difficult child ultimate defiance like i've never seen

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    unreal is all i can say to all of you.

    as you know i headed home today reluctantly leaving to go back home to clean my clothes, get some rest and get difficult child's hw from school that i had to pick up and work and stuff from her locker.

    difficult child went into lunch at 12 today. difficult child is still in the dining room right now and it's 8 here. she sat for 8 hours today with a gingerale, choc milk, water and an ice cream bar. they have her on a liquid diet now.

    she blew up, raged, stated all the things in her past life my divorce our move etc. that angers her, things about easy child about my home, ex h's home she doesn't like and than proceeded to sit there for 8 hours adn refuse to drink her liquids.

    that is not phobic that is defiance and will that i have never seen before in my life in a child. she got mad that i left and went home, she got mad that i wont' take her out. the day started badly with-alot of calls telling me how she wanted out of there. adn this is how the day ended. supposedly she's drinking now and they finally broke her. her dad's there with-her now and is waiting to go in and c her.

    all i can say is no one believed me what she does, none of the doctors when i said if i talk to husband at night when he gets home she'll throw herself on floor, lock herself in bathroom, hit the door, try to break the bed, do whatever she has to to gain my attention and get my focus off of him and onto her. those aren't all the times just when she's manic.

    unreal is all i can say at this point. i was on road she called me and said where are you she sounded ok and i said 'm on southern state and than she said i gotta go to lunch and that was last i heard of her.

    can i even tell you how many times i cried today and broke down? yet i didnt' go back out and get her. i stayed putt. i cant' talkt o her till late tmrw because they took her phone away. today was a battle of wills between the program and difficult child.
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    oh and ontop of it she's super sedated. they gave her extra seroquel so the kid's sitting there exhausted, tired, beat up drugged up and still being defiant like a wild horse it reminds me of. an angry wild horse.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    and after a 9 hour battle she walked out of that dining room ex h said perfectly fine???!!! therapist and i were in contact on and off throughout the ordeal. she said i know what i have to do you aren't going to like it i said just do it. may seem extreme yet she's gotta get that she's here and you aren't taking her out. i was like i totally agree with-you. difficult child had a great day yesterday for hte most part when liquids were introduced. she even asked for extra last nite which was huge. than today she heard i was heading back home, she got ****** with therapy yesterday and that was that she wanted out and was fixatating on her throat. telling nurses i dont' care what you do i am not drinking it. awful stuff. i spoke to her tonight and i could tell she was medicated. i felt it in her voice. she had no affect at all. hate that so so much. hate this whole entire ordeal so very much.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I know nothing of the program she's in (at least not first hand experience) but I would suspect this is to be expected. Part of what makes a difficult child a difficult child is the level of intensity they are willing to go to to maintain control of a situation (not intentionally...justt...how they are wired)

    Sounds like she's earning her title.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Jen, that defiance and intensity are EXACTLY what makes her a difficult child. It is likely that she is trying to make you come back and get her. I guess she is going to have to learn the hard way that you will do what she NEEDS to have happen, not what she wants to have happen. I am sure that having you there was a good thing for the first few days, esp as they were so sure they could just force her to eat and send her home. Now they are going to have to work in therapy with her. She will likely only be able to have her phone when she is working her program. When she refuses they are likely to take the phone away because it is a distraction and because she has people right there she can tell things to.

    It is good that ex-h blew up in family therapy while you were there with him. Otherwise he would have had a good chance to sabotage her success. Have you let them know the stuff that you have learned from his mom about his phobias, etc... when he was a kid? in my opinion those are likely to be helpful things for the docs to know - I think it would be treated differently if it ran in the family than if it was just her. Just my thought. At least they would take the info into account.

