Don't know where to turn

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SJB, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. SJB

    SJB Guest

    Hello I'm new here. I guess I just need a place to vent. I have a 15yo "difficult child" who is diagnosed ADHD/ODD and Learning Disability (LD). I believe she is bi-polar but can't convince her psychiatrist of that. If he spent a day with her instead of 20 minutes every couple of months while she's putting on her "pretty face" he'd see. :mad:

    Anyway, earlier this week I discovered she's stolen some of my credit cards and so far the charges I've been able to find or gotten bills for come to close to $300. When I confronted her the situation devolved into violence and ended up with me calling 911 and her being taken to juvenile assessment. She stayed there 4 hours, I had to go get her at midnight! The next day she was at a friend's house and posted a big braggy post on her myspace about how cool she is and how easy she got off. :ashamed:

    I changed her email and myspace password which enraged her of course and who am I kidding she'll just go back to the friend's house and open a new email and myspace.

    She called me at work Weds and left a chilling voicemail telling me she was going to do "181 evil things" ($181 is the amount she charged on my Discover card) like calling my work and telling "them" I drink on the job. When I got home, I discovered she'd jammed the lock on my bedroom door (which I have to keep locked to keep her out of my things) and cut a slit in one of the sofa cushions in the living room (a 2 year old microsuede couch--pretty much non repairable). I'm sure she did other things I just haven't discovered yet. She also made sure I saw where she's been cutting herself (all over one knee).

    YESTERDAY she called me at work sweet as pie to tell me she'd cleaned the kitchen and dining room and could she have her cellphone back (She had that taken away quite a while ago). I agreed to talk to her about it when I got home. She had done a great job, and was polite, friendly and genuinely appreciative when I gave her the phone but told her she'd lose it again if she started up again.

    That lasted a couple of hours. Around midnight i overheard her talking to a friend about various horrible things they'd done and were planning to do--steal from friends etc. I demanded the phone back. She became abusive so I just called ATT and suspended her line. I am terrified that when she figures out what happened she is going to tear my house apart.

    This may not be the correct forum, but I'm at my wits end. We've been in various sorts of counseling since she was 3 or 4. She's seen neurologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers you name it.

    Now she is required go to court next week (which I have to take time off work for) and go to yet another counselor (which I have to take time off work for) and I am sure she'll be put on some sort of "diversion program" which will be more work for me than for her (we've been through this with truancy) and NOTHING has any affect on her. I'll have to spend more time, energy and emotions "explaining" things and *I* am the VICTIM here!


    Ok i better stop now. thanks for 'listening'.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, but sorry you have to be here.

    My first thought is that if she is violent or steals from you or breaks the law in any way, call the police. Even though she has obviously crossed paths with the police already, I'd call them if she broke the law or was dangerous. I did it with my own daughter when she was going through a bad time. I would also find a new psychiatrist. There is more going on with your daughter than ADHD/ODD. Im wondering if she is abusing drugs.

    Can you give us more of a background on her, like her early development, her social skills, her biological history on both sides of the family, if anyone on the family tree has psychiatric problems or substance abuse issues etc. Is there a father in the house? Siblings? Do you have to take care of her alone because right now she sounds pretty difficult.
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Welcome to the board. I'm sorry you have to be here, but am very glad you found us.

    This is the absolutely the right forum.

    I'm struggling with my own difficult child at the moment, but others will come along soon. It is sometimes a bit slow on the weekends.

    I just wanted to welcome you and let you know that you are not alone.
  4. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    No real advice here, but I'm hugging you as tightly as I can. Can you feel it? I am very greatfull that my difficult child doesn't intentionally destroy my stuff, but he does mess things up regularly by being impulsive.
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Welcome to our little corner of the cyber world. Sounds like your difficult child is pretty much out of control & she's determined to ruin her future, your home & job situation as well as any lasting relationship with you.

    Has anyone mentioned hospitalization for medication evaluations or simply a neurophych evaluation?

    Is your employer really going to take the word of a 15 y/o that you are drinking on the job? Your difficult child has you running in so many directions you don't know which way is up.

    I'd address the most stressful item first - be it the cell phone or computer use or the destruction. AND don't get pulled in emotionally to her antics (I know in your heart you are). Detach from the illness/disorder - love the child underneath.

    Answer with little to no emotion. Try not to be reactive to her antics on a daily basis; come here & let loose if you need to.

    Just some thoughts for you. Our difficult children take us to our knees more times than they will ever know and warrior mums survive.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have not experienced the same traumas but I have lived through a bunch of teen years and I assure you she is not aok. My experience has primarily been with drug use and juvie rehabs (private and court ordered). Have you explored the drug use issue?

