Desperately need help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by winno33, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. winno33

    winno33 New Member

    :anxious: Hi to everyone! I have been online for months now trying to find out what is wrong with me and my daughter, I only found your site tonight. Having read some of the posts I can see that I have found the right place and I am hoping that someone can give me some kind of answers to my questions. So here goes! My daughter is 15 yrs old, when she was 9 I found out she had been sexually abused by her 14 yr old cousin over a 2 yr period (approx 5 times) I took her for therapy but she wouldn't respond, she refused point blank to talk about it to anyone.
    Around this time she started to lie about everything, exagerated everything. I called her on every lie and her response was that her dad lied to her all the time, so what was the difference. (her dad is not involved in her life, his decision, and has repeatedly lied to her whenever he decides to pop into her life once a year or so) She is extremely bright but can be lazy. So I had the usual problems with her in elementary. I had to push her to do homework, would lie and tell me she had none etc. I thought these things were normal (except for the lying) until she went to middle school. Then all hell broke loose. While she always respected her teachers and got "A"s for conduct she had problems with other kids. She said they bullied her. One of these kids lived in my building and I had the police at my door for several trivial things. It never stopped. In the end I moved. I rented a house and paid a mortgage at the same time. She went to a new school and within a month I had the same problems. Before the end of that year she was in the Hospital Homebound Program as she had problems that still have not been diagnosed yet. (facial eydema, pain in joints, fatique and headaches) she remained in that program for the rest of middle school. Tried therapy again and again. She just told the therapists what they wanted to hear each time. She became a master manipulater, or she always was one and I never realized it. She started High School and within ONE week all her symptoms got became severe. Now she is in the Virtual High School. We fight everyday about doing school work, it's a constant battle. Her Dr. put her on Prozac for anxiety. I caught her drinking in January and grounded her. In March she tried to commit suicide. She dated a boy of 18 (I didn't know) and he dumped her after he had sex with her. In April she was caught shoplifting. In May she put makeup on her eye, bit her bottom lip and took photos, sent them to her dad and tried to have me arrested, saying I beat her up. Then she ran away, the police found her the next day. Now she is home and I quit work 'cos I can't leave her on her own. She won't do her school work. Says she wants to do her GED and join the army. When she talks to people, they think she is a darling child, very bright and articulate (which she is) But this other side of her I can't explain, it's almost like she is a different person. She has told some of her friends that she has breast cancer, ovarian cancer. I found a letter she wrote wishing she had cancer and that she would survive it. I found 10 books in her room all about sex "How to..." everything you could imagine about sex. And the thing is, she had to have stolen them too.
    These things sound a lot more than just anxiety to me, but I am not a Dr. She has been hospitalized twice and still no diagnoses. The last time they looked at me as if I was the problem and told me to take her home that they don't have a "pill for lying"
    I am very afraid for my daughter and her future. I have to do something for her fast, before something else happens. But I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any ideas about her behaviour? I have read up on a lot of the "DISORDERS" and she seems to fall into BiPolar (BP) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) but doesn't seem to have all the traits of either.
    Also, even without a diagnose, does anyone recommend a therapeutic school of any kind?
    I am sorry for going on and on....but you what, just writing this down seems to have helped me! Thank you for listening!
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Wow, I'm glad you have found your way here! I have no experience with sexual abuse treatement or many of the issues that you are having with your daughter. Sounds very complicated and it also sounds like you have changed your life a few times to accomodate your daughter.

    There will be some members along as the day breaks that will be able to offer you some suggestions regarding the sexual abuse and the diagnosis you suspect.

    Welcome here to the board Winno. You have found a place of great support.

  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us.

    I, too, have no experience with sexual abuse, but I recommend finding a doctor skilled in the treatment of children/adolescents who have experienced sexual abuse. That incident seems to be proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

    I'm also wondering if your daughter is still taking Prozac. If so, it could be causing some of the problems she's experiencing now -- disinhibition, anger, suicidal tendencies. Is she under the care of an adolescent psychiatrist right now? Have you talked about the increase in problems since the Prozac?

