is there any way to recover positive feelings for difficult child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I hope so. I am feeling sad and guilty because I just can't seem to muster positive feelings for difficult child. You have to understand, she isn't really trying and I am tired of trying by myself with no improvement.

    Last month, I mentioned about the self piercing of her nose while we were on vacation. We had asked her to wait til she is of age and made it clear that for someone to do a piercing on a minor was illegal so she knew where we stood. Actually, the nose piercing is minor. I could live with it. But every time I see it, I think of the lies, the sneaking, the defiance, the attitude, her words... "I wanted one, Other people have one. I knew you would say no, so I just did it." I have lost all feelings of trust towards her. This is not the only thing she has lied about. It is almost daily. I'll take her to school early so she can go to her teacher for extra work - and she won't go. Oh, she will go to school early, but won't go to the classroom. I'll email the teacher to see if she went in early - and they say nope. Sometimes she will call to ask to stay late - "to get caught up" but she never gets caught up and doesn't connect with the teacher.

    She lies about how much money she spends... or loaned... or lost... who knows. Her little babysitting job gives her some spending money, and I dont expect for her not to spend it - but would like an honest remark of what happened to it.

    She will lie in the morning when I wake her up and then 10 minutes later, I will ask if she is up, and she says yes. Then 30 minutes later when it is time to go she finally crawls out of bed and then tell me she was up, she was just trying to decide what to wear.

    I am just so tired of all the lies... She doesn't understand the pierced nose is nothing... but was it worth our relationship? And then I think, even without it - would our relationship be any better? I still have all the lies about everything else. She talks the talk but she aint walking the walk. I get so tired of excuses, her drama, her big plans that she can't carry thru.

    I want things to be better - but don't have a clue how to get there. KSM
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I just tried to talk nicely to difficult child and tell her how I was feeling and that I am hurting because of the distance between us. Tried to explain how her not being honest about things is hurting our relationship. Tried to explain that the nose piercing is small compared all the things she did to cover it up. Tried to tell her that I was worried about how being impulsive about things could lead to bigger problems. Tried but failed. She couldn't comprehend any of it really. Her basic take on it all: "you hate the nose ring and you hate me". and of course "I won't make any bad decisions about drugs or alcohol". Wish I could believe that one. She wants to fit in with a small group of misfit kids and I am afraid that the nose piercing is only the beginning. KSM
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You're dealing with one of the most difficult roads out there, and I really don't have any advice.
    But I'm sending you my spare rhino skin... packed with hugs and care.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    Your talk with difficult child?
    Hate to tell you this but... PART of that is typical teen..... add typical teen to difficult child and it's a total royal pain.
    A typical teen will "eventually" come around. Like, age 25 or so...
    But... there are fewer certainties with a difficult child.

    More {{hugs}}
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    This might be a good topic for a therapist. Sorry I don't have a better suggestion. Trust isn't high around here either.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so sorry ksm, I know how devastating it is when you are an honest, truthful person living with a teenager who lies and manipulates as a way of life. Without that trust, you are on ground which is constantly moving and you cannot get your bearings. It sucks, it really does. My best shot at advice is to get a therapist for YOU, someone to whom you can vent away, cry, show your angers and hurts to who will care and teach you tools to not take this personally, to recognize that yes, some of this is typical teen behavior, but it goes deeper then that, it is a kid with a disorder which doesn't allow her to trust............if you can find a way to see her behavior beyond the hurts it causes you, learn to dodge those bullets, you can hold on to your peace of mind and see the truth of the matter as opposed to feeling the response to her words and actions. It's tough, I know. I think if you can do that, you can start to see her in a different light. My heart goes out to you, you're dealing with a child who must feel abandoned , has a conduct disorder and is starting the hormone dance as well, a volatile combination at best. Sending you all the hugs I can muster..............
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I can hear the hurt in your words. I'll be honest here when I say that sometimes I think talking to a teenaged difficult child is a waste of time and breath. They are in that typical teen period where they know everything and mom knows nothing. Add the difficult child attitude on top of that and the words go in one ear and out the other. You lay it all out there and a difficult child's answer is, " So?" It's frustrating.