    I know you don't like the medications. The extra seroquel was likely needed for today. In a couple of weeks she is likely to have adjusted to the medication, but you have to get through that time, which is hard when they are at home and are so exhausted. (I know - JEss and I were put on a muscle relaxer by our docs - different docs, same medication, and it knocks me out but just makes her tired to the point she cannot cope with ANYTHING. It is hard to see her like that, and to handle her. I am only taking mine half the time because husband cannot handle Jess when she is like that. In a couple of weeks she will be over that and the medication will just help. We have to hang in there and get to that point, if it is at all possible. )

    It is a GOOD thing that she is showing her stripes to the psychiatric hospital people. They cannot treat what they cannot see. Now they can see this, and see how she went to being just fine from being very much not fine as soon as she was allowed to see her dad. Now THEY get to figure out how best to manage it. Most phosps don't let the kids keep cell phones, so she may or may not be able to keep it and to call you at anytime. Esp now that she is used to being there.

    Take care of stuff at home. She is in good hands, and will call you when she is allowed to. Now that they are giving her therapy instead of just forcing her to eat, and giving her medications, she is likely to make progress. It is time to start taking care of Jen now. Letting Jen get over the food poisoning, having Jen get a GOOD night's sleep, etc...

    Hugs to you and difficult child.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hugs Jena,
    I know this has to be one of the most difficult things and I'm sorry things have been so rough.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Jena, I see this as really good news, on so many fronts. Relax. Breathe.

    This had to happen at some stage. It was going to happen. But it has happened in ways that tell people you are NOT to blame. It also has once again shown ex-H in a very unfavourable (and realistic) light.

    difficult child has finally expressed all the hurts she claims to be causing her pain, and she expressed them fluently, loudly and in doing so, has told other people she IS hurting, and has also put a voice to them. it had to happen. I think a lot of her swallowing problems are because she's been internalising it for far too long. Remember how you feel as a child when upset - your throat feels tight. But if you feel you can't express it for fear of hurting other people, you weather it through until finally, it all gets too much.

    Then she gets sick and gets your attention, in ways that feel more acceptable and legitimate. By this time she cannot control this, it is a runaway train. You have done the right thing placing her here. They have done the right thing listening to you and putting her on a liquid diet. You have done the right thing and left over night, plus you gave her fair warning. But she was wanting you to take her away from all this, she was hoping you would cave and bring her home. And when it didn't happen, it tipped it all over.

    A comedy sketch I saw years ago (The Two Ronnies) has a line I love - "only with one's back to the wall, can one go forward." She's finally realised she has her back to the wall and she's lashed out. But lashed out at the very people who are there to help her, and who understand it.

    Stay strong. Smile. This is good news. Because now she's finally voiced it, she can begin getting help for it. And what she voiced may not be really the main problems, but at least they're out in the open now, she can't retract those words and she has to accept help.

    There may be more of these outbursts. Welcome them. They open the doors for her to get help for them.

    Good news. But yes, it is upsetting to hear it. Keep telling yourself, it is a good sign that you are doing the right thing.

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It sounds like are teasing some problems out of her. My first thought here is that all her eating issues aren't just intentional manipulative behavior- she might really have some phobia and the manipualtion (for lack of better term) can sometimes be knowing that if she cries and you give in about the food, it keeps her from having to deal with that fear- I call that unintentional manipulation because it becomes habit. On the one hand, her throwing a tantrum over this stuff could be another form of that, but it really might be an indication of her having some difficulties adjusting to the marriage and not being the center of your attention or feeling threatened by losing you- who knows. The main thing is, they do appear to be getting somewhere - I'm just not sure they know as much as they claimed to yet. If they work thru these issues with her in therapy this week, that would obviously be a good thing.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thanks so much all of you. marg you made some great points.

    tonight she imd me. it was heartbreaking i'm still upset and drinking a glass of wine with-husband. she said she feels lonely, sad, depressed, boxed in, trapped and scared. it hurt to hear all those things so much. shes' on alot of seroquel too for her. she is used to 50 mg. she's up to 100mg today.

    she just shut her light off i called the head nurse. she also said mom i wanted out, and u didn't come get me.

    she is really sick. i see her moods fluctuating there also like here at home, her defiance, anger, maniuplation, hurt, and now comes the depression. i'm scared of that bigtime. she isnt' showering or writing anymore she is totally shut off. she said she has nothing to look forward to and doesnt' want to get up each day.
  10. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    when I sent my son to wilderness it was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a parent. I was heartbroken. I did get a lot of support from my son's therapist and I lived through it. We got letters telling me how much he hated it, how he didn't need it, yadda yadda and more. He went on a short lived hunger strike. He thought if he told us how miserable he was we would come and rescue him. wrong. when another parent took their child out we told him how sorry we felt for the kid and how we weren't going to give up on him. the next day he got with the program. Did I suffer? You bet. Do I regret my decision? No, it was the single best thing I have done as a parent. But it was really hard.