    Again, welcome. Others will be along shortly to share their experiences and advice.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've had experience with sexual abuse. Your daughter's problems sound like way more than anxiety. This is what I'd do if I were you.
    I'd have that child in counseling with an expert in this particular issue. Not just any counselor will do. Your daughter may choose not to talk or to manipulate, but at one time or another she may choose to open up, if the counselor deals with her the right way. Sexual abuse can last a lifetime and affect one in many negative ways.
    She also sounds like she could have some serious mental health issues along with possible illegal drug abuse or serious drinking. When behavior changes fast for the worst, suspect drugs. And, yeah, they lie while staring you straight in the eyes while using drugs.
    If she has never been to a regular psychiatrist (with the MD), I'd take her there for diagnosis, and for a referral to somebody who understands the devestation of sexual abuse. Warning: Usually kids downplay their amount of sexual abuse. My younger kids said that they were abuse "once" then "three times." Eventually, through therapy, we found out it had been routinely for three long years. Abused children are ashamed, feel it's partly their faults or that they deserved it, and tend to minimize. And we, as parents, hoping for the best, sometimes tend to hope it was only a few times, and the kids pick up on that and try to temper the amount of times it happened. j
    Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Winno33. So sorry you had to find us but so glad you did!
    I'm glad Midwest Mom replied. I have no experience with-sexual abuse yet I agree that she has something else going on, possibly another mood disorder and/or drugs.
    Please get her into therapy, and I agree with-MM, not just any therapist.
    I feel really badly that her so-called boyfriend dumped her after they had sex. Makes me want to strangle him, especially after what she's been through.
  6. change

    change New Member

    First, welcome. I hate to share's very personal...but ONLY because so many have really helped me with my children in such a short period of time, I'll do it. When I was 5 years old, I was sexually abused. It was only once but it really messed me up. When I finally told my parents, they were supportive but did not seek me any therapy at all and the man had recently died so I guess they felt like it was a mute point. I was in middle school by then. Also, I'm not sure when but about that time, a cousin exprimented with me a little, nothing big, but I was totally disgusted. I didn't tell. I then, proceeded to act out terribly for about 2 straight years (7th & 8th grade). Same as your daughter, I had excellent grades and conduct. I was even in the gifted program at school. I was very disrespectful to my parents. In 8th grade I got caught shoplifting a tube of mascara and my parents decided it was the last straw and sent me back to private school (Catholic). They saw no connection between what I had revealed (sexual abuse) and the acting out. As far as I know they thought it was the kids and the public school. I was grounded from everything except school activities. I wanted to go to a gifted academy (public) so badly I was furious. The high school I went to was college prep but I was afraid the kids would be snobby. Once I got there, I settled in and there was so much to do (activities) that I began to get my act together because I wanted them to loosen up their grip on me. I'll be honest and say that I still made poor choices and engaged in some risky behavior over the rest of my teen years but no drugs, very little alcohol use, and none of it jeopordized my academics. The only thing that kept me going was that I wanted to get the heck out of my house to a top university and I was able to do that. Maybe if you can find something for her to focus on, she can get herself under control enough to "get by" and get her through these years. When I look back on those years, I have a lot of shame about my behavior. I don't like to think about them. I'm a totally different person now. Even my husband doesn't know the full extent of how messed up I once was. I'm still so ashamed of it I can't even put it down here in words. Thank God he met me when I was already much better. I think even he made me want to be a better person. My daughter is going through the same thing now and sometimes I think God brought her into my home because I can relate to her while others want to judge her and give up on her. No one knows what it's like to survive sexual abuse unless you've been there but it can be done. I had no therapy at all, no drugs, it was all me and my own drive. My parents were always very loving even though they didn't seem to have a clue what I was doing as I got older, but they were very loving every step of the way while I was in college. I did graduate in 4 years too. I hope this gives you a little bit of hope. I've never revealed this much to anyone before. (I'm so glad this is anonymous! LOL) BIG HUGS and PRAYERS for your daughter....
  7. winno33

    winno33 New Member

    Hi everyone and thanks for your replies, they are very much appreciated. My name is Anna and when I figure my way around the site a little bit more I will change it from my user id.
    I just wanted to touch on some of the comments made.
    Yes, my daughter is still on medications. She does have a psychiatrist but he has only seen her twice. He has no real diagnosis but suspects BiPolar (BP). I did point out my fears to him regarding her condition worsening after she started the medications. He said she still needs them for now. After she ran away she ended up in physc hospital for 7 days. Her therapist put her in for the evaluation. She was also in their after the suicide, even still no evaluation yet. Just anxiety. At this point I found out her dad is BiPolar (BP).
    I can relate to her about the sexual abuse, as it happened to me several times as child. I told my mom when I was 33 and she still didn't believe! so what chance did I have as a child. However, I talk to my difficult child a lot about this issue.. Last month though whe went the police station and told them that two guys (19 + 22) raped her last year. But God forgive me, I don't believe her. The cops told me it would be difficult to make a case, given it was so long ago and she said she had been drinking and smoking weed when it happened. They doubted her story. Some cop friends of mine won't even talk to me anymore as they are afraid of getting mixed up in something.
    Now since she got out of hospital she tells me she has been on drugs since she was 13, weed, cocain, pills and has even tried heroin.. But that miracously got off them herself. Without me knowing??? Is this possible? How could I not know something like this. There is only the two of us. She said she stole at least $200 per week from my purse to pay for this habit. ( I alway had a lot of cash from work, but I always balanced) Again I don't believe her. Am I becoming my mom? Her therapist doesn't believe her either, says her story is inconsistant but to watch her anyway. I think she lives in a fantasy world where she wants to be a victim. I even wonder about the first abuse, but she told me things that a 9 yr old wouldn't know, so I tend to believe this happened.
    She doesn't have temper tantrums and is not violent in any way. She can be very sweet when she wants. Knows all the buzz words when it comes to Dr's. She reads alot of self help books and criminolgy books (which scares me)
    For the last two weeks we have talked about her lying and she agrees she needs help. The story of the drugs I feel is one big lie that she can tell everyone as an excuse for all her recent bad behaviour. But I am also afraid it is true.
    I have looked on line for therapeutic schools but nearly had a heart attack at the prices. How in the name of God can anyone afford these. The cheapest is $60K a year. I could never afford that and her insurance won't cover. I need to get back to work and soon as once again I have depleted all my savings trying to help her. I have tried getting help from DCF but I keep hitting closed doors.
    My biggest fear is that I am doing it all wrong and will miss the opportunity to help her now before it gets any worse.
    Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks once again for listening. Anna
  8. change

