difficult child is telling people she has cancer

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ediwiz, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. ediwiz

    ediwiz Member

    I really don’t know what to do about this, so any advice will be appreciated. difficult child has decided that she has cancer. She doesn’t of course, but she decided a week ago that she had cancer and when her Dr. told her it wasn’t she decided to leave that bit of information out. (He wants to remove a mole) She has decided that she is going to shave her head (because in her most dramatic voice, “ I just couldn’t bear to wake up with hair all over my pillow from the chemo”). Ok, you DON’T have cancer and there will be no chemo. I know that she will shave her head as soon as it warms up (the windchill has risen to -17 degrees today), that’s what she does. What irks me the most was at church yesterday she went up to a group of college + young people that she occasionally hangs with and proceeded to tell them she has cancer (I only heard the “I will have to endure 4 weeks of chemo-therapy”, but I had to leave before I screamed). She asked these people to pray for her, which being the kind people they are and not knowing difficult child for who she is, prayed for her.

    She, of course, is telling me something quite different. When I confronted one of the people she regularly talks to on Sunday about encouraging her to shave her head, he looks at me angrily and says, well she’s going to loose it anyway. :hammer:Unfortunately difficult child was there and whisked me away before I asked too many questions. difficult child said that this gentleman always teases her and because he is balding, he tells her she will loose all her hair someday. Give me a break, I was not born yesterday, I know that she told him some sob story about having cancer and chemo. Arghhh!!!

    What IS the color of the sky in her world????? This is new for her, usually she just fakes an injury. How delusional is this child? I know that at the moment she knows it isn’t true, but the way she operates, it will soon become “true”. difficult child is willing to shave her head to continue this charade. This really upsets the easy child’s. They were there when their Grandma died of cancer. (difficult child was there, but of course she can't equate that bit of information to her dilusion) This especially upsets my oldest easy child, he and his Grandma were very close and he sees this as disrespectful to her memory. I do have a call into her therapist, but I can’t talk to her Pysch (she’s 18 and won’t give permission). Her therapist, bless her heart, got around that by telling difficult child that I pay the bills, so she needs to be able to communicate with me. LOL

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'd quietly let my priest know that while difficult child could certainly use the prayers of others, she does not have cancer.
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Sherry, I wonder if, after you call therapist, if therapist could call psychiatrist and share what's going on. Professional courtesy and all that.

  4. ediwiz

    ediwiz Member

    TM - In my frustration I didn't think about that. We have a Care/Counseling Ministry and the pastor that leads that group is difficult child's former therapist. I think that I'll contact him and let him know.

    Suz - Great minds think a like! :biggrin: We have already used that form of communication for other difficult child issues.
    LOL :rofl:

  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    :rofl: :bravo: :rofl:

    Suz :smile:
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good Grief! I don't envy you. Matter of fact I thought it
    was embarrassing two weeks ago when my difficult child "volunteered" to
    do a Greek dance at a fundraiser at the high school....and
    he doesn't know any Greek dances! Geez! He thought he did
    a great job!

    Compared to your difficult child, my issues pale. Sending hugs. DDD
  7. ediwiz

    ediwiz Member

    DDD - thanks for the hugs...

    difficult child is still fixating on the whole cancer thing. I thought that once she was back on campus that she wouldn't have time, silly me. She used to do simple things like fake a broken foot or hurt arm.. this is just so over the top. :smile:

  8. Jen

    Jen New Member

    Well that is a story initself. She is creative!
  9. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Oh Sherry... :frown:

    Good Grief... I'm sorry. No words of wisdom just many hugs and added prayers for your difficult child.
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    People will soon realize the truth.... and they will think she has some mental health issues, because who would lie about having cancer??? They will tell others and she will be a laughingstock. A lady in this deli I go to told me she had ovarian cancer. But she didn't even know her Dr.s name and I kind of didn't beleive her. Then she told me it came back and she now has "throat cancer" (it wouldn't come back as throat cancer it would still be called ovarian cancer)(and it wouldn't come back in her "throat") anyway she hasn't had treatment-but she is lying (why?) and I feel sorry for her. So sorry for what you are going through..-Alyssa
  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Oh man! What a delimma. I like TM's idea. Obviously your difficult child could use the prayers but the congregation doesn't need the feeling of betrayal that will come if left to find out on their own of the deception. -RM
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

  13. ediwiz

    ediwiz Member

    Suz - I have tried mentioning this to both her docs, but they dismiss it. They say it is simply attention seeking. THEY don't pay the doctor bills. There have been years where we would be at the emergency for some "accident" once a month for 4 months in a row. If one "injury" didn't do it, then she would just find one that got her the attention she wanted. Unfortunately we couldn't ignore it on the off chance that she really was injured. If she didn't like what the doctor said she would make something up. Her high school would call me to verify. We got to be really 'good' friends. LOL

    difficult child and friend who was willing to shave her head (actually encouraged her to which is what I think started the whole cancer fixation, it was an excuse to shave her head) have had a fight. I am hoping that this will allow difficult child to fixate on something else. I got a call at midnight last night, difficult child sobbing saying, "Why do they always blame me? I'm a good kid. I just try to help." We have had this conversation many, many times. "difficult child, you need to work on getting yourself healthy. What your friends choose to do is just that, their choice. Stop trying to "save" them and concentrate on yourself and school". I know she hears this because she will regurgitate it verbatim to youngest easy child with such authority when she is trying to be the 'big' sister.

