difficult child vs typical teen

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by slsh, May 9, 2012.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I know we've had this discussion many times before, and this may just turn out to be a vent more than anything else because I don't think there's a solution other than time and one of us moving out. I decided this morning that Diva is a difficult child, flat out. Her behaviors are challenging my very last nerve, which is worn and hanging by a thread. While it may well be typical teen stuff, she is really just about the most unpleasant person I've ever lived with. thank you was challenging, no doubt, but his stuff was more.... I don't know, no holds barred? Less personal, more out there. Diva is just flat out *mean*. And oh my gosh, she has a real knack for going right for the emotional jugular.

    Deja vu - gosh I remember being in this space with- thank you, dreading the moment he would wake up. I cannot believe that we're right back here *again*, 13 years later, with another kid. husband is just lost - I think he's as hurt as I am by her tirades. I feel so bad for him.

    It's been a really rough year. Her moods are all over the place. Tried counseling. End result of that was she doesn't "trust" adults because of husband, me, thank you, and Boo; therefore cannot talk to a counselor. You know, I think that is what is really irking the heck out of me - she blames every darn thing on her family life, which absolutely was not Cleaver-land, but in my humble opinion one either needs to work on it or get over it. She will do neither. And it's wearing *really* darn thin having to hear 6 out of 7 days a week how we've totally ruined her life. I know, probably in typical teen range of "normal", but.... O.M.G. I'm so bone weary of having every morning start out with- her garbage. Doesn't matter how gently I tread - something is going to set her off, guaranteed.

    Tried psychiatrist. He "creeped me out." We have yet to meet any doctor who doesn't creep her out. She refused antidepressant. Fast forward 6 months. Now she just wants to take medications, no counseling. Insert evil laugh here - I don't know how on earth I did it, but I found an MD who does *counseling*. The MD title will get her to the office - I told him flat out, it's up to him from there, 'cuz she's just a mess. appointment is 05/24.

    I've lost my footing with- her. With thank you, I found a place where, more often than not, I could deal with- whatever he threw my way. Not to say I didn't get upset or whatever, but ... I was able to at least present to him a pretty consistent face, you know? Diva's got me so dizzy, I feel like I'm just ping-ponging between her occasional pleasant self and the far more frequent angry, blaming, angst-filled kid. I have *got* to find a middle ground and hold fast, and I'm really struggling with that.

    I will never be enough of a mom to her - I think that's a genetic issue, LOL, 'cuz I felt/feel the same way about my mom. But gosh, I was so hoping to be able to do better with- Diva.

    Sigh... no answers, no solutions, so many flipping issues with her, and I am just so utterly worn out. Every suggestion I make to try to get her help is shot down so fast it makes my head spin. Again, probably typical teen attitude of nothing will help but.... GAH!!!! Fix it or deal with it but quit making everyone around you so flipping miserable! She just completely doesn't see it, at all.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I think this is a girl thing. I really do. I wasn't ever the mean kind (though I could be if provoked) - but I remember hating the girls I went to school with because they were just so mean.

    You're probably right about it being typical teen, but geez, who ever said we needed this koi on top of everything we've already been through? And you, my dear, have been through LOTS more than I have!!!

    More :hugs:... I don't have wisdom, just empathy...
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've raised 3 girls and when they hit about 13 life became pretty miserable. Two were difficult child's but the last one, my granddaughter, is just a typical teen and still, Middle School was nightmarish. She got over it. They all got over it by around 16-17, but going through it sucked. I hear you! Now that I'm older, when I look back on it I think to myself, how did I ever live through it? Yes, mean is the word too. I hope you find solutions for her behavior. Big HUGS to you!
    Oh, have you read Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher? A great read about adolescent girls, it helps too.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    "Part" of this is the girl thing... and you will get the worst of it, because you are also female. Just how it works.
    Having said that... I think, as you do, that it's a bit over the top for typical teen.

