How do you look to the future?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by StressedM0mma, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    How do you look forward and say things will be ok? Right now I am having a hard time even seeing a productive future for my difficult child DD14. She is flunking out of H.S. right now, and does not care at all. We cannot get her to do any of her work. It is tearing me apart, not to mention what it is doing to my marriage and how it is impacting easy child DD17. My husband is about to lose it. His work is beyond stressful, and then he comes home to this. I am just at a loss on seeing a bright future. Each morning I wake up with a pit in my stomach wondering if I will be able to get her out the door, and what kind of battle it will take. Right now she is asleep, and I need her to get up to take a shower. And, then she will be up half the night not sleeping. And then the cycle will begin all over again.
    Sorry for being a downer. It is just no one in real life seems to understand what it is like to have to deal with this EVERYDAY. And how much of a toll it takes on you. I am so glad I found this site.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I like this prayer (it's good even if you're not religious...just take God out of it)
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    There is absolutely no way you can know what the future holds. You can not control your husband's reactions to your daughter either...that is up to him. You can't control that your daughter has mental health issues and/or drug issues, if that is part of the picture (it usually is at that age). You can not force her to want to learn, take a shower, have good manners etc. If you can't make her do those things, she will suffer natural consequences and you two won't be fighting all the time over things that you can't force. At her age she is too big to push around, but that doesn't mean she won't learn life's lessons. She will suffer the consequences of her behavior.

    Do you suspect she is abusing drugs?

    Was she always this way? Did she have a sudden change in friends?
  3. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    I do not suspect drugs at all. She barely leaves the house, and when she does easy child is with her most of the time. The school issue is a HUGE change for her. She has always been a 4.0+ in all advanced classes. This year is the first time she just doesn't care. My husband is usually very good with her, it is just with all of the stress he is feeling at work, it has become all consuming. I think she is dealing with a severe case of depression, but there is definitely more going on than just that.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Please dont take this the wrong way, just wondering.... Why do you have to make her get up to take a shower? That is one battle I would not fight (and dont when he goes thru little spell of refusing) but my son doesn't go long periods of time without a shower or bath usually so maybe that is it? if he doesn't I make sure he has a washcloth to wash up the smelly parts if he doesn't want to do the full bath. If he doesn't do that then he will get horrible feedback at school If that doesn't work then??? (I may change my perspective though if it ever becomes one of our bigger battles). So I was wondering what the story is with that in your home? Can you let it go so she is not awake? Which problem is bigger?

    supportive hugs, Buddy
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    NO WAY would I wake her up to take a shower, she can take one in the morning or on Friday. If she is depressed, getting an appropriate amount of sleep (9 or so hours) is critical!

    Since this seems to have been an abrupt change in her, have you considered that she may have been molested or raped? Other than drugs, that is one of the main triggers for an abrupt depressive state and 15-25% of girls her age have been victimized. And if she already struggled with depression.... Sadly, most girls will not report it, especially if their parents are friends with the abuser. Can you find her an experienced female therapist? It may help to have that outlet.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ditto JJJ.
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I know how you feel. I have felt that very same way (and truth be told, I still do on the bad days) and I understand it.

    Have you spoken to her guidance counselor? If so, what did he say?

    I would pick your battles. It seems like you are trying to get her to do everything that you want her to do, and I know that with my difficult child it never works. He's pretty good about showering, and he's great about school. But cleaning his room up? Making sure his clothing is put away properly? Not so much, and as much as I would like to make it look better, I just walk away. If she's refusing to shower and you can get her to school, let her go and be smelly. Eventually, one of her peers will say something to her and she might get the hint.

    When was the last time she had a physical? Make an appointment with the pediatrician and tell them about the sudden change in her. Maybe there is something that is physically contributing to her change in demeanor.
  8. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    The shower problem is because she will then refuse to go to school without one the next morning. And, battling the morning routine is horrid right now. I have considered the molestation/rape, and I am hoping it isn't true, but it unfortunately does seem to fit with the major change in behavior. I am just hoping that we get at least a little info on Tuesday when we go to our first psychiatrist appointment.
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    You cannot look to the future right now. What your child will look like in 2/4/6 years is going to be most likely very different from what she's like right now. Better, worse... who knows? in my humble opinion, the priority right now is to get through today, without causing permanent damage to other family relationships.

