I honestly do not know what to do with this kid

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Since difficult child started with her new therapist, things have been relatively better. The 3 hours session last week was rough, but it seemed to really help and difficult child talked about being willing to try medications.

    I don't know if that's still the case.

    I could tell after her therapist appointment yesterday that it didn't go to her liking. She wasn't acting out angry, but she didn't say much. Today, her PCA cancelled at the last minute (another issue, as it's happened too many times). I know difficult child really looks forward to her time with PCA. She was all dressed and primped and ready to go. She was *really* upset about it, although she didn't really say anything.

    We had a good day today. We were all laughing, having a good time. Then out of the blue, difficult child tells me that she doesn't think she wants to see her therapist anymore. She said that all therapist does is lecture her and tell her how she's wrong and that she can't change other people so her life is going to [stink].


    therapist is holding up the mirror to difficult child. But, difficult child is the victim, you know. Her thinking is so convuluted victim-like. difficult child doesn't want to hear that she has to help herself or that maybe - just maybe - her actions cause the reactions she gets from people that make her feel like carap.

    This is the beginning of what I (not in her presence) refer to as her "angst thing". In the past, the typical duration is about 3 hours. We were interrupted this time by easy child's girlfriend. But, not before difficult child let me know that for the past 2 weeks everyone that has spoken to her has not said anything besides verbal abuse.


    Wow. She never ceases to amaze me. You would think I would have learned by now.

    I have done *nothing* these past few weeks except attempt to spend time with her, compliment her, take in interest in what she's doing, etc. I have ignored *everything* as related to behavior because, 1) there hasn't been anything major and 2) I want her to focus on therapy and school starting (she is returning to regular school).

    When she said that to me, my jaw just fell open. What do you say to that? If I do say anything, she will extrapolate one sentence or one word, completely take it out of context, and that is *all* she will remember. Something negative taken completely out of context.

    That is how she remembers everything. She doesn't remember the good. She only remembers the bad. She has been like this since she was at least 7 and I have tried everything, tdocs have tried everything, I have racked my brain thousands of times to try to figure out how to change that. But, I can't. Or I don't know how.

    Thing is, I can't even remember a single event that with even one sentence taken out of context would warrant her statement. There has been nothing negative. easy child was teasing her about becoming a vegetarian, but that was teasing and that certaintly wasn't 'everyone'. Though, she does like those all inclusive terms: everyone, no one, always, never.

    It's incredibly hard to want to spend time with someone who is going to turn around and accuse you of abuse, who is going to pull apart every word that comes out of your mouth, and who doesn't appreciate a damn. thing. you. do.

    I'm putting a call into therapist on Monday. If difficult child stops therapy, I don't know how I'm going to live with this for the next 4 years. It's taken 7 years to get her to actively participate in therapy.

    I am so frustrated. I would probably be angry if I wasn't just so shocked.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Many hugs, Heather. She sounds so much like Miss KT at that age. Yes, it is horribly frustrating, and yes, it's hard to be pleased to spend time with someone who's determined to be awful.
  3. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    That sounds sooooooo familiar. Always the victim. Everyone, always...all the "extreme" language. I don't have any great advice, Heather, but I have plenty of empathy!
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Ok. So, here's how it goes.

    She's not depressed. Doesn't matter that she meets well more than the minimum diagnostic criteria for depression and that any health professional would diagnosis her with it, she thinks that people in "authority" (mind you, she openly admitted at her first session that she has issues with people in authority) just think they can tell you what you feel and how you should think. Doesn't matter that I told her this isn't a person in authority, but someone with the training and experience to be able to recognize this illness.

    Nope. Doesn't matter. She knows what will make her feel better. It's quite simple actually.

    Everyone else just needs to change their behavior.

    Honest to God truth.

    If everyone else would just change how they treat her, she wouldn't feel like carap. That used to only include family, but apparently it now includes the therapist. Next will be the teacher, kid at school, so on and so forth.

    Her reasoning is that people with depression "can't" experience happiness. I informed her, as one with a wealth of personal knowledge on the subject, that a person with depression can, in fact, experience happiness; it's just not a lasting happiness that lasts for more than a few hours or day or two. I told her that if I was not taking my AD's that with my health issues and everything else going on, I would be suicidal. But, because I treat my depression I can deal with the carappy hand life has dealt me and still keep positive, have a sense of humor, and still feel happiness and joy.

    She didn't like that, so she employed her relatively new tactic of manipulation of accusing everyone of telling her she's always wrong. So, if we don't agree with her, if we try to present a different perspective, if we try to *explain* things to her, if....anything....then she's never right, she's always wrong.

    And her new coping mechanism so she doesn't have to worry about making friends (this was the source of her unhappiness up until a few months ago - and nothing has changed in the friends department), is that she really doesn't like people, people are stupid, and she's a loner.

    I'm trying to walk this very, very fine line of being supportive and positive, while continuing to hold up that mirror. When what I really want to do is scream and be able to force her to understand.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I wish I had answers. She sounds so much like my gfgbro at that age. He was determined to not conform, but was so cookie cutter in his "nonconformist attitude" that it was laughable.