    Our Psychiatrist is a wonderful man who listens closely to me and really listens to each of the kids. It took me years to find "the right psychiatrist". It does not sound like you have the right person. Start exploring others.

    Have you ever had a neuro/psychiatric examination done? That would be your best bet, in my humble opinion, to ascertain whether she is BiPolar (BP) etc. Hugs. DDD
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry...sounds really understatement, I am sure!

    First of all, put some space/boundaries between you and her. Also, make sure you and your husband (or signicant other) are a united front. Make decisions together.

    If she calls you at work, speak with her when you are alone and speak with her briefly or don't speak with her at all. Don't let her drama follow you into the work place.

    What medications is your daughter on? Even if the psychiatrist doesn't think she has bipolar illness, is he/she willing to try different medications? What makes you think she has bipolar illness?

    I agree with the others, if she does something illegal, call the police. That is the logical consequence. Meanwhile, protect yourself as best as you are able. Purchase a lock box and a pad lock. Put important items in the box, hide it in your room and pad lock your room. However, as you well know, this is no way to live.

    The main page of this site has some book recommendations...there is one called Yes, Your Teen is Crazy by Dr. Bradley which is VERY good another on bipolar disorder called The Bipolar Child by Dr. Papolos, which is excellent. These are just some resources that might be of help.

    Did you say she is seeing a therapist? Would you and her be open to Family Therapy? Try not to react emotionally to her "crazy" behavior. This gives her waaay tooo much power.

    If this behavior continues even after medication and therapy, you might want to look into a therapeutic boarding school. ... another website has more information.

    This might not make any sense right now...but as best as you can, when you can, nurture little things for yourself that bring you peace of mind and/or joy.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 15, 2009
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, SJB, you've come to the right place.
    I am so sorry that your daughter has such issues. Boy, is she vindictive! Interesting that she planned 181 bad things, very precisely. That's very diff from my son, who just explodes because he can't help it. I'm not good at dxes, and we can't do that here anyway, but I think that behavior would be a clue to something. What did her psychiatrist say about it? Or doesn't s/he know yet? I would put in a special call to share that into.
    The fact that she sweetened up to get what she wanted indicates that she CAN do it, and that YOU DO still have some control.
    Do not show her that you are afraid of her.
    Be calm and do not yell. It is very hard but you almost have to act like a robot.
    P.S. I,too, am wondering what her early development was like.
  9. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I also wanted to give you a big welcome. You are in the right place.

    Her planning to retaliate by doing "181" evil things is a bit chilling. She has much more going on than ODD/ADHD (though, I think I large percentage of us started at that diagnoses). Stealing, damaging, and violence gets the police called.

    As difficult as it is, try to detach and not respond to her antics. I know it can take monumental effort. Daughter has damaged furniture, but it wasn't intentionally. I bought a beautiful cabinet for our TV and in a rage she kicked in one of the doors. I was never able to repair it to how it looked before.

    I'm sorry you are having to be put through such trauma. You have gotten a lot of good advice.

  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. What would happen if you called the police/sheriff and said that she is raging and cannot live at home safely anymore?

    I am really chilled by the 181 things. I hope you sleep behind that locked door with the phone handy. She could hurt you or kill you in your sleep.

    I had a child who was violent. Well,, I still have him but he cannot live with us. My son had done long term psychiatric hospital and a couple of short psychiatric hospital stays and he was told that I would not be a battered woman or the mother of battered kids. Period.

    I ended up having to call 911 and refusing the let my son come back home. He is with my parents now - has been for a couple of years. They are only a few minutes away so we see him often and he and my parents managed to get him mostly worked around so he is a pretty great kid.

    I pray that at some point you can post that.

    If you ASK the police/sheriff they will tell you that they "can't" take her. You can refuse to let him in the house as you are afraid for your life and your property. Which you should be, in my opinion.