    change New Member

    GOSH Anna, you have your hands completely full and then some. I don't have any advice. You seem to already be doing everything I can think of. The lying is awful. It drives me crazy too. Both of my kids do it. Therapists have tried to convince me that it's an adoptee thing but I read the Papalos book on Bi-Polar children and it mentions crazy-lying as a common symptom. Our attorney (we have a case because of our son) gave us an excellent book I wish we would have had years ago called High Risk- Children Without a Conscience by Ken Magid. It is an easy read and made me feel a lot less guilty as this forum does. Check it out. As far as medications, I've never found the perfect combo for my daughter and NOTHING worked on my son but Lamictal worked the best by far for my daughter and she also has a special light she sits under for an hour a day in the winter to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms (common in bi-polar people). I'm not sure it works but I was willing to try anything. I have not found a solution to the lying at all. Hers is not as bad as your daughter's but she's only 12 and very immature. I do the same thing you do though, I call her on every single lie...whether big or small. I also praise her when she is honest. It seems to help.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Anna, my daughter took every drug in the book and got off the drugs herself, and we didn't know. We knew she smoked pot, but that was it. It's possible, although her saying she took $200 a week from you--I think you'd know that. But my daughter told me so many "when I used drugs stories" that we know it's true. Plus we had telltale signs. You never know...that's the sad part.
  10. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I'm concerned that your daughter has displayed quite a few symptoms that can be adverse reactions to the Prozac (including the suicide attempt) and that even though you told the doctor that her condition has worsened since starting the antidepressant, he says she still needs it. You have to ask if she's better or worse since starting the Prozac and if the answer is "worse" she doen't still need it. And if the doctor even suspects bipolar, she should be taken off an antidepressant until bipolar is ruled out. Antidepressants not only aren't bipolar medications, they have warnings about prescribing it for people with bipolar. In fact, you may want to consider the possibility of antidepressant induced bipolar.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi all - also new to the board and this describes by 13-yo-stepdaughter to a tee, we just found out (Thanksgiving) her mother's boyfriend has been abusing her for over 2 years (the kids live with us now thank the Lord), he has been arrested but they let him go. My step-difficult child (!) has been arrested, spent a night in juvie and has expulsion hearing this week, and she refuses to let the counselors help her, won't take her medications, doesn't sleep, steals (stupid stuff like my washcloth - ?!), lies... If anyone has any idea what we can do mostly to help her sleep, cause when she does fall asleep she sleeps for 8-9 hours, but then on school nights stays up till 5 AM and then gets up at 6 (I would be pretty grumpy and nasty to people and oppositional too on 5 hrs/a week). We do have a local place that specializes in this sort of thing but it doesn't stop the outbursts at school. by the way you aren't alone in this!!! I'm just looking for suggestions to keep her from trying to run the house, so far she's been able to walk on her Dad because every time he disciplines her (grounding) her mother gets a protective order swearing he beats her, then court comes and surprise, difficult child "can't remember" and it gets dropped. I don't know what to do besides lock my entire house up including her and I know that's not an option!
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Anna--

    I wanted to say hello and welcome...

    I don't have a whole lot of expertise in this area, but my first impression is that this girl has not NEARLY met the correct counselor to help her with her issues. So I almost feel that you need to go all the way back to square one on the therapy...

    My niece was sexually abused by her step-father....and because this happened "in the family" so to speak--her parents and grandparents have been dragging their feet on help for her, even though they SHOULD be in high gear, aggressively seeking the right sorts of support. And that poor child has been going through a lot of what you describe...