    Youngest easy child is taking a pyschology class and she learned earlier in the year that "you only attract people who are as healthy/unhealthy as you". She likes to mention that to difficult child which really doesn't help. LOL :rofl:

    difficult child has a high IQ and that gets in the way when I try to explain to people how she really is. Although she is very social and wants to be everyones friend she alienates them, irritates them, and frustrates them because she really has no social skills, barely understands boundaries(we have worked for years on that one)and can fixate on something for days, even weeks. She can fake 'normalcy' for a while, but then she will come home and let all that built up frustration out, usually directed towards youngest easy child and myself. I am trying to detach, much to the shock and confusion of the therapist and psychiatrist. She's 18, it's not like I didn't warn everyone. :hammer:We have been moving towards independence for years. I made sure before she turned 18 that she all supports in place.

  14. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Our difficult children are certainly complicated, aren't they? You're doing great, Sherry.

  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If she is 18, let HER pay the bills for the doctor visits for the feigned illnesses. She is legally responsible for them now, anyway. That is what I did when Oldest turned 18, I was tired of footing the bill for her "frequent flier" visits to the ER (one year she went over 40 times, I counted). Of course, her credit is now shot because she just ignored them all!

    While she may not have signed a release for you to talk to psychiatrist, that dose not mean you can't give that doctor information about her. A therapist once suggested this to me with Oldest, as well... when she was constantly getting new pain pill scrips out of her OBGYN. She told me to call and leave a message saying that I realized that they couldn't give ME information, but that didn't have to stop me from giving THEM information about Oldest. It worked, the nurse called me back and took a message. She explained the doctor wouldn't call me back and I said that was fine, I didn't need her to.

    Anyway. Just my 2 cents. My Oldest makes up all kinds of lies, including about being raped by her father. Once she called employer and said she couldn't come in because her sister (Youngest) had been in a horrible car accident. Too bad her stepmother walked into the store a few hours later and was shocked when they asked her how Youngest was (same last name).

    She's not pulled the cancer card yet but I wouldn't be surprised if she did one day!
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    To my untrained eye this screams classic borderline behavior. Its the sort of manipulative, attention seeking behavior which is classic for this diagnosis.
  17. ediwiz

    ediwiz Member

    Thanks all for your support. If it weren't so sad it would be funny. Wait, it is, in a sick and twisted way. I have noticed that my sense of humor is getting more warped. Must be a side affect of having a difficult child. (sigh)

    Janet - difficult child is such a classic Borderline, she was diagnosed at age 12. No one would put it down officially until she was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and then they were hesitant. I took her to a neuropsychologist last summer just to see if any of her diagnosis' had changed and the Dr. looked at me and said, "when you look up Borderline Personality Disorder in the dictionary her picture is beside the definition isn't it." I nodded and Dr. said, "I'm sorry". Thanks..... Gotta love the pro's and their profound wisdom. LOL :hammer:

  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Is difficult child at all open to therapy for her borderline?

    One of the reasons my therapist questions my borderline diagnosis (I have been dxd with borderline disorder and borderline traits...she agrees with the traits) is because I am not manipulative enough. I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have outgrown some of my manipulative behavior. I can remember doing some of these things as a teen or young adult. I used to want to have broken bones and fake falling down or stuff and go to the ER. I can even remember one time hitting my arm with a big stick to make it all red and bruised so it would be ugly looking. I had no clue why I was doing this. I had no diagnosis back then. This stuff stopped on its own as my life became filled with other stuff. I had kids to take care of and I was going to school...didnt have time to do those things. Also my youngest had health problems of his own so maybe that filled that need? Good psychiatric question...lol. And no I didnt cause his problems...he had birth defects.

    So...maybe there is some hope but really I hope she will do therapy so she isnt 45 and still trying to overcome borderline.
  19. ediwiz

    ediwiz Member

    Janet - Actually she is doing DBT with her therapist, but we no longer call it that. She refused to do it because she didn't like the sound so therapist said, "ok difficult child, we'll just try this therapy" and kept working with her. LOL

    difficult child has real issues with control. She HAS to be in control at all times. She is perpetually late, especially when I give her a specific time. I have learned to tell her 15 minutes earlier than I actually show up to get her, knowing that I will wait an additional 5 -10 min. Drives me nuts. If it is critical I'll leave without her. She can get to the Dr. on time if I force her to make her own transportation arrangements. (She won't learn to drive, even when I make it hard for her by not providing transportation.)

    I do see maturity in some areas, which makes things like faking cancer very frustrating. Just when I think there is a good possibility that she will be able to function independently, she does something like this. It probably bothers me more than it should, but the kid is so bright and intelligent, can pull straight A's when school is her focus, but social skills and empathy and understanding boundaries are just so difficult for her. She used to sabotage her successes, but this doesn't feel that way. This feels like she is feeling out of control and she won't cut (she's a cutter) because she will get kicked out of college and graduating from this college seems to be important to her. For that I am greatful. I really want her to be happy, but the drama is too much sometimes.

    Her brother and sister are discussing what they should do with her if something were to happen to me. They are very mature and thoughtful, but they both know that she will never be able to live with either one. easy child's are 27 and 16, they shouldn't be thinking about this stuff. Z should be thinking about proposing to his girlfriend and buying a house, and N should be worrying about boys and colleges and normal teen stuff. They are really close and I'm glad that even with all the stuff difficult child has done to both of them, they still love her and want what's best. I tell them they really don't need to think about that stuff right now, but N being the list maker and planner just wants a plan in place so she doesn't have to think about it.

  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like you may have hit it on the head. She is feeling out of control...she doesnt want to cut so she is using another coping mechanism...albeit a poor one to get by.

    Your other kids sound great! My middle son is my "saviour" kid. At least he was...right now Im ready to throw him under the bus...lmao. He always wants to take care of the entire family and would be completely happy if we would all move in with him.