    The others have given lots of advice and I hope that you can navigate these waters to a better future.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Another book to look at is Stop Walking on Eggshells (authors Mason and Kreger). This one might be very beneficial. Does the Dr. know about her cutting herself? It is a red flag for Borderline Personality Disorder. She really needs to be on medication and in therapy. Is she on medication and if so, is she taking it regularly? If you are unhappy with the doctor, you can always go for a second opinion. I think you should get yourself to the book store or library and solicit some help/support from your husband or a very good friend. Additionally, find a top notch physician and therapist for your daughter. And again, if medication and therapy doesn't put a dent in all of this, perhaps you can speak to someone from the courts about a therapeutic boarding school. I wouldn't worry too much about the energy you will put into the diversion program. Right now, I would just try to get more civility within your home. I'm very sorry...that has got to be rough. Knowledge is as best as you are read up on the possible diagnosis's....including what your DR. has mentioned, bipolar illness and borderline personality disorder.
  12. SJB

    SJB Guest

    Wow, thanks everyone. I'm going to try to work my way through some of your questions. Like most of you, I'm sure, I 'knew' there was something wrong with difficult child immediately. Someone mentioned the book The Bipolar Child--if you want an accurate description of her as a baby, it's in that book. I could have written it myself. She was diagnosis ADHD around 2nd or 3rd grade and started taking adderall. We've tried just about everything out there and right now she's on Vyvanse (70mg) which works wonderfully--when she takes it. And when it hasn't worn off. Her psychiatric has tried to add other medications to this from time to time but she absolutely REFUSES to take ANYTHING else. She says we're trying to turn her into a drug addict. I know several of you mentioned the possibility of drug abuse--I doubt it, and she has had a couple of drug screenings through other youth programs she's ended up in and they've come back clean. her latest from her trip to Juvenile hasn't come back yet.

    Family history--I'm a single mom and have been under treatment for depressoin for years. There is some evidence of similar behaviour in DEXs family (but don't mention that to HIM! of course all difficult children problems are because I "just don't know how to handle her")

    About this time last year I got her an appointment with a behavioral pediatrician but just before she was set to go in for a full workup, she took off to live with her father. So much for that. Except it lasted from mid July to the end of October. It is almost impossible to get appts with this dr and they clearly state that if you miss an appointment you're done, so there. Well fortunately a friend of mine has managed to get someone in the office to agree to try again as long as I get a referral from her GP. I'm going to see him Monday and will do that then. This Dr told me she suspected Conduct Disorder which scared me but in the past year I've come around to think she was probably right.

    Now it's not ALL bad. When she's on her medications she can be sweet, funny, affectionate--fun to be with. The problems kick in the minute she's told no and/or the medications wear off.

    I was able to find her a school she LOVES. It's expensive and is going to go through her entire college fund but it's the only time since Kindergarten she hasn't fought everything about school. She used to get suspended regularay then she just stopped going (hence the truancy intervention program) and failed 8th grade outright. She's got a diagnosis Learning Disability (LD) (processing disorder) so I understand school is HARD for her but she did nothing to help herself. This new school caters to "kids like her" and any time she screws up the first thing she says when she comes to her senses is "I hope I didn't do something to make me not able to go back to school'

    That alone is worth every penny of tuition. I think some of you have at least heard of XXX Academy? That's where she is.

    Ok the latest blowup where she ended up being taken out of the house in handcuffs. What should have happened was that she should have been "Baker Acted" (involuntary committment for observation) but because she acts all subdued, they can't because she's not an "immenent danger" to herself or others. But if she does this again, and the police come again, I will tell them that I'm afraid to have her back in the house and they'll have to find someplace to put her. The only other way for her to be Baker Acted is for her doctor (lol) to recommend it or me to go to court and have it done that way. I have to go to court with her on the battery charge on Tuesday, that will be fun. Do I need my lawyer? Anyone know? I'm paying her a fortune to try to collect back child support right now.

    Therapy--we've been in family counseling in one form or another since she's been about 3. She finds it an inconvenience. I find it a waste of money. She's had 2 therapists she's liked, one moved and the other worked for a public agency and got laid off. In all cases she "worked" with the counselor only to come home and announce how stupid it all is and not once even try to work on any of thier suggestions. I now have yet ANOTHER agency we're (yes we) required to go see as soon as I can get her an appointment.

    This planning is new. Usually her outbursts are just that. Out of control outbursts. Sometimes after a really bad one, she'll say she doesn't even remember what she said or did. Actually I think she's forgotten all about this "181 things". She's been pretty civil the last couple of days. :faint:

    Another thing I want to ask about is her bedroom. It looks like something out of "how clean is your house". Kim and Aggie would have a field day. It's full of garbage (including food!) broken things, filthy clothes and it SMELLS! It is absolutely disgusting. When she went to live with DEX I shoveled it out, gave it a coat of paint and got new bedding etc and it took her practically no time at all to destroy it again. What do you guys who have this problem do about this?

    I've rambled on, I think I've covered most of the questions. Thanks SO MUCH for being here.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 15, 2009
  13. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello SJB and welcome. Sounds like you really have your hands full!

    With regard to the bedroom, I would advise using natural consequences. Your difficult child has shown repeatedly that she can't keep her room clean or keep her things in good condition. Therefore, her room should be stripped down to bare essentials only.