    i wish I had some answers as to how to get your positive feelings back towards her. I've thought about this alot lately as I'm feeling some of the the same things towards my difficult child. Anger, resentment, sadness. I know how you feel. Maybe time and maturity will help things. I hope it gets better for you.
  8. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    I not only feel the very same way you do, but now, even though my difficult child has been out of my home and at the TBS for several weeks now, I STILL feel that way. I don't miss her one iota. I love her, but I don't like her one bit - the lies, attitude, disrespect, complete lack of trust, manipulation... ugh. I second the therapist suggestion. I've started seeing one, and it's been very helpful.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not



    My best advice is to put aside your dreams of a "good relationship" with your difficult child for now...

    She is acting like a brat. This is NOT a person with whom you are going to have a nice, mature relationship because she is (at the moment) NOT a nice and/or mature person.

    Also - in my humble opinion, you need to stop giving her "chances" in regards to trust issues. She has demonstrated numerous times that she CANNOT be trusted - so you need to remember that...and act accordingly. Don't leave her in situations where you must rely upon her honesty!

    Also - time to start removing "Mommy" from the situation whenever possible....make difficult child responsible for herself! (That way - it gets harder and harder to blame Mom for everything that goes wrong - Know what I mean??) Have a consequence for not getting herself up...(and it should NOT be that Mom knocks on the door every few minutes as a reminder!)...maybe she has to walk to school....maybe you come in with a bucket of ice water...whatever works!

    When you can start getting untagled from all of difficult child's issues - it will be easier to find those good feelings! For now - just do the best you day at a time!
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    DF has some good advice. And by the way, when I want to feel close to my difficult child, I just remember when he was 3 or 4 and yes, definitely a difficult child, but had some very funny, cuddly moments. One was when he was following me around the house one day, saying, "Am I being good, Mommy? Am I being good?" I had tuned him out and suddenly, realized what he was saying. "Yes, you are being VERY good." Of course, only 3 min later he started to scream and climb on furniture ... but that sweet voice asking, "Am I being good?" will stay with-me forever. You are not in a spot where you are expected to feel close to difficult child. Everything she says takes you back to the last lie, and the one before that. There is too much baggage. I can hear your hurt and sorrow. The only thing I can suggest is to compartmentalize it, and save it for therapy (this is one of our most common topics and we have come a long way), and find something else to do that does not involved your difficult child. Work in the garden. Read a book. Pay bills. Doesn't matter. Just do something that only involves you. (Sorry for the run=on paragraph; this board won't let me make paragraph breaks this week.)
  11. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi KSM,

    You've been given great advice here from board sisters.

    I too hear the sorrow in your post, and of course, that's why we're all here for each other; we understand, we have been there done that.

    Relationships, esp. familial relationships are meant to be reciprocal. Love is to be shared with each other. If a significant trust issue drives a wedge in a relationship, it is very, very difficult to overcome, particularly when the person who is lying expresses no remorse. It demeans us as humans to be treated that way. Now, this IS a typical typical teen thing, but as someone else said, typical teen combined with difficult child is magnified, and not in a good way. Who knows if you can ever recover positive feelings - that depends on a lot of things that we cannot predict - you can only deal with the "now".

    I agree that you should consult a therapist, and seek the company of those who validate you (this board is a good place to start!) and to also find pastimes that rejuvenate your spirit. The serenity prayer really helps - there are some things we just cannot change, and recognizing those things is a gift and a challenge. (((Hugs)))
  12. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    THanks for all the ideas and the virtual empathy. I do need to make an appointment just for me - it has been a while. I had tried antidepressant (Lexapro) but couldn't handle it.

    I am going to try to stop dwelling on the negative. Sometimes husband and I "compare" notes and then we both get upset again when we learn how the other got treated. Will try to put a stop to going over the bad behavior as it just upsets both of us. But I know there will always be things we have to deal with.