    (my K2 = newly-teen girl...)
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with IC. I had one drama queen girl who drove me nuts (I'm still nuts). But Jumper is what I think is a typical teen. She has a bad attitude at times and can be mouthy. But she backs off when she goes too far and is basically a really good kid who is easy to live with. All of her friends are like this...she doesn't choose to hang around with over-the-top drama queens, like her sister did.
  6. I agree that she seems over the top for typical teen. Especially if there is no break in it.

    I would have to think that typical teen's push boundaries, argue, curse, disobey, etc.. But they know when they've gone too far, accept consequences for their actions and while they may be angry and grumble and whine they eventually just deal with it.

    difficult child's don't seem to realize when they've gone too far - or maybe they don't care. My difficult child seems to be trying to force me and husband into submission so he can just do whatever he wants and have us pay his way while he is doing it.

    I can certainly understand how you feel with ping-ponging. I liken it to a roller coaster ride in the dark. You just never know where things are going next. Maybe we need to be the ones to turn the lights on and start steering our roller coaster where we want it to go - on a much smoother, less bumpy, calmer road. And the difficult child's can choose to ride along or not but we're not going to let it affect us? Easier said than done but I'm in the process of trying to learn how to do that. I'm tired of letting him control how I feel on a day to day basis.

    I understand how you feel about her feeling like you're not enough of a mother or you didn't raise her like the Cleavers. My difficult child informed me the other day that the reason he turned out the way he did is because of the way I raised him - so this is all my fault. And I suck at being a parent.

    You have to remember that you've done the best job you and husband can and that there are no perfect parents - you only try your best to do what you think is right and do what your children need.

    Big hugs - I hope this appointment with the MD works out and she can get some help and if necessary some medication to deal with her moods.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    She reminds me a lot of easy child/difficult child (notice she too has the difficult child title). I agree Diva's over the top just like my easy child/difficult child. Mine has been doing better now that she graduated and is actually taking her medications on a regular basis. She still goes over the top at times and is very much gfgish.

    Sending very understanding hugs your way.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sue....I think a lot of this is some typical teen, some baby girlitis, some growing pains with maybe a tad difficult child thrown in for good measure. She is your daughter after all. Do your cycles match up? I have found that in any family or group setting with several female's that the cycles tend to merge so they end up almost matching up within a few days of each other. That means everyone is quite crabby for a period of time and if you have any mood issues...well...you are doing well to have a few good days during the month...lmao.

    Have you considered putting her on BC to see if it makes her hormones settle down and that might help? I know it does with some teens. Now obviously I didnt raise any girls so I have little to add. I am not looking forward to Keyana becoming a teen. I will probably send her to her parents quite often...lmao. I dont think I want to deal with a mouthy teen who acts anything like either Cory or I did...lmao
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I'm leaning toward typical teen with a bit of difficult child thrown in also. When girls hit 13/14 they just are so uneven, emotionally unstable and difficult to be around. I know I was horrible, especially to my mom between 14-17. And, yes, I was a bit difficult child also.

    I think if you didn't have the history of thank you, you might have been able to find that footing you're so desperately seeking. But, because you've already been through the emotional ringer, and up until now Diva has been a relatively decent easy child, it's thrown you big time.

    Instead of counseling for her, how about some for you? You know, just to get through the worst of it, regroup and create tools to detach and guide...so as not to get sucked into her evil adolescent vortex.

    Also, I don't know how old she is but hormonally speaking, the bcp or depo shot may be beneficial in helping to reign in those crazy hormones. For my difficult child, bcp didn't do much in the way of hormonal balance, but the depo shot was like the magic bullet, I swear. After one month, my sweet difficult child appeared again. The shots got us through the later difficult child years. She's been off it for about two years now and while her PMS is now pmdd, the 'crazy' is pretty much gone, thank god.