    Hang in there. It will get better. My humble advice to you is to not make yourself available all the time. Work out some schedule of when you can call your daughter. She will try to manipulate big time. You will ulimately be helping her if you can set some reasonable boundaries. She is in a great place to be working through these issues. They will keep her safe and hopefully give her the help she needs. And you can get your life together, get a rest, and think about what are reasonable boundaries for you to establish so that you can have a healthy marriage and life.

    You have done a great job advocating for her. Take a bit of a breather. I'm guessing that if you can stick out the next few days where she will test you I bet things will start to turn around.

    In the meantime, take care of yourself. You've really been to H*** and back. This time is a gift to you.

    Here's hoping for a bubble bath and a good night's sleep,
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so sorry this has to be soooooo hard! I hope that difficult child's rage and venting about all the past issues she is struggling with will give the therapists something to start with. She really does need to face each of those issues to start to overcome this. She has kept a lot of things bottled up.

    Tell her "Good, get it out in the open! Tell us what is going on!"
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am sorry she is pulling on your heartstrings. I think I told you early on that she would do this. First they may honeymoon for a short time (sometimes). She probably did this more because you were so close and also because she had that cell phone. Most places dont allow those. Now she is going to start the manipulation phase where she promises the moon and the stars. She will also threaten you with how awful you are and how you just dont care about her and how mean everyone is to her. She will pull at every bit of power she thinks she has over you. You cannot give in. Only when she figures out you are in this for the long haul will she start working her program to get better.

    You have to reassure her that you believe in her ability to do this. You have faith in her but that you will not rescue her because you also have faith in the program. Set times that you will talk to her but also let her know she can write to you. Send her cards everyday. Maybe even two or three a day. I used to do that when Jamie was in boot camp to keep his spirits up.

    Dont worry too much about the seroquel. 100 mgs isnt much. That amount will cause sedation more than a higher amount. If they go higher, there will be less sedation. Lower doses are used to sedate rather than as true AP's.
  13. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi Jena,
    I remember when my difficult child was 16 and in a lockdown Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in Utah. She wasn't allowed much contact with us at first, which was a good thing, but she sure tried to get me to come get her when she could. When that didn't work she started "fainting"--I think some times she could make herself faint and other times she pretended to faint. Anyway, once the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) ruled out physical causes they told her that they could handle the fainting and that she would not be going home. She finally accepted it and quit trying to get out but it took about 3 months.

    I remember how hard it was--I am so sorry you have to go through this. You'll be okay, just hang in there. I'm glad she is showing her true colors, that's a good thing!

  14. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i couldn't sleep last night was up till 5 mostly spending time with husband and also wheels turning bigtime. woke up at 9:30 and called nurse and she was doing stand down again with-them. i spoke to her last night via im and she said she felt hopeless depressed anxiety ridden stuck in a box, etc. lonely afraid scared. she is only 11 so yup this is a hard one. i thought wow i feel the same way difficult child!

    i put call into T this morning to see what the approach will be now. i'm heading up with-kids today to see her here is hoping she completes so that they adn me can see her. difficult child has always been stuck on ex h and i getting back together even though we split befoer sh was 2 so she never knew what it was even like with us together. yet i think the combo of shared visitation at the hospital with-me and him playing games with her, etc. made her fixate more. live and learn i say with each step i take in this.

    also having all grandparents on same day, bad move. she i dont' think has ever seen them all in the same room ever. and than ex h's wife coming up after not seeing difficult child for 4 mos because they have a very distorted marriage. just a huge combo of events that could of been controlled better by me. yet ex h is fighting for his wife to continue being up there. why i do not know.

