Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm so weary.

    I finally got difficult child on board with therapy, but she said, "Fine. I'll go, but you HAVE to go with me." Fine by me.

    She was in a BAD mood all day today. From the moment she awoke. She started earlier - I can't even remember exactly...oh, wait I know. She's bored. This was about 8:30 pm.

    Me: Call M (her friend that moved in the neighborhood) and see if she wants to spend the night.
    difficult child: There's still nothing to do here.
    Me: If M is here, you guys will find something to do. You always do.
    difficult child: No, we don't.
    Me: Call M and see if she wants you stay over there.
    difficult child: I can't sleep if I'm not in my own bed.
    Me: Well, go over there and hang out for a bit. You don't have to be home until 10.
    difficult child: (silence)
    Me: Ride your bike.
    difficult child: I can't. It tears my pants and I don't have any capris.
    Me: Wear shorts. (It was only sweltering today.)
    difficult child: I don't like wearing shorts.
    Me: Take Jewel for a walk.
    difficult child: (Grabs her curly hair and gives me 'the look'.) (Her hair has to be straightened for her to do anything and I couldn't straighten it with my shoulder doing what it's doing.)
    Me: Pull your hair back in a ponytail. You'll be fine.
    difficult child: I've told you A HUNDRED TIMES that I hate my hair like this. It's too girly. I'm not a girly girl. Why don't you ever listen to me??????

    Gee. Doncha think if she was really bored, she'd find something to do.

    Then she starts with how she's tired of everyone making fun of her because she doesn't wear pink anymore. Ok. No one makes fun of her. It's just that 2 years ago, every piece of clothing she owned was pink. Had to be. Now it has to be black or gray and if it has even a smudge of pink on it, it's a no go. Any idea how hard it is to find black and gray clothes this time of year? Especially a bathing suit? Blues and greens and oranges and yellows and pinks.....

    And she had that nasty tone with me. You know the one. The one where she's obviously annoyed with me and she thinks that I am just an absolute idiot and I just don't get it. :rolleyes:

    I told her that I was not going to talk to her when she's like that and if she was going to continue to argue and use that tone, I was done talking to her for the night.

    So, the second part came about 2:30AM. After I've taken my lunesta, of course. That seems to be a requirement in these things.

    Long story short - she hates everything about her life. How she looks, how she feels, how she never does anything, etc, etc, etc. And it CANNOT be fixed. It's unfixable. She cannot change how she feels. She cannot change who she is or what she thinks. Period.

    She told me that going to therapy is just going to make her angry and she doesn't see the point in going because of it.

    I told her, after an hour more of this stuff and discarding out of hand anything I say, that she has two choices: 1) She can go to therapy and make an effort and do the work or 2) She can not go, decide to be miserable and that there is nothing that can be done about it. But, if she chooses option 2, she will not be dumping her misery on anyone else. If she chooses to not do anything to try to help herself that is her choice, but I will no longer be her target.

    She is her own worst enemy. She complains and complains, but doesn't take the guidance, suggestions, tools offered to do anything about it. She gives something a half-hearted attempt at an effort and then says it doesn't work.

    An example: She has normal teenage acne. Not bad, not out of control, nothing requiring prescription strength medicine. If she would wash her face regularly it would make a big difference. We bought Nutrogena acne facial wash and acne cream treatment. Very simple. Wash face with facial wash and then apply the cream. Apparently, it said on the package something along the lines of....Results in 2 days. Her acne wasn't gone, so it wasn't working. It was improving already and I explained that is what it meant. Now she doesn't want to do it because washing her face with that stuff "takes too long and she hates doing it". But, she'll complain to me about it for an HOUR. She could have washed her face 15 times by then.

    My point in that example is that she is like that in every aspect of life. If it doesn't work right away, first time then it doesn't work and she's done.

    She doesn't want to do any of the work. Ever. She has ALWAYS been this way - since she was itty bitty. She wants someone to fix it for her. Since that can't be done, then none of these issues are fixable.

    Again, she is her own worst enemy. In addition, she's hyper-sensitive, overly critical, draining and she's making me nuts.

    But, she's going to therapy. She can get as angry as she wants.

    Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Oh yes, definitely been there done that. easy child 2/difficult child 2 was the one (still is). LOVED everything pink, although I steered her towards apricot and green, with her red hair.

    Then suddenly pink is out, totally. ANY pink is awful. Even apricot is too pink for her. And green - it has to be exactly the right shade of green and OF COURSE I don't understand because I'm old and have no taste. I wear rainbows, for heaven's sake! I'm so embarrassing to be seen with!

    Instead, easy child 2/difficult child 2 had to have everything in black. Or black and red. Although she also looks great in cream she has to go full-on Goth.

    ANd ours began at about 12-13, too.

    She began to mellow at about 19. She now has a range of other colours in her wardrobe. Still refuses to wear anything with any pink, but will now wear cream lace. Is currently shopping for a wedding dress and thank goodness, is NOT choosing red or black. With her very pale redhead skin she needs something lighter, black just makes her look ill. She now tempers her black clothing with green.

    She still insists on wearing vampire teeth out in public, though.

    As for wanting everything to be fixed, now - yep. We get that too.

    All we could do is what you are doing - "You have a problem. Either do something about it, or accept it and choose to live with it. Either way - once you've told me about it, you can stop. You are now just repeating yourself."

    At least yours will go to therapy. easy child 2/difficult child 2 says sarcastically, "And just where in my busy schedule am I supposed to fit THAT in? I'm just too stressed to even think about it right now."
    Me: "Therapy will help you reduce your stress."
    Her: "Trying to work out where to fit therapy in, adds to my stress so overall it's no benefit."
    Me: "Then if you don't intend to do anything about it, stop adding to MY stress, because dumping it all on me is NOT reducing your stress one iota."

    I haven't QUITE got to the stage of sticking my fingers in my ears and going, "la la la la..." but it's really, really tempting!

  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    She's going to therapy, but she's going with the attitude that she doesn't want to be there, it doesn't do anything and it will just make her angry. She's the most stubborn person I've ever met, too. So, it will take quite some time, I think, for the therapist to even get to the point of being able to really work with her, Know what I mean??

    Wynter is doing the Goth thing, too. Except, I'm not allowed to say that. For some reason she considers that making fun of her. I'm not making fun of her. It's a style, she likes it, she wears it. Her favorite store is Hot Topic. But, I'm not allowed to even hint at the words Goth or Gothic.

    And when she's decided that she's not a girly girl, I don't know. She has always been a girly girl. From the time she could walk, if something had a strap on it, it went on her shoulder. I thought it was so cute, especially because I didn't carry a purse at the time so she wasn't mimicking me. She's always loved dolls and girly things. She wore nothing but skirts until 5th grade and only stopped then because none of the other girls wore them. But, all of a sudden that is not her. Which is fine, but....

    If I even mention something from when she was younger, I'm accused of comparing her to who she was then or of not liking her now because she's not who she was then. I have to weigh every. single. word. that. comes. out. of. my. mouth. And I still don't get it right every time. You know, you tell stories about your kids, you reminisce. People do it all the time, but if I do it now it's a recipe for a battle.

    Maybe she's trying to redefine herself in order to find something where she feels better? Maybe it's just part of the normal teenage process to go from one phase to another? It's just how worked up she gets over anyone even slightly and unintentionally hinting about something else.

    Or maybe she's decided she doesn't want to be a girly girl without really doing anything different because it's cool or something. Cause you know, some of things smack of....Me think one doth protest too much.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    "Long story short - she hates everything about her life. How she looks, how she feels, how she never does anything, etc, etc, etc. And it CANNOT be fixed. It's unfixable. She cannot change how she feels. She cannot change who she is or what she thinks. Period."

    Oh my gosh. Does this mindset not just drive you out of your tree? We've gone round and round and round with this for years. I'm afraid I've lost patience with it. My response now is that his life is what he's making it. If it rots, then fix it. If it's unfixable (and how on earth would he know since he hasn't even tried), then it's time for acceptance and quit kvetching about it. I can't fix it, even though it's all my fault in his eyes. And I'm *really* tired of hearing it.