    Hugs, lots of understanding, and prayers!
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Thanks all. I know there's a decent dose of depression playing into this which is why I really think she needs some therapy, but good gravy she's a stubborn kid. I personally think therapy is going to do more for her long term than medications, especially because she's got a boatload of baggage about our family life (not totally unjustified), but I guess I have to go with- what she's willing to do. I'm pretty sure she'd refuse depo or BC - she's got some really rigid thinking about some things and getting her to an OB/GYN is going to be more than I could manage. Heck, just talking to her about routine female healthcare sends her into an absolute tizzy.

    She's 14 so I know we've got several more years of this garbage.

    by the way, I have called my own mother *several* times in the last year to thank her for not killing me at this age. :rofl: I was pretty much easy child-ish behaviorally (that my parents knew about anyway) but I know I had a mouth and attitude to spare.

    H&R - believe it or not, I just finished up about 7 months of my own therapy, LOL. ;) I am in a better space generally than I've been in quite a while, which is perhaps why her barbs are so hurtful. Figures. If I were my usual depressed self, I just wouldn't care. Sometimes you just can't win.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know that the 24th can't come soon enough!
    Sorry about the rigid thinking about BC but that could help as well as antidepressants. Just do what you can.
    Funny about calling your mom! I know she appreciates it! :)
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am in a better space generally than I've been in quite a while, which is perhaps why her barbs are so hurtful. Figures. If I were my usual depressed self, I just wouldn't care. Sometimes you just can't win.

    How ironic! But the next step in therapy is a healthy detachment. Sounds like an oxymoron but it's worth more counseling. Many hugs. You've come a long way.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does she perhaps have a zit or two that you could convince her would clear up with birth control? LOL
  14. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Oh, i so understand ((hugs)). I'm thinking about changing my easy child's status to difficult child. She goes on and on and on about what terrible parents we are and how bad her home environment is (this kid has no idea how good she has it). She's being very hurtful and mean. All she talks about is how her boyfriend's parents are SO much better than us. I'm trying to get her into therapy but she can refuse since she's 18.

    I'm so sorry you are going through this!
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    easy child/difficult child started taking bc for her moods but mostly it ended up helping her cramps-if Diva has cramps maybe she would take them for that reason.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry things are so rough. If you don't' have that How to talk so kids will listen, book that Star suggests, it might be helpful. It also might be helfpul for YOU to see a therapist to help learn to cope with this. Just because Diva won't see one doesn't mean the therapist might not be able to help. Refuse to ALLOW Diva to go, saying you have to talk about 'the kids". I now quite a few parents who did this and in a month or two their daughter's were demanding to see a therapist and talk to one.

    even if that doesn't work, you and husband need to remake that united front and figure out how to draw good boundaries and enforce them given diva's personal gfgstyle. What worked or didn't with thank you may or may not work with Diva, and sometimes getting creative is helpful. regardless, you MUST be on the same frontline together and you MUST tend to each other off the battlefield in EFFECTIVE ways. Maybe the therapist can help with this
  17. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    EXCELLENT book, highly recommend it! There was a second book that followed with excerpts from some f her patients that was also very good, albeit heartbreaking and disturbing at times. Great idea though! Worth finding on amazon used.
  18. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Will check out the Ophelia book - never heard of it, thanks for the head's up.

    No cramps, and Proactiv seems to be doing a good job on her acne (when she uses it). I have to admit, I'm not crazy about her being on BC at 14. Child of the 1970s that I am, I don't want her making the same mistakes I did. (I had no idea I had turned so Victorian, LOL, but... there it is.)

    Susie- husband and I absolutely always present a united front - even when we disagree. thank you taught us well. We've even started dating again (first time in 17 years), courtesy of a nudge from my therapist and some creative budgeting so we can hire an RN to watch Boo while we're out. It's been simply *wonderful*. We're in a better place as a couple than we have been probably since Boo was born. Things to be thankful for. You're absolutely right - it'd be a huge mistake to parent her the way we parented thank you - completely different issues. I'm just frustrated because she expects everyone around her to change, without making any effort to work on her own junk, and in the meantime she's just so unpleasant to everyone. Hopefully psychiatrist will have some suggestions on the 24th.