    so alot of junk that she has we worked on yet she's fixated and has been for years. i'll sit with-her and say dad and i are never getting back togethre it's actually illegal he's married for 6 years now. yet his marriage is weird. his wife is never there. difficult child is convinced she hates her and clears out due to her which we all strongly believe. my ex makes things so volatile so hard to manage and comprehend. his existance makes it so difficult for her the way he is, the way he lives his life.

    granted i've made my share of mistakes, yet i've always remined consistant, and always tried Occupational Therapist (OT) help her and each time i do he hinders it best he can. it's so hard to hear how she's hurting, not be able to go to her, not be able to help her. she's so young. i detach better with-older ones. all i can say is i wake up each day, one foot infront of the other and do my best. i'm hurting though in a way i didn't know i could, i'm numb, often detatched. being here with-husband last night helped a little he was very loving and supportive. yet i too feel trapped in a box.

    she def has a food phobia, no doubt about that. the therapist said it's an addiction. she is addicted to not eating. i never knew what it would feel like to sit and pray so hard just to see your kid eat. i have taken alot for granted past years. i won't make that same mistake again. i miss her so much. it goes against the grain of who i am as a parent, always be there for your kids, etc. yet i do get that right now the detach is crucial. yet it feels wrong in my heart, yet logically i get it.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    With your posts, a lot more subtle information is now coming through and the jigsaw pieces are starting to fall into place.

    Your exH sounds like a major drama queen. King. No, queen. No sexuality issues implied. But he comes across as a squealing little girl. But with the health component of this crisis developing over the weeks before her current placement, he was much more involved, making his presence very definitely felt in your household. The more she didn't eat, the more he and you were both focussed on the one thing - eat, darling. She was giving you both the same interest and at the same time, making herself seem important enough to care about. ExH's wife not being around on the visits - now there's an explanation that is more palatable in difficult child's mind, she can believe that it's because there is still a chance you and he will get back together.
    On those nights when you lie beside her in bed, she's fantasising that her daddy is lying on the other side and you are all one family. Just the three of you.
    The problem is, this develops into a physical habit that can't be broken, and then she gets genuinely scared at what is happening. This is not all pretend, but it started a bit that way, with her believing that she is worth nothing if she hasn't got her two original parents. Viiting here and there has for her been making her feel as if she herself is fragmented. ExH's behaviour won't be helping - she sees him misbehave but get away with it, so maybe it's OK to throw hissy fits because hey, HE'S an adult and doesn't get called on it!

    Those times when exH invaded your space and you didn't call the cops to get him out - it tells her 9with that tiny flame of hope) that perhaps it's because you still carry a torch for him. And his wife never being around - of course she will see that as new wife hating the child from the former marriage. And of course a kid that age will blame herself - they always do. So again, she has to make herself feel loved again, to compensate.

    Sometimes you can do your utmost and it still is not enough, if in her own mind she is insulated from the therapy, and also if her deep-seated beliefs are stronger than the therapist is aware.

    Then it has all led to her being in this hospital, and wow, you and exH and she are all there together, in therapy together! The beginning of a marriage all over again... And all the grandparents are all there, all at the same time. That's suddenly a lot of attention being focussed on her, all because she began to have difficulty eating.

    The trouble with hysteria - it might begin with a short-term tantrum, or a short-term "I don't feel like doing this," but you can quickly get backed into a corner. It can be very hard to climb down from a high horse. The more attention they get from ANYBODY with that initial 'issue', and they get very quickly painted into that corner. Even if you didn't react with the wrong response to begin with, I'm betting her father did. And it may not have initially been the eating thing, it could have been anything at all. For years, she's been playing you both one against the other, not even realising she's doing it. Whatever kind of attention she craves, she knows the shopping list she has to choose form - you, or him. So she gives each of you what will trigger the item on her shopping list that she feels is closest to what she wants. Neither of these items is a perfect fit, but she will compromise.

    And now it's all been blurted out at last.

    What she now has to learn, is to not push other people's buttons to get the attention she wants. She has to find it for herself, appropriately. There are a lot of bad habits she has to unlearn, and it probably goes way back to before you and exH split up. You did not have a perfect marriage and then one day wake up and say, "I think it would be fun to split." So whatever bad habits are there now in her environment, were probably there from her birth.