    I woke up feeling better about the situation - but then, when I started the car, I found a shirt in the back seat I had never seen before. Little sis said it was difficult child's. I know I had never seen it before - and when difficult child came to the car she said she had "found it at the mall bathroom". ... and the mall was getting ready to close so she just brought it home. There are no tags on it... it doesn't look like it has been washed (or if it has - not much by examing the labels on it). Plus it is a size that fits difficult child and it is something that I would have never wanted her to wear... the back is cut out and it is just black lace. If I had time today, I would have taken it to the mall and looked in the shops... there are only a couple that cater to teen girls and see if the brand is something they sell there. (if it looks like a duck... it is probably a duck...)

    On Thursday, I have the appointment with the neuropsychologist - (without difficult child) I guess to see what tests she wants to order based on the questionnaires we filled out last year. (last year ins denied the testing) Hoping withour new insurance we will get the testing and will know more of what is going on. It is so hard when the mental health professionals don't have anything to offer and neither does the school system. KSM
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    KSM -

    Save yourself the headache! You don't need to "prove" that difficult child is lying to you when she says she "found" that shirt. You found in-appropriate clothing in the car. You don't need to investigate, you don't need to "prove" anything - you don't even need to discuss it with difficult child.

    Take that shirt and THROW. IT. OUT!

    Same goes for anything else that difficult child is not allowed to wear / own. It comes into your house? It goes in the trash!
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know you can't wait for Thursday, and then to hear the results. In the meantime, I agree with-Df--throw out the shirt. And, if your difficult child stole it from the mall, that's her issue and she will get caught one of these times. That's on her, not you. That's how these kids learn, unfortunately.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    KSM....hon, this is normal when a child is impossible. I can't feel as warm toward my still major difficult child 35 year old son as I do toward the kids who are so nice and pleasant to be around. I love 35, but I wish he were different...he can still be very hateful. I don't think your daughter will still be that way at 35, but I just wanted to use him as an example as to how hard it is to feel warm and fuzzy toward a child who is not nice back.

    Do not force the issue. Once she grows up and learns from all this, you will love just as much as ever again and feel very proud of her for turning it around. That's how I feel about Julie, my ex-drug addict. If anything, I love her even more than I did before (which is awfully hard...she was always my princess). But she did the hard work she had to do to make her life productive and I'm very proud of her.

    I can't help but think that many mothers feel the way we do. We love all of our kids, but it is very hard to feel warm when somebody is throwing ice at you. Know what I mean?? Hugs!!!!
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    KSM, you've already received some great advice from the others. I just want to add a few things:

    1) Trust
    I have this issue with my difficult child as well. He lies so often and so copiously that I don't believe anything he says without independent corroboration -- from a source that difficult child cannot influence. In other words, if difficult child could have planted the story with someone, I won't believe them either. It's sort of a "see it with my own eyes, or it's a lie" situation, and it has persisted for years. Occasionally difficult child will be telling the truth, and I'm wrong in my assumption of a lie. However, not being believed is difficult child's consequence for all the years of lying. It's likely that I will never regain trust in him, because he's untrustworthy.

    At the moment, it sounds like your difficult child is in the same place. You'll save yourself a lot of bother and heartache if you just assume she's lying, and don't bother checking up on her to try and prove the lie. I know you want to believe her, and it's very difficult to accept when your child tells constant lies, but once you do accept it the heartache will ease somewhat.

    2) Detachment
    Your difficult child is currently in a place where she's not concerned about how her behaviour will affect you. She's shown that by her actions. So you need to get to a place where your difficult child's behaviour doesn't affect you. What I mean is, try to bolster yourself with other things. Do nice things for yourself and your husband, take care of you. Just don't pin your hopes on difficult child being "nice" to you unless she wants something from you. The ability to manipulate our emotions gives our difficult children a lot of power over us. If she can't wind you up anymore, then she loses a great deal of power over you. She will likely behave badly in any case. You can either be miserable or not, without reference to her behaviour.