    I know that there's an underlying baseline depression in thank you's case that, depending on the day, can really feed into this but I honestly don't believe there's a medication in the world that can "fix" it. He refuses to participate in therapy in any meaningful way. So he's perpetuating it and it's certainly been pointed out to him by a lot of people. Frustrating!

    You are a far better woman than I - if anyone came to me at 2:30 in the morning to gripe, their lives would be in serious jeopardy!!!! Egads....

    Have you given her a set time frame to give therapy a try? Like maybe 6-9 months or so? If she's expecting face wash to work in 2 days (sounds just like my son, LOL), I'm wondering what her expectations of therapy are.

    Hang in there - hope she finds something to distract her from boredom today.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Some of this sounds a lot like my easy child but with more due to her being a difficult child.. I had to almost drag her to therapy the first time. Luckily she adjusted fairly quickly.

    The clothing thing! easy child went through a phase when all she would wear was black. I had to laugh this year when she bought a green coat to give herself a splash of color because she didn't own enough things with color. She used to hate pink-now she loves it! Go figure!

    I'm sorry you had to deal with so much in the middle of the night. Hugs.
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    You have my sympathies.

    My bottom line to kt is "if you're bored, you're boring. If you cannot find something to do between your new bike, you endless computer games, your pile of art supplies, your books....well, then I'll have to find something for you to do & you may not like it".

    I hate whining about being bored & needing to be entertained. I'm not my child's best friend....heck, don't want to be. I'll help kt with skills to be a friend. I'll help kt with her drawing, her guitar playing, her knitting, any number of things. BUT I will not tolerate whining about being bored. That's kt's problem, not mine.

    Like kt (& wm), your difficult child makes herself into a "victim". I'm glad that she is starting therapy again. Her mindset needs to change because there is no way she is a "victim". She has too much going for her.

    Good luck today.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    You are way more patient than I am, Gunga Din. I hear "I'm bored" and I give two choices -- find something to do or I'll find you something and I promise you won't like what I find. Even worse, once I find it you're stuck doing it.

    She really is old enough for you to quit. Quit entertaining her. Quit making suggestions for her (she's gonna say no anyway -- tis the nature of the age and beast). Quit trying to fix her. She really does have to start doing the work herself. A therapist will help her but she's still going to have to do the work. You can't keep doing it all for her. You certainly don't deserve the brunt of her discontent, even though you'll get it as a matter of course. Again, it is the nature of the age. She's not a little girl anymore, she's not an adult, she's not an independent teen. She's in the Hades of kidhood and it stinks. It stinks for her, it stinks for you, it stinks for the world around her. But she really is going to have to find her own way with just a little guidance from you (okay, flat out shoves but she has to do the work, not you).

    In the meantime, major hugs for you.
  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    ((((hugs)))) I guess ear plugs would be mean but if you can find a way to tune her out it will help at least one of you if not both. Obviously she isn't going to take you suggestions and just looks for more things to complain about when you try to offer a solution.

    I hope the therapy has an impact and she begins to see things form a more positive light.
  9. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    sounds like she is getting something from all your engagement with her. I agree with MB, she's old enough to entertain herself and quit expecting you to do everything for her. I think all these talks you have are getting you nowhere except exhausted. It's okay for you to draw a line and say enough is enough.
  10. been there done that with my daughter. She has never been a girly girl. Wouldn't wear dresses after about 1st grade. Would only allow her hair in a pony tail. Wouldn't wear pink. Was really in the "Goth" stage for a couple of years. Now, she loves hot pink (still can't tolerate baby pink), loves messing with her hair, still usually wears jeans - but will at least look at dresses for occasions. She has several dresses that she has worn to dances at school.

    She will complain that her life stinks and nothing is ever going to change. Nothing works no matter what she does. It goes on an on. I know I have many of get woke up during the night by her bawling her eyes out. There are some times that she goes on and on and all I want is for her to go shut herself in her room because she just rags on everything.