    Hopefully psychiatrist will have some insight into what's going on and will have some suggestions for you. So hard to know what's really going on in our teens sometimes. Depression, trauma, bullying... the possibilities just boggle the mind.

    For the very short term, I'd just do what you have to do to get you all thru the day, since the psychiatrist appointment is soon. Give her the choice, shower now, shower in the morning *without* drama, or no shower - her choice, but whatever choice she makes, she has to live with- it. Re: school - you're meeting with- school counselor Monday, right? I'd let daughter know that she's going to have to make a decision. Either get it together in school and get back on track, or move down to less intense classes (which, by the way, I'd probably try to encourage in a very positive manner - self-care is a very good thing when you're dealing with- depression, and perhaps by decreasing the pressures of a demanding school schedule, it would allow her more opportunity to do some self-care).

    And don't even think about the future right now. Really. At age 14, I had zero hopes left for my difficult child - he was so oppositional and violent, prison was the best case scenario I could envision for him as an adult. At 16, he'd been in 3 RTCs and had moved on to a group home, but was still without question a difficult child. At 18, he was angry, using, and homeless. At 20, he is an exceptionally considerate young man, affectionate, making some realistic goals, and putting forth an amazing effort to reach those goals. Honestly - I never thought I'd live to see the day. He is an absolute *delight* (aside from the ever changing piercings on his face, his tats, and the spiked dog collars... but hey, he *is* a difficult child, LOL ;) ).

    Hang in there.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im gonna ditto SLSH here. You simply cannot look into the future. Sue and I have been here forever. I think her son thank you was 7 and my Cory was 12 when we arrived here together. They were both little The mid teen years were very hard but age has done them both well. Like fine wine you could say...lmao. (Lordy Sue, ten years ago we would have never thought we could have seen this day would we!)

    One day at a time. One hour really. There were days and weeks that I didnt know if my son was going to live to see his next birthday. When he was 16 I was convinced he would be in prison for the rest of his life. At 18 my biggest prayer was that he not serve too much time behind bars because he had already been in jail. At 21 I had him arrested myself. Now, I actually like him! Even better, he likes me!
  11. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    my difficult child is only 6 but i have already given up the school fight. if he fights me in the morning, falling on the floor screaming and refusing to eat/get dressed i send him back to his room. then he has to stay home the whole day. i don't let him have treats/snacks/tv/fun. i am not here to fight him. at 14 i would not fight over it. yes, it is your job but to a point. let her stay home and flunk out, let the natural consequences get her.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Deal with the now. I agree, this sounds like depression. And she does care, perhaps too much. But it all seems insurmountable.

    Think about how you are feeling right now - panicked, desperate, yet also not seeing any future for her. Now realise that you yourself do have a life, you have a past and a future, you have a much better idea of what life holds for you, than she does. And if YOU feel this bad...

    But I do hear you on needing some sense of direction. My own view, it may not work for you because I don't know what your educational options are - be prepared to walk away from high school ambitions. Consider alternative life pathways. Here we have adult education colleges although students can start there at age 15 or thereabouts. There are also menial jobs you can get when young - the golden arches are a good place to start. From my own past experience, when I was just leaving my teens and had had more than I could cope with (nervous breakdown?) I managed my own inability to cope with stress and change by working in a fairly menial, routine job and maintaining a strict routine. My job had me working mostly on my own (definitely not typing pool!) and as I increasingly grew to hate my job, I gradually got the emotional resilience to begin to change my own life.

    In my late teens I had to drop out of uni, I tried hard but just could not pass. I could not understand why I was doing so badly and finally I threw in the towel. I found out years later, had it confirmed only a couple of years ago, that the reason I was failing was because I did not offer myself sexually to my uni tutors and lecturers. I had suspected this but thought I was paranoid, until I met another former student who had a similar tale.
    I went back to uni, same lecturers/tutors, years later after I was married, and sailed through with brilliant marks. Being married had me off limits, it seems. I did not get my uni degree until I was in my 30s.

    Sometimes life is not fair, and sometimes we need to change direction. Continuing to beat your head against a brick wall is unproductive. If you can get a fast fix, then great. But if you can't, then the time you spend trying is time lost form her education pathway. If she could have been flipping burgers instead, at least she would be getting a work ethic, and an income of sorts. This helps self-esteem and begins to give back some hope.