    I'm not blaming you, please realise this. What has happened is a curious mix of her basic personality plus the odd combination of exH's extreme behaviours plus your own learned behaviour in response to exH. You've learned for those years to placate and be the peacemaker, while he still enjoys being the causer of chaos. Daughter has learned that to a certain extent, causing chaos gives her a payoff - in your home. And with exH, she has to behave somewhat differently, but it takes a lot less to get the hysterical reaction from him. What is wrong here, is the combination. If it was just you, she would have developed differently. If it was just him - ditto (although from what you say, it would have been a rough ride for her).

    I think what has come out now is just the tip of the iceberg. She is still very young, but there are already a lot of bad mental habits to change. As to her diagnosis - I'm wondering how much of this was simply her behaviour copied form dad, trying to emulate a parent she wanted you to love once again. Maybe once she's come through all this, it might be time to revisit her diagnosis, get her thoroughly re-evaluated. She's got a bit of an alphabet soup at the moment and I'm wondering if there's not something else there instead, that explains much of it and covers it under one umbrella.

    This kid has been trying to make sense of the world with difficulty, given a bad set of operating instructions to begin with. Kids can be amazingly inventive in how they develop their coping skills, which is why it can be so difficult making therapy work. Sometimes it takes an extraordinary leap of logic to be able to work out what is going on.

    She needs you to a large extent, but she also needs (at an earlier age than usual, sadly) to work things out for herself and not rely on you to have all the solutions. At some level she is still the 2 year old wanting Mommy to make the problem disappear, whatever the problem is. But she has to learn to own her part in the problems and to learn to solve things for herself. This is a problem pretty much of her making, so she needs to work out how to fix it. Only then will she learn how to fix her future problems too.

    Hang in there, it will be a rough ride. But I do think you need to make it clear to her - not a chance, you and exH finished years ago and have both moved on permanently. Even if you had not remarried, you would never have gotten back with exH. You need to let husband off the hook as the bad guy - it is not your marriage standing in the way of Happy Families with exH, it is you and exH yourselves. You are not puppets to be shaped at the whim of your daughter.

    Hang in there. I keep saying it. Stand strong, find your strength and use it.

  16. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi marg, my friend in cyberspace lol, we are always so blunt with-eachother and you are soo insightful at times it scares me. yet this time your a bit off. you wrote soo much thank you for taking the time but i can't remember it all :)

    basically difficult child has presented with-behaviors since before she was born. when pregnant with-her she was either really insanely hyper or ridiculously calm with zero movement. it was always odd and quite diff than easy child.

    she was born and boom boy was she in the world. she was immediately unable to sooth herself, ever. she cried more than she slept. she didn't adhere to nursing, formula's etc. it was a struggle since the beginning.

    her milestones, wow she broke her arm, wouldnt' sleep in crib, wouldnt' sleep in toddler bed, would roam the house at night and get into trouble. was everywhere and into everything all the time. she was hyper beyond belief and at times calm and solemn without explanation. she challenged almost everything, walked early, talked early. she didnt' transition well ever into anything. yet had this big smile and lit upa room as soon as she came in it.

    than came pre k boy what a struggle that was. non sleep, non focusing, yet able to repeat verbatim what teacher said even though she was spacing off. teacher's reported this and on it begin the formalized testing and me at the library doing research. always pre occupied with expiration dates, germs, hoarded things in her room, wet the bed since age 2. still wears pull ups. sensory issues galore, you name it with food as well as materials to this day. always easily distracted, worried about everything all the time, separtion anxiety to the hilt.

    point being i have always known that something was wrong with-her. i have no doubt in my mind that now she has an eating disorder, regardless of whatever leftover emotions she has due to things or whatever is bugging her now. life isn't perfect and she def. knows that yet she's super sensitive.

    so, with all that being said u got my wheels turning. i read all these responses in the truck on way back from hospital tonight and i slowly began to process.

    mistakes ive made; i let down my boundaries with-ex. i handle him like he's ok stable dealing with-52 and he isnt'. that is the reason i had him removed 10 years ago. yet i try so hard for difficult child to keep it all pink and blue. yet it isn't it never will be and h'es sick adn stil has gotten no help.

    can he care for her 5 days a month yes he can. does it de stablize her to some extent yes it does yet her relationship with hiim does benefit her to some extent. and i made a mistake doing visitation at hospital with-him also. it gave her that impressiona nd yes you are right she controlled the situation. got what she wanted mom and dad in same room.

    ok, i'll type more tmrw right now i'm totally shot and my eyes are hurting.