    My daughter is in therapy - at first she acted just like Wynter. "I'll go, but I am not happy about it." Now she emails back and forth with her counselor and requests to go in off weeks that she doesn't have an appointment. She doesn't always follow through on what they discuss. She will go on and on about how she can't tackle something. Her counselor has told her "How do you go about eating an elephant?" "One bite at a time" She still doesn't quite get the concept to try not to look at everything at once - shoot I can't even do that. My daughter is also being treated by psychiatrist for depression and he is keeping tabs on her emotions and has hinted that there is a strong possibility of bipolar there, but we really need to get her physical health under control before he makes that determination.

  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ahhh I have heard so much of that, almost word for word, over the years. It gets VERY tiring, I know. I found that it was best to disengage early in the conversation, as soon as you recognize the mood. Otherwise it goes back and forth for too darn long.

  12. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It does get very wearing. Your daughter is so normal in some of these things. While I was reading about the color of clothing I couldn't help but think, yep, she is becoming aware of her individuality. She has changed from pink to black and is uncomfortable what others may think even though it is her true self. "Others are teasing me" probably means "will others tease me?" Do people expect me to stay the same? I am changing, how will others accept my choices? People know me as a kid, how will they accept me as a teenager?

    I want to like black and gray - I am not a bad person to drop pink as my favorite color, but .......

    This is such a hard age - too old for kid activities but too young for teenage activities. She is looking for something new to do - All young teens would love for someone to "fix" them, make sure they come out right. We know that is not possible, to really be right, they have to build their own self. They are just nervous about the choices they make even those that really don't matter like what is your favorite color?

    I think she is looking for something new to do, something to verify that she is older and can do more. Would she be interesting in planning a week of meals? Give her some cookbooks or a list of common foods you eat and ask her to plan this week's meals. She can then check the kitchen to see what will be needed from the grocery store. Have her shop on her own (you can be there at the end to pay) You need to approve the list and she needs to stick to it. When I was that age, I would often ride bike 3 miles to get a few items for mom - she sent the money with or a blank check.

    Just an idea! Hang in there - It seems that the more options a kid has, the more bored they get.
  13. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I'm having flashbacks with the acne drama.

    I bought so much stuff for Daughter, I wish now I had never wasted my money. Of course, she would use whatever miracle product for two days and declare it didn't work because her skin wasn't completely cleared up. No amount of telling her she needed to use it consistently for at least a couple of weeks would budge her.

    I don't engage the "boring" thing either. I can always give plenty for them to do, and it ain't entertaining. So, I don't hear that much around my house.

    The 2:30 am thing. Oh my! My difficult children know better. Besides, they sleep like logs (it's the one blessing I have had).
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The stuff is normal. It's the level she takes it to that is difficult child.

    I get kind of tired hearing that this is normal teenage stuff. I have a normal teenager. I know the difference.

    She just told me that the only time she cries is when she's been around me. I'm ready to pack her up and send her away.
  15. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Whether it is a problem child or a tween, the issues are the same. As you said, it is the level things are taken to and the reactions that make them so dang difficult -- we can't react like the "normal" parent would. At the same time, our kids are going to live in the "normal" world whether they want to or not.

    I will make exceptions for my daughter and I have fought many battles for her. However, I also insisted that she do as much as she could to rectify problems before coming to me.

    An employer is not going to let someone go on and on about being unhappy -- they're going to tell say do job or go elsewhere. If it is said enough, it is simply go elsewhere. Friends are only going to listen to complaints so long and then find other friends who are more fun to be around. That's how life works. As difficult as it is, that is what we have to teach our kids. The world is not going to accommodate their differences nor their anxieties. The world is going to expect them to find their own solutions. It is not going to listen to the "I can't," "it won't work," etc. Flat out, the world is not going to care.

    I truly wish we could make things easier for our kids, but we can't. They're not so impaired that they will qualify for disability, so they are going to have to find a way to survive in this world. We have to teach them how and part of that teaching is forcing them to come up with their own solutions.
  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I know I keep saying this.......but seriously.........your difficult child and mine. Peas in a pod. They are so black and white. I really believe it is the NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) thing.

    The acne medication thing - she immediately discards it because she does not see immediate, complete results. Black and white. Indicative of all behaviors with these NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) or AS kids.
    The world is boring, because one thing is boring.
    She does not wear pink, so not one thing in the world can be pink.
    She cannot be reminded of the past, because it is the present.
    She cannot go to her friend's house for even a minute, because she cannot sleep over. Black and white. Rigid thinking.