    A bed, or even a mattress on the floor, with plain sheets and a blanket for warmth if necessary. No new bedding, nothing nice or cute.

    An open shelf or a laundry basket in which to store clothes. Or a dresser from Goodwill. Again, nothing new or nice.

    Some of the parents on the board have had to remove bedroom doors, or leave them off when a difficult child destroys the door.

    If she breaks or destroys something, don't fix or replace it. Let her live with it as it is. If the paint gets nasty, same thing. Do not repaint.

    Take all of the extras (toys, knick knacks, nice things) out of her room. Box them up and lock them away, or give them to charity. Again, she has shown that she can't or won't maintain her things, so she shouldn't have them.

    None of this is punishment, it's just the consequences of her actions.

  14. Babbs

    Babbs New Member

    I'm sorry to hear that you're having to pay a lawyer to get your back child support. I know that many states have agencies set up to help parents collect child support and recover back child support - I don't know if your state does or not. I know that the state I live in and the state my ex lives in both do and so when he wouldn't pay regular or on time, I got them involved and now his support is garnished from his wages and they raise his monthly rate when the cost of the health insurance increases as well! Its amazing how many resources the states have to find and nail down people who are delinquint on their child support.
  15. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I chuckled when you described her room. Not that it is funny, but that I can related. I remodeled both my difficult children rooms and Daughter's is pretty nasty most of the time. It has never gotten to the point of stripping it, but it is an option if it does.

    You do have your hands full. What jumps out of your post is her medication refusal. Daughter doesn't take medications anymore, but she did for years. When she would entertain the idea of not taking them, I promised her that everything single thing in her world that she enjoyed (cell phone texting, computer, ipod, camera, friends) would be confiscated and cutoff. I even made it clear I would take her favorite shoes and clothing. Most important, I meant it and she knew it. So, the subject didn't come up very often.

    Son, who is now thirteen, has eluded in the past that he doesn't like having to take medications, now makes big declarations that he will not take them. Same goes for him, I will strip his life of everything he enjoys until he complies. I don't argue or bribe. He grumbles and I'm sure curses me behind my back. He has even sneered that he hates me right before he popped them in his mouth. Fine, hate me, just take the medications. Especially now, after years and a new psychiatrist, he's on a combo that has really helped to even him out and I'll be darned if he's going to mess that up. I know he sometimes thinks he's the only kid that takes medication.

    I smiled when you defined the Baker Act. Most of us here, even if he haven't had personal experience with it, are aware of what it is. Here's a suggestion, and I know it's not an easy one. Hopefully, you won't need it, but just in case. Get out the video camera her if she starts up her antics. They have those small handheld ones now at a very reasonable price. I did that with Son just a few months ago when I confronted him about stealing money from my purse. I did end up calling the police, but of course, he had stopped by the time they got here. But, I got all on video.

    When I would pull out the camera on Daughter when she was attacking me, she would immediately stop and usually run to her room. So, at least, I knew she could stop herself if it was important enough to her.

    You have been put through the wringer with this child and hopefully you will find support and information coming here.
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! Your difficult child sounds very difficult. I am glad there are some good times.

    I have that child that has a disgusting room. But, she is 18 now. She is at this very moment cleaning it because she figured out that the way she HAD to have her bed is blocking the Air Conditioning. So, she is now moving the entire room around to free up the vent. The vacuum is running as we speak. Oh - it just picked up something that will probably break my vacuum. And she just called me to help her move her bed. Gladly! I will be back!
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    So glad you have read The Bipolar Child. I called it "my bible" years ago. It was so accurate, it was almost "creepy."

    Our daughter's room was always so messy and dirty, at times it was frightening. She has moved out and this is still a problem in her apt. ...only worse...since I refuse to help clean it.

    Sometimes we resort to making "deals" with her. This is something I don't do often...but have done now and again. I will give her $10 if she cleans her apartment perfectly by a certain time. I will tell her all the things that need to be done...and it will include everything. Mopping, dusting, scrubbing, changing sheets, etc. If it is not perfect, she doesn't get the money. If it is close to perfect and she can fix it within a few minutes of me being there, I will still give her the money...but she better take care of it with-i five minutes. It is pathetic...but "it is what it is" and I don't want her to risk her health by living in extreme filth.
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-Dazed and Trinity: strip her room of everything. She has to earn everything back--even lightbulbs.
    Expect her to throw a fit. Just keep breathing.
    I also agree that you stop the world if she doesn't take her medications. Right now she's got too much freedom.