    He still can never remember anything good anyone did for him. Heck, even with conversations now he cannot remember anything good. It is all about someone putting him down or holding him back or being stupid because they don't jump on his bandwagon. I wish I could say that something helped. The army got through to him for a while, on a surface level. But that was over years ago.

    If she is determined to hate life and be miserable, and nothing you do help, why not just do what YOU want to do and let her just carry on with her misery. I know my mom would have decided to GIVE me reasons to be miserable if I did that. Because my gfgbro is a boy it was different for him, though I don't know why and she would deny it completely. But it was. I jsut know that if I didn't express thanks and pleasure in a dinner of my favorites it would be a long time coming before my favorites would be served, even if they were her or my dad's favorites. Cause if she is going to be miserable no matter what, why not do what makes YOU happy?

    It makes sense to me. Tell her to go to her room if seh is being miserable. Misery stays in her room. She won't be less miserable, but that is a CHOICE on her part. The trick is going ahead and being happy in spite of her.

    Lots of hugs!
  6. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. Is there anyway you can tie going to therapy to doing some thing she likes? Like phone priveleges or TV watching? Music? If she goes to therapy there may be a chance she will participate.

    Wow. I have a relative like this and it is so hard to deal with.
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    That's pretty much what I do with difficult child these days. Or, I do things without him. When he was a bit younger (around 15-16), he would say to us and to his therapist that we (well, mainly I) didn't do anything with him or take him places. But when I DID...he behaved horridly. One time when he did this, I asked why he was acting that way. He said it was because he didn't like being seen in public with me. Ok fine, that's easily fixed. And ever since then, I don't really take him ANYWHERE that we don't HAVE to go to. He goes to family things and to the home of some close friends but that's it. He refuses to act like a human in public with me so I just don't take him. Anytime we go anywhere, if HE'S bored or if HE doesn't want to be there anymore (you know...like when he's not the center of attention or people aren't going out of their way to keep him entertained), then HE declares it's time to go. If we're here in town I tell him to either deal or walk home. His choice. If we're farther from home, he just has to deal or go pout in the car. I don't tolerate it anymore. Just yesterday I ran into a former co-worker who was with one of his boys at a pond in the housing addition some of my in laws live in. I stopped and talked to him while still in the car. THREE times, difficult child said, "You about ready to go?". I ignored him and continued with my conversation.

    Maybe I've detached myself a bit too much but when dealing with the "poor me...nobody loves me, they all want me to act THIS way when I want to act THAT way, everybody hates me stuff....my attitude is, Fine, whatever. You want to be miserable all the time but I don't. Either come along and act in a decent manner or sit here and wallow. Granted, at 14 you can't just turn her loose or force her to cooperate with the therapist. But if there is anything you can hold over her head to make her go...computer, phone, tv, etc. I would try it. Otherwise...as long as she's safe and not doing things to get her in trouble, I'd leave her be. Do to get, you know? I've found that while it's still frustrating and pushes my buttons at times, this reaction on my part has made it easier in some ways to deal with it. With my difficult child, he has the choice to partcipate and behave in an acceptable manner or not. I just don't let it stop me from doing things that I want to do. He thinks the world revolves around him anyway...giving in to his demands just enforces that and does nothing to help him work on it.

    But...that's just me. If something in what I wrote is helpful, take it. If not...well, I do understand. It hoovers but sometimes you do what you have to do.

  8. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Nothing you do will be enough--if you do nothing she will find fault with that. If you knock yourself out trying to help her she will find fault too. So, you might as well just carry on with life the way you want to because nothing you do will be right anyway!

    Sounds like classic Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) to me--her thinking is so distorted she can't think any other way for now. My difficult child 1 who has/had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) traits did well in a totally structured, lockdown Residential Treatment Center (RTC). She had a wonderful therapist--validated her feelings but pointed out her "stinkin thinkin' and she was actually able to see things from a different perspective. He didn't judge her at all, just pointed out that her viewpoint wasn't necessarily the only one or the correct one. He allowed her the freedom to feel like **** but encouraged her to try to think differently.

    Of course, once she came home from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) she went back to her old ways but I think the dbt type therapy did actually help and she has retained that ability to think differently.

    How frustrating for you--I would just encourage you not to walk on eggshells around her and try to stay as neutral as possible in dealing with her.

  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with jbrain. Get the book about walking on eggshells. At this point you are probably going to have to declare some sort of a truce. difficult child...you want to be miserable and lonely...fine. I dont. If you are miserable and abusive to the family, you will do it from your room. We have a no pouting zone in the family area. Just point with your hand to her room when she starts up. Or you walk to your bedroom and stay in there. Move the computer and a tv into your room.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think moving the computer and tv into your room is genius! IF you feel a tv is something she should have, put a little tv in the living room for her. But since seh is just going to feel like poop, well, she can do that even better with a little tv.

    Just think of ALL she will have to share with her friends. She will surely win the "My mom is meaner than your mom" contests, winning her LOADS of whine points, with a bonus Cheese plate to accompany it!