    3) Positive feelings.
    Give it time. For years and years, I felt like I hated my difficult child. I couldn't look at him, could barely talk to him -- even on the phone, and couldn't stand to be in the same room for more than a minute or two at a time. He had caused such chaos in the family, and I resented it terribly. Over the years, as I've grown more detached and better able to deal with difficult child's episodes without getting emotionally entangled in them, our relationship has improved tremendously. I still don't trust him, I still won't give him money or do certain things for him that I do for the other children, but we get along the way a mother and son are supposed to.

    Give yourself a break. Your difficult child has to understand that her bad choices come with negative consequences. One of those is the loss of a close relationship with you. Mending fences is in a large part up to her. Don't make it too easy on her. She has to understand the value of the relationship by its absence.

    Sending many hugs. This is such a hard situation to be in.

  17. mtridous

    mtridous New Member

    Hi ksm,
    I registered just so I could reply. Fifteen years ago, I'm sure my mother could have written the same post as you. I started getting bad grades, dyeing my hair, hanging out with "misfits", etc. I had terrible fights with my parents almost every day.
    I have not spoken with my mother or father in years.
    You put it best when you asked if the nose piercing was worth your relationship. Is it?
    It sounds like you have emotionally abandoned your child because of what should be minor disagreements in the face of your love for her---getting out of bed in the morning on time, a piercing, doing poorly in school. Classic passing teenage issues.
    I live on my own, graduated from college with honors, and have a steady job I go to every morning on time. (I also dress normally.) All the things you're worried about passed as I grew up. But I don't speak with my parents because I know they were willing to withdraw all support and love from me just because of the color of my hair. It hurt at the time and it hurts just as much now. They are nice, normal, middle-class people and I'm sure they thought they were doing the best thing at the time, but it taught me that my family only loved me circumstantially. I found my real family in my friends and will never trust my parents again.
    Your daughter will only find more and more solace in "misfits" (and possibly drugs and alcohol) if you allow these small things to be more important than supporting her through a difficult time in her life, and letting her know you love her NO MATTER WHAT.
    Not guilt-tripping her about how HER lies are ruining your relationship. You are the adult and you need to be the bigger person. If you don't like her anymore because she doesn't get out of bed in the morning and then lies about it, fine. If you can hear her crying out for your love and approval, and withhold it until she gets extra work from her professors, fine. But don't be surprised when she has hurt too much and doesn't ask for your love anymore.
    And of course she lies. She lies because she is almost an adult, and wants to do things that you don't want her to do. She isn't a child anymore. She is supposed to be developing independence. Be the bigger person and let her know you love her or you will regret it one day.
  18. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Methinks the previous poster has NO clue whatsoever about what this board is for and no idea of the depth of some of our situations. This is WAY beyond typical teenage drama junk. I daresay that any of us would LOVE if our difficult teenagers were simply going through typical teenage junk.
  19. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Oh, I wouldn't be too sure about that. She may well have an experience from different side of the fence about parenting difficult child. I mean, not talking for years with your nice, loving and normal parents because they were little too strict for your liking during your teen years certainly sounds gfgish to me...
  20. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Mtridous - thanks for taking time to join and respond. I am the original postern and if you could have felt my hurt in the original post, you would know that it is not that I don't love my dtr, and I have and will keep trying to have a positive relationship with her, but that when you are the only one trying it is hard. I actually wrote that the nose piercing is small compared to all the things she did to perpetuate the lies. A relationship with out trust is not much of a relationship. Sometimes you do have to distance yourself from all the drama, while keeping the door open for the future.

    I am glad that you grew up to be a responsible adult. Maybe your parents weren't that awful since you seemed to have found your way to making positive choices. I am sorry that you still have all that hurt from your past. I don't want that for my dtr, and that is why I reached out on this forum. KSM