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am wondering about why this sudden change came on. It worries me. I do think you need to take the strain and stress off her for right now. I would ask the school about a period of home schooling her or a medical leave where they send her work home. If they have an online program, that would be ideal if she could handle it. However, you do need to get to the root of what started this slide. It could be hormones or a problem that happened, loss of a friend, bullying, or heaven forbid something sexual.
  14. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I agree with those who say looking to the future is just too much. My difficult child is in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) right now, easy child/difficult child is failing all her classes due to absences to being ill. I just cannot look beyond today, because if I do? I will start to over think, and get overwhelmed, and I will be in no place to support my kiddos.

    Hugs. I hope the psychiatrist appointment goes well, and something can be done to help.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We're in the dark ages here (where I live) when it comes to special needs, but even here, there is allowance for significant medical absenses... for a minimum, they can get an "incomplete" instead of fail - which doesn't calc into the GPA. Check into your options on that front, its only fair.
  16. AtMyWitsEnd33

    AtMyWitsEnd33 New Member

    I agree with Dammit Janet, I would be more concerned at this point about why the sudden change. It seems dramatic to me. My daughter is 9 and I have been fighting these battles her entire life, but to have something come on this suddenly just doesn't seem right. Is there a psychologist at her school? sometimes they have a lot more insight into the dynamic of the students and what is going on then parents do at home. Just a suggestion.
    Additionally, does she/did she have any good friends that hung around all the time? Have they stopped coming around or started acting differently?
    Are you 100% sure that drugs are not involved? Even though she doesn't leave home much they could still be in play if she is acquiring them at school.
    Lastly, I second everyone's motion to take it one day at a time, one step at a time even. If I look too far into the future I get so overwhelmed I just want to shut down.
    Good luck, I hope the psychiatrist can give you some insight.
  17. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with taking this one day at a time, and trying hard not to look into the future.

    I had another thought. Are she and easy child close? You said the only time she leaves the house is with easy child. Could easy child give some insight into what's going on? Have you asked her what her thoughts are on difficult child's sudden change? I agree that since it's so sudden, it's possible something traumatic has pushed her into this state. Do you think something may have happened at school? Bullying, maybe?

    I'm glad you have a psychiatrist appointment set up for her, as well.
  18. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Thanks for all the encouragement and info. I have easy child if she knows anything, and she has said everything seems to be fine when they are together. While this particular episode is new, we have been dealing with her issues all of our lives. Prior to this, her pediatrician. has been able to handle it. It started with anxiety and some minor Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) when she was younger. But this is much more than we have ever dealt with.
    I think it might be bullying more than anything. I do know that one boy in particular was giving her a hard time at the beginning of the year. His locker was near hers, and he would harass her at lunch. He asked her to homecoming, and when she rejected him, he started to call her "*****" etc. at lunch and started to throw food at her. (Yes school knew, and no nothing was done.) It finally came to a head when one of easy child's male friends explained to this boy that if he bothered her again he would be very very sorry. difficult child also went to the office and had her locker moved. So, while in the past she has been more than capable of handling herself in these situations, I think she may have been overwhelmed.
    I think some of it also has to do with her switch in medications. In June she was switched from Celexa to Zoloft by her pediatrician. At first we thought things we better, but about 8 weeks after she switched is when school started.
    I could keep guessing as to the problems, but I may never find out. I am glad we will be meeting with the school on Monday, and with the p'doctor on Tuesday. Then we have the rest of the week for Thanksgiving. So, we will time to process everything.
  19. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Since it is a sudden change I am glad you have set her up for a psychiatrist. One always needs to be concerned when behaviors come on suddenly. Hopefully the doctor willge tto the bottom of this. 14 is a tough age for a girl, My easy child was terribly bullied at this age because she was friendly with a special needs child. he was beat up and ostrasized by people who were former friends. She came through it ok but itdid affect her for the rest of her life. I suspect your girl could be going through something similar.
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Bullying is a HUGE red flag to me - esp since a guy asked her to homecoming and was rejected - and started that kind of garbage. It could still be sexual assault of some kind, just not necessarily full-on rape. It might not be. But - does she have a therapist or counselor? That would be a starting point.

    What else can easy child tell you? With a drastic change, something is going on. And HS kids can be horribly cruel. Esp to someone who is sensitive... Ugh.

    :hugs: for you and her - and also that medication change? Could be fine, or it could be contributing. OR, it could keep her functioning (not well, but functioning)...