    Have you considered trying the "I am your mom. I say you need these medications. You will swallow them. You have NO LIFE and will sit in this chair until you do so. Period. If it means you miss school, well, you will have to deal with the unexplained absences. I did't make you late, you did." routine?

    She is 14. In just a very short time you will be unable to do this. But your next few years could be vastly better if you got the medications, sat her down, sat ON her if needed, and made her take the medications. You might find you save her life, or at least give her happiness by taking that stance. Sadly, many kids who are depressed and don't take medication and don't use therapy go ahead and kill themselves. You will forever grieve if she takes that step. With her long term depression it IS a risk factor.

    It seems to me that if you tried the medications route with the attitude that she simply has to take them, just like a vitamin, you might have a few weeks or couple of months of fights over it, but you also might get to the point that she is happy.

    Maybe get some cute, pastel, preppy girly clothes and tell her she can only have her black clothes and makeup if she takes teh medications?

    Or is there a tattoo or peircing she wants badly? maybe you could offer to pay for that if she takes her medications daily? Put fifty cents or a dollar in a jar each day as she takes her medications and take that amount out each day. She could get teh whole dollar if she takes the medications with no hesitation or griping, or get fifty cents if she gripes for five min or less. She only gets a quarter if she refuses past five min, and she loses money if she refuses.

    It is JUST a thought. i don't know if you have tried this route or not. I don't remember if you posted about her taking medications that didn't help, or anything.

    Maybe it is one more avenue to think about to see if it might help her?
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Thank you for the support and ideas, ladies.

    I have been, for the most part, just carrying on with my life. Although, I do tend to walk on eggshells around her. I have forced the medication issue before. It was horrible. And I've been tossing around the idea of it again. The thing is, there's really not much that would be a carrot for her. The only thing I can think of that she *really* wants is a tongue piercing, but I don't like the idea of making that a reward. Especially because when it swells and hurts, I'm going to live and breathe it...no matter how much she insists that I won't. And knowing difficult child, once she gets what she wants, she'll stop the medications. Unless/until she buys into it herself, she will not admit to any improvement. She won't remember anything good.

    I found a book on Amazon about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) teens that I need to get. I'm just having a hard time knowing what to do, what line to walk, what things to push....
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nothing to add but sending many hugs.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 3 isn't BiPolar (BP) but he does get into the "everybody hates me, everybody is mean to me, nobody ever says/does anything kind to me" moods.

    So I said to him, "List them."

    I asked him to give me examples of people being mean. I then went through with my own list of people NOT being mean. IN order for this to work, you do need to keep active lists, but now she is whining, you are on notice that tis must be done. So when you see her happy, see her accept a compliment for someone, or you say somerthing nice to her and mean it, write it down quietly.

    I told difficult child 3 to keep his own list. And sometimes when he and I were arguing into the night and I was nagging, he would glare at me meaningfully and go off to his computer.

    But when he calmed down and read his diary later on, he sometimes realsied he had been way out of line. It actually helped him keep himself in better perspective.

    But it also meant that next time he said, "Dad is always horrible to me" I was able to say, "You give me your examples, and I will give you mine of Dad being good to you."

    THis has helped him put it in perspective.

    The absolute worst ting she can do is to cancel out on the therapist simply because she doesn't like hearing the truth. This would set in place a pattern of avoidance for the rest of her life. I already know too many people who are getting through life blindfolded, always running away from their problems and as a reuslt never growing up as people.

    We need to try to teach our kids to confront teir problems head-on, to actuallyseek out the hardesrt things and to actually deal with them. Instead, too often we allow our kids to tiptoe around the edges, we try to soften life up for thme so they can cope when they really need to occasionally at least, have contact with reality so they know what they have to work towards.

    She needs to know that if she is unhappy about something, SHE has to deal with it. And she has two choices. Either she can change; or she can wait for the rest of the world to change. Since it's much more difficult to change 5 billion people than to change one person, then she needs to consider working on what she CAN do (ie change herself). she also has much better chance of changing what she can control (ie herself) than everyone else in the world, many of whom (like her aged, infirm and intractable parents) are too old and set in their ways to change.

    In complaining, she is openly admitting that change is needed. OK, she wants everyone else to change (to being nice to her) but sorry kid, life doesn't work that way.

    I have a quote for you fomr a friend of mine. Feel free to use it, make it into a poster and stick it up on the wall.

    "We are all only bit-players in other peoples' lives."

    This means that for everyone else in the world to have chosen to be mean to her, to seek out opportunities to make her feel bad - kiddo, you're not that important to other people. You are only that important to yourself. So if you want change - look to yourself.

    If she won't take it form therapist, then stick it up on the wall for her to see it every time she walks into that room.

    We use the space behind the toilet door for the most important lessons. I'll post up affirming statements, social stories, French irregular verbs and the Periodic Table of the Elements.

    It's not called "the reading room" for nothing!

    PS - an adapted joke for you to maybe use (if she has enough of a sense of humour about it).
    Q: How does difficult child go about changing a light bulb?
    A: She just stands there and holds it while she waits for the rest of the world to revolve around her.