    And I get it. What are you gonna say at 2 in the morning? Because "no" is not enough. They just keep going on and on, until they have the next door neighbors attention, let alone yours.

    So many hugs. When I read your posts I just immediately relate. These kids are so emotionally draining to a parent, it is impossible to keep up.

    For difficult child, therapy has never worked because he has always made up his mind from the beginning to be angry and hate it, like yours. Again, black and white. He was never going to even give it a chance, and I have tried every scenario in the book, and many, many therapists. I finally have decided that he will have to be the one to decode and manipulate his rigid world - because my interference with therapy will never be the winning ticket with him. He will have to decide for himself whether he wants the help. Perhaps the same for yours.
  17. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Oh, Heather...been there done that. That Goth look is the worst. Miss KT is finally adding some color to her wardrobe, and is no longer wearing 47 pounds of black eyeliner. The torn smelly black hi-top Converse, though, I can't get away from her. I have tried.

    I commented on Miss KT's vampire look at the beginning...she said, "I'm an individual. I want to look different." And then she got mad at me when I pointed out that she looked like every other "individual" on the high school campus. Oh, well...at least she showers.

    Steely, you are SO right...if it's not in this instant minute, it doesn't count. So frustrating!
  18. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You are POSITIVE that you were talking to Wynter and not Tink?

    My stepsons were with us for a week. By the last 2 days, they were ready o kill her, and she was ready to kill them. None of us could wait for them to leave. The VERY SECOND they walked out the door she told me she was bored. "You are bored? Go clean your room." "Mo-OM, you always tell me to clean something! It's ALL about you!"

    It's like, for once can you just sit there and not speak? At all? Don't talk, don't look at me, don't even think about me for FIVE minutes...

    Ahem. Sorry.
  19. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Steely, intellectually I can see it as black and white thinking, but I perceive it as pessimism. I guess if she ever - even ONE time - had a good day because of a single experience, I would feel differently. But, she can be having a GREAT day and have one little bitty thing happen and it becomes the worst day ever. This isn't new.

    For example, Christmas a few years ago - she was 8 or 9 - about a half dozen times she hugged me and said, "Thank you, Mom. This is the BEST Christmas ever." Later that same night, the batteries to one of her new games that we had been playing started to die. She shoved it aside and said, "This is the worst Christmas ever." No exaggeration. Every day life is the same way.

    Tonight she told me that now she WANTS to go to therapy because all I ever do is yell at her and put her down. :surprise: :919Mad: :919Mad:

    OMG! I thought my head was going to FALL OFF. You have NO idea how carefully I weigh my words with this child. Yell? You have got to be kidding. I've gotten frustrated and have had a tone, I'm sure, but I haven't yelled. I've wanted to. Several times. But, I haven't.

    She's miserable, she doesn't want to do anything about it and it's all my fault. Oh, and she only cries when she's been around me.

    easy child asked if I pointed out that it's probably because she's around me ALL the time, so mathematically she's correct. :tongue:

    I am really not liking my child at all right now. She hoovers the life right out of me when she's like this.

    I don't care why she goes to therapy. If she wants to go because she wants to complain about her 'horrible' mother - if that's what motivates her - at least she's there. Fine by me.

    And I don't mean to be snippy. I am just oversensitive to the 'normal child' thing because what she does, the way she thinks and how she reacts is not normal by any stretch of the imagination and all I got for years from the school district was there is nothing wrong with her. Even had a guidance counselor (some of you have heard this before) tell me that, "Wynter doesn't have a problem, Heather. You do."

    Right now, at this very moment, I've had it up to my eyeballs with this child, with her negativity, with her being a victim, with her being helpless, with it all being my fault. I don't want to talk to her. I don't even want to look at her right now. I need a break from her.

    Which one of you is volunteering for a sleep over? :bigsmile:
  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    difficult child 1 hated therapy, yet, while he was in it, he was always in less trouble.

    DEX was tolerable when we were in marriage counseling, tho, while we were going, he hated it, didn't need it, and it was all my problems, anyway.

    Let her hate it. Glad she's going.