    So before I began labelling "Depression" or "Bi-Polar"...I would want to make sure that the therapist she was seeing was truly an expert in helping children that have been sexually abused over long periods of time.

    It sounds like you have been doing all that you possibly can as a parent--but it sounds like the professionals you have been working with may not have been doing all that they can to help. It is possible that these are not the right people for your daughter (especially if they felt the problem was you.).

  13. compassion

    compassion Member

    Anna, Welcome and ((( ))). I also have a 15 year old daughter who exhibits many of the traits you shared. She was diagnosis bipolar , abuses substances and has a conduct disorder. She also acts out sexually a lot. I also live in Fl. Currently, I hav eher gign to frequent AA meetings, therapy once a week and psychiatrist once a month. The mood stabilizer Lactimal with Abilify helps alot when she takes them. She aslo "spins" alot : it is very hard to discern what is truth or fantasty with her. I look at her actions, attend Al-Anon and post and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) this forum every day. Compassion
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you're still working with your daughter. She does sounds BiPolar (BP) from your description. I was led to believe that Prozac is bad for BiPolar (BP). I would be worried about it.
    I am very upset with-the comment by the dr who said they didn't have a pill for lying. He should be a janitor.
    Lying is clearly a symptom of many things. He was too lazy to even Google it.

    Change, you're a sweetie for posting that note. It was even helpful to me, and I was never in your situation!

    StepTo2, nice to meet you. Can you start your own thread so we can meet you and find out more about you?
  15. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wanted to add my welcome!
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome, Anna.

    I also have a easy child who was sexually abused by another child and who refused to cooperate with counselling. we did what we could.

    However, my easy child didn't become the problem yours has, which makes me think there are other likely factors involved. Of course, we can't really compare, but a number of things worry me.

    About her claiming to have had a serious drug habit but now kicked it - I'm with you, I doubt it. She may have tried a couple of things briefly but especially regarding heroin use, saying she's been a user who kicked the habit - that sounds like the way a naive kid would talk to themselves about heroin when thinking about giving it a try; "It won't get its hooks into me because I'm a strong person, I won't allow myself to get hooked, all you need is enough inner strength and even heroin use won't be a problem."
    Added in to her wish to get cancer so she can be cured of it, so she can rightly tell people she is a cancer survivor - I think the heroin history is similar fantasy.

    What she is wanting, is to be able to say (with the clear, obvious evidence) that she is a strong person, she is exceptional, she is a survivor in the extreme.

    So what is it about herself that she wants this? Does she feel that she isn't respected enough for her inner strength? Or is she afraid she isn't as strong as she wants to be? On that score, it could come back to the abuse history - it's more socially acceptable to say you're a cancer survivor, than to say you're a survivor of abuse.

    As for the sex - she is now a sexually aware individual, you can't put that particular genie back in the bottle. The best you can do is teach her that if she wants the adult pleasures then she has to learn to take the corresponding adult responsibilities - good sexual health (of yourself and your partner), contraception (again, of both parties), and the emotional health issues that kids never seem to take on board. Sex used too trivially can do a lot of emotional harm to kids. Your daughter may be fine, but her partners may find the experience too distressing, if she also comes with an emotional rollercoaster as part of the experience. easy child 2/difficult child 2 had this effect on boys, her first boyfriend was absolutely smitten with her and after they broke up he remained obsessed (I'm concerned he still is, although he now has another girlfriend). We warned her that she needed to not be too free with her favours or she could lay the foundations for a great deal of trouble with potential stalkers. I would go carefully with your daughter with this one - I suspect she would be secretly delighted to have boys so smitten that they couldn't stop following her around.

    I hope you can get some answers. A book we often recommend on this site is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Even if she isn't explosive, it can still give you some useful tips on how to handle her.

  17. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I think you may want to consider getting a copy of The Bipolar Child and see if anything rings a bell to you -- particularly her behaviors prior to the sexual abuse.

    That book also discusses medications and how anti-depressants and other medications may adversely impact an individual with-bipolar.

    Bipolar is often genetic. Anyone else in your family with-neurological disorders (diagnosed or with-behavior problems)?

    I've heard analysis of hair can identify use or prior use of illegal drugs. Not real sure how true that may be, but if you want to find out for sure, you may want to check into it.

    I'd work on the premise that the sexual abuse occurred, but I understand the possibility of it not being true. Some of our difficult child's can tell some whoppers if it suits their needs --sometimes with-little or no remorse for the havoc and heartbreak it causes.

    Her behaviors are extreme, and you've done the right thing in trying to help her. Too bad the doctor can't see past the sounds much more than that to me.

    One thing I've seen over and over on this board and have experienced with-my difficult child, if a child has some neurological problems early on they get magnified during puberty and the teen years.

    Welcome to the site.:D