagine that.

    I was thinking about this earlier. When we were little, my parents would hide a tape recorder on special events - birthdays, Christmas, etc - to have as a memory keepsake. You can learn a lot from going back and listening to those tapes. If you don't have a camcorder, just a tape recorder would do. Hide it and just record. We get so caught up in the moment and we miss triggers and signs our kids are giving that they are losing control and we can also go back and look at how we handled it and see what could be done differently. It would also be good to share with the therapist. Especially if the therapist blows off her comment to you as just being a kid. That statement was a really good insight into just how overwhelming her anger and frustration is and is a good starting point for the therapist to address. I still think revisiting the medications is a good idea.

    I know how much this hurts. When easy child was 10 and was severely depressed, he would come to me out of the blue and very coldly say, "You know how much you say you love me? Well, that's how much I hate you." And just walk away. Yeah, that's a knife in the heart.

    And to add to Sharon's idea about writing down when she has rages, difficult child's old therapist recommended a mood calendar. You don't have to get fancy and detailed. A smiley face for a good day, a frown face for a sad day, a straight lined mouth face for a so-so day, an angry face for a rage day. This way you can track it and it doesn't become overwhelming.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "You know how much you say you love me? Well, that's how much I hate you." And just walk away. Yeah, that's a knife in the heart.

    Yikes! That's a deep cut. It just makes me want these kids to live long enough--oh, say, middle age, while we're old--so that they feel guilty. I'm not sitting on the edge of my chair waiting.
  15. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    <<HUGS>>> I can relate to every thing you're saying. I am also practicing being "deadpan" with both my difficult child's.

    When difficult child II threatened to kill me in the middle of the night with a knife, he was 10 and dead serious. When he actually tried to grab a knife to go after me he was 11. It is very scarey, very real, and it makes all the parenting tools and techniques very irrelevant when it is happening.

    I wish I had advice, I only have hugs & a warm welcome to the huddle
  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Hugs Kitty.............

    Gosh, I wish I had word of wisdom, but I don't have many. I only know that my difficult child uses the "kill" word as ammunition, because he knows it really upsets me. I have tried, and tried to detach, because I can see what he is doing, baiting me. However, it is really hard. He's been doing it since he could talk.
    None the less, this does not necessarily mean they will grow up and be serial killers - it just means their are manipulative difficult children.

    I would definitely find a new psychiatrist.

    Summers are really hard. Especially is she has any BiPolar (BP) qualities to her. The sunlight and lengthened days always spark mania in my son - except this year. But that is a whole other story.

    The fact that you talked to her about "an anger bug" inside of her means you are an amazing mom. Many do not even take the time to contemplate their child's angst.
    Believe you are absolutely the Mom God chose for Tink - and you are doing absolutely everything you can to be the best Mommy in the world. We are not perfect, ever.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am sorry that the "professionals" are so stupid where you live. I hate when they treat you like they know it isn't bad when YOU know it is. We had 3 psychiatrist/therapist combos each tell us Wiz wasn't so bad, when he was trying to strangle his sister in the middle of the night and hacking through the school's webnanny system (yess, he was all of 12 when he did that), and telling me not to engage, when not engaging meant leaving him on top of his sister with his hands around her neck.

    Yeah, I was gonna just talk to him. I wanted to kill him. Literally, many times. It took a heck of a lot of work with MY therapist to keep the boy alive.

    I know you are scared, frustrated, and feel all alone. Those times, know that I am with you. You have all of us here, your been there done that friends, who know how bad it is, who know how scared you are, and who know how hard you are trying.

    You ARE absolutely the mommy God wanted Tink to have, and you have or will develop all the tools you need to/ can develop to help both of you.

    I used to ignore the "I want to kill you" "I hate you" and other despicable things Wiz said, simply because I couldn't cope withthem. If I had addressed them in any way I would have screamed back in kind sometimes. I didn't, much as I was tempted to see what he would do if I did. It does make your heart freeze, and cuts deeply into you soul. I didn't say it in return, simply because I never ever wanted my son to hurt that way. I did say "I understand how you feel. I want you to feel free to talk to me about your feelings and know that I will love you no matter what you say." I said it calmly (even when I wanted to scream) and I meant it. If he stopped talking to me, no way to help him.

    Find something to say, say it with-o emotion, and say it every time she tries to hurt you iwth the I want to kill you/wish you were dead/would be better off with-o you, whatever. A therapist I respect to this day (and there are few of those!) taught me this.

    Do what you need to, know the makeup bag is a powerful tool for Tink, know that you CAN force her behavior when you need to be on her level by holding the makeup bag hostage. it isn't fun, but sometimes we must be at their level.

    I do think you need to find a way to get her to rage in her own room, rather than going to yours, unless the TV, etc... fun stuff are all in yours. But if you are in your room, and she is in the rest of the apt, what will keep her in the apt? What will keep her from running out of the apt, this raging child, and keep her safe while she is raging out in the world? At the very least, if you can't get her to her room, you MUST put alarms on the exits and arm them when she is in the main area and you are in your room. just to keep her safe in the apt.


    I am so sorry the last few days have been so awful. Remember I am with you, giving you a hug right now!

  18. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I'm a fan of the old "Because I'm the mom and I said so" in some cases. It stops you from getting into a pi$$ing match with a child and it establishes the fact that you are the adult and you are in charge.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for letting kids have a voice and giving the reason why decisions are made. But there's a line and when they get near the line, kids have to know that the adults are in charge. Everything is not open to discuss or negotiation. A lot is, but not everything. And sometimes kids don't even have to understand why a certain decision is being made, just that the adult in charge made it.

    It sure beats threatening the kid with some punishment if they don't comply. That's like daring them to not listen to you. And you aren't stuck having to follow through with some punishment that's going to be more trouble than effective.

    Most seven year olds don't really understand the concept of death or the finality of it. Her matter-of-fact, conversational tone of voice when threatening to kill you is a pretty good indication that she has no intention of actually killing you. It's just a word or nebulous concept she picked up.
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry. I've been there with the death threats. difficult child has told me often enough that when he gets older he is going to kill me. Not the types of words anyone wants to hear from their child.

    I've done the grabbing thing before too. I know I shouldn't have but hindsight is 20/20 and sometimes it happens-not often but it does. Don't beat yourself up over it.

    I love MB's screaming suggestion about letting out the mad worms!

    Gentle hugs.
  20. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Thank you all very much.

    Just to address a couple things, I was able to keep my cool when she talked about killing me. And it may be just a one or two word difference, but she said she wished she could just kill me as opposed to saying she wants to kill me. And she said it as matter of fact as if she was saying she wished she could have ice cream. I know that she probably has no intention of doing anything, but what scares me is what might happen when she gets older. I see some moms here who struggle with violence from their kids as tweens and teens, and I just see that Tink is headed down that path, and I just. want. to. stop. it.

    I know that I am overall doing better by not engaging with her, but I am by no means perfect. My retreat to my room as opposed to putting her in her room is because I would literally have to drag her there. Also, I don't mind coming into my room. That's where the puter is.

    I know I need to find a psychiatrist. I have the same issue with that as I did with the neuropsychologist - my insurance. NOBODY takes medicaid. This guy that she sees now treated Copper when she was younger, and I really like him overall. He has a successful practice and donates one day a month to the clinic I take Tink to. I know I need to search further for a second opinion.

    I would LOVE the chance to scream back at her. I am so afraid that we will get the cops called on us (condo). Then again, maybe that's not such a bad idea...