    :) thanks as always to all of you. this really sux this whole thing. i knew it would. i knew they'd be tackling al of her stuff not just fact my kid isn't eating.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I don't mind being a bit off, as long as it gets you thinking. Thanks for the feedback.

    So from what you say, there is something in there, underlying. I did think that, because there are int his world a lot of kids who go through the same sort of environment your daughter has, and don't end up where she is. So there has to be other factors.

    The thing is, the environment hasn't helped. Again - no blame. You did what you could, including divorcing her dad. But he is who/what he is and her environment, total, has been what it is.

    Whatever has contributed to where she is now is a combination of her make-up and her environment. It's good that she has spoken up - what she has said is not necessarily what is really responsible, but it is what she has identified as upsetting her. So having identified it, she will not be able to pretend she didn't. You can't un-ring the bell. This is good stuff. Because even if she didn't identify everything, and even if there is some underlying disorder (and trust your mommy instinct) then fixing what CAN be fixed, has got to reduce the overall load of problems.

    Don't let guilt slow you down. Keep on slogging, keep on going. .

    As you go through this, there will be more 'aha!' moments. been there done that myself, I made a lot of mistakes, especially with difficult child 1. I have still made mistakes with difficult child 3 even though I thought I already knew it all.

    I also know that when I start typing, I just keep going.

    Got to work on that...

    Be strong. Get some rest.

  18. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Jena, don't let all the sadness & guilt trips get to you. It's the ultimate in GFGness. If you "rescue" her from her fears & her hurts she won't get the help she needs.

    As a mom you want to go in & take care of your baby; as a parent you know what is best for her. She needs this hospitalization - this therapeutic setting. Keep up the good work.
  19. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thanks guys. yes it's odd it's like waking up in hell each day lol. truly. but i have no choice. so i take each day one day at a time right now.

    regarding her past, she was under 2 when my ex did his i'm crazy bs in the home and i had his butt removed. she has no true memory of that at all. she may sense stuff but doesn't remember it. that's easy child's baggage. yet himand i have tried so hard for years Occupational Therapist (OT) keep peace and it breaks down when i bring her to doctor's. environmental is always a factor i think with any child. you can't ignore it. yet with my little one she was problematic from the ghetgo and was consistent never worse or better depending on situations.

    all kids have their junk, yet for mine and alot that share all her diagnosis's it's hard for them, they have no filtering process at all. alot of kids do fine with-divorced situations yet difficult child obsesses over everything so she still can't let it go it's been all her life obsessing over it. so unhealthy for her. and we don't give her any hope at all. trust me he could be the last man on earth and i'd rather be alone :) calm pick up drop off's for her. yet with a kid like difficult child you gotta have strict parameters to it all the T said to me. even last night i was on flr playing game with-kids we were all there. and my back hurt so i joined husband on the couch and played from there. wow if looks could kill. you can't believe. she treats me like i'm her possession her object. was always like that.
  20. Jena

    Jena New Member

    today she continues to sit infront of her liquids not drinking them, one meal is now meshing into the next. she is obsessing she will choke. the therapist worked with her but said she is so very rigid it's difficult. i'm really beginning to wonder how long this will take, we are on day 8 now. tons of medications in her. insurance co. wants to pull out again on friday another huge review. so anyday now they can say ok discharge her. and we are nowhere yet. my child isnt' giong to be home for such a long time.

    i hate being home by the way without her. i'm sitting here in quiet and i want to scream. i'm heading to jersey tmrw and staying at hotel i think on way i'm going to ride a horse there's a place on the highway i like. husband and i last night were talking about my lack of self care as per usual.